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Only a few decades ago, office workers sat in very rigid and uncomfortable seats during their 9-5 desk jobs. Luckily, working conditions have improved, and future technologies were employed during the creation of new seats suitable for long sitting hours.
Almost every gaming chair is essentially an office chair with a slightly tweaked design to further suit the needs of gaming enthusiasts. Many gamers have the tendency to forget about adding good seating to their gaming setups. Spending countless hours sitting in an uncomfortable chair that offers no support will not only give you a less than ideal gaming experience, it will also have long-term negative effects on your body.
With the best gaming chair your experience will be enhanced in more ways than you can imagine, both comfort-wise and health-wise. But given the seemingly endless selection of gaming chairs in the market, how can you decide which is the right one for you?
The Best Gaming Chair: The Different Types
Console seats tend to have much lower heights to give you a cinematic experience and suit your living area by being less of an obstruction. While these chairs don’t let your rock or swivel like a conventional gaming seat, they are often comfy and offers the same benefits as other chair categories.
Quality console chairs have excellent lumbar support and added features such as built-in audio systems, vibration motors, control panels, and comfortable headrests. If you’re looking for a good model, be sure to check customer reviews because some of these extra features might be faulty. For instance, there are certain models that have issues with their built-in audio and wireless capabilities.
Most console players buy these seats because their couch isn’t comfortable enough for long gaming sessions, or it’s situated too far away from their TV. By using a console chair, those issues can be easily solved.
Racer gaming chairs, as the name suggests, have a design similar to that of sport car seats, offering a good mix of sleek style and ergonomic benefits. Most racer gaming chairs, especially higher-end ones, also have seat covers made from real or synthetic leather.
These chairs often sport extensive customization capabilities, where you can adjust the armrests, headrests, seat heights, and many more chair components to optimize your comfort and experience. Some go beyond conventional expectations and include gas pedals, wheel support pads, and steering wheel pads to enhance the racer theme further.
Office chairs are the baseline for gaming chairs, being more traditional and simpler in appearance compared to their flashy counterparts. They often come in muted colors and sleek designs to fit a working environment, but that doesn’t mean that you can use them for your gaming sessions as well!
Most office chairs don’t offer lumbar or head support, unlike the other gaming chairs where these features are more common. These chairs still give good support for your back, though, and are comfortable enough for long hours of playing, and they can often be adjusted to give you optimal support and comfort.
Factors You Need To Consider When Buying The Best Gaming Chair
First and foremost, how many hours will you be using it? If you love going on long, drawn-out gaming sessions, then you need a chair that offers maximum lumbar support and made with light material. This way, you can remain comfortable all throughout your gaming binge. However, we do recommend that you get up and take a short walk to stretch out your muscles every hour or so. Our bodies, after all, aren’t meant to stay in the same position for long periods of time.
If you’re planning to use it in a more professional setting (i.e, your study or home office), maybe an office chair would be better suited for that kind of environment. And finally, is it going to be a permanent fixture in one part of your home, or are you going to move it around frequently? It might be convenient to buy a lighter gaming chair to make it easier when moving it to different locations.
Chairs for gaming usually have bulky designs that will consume some floor space, which isn’t that great if you’re living in a smaller home. Some companies such as X Rocker have designed chairs with collapsible frames in a few of their models so you can fold and tuck them away when not in use.
While there are really cheap options out there, most of those models won’t be able to give the right amount of support suited for gaming. We recommend that you save up a bit and invest in a good chair that will last a long time and provide you with many long-term benefits.
Whether you’re working or gaming in front of a screen, being supported by an ergonomic chair will delay or even prevent back-related problems, saving you from incurring any medical costs. So in a way, buying a more expensive, high-quality chair will save you money in the long run.
4. Special Requirements
Maybe you like playing racing simulations? Then a specialized race chair will fit the bill. Or perhaps you’re on the taller side? There are plenty of gaming chair brands out there that release differently sized units to suit every body type. Write a checklist of your needs and find a chair that meets these requirements.
Important Gaming Chair Components
Gaming chairs might seem like just any regular chair, but they have plenty of components that are enhanced or normally not found in the conventional chair. When looking for a good gaming chair, there are a couple of key features that you need to take note of to make the distinction between a good model and a bad one. The right gaming chair for you will enable you to sit comfortably for long periods of time and adjust its workings to suit your needs. Here are some important components that will help you find the best gaming chair.
- Head Support
Different models will offer different ways to give you head support. High-back chairs, for instance, will be rigid, and let you lean back fully. These often come with a pillow for extra comfort and support.
Some chairs are ergonomically designed, often having unique parts that will make gaming healthier. These kinds of chairs come in different sizes and shapes to suit any gamer, whether tall or short, lean or heavy.
- Lumbar Support
One of the most important aspects of a good chair, lumbar support is a necessity because spinal problems are hard to fix and live with. Chairs will have different sets of support features that range from minimal to optimal.
Luckily, most chairs today, even the really cheap ones, will have some level of lumbar support. While this isn’t by any means a unique feature, it’s still important to find a chair that can help you maintain good back posture and keep your spine healthy. When it comes to your health, you shouldn’t cheap out.
- Arm Support
Most affordable chairs will have a fixed set of armrests that targets common body sizes. If you’re really tall or short, then this type of armrest might not be suitable for you. Consider looking for a chair that can adjust the armrest height or remove the armrests completely if you’re really not interested in them.
It all depends on your comfort requirements. Chairs without armrests are also usually more affordable, so they can be a good choice if you want to save some cash.
- Adjustable Heights
When testing an armrest, put its height at the top priority because this aspect largely influences the comfort and support you’ll be getting. Having an adjustable armrest will make sure that everyone can benefit from them, regardless of their body type. Most good-quality chairs will offer this feature, so you won’t have a hard time looking for one. If you want even more adjustment capabilities, then you might consider a Dynamic 4D adjustment. However, chairs with this form of extensive customization won’t come cheap.
- Dynamic Adjustment (4D)
Most consider the 4D armrest adjustment overkill, allowing you to move your armrest in every possible direction. It can let you tilt your armrests at an angle, raise its height, adjust the space between them, and many more. It’s a good feature to look out for if you’re looking to splurge on a high-end chair.
- Leather (genuine and synthetic)
Finding real leather gaming chairs is pretty rare, but there are a few manufacturers that fit their models with excellent leather obtained from animals (usually cow or lamb hide). With proper treatment and maintenance, leather will last a long time. It has unique coloring and texture, ensuring that no unit is one and the same. Because of its expensive production, leather gaming chairs are very pricey.
Synthetic leather, on the other hand, has similar looks and characteristics to actual leather, but it’s made out of synthetic plastic. The benefit of this material is that it’s very easy to clean. Just make sure to wipe out any dirt or spillage quickly to avoid staining. Cheap synthetic leather is prone to wear and tear over time, especially if they’re exposed to the sun. These will eventually peel off and crack, leaving the material inside unprotected. Synthetic leather of good quality will last very long without being as maintenance-heavy as real leather. It’s important to note that these materials tend to absorb heat, so they might not be suitable for very hot environments.
- Weaving and Mesh
You’ll find the most common office chairs will have this type of material as their cover. They are a very breathable fabric and offer ample support by molding their shape, depending on the person who sits on them. Chairs like leather require an inner foam for support, but mesh chairs, on the other hand, use gravity and tension to create an ergonomic balance. Mesh office chairs are a great choice if you’re looking for something more formal.
Cloth chairs are commonly the more affordable option, so budget gaming chairs will use this type of material. Most stray from this material because they are notoriously difficult to clean. Any kind of spillage will have a high chance of leaving a stain and an undesirable odor. They don’t do well with moisture, so if you tend to get sweaty during long gaming sessions, your chair will start to smell pungent or even become a breeding ground for molds after a while. If you’re going to buy a cloth-type chair, make sure that the cloth covering can be removed for washing, or invest in a separate coverage that will protect your chair from moisture and spillage.
All gaming chairs, with the exception of console chairs, have a set of wheels called casters that allow for easier movement, and here are the most commonly used ones.
- Dual Caster
The most standard caster form for a gaming chair, the dual caster evens out the weight carried by both wheels in order to protect them and your floor from higher amounts of pressure from a single point.
- Hardwood Caster
These casters are specifically made to protect your wooden floors from scratches and dents whenever you move around with it. They usually have wheels made from rubber and polyurethane, soft yet durable materials that can withstand heavy weight while leaving no marks on the floor.
- Carpet Casters
If you have a carpeted floor, then you need a hard-wheeled or carpet caster. These ensure that your wheels won’t get tangled up with carpet fibers. Another solution you can opt to do is to buy a small mat made with suitable material to place underneath your gaming chair.
Overall Aesthetic Appeal And Design
This shouldn’t necessarily be one of your top priorities, but it certainly helps if the gaming chair you like also goes well with your home’s interior. Whether you want something plain and minimal or something “in-your-face” with vivid colors, there’s always a chair that will fit your bill in the looks department.
This aspect largely depends on the type of gaming chair you’re planning on buying. If you want a console chair, look for one that isn’t too obstructive and will fit with your living room furniture. Racer chairs, on the other hand, usually sport vivid colors with eye-catching designs, but there are a few that look more muted and formal. And finally, office chairs will often come in shades of black and gray, perfect for a formal office setting.
Here are some more extra features that aren’t necessarily on the priority list when choosing the best chair for you, but they certainly help fit the criteria:
Warranties are your safety net in case your unit needs repairing, or you received a defective one. The longer it lasts and the more it covers, the better.
- Customer Support
It might seem inconsequential at first, but good customer support is a godsend if issues ever arise with your unit. Having a company that’s accessible and provides aid when you need it can fix up any problem you might encounter without the added hassle and stress.
Some models have integrated audio systems where you can connect them to your PC or console to provide an immersive form of sound. However, you have to make sure that your devices are compatible with each other. If your gaming chair has similar features but cannot be connected to your devices, then it would be a waste.
Test Out Your Product Before Buying
One of the easiest things you can do to find the right seat for you is to test them for yourself. There are many establishments that will let you try out their units, so be sure to take advantage of this and give their available selection a whirl.
We’ve tested out the products below in essentially the same way. We use them long-term for a set amount of time, reading through their features and seeing if they all hold up and taking into account the many aspects we’ve listed in our buyer’s guide.
The Best PC Gaming Chairs For 2019
1. Secretlab Titan
Secretlab is a company solely dedicated to designing and manufacturing gaming chairs, and the Titan 2020 is one of their latest models.
The Titan racer chair features maximum support in all aspects. For the head, it sports a neck pillow made from memory foam and lined with cooling gel to help maintain a comfortable temperature during long gaming sessions. For your back, it features integrated lumbar support that can be adjusted through a knob located on the chair’s side. And finally, it has an armrest that can be adjusted in all four directions.
The chair is also very sizeable, so it can support large and tall gamers easily. Its comfort factor also has the same quality as its other features, where its cushioning material is made of cold-cured foam that is both plush and cool. Its covering is made from 2.0 PU Prime Leather that has a nice texture and less-prone to scratches or marks. The Titan might be on the pricier side, but compared to other seats within the same price range, the Titan wins by a landslide in terms of the benefits that it offers.
- Sizeable seat
- Cool and comfortable material
- Maximum, fully-adjustable support
- 5-yr warranty
- Sleek design with muted colors fit most interiors
- Floor-friendly casters
2. Noblechairs Hero
This racer chair from Noblechairs is an impressive model that is suited for many sizes, offering great support and a sturdy build.
The Hero provides all head, back, and arm support. The chair comes with an optional head pillow that fits snuggly on the top to rest your head-on. It also offers good lumbar support with optional an optional pillow for added comfort. One drawback, however, is that the chair is very rigid, and you’ll eventually feel uncomfortable after a few hours without the pillow. While it does support your back, the comfort factor leaves us a bit wanting. For the arms, it can be adjusted in every direction to suit your body size, but much like its body, the armrests also offer only a little padding.
The chair is a bit bulky and heavy, but it glides easily with the help of its casters. The whole unit is covered in PU synthetic leather that’s easy to clean and maintain. It also has a muted and sleek design that can fit both in an office setting or a more casual environment. In terms of pricing, it leans more on the expensive side, but the support and quality build that you get is worth every penny.
- Great support but might be too rigid for some
- Suites bigger frames
- Covered with PU leather that’s easy to clean
- Muted design can fit many interiors
3. Respawn 200
Another awesome racing chair, the Respawn 200 is much cheaper compared to other mid-range models, but it still manages to meet or even surpass their features.
For the armrest, you can adjust its height and depth, but not the angle, which isn’t really much of an issue. They don’t offer much padding, but this can easily be remedied by purchasing separate foam pads, which aren’t usually expensive. Its back is made with very breathable mesh that will keep you in comfortable temperatures, and it provides great lumbar support that allows adjustment. It also features ample head support, but the head pillow might be a bit too high for some people.
In terms of design, most of the chair sports a muted dark color which is a pretty safe bet, but it’s neon accents may put off some people. You also need to be extra careful with these accents because they are prone to scratching.
- Affordable for most budgets
- Good support with decent customization
- Can recline at 130°
- Helpful customer service
- Dark color with brightly-colored accents
- Mesh material that helps maintain a comfortable temperature
4. Cougar Gaming Chair Armor
For our final racer-type chair is Cougar’s Armor chair that falls in the mid-range budget category. Overall, it offers great value in terms of support and ergonomics with a good degree of customization.
The chair has good lumbar support with extra support pillows for added comfort. It can also be reclined to a full 180°, a feature that may occasionally be useful. It has 4D armrests, meaning that it can be fully adjusted in terms of height, depth, and angle. One drawback, however, is that the armrests don’t feel too sturdy, and might not be suitable for heavier body types.
The coloring is black accented with bright orange, which might not suit some tastes. Its metal components are made with tough steel that is very durable, and the covering uses PVC leather that’s easy to clean and maintain.
- Adjustable supports
- 180° reclining
- Covered with PVC leather that’s easy to clean
- durable metal parts
5. Office Master OM5
We were very skeptical about the claims that Office Master has made, stating that the unit automatically calibrates itself to optimize its support system. But as it turns out, our doubts were misplaced.
The OM5 is the perfect chair for people who don’t care for making manual adjustments because its lumbar support structure fine-tunes itself automatically as soon as you sit down. By leaning on the chair, the seat will shift forward and the backrest will recline smoothly. This means that you can easily transition from working mode to playing mode. It takes a bit of time before you get used to it, though. Its arm and headrests can also be adjusted, albeit manually.
For optimum comfort and support without the fiddly adjustments, the Office Master OM5 fits the bill perfectly and comes at a reasonable price for a mid-range office chair.
- Automatic lumbar support adjustments
- Sleek and formal look with a splash of color
- Arm and headrest can be manually adjusted
- Good price
6. Steelcase Gesture
Another amazing office-type chair with automatic adjustment features in place, the Steelcase Gesture offers optimum support for long working and gaming hours.
Both the seat and backrest conform automatically to your spine, sliding backward or forwards and changing the chair’s elevation. This feature lets you recline while maintaining your relative position, so your view and reach of the desk remain the same. It’s armrests, on the other hand, can swivel, elevate, and change their depths however you want.
These adaptable support features make the Steelcase Gesture an impressive chair that will make your work and gaming much more comfortable and healthier. One small gripe we have is how expensive it is. While it does look and feel high-quality, there are other chairs in the market that can offer similar features. However, it does come with a 12-year long warranty, ensuring that you can have it fixed or replaced in case anything breaks.
- Very comfortable
- Automated support system
- Beautiful design
- 12-year warranty
- Might be too expensive to some
7. Noblechairs ICON Chair
Noblechairs have a good selection of high-end gaming chairs that sport impressive ergonomic builds coupled with beautiful design, and their ICON chair is no different.
The ICON’s backrest is designed to provide maximum support while gradually improving your posture. Some might not like the rigidity this entails, though. For added head and lumbar support, it comes with two comfy pillows made from high-quality material. Its armrests can be adjusted to practically any direction to suit everyone’s preferences.
This model is made with a combination of steel and aluminum materials for its frame and base, giving it extra durability while maintaining a lighter weight. For the covering, you can choose from real or synthetic leather (we recommend the latter for easier cleaning).
The design itself is very modern and minimal, so it will suit most homes. All of these great features, however, come with a hefty price tag, although it could be considered a good investment if you’re willing to spend more money on a high-end chair.
- Provides good back support and improves posture
- Modern, high-end looks
- Durable and lighter than most gaming chairs
- 4D armrests
- Might be too expensive for some
8. X Rocker Shark V
Finally, for the console type chairs, the Shark V by X Rocker is a great choice for console gaming.
Rockers have completely different designs and features compared to the other two chair types. For instance, most of them don’t have armrests, but the Shark 5 is a rare exception. Granted, it does sport smaller armrest compared to conventional chairs, but you won’t need much arm support with the way rocker chairs are designed anyway. The seat itself is padded, giving good support and comfort.
Shark Vs extra features are where it shines, featuring a built-in Bluetooth audio system that creates an immersive auditory atmosphere when gaming. It is also foldable, so you can easily store it in a compact space when not in use. In terms of design, it is very non-intrusive, covered with a plain, black material with a modern curve to its shape.
- Built-in audio system
- Great design
- Foldable armrests
9. Crew Furniture 512090
For something a little more affordable, this model from Crew Furniture is an excellent choice if you want a quality console-style chair for your long gaming sessions.
Its overall design is very simple, with a smoothly curving L-shaped seat that’s padded to provide extra comfort. The whole unit is made from foam covered with synthetic leather and support by a sturdy, internal wooden frame. Granted, it doesn’t offer the best features, but for its price, you’re still getting a lot of value for it.
This chair, with proper handling and care, can last you for a long time and give you ample support for a moderately low price. If you want something simple without any unnecessary fluff, then the 512090 might just be the perfect fit for you.
- Decent support, but no armrests
- Padded seat
- Very affordable
- Synthetic leather material makes for easy cleaning
10. XRocker Surge
If you want a rocker-type chair that’s minimal with some added extra features, XRocker’s Surge is an excellent choice.
For support, it has a good, padded backrest that will provide comfort even during extended gaming sessions. The exterior is covered with a mix of mesh and synthetic leather, offering the best of both worlds of easier cleaning and good cooling. The Surge also features a Bluetooth-connected sound system with a built-in subwoofer to enhance the quality of its surround audio.
In terms of space, it’s very minimal, much like the other console-type chairs we’ve chosen. The XRocker Surge offers good support and enhanced sound features that fit well with console gaming.
- Built-in audio system
- Good lumbar support
- Synthetic leather and mesh covering combination
- Minimal design
Many overlook or forget about buying good gaming chairs because they don’t know the advantages that they’re missing. By finding the best model for you, you’re investing money for the benefit of not just your long-term comfort, but your health as well.