Best Gaming Chair - The Ultimate Guide
If you're something of an enthusiast gamer you're probably spending a lot of hours behind your PC. If you use that PC to browse the internet or perhaps even do some (school) work those hours quickly add up, so it's important that you can spend those hours in comfort without ruining your back. As such, a nice chair is pretty much a necessary addition to any serious desk setup, whether it's for gaming, productivity, or just general browsing.
The difficulty here is that there are so many options out there, and ever since those racing style gaming chairs hit the market almost every gaming company is trying to get a piece of the pie, making it even harder to see the forest for the trees. In this guide we will show you a multitude of options, ranging from these typical chairs that you see on gaming streams and tournaments to more classic office chairs. We also tried to account for every budget, but of course there is a certain barrier of entry to these things, so it's always best to save up a bit more money in order to get something that's quality and will last as opposed to going for the cheapest option out there. Your body will thank you!
What makes a chair good for gaming
A good gaming chair is the same as a good office chair, so what we're really looking at here is what you need out of a desk/office chair. We've got an article that goes deeper into what makes a chair good for posture on our blog, but we'll briefly go over this as well.
One of the most important (and often overlooked) things is that an office chair should fit you. A chair can tick all the right boxes and be touted as the most comfortable and ergonomic chair ever, but if you're too small or too big to properly fit in it it's not going to work for you. So, one of the most important pieces of advice that we can give you is to make sure that you do your research and that you get a chair that's built for your size and weight.
Aside from that, a quality desk chair should be adjustable in a multitude of ways so that you can properly configure it to suit your body. You'll want it to be adjustable in height, with an adjustable backrest, adjustable armrests and good lumbar support, either in the form of a cushion or built into the backrest itself. Aside from that, a quality chair should have at least a five point base (made out of a sturdy material so that there's no chance of the base breaking) for stability and, if height adjustable, a powerful gas lift so that the chair doesn't gradually lower itself when you're in it or even suddenly collapses to the lowest point.
That's what (generally) makes up a good gaming chair, but then there's obviously still the foam materials, the upholstery materials, the quality of the stitching, and so on. These things can be more personal (some people love a firmer seat, while others prefer a softer and cloudier experience) though obviously aspects such as the quality of the finishing can greatly differ between chairs.
As you can probably tell there's a lot that goes into making a great gaming chair, and that sadly means that these things can cost a pretty penny. But, as the saying goes 'never cheapen out on things that separate you from the ground.' This goes for your bed and shoes, and it also applies to office chairs. Of course you don't have to spend top dollars if you're behind your PC for an hour every couple of days, but if you spend a lot of time behind your desk it's definitely a worthwhile investment.
Top 5 Chairs for Gaming
We've sent out our analysts and had them make up a list that contains a little something for everyone; we've researched the best gaming style chairs, as well as the best classic office chairs so that you can find something that you like regardless of what aesthetic you want to go for.
The winners have been distilled into this list, where we'll briefly go over all the functions that the chairs offer, as well as some factors that make them unique.
We know that not everyone can afford to spend top dollars on top gaming chairs, so we've also gone ahead and included two bonus (budget) options. We do aim for products that are pretty widely available; it wouldn't be productive if we included a great chair that's only sold in the Netherlands, for example, which is why you might not see chair 'X' included on this list, despite it being a great product.
Availability will definitely vary (sending a heavy chair across the globe is infinitely more costly and difficult than sending a mouse in a small package, for example) across this list due to the nature of these products, but we did our best to be all-inclusive.
1. noblechairs HERO
Great for your posture without much posturing
The noblechairs HERO sports all the features that you'd want out of a premium office chair (adjustable backrest, armrests, and seat height, along with a sturdy five-point base and lumbar support) but what makes us a fan of this chair is the way it looks. Whether you plop this chair down in a law office or a gaming room; you won't look out of place.
Aside from the fact that it looks the part while you're bossing enemies in your favorite game it's also just a quality chair. It's definitely not the softest chair out there, so those people who tend to go for a sofa-like chair will have to skip this, but its firmer padding is great for your posture. The built in (adjustable) lumbar support only aids with that.
The HERO is available with a variety of upholstery options; you've obviously got a PU-leather version, but if you really want to go premium you can also go for a real leather edition at a price premium. The upholstery isn't the only thing that's quality though: the steel frame is really sturdy, the aluminum five-point base provides a stable foundation, the cold foam padding feels nice (though it is very firm, as mentioned) and you even get velours pillows for your back and head, even though lumbar support is already built in.
The noblechairs HERO is a great chair for people who really want to look after their posture and/or for people who prefer more subtle looking office thrones. It is a pretty hefty and sizable chair though, so it's not the best option for smaller people, and if you're looking for a couch-style softness you should look elsewhere.
2. Secretlab OMEGA
A great premium gaming chair
If you follow the esports scene a bit you'll have probably seen this brand featured in some tournaments, and there's a good reason for that. The Secretlab OMEGA is a great gaming chair (it, as expected, has all of the customization options you'd expect out of a premium office chair) but it does make sure that everyone knows that it is a gaming chair. You can see a logo from pretty much every angle, but if you can deal with that this is one of the best options out there.
The OMEGA is available with PU leather, real leather and Secretlab's SoftWeave fabric, which is a particular favorite of our reviewer so there are plenty of options to go for if you decide on this chair.
The cold cure foam that Secretlab chooses also isn't the absolute softest out there, but the foam on the 2020 models gives you a great balance between posture-friendly firmness and 'couch potato accommodating softness' so if you don't want a super firm chair nor a super soft chair this is the way to go.
Secretlab uses quality materials for all of their products, and the OMEGA isn't an exception. With a sturdy five-point aluminum base and a solid steel frame you'll be sitting comfortable for years to come, and as an added bonus it has a fully reclining backrest for those powernaps in between games.
The OMEGA is a great gaming chair for smaller people, and the combination of quality materials and great finishing make it a worthy addition to any desk setup.
3. Herman Miller Embody
A top of the line option
As a gamer you don't need a gaming-branded chair. Herman Miller is a company that's extremely renowned for their fantastic office chairs, but do be warned that all of this comes with a hefty price tag.
The Embody is one of Herman Miller's flagship offerings, and one of the standout features is the backrest that flexes to accommodate your spine perfectly. It can be fully adjusted to get a fit as if the chair was custom designed for you, so of course we don't need to mention that this is perfect for your back.
As you would expect you can also adjust the arm rests, adjust the height, and all of that so you can get a perfect fit. It's not very wide and doesn't have a headrest but that's by design; this chair is all about improving your health and posture, and slouching as if you're in a sofa isn't good for your posture.
So if you want the absolute best for your back you can look towards Herman Miller, but due to the price of this product it's only going to be an option for people with a very high budget. If you decide to make the investment you can sleep tight (and without back pain) though; it comes with a 12 year warranty so you can sit worry-free for over a decade. This chair is all about quality; it's made after years of research and experience, and it uses quality materials and build procedures all throughout, so if you're looking for the best of the best this is definitely a logical mention.
4. Corsair T3 RUSH
A gaming chair that's friendlier on the wallet
We'd love to use all of the chairs in this article as our daily chair, but it can't be denied that all of the options that we've listed so far are quite pricey. The Corsair T3 is a perfect compromise in that regard if you're asking us: it still offers a comfortable seating experience with nice materials but it's not as harsh on your financials.
The fabric exterior that the T3 RUSH uses is soft and comfortable, and it's more breathable than most leather materials to boot, so if you don't like leather-like materials this could be a good option. Included is a neck cushion and a memory foam lumbar support cushion to get that support, and the adjustable backrest and arm rests will ensure that you can get a comfortable fit for you.
Some corners need to be cut, though. The cold cure foam that the chair uses is plenty comfortable so you won't feel it when you're actually sitting in the chair but the base, for example, is made out of plastic. This isn't necessarily an issue, but that does make for a chair that feels a bit less premium than other offerings.
If you can live with some of the materials being of lesser quality (which, again, doesn't have to be an issue depending on your preferences) this is without a doubt a good buy, definitely if you're looking for a nice chair with a fabric upholstery.
CHAIR QUICK TIPS
- The backrest should conform to the natural curvature of your spine, and provide adequate lumbar support.
- The seat should be comfortable and allow your feet to rest flat on the floor or footrest.
- Armrests, if provided, should be soft, allow your shoulders to relax and your elbows to stay close to your body.
- The chair should have a five-leg base with casters that allow easy movement along the floor
5. IKEA MARKUS
A budget office-style chair
If you just want a nice office chair that doesn't have all of these gaming-style racing chair vibes and the Herman Millers of this world are out of your price range then the IKEA MARKUS is a logical recommendation.
The arm rests aren't adjustable (though you can take them off entirely) and the back rest is also fixed (so no horizontal powernapping with this one) but it does offer lumbar support and the very breathable mesh material on the backrest will ensure that you don't overheat even during marathon gaming sessions. Of course you can tilt the seat and adjust it in height, so there's still a decent amount of customization here.
The padding isn't the softest, but if your body is the right size for this chair (this is important since it lacks some of the customization options of other chairs) it's definitely a great buy if you're looking for a no-nonsense office chair that doesn't break the bank. And it even uses real leather at that price! It comes with a 10 year warranty too, so this purchase will last. And hey, you can score some of those Swedish meatballs when you go to pick up the chair.
Low budget chairs
We don't recommend skimping on an office chair too much if you're spending a significant amount of time in it (believe us; your back will thank you) but if you are tight on money or you really don't spend all that much time behind your desk you can always go for something a bit cheaper.
These chairs offer what you'd want out of a decent office chair (though the arm rests are only height-adjustable) but of course they don't use premium materials, so expect some creaking here and there. Still, they're decent chairs that should treat you well so you can definitely consider them if can't justify the purchase of a more premium chair at this point in time.
Best Gaming Chair - Conclusion
A gaming chair is a purchase that requires some thinking. It's very important that your chair suits your body and frame, so not every chair listed in this article will be perfect for you. We did do our best to include chairs of varying sizes, and most of the companies that we listed also offer bigger/smaller versions of the chairs that we included here so there should be something here for every budget and desire.
We tried to include a wide range of different styles of chair, ranging from subtle gaming chairs to top of the line designer office chairs so we're quite confident that this list is at least an ideal starting point for people who are looking to game (or work) in more comfort.
We do hope that you found this article informative. As we hopefully established it's incredibly important to get a chair that adequately supports your back and body. You only get one body, so it's definitely a good idea to save up some money for a decent office chair.
Thanks for reading!