The Complete Guide to Gaming Chairs
As the title suggests, In this article we’re going to talk about different aspects of gaming chairs. They all look the same at a first glance to a gamer who is getting his first gaming chair.
In the past few years, I have reviewed so many different gaming chairs from different brands on this website. In this guide, with my years of experience, I will tell you what are the most important aspects to look for in a gaming chair to get the most out of your investment.
We will be taking a look at what things you should look for when purchasing a gaming chair and tackle questions like, are expensive gaming chairs worth the price, gaming chairs vs office chairs, etc.
Before we start I want to mention that I will link some of my favorite or more recommended models down in this guide for you.
In my experience with so many chairs and their reviews, I have figured out that it comes down to two main criteria for a good gaming chair, good quality, and good ergonomics.
Every gamer should try to find the best blend of both of these factors and not compromise one for another to get the best experience possible. Let’s get into the details.
Good Quality Materials
Quality is something that speaks for itself. You can easily judge the quality difference between two items if they are physically present in front of you.
However, most of us place orders online. This is where mistakes can happen because you cannot check if the quality is good. There are not many stores where you can go and inspect or sit down chair by chair and try them.
So, it can be difficult when you look at these gaming chairs online because they simply look identical but this isn’t true.
In reality, they are very different in terms of quality and ergonomics. Don’t just get amazed by the design but look past the styles, colors, and features of them.
I think the design and flashy color combinations should come secondary to the quality of the materials. In many cases, different brands carry a profusion of different colors, finishes, or features to get to innocent clients.
It is good to have something that fits the theme of your gaming setup but many times the crappy brands with the worst quality tend to create flashier-looking finishes to pull you towards their products.
There are a couple of different areas when looking at the materials that go into the chair that I particularly focus on, which gives me an idea of how much quality is going into the build. Let’s talk about them one by one.
The base of The Chair
You can start from the base and choose the material you want, a gaming chair with a plastic base or a metal base.
Even though the plastic ones can hold your weight with no issues, I feel that over time they might wrap.
I think a single point where the piston is putting all of its weight on the chair, you want it to be a solid metal base and not some cheap piece of plastic.
Type of Finish
The actual finish of the chair is an obvious indicator. 99% of the time it will be some kind of polyurethane leather, which is a sort of plastic synthetic leather. However, you can also find them in napa leather, or calfskin leather or you can get them in a soft weave kind of fabric material.
You can also get them in a mesh style, which is usually available in an ergonomic office chair. The mesh design is great when you game or work for long hours in hot weather. The air can easily pass through the breathable design and keeps your back and lower side cool and prevent sweating.
Check out my favorite RESPAWN Specter Full Mesh Ergonomic Gaming Chair
Choosing the right type of finish is a pretty important decision as to the breathability, spill resistance, wear & tear, etc, play an important role.
The type of finishing is where most of the price is going to come from. Chairs with genuine leather are going to be more expensive than the ones with cheap polyurethane leather.
I go for the cloth finish because I like how they feel. However, you’re going to lose spill resistance. As an adult, I don’t think this will be an issue but consider it when there are kids running around.
As I said 99% of the gaming chairs have polyurethane leather, and you should be careful when selecting one because not all polyurethanes are equal and some are cheaply made with not a lot of breathability and plastic-ky feeling.
These can be very slippery and almost feels like a toy when compared to high-quality polyurethane leather. Good quality materials are going to be a lot more breathable, and flexible, provides comfort to your body, and distribute heat better.
So, you should consider all these factors when selecting the type of finish. I know it is difficult to shop online but you can always read the product description, and customer comments and watch reviews.
There are two types of armrests, fixed and adjustable. The fixed armrests are fixed in one place and you can’t adjust them but the adjustable armrests can be adjusted. Most of the cheaper gaming chairs have fixed armrests.
In adjustable armrests, you will find different types like 2D, 3D, and 4D armrests. They are movable in two, three, and four ways respectively.
Now, all the high-end gaming chairs come with four-dimensional armrests, and you can move up, down, or in, out, and rotate as well as move out of the chair.
One thing to note is that there could be a rickety feeling or there’s a lot of play in them. This is where you should make up your mind about getting a chair with fixed armrests or adjustable. One more thing to consider is whether they have a plastic finish or the armrest is padded on top.
This is also where you can see the quality of the chair, whether they got cheap crappy plastic or they are real rickety.
Also, look for any recessed buttons or pieces where your clothes can get caught or snagged.
The last item in terms of materials is pillows and these are my favorite. Pillows vary widely in terms of quality. Most of the pillows I tested were actually nice but a few of them I threw straight into the garbage.
The head pillows on most of these chairs were acceptable. Still, you need to be careful because many of them are made of cheap polyurethane finish, stuffed with cheap dollar store kind of plastic wool material.
The lumbar pillows on most of these chairs are like speed bumps with a quarter-inch thick polyurethane leather that’s stuffed in there, which doesn’t squish and doesn’t conform.
On the other hand, you’ll find chairs that have memory foam pillows with soft microfiber fabric around them. They do a great good job at filling up the void space on your back.
When you’re looking at these chairs, pillows make a huge difference in showcasing the overall product quality. Of course, many gamers don’t even use pillows and if you’re one of those people then you shouldn’t care about these pillows.
However, it is still something that you should consider if you are someone who can use some more lumbar support.
Check out these gaming chairs for kids
Due to my thyroid condition, good ergonimics is the most important part of a gaming chair for me. My muscles hurt due to sitting for long hours and that is why comfort is my main priority.
You could have the best or the most expensive quality materials in your chair but if they don’t support your body properly or the chair doesn’t have the right ergonomics according to your body then they’re not going to make any difference whatsoever.
It would be great if you could also learn how to sit properly in these chairs because even the best quality chairs won’t be comfortable if you are not sitting properly. With an improper posture, even the high-end chairs won’t do you any favors.
So, you do need to train yourself a bit on how to sit properly and to alleviate some of these issues. The good thing is that a good chair with proper ergonomics is going to assist you in that but still it’s not all up to the chair to get you into a good comfortable place.
Some features make a gaming chair more comfortable. For example, a built-in lumbar support gauge like the Secret Lab Titan has where you can crank down on it and it will push into your back a little bit more or recess out.
These extra features are great for your body. So, the more customizability the better, whether you can raise or lower the backrest, you can push the seat of the chair in or out, being able to recline back, raise and lower the piston, or change the armrest configuration.
All of these features make the chair tailored to your specific body, which will surely enhance the experience. Also Read : How to Make Gaming Chair More Comfortable
Brands like Secretlab and Vertagear offer chairs in different sizes, Upholstery, and colors like pink, purple, white, Red etc. You can find a chair according to your weight, height, and gender on Vertagear and Secretlab offers many different designs.
These customization options will give you the best chair for your body type and this is an important factor that a lot of people overlook.
It is important to look according to your height and weight because you need to get a chair that’s going to fit your body type right. Otherwise many of these ergonomic features won’t be as comfortable for your body type, which is going to cause tension and ultimately a bad experience.
Are Expensive Gaming Chairs Worth the Price
Let’s talk about one of the most asked questions concerning gaming chairs. Are more expensive gaming chairs worth the hype or price? In Short, the answer is yes and no. There is a certain price point and after that, you won’t get much return on your money.
In my experience regarding the gaming chairs in the market, $450 is a price point where you get the best value for your money. This is where the quality is premium, all the necessary features are available, and the chair has great ergonomics and provides ultimate comfort.
The more money you put into a chair above that price mark the less return you’re gonna see in terms of comfort. I have tried $1300 Vertagear trigger 350 special edition, to $1100 LF gaming Stealth (all memory foam chair), and $150 cheap chairs to $300 budget gaming chairs like DXRacer PC chair.
I think the sweet spot in terms of money’s worth that you could pay for a premium experience is around $400 to $450 unless you have specific back problems or a medical condition that justify your spending over $1000 on a chair.
However, if you’ve got that extra money to spend on a $1000 chair for an ultimate experience then you will surely notice a difference. But do you need to spend that kind of money to get the best experience possible? maybe not the best but a good experience.
When building an ultimate gaming setup there are many different areas where you can spend that kind of extra money instead of putting all your money on one item.
You don’t necessarily need all of those features in a single gaming chair but you can make a note of what features are important to you.
Also Read: Gaming Chairs for Consoles
Lastly, I will suggest to some of my favorite brands take you to the path where you might be able to find chairs that are right for you.
Vertagear has great options available. I like how their website offers configuration where you can put in your height and weight and it will suggest whichever chairs will fit your body type.
The chairs are ergonomic and lots of different variety is available. They’ve got some regular gaming-style chairs and also office chairs that you may like. I’ve used their Alienware S5000 as my daily driver for the past year.
However, Vertagear can be a little pricey so you can look at this brand called DXRACER with a slight price difference. You can check out their Formula Series FD01, it’s a decent chair.
If you are looking for cheap alternatives then you can browse these two brands called GTRACING and Homall. Both have pretty decent budget-friendly gaming chairs.
Now let’s get to my favorite and most recommended chair brand which is Secretlab. I think it is no secret from hardcore gamers. From the way, their stuff is packaged to the quality materials, and the ergonomics, you won’t find anything better for the money.
Disclaimer here: I am not affiliated with any of these brands that I recommended and I won’t endorse a product that is not high quality.
I have a Secretlab chair in the house that I use daily after replacing the one from Vertagear. I love it because of the comfort it provides.
My last recommendation for you is to check out LF gaming chairs. These are pretty expensive but they are very very comfortable and premium.
Check out our articles about gaming chairs in different categories below
- Gaming Chairs with Footrest
- Gaming Chairs for Big Guys
- Massage Gaming Chairs
- Budget Gaming Chairs under $150
- Gaming Chairs for PS4 and Xbox One
There are some brands you should stay away from. I tried them and had a bad experience. Everyone can have a different experience with different brands but that is how I feel about them.
I am not a fan of Ewin gaming chairs or Andaseat gaming chairs. They are not comfortable and feel like I’m sitting on rocks.
I hope this article helped you guys and you learned more about what’s important in gaming chairs and what to look for. However, you need to consider your situation and your body type into all of this when making a purchase.
Let me know in the comments down below what type of chair is your favorite or what your butt sitting on right now.