The best gaming chair
Do you need a little backup while you're gaming? Whether you're behind the wheel of an F1 car or you're grinding in an RPG, you know a gaming chair is your most important gear outside your computer or console.
Gaming chairs offer support and comfort through ergonomic designs. They place a high focus on areas that need it the most, like the lumbar region, neck, and shoulders. With adequate support, gamers can improve their sitting posture and minimize cramping and stiffness that accompanies slouching. Best of all, gaming chairs offer a range of adjustability features to truly customize the gaming experience.
Improve your comfort and support by choosing a new gaming chair with help from our definitive buying guide. We're also including our favorite chair, the Merax Racing Chair, which is designed for the gamer who needs long-lasting support.
Considerations when choosing gaming chairs
Computer gaming chairs
Think of these as the office chair that finally has the features it deserves. Ideal for PC gamers, these gaming chairs have improved neck and head support, often by way of additional padding or sewn-in pillows. They also offer far more tilt options, so depending on your sitting style, you can lean back at a comfortable, supported angle.
Rocker gaming chairs
These L-shaped chairs are ideal for minimalists as well as gamers short on space. Their most attractive feature is their tilt capability, which allows gamers between 90 and 180 degrees of range of motion with the back of the chair. Rocker chairs also find their way into office settings, as they often have a professional and functional design.
Bean bag gaming chairs
Comfort is key with bean bag gaming chairs. These are designed for gamers who want support suitable for adults with the comfort level of childhood bean bags. They embrace the traditional bean bag plush feel but add support with molded areas that cradle your body in an ergonomic position.
Gaming chairs differ the most from traditional office chairs with their wide range of adjustability features. Basic chairs allow for adjustments to seat height or have removable support pillows. More advanced gaming chairs allow for re-positioning comparable to those of car seats, including adjustments to armrests, seat tilt, or location of internal lumbar support.
Specialty gaming chairs
For high-tech comfort
These gaming chairs incorporate electronic features -- which gives new meaning of putting everything within arm's reach. Certain chairs have built-in speakers to add another audio dimension to the gaming experience. If you're a gamer who needs to hydrate or have caffeine within reach, some models feature cup holders. Some also have storage areas to keep extra controllers, battery packs, or snacks.
Premium high tech gaming chairs may have vibration, which syncs with in-game events for an immersive experience. In luxury gaming chairs, heating and massage therapy features are sometimes available.
Those who are partial to racing games are a unique subset of gamers. These chairs are designed to mimic the bucket seat experience of race cars. In addition to their full-immersion shape, they feature mounts for a steering wheel, pedals, and a gear shift. Certain racing chairs have the option to easily remove these extra areas in case you want to enjoy a different style of game.
You can get a gaming chair for less than $100, but it won't be much better than a regular office chair. Gaming chairs for $100 to $300 generally offer excellent support and adjustability. If you're a serious gamer and need something more specialized, expect to spend between $300 and $800.
Q. Is armrest adjustability a standard feature in gaming chairs?
A. This is a common feature in many chairs, but not all. Armrest adjustability also varies between chairs. Some models have arms that only adjust forward and backward, whereas others can be tilted, raised, lowered, or removed.
Q. How long does a gaming chair last before it's worn out?
A. Gaming chairs are built to last at least two years of intense use, but your chair could last as long as five years if properly maintained. You should replace a gaming chair once it shows signs of overuse or it has decreased in support.
Gaming chairs we recommend
Best of the best: Merax's Racing Chair
Our take: Impressive level of comfort for long gaming sessions through a variety of adjustability features.
What we like: Cushioned support in all the right places, especially the lumbar region, neck, and shoulders. Material is easy to clean and maintain.
What we dislike: Limited adjustability with arm rests. Some gamers feel the seat is too narrow or short.
Best bang for your buck: Coavas' Computer Game Racing Chair
Our take: Decent price for quality gaming chair that borrows high-quality features from premium models.
What we like: Optimal back support and padded headrest. Unlike other gaming chairs, assembly is very user friendly.
What we dislike: Not ideal for taller gamers, as the back comes up a bit shorter than other chairs.
Our take: The Cadillac of gaming chairs for those who are full-throttle addicted to racing games.
What we like: Unparalleled construction. You can literally kick back and relax with your feet up. Detachable steering wheel accessory platform.
What we dislike: Design somewhat restricts use to a racing experience, which makes it a pricey single-use chair.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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