Gaming chair

Gaming chair VS office chair + What are the benefits and what to look out for!

Séverine Dergham

Gamer chairs (aka gaming chairs or racer chairs)

are known for being stylish and modern, but are they healthy? For longer PC sessions, an ergonomic gaming chair is essential. In this blog article, you will learn what you should look out for when buying a gaming chair and to what extent it can support your gaming.

Overview of gamer chairs

In the wild you will find many chairs that are suitable for gaming or that at least claim to be suitable for gamers. Let's take a look at the current gaming chair market...

*Editor's note: Brand names and logos have been removed for the sake of objectivity.

Gray and black gaming chair in a classic "Racing" shape.
Gray and black gaming chair in a classic "Racing" shape.
Gray and black gaming chair in a classic "Racing" shape.
An office chair with many adjustment options is also suitable for gaming
Office chair with many setting options as a gaming chair
There are also gaming chairs with RGB capable LED strips
Slim gamer chair in a camouflage design
Pitch black gaming chair with a wide seat
Pitch black gaming chair with a wide seat
Modern chair mechanics can also be found in gaming chairs - but not everyone likes the design
Blue gaming chair
Black and red gaming chair in a classic "Racing" shape
Black and red gaming chair in a classic "Racing" shape
Black gaming chair with white accents
Black gaming chair with white accents
Black gaming chair with white accents
White gaming chair with black accents
White gaming chair with black accents

What is a gaming chair and what is it good for?

The gaming chair is a special chair for PC or console gamers that is designed to help maintain a healthy posture while gaming. Ergonomic gaming chairs play a major role in this. However, gaming chairs are not only used by gamers, they are also often used in a home office or workplace environment. Several studies repeatedly show the importance of an ergonomic chair. Gaming chairs have already been put under the microscope and specifically tested for ergonomics (click here to read the full article). It doesn’t really matter whether you buy a gaming chair or a normal chair, as long as it is ergonomic and fits your height and body measurements. But what are the advantages of a gaming chair?

Are you currently building your gaming room?

Have a look at our comprehensive guide "Setting up a gaming room" - there we give lots of tips and ideas.

👉 Read the full article

Gaming room blog article teaser

Advantages and disadvantages of a gaming chair

The perfect chair should allow natural movements and adapt to its owner. It is important that the chair adjusts precisely to the body dimensions and supports a healthy sitting posture. But why buy a gaming chair and not a normal office chair? Is there any difference at all?

Shape

First of all, gaming chairs usually look better. The most common form of gaming chair is already known from racing, hence the name “racing chair”. This specific shape is based on a bucket seat (also known as a racing seat) and ensures a stable sitting position. In addition, the gaming chair’s shape enhances the game feel for some gamers, as you think you are sitting in a Lamborghini while playing Need for Speed. The design of a gaming chair also looks more futuristic and generally matches your gaming desk better. However, due to the bucket seat, a point deduction must be made in the area of ergonomics. The seat has an elevation on the right and left, which also gives you fewer options for movement. If you like to sit with both legs crossed, you need to know that the elevations of a gaming chair impair blood circulation compared to a normal office chair.

Materials

Gaming chairs are usually made of PU leather or real leather, whereas normal or ergonomic office chairs can be bought in different materials. This gives you more choice than with gaming chairs. The advantages of a gaming chair with real leather are mainly that you do not sweat when sitting, the chair is buttery soft and very durable and robust. In addition, signs of wear and tear hardly ever occur with a genuine leather chair. The disadvantage of such a gaming chair, however, is cleaning. Real leather is not waterproof and stains can therefore appear very quickly if you are not careful enough. Cleaning is very time-consuming, so it is generally recommended to buy a leather chair in a black leather colour. The surface of PU leather is usually made of plastic, i.e. soft PVC or polyurethane. The coating is waterproof and therefore you generally sweat more quickly when sitting. However, artificial leather is much easier to care for than real leather, because real leather needs to be treated with leather grease (oil or wax) from time to time to keep it supple and to prevent it from drying out. Cleaning imitation leather is also much easier because, unlike real leather, the material is not sensitive to commercially available cleaning agents. When buying a PU leather gaming chair, you should definitely pay attention to the quality, because high-quality artificial leather is similar to real leather in terms of appearance and resilience.

Ultimately, it can be said that good gamer chairs are often sturdier and more durable than normal, cheaper office chairs. So you don’t have to worry about needing a new chair in one year. Even the cheapest versions have more ergonomic adjustments than the regular office chair, but sometimes make sacrifices in build quality. More expensive ergonomic office chairs are also a great option because they have different shapes and are made of different materials. This gives you the possibility to choose from several shapes and materials. Therefore, you have much more freedom to find a suitable gaming chair that has many ergonomic settings.

Material, form and functionality influence the quality and price of a gaming chair
Material, form and functionality influence the quality and price of a gaming chair

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Has a better look and a nicer shape than a normal office chair
  • The bucket seat provides a stable sitting position
  • Increases the game feel due to its shape
  • A gaming chair made of real leather is very durable and robust, and you don’t sweat as quickly.
  • A racing seat is not very ergonomic because it restricts your movements.
  • Gaming chairs are only available in genuine leather or PU leather
  • Cleaning real leather is costly and real leather is also not waterproof

What should you look for when buying a gaming chair?

First of all, you need to know that your height and weight play a crucial role when buying a gaming chair. Tall people need a different chair than smaller, lighter people. This also means that some manufacturers differentiate between chairs for women and for men. Here it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to see if the chair is even tailored for you.

Bodysize

Every person has an individual body size and is therefore not suitable for every chair. Therefore, it is very important that the chair is height-adjustable. If you are not sure at which height you should adjust your chair, then various portals on the Internet can help you, where you can calculate the optimal desk and seat height on the basis of your body height.

Small gaming chairs to gamer chairs up to 200kg
Every chair should be height-adjustable - but the width of the seat and height of the backrest should be tailored to height, weight and preferences.

Armrest

Armrests help to relax the shoulder and neck area. The armrest generally depends on the length of your upper arm. If your upper and lower arms form a 90° angle, then your armrests are correctly adjusted. It is important that your elbows always rest on the armrests, as this is the only way to ensure that your body area relaxes. To set the optimal armrest height, the armrests should be height-adjustable. If you have a choice, you should opt for soft rather than hard armrests, because they are more comfortable and do not leave pressure marks on your forearms.

Backrest

It is important that the backrest is height-adjustable, because the top edge of the backrest should reach up to the shoulder blades. In addition, the backrest should be high enough so that the top edge is at least 45 centimetres above the seat.

Lumbarsupport

A lumbar support is an ergonomic back support. The lordosis is the lower part of the spine that is bent forward. The human spine is divided into five sections: Cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum and coccyx. To ensure a healthy sitting posture, the lumbar support relieves the lower back. Therefore, the lumbar support should ideally be adjustable in height as well as in curvature. This support is especially important for people who already suffer from back pain.

Chair mechanics

The rocking mechanism of a chair is designed to relieve the back muscles. Depending on the model, a gaming chair has the possibility to adjust the backrest very far backwards (up to 180 degrees). The tilting mechanism is a very ergonomic feature that significantly helps to reduce back pain. This is because it relieves the intervertebral discs if you are not constantly in a monotonous posture or sitting position. The mechanism should be adapted to the user’s weight, i.e. the resistance of the backrest should be adjusted so that only minimal force is applied when leaning back. A normal or even ergonomic office chair rarely has this built-in adjustment.

Gaming chair armrests
The more degrees of movement the armrests have, the better.
Gaming chair backrest
A chair with lumbar support is particularly useful for people with back pain.
Gaming chair with lumbar support
A flexible chair mechanism allows you to sit in different positions and helps with dynamic sitting.
Gaming chair mechanism
A flexible chair mechanism allows you to sit in different positions and helps with dynamic sitting.

The most important factors to look for in a gaming chair are ergonomics, quality and individual adjustment options. In general, the adjustment options of the chair are particularly important in combination with the ergonomics. This means that the more adjustment options a chair has (e.g. adjustability of the armrest, backrest, etc.), the more precisely you can find your desired position. But how exactly do you know when you are sitting “correctly” or ergonomically?

What's the proper desk posture?

In our blog article “Proper desk posture for healthier and better gaming” you can learn more about ideal sitting postures and positions for gaming.

Spoiler: You don’t necessarily have to sit like a stiff robot in your chair for it to be healthy!

Sitting properly on the PC while gaming and working - teaser image

Even the most ergonomic chair doesn’t change the fact that sitting too much is unhealthy in the long run – and unhealthy always means a downgrade in your gaming performance short or long term. So the only thing that helps here is to take breaks and stand up. For those who want to combine both worlds, a height-adjustable desk might be worthwhile. With such a desk, you can not only play games while standing, but also adjust the desk to the ideal height. Click here if you want to learn more about gaming desk ergonomics.

The consequences of a bad chair are not directly obvious like bad shoes, but they are very serious in the long run. A marathon runner, for example, would not run a marathon with bad shoes, so it is the same with a chair for demanding gamers. With the right chair, you can counteract back and neck pain and it also supports the natural shape of the spine. The right gamer’s chair is not only about comfort, but also about being easy on the body. If you spend a lot of time on your PC, you should not compromise on buying good components, especially when it comes to your health. If you want to buy a gaming chair for your gaming room, take a look at our article “How to create a perfect gaming room”.

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The right gaming furniture and decorative elements for your gaming corner + DIY ideas to make yourself.

Gaming furniture

The right gaming furniture and decorative elements for your gaming corner + DIY ideas to make yourself.

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