Gaming chairs are on the rise. If you’ve spent any amount of time watching esports, Twitch streamers, or really any gaming content over the past few years, you’re likely well acquainted with the familiar visage of these pieces of gamer gear. If you’ve found yourself reading this guide, chances are that you’re looking at investing in a gaming chair.
But with the explosion of options out there to choose from, how do you choose the right chair? This guide hopes to make your purchasing decision a little easier, with insights into some of the biggest factors that could make or break your buying options. We’ll also highlight some of our favorite gaming chairs at Newegg, sorted by price range. So sit back, relax, and read on for tips on how to sit back, relax, and game in comfort and style.
Prices and availability of products discussed were accurate at time of publication, but are subject to change.
Gaming Chairs’ Keys to Comfort: Ergonomics and Adjustability
When it comes to choosing a gaming chair, comfort is king — after all, you don’t want your back and neck cramping up in the middle of a marathon gaming sessions. You’ll also want features that prevent you from developing any chronic pain from merely enjoying your gaming hobby.
This is where ergonomics come in. Ergonomics is the design principle of creating products with human physiology and psychology in mind. In the case of gaming chairs, this means designing chairs to enhance comfort and maintain physical wellness. Most gaming chairs pack in ergonomic features to varying degrees: adjustable armrests, lumbar support pads, and headrests are just some of the features you’ll find that help maintain perfect posture and ideal comfort for long stretches of sitting.
Many gaming chairs feature multi-directional adjustable armrests. This is often called out in manufacturer specs in the format of “2D” or “4D” armrests, with the “D” standing for “Directional.” (Writer’s note: While researching different chairs to include in this guide, I encountered a chair that promoted ‘4 Dimensional’ armrests, which I’ll chalk up to either being a misnomer or a gaming chair that requires advanced knowledge of quantum physics to operate). There doesn’t seem to be a universal consensus among chair manufacturers as to what directions correspond to 1D, 2D, and so on, so it’s best to consult the spec sheets for each chair to find out exactly what adjustment abilities will be at your disposal.
Some chairs include cushions and pillows for added pressure relief, typically in the form of lumbar support and head/neck pillows. Lumbar support is crucial in the prevention of back of short-term and chronic back pain; lumbar pillows sit against the small of the back and preserve the natural curvature of the spine, promoting good posture and circulation and minimizing strain on the spine. Headrests and head pillows, meanwhile, support the head and neck, easing tension for those who want to kick back while they game.
The Stuff Gaming Chair Legends Are Made Of
Comfort isn’t the only factor to keep in mind when making a gaming chair purchasing decision. The right materials can sometimes make all the difference in the creation of a quality chair. The following materials are some of the most common you’ll find in popular gaming chairs.
Real leather, also referred to as genuine leather, is a material made from animal rawhide, usually cow hide, through the process of tanning. Although many gaming chairs promote some sort of “leather” materials in their construction, it’s usually a faux leather like PU or PVC leather (see below) and not the genuine article.
Genuine leather is far more durable than its imitators, able to last generations and in some ways improve with age, while PU and PVC a more likely to crack and peel over time. It is also a more breathable material compared to PU and PVC leather, meaning it is better at absorbing and releasing moisture, thereby reducing sweat and keeping the chair cooler. Even though many gaming chairs use PU and PVC leather, there are some high-end chairs that use the real thing, like the noblechairs EPIC Series Real Leather and noblechairs HERO Real Leather.
PU leather is a synthetic composed of split leather — the material left behind after the more valuable top grain layer of “genuine” leather is stripped away from a rawhide — and a polyurethane coating (hence the “PU”). In relation to the other “leathers,” PU is not as durable or breathable as genuine leather, but it does have the advantage of being a more breathable material than PVC.
In comparison to PVC, PU leather is also a more realistic imitation of genuine leather in its appearance and feel. Its major drawbacks in relation to genuine leather are its inferior breathability and long-term durability. Still, PU is cheaper than genuine leather, so it makes for a good substitute if you don’t want to break the bank. PU leather can be found in such gaming chairs as the Secretlab Titan Prime PU Leather and the DXRacer Formula Series.
PVC leather is another imitation leather that consists of a base material coated in a mix of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and additives that make it softer and more flexible. PVC leather is a water-, fire-, and stain-resistant material, which makes it popular for a myriad of commercial applications. Those properties make for a good gaming chair material too: stain and water resistance means less potential cleanup, especially if you’re the kind of gamer who likes to enjoy a tasty snack and/or beverage while you play. (As for fire-resistance, hopefully you’ll never have to worry about that, unless you’re doing some really crazy overclocking and setting your PC aflame).
PVC leather is generally less expensive than leather and PU leather, which can sometimes result in the savings being passed onto the consumer; the trade-off to this reduced cost is PVC’s inferior breathability in relation to genuine and PU leather. PVC can be found in Anda Seat’s entire gaming chair product line and Vertagear’s S-Line and P-Line chairs, like the SL2000 and PL6000.
One of the most common materials found on standard office chairs, fabric is also used in many gaming chairs. Fabric chairs are more breathable than leather and its imitators, meaning even less sweat and retained heat. As a downside, fabric is less resistant to water and other liquids compared to leather and its synthetic brethren.
A major deciding factor for many in choosing between leather and fabric is whether they prefer a firm or soft chair; fabric chairs are generally softer than leather and its offshoots, but also less durable. If you’re looking for an exceedingly cool, soft chair, GT Omega Racing has an entire fabric series of their popular PRO Racing Chair.
Mesh is the most breathable material highlighted here, offering cooling beyond even what fabric can deliver. It’s more difficult to clean than leather, usually requiring a specialized cleaner for removing stains without risk of damaging the delicate mesh, and typically less durable long-term, but it holds its own as an exceptionally cool and comfortable chair material.
Sure, getting a gaming chair that feels comfortable and sturdy is important, but it’s all for naught if you pick one that doesn’t gel with your aesthetic tastes. There are gaming chair style options out there for anyone, from the understated elegance of the Vertagear Triigger to the racing-style seats of GT Omega, DXRacer, and…well, most other gaming chairs for that matter.
Want a chair that matches your RGB rig? There are plenty of awesome color options out there to compliment the neon radiance of your gaming PC. There are even awesome new form factors coming out, like the Respawn 900 Gaming Recliner. In the end, there’s no guidance we can offer other than to say that once you’ve narrowed down your options to chairs that fit your desired comfort features and materials, then just choose what best fits your personal style tastes. What, you thought we were just going to tell you what style to get?
Specialty Size Gaming Chairs
Just because many gaming chairs are made for people of average height and weight doesn’t mean that people outside those bounds have to miss out on a comfortable gaming experience. Gaming chair manufacturers understand that gamers come in all shapes and sizes, and have responded by offering a number of options for all body types.
If you’re someone of a smaller body type, or looking for a good gaming chair for kids, then there are chairs out there that may be a better fit than their full-size brethren. In our opinion, one of these chairs merits special mention.
Arozzi Verona Jr.: A great chair made for individuals under 5’2” and 130 pounds, Arozzi ergonomically designed the Verona Jr. to support good posture in children’s developing bodies. Don’t let its smaller size fool you; this chair packs in all the features you’d expect in a full-size chair, like 2D armrests, reclining up to 165°, and pillows for the neck and lower back. Parents with messy kids will appreciate the pleather construction of the Verona Jr, which can be easily cleaned with a cloth and warm water.
Big and Tall
If you’re a gamer of larger size, you probably know the annoyance of having an office chair that’s uncomfortably small. Well, gaming chair manufacturers know your pain, and have responded with chairs that finally give you the comfort you deserve.
GT Omega Racing PRO Leather XL: A big and tall variation of the acclaimed GT Omega Racing PRO leather gaming chair, the XL variant offers all the great features of the original model — 4D armrests, 85° to 160° reclining range, and comfortable headrest and lumbar support cushions — but with support for individuals weighing up to 330 pounds.
Anda Seat Kaiser Series: Gaming chair manufacturer Anda Seat offers multiple big and tall models, including the Assassin King, but the one we’d like to highlight here is their superb Kaiser Series chair. The Kaiser packs in features worthy of its imperial name, like 4D armrests, a maximum reclining angle of 160°, and BMW red leather (a premium form of PU leather). It’s not just pomp and circumstance though; the Kaiser is a sturdy enough throne to support over 441 pounds, and a maximum height of 7’1”.
DXRacer King Series: A big and tall option from popular manufacturer DXRacer, the King Series supports up to 450 pounds and has a recommended height limit of 6’6”. The King Series is constructed of PU leather and sports 4D adjustable armrests, head and lumbar pillows, and a maximum reclining angle of 135°. Designed for gaming sessions of eight hours or longer, King Series chairs are a good seat of choice for your next marathon.
Comfort at All Costs
A booming gaming chair market means manufacturers are producing models all over the price spectrum. In the spirit of healthy competition, popular brands are trying to stretch the limits of how many features they can pack in at a competitor-beating price; in the end, the winner is the customer. Here are some choice chair options across multiple price ranges.
Respawn 200: While the Respawn 110 may be Respawn’s lowest-priced gaming chair, the Respawn 200 may offer enough upgrades to justify stretching your budget. By stepping up to the 200, you’ll get 2D adjustable armrests and a breathable mesh back. Lumbar support is also handled a bit differently, with the 200 sporting a built-in adjustable lumbar support pad in lieu of a pillow like that of the 110. Add in a headrest pillow and a maximum reclining angle of 130°, and you have one of the best value-priced chairs available.
DXRacer NEX: A new low-cost option from one of most popular gaming chair manufacturers, the NEX is designed to offer the comfort and durability that DXRacer’s chairs are known for, but for more cost-conscious customers. The back of the NEX is primarily made of high-quality PU leather, while the seat is a highly breathable fabric, staying cool through hours of gaming. Despite being DXRacer’s lowest-priced chair, it still includes multiple points of adjustability, like the ability to raise and lower the armrests and seat, and recline from a range of 90° to 155°.
AutoFull Mesh Gaming Chair: AutoFull offers a few excellent inexpensive chair models, but we’re going to highlight their mesh gaming chair. Its breathable mesh back is complemented by a seat and headrest made of quality PU leather. If the cool mesh isn’t comfortable enough for you, the AutoFull mesh chair also includes a cushy lumbar support pad and a curved seat to meet the curvature of the spine. If you want to kick back after a long gaming session, the AutoFull can be reclined at any angle between 90° and 170°, the widest reclining range of the value-priced chairs highlighted here.
Anda Seat Viper Series: Clad in a slick motorsports-inspired design with a range of eye-catching color options, the Anda Seat Viper is a fine PVC leather gaming chair. With a reclining range of 90° to 160°, velour head and lumbar pillows, and 3D adjustable PU-covered armrests, the Viper makes for a formidable piece of any gaming battlestation.
GT Omega Racing PRO Leather: For gamers looking to get the most bang for their buck, the GT Omega PRO Leather gaming chair is a premier choice. Its adjustability options include a reclining angle range of 85° to 160°, 4D armrests, and height adjustment powered by class-4 hydraulic pistons. Of course, all of that adjustability won’t do you any good if the chair isn’t comfortable to sit in, but luckily GT Omega has your back (pun intended): it is ergonomically designed in a body-hugging style to provide superior back support, and includes a head pillow and lumbar support pillow to round out its exceptional ergonomics.
DXRacer Racing Series OH-RE0: A larger variant of the manufacturer’s popular Formula Series chairs, DXRacer’s Racing Series chairs are covered in PU leather and include a taller and wider backrest, perfect for users as tall as 6’1”. The increased size of the backrest has the ergonomic benefit of offering more support to the neck and spine, so gamers can sit back and play without worrying about putting too much stress on their sensitive spines. The included head and lumbar cushions add to the ergonomic goodness, while the adjustability options like soft 3D armrests and the reclining seat let your tailor the chair to your preferred position, making the Racing Series an enticing package for any gamer.
Secretlab Omega: THE OMEGA is Secretlab’s flagship chair, packed with the best of the manufacturer’s design know-how and amenities. Its exterior is covered in Prime PU leather, while inside the OMEGA is a thick layer of foam for exceptional support and cushioning. In the latest revision, the 2018 model, Secretlab has lowered the backrest wings and made them more prominent to minimize stress to the shoulders and back. Rounding out the package are 4D armrests, a maximum reclining angle of 165°, and velour head and lumbar pillows for exceptionally comfortable gaming.
Vertagear SL4000: Vertagear makes many excellent gaming chairs, and one of their best is the SL4000. Backed by a steel frame, this offering from the celebrated manufacturer reclines between 80° and 150°, sports 4D armrests, and is covered in PVC leather. Complimenting the water-resistant PVC is a dense foam padding that provides the support and comfort gamers need. The contoured backrest is perhaps the best part of the SL4000, offering comfort and ergonomic support to keep your back healthy and painless.
noblechairs HERO Series: noblechairs calls the premium and luxury gaming chair sectors its home, and their HERO Series chairs are a perfect example of how they’ve managed to carve out such a solid niche in those spaces. Adorned with PU leather (a real leather option is also available), the HERO features integrated lumbar support, easily adjustable via a knob on the side of the seatback. Underneath its elegant exterior is dense, cold foam throughout the inside of the chair and memory foam in the headrest, making for the kind of exceptional cushioning that demonstrates why noblechairs is held in such high esteem by gaming pros and hobbyists alike.
No premium gaming chair would be complete without adjustability features, and the HERO has those in spades: extra-large 4D armrests and a butterfly tilting mechanism for granular adjustments to reclining and tilt make for a chair as customizable as it comfortable.
Vertagear Triigger 350: If you simply want one of the best gaming chairs money can buy, without any compromises, the Vertagear Triigger 350 is the choice for you. The Triigger 350 is made of reinforced DuPont TPEE mesh, a high-quality form of mesh with a prolonged life span. On each armrest is a trigger for controlling adjustment functions: the right armrest enables height adjustment and the left locks and unlocks the reclining mechanism. Other adjustment options include 2D armrests, a built-in lumbar support pad, and a lever for tweaking the tilt tension.
Vertagear also offers a companion headrest, the Triigger 350 Sc, which offers nearly as many options for adjustment as the chair itself, and makes kicking back and relaxing in the Triigger a real treat. For more detailed info on the Triigger 350 and 350 Sc, check out our product overview.
NeueChair: Another king of comfort, the NeueChair is a luxury chair from Secretlab that uses a 3-layer mesh Secretlab dubs “NeueMesh,” a blend of polyester fibre and DuPont yarn that Secretlab claims is optimized for long-term durability. A lumbar support piece is built into the chair and can be adjusted to conform to the curvature of your spine. Another neat ergonomic feature is the “Focus Mode,” the maximum ergonomic setting that is easily activated by sliding the seat backwards and pushing the backrest forward for increased lumbar support.
The ControlShift levers on each armrest control height and reclining adjustments, while the armrests themselves are slightly concave and coated in PU for a solid elbow anchoring point. Secretlab states that the purpose of the Neuechair is to take the pressure off your body so you can focus on working and gaming, and that’s exactly what this expertly crafted chair does.
noblechairs ICON Nappa Edition: Nappa leather and noblechairs; name a more iconic duo…I’ll wait. You can’t talk about luxury chairs without mentioning the noblechairs ICON Nappa Edition gaming chair. While many gaming chairs echo the design of race car seats, the ICON Nappa Edition is more akin to sitting behind the wheel of your own luxury supercar. The chair is covered in full-grain nappa leather. “Full grain” is the highest quality form of genuine leather, more durable than “top grain” leather where the top few millimeters are sanded away to make the leather easier to work with and more uniform in appearance. Nappa leather is one of the finest full grain leathers: it is softer, easier to clean, and more durable by comparison. Throw in 4D armrests and the included head and lumbar pillows, and you have a worthy offering in the noblechairs line of chairs.
A Throne of Games
Gaming chairs show no signs of waning in popularity anytime soon. There are many more excellent chair options out there, with exciting and innovative new options released on an increasingly frequent basis. Expect future updates to this guide as gaming chairs continue their explosion in popularity and manufacturers continue to put out enticing new offerings.