There are all kinds of chairs, at all prices. How do you find your way through the myriad of different models and brands? Not to mention the many names. Whether it’s a gaming/gamer chair or a gaming/gamer chair, it’s all about the same thing: a comfortable office chair for long gaming sessions.
Let’s take a look at a few things to check before buying a gaming chair. Many of them can even be checked without having to test them on site, although a real test drive is always preferable before buying.
Gaming chair: the importance of your body type
One of the most important things to consider, and one that you can’t compete with, is your body type. To get a gaming chair that fits you, you’ll need to choose one based on your weight and height. Depending on whether you’re 5’10” or 6’10” tall, your needs will be different.
A maximum and recommended weight will normally be indicated in the data sheet of the chair. It is always a good idea to have a safety margin, and at least aim for a capacity of 100 kg to 120 kg for an average size, and 150 kg for a large size.
For baby bears, mama bears and papa bears
In addition to weight, you should also take into account your height. As with the weight, an ideal size will be indicated. Some models even offer several variants: S, M, L, etc.
Of course, the width should also be adapted to your body size. The wider the width, the more expensive the chair will be. Obviously, you should not choose a smaller size to reduce the bill, nor should you choose an XXL model to get the best of the best, saying “who can do more can do less”.
Example of a seat size
The best way to sit on a gaming chair
Note that for health reasons, the entire backrest surface should be in contact with your back and should fit your voluptuous body as well as possible. To do this, your feet should be flat on the floor and the lower part of your legs should be straight. This allows the ankle and hip joints to rest. This way, your body is relaxed and your back has more strength to hold itself upright.
It is also important that the seat has support for the lower back. Together with the backrest, this helps to maintain your natural lumbar lordosis. This is the natural curvature of your spine, which ensures that the stresses exerted on it are evenly distributed. This will prevent back pain and save you some of the effort of keeping your back straight.
Settings and functions of a gaming chair
Compared to a conventional chair, a gaming model will have several additional features to improve the user’s comfort. We’ll help you find your way around all these options
A gaming chair requires the bare minimum: height adjustment. If it doesn’t have this, don’t bother. You absolutely must be able to adjust the height to suit your size and use.
The quality of the piston is also extremely important. It must be of good quality so that you do not end up with a chair that lowers itself in the middle of a game. To do this, make sure that the piston is class 4. Otherwise you could end up with a dinette chair.
Do not neglect the armrests
This is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind, but the quality of the armrests is also very important. Obviously, the chair must have them, otherwise, as with the height adjustment, you’ll have to pass. And these armrests have many adjustments.
The ones you should use are called 4D armrests. There are different levels of adjustment, 1D, 2D, 3D and 4D. This means that each level offers an extra dimension of adjustment:
Front to back
Adjustment options for a 4D armrest
Since it is ideally advisable to have the armrests at desk height, a 1D adjustment would seem to be a minimum requirement. Each level of adjustment will provide comfort and ergonomics. Rotation may not be useful for everyone, but it is always a plus. It is especially useful for the gamepad or console player, as the arms are not parallel and need a different support.
Crossed arms when playing with a controller
There are also different coverings. A slightly soft or foamed material can be pleasant for long periods of use.
The different backrest tilt systems
There are various tilting systems, both for the backrest and the seat. In some cases, only the backrest tilts. In others, both tilt together at the same angle.
Each chair will have a different opening angle: 90°, 180°, etc. It will depend on your personal taste and needs. Be aware that some seats will have a small tilt angle even when locked. This can sometimes make it difficult to sit comfortably in the seat, or it can tip backwards. So be careful with this kind of detail. However, some high-end seats allow you to deactivate this feature.
Head and lumbar cushions will be included with most chairs. They can be placed as desired, depending on the user’s preference.
But if a chair comes with a lumbar cushion, it actually lacks a dedicated and precise adjustment, as do ergonomic chairs. And believe us, the result is far from being the same. If possible, opt for a real adjustment in the lumbar area, which is offered on some chairs thanks to a dedicated wheel.
The gaming chair cover
The cover will change the look and feel of your gaming chair. There are two main families. Leather chairs and fabric chairs.
The foam upholstery of your gaming chair
This is one of the most important parts of a chair, yet the least detailed by gaming chair manufacturers. As with mattresses, there may be information on the density of the foam, but this is rare. As for the type, the indication of cold foam is generally a good sign. On this point, nothing can replace a test in a shop.
Gaming chair or ergonomic chair?
As with everything else in the world of gaming chairs, there is good and bad. Often, brands will be more concerned with aesthetics than with your health. You’ll be buying a design and a shimmering colour scheme in a racing-inspired bucket seat. They will often be comfortable but more for relaxation.
The benefits of ergonomic seating
Ergonomic chairs or seats are all about…ergonomics. Most of the well-known brands in the sector, such as Herman Miller, HAG, Steelcase and Haworth, have years of research and experience in the field and work hand in hand with osteopaths and health professionals. These models are more comfortable and above all offer a better sitting position, respecting your body and its natural curves.
Herman Miller Aeron: the world’s best-selling ergonomic chair
The finish will not necessarily be outdone as many models offer a metal construction with careful materials and stitching. There may be some in leather or imitation, but most will be designed in a more breathable mesh that can follow the shape of the body. In terms of style, we are moving away from the “gaming” aesthetic with a much more sober, statutory and professional design. You will often find these chairs in the offices of executives in large companies.
When gaming meets ergonomics for a comfortable chair
There are also ergonomic chairs with a gaming dimension such as the Herman Miller Embody x Logitech G (or Aeron Gaming), which, beyond the marketing argument, offers the advantages and seriousness of the brand with the data and expertise of Logitech. Often bent forward, armrests adapted to the use of the controller, perspiration, all things that are specific to the needs of gamers and not usual in ergonomic chairs.
Herman Miller Embody x Logitech G torture test
Which gaming chair manufacturers to choose?
There are many manufacturers of gaming chairs, so it would be complicated to list them all. But we can at least name the market leaders DXRacer and AKRacing, or (high-end) brands with good reputations such as SecretLab or Noblechairs.
But it is also entirely possible to turn to brands such as Vertagear, Arozzi, Maxnomic or Queresus. These well-known brands are generally synonymous with reliability and quality. If you have a (very) comfortable budget, or if you use your chair for a long time, you can always turn to ergonomic chairs such as Herman Miller.
Whatever the brand or model, don’t forget our tips for choosing a chair, and especially keep in mind to choose a model according to your needs and your body type. There’s no point in buying a popular model from a top brand if it doesn’t fit you.
Can I choose any gaming chair?
No, in addition to the options and quality of the seat, you need to look at its ergonomics. And above all, check that it corresponds to your morphology and your body type. Above all, you need a chair that suits your body. Take care to look at the size and weight recommendations on some product sheets. Some models allow you to choose between sizes S, M and L for example.
Which brand of gaming chair should I choose?
There can be good models regardless of the brand. But the big, established brands can provide quality and peace of mind. These include brands such as DXRacer, AKRacing, Vertagear, Arozzi, Maxnomic and Queresus. At the higher end of the market SecretLab and Noblechairs are also good chairs.
Even with these names you should always ask about the quality of the model: some brands offer a wide range of cheap gaming chairs of poor quality. Always ask before you buy. If you have a big budget, a brand like Herman Miller is ideal.
What is the best gaming chair?
There is a lot of competition in the gaming chair market, but there are some models that seem to have everyone on the same page. One of these is the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022, which combines comfort with a full range of features. There’s also its little sister, the Secretlab Omega, for smaller people. If you have a bigger budget, we again recommend the Logitech G x Herman Miller Embody, which combines exemplary ergonomics with all the options gamers are looking for during long gaming sessions.
Do I have to get a leather cover?
Absolutely not! While a leather cover can be very nice, it is not mandatory. There are some very good chairs made of fabric or even mesh. It will be a matter of taste, so there is no right or wrong choice. Each of the coverings has its advantages and disadvantages. However, if you opt for a leather covering, try to find out what type of leather it is, and especially if it is a leatherette (of lower quality). A fabric cover will have the advantage that it is not too hot or cold, and is better ventilated.
What to choose between an ergonomic chair and a gaming chair?
This will depend on your aesthetic tastes, but above all on your budget. Where a gaming chair will cost a few hundred euros, a good ergonomic chair will cost four figures. When it comes to comfort and ergonomics, an ergonomic chair is the way to go, but a good gaming chair can be a good option, without having to spend a fortune. If you like that aggressive look, there are also ergonomic and gaming chairs that combine the best of both worlds (except the price, of course).