When you’re settling in for a serious gaming session, you’ll want to have the comfiest seat in the house. The question is, would that be a gaming chair or an office chair?
From a brief stint online to a long-haul night of gaming, having the right chair to sit in can be the difference between logging off refreshed and spending the next 20 minutes stretching to undo the damage you’ve just done from hours of being in an uncomfortable position.
From durability to design, this article will talk you through some of the key factors to consider when trying to choose between a gaming chair and an office chair.
One of the most important things to factor into your decision is whether or not the chair can accommodate your size and weight.
Office chairs offer a range of sizing options from petite to big and tall, so you’ll have a good chance of finding a chair that suits your individual needs and height. Standard office chairs will typically have a maximum capacity of around 250 lbs, whereas larger chairs range from 350 to 500 lbs in weight capacity.
Thankfully, recent years have also seen companies that produce gaming chairs making strides towards being more body-positive and inclusive with their sizing. Finding the right size chair for your derriere has never been easier with Secretlab following the likes of Vertagear in producing products for larger gamers, and there’s now a range of options to choose from with up to around 450 lbs capacity.
Annoyingly, there’s still a theme of some gaming chairs giving measurements that include the raised sides of the seat in the size of the width, which is therefore not a true representation of how much space you’ll actually have to sit in, so it’s worth double-checking.
For maximum comfort levels, you’ll want your seat to be a little roomy so you can shift around when you’ve been resting in one position for too long, but you shouldn’t be rattling around in a seat you can barely touch the floor from.
The design is hugely important when it comes to choosing the right chair, as it can have real benefits that you’ll feel in your neck, back, and shoulders.
In terms of practicality, gaming chairs feature a tall backrest with pillows that help to align your neck and back. They’ll typically have lumbar and head pillows that can be detached, although for the best ergonomic results it’s best to choose a gaming chair that also allows you to adjust the height so you can fully customize your lumbar support for optimum comfort.
Gaming chairs will also typically include design features such as multi-directional armrests, available in 2D or 4D where D stands for directional. Office chairs are designed with ergonomics rather than aesthetics in mind, offering elements such as a backrest, reclining, armrests, and swivel wheels.
However, the aesthetic design is not something you’ll want to overlook considering the feature role your chair will play in your gaming set up.
If you’re talking purely aesthetics, there’s no denying that gaming chairs have exploded onto the scene and gained huge popularity with their flamboyant designs, comfortable padding, and customizable components. There are stylish office chairs to be found as well, of course, but in general, they tend to be more muted and sleek rather than striking.
Whether you end up choosing a gaming chair or an office chair, the materials used in its manufacturing will help to determine its overall quality and also has a role to play in terms of comfort levels.
Common material options for gaming chairs include PU leather, NAPA leather, and SoftWeave fabric, sometimes with support from high-density foam. Real leather tends to be avoided despite its advanced durability and sweat-reducing breathability.
There are some high-end chairs that are made using real leather, but they’re some of the most expensive options you’ll find which prices them out of the average gamer’s budget. PU leather is more affordable but not as long-lasting.
Office chairs are more commonly manufactured using mesh, leather, or fabric which can be layered. Fabric is one of the most popular options, as the breathable material causes less sweating and doesn’t retain heat as much.
For the clumsy computer game enthusiast, fabric chairs are also less resistant to water or liquids, but they’re not as tricky to clean as mesh. While the mesh material is great for keeping you cool during an intense gaming session, it’s not as durable as leather or even fabric and is more likely to stain or discolor from spills and cleaning.
Last but not least, let’s talk about comfort. It’s going to be a key consideration when buying any type of chair, but it’s especially important for gamers who’ll likely be spending large periods of time sitting at their PC.
Gaming chairs with a narrow seat and ridged edges may not be quite as comfortable to sit in, but it’ll be better for your back in the long run. Alternatively, you can opt for a flat-edged seat which tends to be wider and less restrictive.
Office chairs usually provide a wider range of movement and more adjustable seating. For shorter periods of time, they’re undoubtedly a more comfortable option as they’re designed to please rather than improve posture. However, gamers who spend long hours in their chair will benefit from the specific posture-enhancing ergonomics of a gaming chair.
With that being said, what some people will find comfortable, others won’t, as this is a decision that will ultimately come down to personal preference. There’s also a much smaller gap in quality when it comes to budget chairs, so there’s a more even playing field.
You’ll get more for your money with a gaming chair at the lower end of the price range, so if you’re shopping on a budget you can still expect a basic level of ergonomic support, such as detachable lumbar support, reclining, backrest, and armrests from this style of seating.
As you can see, there’s plenty to choose from in office chairs, often sporting a professional, seamless, monochrome look and focusing on ergonomics, or you can opt for some of the more gamer-friendly features found on a gaming chair.
That’s not to say you can’t use one for the other, and vice versa, as the perfect chair for you depends on your needs and personal preferences rather than its intended use.
There are also the costs to consider. Gaming chairs can be the more expensive option with some seriously high prices on their high-end models, but at the lower end of the scale, they tend to offer more for your money in terms of design and basic ergonomics.
For those willing to drop a larger sum on seating for their computer setup, gaming chairs offer all-around improved ergonomics and there’s no better choice for the avid gamer. Their durable yet flexible materials offer long-lasting comfort and fantastic support, and they come in a range of exciting colors and statement designs.