Gaming chair purchasing advice: how to choose the right product
- What You Need to Know
- The gaming chair should be designed for your height and body weight.
- Neck and lumbar cushions provide support for sensitive parts of the body.
- A gaming chair with a synchronous mechanism enables dynamic sitting, as the chair adapts to the user’s movements.
- For a firm stand and smooth rolling, pay attention to the workmanship of the materials.
Gaming with maximum seating comfort
Turn on the console – and let the game begin. But for the gaming experience to be truly breathtaking, you need an appropriate seat in which you can spend several hours. Because all too quickly, sitting becomes a cramp, and ultimately the gaming experience suffers.
Gaming chairs are designed for ergonomic sitting and extreme comfort. Thanks to the beneficial shape for your body, the lumbar and neck areas are supported as well as the legs. When you switch off the computer or console, you can continue to use the gaming chair as a regular office chair to go about your daily work in comfort at your desk.
How is a gaming chair different from a regular desk chair?
Gaming chairs are designed for people who sit in front of a screen for several hours a day. The chairs, which are modelled on sports car seats, are particularly heavily padded and ergonomically shaped so that the spine is optimally supported while sitting. Cheaper office chairs can not only become uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time, but can also lead to poor posture or even back pain. A well-padded and ergonomic chair specially designed for this situation should prevent just that.
How are gaming chairs constructed?
Gaming chairs are similar in structure to conventional office chairs. They consist of a backrest, a seat, two armrests and a base with castors. It is mainly in terms of design and ergonomics that gaming models differ from conventional everyday chairs.
The backrest should be continuously adjustable so that it can be adapted to the natural shape of the body. A high angle of inclination also enables dynamic sitting. To relieve the strain on your back and intervertebral discs, you should slide your pelvis slightly forward on the seat. Try not to lean forward for too long, as this can lead to back pain. An upright sitting position, on the other hand, ensures a long playing experience. Changing your sitting position regularly also prevents tension.
A lumbar support or removable lumbar cushion should be attached to the lower back, as this is where the greatest curvature of the spine is located. The natural space between the backrest and the spine is filled with such a cushion. Some models are equipped with an adjustment wheel in the lumbar area, which can be used to increase or reduce the curvature.
The neck or headrest helps to maintain a healthy sitting position and prevents the head from falling backwards. A neck cushion is included to relieve pressure on the cervical spine.
The armrests should also be height-adjustable to help the body achieve a correct sitting position. Swivel and tilt armrests are called “D” armrests and provide additional support. For example, a 4D armrest can be adjusted in four directions. A 1D armrest, on the other hand, can only be adjusted in height.
In lower-priced models, the armrest is usually made of hard plastic, which not only offers little comfort, but can even lead to sore elbows. Higher-priced gaming chairs have soft, padded shelves. In addition, the surface should be large enough so that the forearm can rest on it without any problems. Ideally, the armrests should be set just below the work surface so that you can rest your arms on the backrests or the table. This will relieve the strain on your shoulders.
The seat should also be adjusted to the size and weight of the gamer. In a racing car, the side bolsters hold the driver in place when making tight turns. In a gaming chair, they may contribute to the overall look, but they should not restrict the gamer too much and allow him or her to sit in different positions. If the side bolsters are too restrictive, the processed steel tubes can even cause pain.
About two thirds of the thighs should rest on the seat. However, they should not drop too much or be too bent. A two to three finger wide distance between the back of the knee and the edge of the seat serves as a guideline here. It should be possible to rest the feet straight on the floor. An optimal footrest relieves both the legs and the back.
The castors of a gaming chair are often neglected. However, high-quality castors ensure smooth movement. In addition, the floor conditions on site must be taken into account. A floor protector prevents possible scratches. Some gaming chairs are specifically designed for carpets, while others are more suitable for hard floors.
The larger the castors, the smoother they are. Plastic castors are usually noisier when moving than those made of another material. Hybrid castors are considered basic. These are the most common, as they are suitable for both soft and hard floors. Inliner castors, on the other hand, are particularly smooth-running castors that glide noiselessly and effortlessly over the floor. Castors with a parking brake are also advantageous.
The base supports the castors, provides space for the gas pressure spring and gives the gaming chair its stability. It is made either of metal, such as aluminium or steel, or of plastic, such as nylon. Cheaper models made of plastic are not completely solid but have slats in the gaps. Over time, this can lead to fractures and cracks; there is even a risk of injury. Metal pedestals differ mainly in their appearance – whether the surface should be smooth, brushed or shiny depends on your personal preference.
A large base provides the necessary stability for the chair. Each arm should therefore protrude about five centimetres above the edge of the seat. This prevents excessive tipping forwards or backwards.
Gas pressure spring
The gas pressure spring is the connecting piece between the base and the seat. It provides the cushioning of the chair. In many models, the gas pressure spring is hidden by a cover. If this is made of cheap plastic, it can break. If necessary, the damper can be replaced.
To set themselves apart from other models, there are gaming chairs that are equipped with extras such as a mount for monitors, a foot area for pedals or a sound system. Depending on your gaming preferences, these additional features are particularly useful. A footrest that can be folded in or up is particularly suitable for gamers who place a lot of value on seating comfort and want to spend a little more money on it.
What should be considered when buying a gaming chair?
When buying a gaming chair, you should pay particular attention to the shape of the seat shell or whether it is suitable for an ergonomic sitting position. In addition, the registration weight is decisive: depending on how much you weigh and how tall you are, a different model is recommended. Last but not least, you should take a look at the material. Here there are differences in quality that become apparent with longer use.
Size and weight of the user
Since gaming chairs are designed for different players, the height and weight of the gamer play a major role. An ergonomic seat that is adapted to the body distributes the weight evenly and provides support even during long gaming sessions. Most gaming chairs are designed for a maximum weight of 150 kilograms. Special versions are manufactured for a body weight of up to 200 kilograms. If the maximum load is exceeded, the cushioning and the frame suffer; the upholstery and rocking mechanism also give way more quickly in this case.
Design and appearance
The ergonomics of the gaming chair should be the top priority when buying. But of course, among the many models on offer, consumers also want a seat that complements the gaming area perfectly in terms of appearance. The design of the gaming chairs with their side bolsters and cut-outs is reminiscent of the backrests or seats in racing and sports cars. The colours of the chairs and finishes on the seats in the form of embroidery not only add personality to a room, but also allow gamers to express themselves individually and feel like professionals while playing.
Most gaming chair frames are made of steel tubing and the seats or backrests are constructed with braces or rubber bands. A steel chair frame with a thickness of one to two millimetres, if properly welded, will hardly suffer any damage. There are also models with wooden panels. Wooden elements are not as resistant as those made of metal, but they have the advantage that the body weight is distributed more evenly and the foam does not sink in as much. In the case of high-quality models, the frame is covered with foam, whereas in the case of cheaper models, cut foam is simply laid on top and secured with rubber.
The regular rocking mechanism ensures that the seat and backrest are always in the same position when rocking. It is advisable to buy a gaming chair where the resistance can be adjusted to one’s own body weight via a rotary wheel. With the synchronous mechanism, the ratios for leaning back are divided differently, usually in a three-to-one or two-to-one ratio. Here, the backrest tilts further back than the seat. This relieves the spine better and prevents incorrect posture. This type of gaming chair, however, comes with a price tag of 500 euros and up.
The foam used is cold foam, which is available under various names such as “high-density foam” or “ultra-comfort foam”. The thickness of the upholstery is determined by the compression hardness and the density, which is expressed in kilograms per cubic metre. A density of 40 to 50 kilograms per cubic metre is referred to as particularly elastic cold foam. However, high-quality gaming chairs rarely fall below the 50-kilogram-per-cubic-metre mark.
How hard should the upholstery be?
The higher the density of the foam, the harder the seat. A density of 20 to 40 kilograms per cubic metre is called soft upholstery, 40 to 70 kilograms per cubic metre medium-hard, and 70 kilograms per cubic metre or more hard. The exact degree of hardness depends on personal preference on the one hand and on body weight on the other. So that the sitter does not sink in too much, they should also choose a higher density in the case of a higher body weight.
The material of the cover
In order to choose the right gaming chair from the extensive selection, you should take a closer look at the materials used and then decide which cover appeals to you the most.
Genuine leather adapts to the ambient temperature and can therefore become warm or very cold very quickly. The material is durable as well as abrasion-resistant and impresses with its skin-friendly properties. The high-quality look and feel also give leather gaming chairs that certain something. The disadvantage of a gaming chair with genuine leather upholstery is the high purchase price. To ensure the chair’s longevity, the cover also requires intensive care appropriate to the material.
Cleaning: Genuine leather covers should be cleaned with a damp cloth. If you want to use cleaning agents, you should only use leather cleaner, balm or oil. These treat the surface gently and prevent the leather from drying out.
Imitation leather has the great advantage of being cheaper than real leather. However, versions made of PVC are not as breathable as real leather. In addition, the grease from the skin attacks the softeners in the material, so the cover is not particularly durable. Artificial leather made of PU or vinyl, on the other hand, is breathable and abrasion-resistant. Furthermore, this artificial leather feels pleasant on the skin.
Cleaning: Imitation leather covers can be cleaned with a mild dishwashing detergent or a damp cloth. Special imitation leather cleaners ensure that the material does not become porous.
Fabric covers, such as mesh covers, offer an air-permeable alternative. Those who tend to sweat quickly are therefore well advised to use a fabric cover. The feeling on the skin when sitting is also pleasant. Fabric covers are often easy to remove and clean. This type of cover is also the ideal solution for pet owners, as it does not scratch as quickly as leather.
Cleaning: If the fabric covers cannot be removed, you can vacuum the coarse dirt. Deeper stains can be rubbed in with an upholstery or foam cleaner and then washed out with clean water.
If you place a lot of value on durability, you should consider a gaming chair as an investment. Many models at a price of less than 150 euros do not give gamers the unique gaming experience that you would expect with a high-quality chair. Models in this price range are more comparable to office chairs. They are more simply made: The cushions are thinner and therefore wear out more quickly. In addition, the quality of the seams and individual parts only becomes apparent over months.
High-quality gaming chairs are impeccably made. The thick upholstery shows no signs of wear even after many months; moreover, the covers are tightly stretched. They are usually equipped with the TÜV seal. So you can look forward to hours of gaming.
In a high-quality gaming chair, the individual parts should fit together perfectly, i.e. none of the parts should protrude or have sharp contours. The seams of the cover should also be neatly finished; moreover, the cover should not smell strongly of chemicals. Seals, for example from TÜV, indicate a tested chair and guarantee safe use.
What should I bear in mind when caring for a gaming chair?
Every few months, you should check the gaming chair for functionality and appearance. Tighten the screws if necessary and check the castors for dirt as well as blockages; replace them if necessary. Squeaky components of the chair should be oiled and the cover should be removed and washed regularly if possible. To prevent the cover from fading, you should also protect the chair from direct sunlight.
Well-known manufacturers of gaming chairs
Gaming chairs are available in various colour, material and shape combinations. Some of the biggest manufacturers are listed here:
For 12 years, DXRacer has placed emphasis on ergonomic design in a racing look and high-quality workmanship. They even offer a lifetime warranty on the steel frame. A neck and lumbar cushion is included with each of their chairs. A particularly practical feature is that the screws are already pre-assembled, which simplifies the assembly of the chair. Prices vary depending on the series. Formula models from DXRacer are available for 250 to 270 euros, the Drifting series costs 320 to 350 euros. A chair from the Boss series with a maximum load capacity of 205 kilograms costs just under 520 euros.
Robas Lund is a German distributor specialising in the sale of office chairs and tables. Strictly speaking, these are articles of the DXRacer brand. Behind the Robas Lund DXRacer1 and Robas Lund DXRacer5 are chairs from the Formula series. They are designed for a weight of up to 100 kilograms and have a fabric cover. The swivel base is made of nylon. Robas Lund DXRacer6 comes from this same Formula series, has a faux leather cover and impresses with a black and white colour scheme. Robas Lund DXRacer3, on the other hand, comes from the Drifting series, has a leatherette cover, is equipped with a nylon base and is also suitable for gamers weighing up to 100 kilograms. Robas Lund DXRacer7 is from the same series, but has a fabric cover. The models mentioned cost between 230 and 270 euros.
noblechairs produces high-quality office chairs that are modelled on the design of luxurious racing cars and have a simple but elegant look. The noblechairs gaming chairs from the Epic, Hero and Icon series can be put together with a high-quality leather, a vegan imitation leather or a fabric cover, depending on requirements. Buyers can also individually select the coloured seams. Head and lumbar cushions are made of velour for maximum seating comfort. The foot crosses are made of aluminium and thus offer ideal stability. The noblechairs models start at 340 euros, but depending on the features and materials used, they can cost up to 600 euros.
AKRacing has been active since 2001 – first in the racing business, then in the field of gaming and office chairs. The company attaches great importance to the fact that the chairs are designed, manufactured and quality-tested in-house. The Core (basic models from just under 300 euros), Master (professional models from 480 to 580 euros) and Office (office models from 330 to 600 euros) series form the pillars of the company, which revised its entire range in 2018. AKRacing offers a comfortable seating solution for every gamer or budget. Master Pro and ProX, for example, are suitable for gamers with a body height of 175 to 205 centimetres and are loadable up to 150 kilograms. Models from the Core series have less padding than those from the Master series, for example, but this does not change anything. The advantage of this brand is that buyers get a ten-year guarantee on the steel frame; the remaining spare parts come with a five-year guarantee.
Need for Seat
Need for Seat has been selling chairs in the gaming and office sector since 2011. Maxnomic, the name of the chairs, is made up of “Maximum” and “Ergonomic”, according to Need for Seat – the company’s main focus is on the constant further development of the models in order to be able to offer chairs for professional e-sportsmen. All models have a two-millimetre-thick tubular steel frame, a knee-rocking mechanism with five locking positions, a TÜV-approved gas pressure spring and a reinforced aluminium base. This is how Need for Seat wants to set itself apart from other suppliers.
The models in the Casual Sports series are suitable for gamers with a body height of 155 to 174 centimetres and a body weight of up to 80 kilograms. They are available from just under 290 euros. The Pro-Gaming and Office series accommodates gamers with a height of 165 to 184 centimetres and a weight of 100 kilograms; these chairs are available from 320 euros. The next category up is the Office Comfort series for players with a height of 185 to 200 centimetres and a weight of 130 kilograms. The cheapest models in the series cost 370 euros.
Vertagear is the youngest of the aforementioned brands. It was launched in 2015 by designers, gamers and furniture specialists with the aim of offering high seating comfort and a modern, straightforward design. The brand sells the S, P and Triigger series. The mid-priced S model SL4000 is available for just under 300 euros with high-density foam, the less expensive SL2000 model for 250 euros with cold foam and PVC imitation leather. The affordable price is reflected in the plastic armrests, for example. The P series, available from 400 euros upwards, is suitable for larger and heavier players, as the chairs are equipped with industrial heavy-duty frames. The models in the Triiger series are described as the most ergonomic chairs, as they consist of 275 to 350 individual parts to ensure maximum flexibility. High-quality material compositions of mesh cover and calfskin distinguish this series. The cheapest model in the Triiger series costs 500 euros, the most expensive around 850 euros.