It’s strange but true that gamers are prepared to spend a fortune on what they consider to be the best gaming equipment, from the monitor and PC to the motherboard and mouse, but for some reason the idea of splurging on a chair that is going to save them from looking like Quasimodo, in the long run, is the furthermost thing from their minds.
It could be because they think they’re going to be expensive and they’d rather save their money for other things, but there are a variety of chairs available in 2017 and they range from as little as $35 all the way to $1000. As a gamer who spends a lot of time on your ass, you need to remember that your health is priceless and shouldn’t be an afterthought.
So, before we get started with this review we need to say this. Your broken down old office chair that happens to have wheels is not a gaming chair, nor is your dining room chair. Of course, if you play Solitaire for an hour or two every day or if you clock up a few hours on Grand Auto every other weekend you probably won’t need a chair specifically made for gamers; this is a case where any seat will do. But if you’re a serious gamer in 2017 and spend hours at a time, and here we mean like eight to ten, on your PC, TV or console then you need the best gaming chair possible for your budget.
PC gaming chairs have been built with only one thing in mind and that’s comfort. Of course, there are chairs that come with a lot more hi-tech features but overall the main factors that a gamer looks for include the lumbar support, the armrests, and headrest. When you think how much time a dedicated gamer is in the hot seat, so to speak, you’ll understand that the basic office chair isn’t going to be sufficient.
And it’s not only that a gaming chair is different to an office chair; hardcore PC gamers will look for a chair that’s desk height, allowing you to sit ‘properly’. Although PC gamers’ chairs look like an office chair that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. Most office chairs allow you to swivel, tilt back slightly and adjust the height but a gaming chair needs to be able to do so much more, and offer a huge amount of back support because of the time spent in it. A console gaming chair, on the other hand, is on the ground.
Breaking it down even further there are two types of console gaming chairs to consider as well: the pedestal style chair and the rocker. All in all there is lot to keep in mind when you’re looking for the right gaming chair.
The rocker and the pedestal are the two options for console gaming. The rocker sits on the floor and is designed with comfort in mind. They are L-shaped and come with a headrest, armrests and padded backing. Rockers can come with added features like subwoofers, speakers, wireless receivers and RCA inputs, taking gaming to a whole new level.
The pedestal chair, on the other hand, is raised off the ground and allows you to tilt backward and even swivel, which obviously the rockers doesn’t do. If you especially like racing games then the pedestal chair is your best bet.
Let’s look at the different kinds of gaming chairs that are available in a bit more detail.
Overview of the Best Gaming Chairs of 2017
What Are The Different Kinds of Gaming Chairs?
Pedestal gaming chairs are similar to rockers but they have a pedestal, hence the name. The same features can be found on both types of chairs but the pedestal can swivel, tilt and is higher off the ground.
The rocker gaming chair is L-shaped and typically sits on the floor. Some of the best rockers are feature-rich and have things like built-in speakers and subwoofers, as well as wireless systems and RCA stereo inputs. A few of the brands can connect to each other wirelessly allowing gamers to enjoy a truly immersive experience.
While a PC gaming chair looks fairly similar to a normal office chair there are a few distinct differences that tell them apart. A gaming chair for a PC setup has ergonomic features including a headrest, comfortable armrests and lumbar support for the back. A few of the PC gaming chairs that are built using real racecar seat materials and can lean back 180 degrees, for an authentic gaming experience.
If you’re into racing games you will appreciate the racer gaming chair and should definitely consider one of these. These are a personal favorite of mine. Some of them come equipped with pedals, a shift or gear knob and a steering wheel, but if costs are an issue you are able to purchase the seat and the framework first and add the accessories as and when you’re ready. They’re fully adjustable so anyone can reach the steering wheel and the pedals and the super cool ones come with a genuine race car seat.
Bean Bag Chairs
Not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, but slowly gaining in popularity are bean bags chairs. Obviously, they’re best for console games and double up as a comfortable seat to watch TV, lounge around and listen to music or just relax. They are very comfortable and reasonably priced but we don’t need to tell you that a bean bag gaming chair is as basic as you can get without any additional features.
Our review includes pedestal and rockers, as well as PC gaming chairs and we know that you’ll find a chair to suit your needs and your budget.
Best Overall Gaming Chair of 2017
X Rocker 51396 Pro Series Pedestal 2.1
We took our search for the best overall gaming chair very seriously, mainly because you trust our reviews and this particular chair for us had to be the best of the best that’s available. The X Rocker 51396 Pro Series Pedestal 2.1 Video Gaming Chair is pretty much all things to all gamers. People who own this chair comment on the brilliant sound system and the AFM (Audio Force Modulation ) rumble technology. They agree that for the price (at the time of writing this it came in under $200) you’re getting a well-made, professional chair that is durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear (making it the best gaming chair for big guys), it’s compatible with all the big name console games including PS4, Wii U, Xbox One as well as older generations. It goes without saying, but this is our highest rated video game chair, so we really recommend it.
Ask any gamer what they look for in a gaming chair and you’ll probably hear comfort, after all, they put in a lot of butt-hours. While the look and design also matter to some, the ergonomics and support pips all other factors to the post. It’s a good sized chair and can comfortably seat gamers over 6 feet tall. The gun-stock arms provide additional support and add to the overall look of the chair while the pedestal has tilt and swivel capabilities.
Another feature that definitely adds value to the X Rocker 51396 Pro Series is its compatibility with all the consoles currently available on the market, as well as older generations which is very cool. Whether it’s Xbox One, 360, PS3, PS4, Wii U, it doesn’t matter, it literally takes a few minutes to connect it to your TV and you’re good to go. Unlike some chairs that are either a rocker or a pedestal chair, this is both, which means you can play games on your PC or in front of the TV, and when you’re not eradicating the world of evil warlords you can listen to music, or watch movies in it.
As far as sound goes the X Rocker is probably as good as it gets, in this particular price range. However, even the more expensive chairs battle with getting the sound right and serious gamers usually opt for headphones anyway.
For the rest of us that aren’t audiophiles, the sound is more than adequate with two speakers in the headrest and a subwoofer that uses Audio Force Modulation Technology (AFM). What this does is magnify the sound quality, immersing you in the game and enhancing the overall experience. The chair does vibrate but some gamers have said the volume needs to be pretty high to get the full effect.
When it comes to gaming chairs there are a few features that separate the men from the boys and for us, a chair that is able to hook up with other chairs scores serious points. So if you have two gamers in the house, or you’re lucky enough to have a man-cave, everyone gets to enjoy the surround sound and the AFM technology.
All in all, this is a great gaming chair that offers comfortable seating and a couple of unique features that makes it well worth the price. We’d probably still choose this if it cost more.
- A good quality sound system built into the chair
- An ergonomic design with back support for extended hours of sitting
- Easy to assemble
- It can be stored away when not in use (yeah, right) and is lightweight enough should you need to move it from one area to another
- Compatible with all gaming consoles you have
- There are some reports that the armrests aren’t durable
- Space for leaning back is limited
- According to some customers, the cushion isn’t as durable as it should be
Best Budget Gaming Chair of 2017
X Rocker 5127401 Pedestal
It’s neither a coincidence or an error that there are two X Rockers in our list of top gaming chairs of 2017. The company has been manufacturing gaming chairs since way back when and it shows.
Comfort, compatibility, durability and sound quality come together perfectly with the X Rocker 5127401 and the competitive price is what makes this our best budget gaming chair. While some might think the sound capability is important when choosing a gaming chair we have to disagree. It might be a cool feature for people who are new to it but any serious gamer worth their ranking will use their own high-quality headphones for maximum sound, but when it’s included in a chair that’s already so well-priced we’re not arguing.
For the majority of gamers, it’s not unusual to spend an average of about 8 hours in a chair, while some gamers lose hundreds of hours and even days, so it’s a no-brainer that the one you choose must be ergonomically designed, offering maximum comfort and support. On par with our top gaming chair, the X Rocker 5127401 has the same padding and supportive headrest for a quick game on your PS4 or a session of the epic episodic Hitman.
For under $200 you have a chair that is made by X Rocker, a company that’s been around since 2005. The 5127401 has wireless audio transmission and the side control panel has bass and volume control as well as input and output jacks. The ergonomic design has excellent back support, and it tilts and swivels while you’re playing and the foldable construction means it’s easy to store.
It is compatible with most of the current consoles and older generations including Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, Wii, Gameboy, MP3s, DVDs plus a whole lot more.
- Compatible with all the gaming consoles on the market
- Has audio control for volume, bass and has loads of input and output jacks
- Durable and well made, can be folded and stored away conveniently
- It’s easy to assemble
- Excellent value for money and perfect for most gamers who are budget conscious (cheap in price, but does not sacrifice quality)
- A few people have commented on the head cushion not being that comfortable
- Some people felt the chair tilted to either side but that could be due to it being assembled incorrectly or a faulty chair
- It’s approximately 15 inches from the floor which a few customers thought is too low
Best PC Gaming Chair of 2017
Vertagear S-Line SL4000 Racing Series
Vertagear is a name that’s fairly new to the gaming chair market but it’s already causing a few ripples. It’s a well made premium product with a look and feel to match.
If you’re specifically looking for a racing chair we can’t recommend this one highly enough, or if you’re ready to upgrade or just want a new chair that offers something a little different then you need look no further. It has a steel frame and a high-density foam material covered in PC leather, it’s durable and sturdy and can stand up to extreme wear and tear. The SL4000 is available in five color options including white, black, red, green and blue. We love the red and the blue, but to be honest would be happy with any of them in our gaming room.
The chair is so well designed and every detail has been thought out. It’s as if the guys over at Vertagear were asked to list the absolute must-have features in a PC gaming chair, including the aesthetics, and this is what they came up with.
Pretty much everything on the chair can be tweaked, adjusted, fiddled with and tightened to suit your body shape. The seat height is adjustable to make sure you’re positioned at the right angle with your desk; the armrests have four, yes four different points, for you to set them at and the back is bendable up to 170 degrees. If there was a Cirque du Soleil for chairs the Vertagear S-Line SL4000 Racing Series would be ringmaster as well as the star attraction. This desk chair has adjustment options only ever seen on high-end chairs and it’s safe to say you can set it at whatever angle, height, rake and depth you prefer.
When it comes to ease of use, again we have to commend the designers of the SL4000. All the control panels are on both sides of the armrests and are within reach. You can also lock your seat position during a game or if you want, leave it to move on its own. The racing gaming chair is versatile enough to be used as an office chair by day and a mofo of a gaming chair at night and on the weekends.
Right, so now we’ve told you all about the Vertagear SL4000 we know you’re seeing dollar signs, lots and lots of them, but the good news is you don’t have to sell a kidney to purchase one. The SL4000 is priced under $400 which might initially sound like a lot but it’s not; not when you consider everything you’re getting, along with a two-year warranty. You can expect to pay in excess of $600 and up for a chair that offers similar features but is from a well-known brand. We can say without a doubt it’s one of the best computer gaming chairs.
- Awesome color options
- Excellent build quality for a relative newcomer
- Leather is easy to clean and maintain
- Well-priced compared to other makes offering the same features
- It might not be the best choice for larger gamers in terms of the size of the seat
Best Gaming Chair Under $200
AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair
Amazon making chairs? Yes, they are and very good ones in fact. It might be because the AmazonBasics brand is still new to the market that this is chair is so well priced, but whatever the reason we suggest you consider getting one.
We think whether you’re an executive or not, you deserve a comfortable chair that promotes good posture and supports your body correctly, especially your lower back. If you are an executive, then, well this is the best office chair for gaming!
Even though it’s called the Executive High-Back, it’s definitely not an office chair in the traditional sense of the word. For one, when a chair is labeled ‘Executive’ it often means there is an emphasis on luxury rather than ergonomics. However, with the AmazonBasics form, function, and comfort are what makes this such an incredible gaming chair at a very affordable price.
It is made from a high-quality leather that is molded over a curved frame, and there’s a good balance between soft and firm support. The chair provides excellent lumbar support allowing gamers to sit for hours on end with no discomfort.
You can adjust the chair according to height as well as tilt. It has a tilt tension adjustment, which isn’t a deal-breaker but a tilt lock is ideally what you’re looking for because it allows you to adjust the chair to the exact reclining angle you want.
Another drawback, but still again, not a major issue at all, is it has fixed arms, which is a no-no when it comes to ergonomic design, and while this might be okay in the office environment it will hamper your game-playing because of the restricted arm movement. Another factor to consider is the leather upholstery. It doesn’t allow for the same breathability as a mesh chair and could you leave feeling sweaty and sticking to the chair.
Having said all of that this is still a great desk chair for gaming and there are a few features that make this the best ergonomic gaming chair, including the pneumatic backrest and seat controls, the smooth contours on the back as well as dual wheel casters. For an amazon gaming chair, we’d say it exceeds expectations.
- It is affordable
- The chair is well-built, comfortable and has adequate padding
- Private Amazon label, backing of a reputable company
- Fast shipping
- Great chair for adult gamers
- Not the best choice for larger than average gamers
- It has a tilt tension mechanism rather than a tilt lock
Best Gaming Chair Under $100
Essentials Racing Style Leather Gaming Chair
This was probably the hardest category for us, which is excellent news for you. There are that many good gaming chairs under $100 we didn’t know which one to feature. From rockers and pedestal gaming chairs to racing styled and cheap PC gaming chairs, and if you’re really strapped for cash and need to split $100 between a chair and a new game you can even find chairs under $50.
There are zero bells and whistles: no wireless audio transmission, no input and output jacks, and the only thing it’s compatible with is your budget, but for a very affordable price you are getting a chair that is designed in an ergonomic race car style with segmented padding, a high back for support along with headrest and lumbar support. The padded armrests add additional support and can be left down or lifted up, depending on your preference. Other adjustable settings include the height of the chair, the tilt lock and tilt tension control as well as a 360-degree swivel.
As a result of the chair not having too many features we are only able to comment on the design, the look and the comfort of the chair, and trust us, the Essentials Racing Style Leather Gaming Chair excels in all of these areas. Made from premium SofThread Leather with contrasting color mesh, it looks the part and the competitive price makes it a very smart choice. It is also backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
There isn’t too much else we can say about the Essentials Racing Style Leather Gaming Chair, we’re just wondering why you’re still reading this and not ordering it already.
- An authentic race car style chair that offers comfort and luxury
- Versatile for office work during the day and gaming at night and over weekends
- Ergonomically designed for hours of comfort
- Can be adjusted height wise, flip up arms and a 360-swivel. Can also recline
- Premium SofThread Leather and contrasting color mesh adds to the look
- Weight capacity of 250 pounds
- Backed by a 3-year limited warranty
None. How can there be?
Best Console Gaming Chair of 2017
X Rocker 51259 Pro H3 4.1 Audio Gaming Chair, Wireless
We’re going to start by telling you this chair retails for under $200, and the reason we’re doing this is because when you begin reading about it, you’re going to think it’s a high-end product and look elsewhere, missing out on what is possibly the No.1 chair on the market at the moment.
Ranked number one on some of the major gaming websites the X Rocker Pro H3 is fricken awesome. We know it’s not a very eloquent way of describing it but we’re a little lost for words.
If you can think of it, this chair has it. Comfortable? Tick. AFM Technology? Tick. Compatible? Tick. Additional speakers, vibration motors, and subwoofers? Tick, tick, tick. It’s great for long gaming sessions, because it’s the most comfortable!
The X Rocker 51259 is the ultimate console gaming chair, from its comfortable design to all of the features it offers. From the padded headrest and solid armrests to the quality upholstered fabric the ergonomic design, it lets gamers spend hours in the chair. It is also a rocking chair which means you can lie back and relax while playing on your PS4, Xbox or Nintendo or watching one of your favorite movies.
Offering the ultimate audio experience, the sound is better than you’ve heard and because of the vibration motors, you get to feel it too. Whether it’s a car crash or an earthquake, your experience is as intense as if you were living it, but if you’re not a fan of this feature there is an option to disable it. It is Bluetooth enabled and connects to Xbox, Gameboy, Playstation, MP3s, DVDs, home theaters and CDs. The X Rocker Pro H3 4.1 Wireless Audio Gaming Chair comes with four speakers – no other X Rocker has as many – and ported power subwoofers. There is a bass and volume control located at the back of the chair for you to adjust the volume and sound, and it’s compatible with pretty much everything: your TV, smartphones, headphones, and console games, old and new. It has a built-in wireless transmitter which means you can move it from room to room or store it without worrying about any wires.
Would we recommend it? Hell yeah! Do we own one ourselves? Yes, yes we do.
- Immersive gaming experience thanks to the vibration motors, four speakers and subwoofers
- Easy to assemble, easy installation
- Wireless technology
- Very comfortable
- Excellent value for money
- Compatible with other gadgets
- Easy to store
- Power chord is a little short
Buying Guide: What You Need to Know
There are two types of people in the world as far as we’re concerned: those who don’t understand the need for a gaming chair and those who will be able to recommend their top 3, with all the features and specs.
Die-hard gamers spend all-nighters or even all-weekenders racing through the streets of San Andreas or fending off aliens, saving the world or rescuing the hot chick, while in reality they’re slouched on a couch that wouldn’t even be comfortable for a potato; it’s this that gives gaming a bad name. Bad posture and long hours in a chair is a 21st-century phenomenon that has led to “sitting disease”, caused by a sedentary lifestyle in the wrong chair.
You’ll only truly understand the need for a gaming chair when you’ve been sitting for 52 hours straight wandering the Continent in Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and while it might be your first priority to cheat death three or four times in a virtual world, we only get one go at life in reality. Whether you believe it or not sitting badly is taking years off of our lives, which is why it’s a good move to invest in the best gaming chair your budget will allow.
So what do you look for when you’re shopping for a gaming chair? It’s safe to say the most important thing is comfort. Yes, budget is too but you can get some ergonomically designed gaming chairs for under $50 so don’t for a second think comfort equals loads of cash. Other factors to consider include:
Let’s take a look at each of the above in a little more detail.
Ultimately comfort is the most important thing when it comes to a gaming chair. No matter the bells or whistles, what you spent on it or even if it hovers above the floor if it’s not comfortable you’ll have pissed your money down the drain if you can’t bear to sit in it longer than half an hour. Unless you’re playing Candy Crush during a tea break.
What you need is an ergonomic chair that provides superior comfort for extended periods of time. They usually come with additional features like headrests, armrests, and cushioning. Ideally, you want one that you can adjust, tilt and swivel to suit your personal preferences. It’s 2017, comfort is a must!
Another essential feature to consider when deciding on a gaming chair is its ergonomic design. The general rule of thumb is the more you can adjust it, the more user-friendly the chair is. In other words, if you are able to customize it to suit your height and body type along with a few other bits. In our opinion there are a few important adjustment features to look out for, but trying to get an ergonomic chair that covers everything might leave you bankrupt.
We consider the following to be the most important:
Armrest height control – this isn’t as common as it sounds. While a lot of chairs’ arms can be flipped up or left down, not many can be adjusted height-wise. Fixed height armrests can be very uncomfortable so it’s worth looking around.
Height control – Height control is pretty standard across all office chairs, but how high or low can they be adjusted is also important.
The tension control – the tension control is how you adjust the tension level in the backrest, by loosening it or making it tighter. What this determines is how much pressure you need to apply to the chair to be able to lean back comfortably.
The backrest lock – occasionally chairs have a feature that lets you lock the backrest in place, over and above the tension control.
Seat pan slider – the seat plan slider is exactly that; it allows you to slide the chair backward or forward.
The material or fabric used for the gaming chair you decide on will impact on how it withstands constant wear and tear and its durability. If you want a leather chair must it be genuine or will pleather do? Has it got steel parts or is it plastic? Has it got a mesh back, that will ‘breathe’ better rather than a plastic or faux leather that will leave you all sweaty? The materials will determine the price and will either add to or detract from the chair’s level of comfort. While it’s understandable to spend a small fortune on a stainless steel chair that comes with a 12-year warranty, the same can’t be said for a flimsy excuse of a seat. It’s a case of you get what you pay for when it comes to this category.
Customization and Size
Size always matters so make sure the gaming chairs has an adequate seat or buttage-area and that it is the correct height from the floor. You should be able to customize the chair to suit your needs, or adjust it if there are other gamers in the house. The right chair will be customizable and comfortable enough for you to play, watch TV or a movie, read, listen to music or even catch a few zzz’s.
The more added features there are the more the gaming chair will cost. Depending on what they are, we suggest you ask yourself if it’s adding any value, for example, an input and output jacks get a big tick from us while built-in speakers, not so much. Decide what you need, what you want and what you can do without, especially if it affects the price.
Talking of price, this is very much a determining factor when it comes to a gaming chair. We always suggest you buy the best you can afford, but that doesn’t mean the best chair is exorbitantly expensive. Some cost a lot because you’re buying a brand, while others could offer a lot more for a lot less because they’re an unknown make. You can get a great chair for under $100 or you can spend $1000; it’s relative to what you can afford. Keep in mind that the best chair for gaming is not necessarily the most expensive.
When we talk about compatibility we’re not referring to you and your gaming chair being in a relationship kind of compatible. Rather, check if the chair you have your eye on is compatible with other gaming consoles like a PS4, an Xbox One or 360, a Nintendo and even a Gameboy, as well as extra accessories and gadgets.
There are currently more than 1.2 billion people who enjoy playing video games around the world, and they generally agree that passion, skill and a comfortable chair are the most important factors.
If you are one of them and you’re spending an excessive amount of time in a chair playing games on your PC or on your console you need to consider getting the right chair, if you haven’t already. Besides comfort, a pragmatic approach is necessary even if you feel you don’t need it.
It’s a known fact that to be healthy when you’re older, you need to take care of yourself while you’re young. Sitting for long periods of time in a chair for gaming that isn’t supportive can carry long-term health repercussions, with back pains and bad posture affecting you much later in life.
What you do need to remember, regardless of the chair you have, is it’s still important for you to get up every now and then and walk around a bit, in between levels or if there’s a break in a match. Sitting disease has serious health implications and can result in heart and respiratory problems, obesity, and diabetes to name a few.
Be wise, ergonomize!
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