Best Gaming Chair: What To Look For

If you’re in the market to buy a gaming chair, chances are you’re still contemplating what kind you should go for. It’s important to determine how you’re going to use it, how often, and in what kind of circumstances. This article will help you choose the right gaming chair for you.

Looking to buy? Check out our Top 7 Gaming Chairs

On the surface, Gaming Chairs may seem just like ordinary Chairs (Some
in fact are) or ridiculous cash grabs using the word gaming and outrageous
color schemes (Some are as well) but like most gaming gear, what started out as
a purposeful distinction has led to a market filled with fantastic options and
not so great knock-off items. When looking for a gaming chair there are some
key features to consider that make the distinction between office chair and
gaming chair worth it. A good chair will help you game comfortably for hours,
protect your floor, change depending on your needs, and feel amazing.

Material

Synthetic Leather

It’s not actually leather. Synthetic leather has the same look as
leather from far away, but is actually made from a synthetic plastic. The
material is easy to clean and as long as you catch the spills quickly, you
won’t have any staining. Exposed to time and sun, cheap older synthetic leather
can sometimes fracture and peel off, exposing the material below. High-quality
synthetic leather usually lasts a very long-time without much maintenance.
Synthetic leather can rip and tear just like standard leather so it’s important
to still be gentle and keep it away from sharp objects. Synthetic leather can
also be a tad hot in the sun as it absorbs heat really well so keep that in
mind if you live in a sunny climate.

Genuine Leather

This is a pretty rare find in the Gaming Chair world but some manufacturers offer genuine high-quality leather made from real animals. One of the benefits of leather is the ability to treat it and maintain it over years. Good leather can last a very long time. They also have a unique feel, texture, and colorization that makes the leather surfaces look sharp. Every leather piece comes from a real animal such as a lamb or cowhide, meaning that imperfections will be on the leather. This gives a unique character to the chair as well. You can expect to pay a lot of money for real leather as it’s a lot harder to produce.

Cloth or Cotton

Traditionally a cheaper option, less expensive gaming chairs are usually going to be made from cloth or felt materials. Despite being more affordable, cloth chairs aren’t widely recommended unless they are cleanable. Cloth soaks up spills, stains overtime, easily keeps odor. So marathon gaming sessions where an intense match leaves sweaty palms and perhaps a sweaty back may leave your chair moist and pungent. Add to this that cloth can mold indoors without proper care and you’ll want to make sure at the very least, any cloth material is somewhat removable for washing.

Weaving and Mesh

Most of the top office chairs have mesh or weaving as their material. It is very breathable and molds to the shape of the person sitting in them. While synthetic leather chairs need molded foam to give support, the mesh chairs use tension and gravity to find the best ergonomic balance. If you are looking to get an office chair, I recommend getting one with mesh.

Casters

Dual Caster

This is the most common type of caster that will come with your gaming
chair. It spreads out the load between both wheels which protects the wheels
and floor from a single point of pressure.

Hardwood Caster

There are two common types of
casters for use with hardwood floors
. The polyurethane and rubber wheels will ensure that your chair doesn’t
scratch the floor or put unsightly dents in it as you are rolling around. If
you buy from a well-known chair manufacturer, they will offer multiple options
for your casters. Opt for the soft-wheeled type if you can.

Carpet Casters

If you are rolling around on the carpet, you are going to want a hard wheeled caster. This will help cut through the carpet fibers and won’t tangle. In my home, I also use a plastic chair mat underneath my chair that helps it roll easily.

Arm Rests

Fixed

Budget chairs often have fixed armrests and specifically, they try to target the most common sizes. If you dislike armrests being at a specific height or placement, look for a chair that allows adjustment or even removing the arms. If you really don’t like armrests, arm free chairs are available and can actually be cheaper. In general, though, it’s risky to buy any chair that offers minimal adjustment and will undoubtedly be a disappointment in comfort, ergonomics, and design.

Height Adjustable

Height is generally the most important feature for those looking at arm
rests. Height adjustable allow you to lower and raise the rests as needed and
most users will be fine with just this adjustment layer. It’s commonly
supported and any chair that is worth buying should offer some basic armrest
adjustment. Those needing more freedom can opt for 4D Adjustable chairs. They
are way better for customization but usually cost more.

4D Adjustable

The most advanced arm rests basically allow users any movement they’ll
need to be comfortable or for unique gaming needs (Such as joystick or steering
wheel usage). While 3D movement makes sense, the fourth dimension may be a
stretch. Basically 4D refers to arm rests that also allow for tilt control,
this is useful for a variety of reasons including unique desks such as writing
desks that are angled. In general, 4D armrests are as flexible as arm rest can
be. Although the term is cheesy and a bit confusing, it’s a pretty nifty
feature and can make your experience way better.

Head Support

Head support comes in a variety of forms with gaming chairs. High backed
chairs will often be stiff and allow you to fully lean back in the chair,
sometimes they’ll offer a pillow as well for additional support. Some chairs
are designed for ergonomic support as well and have unique parts that
contribute to healthy gaming. This is usually tied closely to the height of the
gamer, so make sure you have a chair that isn’t too tall or impractical to use
for your needs.

Lumbar Support

Lumbar support refers to a design that helps keep your back in a healthy
and fit condition. Chairs offer a variety of different support features from
minimal to all encompassing padded backs. Lumbar support is actually a really
important thing for Gaming Chair owners as they often sit for multiple hours a
day. Today almost every chair touts some level of Lumbar support so it doesn’t
really seem like a feature that stands out. Truth be told you’ll want to
research how truly healthy and ergonomic every chair is for your situation.
Lumbar support is very important. Don’t go cheap if you value your back.

Manufacturer and Warranty Coverage

You get what you pay for and a lot of the discount you get from budget
chair manufacturers comes through in the form of limited warranties, cheap
materials, and unavailable customer support.

Warranty

How long is the warranty? What does it cover? How do you get a replacement?
Make sure you understand the answer to these questions before you shell out the
money on your new chair.

Customer Support

While it may seem a bit overkill to some, it’s important to know if your company offers good support. This may come in the form of warranty and part replacement or even in just being accessible if a problem occurs. Most often this will matter when the chair is purchased as even a really educated guess can’t replace the confidence you have picking up a chair in store. Despite the best research, you may get a chair that just doesn’t feel right. Good customer service will help you fix that problem pretty quickly.

What are the main types of gaming
chairs?

Gaming Chairs come in three different formats (There are more but these are the important ones) Console, Office, and Gaming. The distinctions get greater amid these chairs as well with different console chair types, colorful bright chairs, and somewhat professional-looking office designs.

1. Gaming Chairs or Racing Style
Chairs

Gaming Chairs are similar to office chairs and often practically indistinguishable beyond branding. Some of the unique gaming chair features range from practical and game-changing to bizarre and weird (Such as vibrating chairs to shake you around and simulate gameplay in shooters). The biggest difference is usually a mixture of comfort, materials, and sizing. It’s assumed that a DXRacer customer will use the chair frequently and concerns such as materials that don’t smell, comfortable foam, and interesting art are often involved. A racing-style chair usually looks like the chairs found in modern F1 dragsters or Muscle cars. They’re designed to look fast and action-packed. This can be exciting for those playing competitive games and involved with esports or jarring for those trying to tie a room together into something professional looking. Often the branding helps you as a streamer and sometimes sponsorship requires using specific gear.

Office Chairs

There isn’t much explanation required for Office chairs, they can be
minimal and small or large executive chairs. Some Gaming Chairs mimic office
design so that they’re useable in a variety of contexts. Office chairs don’t
offer all the specific features of really unique Gaming Chairs but they often
do what you need. They keep you comfortable, last for a long time, and have a
variety of materials. They probably won’t’ help you become famous on Twitch
though.    

2. Console Gaming Chairs

This is a controversial group. Console gaming chairs tend to be designed in a patronizing manner with control holsters or a low to the ground rolling appeal. That’s not to say they don’t have a place, it’s just that they’re not really what every person dreams about when purchasing a chair. Some console gaming chairs are less a good chair for gaming, and more what someone who doesn’t game’s idea of a chair for gaming is. That being said, they do have some unique features. For instance gaming chairs are often pretty low to the ground. This is because most console setups are at the same level as an entertainment center and console gamers often sit pretty close to the TV. Another perk is that some of them have on-board sound options, that some users love. We covered our two favorites and still believe they have a place in the market, but console gaming chairs are definitely not for everyone.

Make sure to check out our Console Gaming Chair Buyer’s Guide.

Features Unique to Console Chairs

So what do console gaming chairs do better? Some things they offer may
scratch the itch that a certain market has. They’re not for everybody but a few
of us love the console gaming chair format.

Storage and Pockets

Some models of console gaming chairs have a variety of storage options that you can use for controllers, extra cords, headsets, and battery packs. There are a ton of console accessories and these chairs are perfect for storing them all. This helps reduce clutter, especially if you have a setup in a small bedroom or studio apartment. Most console chairs also fold really small. For those living in a studio apartment, it’s a godsend.

Built-in Speakers

Console chairs often have speakers built. All the ones we included do. This is useful for a variety of reasons from making noise management easier to keeping headphones free (Those things cause headaches!). Just another stellar feature to think through.

Vibration

There are a few of these chairs that also vibrate based on volume and bass coming from your console. This gives you a similar feeling to the controller’s rumble function, but with your entire body. If you want a fully immersive experience, use the vibration feature along with the built-in speakers for something unique. It takes a special user to like this feature because it can almost feel like the chair is trying to bully you. Still, nothing beats the vibrations during massive explosions in COD. Just be aware that watching movies in a chair like that can be quite jarring.

3. Rocker and Pedestal Style

Console chairs come in two major styles, rocker, and pedestal. The advantage is that both are quite low to the ground meaning that using an entertainment center is generally a good experience. The pedestal is firm and a bit better for most people (It feels more stable) while the rocker is really good for those with a small space or low tv. Both of these models often fold up as well for amazingly small storage. They’re options for those who want a unique form-factor.

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