Is Buying A Gaming Chair Really Worth It?
On the fence about whether or not buying a gaming chair is really worth it? Wondering what the hype is all about? Whether you love to get stuck into RPG's, are a dedicated first-person shooter or prefer the old-school classics, having a professional setup can completely level up your gaming experience.
Gaming chairs can cost a pretty penny, but they are an incredibly important investment for any devoted gamer, so it’s worth doing a good amount of research before investing in one. To save you precious time that could be better spent getting to the next level, we’ve put together a cheat sheet so you can decide for yourself whether a gaming chair is right for you.
What is a gaming chair?
The first gaming chair was designed in 2006 by a company called DXRacer, previously experts in producing high-end seats for luxury sports cars. The market quickly expanded from then on, with a massive boost in sales in 2011 after Twitch's arrival and the perception that streamers with gaming chairs are classed as more serious and legit gamers.
Fast-forward to modern day, and there are plenty of gaming chair options on the market, depending on what kind of gamer you are. The most common types of gaming chairs are currently PC, racer and rocker chairs. Not sure what the difference is? Don’t sweat it! Read on to find out exactly what makes these chairs so epic, ergonomic and efficient.
While PC gaming chairs resemble regular office chairs, they go above and beyond in both their style and substance. Featuring a bucket seat, higher backrests and a generally more ergonomic gaming chair design, the PC chair boasts various impressive customisation options for added comfort and an enhanced gaming experience. As the name suggests, these chairs are ideal for PC gamers. So, whether you’re dodging a creeper in Minecraft, streaming Ninja’s Fortnite skills or going battle royale in COD Cold War, these chairs will have you sat up and ready to go ham.
Designed to very closely resemble car seats, racing chairs are fantastic for epic racing sessions but not necessarily the most comfortable option out there. Racing chairs very closely simulate the real deal and are incredible when teamed with a VR headset. Whether you’re smashing your PB in Rocket League or speeding through Mario Kart at 200cc, these chairs will allow you to really put the pedal to the metal. If you're a keen racer over any other type of games and are happy to sacrifice a little bit of comfort for the ultimate fast and furious experience, then this is the option for you!
Rocker chairs are bucket chairs designed specifically for non-racer console gaming at a desk. Usually boasting plenty of exciting stand-out gizmos and gadgets, such as built-in speakers, Bluetooth and vibration sensors, rocker chairs allow you to sit back and fully immerse yourself in the game. While these chairs let you comfortably recline for chilled-out entertainment (Animal Crossing lovers, we’re looking at you!), for the completionists out there who love a challenge, you could quite literally be sitting at the edge of your seat as the stakes are raised.
TV gaming chairs
There are plenty of other seating options out there to choose from. For example, beanbags are an excellent option for occasional gamers who want a versatile chair that lets you kick back and relax. Lightweight, relatively small in size and effortlessly portable, beanbags also make a great addition to smaller homes where space is limited. However, while it may be super squishy and comfortable to begin with, most regular beanbags don't give the support needed for longer gaming sessions, so may not be a long-term choice.
Why get a gaming chair?
Let's be honest, the main reason why most people want to buy a gaming chair is because they look cool - and there's nothing wrong with that! These chairs' unique designs and features are enough to get any gaming newbie excited about getting stuck into their favourite game.
If you're a streamer, you'll want the impressive pro gamer look that accompanies those impressive skills and rivals even the top streamers out there. Looking to level up your gaming career alongside perfecting your set-up? Check out our top tips on the essentials and extras you need to get going.
So, apart from their impressive look, why invest in a high-quality gaming chair? Well, arguably, the most important factor is the chair's ergonomics. Sitting in a chair for long periods with proper support and comfort prevents neck and back pain while improving your posture, keeping you sitting upright and your spine in alignment. All of this allows you to concentrate on going God mode and beating the final boss rather than rushing to the nearest checkpoint just so you can stretch out your back.
Is it worth getting a cheap gaming chair?
Think about it, you're going to be parking your derriere in your gaming throne for a good chunk of time. If you're a well-seasoned and serious gamer, purchasing a quality gaming chair that gives lots of support is a wise choice.
Picking up a cheaper gaming chair might seem like a good way to save money on your gaming setup, but in reality, it may not live up to the standards that you need! While there are many cheaper options on the market, generally, cheaper chairs lack the all-important ergonomics that pricier options possess. Essentially, at the very least, you need a solid, well-made chair that can take a bit of battering from those heated gaming sessions and potential rage-quits.
However, if you’re on a tight budget, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the gaming chair aesthetic! We would recommend going for comfort and prioritising adjustable armrests, neck and lumbar support over the chair's style. You can easily ramp up the aesthetics and ergonomics of your chair by customising with lumbar support pillows or even adding a shoulder and back massager for added ‘ahhhhhh’-worthy comfort levels.
Gaming chairs vs. office chairs
If you're not mad about the streamer look and would prefer to save your pennies, then a well-designed office chair that prioritises comfort over style is more than enough for the average gamer. However, it does depend on your gaming style and where you have your setup! If you're looking for a racing chair made for ultra-realistic driving simulation games, an office chair just isn't going to cut it. It's also important to consider whether you want your chair solely for gaming or to use it as an office chair as well. If you're after a versatile option that will be used for the 9-5 and beyond, comfort will be the main priority in your search.
What features to look for when buying a gaming chair
The first step in buying a gaming chair is narrowing down what you need from it. With so many features to choose from, it can feel a little daunting to know where to start. From superior techy additions that will boost your gaming experience to must-have comfort adjustments that allow you to keep playing for longer, knowing which features you're looking for will make it a lot easier to find the chair of your dreams.
Headphone support, holders for controllers and built-in speakers for surround sound are all typical features that make for a fully immersive experience. You can even easily find heated massaging gaming chairs - yes, you read that right. The stuff of legends!
Basic features, such as height and armrest adjustment, and the ability to tilt and recline make all the difference to your game. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a full-height backrest that feels like it's moulded to the shape of your spine. A chair with a little firmness is better than a super soft seat, as it is likely to give over time. More than anything, it's important to check the height and weight requirements of each gaming chair that you're looking at. After all, just like the chairs themselves, we all come in different shapes and sizes!
Lumbar support will vary from person to person. You'll want to check whether the support pillow attaches to the chair, if it comes separately and, most importantly, whether it's adjustable. You may find chairs that have the support built-in to the chair, which is great if it's exactly where you need it to be. However, it's not one-size-fits-all!
Ultimately, you want the chair's support to keep you gaming from dawn to dusk, and the energy saved from supporting your muscles will go towards powering up your gaming session - it's a win-win!
Finally, you need to ask yourself why you want a gaming chair. If you like to dip your toe in and out of the proverbial pool that is occasional gaming without wanting to commit to a big purchase, there are plenty of office chair options out there that will suit your gaming needs perfectly without the hefty price tag.
However, if you're an experienced gamer that has the funds at the ready and you want something that not only looks marvellous in its design but also supports your back during even the longest gaming sessions, then it’s a worthwhile investment - not only for your levels of comfort, but also personal record-breaking results!
Hopefully, by now, you've learned everything you need to know about whether or not a gaming chair is really worth it for you. If you want a full run-down of the gaming chairs out there, check out our ultimate guide to gaming chairs before browsing through our extensive range of gaming chairs to find the perfect perch for you. No matter which option you decide, remember, it may take some time adjusting to your new chair, so give it a few weeks before giving it your final verdict.
The information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.