Most people recognise the sheer number of gaming consoles on the market. From the Xbox Series X to Nintendo Switch, PS5 and even the humble PC, we’re never short on blogs, reviews and videos of the latest tech and accessories.
While a lot of our time and money is spent on decking out these devices with keyboards, controllers and headsets, little thought is given to the position of our posteriors. Gaming chairs are becoming more and more established as the true gadget that can give you the edge online, and we’d love to tell you why.
In this helpful guide, we’ll explore some of the comfiest gaming chairs available, and consider what makes them unique from other similar products on offer. After all, who wants to sacrifice luxury when entering the virtual world?
Whether you’re looking for a gift or shopping for yourself, we’ve whittled down our top six cosiest chairs to suit every kind of player and budget. The real question is, are you game?
What's a gaming chair?
Though it may not seem obvious at first glance, gaming chairs are actually very different to their dining and office alternatives. Popularised by DXRacer in 2006, following the birth of the Esports industry, the first gaming chair was designed to look like a modified racing seat, featuring innovative and ergonomic components.
Modern variants tend to follow this original blueprint, employing the same snug design as DXRacer’s gold-standard prototype. They also typically feature a number of adjustable elements, from backrest recline to flexible height and swivel, not to mention the beneficial addition of thick padding and contours to support your neck and back.
The three most prevalent styles are commonly identified as:
- PC and Racing: Designed to mimic the feel of an opulent sports car interior, these deviations often exhibit tall, padded backs with sleek and sophisticated designs. They tend to be extremely comfortable and sturdy.
- Rocker: As the name suggests, these chairs lie on the floor and are designed to rock back and forth. The balance angle has often been specially calculated to maximise relaxation at a distance from the console.
- Floor: These are the least structured examples of a gaming chair, and therefore the least expensive. They have little to no extraneous features, and are highly compatible with the casual or intermittent gamer.
Nowadays, gaming chairs are an essential part of any player’s gaming arsenal, and quintessentially offer comfort beyond compare. A good chair will crucially optimise your posture and boost energy levels, keeping you powering on through every virtual realm.
What makes gaming chairs unique?
Like most other pews around your home, gaming chairs were bred out of need rather than want. Following the Korean economic crash of November 1997, hordes of jobless youth filled their free time with gaming on StarCraft, the military sci-fi media franchise owned by Blizzard Entertainment. Spending so much of their day sat down, many began to experience spinal discomfort and so, the gaming chair was born.
Unlike most other pews around your home, gaming chairs are designed to combine practicality and comfort, never compromising on the latter. Though most often compared to office chairs, probably the closest alternative in function and appearance, they’re actually pretty different.
Structurally, they’re likely to follow the same set of principles: casters, padding, swivelling bases and armrests, plus a variety of adjustable settings. Visually, however, the differences are a little more obvious. Where office chairs tend to favour simplicity and minimalism in design, gaming chairs showcase a more embellished look, placing emphasis on striking accent colours or character-oriented covers. They also often feature a higher back with noticeable lumbar supports, a quality that’s seldom visible on general working chairs.
Things to consider before buying your gaming chair
Ultimately, personal preference plays a massive part in choosing your gaming companion. Characteristically similar in structure, design and internal composition, gaming chairs can often all blend into one, and the search for your perfect match can certainly feel like a minefield.
Fear not, as we’re here to help with this confusion! In the hope of pointing you in the right direction, below is a list of some of the most common features a gaming chair can exhibit: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a good place to start, determine which unique attributes are best suited to your needs, and we can take it from there…
- Bucket seat design: Many gaming chairs adopt this raised-side style, as inspired by the plush, opulent car seats of Formula 1 racing. Designed (in the ‘real’ world) to prevent vigorous side-to-side movement, their function on gaming chairs is more for aesthetics, giving the illusion of a cradling, comforting base. Though it serves little purpose overall, and can be frustrating for those who prefer cross-legged gaming, it can also add that extra layer of support with a higher-density foam centre.
- Raised front lip: Again, borrowed from the design of actual car seats, this one serves as much ergonomic purpose as the example listed above. In a car, this feature is used to elevate the driver’s legs, so reaching the pedals is easier and more comfortable. In a game, you don’t need the same support. However, when tilted at such a position, a raised front lip has been proven to reduce pressure build-up in the back of the thighs, so can help to alleviate discomfort.
- Adjustable armrests: If this is something you’re looking for, an armrest that pivots inwards can certainly offer extra support to those holding a controller.
- Extensive back recline: Some gaming chairs offer a back recline of up to 180 degrees, creating a horizontal bed. Comfortable as this may sound, it’s not always essential for maximising the gaming experience. For those that can happily spend many hours ensconced in the virtual world, a chair with high reclining capability could definitely help to avoid general aches and pains.
- Detachable pillows: Perhaps the most unique feature of gaming chairs more generally, these ergonomic flourishes can certainly bring that added pizzazz to your living room. Often displaying an adjustable strap, the height of lumbar and back pillows can often be altered to bring added comfort to any area in need of special support. In this case especially, customisation is at your fingertips.
- Fixed headrest: Once again harking back to the classic race car design, most gaming chairs opt for the fixed headrest as an extra support for the sitter’s neck and head. Intended to contour and cradle, they can bring that crucial element of comfort to any game or gamer.
OnBuy’s top six comfiest gaming chairs
Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s delve straight into OnBuy’s top selection of the comfiest gaming chairs on offer. Having decided which features are most important to you and your gaming experience, browse through the options below to help you level up!
Pros: Extremely well-padded with wireless audio and Bluetooth connectivity, ideal for those who prefer the truly immersive side to gaming
Cons: Erring on the pricier side, it may not be best suited to lower budgets. Its large size can also make the X Rocker appear unwieldy and imposing
Looking at the features listed above, there’s not much that the X-Rocker doesn’t deliver on in comparison with its competitors. The new and improved version of the brand’s classic design, this gaming chair showcases a number of added benefits in appearance and connectivity combined.
Allowing gamers to change their style on the fly, perhaps the most unique feature is the inclusion of LED edge lighting with colours to suit every mood and décor. The dedicated vibration motors, as well as the multi-stereo speakers and subwoofer, only add to the chair’s versatility and quality, offering you the full experience as you hear and feel your gaming. It also includes an analogue wireless transmitter that directly connects to your TV, console or audio, removing the need for bulky and unattractive chains of cables.
Delivering on the comfort front too, the X-Rocker’s gaming-inspired gunstock armrests, combined with a pedestal base and deep foam interior, ensure you’ll never feel unpleasant pain again.
The only disadvantage we can spot is the heftier price-tag, unsurprising when you consider all it has to offer. The 110cm height and 65cm width may also present a problem if your space is slightly more limited.
Pros: Fully adjustable seat height with 360-degree swivel technology, built-in tilt control rocks with your weight
Cons: Bare armrests may not be the best for those who use controllers, doesn’t come with speakers
The JL Comfurni certainly delivers on flexibility and comfort. Able to fully recline, it offers you the benefit of choice, a feature conveniently continued in the adjustable seat and armrest heights, and 360-degree swivel.
Constructed on the foundations of a superior steel and load-bearing base, the frame is coated in a high-density sponge cushion, which is decorated in a sophisticated black and white design. The addition of head and lumbar cushions – stylishly sporting the embroidered JL Comfurni logo – heighten the luxuriousness of the chair, providing incredible ergonomic support that targets lower back and neck discomfort.
The high curved back, covered in breathable premium leather, further encourages better posture as the mute rolling wheels allow you to move freely around your space. It also benefits from a quick assembly time.
Unfortunately, for those who often make use of their armrests, this may not be the most appropriate option. Compared to its rivals, the JL Comfurni is fairly limited on the armrest-padding front, so doesn’t offer the same level of upper limb protection as some other examples on this list. The lack of speakers may also be a problem for the immersive thrill-seekers among you.
Pros: Simple design for relaxed and comfortable gaming, ideal for watching movies and listening to music
Cons: Like the original X-Rocker, it can be heavy and cumbersome, only available in blue
As the name suggests, the X-Rocker Adrenaline is perfect for those who love immersive gaming experiences. Boasting an in-built 2.1 audio system, it’s also seamlessly compatible with PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch devices, all easily connected with a wired TV headphone socket.
The sleek and sophisticated design means that this chair can blend with most interiors and décor colours, and the smooth lines don’t jut out and impose upon your space. The gold lining only adds to its luxuriousness as a lavish and opulent accessory. The primary material itself is fantastic quality and can be easily wiped down, extremely handy if you’re intending this product for children.
On the negative side however, the Adrenaline also features many of the undesirable elements common to other X-Rocker chairs and models. Like the Evo Pro, it is slightly more expensive than alternatives on the market, and can occupy a large area in smaller rooms or spaces. Weighing in at 24kg and without a swivel base, it’s also rather heavy and unwieldy, so probably not the best option for those in need of an all-rounder flexible chair.
Pros: Extensive mobility, retractable footrest, ideal for both office and gaming uses
Cons: Lack of padding on the armrests, taste-specific colours
Like the JL Comfurni, the Dripex gaming chair really delivers on flexibility, mobility and comfort combined. For the relatively cheaper price tag, this chair offers many of the benefits you’ve come to expect from the high-end, expensive accessories. Featuring seat and handrail lifting levers (each one covering at least a 6cm range), plus 360-degree base swivel rotation and multi directional wheels, this chair is multifunctional and versatile, suitable for a diverse range of uses.
The ergonomic curved metal backrest frame means you won’t be left feeling sore after hours of sitting down. The spacious cushioned seating, adjustable head and lumbar supports, and retractable footrest all help to provide extra support and comfort after long sessions of gaming or working intensely.
The backrest angle is also fully adjustable, up to 172 degrees, allowing you to fully recline into a range of handy ‘modes’, whether ‘working’, ‘gaming’, or ‘breaking’. Best of all, the faux leather material is fully breathable, premium quality and extremely easy to clean. The 9cm-thick seat cushion is also filled with natural elastic cotton, providing you with that extra level of luxury in convenient and cosy design.
The only undesirable feature is the lack of padding on the armrests, which may not be ideal if your gaming requires a controller. The red and black aesthetic may also be off-putting for those who prefer simple and understated furniture.
Pros: Fully adjustable armrests, headrest and supports, thickened frame adds to the comfort and cosiness of the chair, available in a range of colours and styles
Cons: Can appear quite heavy and bulky in smaller rooms or spaces, assembly required
This Bigzzia gaming chair would be the perfect addition to your home. Built to last, its fully adjustable frame makes it a versatile and adaptable choice for all your gaming needs. Crucially, the armrests are contoured and thickly padded, meaning you won’t have to worry about sore arms after long periods of sitting with a controller. The additional neck and lumbar pillows – artfully embroidered with the brand’s well-established name – only add to the chair’s high-end appeal and comfort factor.
Unlike many of its competitors, the Bigzzia also features a bucket seat design, which harks back to the aesthetics of a plush, swanky racing car. The high back and fixed headrest are constructed from a thickened frame, and the durable star base (featuring solid rolling casters) is certainly handy for moving over a range of various floor surfaces. Perhaps the most unique element of this chair though, is the sheer diversity of its design and colours – there really is something to suit everyone.
On the flip side, the Bigzzia occupies quite a large width, meaning it may not be best suited to offices or use under a narrow desk if PC gaming is your thing.
Pros: Superb quality throughout, thick and luxurious padding, decent adjustment levels with extra audio facilities
Cons: Like the other X-Rocker models, the Pro is on the pricier side and requires a larger space, it also has limited mobility
The all singing, all dancing X-Rocker Pro 4.1 is top of its class for quality and design. Despite the premium price point, perhaps justifiable for all it has to offer, this chair is the perfect all-rounder for any game and gamer: sleek, superior, and stylish.
With a new wireless and Bluetooth control panel expertly incorporated, the X-Rocker Pro is perhaps the most compatible chair with a number of consoles and devices, including your tablet and smartphone. The integrated headrest and seat audio systems, combined with a backrest-mounted subwoofer, fills your room with an incredible 4.1 surround sound. The dedicated tri-motion vibration also heightens the effect of a truly immersive experience.
The gunstock armrests and pedestal base make this chair solid and sturdy, while certainly not compromising on comfort. The generously padded soft foam interior makes for a cosy and lavish seat, keeping you powered and energised through hours of fun and gaming.
Despite its hefty size, standing at a height of 104cm, the faux leather exterior is understated and classic, unimposing in a room of other furniture. Its natural fibres also mean that the X-Rocker is breathable and easily cleaned with a cloth.
As with the other X-Rocker models mentioned in this guide though, you’re looking at paying a premium, especially with the Pro. The immovable base also suggests you’d have limited mobility when playing – not ideal if you prefer Esports or virtual racing games.
So, having looked through just a small sample of what OnBuy has to offer, we hope you feel more enlightened on the features and benefits of the comfiest gaming chairs available.
If you’re looking for even more inspiration, discover our full selection of gaming chairs here. With alternatives starting at just £50, why not console yourself (no pun intended) with this worthwhile and valuable investment. We promise you won’t regret it!
Please note: The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.