Whether you throw on Call of Duty to relax after a long day or use Battlefield to hone your shooting skills, games are an excellent escape from the world. Not only do PC and platform games let you tune-into a different reality, but occasionally they give you a chance to fine-tune your skills. The strategy component of war games especially is a fantastic way to keep your mind sharp, first-person shooters enhance motor coordination, and multiplayer games are a terrific way to keep in touch with buddies and foster team spirit.
But, as anyone who’s ever played a gaming tournament knows, it’s all too easy to kink your neck and strain your back — particularly without a proper chair. Picking a gaming chair is about more than just comfort, it’s a matter of posture and lumbar support. Selecting a quality gaming chair ensures that when eventually achieve victory, it isn’t a Pyrrhic one for your back and spine.
Hbada Gaming Chair
If you’re looking for a chair that can keep up with even the most intense gaming needs, consider the Hbada Ergonomic Gaming Chair. Able to support a full 300 pounds, this chair can handle whatever you throw at it. The reclining backrest lets you lean back while storming a building in Call of Duty or stay upright while racing on a PC game. With adjustable armrests, you can find the best position of support to keep you comfortable. The ergonomic design stands out especially with regards to lumbar support, with the cushioned back helping you stay comfortable by preventing muscle fatigue. Made of durable leather material, this swivel chair can take your gaming experience to a new level. [Buy]
KLIM Esports Gaming Chair
For those who make gaming a huge part of their everyday life, the KLIM Esports Gaming Chair is a worthy choice. All parts of this chair are precisely designed to optimize support and minimize muscle fatigue. The prominent foam cushioning at the lumbar region of the back lets you lean comfortably in any position. The neck support is of equal merit. Paired with the adjustable armrests, it lets you game easily and without placing unnecessary strain on your system. It even reclines to an almost completely flat position to encourage rest. With an sleek look that fits into any gaming setup, this chair is built to give you an edge while playing. [Buy]
AutoFull Gaming Chair
Want something with a modern look that can keep up with your gaming style? Consider the Autofull Racing Style Gaming Chair for its unique design and high-functioning padding. While it does come at a moderately higher price point, the quality and durability make it worth the extra cost. It’s able to support hundreds of pounds with ease and can accommodate even the tallest gamers. The height support is matched with adjustable armrests and a high headrest. Featuring smooth-rolling wheels that let you move around easily, this chair lets you be comfortable enough to truly feel immersed in the game. [Buy]
OFM ESS Gaming Chair
Looking for a race car-style gaming chair that takes ergonomic support seriously? Take a look at the OFM ESS Gaming Chair. It blends the virtues of a standard office chair with the extra padding and support needed to accomodate long gaming sessions. The seat itself is over five inches thick, with plush that can support the lumbar part of your spine. This meets the fold-up armrests which let you choose either support or full mobility. Paired with the swiveling component at the base of the chair, you can easily maneuver between screens. Supporting up to 275 pounds, this chair is ideal for those who like both platform and PC games. From World of Warcraft to Call of Duty, this chair lets you feel the thrill of the game without leaving you sore afterwards. [Buy]
X Rocker Video Gaming Chair
If gaming is all about relaxing for you, then the X Rocker Video Gaming Chair is definitely something you should check out. It features a prominent, fixed base that keeps the chair steady in its position. The silver color matches the rigid armrests, offering balance and support while you play. The main part of the chair is made of black leather and angled to relax your muscles while in use. With a cushioned base and padded headrest, the key virtue of this chair is comfort. Keep in mind that, because of the curved design of this recliner, it is only well-suited to playing platform games, but otherwise this chair has got you covered. [Buy]
Respawn 900 Racing Style Recliner
So many games are really about eliminating the stress of work, and the Respawn 900 Racing Style Recliner Gaming Chair is built for those who take the world of games seriously. It features a fixed base and swivel-top chair, letting you turn over a full 360 degrees without the chair moving from position. Everything from the armrests to the back support is covered in a thick cushion and topped with a soft leather material. The red and black color scheme adds a sleek edge, making it a good fit for any gaming room. It supports up to 275 pounds with ease, even when in a reclined position. With everything from cupholders to adjustable height control, this chair is built to bring you right into the gaming universe. [Buy]
Flash Furniture X10 Gaming Chair
Are you a bit more of a part-time gamer? Prefer to get in a quick round of Spec Ops after you finish up at the gym? If that’s the case, then check out the Flash Furniture X10 Gaming Chair. While its design may be too basic for those who spend hours at a time gaming, it is comfortable and supportive enough for casual gamers. It touts a trendy color scheme and strong build. The swivel base sits on wheels, letting you move around in the chair and quickly get from place to place. With padded armrests and sufficient neck support, this chair helps keep your muscles relaxed — no matter how intense the game may get. [Buy]
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Different types of gaming chairs
Chairs for PC games
Similar to a chair you would find in an office, this type of gaming chair is fairly basic in design. It has the ergonomic qualities of an office chair (lumbar and neck support) and will usually include armrests. In most cases, the chairs are made out of leather and have a bucket-style seat with padded cushions. Many chairs include Bluetooth in the headrest. Usually, these chairs have a swivel design with wheels on the base.
Chairs for platform games
Though many classic games are available on a computer, most serious gamers prefer consoles — and that means finding a compatible chair. This type of gaming chair presents like a streamlined recliner with added features like cupholders and pockets for controllers. Most platform gaming chairs have a firm base free of wheels to keep it firmly in place. Either they will offer a jack for headphones or have speakers built into the structure. Generally, these are a bit more expensive than PC gaming chairs.
Per the namesake, the hybrid blends the benefits of PC and platform chairs. A hybrid chair looks like it could fit into an office setting, though has extra cushioning and support for gaming activities. Often, the chair can recline but won’t appear angled off the hop. It will incorporate padding on the neck and substantial support for the back. Most hybrid chairs will have arms that fold down. While you can find some with a wheeled base, you are more likely to find models with a fixed base setup. Like other gaming chairs, these usually have Bluetooth or headphone hookups as well.
Key features of gaming chairs
Holding a controller for hours at a time naturally leads to strain in the arms and shoulders. The armrests on gaming chairs are there to support your arms while you play. Since PC chairs expect you to play at a desk, usually the arms have less padding. Conversely, platform chairs are cushioned and often fold down to enhance convenience.
Though all gaming chairs will have cushions designed to mitigate stress on the back, not all back support is made alike. Look for lumbar support — extra cushioning designed to pad the base of your spine. While the padding is useful, the positioning and structure of that cushioning are of equal importance. Aim for padding that is sectioned off, as that will minimize wear and tear and enhance overall support.
If you’ve ever kinked your neck after a long gaming session, you know just how critical the headrest is on your gaming chair. This feature is a blend of angle, cushion, and height. The headrest should be adjustable, letting you find the right angle to let your head lie comfortably. It should cushion you firmly yet gently so as to minimize strain. Generally, the higher the headrest, the better.
Any quality gaming chair will let you contour the positions of its individual components. In most cases, you can expect the armrests to fold down, letting your arms move freely. The height of the chair itself should be adjustable using a lever control. Many chairs also incorporate a recliner feature, so that you can choose whether to take a relaxed walk in the world of Skyrim or perform a shock attack on C.O.D.
Advantages of owning a gaming chair
- Limits muscle strain: Properly setup gaming chairs support the muscle groups you engage while playing online games. Instead of tensing your muscles to stay in position while using the controller, the chair lets your muscles relax, thus limiting strain.
- Facilitates relaxation: Using a gaming chair can help you stay in a comfortable position, keeping your muscles relaxed. A key to managing stress is finding healthy outlets, and gaming is one of them. The USO also offers a lot of services if you are looking to kick it up a notch.
- Posture: Even if you usually have great posture, it’s only natural to lean forward when enthusiastic about your gameplay. This can lead to achy shoulders and a literal pain in the neck. A well set-up chair eliminates this risk and keeps you prepared for more physically intensive activities like camping and hiking.
- Circulation: It’s no secret that blood flow is important, but sitting in a chair and gaming out can restrict your circulation. The ergonomic design of a gaming chair facilitates the movement of blood through your extremities, preventing your hands and feet from falling asleep while you play.
- Endurance: The key to succeeding on the digital battlefield is to keep your energy up. By promoting circulation and minimizing the risk of fatigue, you can play for longer stretches of time. A good gaming chair keeps you comfortable during gameplay so you don’t tap out prematurely.
Gaming chair pricing
- Under $200: Gaming chairs in this price range tend to be quite basic. You can find both PC chairs and hybrids in this range, though they are likely to wear down more quickly.
- Between $200 and $500: This is the sweet spot for gaming chairs. You can find all types of chairs in this category, equipped with all the necessary ergonomic features.
- Over $500: Though you can find some gaming chairs in this range, unless you play games professionally it’s probably better to pick a chair that is a bit more cost-effective.
How we chose our top picks
By scouring the internet for reliable sources, we analyzed the benefits of gaming chairs. We sought out the best-reputed manufacturers and looked through their chairs to find the options that meet the most demanding standards. We used information provided by trusted sites like the Chair Institute to determine what is expected in terms of the chair structure. With this information, we tracked down models that feature quality textiles and sufficient support. Gaming is about relaxing while staying sharp. Keeping this in mind, we also relied on feedback from veterans we know and trust and focused on function and durability when picking out the best gaming chairs to serve those who served.
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