I’m sure you’ve seen commercials for high-end gaming chairs that promise to give you the best gaming experience. But do they really make that big of a difference?
I decided to put it to the test and see for myself. I gathered up three different gaming chairs–a $100 model, a $200 model, and a $400 model–and played games on each one for an hour. Then I compared my results.
Spoiler alert: the more expensive models didn’t perform that much better than the cheaper ones.
So does that mean you should just save your money? Keep reading to find out!
Why Play Games in a Chair?
Most people play games either on consoles or their computers. Both of those options are fine, but there are some pretty awesome upsides to playing PC games seated instead of standing.
Tall players often complain about how uncomfortable it is to tower above enemies, especially when they’re backed up against a wall. Seated play allows you to see more of the map and keep your enemies in front of you.
You can also use benches and other raised surfaces for cover, which gives you an advantage over players who try to hide behind low obstacles like barrels and fences. If you lean forward, you can run faster without bouncing around on top of your desk. And when you’re done playing, you can sit back and relax without aching feet.
But the main reason to play PC games seated is that it’s much healthier than standing. Still don’t believe me? An actual doctor told me so:
“The best posture for your spine is slightly reclined,” says Dr. Andrew Healey, an orthopedic surgeon and spinal researcher at UCSF. “Whether you’re talking about your spine’s neutral position, or what is optimal for your back and neck comfort and health.”
But let’s be honest; you aren’t going to play games standing up all day.
So why not try a gaming chair?
They’re more comfortable than your regular office chair…most of the time. And they make it easier to reach those keys that always seem to be in the way. Plus, a good gaming chair has a lot more adjustability than a regular office one.
So if you’re going to play games seated anyways, why not choose a chair that makes your experience as comfortable as possible? I know all of this is true from experience, but can they really make that big of a difference? I decided to find out.
The $100 Chair: The Best Budget Gaming Chair
This one is called the VICTONE Gaming Chair, and it only costs about $100. How did it perform?
Well, for starters, it’s very comfortable. It has thick padding everywhere you sit, which is great for your back. And the chair supports both your lumbar region and your lower body with big, soft pillows. Plus there are 360 degrees of adjustable armrests.
Unfortunately, it also has a pretty cheap appearance. I didn’t mind the giant logo in the middle of everything, but some people might. It doesn’t seem to be particularly durable, either: multiple times during my play sessions I felt like I was going to break the chair’s flimsy armrests and five-legged base. And while the chair is comfy and adjustable, it isn’t very well ventilated. After an hour of play, I was sweating like crazy!
So if you’re mainly looking for comfort and a low price tag, the VICTONE Gaming Chair might be worth considering. But don’t expect to win any beauty or durability contests.
The $200 Chair: The Best Mid-Priced Gaming Chair
The next chair I tested was the RESPAWN RSP-110 Racing Style Gaming Chair. It costs about $200, so it’s a little pricier than the VICTONE chair I reviewed earlier…but does it have any performance benefits to match?
The most obvious upgrade is that the seat looks much better. It has a racer-style design with silver accents and red lights on the sides for a cool futuristic look. There’s also a drink holder to keep your favorite beverage close by, and the armrests are much more solid than those on the VICTONE chair.
But you don’t have to take my word for it: this is officially the most comfortable office chair I’ve ever sat in. Not only does it feel great on your back, but the lumbar support pillows are very large and padded with memory foam. The armrests are also cushioned, which does wonders for your wrists when you’re typing or gaming.
There’s even a little nook in between the seat and back cushion to keep your lower legs warm. It’s hard to describe, but it feels fantastic on a cold day.
The only downside to the RESPAWN RSP-110 Gaming Chair is that it isn’t as adjustable as some of the cheaper office chairs out there. But since you’re going to spend most of your time sitting comfortably upright, this tradeoff is totally worth it.
In my opinion, this chair is the best $200 you can spend on a new office/gaming chair. It looks good, feels great, and offers all of the comforts you could possibly want for extended play sessions.
The $400 Chair: The Best High-End Gaming Chair
For this final review, I chose the CORSAIR WW T2 ROAD WARRIOR Gaming Chair. It was designed specifically with professional gamers in mind, and it costs about $400. So does it live up to the hype?
It really does!
First of all, this chair looks amazing with its big racing stripes and bright LED lighting. And like the RESPAWN RSP-110 Gaming Chair reviewed earlier, it’s very comfortable with thick padding everywhere you sit.
But there were a couple of things that really stand out about this chair:
The first is the way it handles weight. This thing feels rock solid, and I never felt like it was going to tip over on me. It also has a large, stable base, which is nice when you’re rocking back and forth in the chair.
The second thing is the armrests. They’re a bit lower than on other office chairs, which makes it easier to rest your elbows when you’re playing a game. Higher armrests can get in the way of your mouse and keyboard, so that’s a big plus if you don’t want to take your hands off the controls.
The last thing I really like about this chair is the design on the back of the seat — it looks great, and provides lumbar support when you lean forward.
Honestly, if money wasn’t a factor, I’d probably spend my day’s gaming in this CORSAIR RWW T2 Road Warrior chair. It’s so comfortable that I could easily fall asleep in it…which is a good thing because you need to sleep when you’re playing games all day!
But even if gaming chairs are out of your price range, don’t worry about your back while sitting at your desk. Over the years I’ve tried almost every kind of office chair under the sun, and my favorite is still this one. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a high-end gamer chair, but it’s much cheaper…and will do an awesome job keeping your back comfortable while you’re at work.
So what’s the verdict?
Honestly, there’s no such thing as the perfect office/gaming chair. There are too many different shapes, sizes, and budgets for everyone to get their dream chair.
But if you’re looking for a fantastic gaming chair with plenty of comfort and style, it’s hard to beat the RESPAWN RSP-110 Gaming Chair. At $200 it’s a great deal, and it offers all of the features I love about high-end gaming chairs — without any of the expensive fluff.
If you’re not a big fan of racing-style chairs, don’t worry: there are plenty of other options available at Amazon. And whatever chair you choose, just remember that good lumbar support is going to be your best friend.
I hope this article helped you find a new chair that’s comfortable enough to keep you playing for years. I know it’s a tough decision whether or not a new gaming chair is worth the high price tag — but trust me, it is.
Now is your chance to let me know what you think of this article, or to ask any questions you might have! Leave a comment below so we can keep this conversation going, and I’ll see you next time.