Shiny Chair. I Want It.
I know you know what I’m talking about—those cool, funky-looking chairs that you see everywhere these days. In youtube videos, twitch streams, maybe even in your neighbor’s living room. “It adds to my performance, bro” perhaps you’ve heard statements like these in gaming chats or from the mouths of self-proclaimed “pro gamers’.
The thought of purchasing one of these bad boys has probably even crossed your mind. However, should you actually do it? Well, yes and no. The answer for this, as with many things in life, is subjective. Let’s dive right in.
Here are our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the gaming chairs!
Understanding Gaming Chairs
The Rise of Gaming Products
Gone are the days when gaming would just be plugging a console into your TV. Or installing games onto your family PC. Every product has a ‘gamer’ version now and I mean, everything.
From gaming PCs, laptops, monitors, keyboards, mouses to phones, and of course, chairs. To an average consumer, this might just seem like a marketing ploy; but professional gamers value these variants. A high frame rate might just be the difference between winning or losing.
While having specialized gaming PCs makes sense, a gaming chair might not look like the best investment at a glance.
The Arrival of Gaming Chairs
Sports car seat company DXRacer introduced gaming chairs in 2006. They saw a gap in the market and were inspired to fill it. The product was well-received, and this marked the beginning of gaming chairs. Post-2011, gaming chairs sales saw massive growth due to the increasing popularity of esports and streaming platforms like Twitch.
Gaming chairs are also quite popular with YouTubers, who have played a significant role in their success. A well-known example is YouTuber, Pewdiepie, who partnered with Clutch Chairz to launch one of his own.
Here’s a fun fact. In 2019, the gaming chair market reached a combined revenue of over 65 Million USD!. Revenue is expected to reach 89 Million USD by 2025. Damn.
Also read: Best Taric Skins
What’s The Difference?
Gaming chairs are in direct competition with office chairs. Both are intended for use in front of a PC and for long hours. Let’s go over some areas where the two are separate from each other.
There is a crucial difference to note between gaming and standard office chairs right off the bat. Style. Style. Style. Some might say that the looks of a gaming chair alone are worth the price.
On one side, you have a regular old office chair, monotonous and boring. Also, on the other side, you get a flashy, colorful throne, which is literally a race car seat! One reminds you of Monday mornings, and the other would blow your 12-year-old self’s mind. However, is that all the difference? The looks? Or is there something else?
Buying gaming or office chairs can be a confusing affair. The reason being, the chair market is vast and has a large variety of options and variants. Gaming and Office chairs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so regardless of your frame, you can find a great fit.
The price range itself is pretty broad. Starting from 55 USD for entry-level chairs, moving all the way up to over 10,000 USD for the elite ones.
Well, for starters, good gaming chairs are typically designed with ergonomics as their primary focus. They’re built specifically to maintain your posture in the long run by promoting active sitting. Gaming chairs, on average, have bucket seats, long backrests with a headrest, thicker padding, and cushions for support. On the other hand, standard office chairs come with a basic fabric seat and very little back support.
When you compare similarly priced low-end office and gaming chairs, the gaming chair looks more appealing. At the same price, you not only get a more remarkable design, but you also get more adjustments. Apart from being more comfortable right out of the box, gaming chairs have way more adjustable parts.
You can adjust their seats, armrests, seat angles, cushions, and backrests according to your needs, making for a more relaxed gaming/working experience. Most backrests are around 30”-33” in height and about 55” wide. Also, with sizes going both up and down the spectrum. The user’s body has to adjust on the office chair, often causing bad posture and pain.
While there are some office chairs that also offer adjustability, most standard office chairs are pretty basic. The more affordable office chairs are built for mass production and sales. Therefore, they rarely inspire any emotion or feeling. The chairs feel like they look too. Just boring.
Not to say, they’re without any merit. They do what they’re supposed to do. Give you a place to sit with some support and comfort.
If you move onto a more mid-range budget, though, then things start to get interesting. Mid-range office chairs offer a much better value for money when it comes to comfort. As we move up the costs, office chairs start to look more appealing. Office chair manufacturers don’t have to spend as much on the design and graphics. Also, this allows them to focus on the comfort and moving parts.
Therefore, they get more comfortable than gaming chairs. With gaming chairs, there’s a high chance that you’re paying for the brand name and hype. Showy logos and flashy brand graphics add more to the price than you may think. However, you can get a similar off-brand chair for much less than a branded one. They’ll most likely have the same features and comfort, but you’ll pay a lot less. If you’re comfortable with sacrificing the brand name, that is.
Everything in the high-end is gold, it seems. In the upper echelon of places to keep your butt, both office and gaming chairs work well. Want excellent back support? Check out the Verte office chair from Anthro. With 11 torsion spring-loaded bearing joints, reminiscent of Doc Ock’s arms from Spiderman 2.
These mold to the shape of your spine and lock into place. Or maybe you want to take your gaming to the next level with the insane Acer Predator Thronos. Coming in at a starting price of $13,999, this gaming chair is an absolute beast. It’s a complete gaming setup of its own, with a powerful PC, highly adjustable parts, multiple monitors, haptic feedback from the seat, a camera for streaming, cup holders, reclining & massaging seats, and of course, RGB lighting. Phew, now that’s crazy.
Also read: Most Popular Items in League of Legends
Now that we’ve gone through everything there is to know about gaming chairs and their rivals, the office chairs, what can we conclude? Like I said at the start of this article, the answer lies with you. In other words, entirely subjective.
Depending on your age, body type, and other factors, you might be inclined to lean towards either one. Gaming chairs might look cool to your average teenage gamer, but they stick out like a sore thumb in professional settings. For instance, It might seem embarrassing to attend a Zoom Meet on a gaming chair. Moreover, The bucket seats might suffocate some or provide great comfort to others—plenty of factors.
All in all, you should go for what seems like the best fit for you. Never mind the critics or hyper-beasts. After solid consideration, if you feel like a gaming chair is right for you, then, by all means, go right ahead and buy one. Above all, what matters is your comfort and taste, because you’re going to be the one sitting in the chair.