Too hard, too narrow, too small: a chair can be all of these things – or simply comfortable, durable and still attractive. Seating options are a dime a dozen: stools, dining chairs, office chairs, just to name a few. But there are also gaming chairs. Designed to support your body in the best possible way, even during long periods of sitting. Many factors and characteristics play a role. Therefore: Be careful! Not all gaming chairs are the same. Looks alone can also be deceiving. But that doesn’t mean you have to do without a chic design. In this article, we’ll explain what really matters and how you can narrow down your search for the perfect model.
Ergonomic design is the be-all and end-all
To provide the best possible relief for your spine, the first thing to look at is the backrest of the gaming chair. If the design shows an S-shaped image, the basic requirement is already fulfilled. Of course, this is by no means an indicator of how well the design is adapted to your physique, but it’s a start in every respect.
In addition, there are many models that help this property with a so-called lordosis cushion. This is usually a cushion that is attached to the backrest by adjustable straps, for example, in order to relieve the area of the lumbar vertebrae. So if the backrest is kept completely flat, your back will not be adequately supported. But be careful here, too, because some manufacturers rely on a lumbar cushion just to meet ergonomic specifications. Of course, there are also industry-renowned companies that rely on a lumbar cushion, as everyone’s physique is different.
Loose cushions bugging you? There are models that have a lumbar support anchored directly into the design. But attention! It should be flexibly adjustable so that you can adapt it to your body. There are also models that only have an elevation in the area of the lumbar spine. Just to name two examples that offer a firmly integrated, but adjustable lumbar support:
- The Backforce One Plus has a lumbar support that is adjustable in height and depth and is located under the cover. This makes the model best suited for almost any body size.
- The Gaming Chair Iskur from peripheral device manufacturer Razer is also equipped with a permanently integrated lumbar support. However, this can only be adjusted in depth.
Bring movement into play: Rocking mechanism or not?
In childhood, it was always said “do not tilt and sit up straight”. In terms of table manners, maybe that’s a sensible approach. But of course, first and foremost, it has nothing to do with sitting for long periods of time. The idea today is that ergonomic sitting is also related to dynamics. If the human body remains in a single position for too long, this is not exactly beneficial to health either. Nevertheless, an upright posture is always preferable. The tilting mechanism is a very important criterion for achieving ergonomic properties. Two variants are distinguished: the normal rocker mechanism and the synchronous dynamic.
Chairs with normal rocking mechanism allow the sitter to rock forward and backward on the chair. And this is done with the entire seat, not just the backrest. However, that’s not so good, which is why some models, such as the Backforce One or Gamechanger have a synchro mechanism. Again, you can recline, but the seat doesn’t rock with you, which gives your back more to do and strengthens it.
It all comes down to the right dimensions
Surely you know the saying: for every pot there is a suitable lid. That’s pretty much how it goes when looking for a suitable gaming chair. No gaming chair has standardized dimensions or is equally suitable for every body size. That’s why it’s so important to take a look at the dimensions.
The seat should be wide enough so that your butt doesn’t just barely fit between the armrests on the seat. After all, you want to change your sitting position from time to time and, of course, sit comfortably.
Not only the width of the seat is important, but also the measure of the depth. If you have rather long legs, a gaming chair with more space to the back is suitable. As a rule of thumb, the perfect depth needs to be something like long enough for you to rest the entire bottom of your thigh comfortably on it. There should only be a margin of about 4 to 5 inches of space between the seat and the back of your knee. The Backforce One Plus, for example, allows you to adjust the seat depth, which of course makes it suitable for more people.
Some models, to further emphasize the racing seat character, are equipped with side bolsters. Again, comfort over design. What’s the point if it pinches and nips? In the long run, it becomes a test of endurance. You don’t run a marathon in shoes that are too tight. Admittedly, the stylish elements do look great and you certainly don’t want to do without them. However, they should also fulfill a function, namely to relieve your pelvis. Therefore, pay more attention to the dimensions and choose a wider seat.
Gas spring: weight plays a supporting role
No, not the weight of the chair, but your own and what the gaming chair can handle. As a rule, most reputable manufacturers specify the load limit – often you read, for example: loadable up to 130 kg. In order to enjoy your gaming chair for a long time, you should definitely stick to this. Why? This is because the installed gas spring has a certain force quotient. This determines how much weight can be placed on it in order to function properly. At this point, we don’t want to torture you with technical talk. However, it is advisable to go for a model that has at least gas spring class 3. This sets the standard for durability.
Of course, beyond that, other factors also play a role, which is why the load capacity of the gaming chair should not be exceeded. In addition to the general comfort, other components also suffer, such as the seat, the star cross, the rollers or dynamic mechanics.
A small tip on the side: If you can’t decide between two candidates, rather choose the model that can withstand a bit more. Not because we want to offend you. Solely because chairs that are designed for more weight often turn out more stable.
Round about the framework
The frame of the model should be rock solid, so that it can also withstand the stresses of everyday life. In most cases, this consists of a construction of steel tubes and metal struts, which are welded together. Some manufacturers have also installed elastic bands to allow dynamic mechanics.
One more note about the backrest, it should also be made of metal struts or some other sturdy material if possible. We can’t recommend plywood or even mesh.
However, if you like wood, you don’t have to do without it by any means. Some brands, such as Backforce, use the material to reinforce the backrest. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with plywood.
Another quality feature is that the seat along with the backrest is attached to the gas spring by metal screws via a metal plate. Particularly inexpensive chairs often use plywood seating surfaces, which can easily break.
Star base and casters
Granted, these features don’t necessarily have a direct impact on the seating experience. However, the star cross and casters are important components of a gaming chair and contribute to stability. Especially in terms of durability, it makes more sense to rely on high-quality materials. After all, you want to get something out of the purchase for a long time, right?
The star cross should therefore preferably be made of metal (specifically aluminum). This not only ensures a good stand, but also the necessary stability. Plus, it looks cool. No-name manufacturers or inexpensive brands are quite happy to rely on plastic. This is usually also very stable, but more often susceptible to wear and tear.
Of course, you’re also spoiled for choice when it comes to casters. However, you should make them dependent on your floor covering. Most often they are made of PVC. However, there are also gaming chairs that come with rubber casters. In any case, it is important that they are smooth-running. Some gaming chairs also have integrated parking brakes.
Essential: padding of the seat
In order to enjoy your chair for a long time, you should especially not disregard the seat. The quality of the foam used is important here. An indicator of longevity could be that high-density cold or cut foam has been used, which always returns to its original shape after use. Don’t let that influence you in the first place, though, because density also depends on your personal preferences. Most often, manufacturers specify values from 20 to 70 kg/m³. The lower the value, the softer and the higher the value, the harder the seat. Admittedly, it is not so easy to see whether the foam is of high quality. However, there are manufacturers you can’t go wrong with. You can find out which ones in this article.
If the upholstery is made of inferior material, it will soon give way and literally sit flat. Especially with too soft upholstery of cheap chairs occurs frequently.
Material of the cover
Many gaming chairs are covered with PU leather or leather. More rarely encountered are representatives with a sheathing made of fabric. No matter what your preferences are, opt for a high-quality material in favor of quality. Many inexpensive models are covered with low-quality PU leather. What good is the most beautiful design if you have to put up with tears in the fabric or other unsightly signs of wear after only a short time? That’s right, not much.
What else you should know about the material of the cover:.
- High-quality PU leather is easy to clean and durable, but not breathable
- Real leather needs care from time to time to stay supple
- Fabric is more prone to stains, but is usually breathable
Armrests: 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D?
This specification has only limited to do with spatiality, because the D stands for Directions. Armrests are simply part of a real gaming chair. That’s why it’s also very important that their function meets your requirements.
You should think about how many directions the armrests of the chair should be adjustable in. You have the choice between:
- up and down
- forward and back
- turnable in the horizontal
- width apart or together
- folding away sideways to the rear
The specifications vary here depending on the manufacturer. So take a close look at which directions are must-haves for you.
Tip: But above all, make sure that the armrests are wide enough and height-adjustable so that they can be adjusted to your individual body size. For a healthy sitting behavior, it is important that the angle of your elbow should be about 90°.
Recommendation: gaming chairs with 5D armrests.
It’s the details that matter (yes, too)
There are some people for whom functionality is most important. But just between us, what would be a gaming chair without cool details. We’re talking embroidery, embellishments, LED or customized patches to properly represent you or your team. Of course, it’s all a matter of taste. But we like to use this stage to introduce you to a few models that make such a thing possible:
- Gaming chair models from the Gamechanger brand are highly customizable on many levels – from color accents to your own logo.
- On the Backforce One or Backforce One Plus, you have the option to design your own patches. In addition, both models have a gamer pulse LED in the backrest.
- Maybe one of the many franchise limited editions from Noble Chairs will suit your taste?
Last but not least: test seating and return policy
In this age of online retailing, it’s not so easy to sit on the chair of your choice before you buy. Therefore, always make sure that the retailer where you buy the chair offers a straightforward return shipping. Even if you’re a money-saver, sometimes going through a well-known online mail order company or directly through the vendor is the smarter choice. This way, you usually have the option to simply return the gaming chair after you realize that it is not the right model for you. However, make sure that you comply with legal deadlines or the seller’s right of withdrawal.
Checklist: Here’s what you should look for before buying a gaming chair
That you once again have all the criteria at a glance, we have compiled a small checklist for you. Have you thought of everything?
- Does the backrest of the gaming chair have a ergonomic shape and/or a lumbar cushion to give your back the support it needs?
- Are the dimensions of the seat sufficient so that you are comfortable?
- Have you made sure that the backrest is dimensioned high enough to fit your back length?
- There are chairs that have shoulder rests built in, so it’s especially important to pay attention to the previous point.
- Does the gaming chair have a class 3 gas spring – better yet, 4?
- Is the gaming chair designed for your body weight?
- Is the star crossmade of sturdy material?
- Are the castors suitable for the floor on which the chair stands?
- Are the armrests height adjustable?
- Is the width of the armrests sufficient?
- Do the adjustment options meet your expectations (3D, 4D, 5D)?
- Is the upholstery of the seat high quality, so that the material always returns to its original position?
- According to your personal preferences, have you paid attention to how high density the foam used is – remember 20 (soft) to 70 kg/m² (hard)?
- Does the framework consist of a construction of steel tubes and metal struts that are welded together?
- Does the cover (high quality PU leather/genuine leather/fabric)fit your needs?
- Does the model have a rocker mechanism?
- If details are important to you, does the manufacturer (perhaps even after you buy the gaming chair) meet your preferences? (Patches, colors, LED, embroidery, etc.)
- Have you made sure that in case of return, the return process can be easily initiated?
If you were able to answer all questions with “yes” or according to your own needs, we wish you a lot of fun with your new gaming chair.