Gaming Chair vs Office Chair – Is it Worth the Upgrade?

Which is better, Gaming Chair or Office Chair?

Which option you should go with comes down to what you need and what you prefer as well as your budget. If you need comfort and are on a budget then you should opt for an office chair. If you want the looks as well as the additional features and the gaming bling then you can go with a proper gaming chair. It all comes down to preference, need, and budget.

Being a person that spends most of his time at his PC, I have plenty of experience with chairs. As I writer I spend most of the time in front of a screen whether it is my desktop or my laptop. In my free time, I play games on my PC. Over the years I have tried all kinds of office chairs and have recently checked out a few gaming chairs as well.

If you are in the market for a new chair and are wondering whether you should go with a gaming chair or an office chair then you have come to the right place.

Here we are going to look into the pros and cons of both as well as different factors that you need to keep in mind when deciding between the two options.

Gaming Chair vs Office Chair

Gaming Chair vs Office Chair

One of the major reasons why people buy a gaming chair is because of the design. Gaming chairs have aggressive designs that are appealing to gamers and manufacturers do charge a premium for these designs.

So, while the design is one of the advantages, these chairs can be pretty expensive and that is one major disadvantage. This is not limited to gaming chairs. Any product that is marketed as a gaming product has higher a cost because they offer flashy logos and colors.

While gaming chairs look good, that does not mean that they are not comfortable. Gaming chairs come with plenty of options to ensure comfort but getting the perfect chair can be tricky and you will have a hard time finding the perfect option for you. 

If you are more interested in ergonomics and not the looks then you will have a better chance with an office chair or task chair and you will also be able to save some money in the process.

Read also: Best Gaming Chairs under $100

E-sport players in gaming cairs

Some gaming chairs have bucket seat designs. These seats are used in cars so that the driver does not slip out when cornering at high speeds. That is not a useful feature when it comes to gaming. If you like to cross your legs from time to time then that can be uncomfortable depending on the chair.

Another factor that you need to keep in mind is the height of the chair relative to your desk. Gaming chairs often sit low and that can be an issue if your desk is a bit higher.

While most gaming chairs do come with height adjustment a common mistake people make when buying a chair is not checking the height of the chair and their desk. The height adjustment might not be able to make up for the difference and that can be an issue once you have invested in a gaming chair and need to get used to the height difference.

Another con that is worth mention is that most of these chairs are sold online and it is unlikely that you will be able to test it out before you actually buy one. That would be a really expensive trial depending on how much money you spend and which model you get. 

If this is something that you can deal with and you really need to get a feel for a chair before you buy it then you should go to the local store and get an office chair instead.

Read also: Best PC Gaming Chair under $100

office chair design compared to gaming chair

Compare design

Office chairs are designed for comfort and ergonomics rather than good looks and while gaming chairs can be better looking, they can be comfortable as well. Especially the mid-range and high-end ones. 

Gaming chairs often have the bucket seat design which looks great but is not the most comfortable. If you are looking for the most comfort then you might be better off getting an office chair and doing might save you some money as well.

When it comes to different features there are a couple of similarities depending on the chair that you get. Most of the features that you get on a gaming chair can also be found on a fancy office chair as well but the level of adjustability might be limited. 

In most cases, a gaming chair is going to offer more adjustability but that comes at a higher price.

Read also: Best Gaming Chairs

Are Gaming Chairs Better than Office Chairs?

There are different kinds of gaming chairs based on the design and they can be as simple as bean bags or as complex as rocker gaming chairs. Here is what you need to know about the different types.

Racer Gaming Chairs

These type of racing chairs are the most common due to their aggressive car seat design. Some people might not find them the most comfortable but that depends on what you prefer. There are those that actually prefer this design. 

These chairs are available in all kinds of colors and you can get all kinds of features and adjustment options depending on the model that you pick and the money that you are investing.

Best Gaming Chair 2019

  • E-Sports Chair
  • Headrest and Lumbar Pillow
  • Armrest Height Adjustable

While these chairs are the most popular, the design is unique and that is why manufacturers that do offer these chairs charge a premium for the design. This is not exclusive to chairs and you know that anything that is related to or branded as a gaming product is marked up as compared to regular products. 

A regular office chair that offers the same level of comfort will be much cheaper but will not have the same design. This is a trade-off that you need to keep in mind if you are interested in getting a racer gaming chair.

Rocker Gaming Chairs

Rocker gaming chairs can rock back and forth. These are often much closer to the ground as compared to other gaming chairs and that is an important factor that you need to account for if you are interested in getting one of these chairs. 

Matching the chair with the height of your table can be an issue and that is why you rarely see these types of chairs. Rocker chairs are great if you prefer to game on a larger screen and need more comfort than a bean bag.

4.1 Audio Gaming Chair

  • Great for Video Games
  • 4 Built-in Speakers
  • Vibration Motors with Bass

Bean Bags

These are not really chairs but you can sit on them and they do offer a certain degree of comfort. These will not come in handy if you are planning on gaming on a PC at your desk but are useful if you prefer to have on a TV, on the sofa. Bean bags are often used by console gamers that play games on a bigger screen and like to relax while doing so. 

With bean bags, you are not really bound to console gaming. If you have the right peripherals then you can do the game with a PC as well.

4.1 Audio Gaming Chair

  • Great for Console Gaming
  • More Laid Back
  • Soft Plush Fabric

Unique features

Gaming chairs often have a lot of support and come with a lot of customization options. Not only can you get the color of your choice but you can also adjust the lumbar support and the neck support. These can also be removed if you do not feel comfortable.

Some gaming chairs are rather shallow which can be a pro or a con depending on what you prefer. If the chair is shallow then it can also support your legs to some extent.

Gaming chair often feature memory foam which is comfortable to sit on. This will ensure that you can sit for long periods of time without feeling numbness in your hips or legs but it is recommended that you take a break from time to time and walk around unlike what I do.

Gaming chairs also come with armrests which can also be adjusted or removed completely. You also have the option to raise the seat or lower it down. This is often done with a lever that is located under the seat.

Another interesting feature that you get on a gaming chair is the ability to recline backward. Some gaming chairs can recline further than others and some gaming chairs also have a tilt feature. The tilt feature allows you to tilt the chair at a certain angle. This can let you rock back and forth or lock it in a certain angle.

You can get some of these features on an office chair as well, but there are some features that are more common on gaming chairs.

Such feature includes integrated speakers and sub-woofer. There are plenty of gaming chairs that have audio solutions built into them but you will not find an office chair that has such features.

You can also find chairs that are compatible with other devices such as Xbox One and PS4 or an MP4 players. These are all features that you need to keep in mind when in the market for a new chair and if you are on the fence regarding whether you should go with a regular office chair or a branded gaming chair.

office chair vs gaming chair comfort

Comfort

Comfort is relative and you might be more comfortable in an office chair rather than a gaming chair but since we are comparing the two types it is safe to say that gaming chairs can offer the same level of comfort than an office chair. You might have heard that gaming chairs are all about the looks and are not really comfortable but that would not be justified. Gaming chairs are actually very comfortable provided that you pick the one that suits your needs and body type.

All of us have different body types and it is important to get a chair that suits your body type. A chair is not something that will fit everyone. Some chairs are designed for shorter people while there are others that are designed specifically for taller people and other body types.

If you do not do your research and get a chair that is designed for shorter people and you are particularly tall then you will obviously not be comfortable.

Comfort also depends on the amount of money you are prepared to invest. You will notice that more expensive chairs not only have more features but also offer more comfort and durability. It is safe to say that getting an expensive chair means that it will stay comfortable for longer. A $1000 gaming chair is going to be more comfortable than a $250 gaming chair and the same is the case for office chairs as well.

It is also safe to say that if comfort is your priority and you are interested in getting the most comfortable chair for the least amount of money then you will have better luck with an office chair rather than a gaming chair.

office chair at desk

Pricing

As we have mentioned earlier, anything that is associated with gaming comes at a premium and that is why a gaming chair is going to cost more than an office chair. Mostly when you pay more you do get a better-quality product but when you have the “gaming” branding on a product then that might not be true. You might be better gaming relevant features but the comfort level might be the same when compared to a similarly priced office chair. It would not be surprising if the office chair would be cheaper.

Gaming is a culture and you could even call it a way of life and brands try to sell consumers the same product with a bit of bling by marketing it as a gaming product and charging a premium for it. An office chair, on the other hand, is not designed for a specific culture but for a specific purpose.

Keeping that in mind, if an office chair is expensive then you can rest assured that you are getting a better-quality chair and that it will be more comfortable than the cheaper alternative. That cannot be clearly seen when dealing with a gaming chair and this can often mislead the consumer.

At the end of the day, an office chair is going to be more flexible when it comes to the price and is going to be the wiser investment unless you really need to have that aggressive design and gaming features.

My Personal Preference

Over the years I have tried out a couple of office chairs and have recently been able to try two gaming chairs as well. Let me tell you that finding the perfect chair is very difficult indeed and even with my experience I have not been able to find the right one that suits me perfectly. Having that said, there are a few things that I like to have in a gaming chair and some things that I now avoid.

I do a lot of typing and gaming and that is why I do not really feel the need for armrests. I also like to cross my legs from time to time and the armrests often get in the way. I also like to rest my wrists on the table or on the keyboard wrist rest. That is why I prefer not to have armrests at all.

I have also learned that finding a chair that offers lumbar support that is right for you is tricky as well. That is why I avoid getting a chair that comes with lumbar support. I find it better not to have this option at all rather than having a forced sitting position and not being able to work properly. This is a personal preference and lumbar support is something that you should look into so keep that in mind when picking a chair for yourself.

I do like to have a neck pillow as I often recline my chair back when I am watching a movie, video or taking a break. The pillow gives my neck some extra support which feels great when I recline backward. 

While having the ability to recline to 180 degrees is great, I feel that 160 degrees is more than enough as you are not really going to go that far back. 

It is a nice feature to check out when you assemble the chair and when it is brand new but you are not really going to use the 180-degree recline feature. You might not even recline to 160 degrees either. This is something to keep in mind when in the market for a new chair for work or for gaming.

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Alex West

Alex is a gaming enthusiast with over 15 years of experience, especially enjoying competitive video games. When he's not gaming or watching e-sports he likes to write about gaming and hardware.

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