Even though gaming isn't associated with a lot of physical exercise, it can still be hard on the body. Prolonged sitting can impair circulation, and gaming can create pressure points and strain in the lower back.
Professional gamers know that their gaming chair is a piece of gaming equipment as essential as any other, and here are the chairs they prefer.
Best Racing-style Gaming Chair
Racing style chairs are high on style. They are modeled after actual bucket seats in cars, and are intended to provide comfort and support. They typically have very tall reclining backs, adjustable arm rests, lumbar support and headrest pillows, and built in shoulder support.
The best racing chairs are from AKRacing, used and endorsed by many professional gamers, and by professional gaming teams like the HellRaisers and Team Dignitas.
The AKRacing ProX Gaming Chair has a steel frame for maximum durability, and this model has a wider frame for enhanced comfort. The backrest can be adjusted from 90°-180°, for a full recline if desired. It has a Class-4 gas lift height adjustment that supports up to 330 pounds. The high density foam in the seat is designed to keep its shape and remain supportive over prolonged use and pressure. The AKRacing ProX Gaming Chair also has armrests that can be adjusted by height, rotation, forward, and backward, an adjustable and lockable tilt, an adjustable lumbar cushion and headrest, and a sturdy 5-star base.
These chairs have a high-style gaming look, but are incredibly comfortable, durable, and adjustable for prolonged use. Gamers swear by them.
Best Task-style Gaming Chair
Office-style gaming chairs are modeled on ergonomic, office-type chairs, and are often preferred for PC gaming. These chairs typically have an adjustable height, adjustable distance or angle from the seat to the back, they often swivel, and they are often on casters for rolling.
The best task-style chair is the Herman Miller Aeron. This chair was introduced in 1994, and still comes up year after year in the list of the best gaming chairs.
The Herman Miller Aeron has an incredible range of adjustments, so it can conform perfectly to your body. It has an adjustable back pad for lumbar support; armrests that adjust up or down, tilt in or out, and adjust horizontally; adjustable seat height from 16-20 inches; and can support up to 350 pounds. The breathable mesh construction prevents the chair from building up body heat or moisture no matter how long you are sitting in it, which also helps the chair resist odors, spills, and messes. The Aeron is expensive, but it is simply the best, and has a spectacular 12-year warranty. Most pro gamers feel that it's worth the investment in their long term health.
Best Rocker-style Gaming Chair
While we often loosely associate office-style gaming chairs with PC gaming, we often associate rocker-style gaming chairs with console gaming. These chairs are intended to provide comfort and support when placed on the floor instead of up on a pedestal at chair-height.
The most popular rocker-style gaming chair is the X Rocker Pro Series. X Rocker has been around for a long time, and was the first chair manufacturer to put audio systems in the chair itself, and whole generations of gamers have grown up with these chairs.
The X Rocker Pro Series features stereo sound and a subwoofer built in to the chair, which connects by Bluetooth so you don't need cords or cables. It has flip-up arms, RCA outputs, wireless capability, and a built-in headphone jack. It's everything you need for a satisfying gaming experience.
How to Choose the Right Gaming Chair
The primary difference between chairs designed for gaming, and chairs designed for offices, is whether the chair offers head and neck support in a recline position. For obvious reasons, office and task chairs are not designed to fully recline, and don't offer the proper head, neck, and shoulder support when leaning back.
Before you consider which chair to use, consider your gaming setup and the height of your head and neck relative to your monitor, TV, or projector. Then you can determine whether you need a rocker, racer, or office-type chair for your gaming ergonomics. Choosing the best chair for you protects your body during long gaming sessions, and protects your health in the long term.
While it may be helpful to find out what chair your favorite players and pros use, it's more important that you find the right gaming chair for your needs and your body.