Are Gaming Chairs Worth It? Some Things to Consider Before Buying A Gaming Chair
Today we’re going to talk about gaming chairs and what you should consider before buying one. Gaming chairs get a lot of scrutiny, but the truth is that people buy them because they look cool. As long as they keep looking cool, people will keep buying them. But gaming chairs aren’t terrible options and some out there are better than others. We’re going to go over some things that you should consider before you buy a gaming chair. These things will help you figure out if a gaming chair is right for you, and determine which gaming chair, of the many options you are considering, is the one that is right for you.
First, the main reason to buy a gaming chair is simply for its design. This isn’t to say that gaming chairs aren’t comfortable. A lot of the mid-range to high end gaming chairs are comfortable. But if comfort is your only concern when buying a chair, and you do not care at all about the design of your chair, then you’ll be better off looking at the office chairs that are in your price range. This is because manufacturers of office chairs typically don’t have to spend as much on the design of the chair, as they do on the ergonomics and comfortability of the chair, and racing style gaming chairs have different design components that aren’t always conducive to comfortable sitting. The bucket style seats that these chairs have are great for holding riders in place in race cars, but isn’t the ideal design for long term sitting. That’s not to say that racing style chairs won’t work for long term sitting. In fact, I love the gaming chair I have, and I sit in it for eight hours or more per day. It’s just that a non-bucket style seat is more ergonomically sound. But ultimately if you want a cool looking racing style chair, and you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of comfort in ergonomics, then that is completely fine.
Second, you need to understand that your height and weight are going to be the biggest determining factor and what kind of gaming chair you can get. If you are 6’5” tall and you weigh 250 pounds, there are certain chairs out there that will not work for your body type. A lot of times gaming chairs get bashed because someone buys one that didn’t fit their body type, and as a result it’s not comfortable to them. Had they noted the chairs height and weight requirements, they would have realized that the chair was not the right option for them. So always make sure that you check the height and weight requirements of the gaming chair you are considering. Certain chairs like DX Racers Formula Series and Secret Labs Omega are specifically designed for smaller users, and other chairs like DX Racers Tank Series are specifically designed for larger users. If you find a chair line that you like, and you can’t find the recommended height and weight requirements for it, you’d be better off looking for a different option. But the bottom line is that there really aren’t many instances of one size fits all gaming chairs available. So make sure you’re only looking at gaming chairs that will fit your body type.
The third factor to consider when buying a gaming chair is that a lot of the gaming chairs out there, especially gaming chairs and the sub two hundred dollar price range, are made by the same manufacturer, but are sold and rebranded by different companies. Just go look at the product listings for gaming chairs on Amazon, and you’ll see a lot of similarly designed chairs from different companies. Now the rumor is that someone knocked off DX Racers design and started mass producing them in China. I don’t know if that’s what happened, it’s very possible. But there are a ton of different chair companies out there now selling essentially the same model of chairs. This is called private labeling. Basically what it means is that anyone can go to the main chair manufacturer, send them a custom design and branding to put on the chair, buy them in bulk, and then sell them as their own chairs. So essentially you have a lot of the same chairs out there with the only difference being the branding and design. This is very similar to how in Nvidia and AMD’s make GPU use in companies like EVGA, ASIS, NSI or Gigabyte and others, repackage the GPU with different colors and clock speeds. But what does this mean for you if you are looking for a gaming chair. It means that before you purchase one make sure you look at the other options available. If the only difference is the design and logo on the chair, you may be able to find the same exact chair with a design that you like from a different company for a lot less. Now I typically recommend sticking to well-known brands like DX Racer, Seeker Lab, Vertagear, or Maxnomics to name a few, because if you have a problem with the chair down the road, you’re going to have an easier time with a more reputable brand than you would with one of the smaller random companies that are now selling chairs. If you have a super tight budget, and you absolutely want one of these racing style gaming chairs, you may not have an option to go with a chair from a more reputable brand. If that’s the case, it’s important that you shop around, because you could find the same chair from a different company for less.
The fourth thing you need to consider is what kind of adjustment features are important to you. If you are dead set on a race style gaming chair, there are a few different features that separate gaming chairs apart. Obviously design and color scheme is one of those features, but the next biggest feature, in my opinion, that differentiates one gaming chair from another is its adjustment features. The most important adjustment features that vary from chair to chair are armrest adjustment, tilt, and recline adjustment. Almost all of the gaming chairs out there have height adjustment, the ability to recline backwards, and at the very least, armrests that can adjust up and down. However, the higher end chairs out there typically can recline further than the low end or mid-range options, and they also typically have armrests that can adjust in multiple directions. And finally, they can also tilt at their base, as well as be locked at a tilted angle or unlocked to rock back and forth. For me I enjoy the recline feature on these chairs, but more importantly, I like the ability to lock the chair at a tilted angle. If I want to get really comfortable during a gaming session, being able to tilt the base back a little bit, and recline the back rest back a little bit, helps me get into a more comfortable position than if I were to just only have the option of reclining the back rest back. For the armrests, certain gaming chairs have armrests that can be adjusted from side to side, forwards and backwards, and at an angle, along with being able to be adjusted up and down. These extra adjustment options are important because they will really help you get the armrests into an ideal position before you setup. So ultimately when you’re going to buy a gaming chair, just make sure that you note the kind of adjustment features that are available, and that you choose a chair that has the ones that are important to you.
Now the fifth thing that I think you should consider when buying a gaming chair, and this is kind of just my opinion, but it is that the lumbar support pillows that gaming chairs typically come with can be hit or miss. Now I’ve reviewed multiple gaming chairs now, and I haven’t yet found one that has the perfect lumbar support solution. None of the chairs I’ve ever viewed have been bad options in terms of lumbar support, and a couple of them have offered pretty good lumbar support in the grand scheme of things, but I have not yet found a racing style gaming chair that has perfected lumbar support. However, the same could probably be said for office chairs as well. Unless you’re paying $1,000.00 for a high end Herman Miller chair, you’re probably not going to find the perfect lumbar support feature. This is mainly because ideal lumbar support is going to vary from individual to individual. But, I will say that the specific types of lumbar support pillows the gaming chairs typically come with do have some flaws. For instance the DX Racer Formula Series has a lumbar support pillow that is decent, but is a little on the bulky side, and is a little too firm for me. Then on the Secret Lab Omega there was a more comfortable lumbar support pillow, but since it didn’t attach to the chair, if you wanted it to rest higher on your back, it would sometimes fall down the base of the chair when you moved around. Now the best lumbar support feature that I’ve seen on a chair thus far is on the Secret Labs Titan, and that’s because it doesn’t come with the lumbar support pillow, but rather has lumbar support built directly into the chair. I think there are a couple other options out there that have the same feature. The one small problem that I did have with the Titans lumbar feature though is that it hits slightly higher on the back than I would have liked it to, and there’s no way to adjust the height of where it hits you. Taller users wouldn’t likely have this problem with the Titan, but it was a minor flaw for me. That really sums up the experience of getting a gaming chair, or any other kind of chair for that matter. It’s hard to find a chair, even a high quality chair that will fit you absolutely perfectly. But as far as lumbar support pillows go, it’s probably a good idea to do your research on the different options out there, and see if you can match up to other reviewers who have the same preferences for lumbar support as you do. Then you can go with a chair that has a lot more support than meets your needs.
The sixth thing you’ll want to consider is that the common sentiment of “sit in the chair before you buy it” is easier said than done with gaming chairs. A lot of people will tell you “hey, don’t buy a chair until you sit in it and try it out”. While that is really good advice for a lot of these recent style gaming chairs, it isn’t really an option to go sit in them before you buy them. Most of them can only be purchased online, so if you’re dead set on getting a gaming chair, you’re likely not going to have the luxury of testing the chair out prior to buying it. And if you can’t live with that fact, you’d be better off going down to a store that sells office chairs and finding one there that you like. I know that some office stores do carry a few different racing style chairs in stock, so you may still be able to test out certain gaming chairs. But if you have a specific color scheme you’re looking at, or a certain brand of chair that you want to purchase, the chances are that you won’t be able to test them out beforehand, and that’s just something that you’re going to have to accept. That is also another reason why it’s important to spend a little more, to get a chair from a reputable manufacturer that has a solid return policy. Or you could buy from Amazon, as they are pretty good about their 30 day return policy as well.
The seventh thing that I think you should consider before you buy a gaming chair is to give your chair a couple of weeks before you decide it’s not for you. One common thing that I have noticed, even with higher end reviews, not just high end gaming chairs, but high end office chairs as well, is that some reviewers often note how uncomfortable the chair was to sit in at first. Seriously just go read some Herman Miller, Embody, Aaron or Steelcase chair reviews. A lot of reviewers talk about how the chair made them sore for the first couple of weeks the more that they sat in them. Now what happens is that if you have poor sitting posture, maybe that’s due to sitting in a low quality chair, and then you upgrade to a higher end chair, that higher end chair is going to force your body into a position it’s not used to. And, even if it is a better sitting posture, the fact that your body is going to have to adjust to the new position could result in you feeling sore while you adjust to the new position. So don’t sit in a chair for a day or two, and then get rid of it because you feel sore afterwards. It could just be that your body isn’t used to sitting with good posture.
The eighth thing you need to consider when buying a gaming chair is assembly. All these chairs come disassembled in a big box. Every single one of them requires a metric hex key for assembly, and quite frankly the hex key that came with each one was poor quality to say the least. The work around for this is to buy a quality hex key set made by manufacturers such as Tekton, Owl Tools, Bondhus, Carbyne, Stanlex, Irwin, Klein and Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/. I chose the set made by Tech Team https://www.amazon.com/Tech-Allen-Metric-Folding-Pieces/dp/B07CV12XQT/ref=sr_1_248?ie=UTF8&qid=1539525950&sr=8-248&keywords=tech+team because of its high quality, ergonomic grips, metric, SAE inch, and torx wrenches.
The other thing lacking on these chairs are quality chair casters or chair wheels. All these chairs have the same inexpensive double wheel caster found on office chairs. The work around for this is to go out and purchase a 5 wheel rollerblade style chair caster set. These are made by several companies such as Zitriom, Slipstick, Sunniedog, The Office Oasis, Office Owl, Seddox Office Addiction, and Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/. Once again, we chose the Tech Team Rollerblade Office Chair Replacement Caster Wheel Set
because of it’s sleek appearance, ease of installation, and great function.
Now you know everything there is to know about purchasing a gaming chair.