Most gaming chairs clock in between $100 and $500, which can make them another expensive addition to your gaming setup. But considering that a gaming chair can save your back from strain and keep you in the zone for hours-long gaming sessions, it’s well worth the investment. Hunching over your desk or curling up on the couch with your controller can seem innocent initially, but too often we gamers realize the toll long stretches of gaming take on our body only when our back and neck begin to ache. Similar to office chairs, gaming chairs are designed to support healthy posture but have stylish flair and built-in features to immerse you in a game. Here are our favorites.
Best Gaming Chairs
The Expert: I’ve been an avid gamer since I was about 6, and my first gaming “chair” was my dad’s lap while he played World of Warcraft. Since then, I’ve learned the value of a gaming chair that keeps my neck and back supported after hours on end of grinding it out. That includes tens of hours I spend reviewing a new game, 200-plus hours working on a current favorite, and firing up my old Sims 4 on my PC. After years of trying everything from the cheap rockers of the early 2000s to the premium tall-backed chairs beloved by PC gamers to this day, I know what makes the difference between a mediocre gaming chair and an upper echelon throne for warriors of the screen.
How to Find the Right Gaming Chair for You
Type of Seat: A standard gaming chair features a deep bucket seat on wheels with a tall back, lumbar support (sometimes in the form of a lower back pillow), armrests, and a head rest that can include a pillow. This shape, and especially the deep seat, offers a sort of encapsulating hug that immerses you in your game. This can be a bit too enclosed for smaller bodies, or the seat itself can be too narrow for larger bodies, so make sure to always check the dimensions of the seat before you buy.
Generally speaking, this type of deep seat—usually called a pebble, bucket, or racing seat—is the way to go for long stretches of gaming. But for gamers whose consoles live under their TVs or close to the floor, a rocker chair might be a better fit. Rockers are C-shaped chairs that sit on the floor and easily rock back and forth as you move. They’re often a great choice for kids who move around a lot when playing or anyone who wants something with a smaller footprint than a full gaming chair. Rockers are my personal favorite type of gaming chair, because they remind me of my childhood days spending hours on the floor playing Mario Kart Double Dash and Animal Crossing on GameCube. But different setups call for different chairs.
Cushioning and support: When it comes to choosing a gaming chair, comfort usually tops the list of must-haves. But that doesn’t necessarily mean more cushioning. Although some is necessary, the best gaming chairs have a stiff skeleton so that they can support a healthy posture, even hours into a marathon gaming session. Look for memory foam seats and pillows that are soft yet supportive.
Adjustability: A decent gaming chair offers more adjustability than your average office chair, with more range for things like seat height and tilt angle, the position of the armrests, and how far the backrest reclines. We recommend chairs with adjustable lumbar support or an extra pillow, too. Keep in mind that rocker gaming chairs are typically much less adjustable than racing models.
Material: The best material for gaming chairs depends on how warm you get and how frequently you use your chair. Generally speaking, vinyl and real leather last longer than polyurethane leather. Knit fabrics offer the best breathability. Leather, faux leather, and vinyl are also easy to keep clean—a plus if you snack while you play.
How We Evaluated
I used my firsthand experience with a range of gaming chairs over the years to determine the best options on the market today. I also researched 15 expert sources such as Digital Trends, PC Gamer, Wirecutter, and Tom’s Hardware, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers to corroborate my research and recommendations. I focused on chairs that offer great support, functionality for all types of gamers and gaming setups, and most of all, comfort.
Secretlab Titan Evo 2022
Material: Leatherette | Weight: 76.1 lb (regular) | Supports up to: 200 lb (small), 220 lb (regular), 395 lb (XL)
It’s no secret (pun intended) that Secretlabs makes some of the highest quality gaming chairs out there. The Titan Evo 2022, a more supportive and more customizable update to the extremely popular Titan 2020, continues the product line’s trend of adaptability to maximum comfort for gamers of every size. Offered in small, regular, and extra large, the chair has several adjustable settings like armrest height and lumbar support, which also forms to your back as you use the chair. You can also pick from leatherette, a knit technical fabric, or real leather for your chair, and it comes with a memory foam pillow for added comfort. Secretlab offers a slew of pleasing colors and patterns, too, so you can be sure your new gaming throne fits in with the rest of your aesthetic.
Material: Faux leather | Weight: 50 lb | Supports up to: 300 lb
Looking for something to use exclusively for gaming that won’t break the bank? The GT099 is a great option. A flashy gamer aesthetic meets ergonomic support that’s suitable for hours on end. GTRacing created a cushion support system with adjustable pillows under the head and lumbar region. Standard customization features include adjustable armrests and seat height, and the backrest reclines up to 160 degrees. The one downside is the synthetic leather fabric isn’t the most breathable material and can easily become sticky if you tend to run hot. In addition to the black with white style, it also comes with red, blue, green, purple, or accents and as an all-black option, so you can coordinate with your current gaming setup.
—MOST VERSATILE GAMING CHAIR—
Material: Upholstery fabric | Weight: 66.8 lb | Supports up to: 299 lb (standard), 399 lb (XL)
In addition to great gaming electronics and peripherals, Razer makes a very quality gaming chair in the Iskur that can work just as well as your office chair. This chair’s sleek gray fabric blends in with your office aesthetic so you can be Zoom- and Twitch-ready at all times. Razer also makes a faux leather model, though some users found this PVC material could get warm after hours of gaming. You also have a choice of two sizes, with the extra-large option being a better choice for taller and heavier gamers. No matter the material or size, the Iskur’s lumbar support adjusts out to meet your back in its optimal posture. Despite its higher cost, the Iskur is well worth it for its overall versatility and comfort.
—BEST FLOOR ROCKER—
X Rocker Hurricane 2.1
Material: Synthetic leather | Weight: 31.9 lb | Supports up to: 250 lb
When it comes to floor rockers, most of us don’t expect much more than a mildly comfortable C shape to curl into (and, for me, rock as far back and forth as possible without falling). But X Rocker well exceeds this reputation, especially when it comes to the audio- and vibration-enabled Hurricane 2.1. This immersive rocker is comfy and well made, and the surround sound and subwoofer speakers, mixed with the vibration that syncs with your game, makes it an exciting gaming experience. The chair also folds in half for easier storage in a messy teen’s room, for example.
—CLASSIC GAMER AESTHETIC—
Material: Faux leather | Weight: 67 lb | Supports up to: 260 lb
This Vertagear brings both comfort and style to the table. The racer design and many color options draw the eye, and it has function to match that form. The chair features dual cushions that help to support the lower back and neck so you can maintain good posture no matter how long you play. The exterior is a stain- and water-resistant combination of PVC and polyurethane, which is durable but not super breathable. Embrace the gamer aesthetic even more by adding an RGB LED upgrade kit to the headrest, wheels, or both. The one complaint, according to PCGamer, is that although the back has ample cushioning, the seat feels a bit firm comparatively.
—BEST KAWAII GAMING CHAIR—
TechniSport TS42 Kawaii Colors Gaming Chair
Material: Polyurethane leather | Weight: 47 lb | Supports up to: 300 lb
You might have seen gaming influencers touting the TS42 on social media and for good reason. TechniSport’s charismatic gaming chair, featuring bright pinks, purples, and whites, fits in beautifully with a kawaii aesthetic without giving up too much comfort for style. Reviewers all over the internet love this chair for its racing style seat and 150-degree reclining back, but it’s pretty expensive considering it isn’t the most comfortable gaming chair out there. The only lumbar support is in the form of the included heart-shaped pillow that you might end up tossing on the floor anyway. That said, it’s a great chair considering it’s tough to find a high-quality gaming chair that fits in with a cutesy aesthetic.
—BEST LOOKING FLOOR ROCKER—
Pottery Barn Teen Trailblazer Got Game Chair
Material: Polyester | Weight: N/A | Supports up to: 200 lb
If you just can’t stand the bold gamer aesthetic, don’t fret—there are plenty of pretty options to choose from that don’t sacrifice gaming performance. This polyester-based faux suede rocker from Pottery Barn Teen is a great option for the style-conscious console gamer (or parent). It comes with four speakers, a subwoofer, and vibrating functionality for immersive game play. For a gaming chair, $499 is certainly pricey, but it’s well worth it if sleek looks and a fully featured rocker are your main goals.
—BEST ELEVATED ROCKER—
Playseat Puma Active Gaming Seat
Material: ActiFit fabric | Weight: 18.7 lb | Supports up to: 265 lb
I move around a lot when I’m sitting, especially when I’m playing an intense live game like Dead by Daylight. This chair is great for people who like rockers for their size and weight, but want something that resembles more of a traditional seat (though we don’t recommend using this with a desk or PC gaming setup because it’s still very short). Not everyone can get comfortable on the Puma, but I can think of tons of comfy ways to sit: on the edge of the seat, reclined, or backwards with my body leaning on the seatback. This saddle-like seat rocks a bit, but because it has “feet” (a.k.a. it’s elevated from the ground), it’s much easier to sit on the edge of than your average rocker.
—FOR BIG AND TALL PLAYERS—
AKRacing Masters Series Max
Material: Polyurethane | Weight: 57 lb | Supports up to: 400 lb
Despite being sought after for their ergonomics, gaming chairs are notoriously narrow, making it difficult for larger gamers to find one that’s both comfortable and supportive for long periods of time. Enter the Max with its 15.3-inch seat and wide, curved backrest. The chair is fairly easy to assemble, but due to the size of the pieces, it might require some assistance as it can be somewhat cumbersome. The relatively firm design puts posture support at the forefront, though back and neck pillows add soft touches. Ergonomically, the Max is more than adept, with adjustable armrests and the ability to recline a full 180 degrees, though testers at PCMag warn that it becomes a bit unbalanced in full recline.
—BEST LIVING ROOM GAMING CHAIR—
Homall Gaming Recliner Chair
Material: Polyurethane leather | Weight: 63 lb | Supports up to: 265 lb
If your gaming setup is also in your living room, like mine is, it’s nice to have some gaming chair options that don’t have wheels or look like office chairs. Homall’s recliner still calls gaming to mind with its subtle blue-on-black color scheme, yet it’ll fit in fine with your other furniture both functionally and aesthetically. The recliner works just as well for watching TV, and it even includes massaging and vibration so you can fully relax. Some users report that the chair’s cheaper fabric starts to show wear after a while, but that’s no surprise for a gaming recliner (or any recliner, really) under $200.
How a Gaming Chair Can Level Up Your Play, According to Expert Zoë Hannah
PM: Any tips on creating an ergonomic gaming setup?
Z.H.: If you’ve ever sat and played a video game for longer than 20 minutes, you probably have the experience of getting uncomfortable with your seating arrangement or controller. You’d think all gaming peripherals would be ergonomic considering that the hobby can be such a strain on your wrists, back, neck, and eyes, but the main thing to look for is adaptable materials and features. When sitting in your chair, you should have a direct line of sight to your screen (as opposed to looking up or down) and a way to rest your hands with your controller. If you play at a desk, make sure your arms are at a 90-degree angle to protect your wrists. Always get a chair with lumbar support (ideally adjustable), and look for seats made of materials like memory foam that can adapt to your body.
PM: Theoretically, any office chair can work for gaming. But what features do you miss out on by choosing versatility?
Z.H.: When you pick a gaming chair that’s really meant for the office, you’re usually saying farewell to a few key features: a better recliner, a more comfortable backrest, and a more immersive experience due to the deep seat, tall back, and sometimes the built-in speakers. Gaming chairs are designed to nestle your body in the chair so you can be as comfortable as possible, sometimes to the extent of almost laying down, whereas an office chair is designed to keep you comfy but also awake and alert for your work shift. If you use a gaming chair for work, you might fall asleep, but if you use an office chair for gaming, you’ll probably be uncomfortable a lot of the time.
PM: We all like a deal, but when is it worth it to invest in a gaming chair over $400?
Z.H.: There are plenty of great gaming chairs out there for under $400—but beyond this price point is where you’ll start to see memory foam pillows, adjustable lumbar support, and even chairs that mold to your body as you use them. Although any gaming chair is a good investment for comfort and for the safety of your back, neck, and wrists, high-end chairs offer more breathable fabrics to reduce sweating, built-in speakers, and tons of customizable add-on features. Ultimately, it’s worth spending more on a chair if the materials are high-quality and it feels like the right fit for you—because when it fits you perfectly, you’ll use it all the time.
Editor’s Note: Gabrielle Hondrop contributed to this article.