Some builders incorrectly assume that their setups are complete when their PC case’s side panel goes on for the last time (at least until you need to upgrade). However, arguably just as important, if not more, than any single component within your actual computer, are the pieces of your setup that you’ll be physically interacting with on a day-to-day, second-to-second basis. Everything from your headset, mouse, and keyboard, your displays, down to your furniture, all wildly impact the experience you’ll have with that brand-new rig you just finished. With poor quality selections for any of these categories, you might find yourself struggling to enjoy whatever speed and fidelity your system is capable of for even a few hours at a time. Whether you plan on spending hours and hours in your favorite games, or if you expect to work a full-time gig from the comfort of your home computer, you’d better consider investing in more than just the snappiest CPU and GPU on the market.
For today, we’re going to help you ensure your posterior will thank you in the long run by going over some of the best options for your next desk chair. The right chair not only makes a massive difference in your overall comfort when using your computer but can even benefit your immediate focus and performance while using it. The less you’re thinking about how much longer you can stand to sit down or whether your posture is correct, the more brainpower you have to dedicate to those fine details in your work, or those lightning-quick reflexes necessary for some of your favorite games. The right chair should completely blend into the background of your thoughts to the point where you don’t even notice you haven’t gotten up from it for the past 6 hours. (By the way, the team at PremiumBuilds recommends you don’t do that, and that you remember to take regular breaks for some stretches or a quick walk ).
Thus, the right chair is much like the right motherboard or power supply; they’re all parts of your setup that you don’t want to skimp on because if something goes wrong, they can all have a catastrophic domino effect. A bad motherboard or power supply can cause damage to any of the other components in your machine, and a lousy chair (especially if your posture isn’t the best) can have detrimental and long-term effects on your back. No Bueno. So we’re always going to recommend you treat your chair as a proper investment, and save up if you need to so you
A final note before today’s picks is that there’s a bit of a misconception (and an unfortunate case of misleading marketing) regarding “gaming” chairs. Many of the most popular and highly recommended options are racer-style seats. While your computer might be a high-performance machine, it is not, in fact, a car. Nothing is ever going to beat a good ergonomic chair. While they may not be the best looking nor the most reasonably priced, good ergonomic chairs are specifically designed to support your ability to sit comfortably for anywhere from eight to twenty-four hours. That said, there are plenty of racers that are well-made and encourage good posture, just don’t be fooled by faux leather and flashy designs. You always want to make sure your long-term health comes first.
Best Gaming Chairs – Our Recommendations
Best Entry-Level Gaming Chair
The best place I can recommend to anyone to start their search for their next throne is my current chair. From the looks of things on Amazon, a very popular design continues to be rebranded or slightly tweaked by different sellers, some for a significantly lower price, all of them with stellar reviews. When I purchased mine for $315, it was the only option, from Duramont, and was more than worth the price compared to some of the best and worst chairs in which I’ve ever sat. However, it is currently available as the XEUR Ergonomics Office Chair for $210. Less than $250 for a design of this quality is an absolute steal. While it may not win any awards, this design is rock-solid and has held up perfectly under heavy daily use for the past year with zero changes to the overall feel; it hasn’t started to creak, shift, or compress in any perceptible way.
This chair sports an adjustable mesh headrest, a mesh back with an adjustable lumbar cushion, a cushioned mesh seat, and a pair of basic height-adjustable armrests. The chair itself is also height-adjustable and allows you to recline with tilt tension and tilt locking controls. With a steel frame and the inclusion of rollerblade style casters, this design’s biggest drawback is the armrests and their lack of multi-dimensional adjustment or sufficient cushioning. However, both issues are nearly resolved by a pair of memory foam armrest pads, which you can purchase for an additional $19. It’s exceedingly common for racer style or ergonomic chairs to have hard armrests, so if you find yourself experiencing some pressure points on your elbows, a set of those pads is a smart investment regardless of whatever chair you have.
Furniture is practically always a case of buy once, cry once. If you can save enough to invest in the best quality possible, you won’t need to worry about spending any more for a long, long time. Thus, we don’t recommend you pay much less than $200 even if you’re looking for a “budget” option. Trust me; your rear end will thank you.
Best Racer-Style Gaming Chair
While racers may not be all they’re cracked up to be, that’s not to say there aren’t some fantastic options available. Primarily, the current most popular and best-reviewed racer-style seats are from our friends over at Secretlab. Starting at $420, the Secretlab OMEGA is not just a contender for the best racer seat but also one of the best desk chairs out there when it comes to return policy, warranty support, build quality, and comfort.
The Secretlab OMEGA has options for their custom PU Leather or SoftWeave Fabric, as well as a premium choice for NAPA Leather at a considerable markup. Regardless of whichever material you decide on, every OMEGA’s full-length backrest (supported by the aluminum wheel-base) reclines to nearly 180 degrees if you decide you want to nap. The rest of the chair is a relatively standard, though high-quality, affair with an included headrest pillow, controls for armrest adjustment, seat height adjustment, and tilt tension/locking. If you have the budget and your heart’s set on a good ole gaming bucket seat, you’ll find the OMEGA a tough choice to beat.
Best Big & Tall Gaming Chair
We suggest the OMEGA’s older brother, the Secretlab TITAN XL, for our Big & Tall gamers out there. Imagine taking the OMEGA, stretching it out a bit, reinforcing the aluminum frame sections, and adding an adjustable lumbar support feature, and there you have the TITAN XL starting at $540.
The TITAN XL is every bit as comfortable and supportive than its comparatively miniature counterpart and is even better-built thanks to the extra attention paid to the frame. Also, being big and/or tall is certainly not a requirement, because those of us smaller/shorter individuals might easily and comfortably sit cross-legged atop this massive beast. So if you happen to need, or even just prefer, a larger chair, the TITAN XL should be your go-to pick.
Best Mesh Gaming Chair
The Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair. Many of you might have just cringed at this recommendation, but there is an extremely good reason that the Aeron is heralded as the gold standard for desk chairs for which I can personally vouch. The Aeron is the perfect chair. As a former corporate IT Professional, I sat in an Aeron, the same Aeron, for over two years of full-time work. Every day, for eight hours a day, I arrive at my desk and completely forget that I even had a chair. Usually, I would start to get uncomfortable and need to get up for a walk or a stretch; after my office upgraded to Aerons, I needed to start setting reminders on my phone. If I could have found a way to smuggle mine out of the office when I left, I would have.
Not only is the Aeron one of the most comfortable and supportive chairs I’ve ever used, but it is also, hands down, one of the most sturdy pieces of furniture money can buy. Because the backrest and seat are mesh screens, there isn’t any cushioning/padding to compress or wear down over time. Herman-Miller also successfully conjured their space magic a long time ago to make sure the only way their mesh is going to deteriorate is if you intentionally hack away at it with something sharp. Now, brand-new, an Aeron is a large pill to swallow at $1400; however, Herman Miller Aerons are very easy to find used for as low as $300. Aerons also happen to be some of the safest options on the used market due to their incredibly high build-quality. Still, you need to be sure you do your due diligence and either see the product in person or make sure there’s an adequate return policy first.
Best Ridiculous Gaming Chair
The Herman Miller x Logitech Embody: there’s no way around it, at $1500; this thing is ridiculous (and you have zero chance of finding it used, at least for a while yet). This special edition of the Embody is the Marvel Crossover of desk chairs. The Embody is already an amazing experience (when my office upgraded to Aerons, my boss got an Embody). So for Logitech to work between Herman Miller and the E-Sports Athletes they sponsor to improve it even further is quite remarkable.
To back up their talk of how good their nanomachine infused Embody is, Herman Miller provides a 12-Year Warranty on top of a 30-day return policy. Yet again, we’re met with a case of buy once, cry once. It may sting to spend a large amount of money on anything, let alone a desk chair, but more often than not, you get what you pay for. Your best bet is usually spending your money on a smart investment a single time rather than replacing a bunch of mediocre ones.
Now, a chair is a chair is a chair. There aren’t terribly many things you can do to reinvent the wheel with chairs. However, you can do plenty of things to make sure your chair does chair things better than most, and with better materials than most, which seems to be the case with this edition of the Embody. Herman Miller has improved the seat with an extra layer of copper-infused foam to help with heat regulation and moisture-wicking. The iconic Embody backrest retains its “backfit” adjustment. The vast majority of chairs have neck and lumbar supports, while the Embody has a lattice of support arms along the entire backrest, which can be adjusted to the unique curve of your spine. Finally, you’re able to change the seat depth and bring the edge closer to, or further away from, your knees. Tie everything together with the outstanding quality of Herman Miller’s build-quality, and you may very well be looking at the last chair you’ll need to buy… Provided the price tag didn’t make your eyes bleed.
There are seemingly infinite choices when it comes to office/gaming chairs, and it can be hard to tell which ones are truly worth your hard-earned money. That’s why we took the time to narrow down as many of the best-in-class options we could to make your decision, hopefully, a little bit easier. If you’ve been thinking of grabbing something to make your PC experience a bit more comfortable, then any of our selections should serve you spectacularly. Again, we recommend you take as much time as possible to save and buy the best you can afford. You’ll always thank yourself for doing so in the long run!
As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for reading!