Gaming Chair vs. Office Chair: Which One Should You Buy?

You now face the polarizing question of whether to get a gaming chair or an office chair for whatever purpose it may serve you. There are many factors that come into play, so it’s challenging to give a simple answer.

But here’s an obvious one: design.

That’s the main difference people first notice. When you add ergonomics, construction and materials, and add-ons, it can then be confusing. To help you know which one to buy, here’s a quick guide on making the gaming chair vs. office chair assessment.

Table of Contents

Gaming Chair

Built for video game players, who have to sit for hours on end, this type of chair aims to provide comfort and support. The racing style feature prominent in the backrest plays an important role in the achievement of these.

To understand how it works, you can quickly look at its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Its design may seem fugly to some folks, but it can actually make gamers feel comfortable. The shape of the backrest can contour to your back, supporting it all throughout. Some models sport lumbar support for added assistance for the lower back. Aside from eliminating discomfort, this can help relieve pain.
  • While promoting good posture, preventing discomfort, and relieving pain, the gaming chair can help you enhance your gaming skills at the same time. That’s because it can make you focus more on the game instead of getting distracted by the untoward effects of extended sitting.
  • Compatibility is another key feature of this chair type. It can be optimized to your playing preferences. For instance, some models will allow you to connect it to your console wirelessly. Others can be attached to a rig or a steering wheel, whatever makes your gaming much more fun and interactive.

Cons

  • Chief of the complaints with the game chairs is their weight. A model can be quite heavy, especially if it has add-ons like a retractable footrest. It may be hard to lug around if you want to move from Point A to Point B while you practice active sitting. Or maybe when you just want to change the position of your gaming station.
  • Related to its heavy profile is its bulkiness. It can take up a lot of space, which may not be ideal if you can only designate a small area to your gaming station. One possible solution is to skip models with a retractable footrest. You may not be able to maximize this feature anyway.
  • Last but not least, the pricing for top gaming chairs can hit as high as around $400 or $500. This may be too much for those who want to buy an office chair gamer style. You can score a unit under $100 if you are on a budget. But you need to sort through the options carefully.

Examples

Here are some of the best budget gaming chairs for those who are on a tight budget:

  • Homall Gaming Chair
  • GT Racing Gaming Chair
  • Devoko Ergonomic Gaming Chair

Office Chair

The office chair or desk chair is made for the workplace, but it can also be found in home offices. It is characterized by its swivel feature and wheels, adjustable height, and medium to high backrest.

Pros

  • This chair is designed for professionals who tend to sit for long periods at their desks. It can come in different styles, such as executive, standing, kneeling, and reclining. These options allow you to sit actively even when you are deeply focusing on a task. 
  • Its ergonomic design can help reduce muscle strain and fatigue, as well as back pain and pressure. Depending on the sub-type, it can also relax muscles in the thighs and core. It can distribute weight properly so that you won’t feel uncomfortable even as you stay in one position for some time.  
  • Higher-end models have an aesthetic appeal that can make them fit any room’s theme or style. Mid-range versions can offer this, too. But most lower-end ones can look no different from each other. If you want a professional-looking chair at work to impress and chase success, you can take advantage of this chair type.

Cons

  • As I mentioned above, you may find a lot of models that look like each other. There may be a few differences, but the level of attention to detail really depends on the manufacturer. It is highly recommended that you buy from a trusted brand. That said, the uniform style may allow you to buy in bulk for your team needs.
  • It may have limited add-ons. But this can also have a positive consequence. For instance, a retractable footrest may not always be present as this may violate office space regulations of the building where you’re taking office. 
  • Some chairs may feature adjustable height and other settings. But these may not always cater to big and tall individuals. The models for these groups are very limited, which means there is more to change in the industry in terms of inclusivity.

Examples

Here are some examples of office chairs with the reclining feature:

  • Duramont Reclining Office Chair
  • Homall Gaming Chair
  • Merax Portland Big & Tall PU Leather Recliner
  • Homelegance Swivel Reclining Chair with Ottoman
  • Killabee Massage Gaming Chair
  • Hbada Ergonomic Office Recliner

Gaming Chair vs. Office Chair

This gaming chairs vs. office chairs comparison may have overlapping features. There are components that these two chair types share after all. Let’s go over them before I introduce you to the main differences.

Similarities

Seat

One of the most noticeable things in gaming chairs and office chairs is pneumatic seat height adjustment. This involves a mechanism that will allow you to raise or lower the seat height to accommodate your needs. At the same time, some models will let you adjust the seat depth, which is the distance between the front and back edges of the seat.

You can also find a waterfall edge and bucket seat designs for both types. Either style has its own function to fulfill. What’s important is that you can adjust your seat to the height and depth that work for you.

Backrest

The racing game chair sports an ergonomic design that cannot be matched by an ordinary office chair. But the latter also has some high-end or designer representatives that do not take the backrest for granted. Both may have models that feature adjustable lumbar pillows and additional headrest or pillow on top of being high back or mid-back.

This is an important component because it leads to the promotion of correct posture. Sitting upright is the starting point of most of the benefits both chairs provide. And most elements of the backrest of a good gaming or office chair can force you to settle into the right position.

Armrests

I cannot emphasize the importance of a good set of armrests enough. Some models will offer a fixed pair. This is not recommended. Others have flip-up ones, which is ideal for active sitting. With the armrests raised, you can move your chair toward and under the edge of the desk to boost your productivity. With them lowered, you can rest your elbows and arms comfortably.

However, being able to flip them up and down is different from adjusting their height. If your chair has the latter feature, then it is more flexible in catering to different comfort levels.

Footrest

This part of the chair may or may not be found in the model you’re purchasing. This component allows you to extend your legs and feet when you’re in a reclining position. You can turn your chair into a bed when it is fully reclined and the footrest is taken out. You can also use it as just a foothold, as its name suggests, while you’re playing video games or finishing a task at work.

It can be fixed or retractable. Make sure to choose the latter – a fixed footrest can take up space, which is not ideal for smaller gaming stations or workstations.

Cushion

For padding, the most common choices are real leather and synthetic leather, which is made with polyurethane (PU). Genuine leather, of course, feels soft and looks grainy. It can absorb moisture, so you won’t feel damp while sitting on it. The aesthetic is also unparalleled as it instantly turns any office or gaming chair into a sophisticated piece of furniture.

Meanwhile, PU leather can be soft enough to give you plush comfort. It is denser than leather, though, giving a firmer feel. This foam features an open cell structure to allow for air to flow while also maintaining its shape.

Fabric

Both kinds of chairs can be covered with real or faux leather, mesh, and other fabric material. Leather is classy, durable, yet more expensive. Mesh can be more affordable, breathable, and easier to clean.

Differences

I said it earlier: design is the main and obvious difference between the two types. Gaming chairs adopt a racing-style backrest and overall structure. Office chairs often have a more straightforward and professional-looking construction. One is more efficient for taking up space in a private area like a gaming room, living room, or bedroom. Another fits a workplace setup.

At the same time, the difference lies in the details. You have just learned that both chairs can have similar features. So to really choose which one is better, you should know what you want out of the chair you’re buying.

You should list down the high-priority things that you require, such as cooling, comfort, and support. And then, go down to the level of specifics, such as “I want a racing-style backrest” or “I am looking for a reclining chair with a retractable footrest that I can flaunt at work.”

Of course, if you’re gaming, you’re likely to get a chair that gaming enthusiasts and experts recommend. But if you’re working, both types are viable candidates. Just make sure to sort the factors out very well.

Are Gaming Chairs Better than Office Chairs?

Not necessarily. To determine which is better, you need to make a direct comparison between any two models: one gaming chair and one office chair. For an overview, you can refer to the section that discusses their similarities and differences. Do this if you haven’t found gaming and office chair models to compare yet.

Both gaming chairs and office chairs have models that benefit the user when they are sitting for long periods. In most cases, though, a gaming chair can work as an office chair, but an office chair can seldom replace a gaming chair.

Can You Use a Gaming Chair as an Office Chair?

I have answered this question in the above section. But to elaborate, you can convert a gaming chair into an office chair for several reasons. The adjustable features, the materials and construction, and the visual appeal of the former make it a versatile type.

Some may worry about its look, though, as it may not pass off as a professional chair. This decision is entirely up to you. If you can customize your workspace to your utmost satisfaction, which a nice and functional gaming chair can help provide, then go ahead and get yourself one.

Are Gaming Chairs Worth It?

Definitely! That is not to discount the fact that some models can cost you around $400 to $500. But the best ones can also offer value for your money, even in that price range. This is manifested through a longer life span, satisfying comfort, and health benefits.

Those that retail at under $100 and $200 can also be dependable and supportive. By looking closely at the construction and materials, ergonomic features, and aesthetic appeal, you can say that a gaming chair is worth it or not. But manufacturers that sell cheap versions may offer less versatility and may have made more compromises in the creation of the models.

So choose wisely.

Read: 5 Best Gaming Chair Under $200

Do Gaming Chairs Make a Difference?

Yes, gaming chairs primarily help correct your posture. Compared to traditional office chairs, they have ergonomic features that can be modified to align your spine naturally, as well as match your other requirements and preferences.

As mentioned above, they also offer comfort and support for gamers who sit for long hours. They can also relieve pressure and prevent pain in your back, neck, and shoulders. This result is linked to better posture, with the chair encouraging you to avoid slouching.

Other benefits include improved blood circulation and digestion, increased energy levels, and fewer headaches. These are all related to the function of gaming chairs as an aid to active sitting. You can swivel or move it around your space in case you get stuck in an extended gaming session.

Conclusion

In the gaming chair vs. office chair competition, which one wins?

Both gaming and office chairs have their particular use. A gaming chair is made for long gaming sessions while an office chair fits extended sitting in a professional setting. At the same time, they have their respective advantages and disadvantages.

So a good way to go about it is to determine your purpose. What do you need a chair for? Then, you can look at the pros and cons of the chair type you end up with. Take note that a gaming chair is welcome in the workplace. With more ergonomic features, it also remains the chair of choice for gamers.

As it has more advantages, the gaming chair can be a bit more beneficial than the office chair in certain contexts. But you have to compare model-to-model instead of generalizing. Some office chairs can also replace gaming chairs if they are well-designed.

If you are still having a hard time choosing the correct type for you or are still stuck in the gaming chair vs. office chair debate, let me help. Just leave your questions or concerns in the comment box below.

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