If you haven’t already made the switch from your battered old folding seat to a fully featured gaming chair, now is the time to do your back a favour and take the leap. But with more gaming chairs to choose from than ever and each one representing a significant investment, where should you start?
When you think of a gaming chair, you likely picture a racing-style bucket seat. This is all because DXRacer, a well-known American company in the gaming chair space, began the trend in 2006 when automobile sales took a nosedive and it made up for a loss of earnings by repurposing sports car seats into office chairs. Popularity then grew as they became a staple in the setups of streamers and esports players, and it’s not hard to see why, with great back support and comfort thanks to their extensive adjustability.
Bucket seats aren’t the only style of gaming chair you can choose from nowadays, either, and with more people working and playing games from home right now, long periods at your desk make back health more important than ever. Plus, let’s not forget, they just look cool too, and with crazy designs like Noblechairs’ Elder Scrolls-themed gaming chair, the possibilities are endless.
Our roundup has a chair for every budget, and we’ve taken into account build quality, comfort, ergonomics, and design. These are the top gaming chairs to buy in 2021:
The best gaming chair is Secretlab’s Omega and Titan range.
When it comes to the best gaming chair, the crown goes to the Secretlab Omega and Titan – two near-identical seats that only differ in their overall size and weight rating. The Titan is slightly larger, so if you want that extra space to find your groove, this is the best choice. The Omega is perfect for those with a slender frame that want to bring the price down, but worry not as it boasts all the same customisation.
The massive amount of choice across both ranges allows you to cover them in faux PU leather, genuine Nappa leather, or a fabric material. Secretlab has also built up a wide range of partnerships for eye-catching licensed chairs, allowing you to represent your favourite esports team, video game or movie character, or even football team. Our favourite here would have to be the League of Legends themed chair, with its striking red colour scheme.
These are pretty expensive chairs, starting at $379 / £314 for the Omega and $419 / £364 for the Titan, and they’re more if you’re going for a fabric, genuine leather, or themed option. However, the amount of adjustability still makes this seat more than worth it. It’s friendly on your back thanks to the integrated lumbar support, and it’s comfy all over thanks to the memory foam head cushion, padded armrests, and full-tilt mechanism that lets you lock the chair into your perfect position. It can even reach an almost horizontal recline, although we’re not sure how helpful that is for gaming.
Don’t expect it to fall apart anytime soon, either, with metal mechanisms in the adjustable armrests instead of plastic, an aluminium wheel base, and a standard three-year warranty. You can even extend this to a five-year warranty for free, just by posting a photo of your new chair on social media.
Check out Secretlab’s range here.
|Secretlab Omega specs||Secretlab Titan specs|
|Price||From $379 / £314||From $419 / £364|
|Upholstery||PU Leather/Fabric/Nappa Leather||PU Leather/Fabric/Nappa Leather|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years|
The most comfortable gaming chair is the Razer Iskur.
If you’re looking for the best ergonomics in a gaming chair then the Razer Iskur is worth checking out – especially if you spend hours on end at your desk each day for work and gaming. It’s got a lumbar support system that’s better than the cushions you’ll find on any other gaming chair, with lots of extension to keep your posture correct no matter what seating position you take up. This comfort also comes courtesy of the memory foam seat cushion and thick padding throughout the seat.
Its extensive adjustability means that this throne can quickly adapt to how you want to be sat, whether that’s reclined, leaning forward, or upright. It’s a handsome chair, too, and we think the rather unusual lack of RGB for a Razer product is for the better. When you’re dropping this kind of money, you want your purchase to feel worth it, and the Iskur definitely feels like a $500 chair with build quality being on point. All in all, it’s a brilliant first foray into the gaming chair market for Razer.
You can check out Razer’s gaming chair here.
|Razer Iskur specs|
|Price||$499 / £499|
Read the PCGamesN Razer Iskur review for our full verdict and score.
The premium gaming chair of our choice is the Noblechairs Epic Real Leather.
Looking for the most luxurious gaming chair? Noblechairs’ Epic with real leather is the top choice here at $599 / £489, featuring great breathability and comfort. The all-black colour scheme makes it look like it’s been taken straight out of a sports car, but there’s also an alternative black and white design to choose if you wanted to spruce things up.
Head and lumbar cushions are also provided, alongside fully adjustable 4D armrests for optimal wrist comfort. Noblechairs’ Epic with real leather was a strong contender for the best gaming chair, but the lack of built-in lumbar support and a lower weight rating of 120kg gave the Secretlab Titan the crown. Still, if you want a luxurious gaming chair with a premium feel, this comes in significantly cheaper than the leather version of the Titan, while still offering most of the same features.
|Noblechairs Epic Real Leather specs|
|Price||$599 / £489|
The best budget gaming chair is the GT Omega Pro.
If you’re in the market for a cheaper seat that’s still a big step up in comfort and aesthetic from your tattered old office chair, the GT Omega Pro is the best budget option available at $239 / £189. It’s been our default low-cost option for years, and has accumulated an extensive array of colour options over time, too.
Like some of the more expensive alternatives here, you get head and lumbar cushions, a fully reclining back, adjustable armrests, and the same 120kg weight rating as the Noblechairs Epic. However, at this price, you’ll have to do without integrated lumbar support. Genuine leather is also, of course, out the question at this price, with PVC leather used instead. Add in a three-year warranty, and this is what makes the GT Omega Pro our favourite budget gaming chair.
|GT Omega Pro specs|
|Price||$239 / £189|
The best non-gaming, er, gaming chair is Ikea’s Markus.
We won’t judge if you’re not one for the gamer aesthetic. After all, not everyone wants to look like they’re sat at the starting grid of Silverstone. But that doesn’t mean you can compromise on comfort with long sessions of gaming or productivity. The IKEA Markus office chair is a great alternative to gaming chairs with supreme comfort and adjustability, and it costs about the same as the GT Omega Pro at $229 / £179.
It’s PU leather on the base and headrest, mixed with a mesh back and built-in lumbar cushion, giving great breathability during hot weather. The high back means it’s perfect for taller people, too. There’s also adjustability for height and recline, but not for the armrests – although they’re padded nicely for comfort. Purchasing the Markus nets you a 10-year guarantee. It’s always reassuring to have an expensive purchase like this protected for so long.
Check out Ikea’s Markus chair here.
|IKEA Markus specs|
|Price||$229 / £179|
The flashiest gaming chair is the Vertagear PL4500, when combined with the RGB LED kit.
Vertagear’s PL4500 as standard looks like any other gaming chair, but combine it with the optional RGB lighting kit – available for both the headrest and wheel legs, each costing an extra $300 / €300 – and it’s one of the most noticeable gaming chairs you can get your hands on. These lights can be synced with your computer’s audio or what’s on your screen to further immerse yourself when playing games in a dark room… or, you know, just to show off. It’s the perfect way to top off your streaming setup.
The chair itself is pretty solid, with good support from the included head and lumbar cushions, plenty of adjustment in the armrests and recline, and durable PU leather and high density padding throughout.
Check out Vertagear’s PL4500 chair here.
|Vertagear PL4500 specs|
|Price||$789 / €739 (when paired with RGB kit)|
gaming chair buying guide
There are a few careful considerations to make when choosing the best gaming chair for you, especially when you’re likely dropping a considerate sum of money. If you’re choosing any of the chairs listed here, then the build quality aspect is covered already; but if you go for a cheaper, lesser-known brand, make sure to check customer reviews carefully. Ergonomics are something to look out for too, ensuring the chair encourages good posture to avoid any back problems further down the line. For the ultimate comfort, we’d go for the Razer Iskur or the Secretlab Titan.
Style is a subjective one, so we won’t give you any advice on that – but if you want something that doesn’t stand out, then the Ikea Markus is a good option. On the other hand, the Vertagear PL4500 with the RGB lighting upgrade kit will be sure to get people in your video calls talking.
And finally, one important thing to consider when talking about chairs is warranties. They may not cover general wear and tear of the fabric, but rather the mechanicals of the chair itself, so read them carefully.