The first gaming chair is credited to DXRacing back in 2006. DXRacing initially built seats for racing cars, and out of curiosity created the first gaming seat to recreate the racing car experience for gamers.
Office chairs are built for the working environment. From the perspective of a gamer, there are a few pros and cons that can be credited both to gaming chairs and office chairs.
Gaming Chair Vs Office Chair
|Gaming Chair Pros
|Office Chairs Pros
|✓ High back design for full spine and head support.
|✓ ‘Waterfall’ seat edge that allows your feet to make full contact with the floor.
|✓ Adjustable lumbar and neck support cushions.
|✓ Flat seat design allows all types of seating positions.
|✓ Much wider angle of backrest tilt, sometimes up to 1800.
|✓ Flat backrest design as opposed to the winged design of gaming seats. It can be an advantage or a disadvantage.
|✓ Most gaming chairs also feature removable footrests
|✓ Materials used like mesh fabric can be more breathable than the usual leather (real or faux) of gaming seats.
|✓ High-end gaming chairs come with extra features for gamers like inbuilt sound and rumble functions, controller pads or even massage units.
|✓ Cheaper compared to gaming chairs of the same range.
|✓ Flashy colors and eccentric gaming design that looks very cool for your space.
|✓ Ultra-comfortable, with extra cushions and ergonomic design.
|● Bucket seat design may restrict sitting positions.
|● Most office chairs lack lumbar and neck support. Long sessions in them could cause back and neck pain.
|● Winged backrest may be a bit restrictive for some users.
|● The low back does not offer sufficient back support.
|● Raised lip of the seat prevents full contact of the feet to the floor.
|● Limited armrest adjustability.
|● Usually more expensive than an office chair in the same range.
|● No added function for a gamer.
|● No added aesthetics to appeal to the avid gamer. Suited for a conventional office environment.
It should be noted that most manufacturers have found ways of overcoming their weak points so that these are not hard and fast points upon which we can judge gaming and office chairs. Let us dig deeper.
Gaming chairs have some striking design features that set them apart from office chairs. The first is the high back. Office chairs typically go up to the upper back or the neck at the most. Gaming chairs go all the way up to the head and sometimes beyond.
Apart from that, office chairs feature a flat backrest design. In contrast, gaming seats have a winged design that is made to hug your back for more comfort. Some people may prefer the flat back design for personal reasons, but in general, the shape of your back is not flat but curved. A gaming seat feels more comfortable.
For this same reason, gaming seats have a bucket seat that hugs your bottom and makes you feel cozy. This is after the classic racing car design where the seats are designed to give maximum support to the driver and prevent side to side motion.
Office chairs have a flat seat that might be more optimal for those on the bigger side or those who prefer more freedom with their sitting positions. This doesn’t mean that all gaming seats deny you this option, as many designs feature these too. Usually, PC gaming seats are the ones that feature the winged back and bucket seat design.
This is where gaming seats excel. They are designed for prolonged, comfortable seating, and have a few tricks to achieve this. One is that they are made of high-quality shaping foam and heavy cushioning, both for the seat and back.
Gaming seats are also designed with ergonomics in mind, with full back support, lumbar support, and neck support cushions. When properly configured for your body type, they match your spine contours to give you as natural a fit as possible, so that your spine experiences minimum tension.
Office chairs, on the other hand, are purely functional. The straight back is guaranteed to give you back pain with prolonged sitting, especially with the low back that offers minimum back support.
Besides, the cushioning of most office chairs is not very thick. While it works for intermittent sessions, extensive periods of sitting wears it thin very quickly and leaves your bottom sore. Even the high-end office chairs can barely match the comfort of a well-made gaming chair.
Another key feature regarding comfort is the extent of recline. Gaming chairs can typically recline to 1350, or fully to 1800 so that you can even take a nap in one.
Typically, the most comfortable recline angle for the body is 1350 as proven by medical research. Add that to the footrest that comes with a gaming chair for leg support, and you have the best comfort you can wish for.
Gaming chairs give you more leeway in terms of adjustability. For example, a typical gaming chair’s backrest can go back to a full 1800 so that you can practically nap in one. Besides, most come with rocking functions for a more relaxing gaming time.
Office chairs typically go back to a 1350 tilt angle. In an office environment, this is usually more than sufficient, but then work time is not gaming time and you would likely prefer something much more accommodating.
Another aspect of adjustability is the armrest. Normally, you type in a V position; the same applies to holding a gaming pad. Gaming seats offer you the option to adjust armrest height and diagonal orientation. Gaming chairs can either have 2D (Up/down) or 3D (Up, down and sideways) armrests. Office chairs will typically have fixed armrests or only have the 2D configuration.
Gaming chairs also come with added removable cushions for lumbar and neck support. These can be adjusted however you like them for maximum comfort. Office chairs do not come with the added cushions, and even though you may purchase them from third-party vendors, they do not work just as well.
Compared to office chairs, gaming chairs come packed with a lot more features. Case in point, gaming chairs come with a footrest. When you lean back in your chair, you need somewhere to rest your feet, and the footrest comes in handy. Office chairs do not come with this feature so they are much more uncomfortable when in the same position.
Gaming chairs also come with some added functionality for gamers, like inbuilt speakers and rumble functions. Those at the top of the tier will even come with controllers and even widescreen monitors attached.
Another feature of office chairs is minimalistic function. This means that they are made with the minimum features needed for an office environment, that is, support your weight and not much else. This is mainly to keep prices down because they are purchased in bulk.
Gaming chairs, on the other hand, are made with the gamer in mind. That is why they have improved comfort and extra features.
The specifications and dimensions of both gaming chairs vary. Because they are usually made for close body contact, they do not usually come in a one-size-fits-all configuration. Instead, there are various sizes and types to suit different demographics.
- Gaming chairs for petite bodies – These are designed for those who are on the smaller side of the scale. This includes women and children. Their sizes normally range from 4’9” backrest height to 5’3”. Max weight supported can go up to 220 pounds.
- Gaming chairs for heavy set bodies – These will be more sturdy and bigger to support the added weight and girth. For one, they come with class-4 gas spring pistons to support over 400 pounds of weight. They also support taller people, over 6’5″, easily. However, due to stability issues, they will normally not recline as far back as the smaller ones.
Office chairs do not get this luxury of customization. They are meant to fit as large a percentage of body shapes and sizes as possible. This is the reason they have flat backs and backrests.
Office chairs will also come with sturdier class-4 pistons for this same reason so that they can support a wider range of weight.
Gaming chairs are as different from office chairs as night is from day. You can spot a gaming chair straight away due to the flashy design and color schemes. These differences go further to include design and specifications.
If you want a chair for gaming or even a combination of work and gaming, a gaming chair is the best option for you. They are far more comfortable and are very good for your spine, bones, and joints.
The baseline is, gaming chairs are made with your comfort in mind, while office chairs are purely functional and are designed to keep prices as low as possible.
It is our hope that this information will help you make a decision you will be proud of for years to come.