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The best gaming chairs

The best gaming chairs 2019
The best gaming chairs 2019 (Image credit: Noblechairs, Secretlab)

Take a load-off, friend. We all probably spend way too much time in front of computers, whether you're a gamer or not. So it makes sense that you'd want a comfy chair to make that experience as pain-free as possible. While there are plenty of options that have the gamer aesthetic and are available from a local office retailer, odds are you're paying more for the look than actual premium materials. These chairs may look alright, but if your butt is falling asleep after just a few hours, you owe it to yourself to invest in a chair that won't be doing irreparable damage to your body.

Your posture probably sucks, and that's okay, mine does too. But dropping some decent bucks on a chair with some decent neck and lumbar support will make sure that it doesn't get any worse. Making sure your chair supports these areas is a solid start, but you'll also want to look at the materials and adjustment options too. Any gaming chair worth its salt should have armrests that can be heavily adjusted in nearly any direction, this will make sure you don't run into any issues when you're trying to cozy your chair up to your desk. It may seem obvious, but you'll want to make sure there are adjustment options for the seat back and bottom as well. These will let you fine-tune the fit of your particular char, and there's nothing more frustrating than having to adjust your chair a couple of degrees one way or the other with no way to do it.

Aesthetics and materials of a particular chair is going to be the deciding factor for most people outside of the actual price. While paying more generally nets you better materials, checking what you're going to be sitting on will make sure you don't overpay. While it's tough to beat the feel and smell of genuine NAPA leather, ultimately going with a mesh or breathable fabric option can mean a more comfortable chair for extended gaming sessions. It's easy enough to get a chair in an inoffensive black, however, there are options like the Secretlab Omega and NZXT SL5000 out there if you really want to make a statement.

Finally, you'll want to take a look at warranties and how easy it is to put a chair together. Some of the most comfortable chairs out there are deceptively tricky to put together, so being able to put together your throne without pulling your hair out is certainly worth something. Cheap gaming chair deals can be few and far between, so snagging a chair with a solid warranty and being secure in the knowledge that you can get a replacement if something breaks can pay big dividends. 

Best gaming chairs

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

Secretlab Omega

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

Secretlab Omega

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

Secretlab Omega

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

Secretlab Omega

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

Secretlab Omega

Secretlab Omega

The best gaming chair of 2019

Specifications
Seat type: Racing seat
Recline: 165 degrees
Weight capacity: 240 lbs
Weight: 66 lbs
Available colors: Stealth, Classic, Amber, Royal, Ash
Reasons to buy
+Velour memory foam pillows+Versatile tilt mechanism 
Reasons to avoid
-Tricky assembly

The Omega is one of the most well-made chairs we've tested. From the casters to the base, lift mechanism, armrests, and seat back, Secretlab clearly used some of the best materials available. The Omega has also recently been upgraded with Secretlab's 2020 series of improvements, including premium metal materials in the armrest mechanism, making it silky smooth to adjust and even more durable, and the company's ridiculously durable PU Leather 2.0. 

The chair features a high-quality cold-cured foam that provided support which was a little bit firm at first but became really comfortable after longer gaming periods. What really made the Omega stick out from the crowd is the included velour memory foam lumbar and head pillows. These were so comfortable that we could easily fully recline the chair and take a nap if we wanted to. If you're looking to treat your body with a chair that will truly last, the Secretlab Omega is worth every penny.

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(Image credit: NZXT)
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(Image credit: NZXT)

Respawn 200

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(Image credit: NZXT)

Respawn 200

NZXT x Vertagear SL5000

The best gaming chair for making a statement

Specifications
Seat type: Racing seat
Recline: 130 degrees
Weight capacity: 330 lbs
Weight: 62 lbs
Available colors: Purple/Black/Green/White/Red/Blue/Grey
Reasons to buy
+ Lightning fast assembly + Fantastic neck support 
Reasons to avoid
-  The seat could have more cushion 

It's not the cheapest gaming chair you can find, but if you're looking to correct your computer neck, the SL5000 is the chair for you. The dual cushions can be adjusted to support both your lumbar and cervical spines simultaneously so you can settle back into this chair with ease. The backrest is completely independent and adjustable, which also lessens the strain on your neck and back. The 4D customizable armrest allows for a wide variety in terms of width and height adjustments to better support your wrists and arms. 

The quality of the chair's materials can't be denied, either. The entire exterior is made of PVC leather that's stain and water-resistant, with extra thick foam padding. The base of the chair is made of aluminum alloy. Plus, the SL5000 stands out, as it strays from typical gaming chair colors of red and black or black on black. The royal purple is eye-catching and rich and the color even lines the inside of the wheels - this thing is a beauty. 

It's wildly easy to put together, too. The only qualm we have is that the seat cushion leaves a little to be desired when compared to the extra cushy backrest. Otherwise, it's a beautiful, comfortable chair that is well worth the cash.

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(Image credit: Noblechairs)

Noblechairs Hero

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(Image credit: Noblechairs)

Noblechairs Hero

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(Image credit: Noblechairs)

Noblechairs Hero

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(Image credit: Noblechairs)

Noblechairs Hero

Noblechairs Hero

The best gaming chair for back support

Specifications
Seat type: Office chair
Recline: 90-135 degrees
Weight capacity: 330 lbs
Weight: 61.7 lbs
Available colors: Black, Black and Red / Blue / Platinum / Gold
Reasons to buy
+Great for lumbar support+Ideal for larger frames+Has a firm seat and back-rest...
Reasons to avoid
-...maybe too firm for some-It's quite pricey

When buying a gaming chair, it's easy to forget your health. After all, most are advertised as luxurious, cushioned thrones that soothe your every ache as you smash the crap out of enemies in Apex Legends. But that simply isn't true, and for some it's important to pick a chair that takes back-support seriously. With some of the team having used it on a daily basis for almost a year, we can thoroughly recommend the Noblechairs Hero, in uPVC leather. While not the most exciting of chairs, or the sportiest, it definitely takes care of your back.

The Hero is easy to assemble, with the exception of the bit where you attach the back to the seat, so make sure you have a buddy for that. It's firm and supportive, and extremely sturdy. As a word of warning: it is very firm, so if you prefer a softer chair that isn't as good for your lumbar, this maybe isn't for you. Aside from that it has a decent recline, can withstand frames of up to 330 lbs, and it has fully adjustable wrist-rests. It's heavy, but glides pretty easily on the supplied casters. It'll look just fine in both an office or gaming setup, so you're getting a chair that can do both. Not bad, if you can afford it.

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(Image credit: Arozzi)
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(Image credit: Arozzi)
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(Image credit: Arozzi)
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(Image credit: Arozzi)

Arozzi Verona Junior

The best gaming chair for smaller frames

Specifications
Seat type: Racing seat
Recline: 165 degrees
Weight capacity: 130 lbs
Weight: 40 lbs
Available colors: Black, Blue, Red, White
Reasons to buy
+Easy to assemble+Comfortably placed back and neck pillows
Reasons to avoid
-No locking mechanism for side-to-side armrest rotation-130lb weight limit

Whether you're a kid or just shorter than the average human, Arozzi has got you covered. The Verona Junior's racing-style chair is made just for individuals under 5-feet, 2-inches tall, which means you can count on this chair molding to the proportions of your body—and you can finally touch the floor with your feet without having to reach upward for your keyboard. Win, win.

It's possible to curl up into a larger chair, but sitting for long periods of time with your body contorted into such a position can put stress on your joints, especially your back. That's not healthy in the long run. A smaller chair allows shorter individuals to get proper support to their lower back, which helps maintain a neutral spine posture. The included lower back pillow actually sits right at your lower back, so the chair helps to hold you up—no fatigued back muscles from trying to maintain a dancer-like posture for eight hours a day.

The shallower seat back allows you to sit all the way back in the chair, which means added support for the hips and other joints that may have become achy with age if you're a short adult. The Verona Junior also reclines to an impressive 165 degrees, so you can nap fearlessly.

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(Image credit: X Rocker)

X Rocker Pro Series H3

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(Image credit: X Rocker)

X Rocker Pro Series H3

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(Image credit: X Rocker)

X Rocker Pro Series H3

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(Image credit: X Rocker)

X Rocker Pro Series H3

X-Rocker Pro Series H3

The best gaming chair with built in sound

Specifications
Seat type: Baseless rocking chair
Recline: Fixed 115 degrees
Weight capacity: 275 lbs
Weight: 17.34 lbs
Available colors: Black
Reasons to buy
+Four built-in speakers and a subwoofer+Very comfortable to lounge in+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-Can get warm after extended use

If you're looking to save some cash on your PC battlestation (and still get your hands on a ridiculously comfortable gaming chair), consider the X-Rocker Pro Series H3. It bundles a slick looking, extremely cozy baseless rocker chair with a 4.1 sound system, packing four speakers and a powerful subwoofer inside the body of the chair. And because it's a rocker, you can really kick back while you're lining up headshots in Apex Legends or ganking in Dota 2. 

The sound quality is surprisingly good for a system bundled inside a gaming chair. The speakers and woofer do a great job of combining to immerse you in whatever game you're playing, and while it doesn't replicate a proper surround sound setup, it does include a feature that will vibrate the chair when things start to really pop off in-game. Detailed stitching and high-quality vinyl combine with the futuristic presentation of the audio panels and speakers, and make the H3 a proper conversation piece.

Best office chairs

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

NeueChair

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

NeueChair

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

NeueChair

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(Image credit: Secretlab)

NeueChair

NeueChair

The best chair for offices

Specifications
Seat type: Task chair
Recline: 85-130 degrees
Weight capacity: 240 lbs
Weight: 64 lbs
Available colors: Silver, Obsidian
Reasons to buy
+Ridiculously sturdy and well made+Comfortable and supportive+Highly adjustable
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

If you're the sort of person who prioritizes functionality over flash, the NeueChair is an excellent option. Which isn't to say it's not stylish—quite the opposite, the NeueChair comes in a sleek, muted obsidian or flashy chrome/silver, both with bold, sweet curved supports on the back and an attractive black mesh. But more importantly, the NeueChair is built to last, with a heavy, sturdy industrial construction. Even the weight of the chair in the packaging indicates that this is a solid piece of carefully constructed industrial art: it's heavy and substantial. 

Assembling it is a breeze, as it comes in two discrete pieces and is simply a matter of inserting the casters and pushing them together. And almost every aspect of the seat is adjustable, from the armrests (which you can move in three dimensions to perfectly suit your elbows and forearms) to the adjustable lumbar support system that lets you change the height and depth of the backrest. It's one of the best office chairs I've ever had the pleasure to sit in and, if you can afford the admittedly steep price tag, well worth the investment.

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(Image credit: Steelcase)

Steelcase Gesture

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(Image credit: Steelcase)

Steelcase Gesture

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(Image credit: Steelcase)

Steelcase Gesture

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(Image credit: Steelcase)

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture

The best gaming chair for ultimate comfort

Specifications
Seat type: Task chair
Material: Breathable fabric
Recline: 116 degrees
Seat height: 16-21 in
Weight capacity: 400 lbs
Weight: 78 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Most comfortable chair+Stylish color options  
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive

The Steelcase Leap is one of the most iconic modern chairs with a price to match its performance. Wirecutter named it the best office chair a couple of years ago, but we prefer the newer Steelcase Gesture for a number of reasons. Foremost of which is, holy smoke, it feels good. If your eyes are still watering at the cost, know this: much as we enjoyed the other chairs singled out here, none of them came close to the comfort of the Gesture. 

Imagine your butt and back being perfectly cupped by the giant ever-loving hand of the deity of your choice. That's what the Gesture is like. Or, as it became known amongst us testing it: 'the dream chair.' Anyone that spends a significant amount of time in a chair should seriously consider splurging on this one. The steep price buys you a lifetime warranty and your butt the most comfortable embrace it’ll ever experience.

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(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Herman Miller Embody

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(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Herman Miller Embody

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(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Herman Miller Embody

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(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Herman Miller Embody

Herman Miller Embody

The best gaming chair when money is no object

Specifications
Seat type: Task chair
Material: Multi-layer fabric
Seat height: 16-20.5 in
Weight capacity: 300 lbs
Weight: 51 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Stimulates blood and oxygen flow+Unrivaled back support
Reasons to avoid
-Insanely expensive

If money really is no object, Herman Miller has the exorbitant Embody. It's the most obviously high-end looking of the chairs we've tried. Viewed from behind its dramatically-shaped backrest has a biomechanical look that seems like it came straight from a sci-fi cockpit. According to its maker, "Embody is so advanced that it actually lowers your heart rate and reduces stress by stimulating blood and oxygen flow while you sit."

We can't confirm that, but what the Embody's flexible matrix design definitely does offer is superb support in the lower back area. The higher part functions like a more sophisticated version of the OM5, automatically adjusting to your posture and sitting position. The puckered fabric used for the seat material also stays pleasantly cool during extended gaming sessions. The Embody is clearly an excellent chair, especially if you have lower back problems, but the sky high price tag means you might end up spending more on your chair than your actual gaming PC.

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(Image credit: Office Master)

Office Master OM5

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(Image credit: Office Master)

Office Master OM5

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(Image credit: Office Master)

Office Master OM5

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(Image credit: Office Master)

Office Master OM5

Office Master OM5

The best gaming chair with a self-adjusting mechanism

Specifications
Seat type: Task chair
Material: Polyflex back, fabric seat
Seat height: 14.7-25 in
Weight capacity: 300 lbs
Weight: 64 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Automatic adjustments+Highly customizable colors
Reasons to avoid
-Limited manual adjustments 

On the face of it, the Office Master OM5 sounds like the snake oil of seating. The marketing materials describe it as "a self weighing chair that intuitively responds to a wide range of body weights and sizes without the need for manual tension." Essentially: don't worry about all those levers and knobs on the other chairs, this one will magically work out what your butt and back need, no problemo. Our skepticism didn't last long, though, because when it comes to the OM5, sitting is believing.

There are a couple of manual adjustments possible, but all of the magic happens around your back and hip. As you lean back and apply pressure, the seat pan shifts forwards while the backrest reclines in response, articulating smoothly thanks to wheels on runners that function much like the ones in desk draw sliders. It takes a little getting used to, but transitioning from upright work mode to relaxing whilst playing or watching swiftly becomes a cinch. If you want comfort and can't be bothered with levers and adjustments, the OM5 is one of our favorites because it gives you high-end quality and comfort at a mid range price.

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(Image credit: Office Star)

Office Star ProGrid

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(Image credit: Office Star)

Office Star ProGrid

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(Image credit: Office Star)

Office Star ProGrid

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(Image credit: Office Star)

Office Star ProGrid

Office Star ProGrid

The best gaming chair for high-end features at a reasonable price

Specifications
Seat type: Task chair
Material: Mesh back, fabric seat
Seat height: 17-20.5 in
Weight: 41 lbs
Available colors: Black
Reasons to buy
+Lots of adjustments+Very comfortable 
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a bit of tuning 

Office Star's range of chairs don't look noteworthy at first glance, but the customer reviews are consistently good. We like the ProGrid Back Managers Chair a lot because it offers the kind of tweakability usually only found on much more expensive models. 

Using its daunting array of levers, you can adjust the height and tilt of the chair, plus slide the seat pan forwards or backwards. The backrest can also be shifted up or down, and the armrests raised or lowered and slid back and forth until you find the perfect position. It may take a while, but once tune it to your liking the chair becomes incredibly comfortable. With so much customization, the ProGrid is a strong choice, and very hard to beat at this price.

Alice Newcome-Beill

Alice is PC Gamer's resident peripherals expert and PC parts nut. She's been breaking computers to learn more about them for as long as she can remember, developing a lifelong motto of "instruction by destruction." "Pick up" is her favorite SCUMM verb.