Are Gaming Chairs a Waste of Money? (I Tried Many Chairs)


I’ve been gaming for most of my life, and lord knows I’ve gone through a lot of chairs. I’ve used gaming chairs, office chairs, and even a $5 plastic stool at one point, so I have an informed opinion on whether or not gaming chairs are a waste of money. 

Gaming chairs are not a waste of money. If you spend more than four hours sitting down playing games every day, that’s going to have a terrible effect on your back. Gaming chairs come with lumbar support that helps keep your back healthy, even if you spend tens of hours playing games every week. 

Understanding why gaming chairs aren’t a waste of money brings us into the world of economics. I’m not going to bore you with the nitty-gritty, but I will explain the basics for you down below so that you understand the value you’re getting from your gaming chair. 

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Why Are Gaming Chairs so Expensive?

Gaming chairs are more expensive than regular chairs because they come with lumbar support systems, typically in the form of cushions. This helps mimic the natural curve of your spine to help support you while you’re sitting. You are paying for the R&D of the chairs.

That’s not to say that you need a second mortgage to buy a good gaming chair, though. With a bit of research, you can get a half-decent model for anywhere around $100. While the $200+ Secret Lab chairs are going to be better, it’s still a healthier alternative to using a normal office chair. 

It’s not just the science that drives up the price of gaming chairs, though. Compared to $40 office chairs, the likes of GXRacers use premium materials that offer you more comfort over conventional plastic or nylon. 

Gaming chair manufacturers know that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in these chairs, so they make sure to build them using cushioned material that isn’t going to make you ache after an eight-hour binge session. 

Typically, you’re also going to get a bunch of extras with whatever gaming chair you’re buying. Some come with message vibrations, others with leg rests, and almost all of them have headrests. 

What’s more, gaming chairs have a unique style that compliments RGB gaming setups very well. They look distinct and come in a variety of different colors and patterns for every gender. While this is a superficial reason to explain why they are expensive, things that look better do tend to cost more money, hence why my girlfriend tends to leave me broke. 

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Do you Really Need A Gaming Chair?

A gaming chair is only really worth the investment if you’re going to be using it for at least four hours every day. If you only game on the weekends, then there’s no point spending $150+ on a chair that you’re never going to use. But if you play a lot, then you should consider getting one for your setup. 

Gaming chairs are usually the last part most people get for their setup. There are other pieces of hardware that should take priority, like your monitor, mouse, keyboard, and PC. However, that doesn’t mean you can skimp out on the chair. One piece of essential equipment is a gaming headset, learn more about them here.

I’m not going to insult you by claiming that a good quality chair and proper posture are more important than running the Witcher 3 on Ultra with your GTX 1080 ti, but it is to anyone not in the gaming sphere. 

How you’re sitting and what you’re sitting on has a massive impact on your life outside of games. It’s going to affect your mood, weight, blood pressure, and even how well you age. Not to say that a gaming chair is going to save your life or anything, but it’s going to have a massive impact that you won’t even realize is happening. 

How Much Should You Spend On A Gaming Chair?

Spend around $120-$140 for a well built gaming chair that comes in a variety of different great-looking styles with features like footrest, headrest, lumbar support and a lower back massager. But if you have extra cash spending around $500-$600 is ideal for the best chair possible.

It depends. Do you have a million in your bank account? Then go and get one for a grand or two. If you have like $200, then that’s obviously not an option. 

As a rule of thumb for all my equipment, I like to gradually upgrade rather than getting top-of-the-line stuff right away. In terms of chairs, I’d recommend you start off around the $120. I know that’s unusually specific, but there’s a clear difference in quality once you pass the three-digit mark with gaming chairs. 

For example, this Storm Racer chair is $140 and is built incredibly well, especially for the price. It comes with a footrest, headrest, and lumbar support that has a built-in lower back massager. It also comes in a variety of great-looking styles. 

Compare that to a $97 gaming chair that not only has none of those comfort and ergonomic extras, but it also looks terrible. 

Once you start bringing in some big bucks, you start working from home, or you start making some cash from your gaming, you can justify investing in a better chair. At this point, I like looking at the $500 range. 

While I personally went with a $600 ergonomic chair that wasn’t built specifically for gaming, it does more or less the same thing with a few extra bonuses. I could justify this price because I both work and game from home, so I’m at my desk at least 12 hours per day. 

For you, though, I would cap out at $500. With a budget that size, you can pick yourself up a premium brand-name gaming chair and still have some cash left over to put on your stream account. 

That price might be out of the question for a lot of you, though, and that’s perfectly reasonable. A $120 gaming chair is going to do the job perfectly well if you don’t want to splash the cash on something a bit fancier. 

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