Nowadays, if you look at popular streamers or YouTube gamers, you’ll see them in chairs that look more like racing chairs than chairs built for gaming at a desk. These chairs look like this:
Sure, I can’t blame people who get these chairs. They look comfortable as hell, with plush pillows, thick seats, cool color schemes, and reclining features that let you lie down in front of the desk. They look like a racing chair. Hell, that’s part of the brand name, The bad news is that these chairs aren’t cheap on the wallet, coming in at around $300-$500 dollars. Also, are racing chairs good for office work or gaming?
These chairs are great for gaming, and I’ve written a TON about them in this post here, about the best gaming chairs of 2017.
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However, today we are talking about best ergonomic chairs for gaming. These have several functions that make them stand out. The kicker is that these chairs aren’t marketed as gaming chairs–instead, they are sold as high-end office chairs. These high-end chairs give you comfort for long 8+ hour work sessions. These chairs are highly adjustable, and configurable based on any user, last for years and years, and are designed for long use and comfort above all else. Some even have years of warranty.
For these reasons, ergonomic chairs are often very popular in modern offices that can afford them–but you should consider them just as highly for gaming and at home work. After all, a large portion of gaming ergonomics is determined by your chair–it’s your ergonomic and gaming foundation after all.
The basic idea is that you just need to get a chair that prevents back pain and is high enough for your desk for your arms to be at a 90-degree angle. That sounds simple, but it’s hard–as you might have come to realize. Also, today, a lot of new positions are being developed and used since we use tablets, drawing boards, and other nontraditional devices that put our bodies in weird angles.
Sometimes you fix one problem by getting a new chair will opening up another can of worms. I can’t tell you how many chairs I’ve bought where my back stopped hurting but my butt felt like it was going to fall off, or the arm rests couldn’t adjust leaving my wrist screaming while everything else felt like it was in heaven.
Would you pick a $200 computer over a $1000 computer?
It can be tempting just to buy a chair modeled with terms “ergonomic” or even just to purchase a chair that looks like it’d do the same at a small price. Keep in mind, however, that branding for chairs is VERY important. You can’t cheat and get an Ikea Markus like I’ve seen many try. This chair has no back support, flimsy padding, and cheap construction. I like to compare computers to chairs since you might be a heavy computer user. Would you pick a $200 computer over a $1000 computer? Sure maybe if you’re just traveling with it, or using it sparingly, but you’d never want a $200 over a $1000 one.
Without further ado, here’s our list and qualifications for the best ergonomic gaming chairs. Each one of these chairs is very adjustable which makes it very ideal for getting that heavenly 90-degree angle for your wrists without killing your back.
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What goes into making the best chair for gaming or office work?
Ergonomic chairs are made from a host of different companies, and each competing company has small but important differences in how they design their chairs. Some chairs are designed with a simple appearance that might feel more common while others have traditional mesh appearances pioneered by the Aeron chair. Then there are chairs that simply look more industrial.
Material and comfort is a very important feature to consider when purchasing an office chair.
Each material of a chair has benefits. Mesh is extremely breathable but subject to tears–while other materials like fabric might not be as breathable but provide more traditional comfort. Some mesh material can also become rough to the touch (some users have even reported that mesh can wear down jeans) while leather is fancier–it’s also prone to getting hot making your bottom sweat a river.
One thing about mesh is that it’s not as good if you like to sit in non-traditional positions.
In terms of how chairs handle support, some chairs are also more leisurely and don’t enforce rigid seating. Some other chairs force you into an ergonomic position that doesn’t leave room for variation (this is why I mentioned mesh chairs–like the Herman Miller Aeron for example). Don’t even think of slouching in these chairs. Others consistently adapt to whatever position you hold, but might not be as suitable or adjustable depending on what type of comfort you need.
Most high-end ergonomic chairs are highly adjustable. Some are automatically adjusted in that they adjust to back pressure and respond with automatic adjustments while others let you customize every single setting in the chair including features like lumbar support, arm height, and even seat depth. Do you want to fiddle with knobs, or just let the chair do its magic?
Price is something that needs to be considered carefully. I mentioned cheaper gaming chairs earlier, but these chairs are only temporary, and still too expensive for what you get. Either you should get super cheap chair under $100 if you don’t plan on using it often, for go for the long term with one of our listed chairs.
The best chairs cost a premium price, but even then, there are variations between competing chairs ranging from $1000 or more, or around the $900 mark. These variations don’t deal with quality so much as preference. Some chairs might have things you wouldn’t prefer–so it all comes down to how comfortable you find the chair.
Some may find the most expensive chair more comfortable while others could find a cheaper chair more comfortable. Keep in mind that this price can accelerate rapidly with various add-ons that might provide additional comfort and ergonomics like headrest add-ons. If you happen to find the most expensive chair the most comfortable, you might want to save more money. Or if you can’t tell the difference, choosing a cheaper ergonomic chair can be a good solution.
Best Gaming Ergonomic Chair #5
Minimalist and simple, the Kody can still compete in all accounts as a gaming chair.
While the Haworth Zody chair might not be as well-known as its competitors in terms of brand recognition, it’s still a highly competitive and comfortable office chair with a host of ergonomic adjustments and engineering accomplishments.
The chair combines asymmetrical lumbar adjustment with passive pelvic support. This means you can adjust how much push-back and pressure the lumbar support gives. It’s highly adjustable depending on your preferences, but the chair also promotes good posture practices like promoting rotation in the hips to maintain a natural lower arch in the spine.
Besides the highly configurable backrest, the seat is also extremely ergonomic with it’s “waterfall edge” that doesn’t trigger pressure points in the legs. The chairs seat rest is made with plush foam while the suspension is made out of breathable mesh fabric.
The Zody Task is a great chair to consider if you want a quality office chair with all the bells and whistles for a smaller price. Or if you’ve tried some of the bigger competitors and aren’t satisfied, Zody’s green concentration claiming zero waste to landfill (chairs are made from recycled materials) and 12-year warranty might win you over.
Best Gaming Ergonomic Chair #4
The first king of office chairs–often hailed by gamers as the best gaming ergonomic chair for serious gaming sessions.
You’ll find the Herman Miller Aeron in thousands of offices (and one museum!), both because of how ergonomically viable they are and how industrially well-made. Simply put, the Aeron defined the modern office chair, and its popularity is a testament to the chair’s value as a long-term ergonomic investment.
The Aeron chair features complex adjustable levers and tension knobs which can be confusing to use but promise a good amount of customizability for most users. The chair also comes in various sizes that are important when considering the chair as an option.
The Aeron chair was one of the first chairs to use mesh in the seating and backrest. The result is an amazingly breathable chair, but depending on your preferences, this is something you might want to take note of. Some users have reported that the mesh seating wears or tears over time and that it causes their pants to fray since the material can be rough. However, like most expensive chairs, you can easily purchase then replace various parts.
Since Aeron is one of the older chairs, a lot of users have found that there are newer thus more modern chairs with better ergonomic capabilities. Some find the chair, while ergonomically viable and leagues better than normal chairs, not very comfortable. Aeron chair is a perfect example when you have to sit one way. Suffice to say, slouching in an Aeron is a death sentence.
That said, tons of people still rely on the Aeron chair and it’s older status can make it very affordable from local warehouses or craigslist. The newest model is also a bit cheaper than competitors now.
Best Gaming Ergonomic Chair#3
The Humanscale may look industrial, but it feels amazingly comfortable. When your fellow gamers come to your house, they’ll marvel how your chair looks like something pulled straight out of a steampunk game.
HumanScale uses an automated approach where the ergonomic chair naturally conforms to your body, giving the support and comfort where needed–without the hassle of confusing support levers, knobs, and other bells and whistles.
The HumanScale’s design feels very industrial with thick metallic beams connecting each part of the chair into a frighteningly impressive appearance. It’s the sort of chair people tend to stare at, whether with curiosity, or a mild sense of unrest. While it may look like a torture chair from the back, the chair’s unique ability to recline without a recline mechanism perfectly adjusts tilt to the user’s position.
The chair also features automatic spine adjustment and quality cushions that mimic the body’s natural contours and decrease pressure points for prolonged comfortability.
The HumanScale’s strength is in its automatic chair adjustments that feature automatic armrests that adjust with movement and its self-adjusting recline. It’s also a very versatile chair with one of it’s most popular incarnations featuring a high-quality headrest. A headrest is perfect for long gaming sessions or relaxing while binging on Netflix.
The basic Humanscale Freedom chair retails for $989. The model that comes with a headrest retails for $1169.
Best Gaming Ergonomic Chair #2
The Herman Miller Embody is a premium chair in all accounts, making it one of the best gaming chairs around.
While the Herman Miller Aeron reigns king as the classic ergonomic chair, Miller’s Embody ergonomic approach and powerful design might make it a better and newer alternative for those with a bigger budget.
While some chairs rely on you configuring adjustable settings, the Embody focuses on conforming to body micro movements through their “pixelated support” system that gives the body a sense of floating. The chair’s inner construction is a marvel to behold, which makes the chairs pixelated support system seem like a bionic spine. A lot of ergonomic chairs feel more like machines, and this chair is the perfect example.
In many ways, it certainly feels like one as the backrest automatically distributes weight evenly as you sit on it which reduces pressure and encourages movement in a variety of positions.
The design takes a hefty departure from the Aeron with a less ordinary angular shape and clean appearance that looks more like a Steelcase chair.
The Herman Miller Embody chair retails for $1229.
Best Gaming Ergonomic Chair #1
After being disappointed with the Aeron, and not being able to afford some of the other options, I once settled on this bad boy. And yes, I’m a little bit biased–but trust me, this chair is in its own league. The Steelcase Leap chair is a beautiful ergonomic wonder. It features a unique system where the back support and seat operate independently, giving an intuitive and incredibly supportive experience. When you lean back, the backrest will go back while the seat moves forward to accompany your body into a highly ergonomic position.
The Leap chair is also highly customizable which makes it a perfect fit for anyone. You can customize the push-back of the backrest, the ergonomic support (in newer models), chair height, the arm tilt/height, and even the angle of the seat rest.
Which office chair is the best gaming ergonomic chair for you?
While each chair is extremely competitive in terms of ergonomic capabilities, I think the Steelcase Leap servers as the best gaming ergonomic chair, as it’s more ergonomic and sturdier than the DX racer chairs.
Thanks for reading our guide on the best gaming ergonomic chair. Let us know if you have any questions below!