4 things you need to know before buying a gaming chair

gaming chairs
(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you're considering buying a new gaming chair, we think there are four essential tips to think about. No matter whether you're thinking of something primarily for work and consuming media, or want to purely play the latest and greatest games in comfort, this is our top buying advice for getting a new seat. 

We sat down (get it?) with J. Lewis who, as a classical musician, conductor, and video game enjoyer, has spent a staggering amount of time thinking about the best ways to sit ergonomically. Though our list of best gaming chairs is as comprehensive as they come, you’ll want to check out our tips so as to make sure that you purchase the chair that’s right for you.

As Mr. Burns from the Simpsons once said: “from the mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn’t enjoy a good sit?” He was right. Whether or not you’re an FPS fan or an MMO maven, do you not deserve the best sit possible? Read on to find out everything you need to know before buying your new gaming chair.

Tip 1: Check if the chair is right for you 

Most comfortable gaming chairs on the market against a purple bacground

(Image credit: Mavix / Secretlab / Humanscale / Herman Miller)

For starters, make sure that the chair you’re buying is designed for someone with your weight and height. Gamers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and so too do gaming chairs. Be sure to check the chair’s specifications and identify the height and weight range that your prospective gaming chair is designed to accommodate. There’s nothing worse than spending a great deal of money on a luxurious new chair only to find that the seat doesn’t fit properly. 

For instance, as a lady on the taller and heavier side, I found that the Secretlab Titan gaming chair was perfect for me and provided me with a high level of quality comfort. However, someone shorter might well find the chair too big and miss out on the comfort and ergonomic benefits of the Titan series.  

Tip 2: Choose mesh where possible  

The ErgoTune Supreme V3 chair in three colours.

(Image credit: ErgoTune)

Sitting expert J. Lewis swears by mesh as the ideal material for a gaming chair. They “support the body best while affecting circulation the least” and are “well worth the investment in your well-being.” It’s no coincidence that many of the entries on our list of the most comfortable gaming chairs make heavy use of mesh in thier design. 

This isn’t to say that foam chairs are always substandard, but you should be careful to ensure that, if you do go down the foam route, the foam you’re getting is high quality. Lewis does observe that some do have “luck with chairs that are made out of foam”. For instance, the high-quality foam used in Secretlab chairs will almost certainly provide you with the comfort that you’re looking for. However, if you have to choose between cheap foam and mesh, pick mesh. 

Tip 3: Measure up

Young man sitting in a gaming chair

(Image credit: Shutterstock / SeventyFour)

Failing to measure up is one of the most common mistakes that people make when buying a gaming chair. When buying a new chair, be sure to measure your desk and to make sure that your new chair will actually fit your current setup. Ideally, the chair should be able to slide under the desk, so as to allow you to sit an arm’s length from the monitor, preventing you from having to stretch to reach your keyboard.

Ergonomic concerns may seem trivial on paper, but as J. Lewis says, they become a lot less trivial “five years down the line”. Do your body a favor and make sure that your prospective new gaming chair fits your desk properly. Your future self will thank you.

Tip 4: Be vigilant if you’re on a budget 

Someone using calculator on smartphone near dollar banknotes.

(Image credit: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

Though purchasing a reliable and decent-quality gaming chair is possible on a budget, there are a lot more pitfalls to consider if you’re pinching pennies. There are a lot of bad deals out there on cheap gaming chairs. We’ve already mentioned the danger of buying a chair made of poor-quality foam, but, when buying cheap chairs, you can often end up with relatively poorly made products that break easily. 

Fortunately, we have a list of the best cheap gaming chair deals to help you avoid these pitfalls. However, if you pay close attention to the specs, and do your best to stick to mesh chairs you can steer clear of the worst of it. In addition, our deals lists are constantly updating with the latest bargains on reasonably priced gaming chairs. If in doubt, keep an eye on our buying guides; they’ll be sure to steer you in the right direction.  

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.