How we test gaming chairs and desks at GamesRadar+

Razer Iskur X
(Image credit: Future)

Here at GamesRadar, we get our hands on many of the best gaming chairs and best gaming desks from all manner of manufacturers. However, not every chair or desk is created equally, and that's why we have a series of considerations that are made when faced with potential contenders for our buying guide lists or tallying up review scores. You can find more on GamesRadar's review ethos in our Hardware Policy

How we test gaming chairs

We receive many gaming chairs in our line of work from all different companies designing the latest in ergonomic / office seating. Whether it's Secretlab, AndaSeat, Razer, Brazen, or any other company, every chair that passes through our office or home setups is tested in much the same fashion, with major considerations made. These are: 

  • How comfortable the gaming chair is both initially and then over time 
  • The overall build quality and sturdiness of the gaming chair 
  • How long the gaming chair takes to assemble 
  • The price of the gaming chair and its place in the market
  • The features and adjustability options on offer

Arguably the most important element to reviewing a gaming chair is how comfortable it is both upon initial inspection and then over time. We will generally work in the chair for entire days on end to assess whether or not we are experiencing the same level of support and overall comfort in long periods that we did at the start. This is true for both mesh/fabric chairs and models made of (or initiating) leather. 

Build quality is a very important factor when testing and reviewing gaming chairs, too, if the seat isn't constructed out of quality materials then it's unlikely to last for all too long. Given that many gaming chairs are significantly more expensive than standard office alternatives, you're going to want to ensure that the model is rugged and tough enough to ensure longevity. 

Assembly time is something that we take into account when reviewing any gaming chair, as this gives the prospective buyer an idea of how long it takes in real-world testing. We consider things such as the quality of the instructions, whether they are clear or not, as well as how easy the actual pieces slot together. If a gaming chair is marketed on its ability to go together in a matter of minutes, then we will test this theory, with our testing revealing the true validity of this claim. The same can be said for whether it is better to have another person with you for certain parts of the assembly process, such as attaching the backrest to guided glide rails, etc. 

Lastly, there's the value for money which is one of the most important factors in reviewing any gaming chair. We've had our hands on both cheap gaming chairs and flagship models from major manufacturers, but the all-important price tag comes into the fold in our verdict. For example, we ask ourselves during the review process if we would pay the asking price for a model based on everything we've experienced in building and using it. We wouldn't want to just push the most expensive items on our readers unless we genuinely believed in their value ourselves. 

AndaSeat Mask 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

How we review gaming desks 

Gaming desks are becoming more popular with major manufacturers throwing their hats into the extended furniture ring, and at GamesRadar, we're often given opportunities to review gaming, and standing, desks of all shapes and sizes. 

We look for three distinct attributes when it comes to what makes a great gaming desk that we believe is worth our readers' time and money. These are: 

  • How straightforward it is to assemble the gaming desk
  • The overall build quality of the gaming desk 
  • The value for money offered by the gaming desk compared to alternatives 
  • The features and adjustability options the desk offers

The assembly process is one of the more important factors when we review any desk and this is important because it lets our readers know just how long models take to go together. Whether you're a seasoned flat-pack expert, or a first-time builder hoping for a smooth experience, we take into consideration both how long it takes us to build the desk (both with the tools included and any others that we may have had to provide ourselves) as well as what to expect for you, too. 

Of course, the build quality of a gaming desk makes all the difference in separately the passible from the exceptional. After all, if you've struggled for some time to get all the pieces into place with unhelpful instructions and screws that aren't quite fitting, then you're not going to have the best first impression. We look for things such as how easily certain bolts and pieces go together, as well as how sturdy the desk is when all is said and done. The weight limit is also something that we take into account, too, as most people are going to want to have their monitors, consoles, peripherals, and even computers up top with them. No one wants to chance their pricey gear on a tabletop that doesn't inspire confidence. 

Lastly, there's the all-important price tag that's afforded by all manner of gaming desks. We'll generally look for feature sets that you wouldn't find on a typical office model, such as RGB lighting, cable management solutions, and USB power passthrough - for instance. It's then our job to take a look at the desk as a whole for how much space is afforded, how secure our gear feels on top, and whether or not any added bells and whistles are worth the extra expense. 

Aleksha McLoughlin
Hardware Editor

Aleksha McLoughlin served as the Hardware Editor for GamesRadar from June 2021 until August 2022. Her main area of expertise was the PC gaming platform, which comprised buying guides, features, reviews, and news coverage on components and prebuilt machines. She was also responsible for gaming chairs and storage. She now works on a freelance basis while studying to become a university lecturer specializing in English for foreign territories. Prior to joining GamesRadar, she wrote for the likes of Expert Reviews, The Rory Peck Trust, No Clean Singing, Vinyl Chapters, and Tech Spark while also working with the BBC.