There are benefits to NOT buying a gaming chair

gaming chair vs officer chair
(Image credit: Future)

At the moment, in line with social media trends especially, gaming chairs are all the rave. There are so many benefits to getting gaming chairs that people are always speaking about from comfort to aesthetic but what about the negatives? You don't often hear about the downsides of gaming chairs. This could include the price - with many gaming chairs averaging around $/£400 and even going as high as $/£1500. Or  the look, some people don't want a chair that looks so aggressively gamer in their bedroom or office. 

We have covered some of the main comparison points in the gaming chair vs office chair debates before but if you've found yourself on the office chair side of the debate, how do you make sure you're still getting all the ergonomics and comfort while opting for a cheaper design?

Whether or not you get a gaming chair or an office chair is essentially down to you and what you need out of your chair. There are some great features that both have to offer and you can find something to cater to a range of budgets. However, below are some reasons that I believe an alternative to a gaming chair would be the better addition to your set up.

The benefits of an alternative

  • Cheaper and better value for money than a gaming chair 
  • Wider range of shapes and sizes available 
  • Blend in easier within your home 
  • Still provide a wide range of features 

office chairs

(Image credit: Future)

There are many benefits to getting an alternative to a gaming chair. The first is the price difference. You can of course get some more reasonably priced gaming chairs but these are much lower quality in comparison to similar priced office chairs. I go more into detail regarding price below. 

Another benefit to an alternative is the range of styles and designs you can find when looking for an office chair. Most gaming chairs have a very stereotypical silhouette, often referred to as 'winged', which is designed to be more supportive of your body and back. Some people might not like this shape for a variety of reasons, they are quite big and bulky. You are always aware of the fact a gaming chair is in a room, its hard for it to blend in with other furniture and the only way it really feels at home is if its part of an intense gaming set up. 

However, there are other chairs which are able to support your body which don't have the same style. They can be smaller and come in a range of shapes and sizes in order to fit in with your home and surroundings. For those who work from home it can be slightly awkward joining a work meeting or doing an interview while sitting in a giant gaming chair with bunny ears behind you - believe me, before working at GamesRadar I used to do my interviews from my phone in my living room rather than at my desk. 

What you should look out for in an office chair

  • Ergonomic 
  • Adjustable elements (height, recline and armrests) 
  • What material the chair is made from

office chair

(Image credit: Future)

When you're looking for an office chair or a gaming chair alternative there are multiple things to look out for. The first thing to find is a chair which is ergonomic, particularly if you are gaming for long periods of time. Ergonomic means that a chair is designed for efficiency and comfort. This is usually because it will be built with your posture in mind so that even after sitting for long periods of time your body is supported allowing you to sit comfortably and not feel strains or aches. 

One ergonomic aspect look out for are the neck and head support - this is where most office chairs lack in comparison to gaming chairs but can be found if it's something you need. Another aspect is the lumbar support - meaning the support the chair provides for your lower back. This is the place where most people begin to feel strained after sitting for a long period of time. Ensure that any office chair you consider has good lumbar support or you might find yourself feeling uncomfortable in your new chair. Lastly is to look out for arm rests - this again, like a head rest, is down to personal opinion as you can find office chairs with or without arm rests. 

Another important factor of an office chair which somewhat ties into the idea of having an ergonomic chair is what parts of the chair are adjustable. The height, recline and armrests should all be adjustable and some chairs have more adjustable features than this. The height of your chair should be suitable enough so you are eye-level with your monitor and your feet are placed firmly on the ground so the need to adjust this is essential. 

Something which you will need to decide before purchasing a gaming chair alternative is what material you would like your chair to be made from. Mesh is a popular option as it's very light and breathable allowing for you to cool down during long gaming sessions - this is always useful considering PCs and consoles pump up excessive amounts of hot hair. Since it's very thin it allows your chair to be much lighter making it easier to move around and less bulky, however it may not have the same premium feel that you find from other materials. Leather is also a great option, it is easy to clean and allows for a premium feeling when sitting on your new chair. However, it is much heavier, bulker and can make you feel very warm.

How much should you spend on a gaming chair?

You can find a range of great office chairs for less than $/£100 - where as gaming chairs at the same price point are typically much lower quality. A good quality gaming chair is usually priced at around $/£400, however finding an office chair at this price is an indication of overpricing. Being able to find the same comfort and features for less than half of the price of a gaming chair is a clear indication that they are better value for money. 

Realistically the sweet spot for an office chair is around $/£150, just ensure you are getting all the features you need and those listed above for the price. If you are looking for a well priced chair you can take a look at our list of deals a little further down the page. 

Should you buy an office chair or a gaming chair?

gaming chair vs office chair

(Image credit: Future)

Whether you get an office chair or a gaming chair is entirely up to you. Realistically, a well priced office chair is much better value for money but you are sacrificing some features such as a better recline, aesthetic and the ergonomic features of a gaming chair. Price is a large factor to consider so think about your budget before making your decision. 

Today's best office chair deals

Here is a round up of some of the best deals on a range of ergonomic and budget friendly gaming chair alternatives.

If you're still thinking about getting a gaming chair then you can take a look at some of our best gaming chair deals. Or if you want to upgrade your entire set up you can have a look at our best gaming desks and best gaming laptops

Jasmine Mannan
Hardware Editor

Currently a Hardware Editor at GamesRadar+ and in charge of all things PC after graduating from University with a degree in Politics and International Relations in 2022. During my time at University I managed to obtain a platform on social media - specifically TikTok - where I reviewed tech and gaming hardware and produced creative and innovative gaming content. My platform allowed me to be an advocate for females in gaming and within the tech industry as a whole. I'm primarily a PC gamer and have been for over 8 years now and with no specific genre I enjoy, I have been able to play and love many titles from the past decade. I would label myself as a Nintendo Fanatic and also am extremely interested in VR and hoping to follow it closely in upcoming years.