Gaming Chairs vs. Office Chairs: What’s the Difference?

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Should gamers always choose a gaming chair over an office chair? Does an office chair do a better job of promoting good posture? Let’s dive into the details that separate the two types of chairs apart.

What is a Gaming Chair?

Gaming chairs are bulky with flashy colors and bold designs. They’re always ergonomically designed, providing full-body support for extended periods. Gaming chairs have tall, winged backs that support your neck and shoulders. They may also have adjustable and removable lumbar and neck pillows.

These chairs recline pretty far back, sometimes up to 180 degrees. You could realistically fall asleep on a fully-reclined chair. There are a large variety of gaming chairs, including rocker chairs, swivel chairs, reclining chairs, and floor chairs. Some even come with built-in speakers and vibrators for a more immersive gaming experience.

Let’s take a closer look at these differences and what they mean for you.

Cost

Some people might think that gaming chairs cost more than office chairs, but this isn’t always the case. You’ll find both chairs to be in the $100-300 price range. They can come with similar if not the same features. However, gaming chairs may offer more value as they’re often cheaper with similar qualities to office chairs.

In some ways, what you’re paying for with office chairs is the professional appearance. Gaming chairs are designed to look a little more fun, which is what many gamers strive for (more on that later). Office chairs, on the other hand, have a more modern and professional look that makes them suitable for any environment.

Long-Term Comfort and Ergonomics

When shopping for any chair you plan to spend a significant amount of time, you should always choose an ergonomic one. Ergonomic chairs are designed to support your body while sitting down. They promote good posture which can prevent body pain and aches.

Both gaming and office chairs can be ergonomic, as they come with several features that are ideal for maximum comfort. The difference is that comfort is always important for a gamer, but less important for an office chair intended for light use, like at a library.

Comfort features include the waterfall seat edge that reduces pressure on the back of the thighs and adjustable armrests that you can rotate and move up or down. Either type of chair may also support your lumbar with built-in lumbar support or a pillow. The pillow will usually be adjustable, so you can position it exactly where you want it. There may also be an adjustable neck pillow for added comfort.

In terms of back support, gaming chairs will usually come with a tall, winged back that also supports your shoulders. You can keep your head against the chair to take the pressure off your neck. Some office chairs also come with tall backs, but they often come with a separate, adjustable headrest that you can rotate and move up and down.

Both types of chairs can often recline to 135 degrees, which at least one study showed was the best angle for your spine. Gaming chairs, however, can usually recline much further than 135 degrees, but it’s not really necessary unless you want to lay down on your chair for a nap.

Appearance

Depending on where you plan on using your chair, appearance might be an important factor to consider. If you’re using it in an office or professional setting, you might want to go for a slimmer and more modern-looking chair.

Office chairs, come in many different styles and designs that are ideal for office (hence the name), professional, and casual settings. They look much more conservative than gaming chairs. The colors are mainly earth tone like black, brown, or gray, but you can find some chairs with subtle patterns and designs. Office chairs are usually made of leather or mesh and have a pretty classic and polished look to them. The builds are usually pretty slim, so they won’t take up too much space in the room.

On the other hand, gaming chairs are often designed to look like racecar seats, similar to what you’d see in an arcade. They’ll have much flashier, vibrant, and brighter designs and tactical patterns. Gaming chairs come in all sorts of colors, from basic black and white to bright pinks and reds. You’ll find chairs with racing stripes, camo patterns, and other eye-catching designs. This gives off the gamer aesthetic that many people enjoy, especially if they’re using it in their gaming or streaming setup.

Variety

If you’ve ever browsed for gaming chairs before, you might have come across a wide variety of unique styles. There are rocker chairs such as the X Rocker, which literally rock back and forth and come with built-in speakers and vibrators to give you a more immersive gaming experience.

Swivel chairs such as Best Choice’s Floor Chair are highly versatile since you can rotate them 360 degrees. They’re foldable, easy to transport, and feel a lot like movie theater chairs, except they’re more comfortable. There are even floor chairs such as the bonVIVO that are designed for you to sit comfortably on the floor or reclining chairs that make you feel like you’re laying down.

As for office chairs, there is some variety but their designs aren’t as unique as gaming chairs. Office chairs always have that professional appeal to them, so you won’t find fun additions like cupholders and speakers. Key variations on office chairs don’t go far beyond armrests, padding, and materials.

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