Gaming furniture is big business. Those distinctive racerback chairs are everywhere now, manufactured by huge peripheral brands like Razer and Corsair. That’s right – for the princely sum of £499.99 you can own the Razer Iskur (£29.99 for an optional Snek head pillow). But how much comfort are you actually getting for that money? And – perhaps more importantly – is that comfort really going to do your back any good if you’re sitting in it all day?
Despite the high price tag, you’re often paying for the brand itself, and while all that talk of “breathable” fabric and “contoured” butt support is alluring, they’re not that great for your posture. Let’s quickly run through the pros and cons of each.
Gaming chairs look cool, sure, but that’s really just a question of taste. The Razer Iskur, for example, is trademark black and neon Razer green. The lumbar support has a snakeskin effect, which is either amazing or gross depending on the person.
You can also go for a more luxurious look – Noblechairs have a range of chairs to suit a fairly wide budget range, to game in comfort and style without any of the slightly tacky frills that brands like Razer can tack on. It’s much easier to get a gaming chair that suits your personal style or brand preferences.
If you buy the right one, they can also be extremely comfortable, even for long periods of time. Most of them allow you to recline all the way back, perfect for a breather after an intense gaming session. But this isn’t purely a pro, as we’ll explain in the next section.
Gaming chairs can be bad for your posture. They typically don’t support your body in a sustainable way for long periods of time. It’s really easy to slide into a slouch, and I speak from experience – even though I know I should have my chair’s back flush against mine if I want to be kind to it, it’s just so easy to slide forward on the seat.
Get particularly absorbed into a game, lose track of time, stop paying attention to your posture and before you know it you’ve paid £400 for back pain at age 40. Doesn’t sound like a great deal.
Another thing to bear in mind is that these chairs are typically mass-produced somewhere, with different brand names tacked on at one point or another. The market is also flooded with shoddily manufactured knockoffs that promise the same performance as the expensive versions but will fall apart in a handful of months. Buyer beware!
Office chairs are genuinely ergonomic in most cases. Good ones are made specifically to force you into a good seated posture. This can actually feel pretty uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re used to gaming chairs. Once you’re accustomed to them, they are significantly more comfortable for long periods of use, with the very important bonus of sparing your body from the perils of poor posture.
I know, I know – it’s boring stuff, but if you’re looking to spend a decent chunk of cash on a good chair, this should really be the most important factor in your decision. Be nice to your spine. You’ve only got one (I hope).
Gaming chairs are spectacularly marketed. They’re everywhere, and it’s really easy to find one that suits your taste. Office chairs are even more numerous, though, and they’re churned out in even greater varying qualities than gaming options.
Finding a good office chair can be a serious case of trial and error, even at higher price ranges. What’s comfortable for one person could be unbearable for another, and paying a premium doesn’t always guarantee you’ve made the best choice for you.
Buying an excellent office chair can actually be more expensive than a fancy gaming chair, with one of the most commonly recommended options running close to a thousand dollars brand new.
A solid tip is to check out office clearances in your area, although this isn’t as much of a sure thing as it used to be. COVID caused the demand for office furniture to rocket, and as such even clearance prices have risen. It’s possible to pick up incredible chairs for under half price if you’re lucky.
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