When it comes to investing in new seating, there are two main options you'll be presented with: a gaming chair or ergonomic chair. If you plan on using this chair for more than one thing - reading, gaming, working, studying, you name it - you need to carefully consider the type of chair you buy. You want it to be versatile enough to work in any type of situation.
In the past, choosing a chair was simple. These days, though, the debate over ergonomic chairs or gaming chairs has become more complicated than ever. What are the differences between these types of chairs, and which is right for you?
You've likely got lots of questions, but don't worry. We've got the answers! Today, we'll offer an in-depth breakdown between the ergonomic chair and gaming chair. By the end of this quick guide, you'll know everything you need to make an informed purchase. Let's start by breaking down each style.
What Is An Ergonomic Chair?
We'll begin this discussion with a breakdown of what exactly ergonomic chairs are. Sometimes referred to as office chairs, these are the premier choice for working professionals or students. Why? Simple - they provide the highest level of support possible while helping you focus.
The design of most office chairs is such that the user is able to spend all their energy on the tasks at hand. Their body is completely supported by the chair. Arms, back, head, neck, shoulders, and even the posterior chain are all kept supported and comfortable. This means when using an ergonomic office chair, you spend no physical or mental energy on your state of being. Rather, you are free to focus on the work before you.
This also allows you to get more work done in shorter periods of time. Because you're going to be far more supported when you go with an office chair vs a gaming chair, you won't have to take frequent breaks from your work. No need to adjust your body in the seat or get up and move around (although, it's still a good idea to take breaks to stretch and get the blood flowing).
If you're one of the many people who spend hours upon hours seated at your desk, then you likely have experienced some degree of pain or tension. Prolonged sitting puts stress on your hips, back, neck, and even wrists. An ergonomic chair is great for alleviating these issues. These ergonomic office chairs help you maintain an ideal posture to keep your body healthy and pain-free - even with long, grueling hours day after day.
So, with that said - you can think of the ergonomic chair as the working professional's go-to choice. It offers substantial increases in productivity and support. But does that mean a gaming chair doesn't do these things? Not necessarily - let's quickly break down gaming chairs.
What Is A Gaming Chair?
While an office chair boasts the ability to increase productivity and support, so too does a gaming chair. However, the degree of ergonomics a typical gaming chair offers are far less than an actual office chair. That's because these are typically designed for recreational use. Yes, these will offer incredible comfort - especially if you go with a high-end gaming chair. But if support and productivity is truly what you're after, the gaming chair may fall short of your expectations.
There are plenty of reasons to love gaming chairs nonetheless, though. For one, they come in a variety of styles. Some of these closely emulate an office chair, while others have an L-shaped design that sits on the floor (without wheels) and rocks back and forth. These are also much sleeker, with sharp designs to complement the rest of your gaming setup. You can typically choose from a wide array of unique designs. These feature eyecatching patterns, colors, and shapes.
But, what really sets gaming chairs apart from office chairs? They have gaming-specific features that are built into them. Modern gaming chairs are engineered to enhance your gaming experience. One way they do this is through built-in speakers and vibrations. These will sync up with your controller and game, getting you the most immersive gaming experience possible. You'll hear everything going on around you. And you'll feel it, too.
Ergonomic Chair vs Gaming Chair - Breaking Down The Key Differences
Now that we've explained the basics behind these two types of chairs, we want to compare and contrast them side by side to give you a better understanding of which you should go with. We'll even share some specific examples and use cases to help you make the right decision.
Ergonomic Chairs Offer More Adjustability & Support Than Gaming Chairs
We talked a lot about comfort and support in our breakdowns of ergonomic chairs and gaming chairs. When we talk about comfort, think of relaxation. When talking about support, think of productivity and wellbeing. Both comfort and support are important, but in our opinion, support takes the cake. And when it comes to the levels of support offered by ergonomic chairs and gaming chairs, the former is the clear winner.
An ergonomic chair offers far more adjustability and support than a gaming chair. Some gaming chairs feature just a few points of adjustability. On the other hand, you can fine-tune virtually every aspect of office chairs. Some of these feature as many as 11 different points of adjustment! This means you can truly make an office chair fit you like a second skin.
If you've never really used a chair with this level of adjustment, you may not realize just how powerful it can be. You're able to tailor the angles and heights of your chair to match your unique body. Here are just a few things you're able to adjust on most ergonomic office chairs:
- Lumbar support
- Seat height
- Seat depth
- And more!
In our opinion, the adjustability and support that standard office chairs feature make them the clear choice - and we haven't even begun to discuss the other factors at play! These days, we're seeing more and more gamers switch away from the typical gaming chair and opting instead for something more ergonomic - like an office chair.
Gaming Chairs Feature More Comfortable Materials Than Office Chairs
When it comes to comfortability - meaning, how enjoyable it is to lounge in a specific chair - gaming chairs may have a slight edge. There is still much debate over this, as those who are proud owners of high-end office chairs claim theirs is far more comfortable than any gaming chair out there.
But, in general, gaming chairs may feature slightly more comfortable materials. These larger chairs feature memory foam wrapped all-around to grant you complete comfort and relaxation every time you sink into the chair. This is particularly nice if you're watching TV or a movie in your gaming chair. With a larger design, you can truly sink into these no matter your body type.
Ergonomic office chairs, on the other hand, feature just a soft, memory foam seat pad. The rest of the chair is usually designed with a mesh backing. This mesh may be less comfortable than memory foam, but that's by design. Remember - office chairs aren't designed to help you relax. Their purpose is to keep you supported and productive. If it's true comfort you're after, a gaming chair is typically the right choice.
Sure, the comfort a gaming chair offers is great for some gamers. But sometimes, it can be detrimental to your gaming performance. If you take your gaming seriously, you may not want a chair that practically lulls you to sleep. You want to stay alert and focused. This goes back to ergonomics. So, if you're a serious gamer looking for something to help your performance - the comfort and relaxation a gaming chair offers may actually be a drawback.
Ergonomic Chair and Gaming Chair Designs Differ Greatly
We've barely even mentioned the actual design of these chairs. That's because we personally value function over aesthetics. But, this is still an important part of the ergonomic chair vs gaming chair debate. You may not necessarily want a racing-style gaming chair in your office - it won't fit the aesthetic at all. And if you're a purchasing manager looking to buy new chairs for the whole office, then gaming chairs are certainly out of the question - they'd just look silly.
If you're not familiar with the design differences between these two styles, pay close attention - because they couldn't be more different. Gaming chairs typically feature a larger, taller frame. You've likely seen racing-style gaming chairs. These closely resemble the bucket seats in a race car. Here are some additional gaming chair characteristics:
- High, winged back
- Bucket seat
- Wider chair
- Vibrant colors, sharp designs
- More branding elements (branding elements varies among gaming chair brands)
On the contrary, a standard office chair features a very subtle, sophisticated design. These are typically far smaller and can really fit in any setting - making them the more versatile choice from a design aspect. They tend to come in basic colors like black, grey, white, brown, etc. Here are some physical characteristics of the standard office chair:
- Much smaller footprint
- More subtle design
- Calmer colors to match any setting
- Flat seat and flat back
These days, even most gamers prefer the more subtle appearance of an office chair. This really does come down to personal preference though, and there is no right answer.
Price Can Be A Toss-Up In The Gaming Chair vs Office Chair Debate
The final factor to consider before you determine which of these two types of chairs is right for you is price. If you're on a strict budget and aren't looking for the best, you'll be able to find cheap office chairs for as little as $50. The cheapest gaming chairs will start at around $100.
Keep in mind though, both of these entry-level chairs should be avoided. Take this investment seriously and get it right the first time. If you shop based on price and go with the cheapest, you'll be disappointed and frustrated. You'll end up needing to replace the chair quickly as the low-quality materials and construction simply won't cut it.
As you start to climb up the price/quality ladder towards more mid-ranged chairs, and even top-quality chairs, the price discrepancy between office chairs and gaming chairs starts to balance out. You'll find that price is basically a toss-up. You can find high-quality office chairs for between $400-700. Gaming chairs of comparable quality will fall into the price umbrella, too.
So, Should You Go With An Ergonomic Office Chair or Gaming Chair?
Our breakdown of office chairs vs gaming chairs is now complete - by now, you should feel a bit more confident in making your decision. If not, keep reading - here are our final recommendations.
Those who want to buy just one chair and use it for anything should stick with an ergonomic office chair. That's because an office chair can be used for high-performance gaming. In some cases, the office chair will actually outperform a gaming chair. That's because many gaming chairs don't offer the support you need to stay focused and comfortable over the course of a long stream or gaming session with friends.
Ergonomically designed office chairs are far more versatile than most gaming chairs - simple as that. Most people find that they're unable to effectively use gaming chairs for work - so if you were hoping to find one chair to do it all, stick with an office chair.
But, if you really like the design of racing-style gaming chairs - by all means, go with that option. Just know you'll sacrifice productivity and wellbeing to a certain extent. And the honest reality is that many gamers end up wishing they had gone with something more subtle - like a standard office chair.
Final Thoughts Before You Choose Your Chair
Whichever style of chair you end up going with, one thing is for sure - you need to go with the best of the best. You spend hours upon hours seated every day. If you skimp on quality, you'll pay for it in productivity losses, pains, aches, and more. If you're looking for the most versatile, ergonomic office chairs on the market - that can also be used for gaming, studying, relaxing, etc. - head to ErgoTune.
Our collection of ergonomic office chairs is the best in all of Australia and throughout the world. And, we have thousands of customers who use these as gaming chairs, too! This makes our office chairs more versatile than anything else out there.
We've earned just under 1,400 verified reviews with an average rating of 4.7 stars. Customers claim this is the last chair they'll ever buy, as it fits them like a second skin! Unlock all-day comfort and pain-free productivity with our collection of ergonomic adjustable chairs today.