You've probably spent time and money buying the right gaming keyboard and gaming mouse for your PC, and maybe even have other accessories that you hope will give you the edge (not to mention the gaming PC itself). Few people put much thought into their chair, though.
Gaming chairs are becoming more and more popular, and we've rounded up a selection of the latest and best models on the market in 2019.
Gaming chair buying guide
In most respects, gaming chairs are no different to a regular desk swivel chair. They have height adjustment, castors for smooth movement across the floor and armrests. However, as with a lot of gaming hardware, gaming chairs are more stylish than your standard office chair and typically take inspiration from the bucket seats in racing cars.
What is and isn't stylish is down to your personal taste, but what should you look for when buying a gaming chair?
Basic chairs tend to have only height adjustment, but it's well worth going for a chair that has a reclining back and adjustable armrests, too.
Ergonomics are really important, so you need a chair that supports your spine properly and offers enough adjustment to fit your body, rather than forcing it into a bad posture.
It's rare to find chairs that follow the 'one size fits all' philosophy, so it's crucial to make sure the seat height adjustment range will suit you. If possible - and it probably isn't - try to find a shop where you can actually sit in a chair before you buy.
Whether or not a chair is comfortable for you will depend on how well you fit in the chair. We've tested the chairs here with tall and short people, and both large and slim builds, but we can't guarantee that you will find it comfy.
You won't necessarily get a more ergonomic chair if you spend more, so good ergonomics don't have to be expensive.
Some chairs come with removable cushions for lumbar (back support) or for a headrest. An ergonomic chair shouldn't need these, but some people might find they're needed for the best fit and comfort.
What you will get if you spend more is better quality materials and build. Although the price of some chairs may make you wince, a good-quality chair should last years, if not a decade or more.
At entry level, the cheap foam may feel ok to start with (some manufacturers use recycled foam scraps), but it might lose its structure and therefore its support before long, while high-quality foam will retain its shape and also support heavier users. A chair's specifications should always state the maximum weight they can handle.
Talking of materials, the most common is PU leather, also known as faux leather or vegan leather. Essentially, it's plastic with a leather-like texture. It's not a bad choice: it's reasonably hard wearing, easy to clean and not expensive. Real leather costs a lot, but should last considerably longer.
Some chairs use a suede-like material (or even real suede leather). This isn't as easy to clean, but has a softer feel which some people will prefer.
Since gaming chairs have a gas strut for height adjustment, plus other moving parts, it's feasible that something might fail. Obviously, a longer warranty is better, but always check what the warranty covers.
Best gaming chairs 2019
1. Secretlab Titan (2020)
The Secretlab Titan 2020 is, as the name suggests, the largest chair in the Secretlab collection. And as Spider-man may or may not have said, ‘with great size comes great comfort’. In any case, it’s definitely true when talking about the Secretlab Titan. Don’t get us wrong, it’s pricey at £349, but the quality and comfort of the chair are worth that and more.
The Titan features a taller backrest and wider seatbase when compared to other gaming chairs as the Secretlabs Titan is designed so that the larger-than-average person doesn’t have to squeeze into it. It offers support for people up to 6ft6in and 130KG, although that may vary depending on your proportions.
Boasting a car seat-like design, the chair is covered in what Secretlab calls Prime 2.0 PU Leather, and we must admit, it's amongst the softest we’ve felt on a gaming chair. That's backed up by cold-cure foam that provides near-on perfect cushioning and support. It’s like sitting on an ergonomically shaped cloud. It also offers 85-165 degree recline, and 4D adjustable armrests with buttons that feature full chrome plating to add to the premium feel of the chair.
If the idea of PU leather doesn't appeal, Secretlab also offers a (slightly more expensive) SoftWeave variant of the Titan with enhanced breathability.
Regardless of material, the crowning jewel of the Titan is the integrated adjustable lumbar support, so no need for those annoying lumbar pillows. The mechanism is built directly into the backrest of the chair, and a simple turn of the knob on the side of the chair provides granular control over the level of support you feel.
It’s a feature that should, nay, needs to be in every gaming chair.
But while the chair itself is amazing, the velour head pillow completes the premium experience. The pillow is the softest we’ve felt, made of soft stretch cotton and covered in a velvet velour. When it comes to taking a little rest, there’s nothing better to put your head on.
Find out more in our Secretlab Titan (2020) review.
2. Edge GX1
The UK-manufactured Edge GX1 is a unique entry in our chart; rather than sporting the racing chair-esque design of most other gaming chairs, the GX1 offers a bespoke design with parts not found on any other product on the market.
The Edge GX1 was designed with comfort in mind, and with comfort comes customisation. As well as offering standard seat adjustments like 4D armrests and adjustable seat height, the GX1 offers the ability to adjust the seat depth by up to 65mm and independently adjust the backrest height with a simple lift. This is combined with a memory foam-moulded seat base designed to relieve pressure on the tailbone to provide the highest level of comfort possible.
There’s also a unique asynchronous gravity-driven tilt mechanism that allows gamers to frequently change position without the need to use controls. You can go from leaning back to sitting forward in a single motion while still feeling supported – and it’s a gamechanger for those that work and play on a single PC. You’ll also find an inflatable lumbar support built into the backrest, pumped via a handpump tucked into the base of the bottom of the chair.
Even the material is unique; the GX1 is covered in a material made from a combination of polyurethane, polyester and cotton. As well as being soft to the touch, the material stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and the high breathability of the material means you can wave goodbye to sticky backs during intense gaming sessions.
In terms of comfort and support, the Edge GX1 is unbeaten, but it’s not the perfect gaming chair – not yet, anyway. The various levers you use to adjust the seat are missing labels, making the process of adjusting the chair a confusing and tiresome process - especially with a setup so radically different to others in our chart.
The process could be much improved with the inclusion of a handful of removable stickers for new users, and we hope it’s something the company considers in future. The company does offer a fairly detailed online manual if you do get stuck, but we'd still prefer something we could immediately glance at.
3. Secretlab Omega
If the Secretlab Titan is a little bit too much for you, consider the Omega. It’s not as large as the Titan, making it a perfect fit for smaller bedrooms, but still provides great comfort and support with a distinctive look.
The prominent backrest wings are a welcome addition to the Stealth, providing additional support to the shoulders and back – ideal if you spend long hours at a time on the computer. That’s not all though, as it features a single thick layer of cold-cure foam around the steel frame that provides a solid feel while still molding to the shape of your body. That’s covered with premium PU leather which is amongst the softest we’ve felt on a gaming chair. It’s durable too, at 1.5mm thick.
It’s time to get technical. As well as being comfortable, the Omega features spacious four-directional armrests that are incredibly easy to adjust – just hold the appropriate button and push/pull. It also offers an 85-165-degree recline, and, for those that like to take a more relaxed approach, it features a tilt mechanism with lockout to keep it rocked back at the perfect angle. The seat height ranges from 46-55cm and is recommended for those between 160-180cm (5ft 2in to 5ft 10in), though we’ve found it comfortably supports those up to 6ft 2in.
As well as providing a beautifully soft velour memory foam head pillow, Secretlab also includes the new velour lumbar pillow. It’s just as soft as the head pillow and provides much-needed support for the lower back. Our only complaint? We wish it had an elastic strap of some kind to secure it to the chair, as it tends to slip/fall forward when we get up.
4. noblechairs Hero
The noblechairs Hero series is one of the strongest gaming chair releases of this year. This particular entry combines ergonomic design with extensive eSports testing to ensure it’s suitable for longer gaming sessions, while being designed for those of us with a larger frame.
The chair itself as impressively made as you would expect from a Noblechairs product. The Hero uses dense-molded cold foam to support the user which may be a degree firmer that you’d be used to, but this combined with the adjustable lumbar support gives you the opportunity to adopt a healthier seating position.
It is nice and easy to put together, taking between 20 to 30 mins by yourself and a little less if you’ve got a helper. The chair comes with the tools required to put it together as you’d expect from a chair of this price, the build quality is impressive as you’d expect too.
The chair is available with a variety of coloured stitching, and it’s also possible to get a real leather version although you’ll certainly be paying a premium for that.
The adjustable lumbar support mixed in with the racer seat design is a welcome addition to the industry in general, as style may have come before function with some chairs when it came to back health. This particular edition features a dial on the side that will allow you to increase or decrease the amount of lower back support the chair gives you. It even comes with an extra lumbar pillow for maximum comfort.
Overall this is a very solid choice. The chair is weighty and has a very premium feel, and combies the style of a racing chair with the support of an ergonomic seat. It is designed for a larger frame however, so those who are 5’7 (170cm) or smaller may feel the charge is too large, but that won’t make it any less comfortable or well built.
5. Ewin Flash XL
At £322, the Ewin Flash XL is a little on the pricey side – but for good reason. It’s available in either black and blue or black and red, and comes with two matching ergonomic pillows for lumbar and neck support.
We usually discard of lumbar pillows fairly quickly, but the included pillow is firm enough to provide support without being too bulky.
Beneath the PU leather cover, you’ll find high-density moulded cold foam that is softer than what’s on offer with cheaper chairs. As you sit down, you feel slight adjustments in the large seating area as the foam moulds to your body. It’s comfortable, and more noticeable than in other chairs that feature the same material.
It also features 4D armrests, allowing you to adjust just about every aspect of the armrests.
That’s backed up by a durable steel frame and large, five-star base that means anyone up to 150kg can comfortably sit in the chair with no worry.
And that’s who this chair is aimed at; those of us that are a little larger and don’t find standard gaming chairs comfortable. It has a wider and longer seat than many gaming chairs, along with a wide back rest that doesn’t dig into your sides.
It also allows for reclining between 85- and 155 degrees. Oh, and you can get a 15 percent discount by using our exclusive code TA on the Ewin Racing website.
6. Nitro Concepts S300
Priced at £229.99 from Overclockers UK, the Nitro Concepts S300 is the next step up from the £145 C80, also featured in this roundup. The first thing you’ll notice about the S300 is the material it’s made from; while many gaming chairs are made from leather (or pleather), the S300 features fabric upholstery.
It does, however also come in PU leather in a model called the S300EX, which adds a mere £10 to the price.
The use of fabric gives the chair a different feel from other gaming chairs, and once you get over the fact that it attracts cat hair like a magnet, it provides a soft, comfortable seating experience. It’s available in seven colours, and the embroidery will even match the strips on the chair’s base. It’s the little details that make the S300 shine.
Beneath the fabric upholstery you’ll find moulded cold foam, which is softer, more breathable and should be much more durable than the foam scraps used in budget gaming chairs from the likes of Amazon.
The S300 offers 130mm of height adjustment along with 14 degrees of rocking, allowing you to rock gently in the chair using your body weight. It can also recline to 135 degrees, providing an easy way to have a quick nap during lengthy gaming sessions.
It features 3D armrests that, as the name suggests, allows them to be moved in three directions – up and down, forwards and backwards and inwards and outwards. While it allows you to find the perfect position for your setup, the arms don’t lock into place and will often slide forwards/backwards with a bit of pressure from leaning.
It comes with two ergonomic supporting cushions for the neck and lumbar regions, but we found the chair to be much more comfortable without the latter present.
Overall build quality is decent, although the arm rests do rattle a bit when knocked. Oh, and beware of the white colour option as, being fabric, it’ll get dirty fairly quickly.
Find out more in our Nitro Concepts S300 review.
7. Secretlab Titan Napa
Following the success of the Secretlab Titan and Omega, the company has released the pinnacle of luxurious gaming chairs: the Secretlab Titan Napa, crafted from soft calf leather for a stunning finish. But here’s the painful part; the Secretlab Titan Napa is the most expensive gaming chair in the company’s line-up, and costs £350 more than the already-premium Secretlab Titan (£349) at £699 in the UK, or $799 for those in the US.
With such a high price point, the Secretlab Titan Napa has to offer something pretty remarkable over the standard Titan, right? It does: Napa Leather.
Described by Secretlab as the ‘pinnacle of luxury upholstery’, the leather is used in high-end cars and boutique bags because of how incredibly soft and smooth it is. We were already impressed with the PU leather on the standard Titan, but the Titan Napa takes comfort to a new level. It’s soft and cool to the touch, and features a microfiber lining along the sides of the chair for a nice contrast.
Beyond the sheer comfort the Napa leather brings to the Titan, the midnight blue colouring of the leather separates the chair from the rest of the Secretlab line-up, and it looks stunning. Coupled with blue embroidery on the front and rear of the chair, it really does scream high quality – and it should, at just under £700.
It features a large, ergonomically shaped backrest with flaps that reach around to support your sides without being uncomfortable. When combined with the soft leather, it feels like you’re being hugged from behind. The Titan Napa also features our favourite feature of the standard Titan – integrated, adjustable lumbar support.
The backrest doesn’t only offer ergonomic support though; the combination of a tall, wide backrest and the ability to recline to an almost bed-like position makes the chair perfect for relaxing when watching films or videos on YouTube (or if you wanted to take a mid-session nap, there’s no shame!).
And, like with other Secretlab products, the Titan Napa comes with one of the most comfortable velour pillows we’ve ever felt – seriously, it’s the height of pillow luxury.
Find out more in our full Secretlab Titan Napa review.
8. noblechairs Icon
The Icon is essentially a follow-up to the Epic, and noblechairs says it has incorporated feedback from users to make the Icon even better.
In terms of the overall design, it’s less 'racing car bucket seat', more executive office. The style is much more understated and refined with less branding and should appeal to those that don’t want anything garish.
To this end, the colour option applies only to the signature diamond stitching, and you can opt for black if you really don’t want any colour.
We tested out the non-leather version which has 1.5mm PU fabric. That’s thicker than the cover you’ll find on most chairs, though the Icon is proportionally more expensive for it.
If you go for one of the leather options you get the choice of more colour. It's available in black, midnight blue and – for the cigar-smoking gamer - cognac. You’ll get 2mm-thick hide, and an even more premium price of £519.95.
Similarly, the Icon’s internal steel frame is 2mm thick, whereas most rivals use 1-1.5mm. It’s paired with a sturdy metal base and oozes quality.
As with the Epic, the foam is cold cured and not recycled. The 55 percent density may feel initially hard, but this also means it retains its shape and doesn’t sag after months of use.
In terms of ergonomics, the back has been improved over the Epic and you probably won’t need to use the included lumbar cushion. There’s also pillow for your head.
The back reclines and you can unlock the chair’s rocking mechanism and set the resistance to match your weight.
Armrests are adjustable in four dimensions, but unlike the Epic’s they don’t rotate. The darker chrome finish looks better, though.
Although it's a gaming chair, it’s just as good if you want a comfortable chair for working all day at a desk: it’s certainly one of the best we’ve seen yet.
9. Vertagear SL4000
Considering its price, the Vertagear SL4000 is exceptionally well made. You can buy it for £269.99 from Overclockers UK. Build quality and finish are exceptional, and there's an aluminium - rather than plastic - foot. This is actually a revised version of the SL4000 that now doesn't have any plastic covers on the sides where the back joins the base. Instead, brackets slide inside the back so only the nice-looking screw heads are visible.
There's a good range of colour options, although not many of them appeal to us. We were sent the black version with white highlights, which most of our testers thought looked great.
As with most others here, you get a removable lumbar cushion and pillow: only one of our testers liked the former. Everyone else preferred the chair with no additional cushions.
Most people were convinced it was a leather chair, but it isn't. The PU material is good quality, and the foam is fairly hard: the SL4000 isn't as soft to sit on as the Nitro Concepts or Speedlink Regger, but could be more durable in the long run.
The back reclines and the armrests are fully adjustable. They look identical to those used by the noblechairs they also swivel which is a bonus. Initially, we were sent the wrong gas lift which was too tall and meant the seat was over 500mm from the ground, but a shorter replacement reduced this to 470mm, making the SL4000 usable by shorter gamers, down to around 5ft3in.
Our only complaint about the SL4000 concerns the side bolsters. These aren't merely foam: there's a hard frame inside them which some of our testers complained was too uncomfortable when sitting for long periods in the chair. Others, though, said it was supportive and had no such complaints.
10. noblechairs Epic
Germany-based noblechairs has only been around for a year or so, but has already produced some stylish and well-made gaming chairs. The Epic s the latest model and comes in two versions: PU leather and real leather. The former costs £299.99 from Overclockers UK, while the latter is £479.99. That's a steep premium for real cowhide, but it's also supremely good quality.
There are a few colour options with the PU version which only affect the stitching - all the chairs are black with black faux suede stripe around the edge. The leather chair comes in either all-black or black with a white leather stripe, white stitching, and red highlights.
Under the covers is "cold foam with 55 percent density". This is noticeably firmer than on most chairs, and some might find it a little hard. However, it should be durable.
In addition to height adjustment, the Epic also tilts back up to 14 degrees and has a lever to lock it in position. There's also a reclining back. The armrests are more customisable than most with height, sideways and forward-backwards adjustments. Plus they also swivel in and out - initially, we thought they didn't but they're just very stiff.
Another reason for the high price is a metal base into which the castors and hydraulics fit; cheaper chairs have plastic bases.
It doesn't take long to put the chair together, but we'd recommend using a proper screwdriver as the bundled Allen key/screwdriver isn't up to much.
If you can stomach the high price, the leather version is fantastic but for everyone else, the non-leather model is very nearly as good.