ny chair you play a game in is a gaming chair, surely? But no! Specialised gaming chairs are available from both established office furniture manufacturers and gaming brands, and tend to take the form of executive chairs as reimagined by a ten-year-old following an afternoon on the sugary snacks.
So you tend to get a high back, with a headrest designed not for resting your head but for displaying a logo – streamers might want to think carefully about precisely which brand they choose because of this. The sides of the chair wrap in to cocoon your body in leather, or leather-like synthetic material, and there’s plenty of adjustability to get things just right. The fashion of a few years ago that saw chairs in gaudy colours with holes driven through just about every surface that could tolerate one – for cooling purposes, we assume – seems to be over, and some of the best gaming chairs in 2022 come in shiny black and wouldn’t look out of place behind a desk in a bank.
Whether you’re trading shares or gunshots, sitting at a desk using a PC requires a certain type of ergonomic environment – things like a five-pointed star base and swivel wheels come as standard – so perhaps it’s not a surprise to see a convergence between playing the games at which we excel, and plain old Excel.
These, then, are the best of the gaming chairs available in 2022. They’re comfortable, adjustable, and blend in nicely with a home office.
Noblechairs Epic Series Real Leather
Perhaps just a little expensive, but reassuringly so, this is a premium gaming chair coated in real bits of cow (there is of course a synthetic alternative) and padded with deformation-resistant foam. It has the classic gaming chair shape, with wings protruding upwards from the seat to, presumably, keep you in place as you swing your torso left and right.
Comfortable and robust, it’s a heavy chair that might look like it had been pulled out of the cockpit of a racing car if it weren’t for the awkward arm rests, which look like they’ve come off a standard office chair. At least they’re fully adjustable, in line with the rest of the chair. Seen in photos, gaming chairs can look uncomfortably upright, but the Noblechairs Epic reclines to 135°, so you could take a stab at sleeping in it if you’re not the sort to toss and turn. There’s even a pillow that fixes around the headrest.
Many of these chairs are so good it seems like a mistake to categorise them as ‘gaming chairs’. Some who are looking for a great place to sit all day, especially as working from home has become so popular recently, might overlook them or consider them inappropriate. This would be a shame, as when a chair is this well made, it deserves to be home to the posteriors of as many people as possible.
Logitech G x Herman Miller Embody
You know how we called the Noblechairs Epic a bit expensive? Well this is really going to put a strain on your wallet. Still, Herman Miller is a name that means something in the exciting world of office furniture, and it’s entirely possible that dropping the price of a new gaming PC on a chair is going to be seen as a reasonable investment by people who are going to sit in it all day, every day, and want the best for their buttocks.
It certainly looks the part, with its fully synthetic covering giving it an executive air. It also comes ready assembled, a rarity among gaming chairs. The high back and headrest that are the identifying features of a gaming chair are missing, and if it weren’t for the Logitech G logo stamped at the top of the chair’s backrest, you might pass it off as just another expensive office chair. Not so. Although based on HM’s Embody range of chairs, and keeping the ergonomic back shape, the gaming chair includes a new foam compound that should help keep players cool in the heat of the moment, and keeps the settee more upright, as apparently we like to slump more when typing than we do while shooting aliens.
Otherwise, the Embody has adjustable arms, a seat that can be slid back and forth, back adjustment that works with your spinal curve and keeps your head in the right place to engage with a monitor, and of course a height adjuster so you can keep your feet flat on the floor. It’s a spectacular chair, but the price may keep it out of the reach of many.
Secretlab Titan Evo
Singaporean furniture maker Secretlab’s Titan and Omega chairs have been at the top of gaming chair listings for a long time, so it’s no surprise to see the 2022 Titan Evo riding high too.
The Evo amalgamates and replaces the Titan (big) and Omega (smaller) chair lines, so is available in a variety of sizes and coverings – including a real leather option that almost doubles the price. There are optional upgrades too, including Technogel armrest toppers, and many special editions from Batman to Harry Potter. It has the look of a classic gaming chair with its tall back and foam-padded seat that has a gentle curve to it, which will keep you in the approved upright position. There’s adjustable lumbar support too, and a head cushion that attaches with magnets rather than the usual cloth straps, so if you’re not using it, you can stick it to a radiator.
As a good-looking and comfortable gaming chair, the new Titan Evo might have been good enough, but it takes it further with its levels of adjustability. The armrests move in just about every direction, and even the tension in the reclining mechanism can be tweaked. A good chair at first, this can be adjusted into something great.
A good budget choice, the Puma is a smaller chair but gives you the classic gaming chair look, with holes punched through either side of the neck area to let through whatever needs to be let through. Upholstered with foam and a mixture of mesh and pleather, it may not have the executive feel of a Herman Miller, but that matters less when you look at the difference in price tags. The Puma is sturdy, supportive and easy to build – though slightly shorter than many other chairs, so particularly tall gamers might like to try something else out.
Still, the stitching and materials are good quality, and there’s enough tilt in the back to offer leaning as an additional seating position, if not a full recline.
The marketplace for chairs at this price point is a highly competitive one, with major furniture suppliers such as Ikea getting involved. The Puma certainly looks the part, and with its polyurethane-leather finish, is one of the best budget gaming chairs you’ll come across.
Secretlab Omega 2020
Supposedly Secretlab’s budget offering, but you wouldn’t know it. Because the company sells directly to customers, rather than through retailers (although you can find its chairs on Amazon), it cuts out the middleman and a layer of costs. The Omega, therefore, hits a standard you might not expect from its price point. And as the newer Titan Evo seems to be muscling in on the Omega’s territory, you might even score an extra discount.
While it may not have the space-age lumbar support of the Herman Miller, you do get an impressive degree of customisation, a decent multifunctional tilt mechanism, some firm memory foam cushioning, and a decent amount of recline. There are cushions too, one for the lumbar region and another that goes behind your head.
Branding is part of the gaming chair experience, and Secretlab’s looks pretty good on the black version of the Omega – a golden manufacturer logo behind the head and an omega on the back. It’s restrained compared to others, but Secretlab hasn’t held back in the comfort department, making this an excellent choice.
Brazen Phantom Elite Gaming Chair
Another budget model that punches above its weight in terms of comfort, the Phantom Elite is ergonomically designed according to the racing-car-seat template, and covered in the polyurethane leather-like substance that’s very common on seats in this price bracket.
We’re not sure about the bright colours of the branding against the black of the PU finish, but as you’ll have your back to it most of the time, it’s probably an unnecessary worry. They’re certainly bright colours, with the ‘pink’ choice (more like a scarlet red) being the nicest of the bunch, with the yellow-and-white option reminding us most of a racing livery.
The armrests are a bit rattly, but can be adjusted for height or rotation. The steel frame makes the chair feel well built, and there’s some lovely diamond stitching on the backrest. The combination of foam padding and PU leather keeps you cool, and there are removable cushions for your head and lower back. It’s a good combination at a nice price.
Corsair T3 Rush
Corsair is a brand associated with keyboards that flash bright colours and mysterious things inside fast PCs, so its push into the furniture market shouldn’t come as a surprise.
There is a lot to like about the Rush. It takes a very common gaming chair pattern, the high back with the holes and the cold foam wings to hold you in place, and coats it in a gorgeous piece of grey fabric with black detailing and logos. It’s one of the most restrained and executive gaming chairs, perfect if you’re trying to pass the purchase off as ‘just another office chair’.
Imitation leather is so common among gaming chairs that to see one coated in something else immediately piques the curiosity. Corsair’s choice of covering is soft and breathable, and the fully adjustable armrests have an attractive pattern moulded on them. The Rush also reclines a very long way, easily good enough for a nap if you strip out the memory foam lumbar pillow first. There’s also a high amount of height adjustment available, perfect for if you’re a little taller or shorter than average.
Ikea has entered the realm of gaming chairs but can a £45 model really take on the greatest that Secretlab, Logitech and Corsair have to offer?
Fruit of the collaboration between the Swedish meatball store and popular gaming brand Republic of Gamers (AKA Asus), the Huvudspelare may be hard to pronounce but is certainly easier to imagine parked in front of a pair of 4K screens and a keyboard. It sits at the bottom of the range, hence the low price, and doesn’t come with cushions (the Lånespelare range is available separately), adjustable armrests, or a leather finish.
What you do get is a thin backrest with a mesh covering that is comfortable to sit in and keeps you cool while you work (or play). The five-pointed foot and its castors, plus the height and back adjustment, are all it has in common with the chairs above. Yet it kind of works. The shape and height of the backrest make it a comfortable choice, though if you are particularly heavy it will creak and complain. The seat is foam padded, the cloth finish smooth, and there’s a self-braking mechanism that prevents it from whizzing across the room every time you stand up. It’s a basic chair and proud of it, but for the price it’s worth checking out.
It seems you can spend as much as you want on a gaming chair, and you’ll be rewarded with ever-greater levels of luxury and convenience. From the unbelievable opulence of Logitech G’s collaboration with Herman Miller, to Ikea and Asus’ stripped-back budget model, there’s something out there to suit the wallet of everyone.
Secretlab’s policy of selling directly to customers means you can often get a great deal on its chairs, and we like the choices Corsair has made with its T3 Rush very much, though we’re still at a loss as to what those holes either side of the user’s head are actually for. It’s Noblechairs, however, that tops our listing, as the combination of the leather finish (other materials are available), adjustability and comfort makes for a chair that should appeal not just to gamers, but to anyone who needs to sit in the same position for hours on end. The market for chairs like these has recently expanded, so it’s great to see so many different responses from the manufacturers.