As a writer, occasional teacher, and as-often-as-I-can gamer, it seems like a third of my life is spent sitting in front of a computer screen. If you’re anything like me, spending hours and hours in a chair, you want to find the very best chair you can and, for many people, that means a gaming chair.
This is where we come in. We went out and researched some of the best gaming chairs to find out which ones can keep you gaming and working for the long hours that so many of us put in. We put eight chairs through a series of tests examining everything from ease of assembly to adjustability to comfort to cleanliness. When the dust settled and our sore backs recovered, the AKRacing Core EX Gaming Chair(available at Walmart for $329.00) emerged as our top pick thanks to its adjustability and long-term comfort. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly chair, we'd recommend checking out our Best Value pick, the Homall PC Gaming Chair(available at Amazon).
These are the best gaming chairs we tested ranked, in order:
AKRacing Core EX
GTRacing Pro GT099
Homall PC Gaming Chair
BestOffice PC Gaming Chair
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Material: Fabric upholstery. Frame, including legs, are made from steel, not plastic.
It’s all in the name. The AKRacing Core EX gaming chair looks like it belongs in a race car, not behind an IKEA desk. But unlike some of the other gaming chairs we’ve tested, the quality doesn’t just stop at aesthetics. This was the most comfortable chair that we tested, and one of only two gaming chairs I tried that I’d consider buying.
The AKRacing Core EX has just about every adjustability option that you need to find a comfortable fit. Height-adjustable and removable neck and lumbar support pillows keep your spine aligned with enough softness in each that they cradle your body instead of pushing against it. The separate recline and tilting functions give a much wider range of sitting options than either can alone. I tend to work leaned forward, so the fact that this chair could come up to 90 degrees meant that I got quality lumber and neck support in my working posture. Then when it was time to game, I could recline somewhat. And when the football game came on, I could recline and tilt back far enough to comfortably get my feet up on the desk.
The armrests are likewise adjustable in almost every direction. They move forward and backward, up and down, and can turn in and out. The chair even has bolts on the bottom that allow you to slide them left and right to get as tight to your body as you want.
The only real issue that I had about this chair was the fabric that comes with the baseline model. There’s nothing wrong with it, as it’s high quality and almost as easy to clean as the PU or PVC leather chairs. However, I definitely started to warm up while sitting in it. It holds onto more of your body heat than the faux-leather upholsteries do. On a 90+ degree day, I can see it getting uncomfortable quickly.
That said, AKRacing makes plenty of chairs with more breathable PU leather upholstery. So, if it’s in the budget and you like everything else about the AKRacing chair, I might recommend splurging for that upgrade. I’d also recommend checking out the sizing chart available on their website to make sure that you get a chair that will fit your body.
The AKRacing Core EXis a high-quality, comfortable chair at an upper mid-range price point that I kept using long after the testing was officially done.
As the second least expensive option that we tested, the Homall PC Gaming Chair was a pleasant surprise. While certainly not perfect, it was comfortable, with many of the adjustability options present in some of the higher-priced gaming chairs.
The recline was deep and stable with the added benefit of the tilt feature as well. The recline even came all the way up to 90, so I was able to work “leaned forward” with my back against the neck and lumbar supports. The lumbar and neck support pillows broke in over the course of about an hour, so I was able to find a reasonably comfortable position for them.
The biggest knock against this chair is that the arms are not adjustable at all. And, unfortunately, they simply weren’t placed well for me. I wasn’t able to drop my elbows onto them in a natural typing position. Worse, at my natural height for the chair, the armrests hit the top of my desk, so I couldn’t actually slide under the desk at all without lowering to a less optimal height.
At the price point, this is a solid choice. Overall, it was quite comfortable. I actually left it in my office for a few days while I waited for the next chair to arrive. There are just a few minor inconveniences that kept it away from the top.
As the most expensive chair that we tested, the SecretLab Omega set itself apart from the moment the package landed on my doorstep. Unboxing was a carefully-managed brand experience, with welcome letters, a massive 2’x3’ instruction card, an offer for an extended warranty if I posted a picture on social media, and even higher quality internal foam packaging than any other chair. And then the actual chair components came out, and it was clear that we were on a different level from most of the other chairs we tested.
The steel frame is heavy-duty, with standard casters and arms that are fully adjustable in four directions—up and down, side to side, sliding in and out, and angling in and out. There is no worry about plastic parts or mechanisms that will fail over time—every hinge on the chair looks to be sturdy, long-lasting construction and fits solidly in place.
In a pure head to head comfort test, I would give a slight edge to the AKRacing Chair, which, combined with the difference in price, gave it the top spot. That said, the SecretLab Omega is very comfortable. The seat itself is firm but supportive, with separate tilt and recline functions. It took me only a few seconds to adjust the chair to my body, and the little tweaks I made over the next few hours made it fit like I’d owned it for years. The crown jewel of comfort for this chair, in my mind at least, is the construction of the neck and lumbar support pillows. They are a soft memory foam wrapped in suede. They’re the kind of pillows that I would want to carry around with me to improve the comfort of every other chair I ever sit in.
SecretLab set themselves apart aesthetically as well. We tested the Omega Stealth model, which is one of their more understated designs. It’s black with tasteful red stitching on the seams, and a gold Omega symbol stitched into the backrest. If you have some room in the budget, they have a wide variety of design upgrades to choose from, including many from video games or television. If I were to buy for myself, I’d probably get the house Targaryan design from George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series. It features the sigil of House Targaryen, a trio of eye-catching red dragons on the front and back of the chair. If fantasy isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other design options to choose from to make this chair really reflect your personality and interests.
If you have the budget for it and you love their aesthetic as I do, then this is an excellent upgrade. It is one of those products that I was loath to return when testing was over.
Hi, I’m Jean Levasseur, product tester for Reviewed, writer, woodworker, and avid gamer. Almost every full-time job I’ve ever had involved sitting for most of the day in front of a computer, so between that, my own writing, and gaming, I’ve spent a lot of hours butt-in-chair. I know some of you will ask, so here it goes. Yes, I actually played video games for a lot of this testing. Primarily COD: Warzone, Spellbreak, and Baldur’s Gate 3, which I’ve been waiting for for a VERY long time.
Testing gaming chairs, while a long process, was pretty straightforward. First up was assembly and setup. I unboxed everything in my kitchen, set a timer, and put the chair together. All of the chairs were not only easy to assemble but were nearly identical in how they went together. All the tools were provided, and all of the instructions were clear. Once assembled, I brought the chairs up to my office, testing their maneuverability on the way. From there, I sat down and fiddled with each chair until I found a relatively comfortable starting position for the real testing: sitting and playing video games (and some work).
Whether I was gaming or working, I made sure to try out all of the different features of each chair. I reclined, I leaned forward, I tilted, I moved up and down. I tried to sit in each chair for a minimum of three hours over the course of a day, though there were a few that just hurt my back too much to make it that long. I made notes about comfort and adjustability, and how my body felt overall after an extended period of time. When I was done sitting, I had my wife sit down for a few minutes and give me her thoughts. For the most part, we agreed.
From there, I put each chair through a few basic wear tests. The first of these was a scratch test. I took a fork and dragged it over the fabric of the chair a few times, not trying to puncture, but putting some pressure. Then I spilled some crumbs and yogurt on various parts of the chair, let the mess sit, and cleaned it up. I kept track of any damage to the chair, how easy the fabric was to get clean, and whether there were any noticeable stains left behind. With the chairs clean, all that was left was to crunch the numbers and crown a winner.
What You Should Know About Gaming Chairs
There are so many different styles of office/computer chair that it can be difficult to know what you’re even looking for. When it comes to gaming chairs, here are a few identifying features that you should look for:
First and most important is ergonomics. Gamers often put in long sessions and need a chair that can keep their backs free from aches and stiffness over three, four, five, or more hours. Most computer chairs on the market have at least some level of lumbar support. A gaming chair should take that lumbar to the next level, but also provide ergonomic support all the way up the back and into the head and neck. When I get up from a great gaming chair after a few hours of Call of Duty, I don’t want to hear any creaking or complaints from my bones.
The second feature of gaming chairs is adjustability. Depending on the game I’m playing and the input I’m using (controller or keyboard and mouse), I’m going to sit in a different position, and I need a chair with the flexibility to accommodate that. I want adjustable ergonomics, of course, but also a wide range of height, tilt, and recline options. Some of my favorite chairs even had fully adjustable armrests. The very best had recline and tilt as separate functions rather than one or the other. The more I could tune the chair to my body, the longer my sessions could go.
The last feature that we felt defines gaming chairs is aesthetics. If I’m going to buy a gaming chair, I want something that looks the part. No simple leather rectangles stacked on rectangles for me. Gaming chairs should make you look and feel like you’re sitting in a race car or spaceship. If someone doesn’t walk into your office and say “wow, that’s a cool chair,” is it really a gaming chair?
The final piece of advice that I have about gaming chairs is to go to a store and try one, even if you can’t find the one you ultimately one assembled in a store. They feel very different on your body than a traditional office chair does, and it’s not a form that works for everyone. So make sure that the style is for you before committing hundreds of dollars.
Other Gaming Chairs We Tested
Material: PVC Leather.
The Vertagear SL5000 Gaming Chair is one of the chairs that I kept using for a few days even after the official testing was over. Like the Corsair, it’s made from high-quality PVC leather instead of PU leather, with intricate stitching and accent fabrics. It features all of the adjustability options, including separate recline and tilt, and fully adjustable arms. With all of those options, I was able to fit the chair to my body nicely, including the neck pillow, which fell at just the right height.
The only drawback that I found with this chair is that the lumbar support is a bit thicker and firmer than I prefer. It’s likely made of higher quality materials, so it hasn’t softened up as much as some of the other chairs did over the past few days. Of course, that’s simply a matter of preference, so it may not be a drawback to you.
The Vertagear SL5000 Gaming Chair also has a unique option for LED accent lights. While we didn’t order them in our test model, if creating a visual pop in your gaming room or office is important, then those lights will absolutely make visitors say “Wow!” Are those lights worth the extra cost? That’s up to you, but it’s a stunning aesthetic feature.
Quality often comes at a premium, and if that premium is in your budget, then this is a fantastic option for any gaming room.
When unboxing the Corsair T2 Gaming Chair, the first thing that I noticed was the material quality. Based on Corsair’s reputation in the gaming community, that was not at all a surprise. The wheels are roller-blade style with a metal base frame. The cushioning was deep and supportive. The faux-leather is PVC rather than PU leather, which is a much higher quality fabric than most of the other chairs we have tested. The intricate stitching in the back and seat were just a visual reminder that the upholstery is a step above. Even the neck and lumbar pillows were an improvement, made of a suede-like material instead of the same PU leather.
Sitting in it after assembly kept up the higher quality feel. It was comfortable with the full range of adjustability options. The vertical height covers a lot of range, the arms are fully adjustable, and it has tilt and recline on separate controls. It also has a unique tilt lock feature, which allows you to set the chair at a certain tilt angle. While a great idea, it was finicky to use and a bit difficult to disengage.
As for comfort, I only had one issue with the Corsair T2. It’s advertised as having a tall back and boy does it. For 5’7” me, it was a bit too tall for comfort. I could pull the neck support pillow down into position, but couldn’t get it to stay. For someone just a few inches taller than me, I’m sure this wouldn’t be a problem at all. While this is the most expensive chair we tested, if you’re looking for a premium gaming chair, you can’t get much better than this.
This is a chair that improved over time. When I first sat down in it, everything was stiff and uncomfortable. My legs kept falling asleep, and I couldn’t find a comfortable position. But over the course of about an hour, everything softened up and it got better. Never truly comfortable, but workable. I wouldn’t recommend sitting in it for 6-10 hours, but if you’re looking for something for an hour or two sessions at a time, this could be a good option. It also happens to be one of the lowest-priced gaming chairs we tested.
The GTRacing Pro Series features all of the major adjustability options. It has moveable and removable neck and lumbar supports, separate tilt and recline, arms that go in and out, up and down, and a solid range of height options. The fabric is durable and easy enough to clean, and while the base and wheels are made of plastic, they seem to be of decent quality.
This is one of those solid, middle of the road budget options. By the time the three hour testing period was over, I wasn’t exactly sore, but my body was starting to complain, even with periodic standing breaks (with twin five-year-olds running around, I don’t remember the last time I was able to sit down for three hours straight). This wasn’t a particularly comfortable chair, but it wasn’t actively uncomfortable. In the color palette of gaming chairs, the GTRacing Pro Series is a solid beige. That said, as soon as the testing period was over, I was ready to swap it out for a different chair.
The Respawn Raven Xi gaming chair has a lot to offer. It’s sleek and stylish with a built-in-footrest, the only chair we tested with that feature. This particular chair was sponsored by Fortnite and they did a great job with the branding without being obnoxious. The recline is smooth and deep and the arms move with it, making for a full-body experience. The lumber and neck support are built right into the back, so there are no awkward pillows to deal with.
The first and most noticeable issue is that the chair doesn’t actually tilt. It either reclines fully or sits you straight up, and you’ll never know how much you rely on tilting until you can’t. Tilt over recline every time and both are needed for a win. Unfortunately, for an average-sized man, this chair is just too small to be comfortable.
Frankly, if I were 20 years younger and fifty pounds smaller (ie in high school), the Respawn Raven might work well. But it’s simply not wide enough for my frame, which, I assure you, is not large. The wings on the side push my shoulders forward and the integrated lumbar and neck supports are simply positioned wrong for my body size. My wife couldn’t find a way to get comfortable in this chair, either. It looks great, but the lack of adjustability options and the small size simply make it not a great option for most people.
When it comes to aesthetics, the Arozzi Milano fits the gaming chair format to a T. We tested the black and red version, which was sleek and eye-catching. The pleather upholstery didn’t trap heat the way fabric can, was easy enough to clean and didn’t show any sign of damage after I scratched it with a fork.
Unfortunately, those positive qualities are mostly superficial. When it came to the most important thing—comfort—the Arozzi Milano Gaming Chair simply didn’t measure up. I was never able to find a configuration that was comfortable, as the chair isn’t all that adjustable. There are other chairs on the market that are inherently comfortable without a lot of adjustability features. The Arozzi Milano, unfortunately, is not one of them.
The lumbar support can go up and down, but the thick, firm pad pushed against my back instead of supporting me. Although it was a high backed chair, there was no neck support to speak of. And, while the chair did tilt solidly and easily enough, the lack of a true recline function made it hard to get comfortable sitting back. My back was aching after the first half-hour, so I swapped it out for my personal office chair after two hours.
The BestOffice PC Gaming Chair is the cheapest gaming chair that we tested and it shows. The adjustment options are limited, and the seat itself is flat, hard, and uncomfortable. My legs were falling asleep after the first fifteen minutes. The seat did break in a bit over time, but never enough to be called comfortable.
The biggest disappointment was the integrated neck and lumbar support. I’d been looking forward to a chair that didn’t rely on pillows for support, but I found that I preferred the pillows. The lumbar support on this chair had no adjustability whatsoever, which was tough on my back. I gave up on this chair long before the three hours were up out of respect for my aching back.
This is a barebones chair at a barebones price. If you’re looking for a more comfortable chair at a better price, we’d recommend checking out the Homall PC Gaming Chair instead.
Jean Levasseur became a professional writer over a decade-long career in marketing, public relations, and technical writing. After leaving that career to stay home to care for his twin boys, Jean has continued to write in a variety of freelance roles, as well as teaching academic writing at a local university. When he's not reviewing tools or chasing toddlers around the house, he's also an avid fiction writer and a growing woodworker.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.