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9 best gaming chairs for total focus and comfort while you play

Stay in the zone with one of these top-rated gaming chairs

Jon Axworthy
Wednesday 24 May 2023 16:38 BST
<p>We gamed and generally behaved very excitably for up to three months in these chairs </p>

We gamed and generally behaved very excitably for up to three months in these chairs

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Gaming can be a painful business, and we’re not talking about the sniper who has got you in his crosshairs or the Orc about to separate your head from your neck with a battle axe.

The very nature of gaming means it’s easy to binge and end up sitting in the same position for hours at a time, which can result in pain and numbness throughout the body. However, unlike a desk job where you’re also sitting for long periods, there are very few opportunities to stand up and get moving – you can’t leave your chair and walk around when you’re in the middle of a raid.

That’s why most gamers now realise there’s a serious need for ergonomics, as well as comfort at the heart of their battle stations, which is why gaming chairs are as important a part of a gamer’s setup as their tech.

You’ll experience how comfortable a gaming chair is when you first sit in it but the ergonomics will become even more apparent after a long session in the saddle. A good chair will encourage and support good spine health as you play.

So, if you’re thinking about upgrading, these are the thrones we think have got your back (and your bum) and will give you all the support needed for your next session of God of War Ragnarök.

How we tested

We sat, bounced and generally behaved very excitably for up to three months on each chair, so we could really find out how it felt after prolonged use, and how we felt after a few hours in the hot seat itself. Our tester is 6ft 2in, although the household is also populated by a 19-year-old and a 14-year-old (both gamers), so we could see if each chair could fully support different height requirements.

The best gaming chairs for 2023 are:

  • Best gaming chair overall – Andaseat kaiser 3 gaming chair: £399.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best value for money – Boulies master series gaming chair: £279.99, Boulies.co.uk
  • Best for lumbar support – Noblechairs hero black edition gaming chair: £364.99, Noblechairs.co.uk
  • Best big gaming chair – Boulies elite max gaming chair: £339.99, Boulies.co.uk

Andaseat kaiser 3 gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: Gaming chair overall
  • Backrest length: 33in
  • Seat depth: 19.6in
  • Height range: 4ft 11in – 6ft 2in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

We’ve always liked the build quality and functionality of Andaseat’s chairs and its latest update on the kaiser line is no exception, with availability in both PVC leather and fabric, depending on your preference. The previous incarnation of the kaiser featured in our 2022 line-up but the manufacturer has tweaked the chair so it’s even easier to assemble, even more spacious and plush without losing any of the support we liked so much about the kaiser 2 – particularly the four-way lumbar support, which was one of the best we tested.

A generous recline to 165 degrees meant we could stretch out (and chill out). If it’s comfort you’re after, this chair is next level, as it’s moulded and contoured with active gaming in mind, and uses high-quality materials to ensure a really plush feel.

The 4D armrests were easily adjusted and the magnetic toppers mean you are able to switch them out for different looks to keep the chair updated and fresh. All heights are accommodated for, thanks to the option to buy the chair in either regular or enlarged sizings and the nine different colour options will also ensure you can colour match your chair to your decor.

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Secretlab titan evo softweave plus gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: Fabric gaming chair
  • Backrest length: 33.5in
  • Seat depth: 19.3in
  • Height range: 5ft 7in – 6ft 2in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

The titan evo walked (or rolled) away with top honours in our round-up last year and now there is the opportunity to enjoy all the perks of that chair, with its four-way lumbar support, impressive build quality, user-friendly customisation and very handy small, regular and XL sizing options, wrapped up in a very tactile, almost luxurious covering.

The difference between Secretlab’s softweave coverings and the softweave plus isn’t immediately discernible, although the manufacturer states the new fabric is 3.5 times more durable. Fabric chairs tend to show the wear and tear that comes naturally with gaming quite quickly, however, we can definitely report that, after three months with the chair, the evo softweave plus looks as box fresh as it did on delivery day.

Speaking of delivery day, the manufacturer has made every effort to simplify assembly and the whole process is user-friendly – there is even a foam mat (on which to assemble the chair) included in the packaging, to protect the floor (and the assembler’s knees).

The other perk of the softweave plus is that it comes in nine new colourways, of which the soda purple was our favourite, lending our gaming area a welcome splash of vibrant colour.

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Boulies master series gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: Value for money
  • Backrest length: 31.5in
  • Seat depth: 19.3in
  • Height range: 5ft 5in – 6ft 3in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

This UK chair brand is consistently producing more and more premium products, a trend that has continued with the master series. Assembly only required one person, was very straightforward and we really liked the classy design and colour scheme of the racing chairs, with branding confined to the headrest.

The ultraflex polyurethane leather (in black, brown, blue or red) was soft and very comfortable, even for extended periods of gaming. There’s also the option of ordering the chair in fabric (in charcoal, carolina blue and ash grey) treated with a water-repellent coating, which will be of interest to any serial spillers out there.

Comfort was first rate with nicely padded 4D armrests and an inner adjustable lumbar support built into the backrest, making it easy to dial in the right support using a clockwise or anticlockwise turn of the knob. The adjustability continues with a full-length recline, total control over the backrest angle and 15-degrees of rocking. A removable neck pillow is also included in the package.

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Herman Miller X Logitech vantum gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: For ergonomics
  • Backrest length: 31.5in
  • Seat depth: 17.5in
  • Height range: 5ft 5in – 6ft 3in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

One thing we’ve always loved about Herman Miller chairs is that they come part assembled, so all you have to trouble yourself with is a tool-free fitting of the base, body and headrest and you’re good to go.

Almost imperceptibly, the chair actively tilts you slightly forward when you sit in it, which is what the manufacturer calls “forward-leaning alignment”. This automatically sets you in a position that is common for gamers when the intensity level of a game starts to ramp up – except, with the vantum, you are optimally supported as you do it. Very clever and very comfortable.

If you really don’t like being “managed” in this way, the feature can be turned off, but we found it quite natural, enabling us to resist the slump that accompanies some gaming sessions.

The seat base is wide, but might be a little shallow for taller gamers (it was for our 6ft 2in tester), but the chair’s overall lumbar support and comfort was one of the best we tested.

You can adjust the tilt tension and the three-way armrests, and there are three colour choices – although, the chair’s seat, backrest, armrests and headrest are all black, with accents of either white or red.

For a Herman Miller chair, the design is very understated, so if you’re looking for a chair to provide you with some serious ergonomics without shouting about it, it might make the price point a little easier to stomach.

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Razer iskur fabric gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: Bucket gaming chair
  • Backrest length: 32.8in
  • Seat depth: 23in
  • Height range: 5ft 6in – 6ft
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

We featured a previous incarnation of the iskur (the X) in last year’s round-up, but this year the manufacturer sent us an Iskur skimmed with very soft, water-resistant fabric, which does feel very comfortable, as does the overall bucket seat design.

The other thing that sets this chair apart from the X is a unique lumbar support that raises or lowers like a flap, according to the user’s comfort levels.

It worked really well and offered comfortable, adjustable support and there was no evidence of the mechanism starting to loosen or break down over the testing period.

There’s plenty of adjustability, including 4D armrests and the fact the chair is only available in a sober dark gray also means it could double as an office chair, if needed.

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Noblechairs hero black edition gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: For lumbar support
  • Backrest length: 35in
  • Seat depth: 21.6in
  • Height range: 4ft 9in – 6ft 5in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

There’s lots to like with the hero, not least the fact the brand has provided plenty of upholstery options, so you can choose between fabric or synthetic, high-tech faux or real leather. Whatever covering you go for, the hero is the largest chair in the brand’s range, with a longer, wider back rest and expanded seat pad too, which means there’s plenty of room to move. This is all backed up by a supremely supportive lumbar support that can be adjusted via an easy-access, side-mounted dial.

Assembly was trouble-free and first impressions of the chair were good, with its subtle branding on the backrest and choice of three muted colours.

In particular, we liked the rocker mechanism, which was smooth and yet didn’t feel flimsy. Plus, the fact the chair can be reclined to 125 degrees means you can really chill out and enjoy the plush seat and backrest for some shut-eye in between sessions.

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Trust GXT 716 rizza gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: For LED addicts
  • Backrest length: 33in
  • Seat depth: 20in
  • Height range: 5ft – 6ft 4in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

With most gamers’ setups now including an array of LEDs it was only a matter of time before this extended to the seat itself. This chair features fully integrated RGB LED-illuminated edges, which means you can surround yourself with 12 fixed colours or more than 350 light effect modes, which you can control via a wireless remote that can fit in the chair’s side pockets.

There’s also enough adjustability within the chair itself to satisfy and support most gaming positions, with 2D arm rests, tilting lock, and generous backrest angle.

The lumbar support was adequate if you don’t intend to spend hours and hours in the chair, and the gas lift was responsive, smooth and accurate, so you can make quick adjustments without it affecting your gameplay.

  1. £269 from Very.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Corsair T3 rush gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: Racing seat
  • Backrest length: 32.6in
  • Seat depth: 17.9in
  • Height range: 5ft 7in – 6ft 5in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

Corsair was known more for its gaming peripherals than its gaming chairs but with each release its reputation for comfortable, high-quality perches is growing – and that’s certainly what you get with the T3 rush. The chair’s side bolsters hold the body in position really well but the wide seat base means you don’t feel constricted. The T3 moves with you for every micro movement you make while playing.

After several weeks of use (and abuse) there were no discernible squeaks or mechanical issues and there is lumbar and neck support available in the form of a cushion. Although we liked the cushions, they weren’t such a big hit with our more youthful gamers, who claimed they got in the way of them finding a comfortable position.

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Boulies elite max gaming chair

best gaming chairs
  • Best: Big gaming chair
  • Backrest length: 34.3in
  • Seat depth: 20.5in
  • Height range: 5ft 10in – 6ft 7in
  • Hydraulics: Class 4

Big isn’t always better when it comes to gaming chairs, as some of the larger models just end up being too cumbersome to be practical on a day to day basis. But Boulies has put on its thinking cap and come up with a design that manages to have all the right dimensions but still offers lots of adjustability and functionality.

The build quality is second to none too, with the manufacturer building its chair around a reinforced frame that’s clearly capable of withstanding punishment aplenty, while the generous seat offers freedom to move, squirm and fidget, and allow our weight to be well distributed across the seat bed.

The chair comes with 4D armrests, which adjust quickly and easily, and there are head and lumbar pillows included for those who want them, although the basic seat offered good ergonomics to those that don’t.

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Gaming chairs FAQS

What to look for in a gaming chair

Adaptive support can be particularly important if you suffer from a bad back, as it’s one of the areas that becomes compressed with sitting. The positioning of the various spine supports and quality of the materials within the backrest and seat can really make all the difference, whether you bounce or crawl out of your chair after a five hour Elden Ring session.

And as gamers come in all shapes and sizes, you need to be wary of the height of these supports too. Tall gamers can often suffer if the support is placed at the wrong height and there’s no way of changing it.

Read more: The best mouse for gaming

Gamers have naturally different playing positions too, so there needs to be plenty of adjustability on offer, including a good degree of recline, backrest angle and rocking.

The products that made it through to our final edit were all fitted with good hydraulics to raise and lower the chair quickly and smoothly, usually a class four gas lift – the class of hydraulics that ensures stability and safety.

Choosing 4D armrests is preferable, so they can be adjusted up and down, forwards and backwards, left and right and rotated in and out. This means that arms and wrists are well supported when playing with a mouse and keyboard, as well as when we had a console controller in hand.

The verdict: Gaming chairs

Andaseat has pulled off a very clever trick with the kaiser 3 by producing a chair that is ridiculously comfortable without sacrificing any of the little ergonomic details you’ll appreciate after sitting for hours on end. With more adjustability comes more potential for things to start breaking down, but its component and build quality means you won’t have to worry about having to recycle this chair for many, many years to come.

When we heard that Secretlab were releasing the titan evo softweave plus our immediate thoughts were: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. However, the brand has been very clever not to tinker with the original chair and just wrap it in even more tactile upholstery and offer more choice in terms of the colourways. This makes it a definite consideration for anyone who didn’t take our advice and buy the chair the first time around.

For more must-have gaming gear, here’s our edit of the best controllers for PC and PS4 controllers

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