Do you spend hours playing video games, whether for fun or as a career? If you do, then you may already understand the pain of sitting on an uncomfortable chair. You need a great gaming chair to maintain posture and stay comfortable. But, how do you find cheap gaming chairs that still give you all the features you need? What should you look for in a gaming chair anyway?
Don’t fret, we’ve got a guide right here to help you pick the right one. Read on below and discover 10 crucial tips to find the best budget gaming chairs.
1. Look for an Ergonomic Design
Before all else, make sure the gaming chair you get has an ergonomic design. Even cheap gaming chairs can feature some sort of ergonomic features, like lumbar support and neck support. Others go a few steps further, adding in better back support and adjustable armrests.
Ergonomic designs ensure better posture and comfort. This can prevent issues like lower back pain and neck stiffness. This type of design also boosts productivity, guaranteeing you’re always playing at your tip-top condition!
After all, most gamers spend hours playing. This is particularly true for Twitch streamers since they have to play two to four hours per session to guarantee the most views and engagement. You don’t want to suffer from back pain or neck pain while gaming for that long.
Do affordable gaming chairs feature ergonomic features?
Some do. Even the cheapest one might come with a comfortable backrest design and armrests. If you can afford the more expensive choices, you could get more adjustable features to guarantee the chair functions no matter your height and body shape.
2. High-Quality Materials
A good design can only get you so far. You also have to consider the best materials too. Again, keep in mind you’ll sit on this chair for a long period, so comfortable and fresh materials should be a priority when looking for options.
High-quality leather is the most popular material. Some prefer genuine leather, but this can get expensive. Your next best option is polyurethane leather (PU), which some sellers refer to as synthetic leather or faux leather.
PU leather isn’t as durable as genuine leather and it will crack in a few years. That said, you still get the basic benefits of leather: a waterproof surface that’s cool to the skin. It’s also easy to clean, being stain-resistant, and it won’t rip and tear as easily as normal fabric.
Cheap gaming chairs often offer mesh and PU leather or a combination of both. Mesh is also great since it’s a breathable fabric, guaranteeing you won’t ruin the material due to perspiration from long gaming sessions. Mesh is a great choice for the armrests and areas on the backrest and neck support bar.
3. Office Chair or Bean Bag Design
If you want the best cheap gaming chairs, why not steer clear from traditional office chair designs? They’re the most common but they’re not your only choice. You should expand your horizon and look at some of the other available designs in the market.
The best alternatives are bean bag gaming chairs.
These can look like traditional bean bags but with some form of back and leg support. Others resemble office chairs but without the lower leg stand. Either way, you’re lower on the ground and you can easily stretch your legs forward or lean back for a more comfortable resting position.
Not sure what to look for in a bean bag? There are several factors to consider: the material, filling, and shape are among the most crucial elements.
In terms of material, your best bet is either nylon, polyester, or vinyl. Vinyl can get hot and sticky, however. Polyester and nylon are easy to clean, durable, and water-resistant too.
You can also go for cotton bean bags, but these aren’t stain-resistant and they can be a hassle to clean up. The upside, however, is that they are quite comfortable and cool to the skin, making them quite a comfortable alternative.
4. Maximum Weight Support
Don’t forget to check if the gaming chair can support your weight. Some gaming chairs utilize a single spine and this might break if you go over their weight limit. Others work around this by featuring multiple braces.
Lower-end chairs often support up to 136 kg (300 lbs), while the more expensive variants can support up to 181 kg (400 lbs). This varies from chair to chair, so make sure you take time to read the specific limitations.
Yes, even bean bag chairs have a weight limit. If you go beyond this restriction, there’s the possibility of the fabric tearing and the filling to spill out.
Don’t assume this restriction doesn’t apply to smaller, lighter people. Gaming chairs that support heavier people often come with wider seats. This might not be comfortable for other people.
There’s also the fact that a higher weight restriction can increase the price. It’s rare to spot cheap gaming chairs that can support up to 181 kg. Bean bag and floor gaming chairs are the better options here, like the X Rocker or Giantex chairs.
5. Comfort Features
Ever seen PewDiePie’s viral video about his gaming chair’s adjustable backrest? It became a meme, but it perfectly highlights the value and popularity of features that guarantee better gaming comfort. People want more than a gaming chair: it has to offer all the adjustable design features possible to ensure you can stay comfortable.
Look for gaming chairs with an adjustable backrest. This should be a priority because it affects comfort and posture.
The next step is to look for a chair with adjustable height. You want to keep your eyes aligned to the monitor while playing. This prevents your neck from straining too much.
Of course, if you use a bean bag chair or floor chair, an adjustable height isn’t an issue due to their mobility. You can simply lean back to get into a comfortable position, even if the screen you’re playing on is a little high on the wall or table.
Some chairs also allow you to adjust the armrests. This might not sound like a big deal unless you work and play on a standard office desk. Armrests can get in the way, especially if you want to scoot closer.
6. Wired and Wireless Connectivity
Of course, comfort and design are major factors to look into when buying a gaming chair, but you should consider other elements too. One of the most crucial features you need is better connectivity.
Some gaming chairs come with built-in speakers, but this won’t help much if you plan to use headsets, a must for Twitch streamers. Look for a gaming chair that allows you to connect a headset, either through a traditional 3.55mm port or via Bluetooth.
Why is this important?
Connecting your headset to the chair frees up valuable ports on your monitor, computer, and gaming console. You need those ports for capture cards, audio splitters, and other editing or streaming equipment.
It also guarantees you won’t lose a connection even if you move around a lot. Your headset ties to your chair, so as long as you’re on it, you won’t experience a drop in volume or audio stuttering. This can become crucial if you play a lot of competitive online games, where constant communication can be a deciding factor between winning and losing ranked matches.
That said, make sure you also look at how this affects your chair’s power supply. Do you have to install replaceable batteries, do you have to charge the chair, or do you have to keep it plugged in to enjoy these features?
7. Fancy Extra Features
Done considering all the important features? Did you find some gaming chairs that offer the right lumbar support, material, and weight limit? That’s great, but you shouldn’t forget to splurge a bit on fancy extras.
Which extra features should you consider?
First, look for cup holders. These might seem trivial until you realize how often you’ll need a drink during long gaming sessions or streams. It’s always convenient to have a holder for your water tumbler or coffee.
Next, look for ports on the chair. You’ll want USB ports to power up a fancy headset, controller, or keyboard and mouse. This allows you to use gadgets and accessories while freeing them from the table, ensuring you can keep them right on your lap.
Don’t forget to look for built-in speakers and a volume rocker. Built-in speakers are great if you don’t stream since you can get a more cinematic gaming experience thanks to their location. Look for a volume rocker to ensure you’re not stuck with one volume setting.
Other features you could enjoy include vibration systems built into the seat, removable mousepads, or dedicated buttons that can connect your PS4, Switch, or Xbox One. These aren’t as necessary as the other extra features, but they can go a long way in enhancing your gaming experience.
8. Storage Convenience
You’ll spend hours on your gaming chair, but what do you do when you’re done? Some people have dedicated gaming rooms, which means they can leave the chair there with no concern. For some people, however, it’s important to stow away the chair and make extra space during non-gaming hours.
Bean bag gaming chairs excel in this regard. They’re quite mobile and light, even when they look big and durable. It’s a breeze to store bean bags away, and you can even re-shrink them with a vacuum, allowing you to keep the filling in a container and store the cover under the bed, behind a cabinet, or in your closet.
Floor chairs, on the other hand, can fold. This makes it easier to store them under the bed or between furniture. They’re bulkier compared to a shrunk bean bag, but they’re still portable and easy to store away.
Traditional gaming chairs present a real problem. They’re large, bulky, and they don’t collapse or fold. You might find one that comes apart, but it can still be a hassle to assemble it again.
For better storage convenience, you might want to stick with a bean bag or floor chair.
9. Read Reviews
Have you narrowed down your choices? Make sure you have at least ten great gaming chair options listed down. They should all have the crucial design features and extras that you want or need.
The next step is to read a few reviews. Look for the products on retail sites and read what people have to say. Rearrange your list, prioritizing chairs with the most positive feedback at the top, and then scratch out the bottom five choices, narrowing your options even further.
Make sure you look at verified reviews. Amazon is a great place to read reviews because only customers who purchased the product can rate and review. This prevents random people from rating or leaving obsessively negative reviews.
If possible, look for reviews with photos. Manufacturers and marketing teams always try to make their gaming chairs look amazing, but an amateur photo from a previous customer can show a chair’s real aesthetic. These photos can also help you determine if the chair seems too flimsy or if it’s durable for your needs.
Take time to look at YouTube reviews too! Nothing beats actual footage of someone trying a gaming chair and testing its durability and features.
10. Consider Your Budget
Last, but certainly not least, consider your budget. Go back to your list of the best gaming chairs and rearrange them yet again according to price. Look for the highest-rated chair that meets your budget restriction and still gives you all the features you want.
Bean bags again take the crown here. They’re cheaper than most office-like gaming chairs but still offer posture support, convenience, and extra features. Folding chairs and rockers are also a good option if you’re down to a small budget.
Get the Best Cheap Gaming Chairs!
If you want the best cheap gaming chairs, go back through this list as often as you need to. Check every feature and design of the chairs that caught your eye. If they meet every criterion listed here, you should add it to your list of ten potential choices.
Bean bags are among the most reliable to purchase. However, buying one and using one are two different things. Fortunately, we’re here to help and you can check out our other guides to keep your gaming chair nice and clean.