These days, the term ‘gaming chair’ refers to any type of ergonomic desk chair. Even so, the classic racing-style gaming chair is the original. If you’re decided to invest in a high-back racing-style gaming chair, which type should you choose? This article makes it easy for you to decide. Here we summarize the world’s best racing-style gaming chairs, broken down by genre.
They’re called ‘gaming chairs’, ‘racing seats’, ‘PC game chairs’, and many similar descriptions. The world’s first model came out in 2006. Every year since, this type of seating has grown in popularity. Today, the Racing-Style PC Gaming Chair stands out as one of the most versatile and affordable options on the market.
All types of racing-style desk chairs use the same design concept. The build starts with a 5-point base and caster wheels. That attaches to a steel-framed bucket seat coated in resilient foam. Over the top, adjustable ergonomic features support the back over long sitting periods.
Types of Racing-Style Gaming Chairs
As chair designs become popular, other brands often come out with their own versions. Over time, many racing-style chairs of the same type become available.
To date, ChairsFX has boiled down 15 viable types, grouped into five categories. Click on any type to jump directly to its summary.
- Premium Gaming Chairs: for pro esports players; executive designs; fabric editions; video game designs.
- Affordable Gaming Chairs: best under $200; under $300; cheap chairs with wide seats.
- For Specific Users: small sized chairs; big and tall; for students.
- Special Functionality: footrest add-on; with integrated lumbar; with modular add-ons.
- Specialty Aesthetics: best pink, camo, and Marvel superhero chairs.
Which Type of Gaming Chair is Best For Me?
Here we break down each of the 15 types of racing chairs. Skim through the list will find your perfect chair type in a flash.
Premium PC Game Chairs
If money is no object, a premium gaming chair is your best bet to ensure a luxurious sitting experience. We define these models as ‘premium’ for three reasons. First, all come with a full suite of premium ergonomic features. These include 4D armrests, a multifunction tilt-lock, and deep recline functionality.
Second, all use a higher-quality foam padding better-suited to supporting full-time sitting. For both pro gamers and full-time desk workers, long-term consistency makes a difference.
Third, all models come from established brands with proven service records. Beyond longer warranties, you also get legit after-care support.
ChairsFX has reviewed three types of premium racing-style chairs. All come with similar ergonomic features but differing aesthetics. If you’re looking for the very best racing-style gaming chair, find it in this section.
Pro Esports Racing Chairs
Over the past 15 years, six brands have shaped the premium gaming chair market. All have extensive experience working with the world’s best esports players.
Find here the flagship gaming chairs from Noblechairs, AKRacing, Secretlab, Vertagear, Anda Seat, and Clutch.
If you want the best value out of a premium chair, look for one with a 5-year warranty. That makes a huge difference in a chair’s potential value. For instance:
|Secretlab Titan||Noblechairs HERO|
|Warranty||5 years||2 years|
|Price per year||$79.80||$229.50|
With a longer warranty, premium models deliver much better value for money. With a shorter one, you’ll need more frequent replacements. To learn more, check this article:
Fabric Gaming Chairs
These premium chairs come upholstered in soft, breathable synthetic fabric. Compared to PU leather chairs, fabric ones offer cooler comfort and superior durability.
If you prioritize comfort over aesthetics, a premium fabric chair is tough to beat. Top models in this category come from Secretlab, Anda Seat, Arozzi, and more.
Choosing a fabric chair over a faux leather one gives you a softer, more durable seat. Compared to full mesh seats, fabric gaming chairs provide slightly less breathability.
Even so, with steel and padding support, gaming chair fabrics last a lot longer than mesh. To learn more, check out this comprehensive review:
Executive Gaming Chairs
The ‘gaming chair’ moniker implies these chairs are only for video game players. In fact, these chairs also provide superb full-back support for desk work. To appease corporate tastes, this collection offers premium features and subdued styling suitable for the office.
Executive-styled gaming chairs come from brands like Secretlab, AKRacing, Arozzi, and DXRacer. Across the board, these models offer rich ergonomics and crisp, contemporary styling.
For work-from-home executives, these models offer better value than pricey ergonomic office chairs. With full-body support and deep recline functionality, users can enjoy a range of seated activities.
For intense work, position your chair upright. When it’s time for a break, kick back the recline to recharge in style. During Zoom calls, the executive styling will assure your peers that you’re a force to be reckoned with.
Themed Video Game Chairs
These models have the opposite effect as executive gaming chairs. Instead of subdued designs, these are vibrant and colorful. Chairs pay tribute to League of Legends, DOOM, Dota2, Warcraft, and other top games. Beyond rich features, these appeal with striking colors and intricately embroidered artwork.
The incredible styling comes at a price. Most models in this collection cost around $50 more than stock designs. Even so, if you’re a fan of a particular video game, one of these designs might be perfect for you!
Most official video game designs come from Secretlab. Noblechairs comes second with branded chairs for DOOM, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. However, while its designs are brilliant, the Noblechairs editions are often out of stock.
Affordable Gaming Chairs
Inexpensive gaming chairs have come a long way in recent years. Improvements in PU leather and foam production give cheaper chairs a similar look and feel as premium models.
Some brands have also pushed the envelope on features. As a result, it’s now possible to buy full-featured racing chairs for less than $250.
The catch is durability. Less expensive chairs use cheaper materials and production techniques. Over longer periods, the padding will flatten out. Then, you’ll receive uneven, inconsistent support.
The bottom line is that cheap chairs won’t last as long as premium chairs. They are also less adjustable. Even so, these models support the back just as well as pricier models.
That makes affordable gaming chairs a smarter option in several cases:
- For part-time use: if you only need support for a few hours a day, cheap chairs provide adequate support. Used part-time, a cheaper chair will also last longer.
- For adolescents: young students can develop healthy sitting habits without spending much.
- As short-term seating: affordable support for frequent travelers or temporary projects.
Cheap Gaming Chairs Under $200
The best gaming chairs under $200 come with basic ergonomic features and a 2-year warranty. Most have classic racing-style designs and compact sizing suitable for ages 12 and up.
These chairs deliver solid posture support, but less durability than premium ones. Even so, for students and part-timers, they offer excellent value for money.
Even in a cheap racing chair, the back support benefits are noticeable. With your spine aligned and body relaxed, productivity increases. That makes cheap gaming chairs a sound investment for both students and part-timers.
Affordable Chairs Under $300
Between the $200-$300 range is a handful of chairs with premium-tier ergonomic features. They look and work like high-end gaming chairs, but are much less durable.
If you need a full-time power seat but can’t afford one, this is the genre to choose. For a year or so, you’ll enjoy a premium-tier luxury and adjustability. After that, you can expect the padding the flatten, and the upholstery to start degrading.
There are only a handful of gaming chairs under $300 with pro ergonomic features. Most come with 3D or 4D armrests and a multifunction tilt-lock.
These match the luxury and adjustability of premium chairs, for around $100 less. If you’re not ready to invest in a pricier model, the chairs in this class offer a solid alternative.
Extra-wide Chairs Under $250
Most cheap gaming chairs have narrow seats with ridged edges. Thicker users may find the edges digging into their thighs. Luckily, a handful of models with wide, flat seats are now available. Budget users with wide hips or thick legs will find their perfect gaming chair here.
Ridged edges restrict leg movement, which helps to enforce good posture. This is a problem for thick users, and also those who prefer sitting cross-legged. The chairs in this collection present a cheap and effective solution.
The gaming chair industry makes dozens of big and tall gaming chairs, but only a few ‘big and short’ ones. These chairs offer the legroom that shorter, thicker users need.
They’re also a great choice for those who enjoy sitting cross-legged. If you want to do yoga while sitting in your gaming chair, check these models out.
Gaming Chairs For Specific Users
This section contains comparison reviews for small sizes, extra-large ones, and students.
Small Gaming Chairs
Small gaming chairs are for kids and petite adults. The smallest gaming chair on the market fits sizes 4’9″ and up (the average height of a 10-year-old). Most are for sizes 5’3″ and up (the height of an average 12-year-old). Most are affordable models, although a few pricier premium options exist.
Those smaller than 4’9″ can still use a small-sized gaming chair, but won’t get good back support. For kids aged 3-10, consider a specialty ergonomic kids’ chair instead.
For best results in a gaming chair, choosing the right size matters. When the user leans into the backrest, the lumbar and headrest pillows keep the spine aligned. But if the chair is too large, the support pillows won’t fit.
If you’re shorter than 5’8″ (172 cm), consider one of these models to get optimal back support for your size.
Big And Tall Gaming Chairs
For safety and peace of mind, people over 300 pounds should consider buying a big and tall gaming chair. These can come with reinforced parts that can support up to 400 pounds of weight. Most are premium chairs with extra-large bucket seats and high-quality upholstery.
A few cheaper models exist with comparable features and 1-year warranties. The cheaper models work well for casuals and part-timers. However, heavyweight users sitting full-time would get better value from a premium model. Paying more will get you a sturdier frame designed to hold your weight for years.
If you’re looking for the largest gaming chairs in the world (from legit brands), find them here. One quibble with this collection is that there aren’t any options for those in the 450+ pound range. That’s a shame, given that extremely obese users would find great relief in a gaming chair.
Those within the weight specs have both premium and affordable models to choose from. In most cases, it’s worth hunting for the lowest prices.
Heavyweight chairs are an exception. Paying more for a premium model is well worth it. Doing so will get you a better-quality build, thus more reliable long-term support.
Gaming Chairs For Students
In the study-from-home era, many kids learned that studying on the floor, sofa or bed is bad for the back. Studying on a wooden kitchen chair isn’t much better. In comparison, a good gaming chair is a cheap and effective upgrade that pays plenty of dividends.
The best PC game chairs for students all support good posture over long sitting periods. Most have compact, slim-fitting dimensions and affordable prices. For those who can afford it, a few premium models also exist with 5-year warranties.
According to Wolff’s Law, bones develop based on the loads placed on the body. Children who slouch often suffer from altered bone development and spinal disc degeneration. Even so, the health ramifications don’t manifest until the late teens. Then, chronic issues can emerge including arthritis, constipation, weight gain, and lethargy.
Investing in a gaming chair for your child to study at home can make a huge difference. Because of the racing-style ‘coolness factor’, kids are sure to use it a lot. In time, that will help to improve their posture. That’s the payoff. Kids with good posture are more energetic, alert, and assertive.
Gaming Chairs with Special Functions
Beyond gaming chair aesthetics, some models set themselves apart with added functionality. The most popular extension to a racing-style gaming chair is a retractable footrest.
Over the past few years, integrated lumbar support systems have also become popular. Recently, DXRacer has pushed things even further with modular design concepts.
With Integrated Lumbar Support
Most gaming chairs come with a lumbar support pillow. A growing number of models use an integrated lumbar system instead. These provide depth-adjustable support that works much better than a pillow.
The downside of integrated lumbars is that most are not height-adjustable. If you don’t fit within the chair’s recommended size rating, the lumbar isn’t likely to fit. The upside is that depth-adjustability is the better option to have. That lets you customize the support to perfectly match the curve of your lower back.
Gaming chairs with integrated lumbar support are popular for a few reasons. For one thing, they provide firmer, more precise support than lumbar pillows.
For another, lumbar pillows tend to move around. In comparison, once you set your desired depth, an integrated lumbar locks into place. Thus this support offers better precision with much greater consistency.
Footrest Gaming Chairs
Console gamers also need love. Most ‘gaming’ seats for the living room are bad for the back. Floor rockers and pedestal rockers flatten the lumbar curve and distort the spine. In contrast, footrest gaming chairs allow for long periods of healthy reclined comfort.
A retractable footrest fits under the seat. When folded in, the chair works like a conventional desk chair. When retracted, it works like a modern-day La-Z-Boy recliner.
Most models in this category cost less than $250 and come with basic ergonomic features. Recently, a few premium options with advanced adjustability have also emerged.
“Zero gravity” describes a popular type of seated recline. It mimics the position astronauts use during liftoff. The point of this position is to distribute a user’s body weight across the chair.
A gaming chair with a footrest enables a zero-gravity position, with a twist. The headrest and lumbar pillows keep your spine in alignment while you recline. That allows living room console gamers to play longer without discomfort.
Modular Gaming Chairs
The modular gaming chair is a new concept introduced by DXRacer in 2021. ‘Modular’ means you can extend the functionality of your chair with extras. DXRacer modular gaming chairs let you attach a footrest, laptop holder, or cup holder.
DXRacer is the gaming chair pioneer. It introduced the world’s first gaming chair in 2006. It’s also the pioneer of the modular concept. At present, DXRacer is the only brand offering modular technology.
DXRacer’s first batch of modular gaming chairs released in May, 2021. The Master Series has an executive design and integrated lumbar support. G-Series and K-Series chairs come with classic racing-style designs.
Modules cost extra. To add La-Z-Boy functionality, buy the footrest module. For desk-free computing, get the laptop stand. If you prefer cooler seating, add the mesh seat pad module. Check out our DXRacer review to browse the entire modular collection.
Gaming Chairs with Specialty Aesthetics
Most ChairsFX gaming chair comparisons group products by price, size, or functionality. From our view, there are only a couple of aesthetic collections worth mentioning.
This section covers both of them, plus one example of a less relevant collection. Options in all classes include both premium and affordable gaming chairs.
Pink Gaming Chairs
In the era of video game streaming and Zoom classes, a gaming chair can serve as a form of expression. Color psychologists often refer to pink as a soothing color with positive vibes. In the gaming chair world, most models aren’t specifically designed for girls. In fact, Secretlab’s Pink D.Va fabric chair is a popular pick for all genders.
Meanwhile, Autofull’s Pink Bunny chair has a clear ‘girly’ dynamic. It comes with a set of bunny ears and a bunny tail attached to the back of the chair – clearly made for teenage girls.
The best pink gaming chairs cost between $130 and $449. There are great options here for all budgets. Pay more for a premium pink chair to enjoy better features and durability. Pay less for something more basic but equally as colorful and supportive.
In either case, a good pink gaming chair will add a splash of soothing color to your workspace. At the same time, using one will help to improve posture while you sit. Thus you get enriched aesthetics plus upgraded ergonomics in one racing-style package.
Marvel Superhero Gaming Chairs
In the Marvel Universe, 2021 is ‘Phase 4’, the start of a multi-year rollout of TV shows and movies. To build hype, Marvel has partnered with three gaming chair brands. Anda Seat, Neo Chair, and Sidiz all make branded superhero gaming chairs. Anda Seat makes premium versions, Neo Chair makes affordable ones. Sidiz adds some office-style variations.
At present, the collection pays tribute to a handful of heroes. Designs pay tribute to Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Deadpool, and a few others.
Marvel is one of the only companies working with several chair brands on a single promotion. With Marvel chairs on offer from three different brands, it’s tough to keep track.
This article addresses that with a broad overview of all Marvel chairs on the market. Among racing-style offerings, Anda Seat models are more luxurious. Neo Chair versions are affordable. If you prefer office-styled designs, Sidiz offers stylish superhero alternatives.
Camouflage Gaming Chairs
When a reader asked about the best camo gaming chairs, it piqued our curiosity. Given the popularity of FPS games like CS:GO, we decided to look into it. Higher demand results in a greater range of products. Lower demand creates less. Based on our findings, the demand for camo gaming chairs is on the low end.
Only two premium chair brands make camo designs. Beyond solid options from AKRacing and Vertagear, the rest are mediocre.
The key takeaway is that camo chairs aren’t in high demand, hence the limited options. Our camo gaming chair roundup includes two high-end models and three cheap ones.
AKRacing’s model comes with the longest warranty. Vertagear’s offering has the sweetest camo design.
Racing-Style vs Office-Style Desk Chairs
Before the first gaming chair emerged in 2006, ergonomic seating was mainly for rich people. The racing-style gaming chair changed that by bringing ergonomic seating to the masses.
These days, the best ergonomic task chairs cost over $1000. In comparison, the best gaming chairs cost around half that. Despite the pricing disparity, gaming chairs offer comparable back support. On top of that, they offer a lot more versatility than their office-styled counterparts.
Comparable Posture Support
All types of ergonomic chairs use the same back support principles. Both office and racing-style models are designed to support dynamic neutral sitting positions. This looks the same across all ergonomic chair types:
Neutral sitting definition:
- Feet planted firmly on the floor.
- Knees bent at around 90 degrees.
- Hips aligned slightly higher than the knees.
- Straight back, head balanced above the shoulders.
Sitting this way in a non-ergonomic chair forces the back muscles to hold the body upright. In comparison, all ergonomic chairs support neutral sitting with three components.
Adjustable lumbar support keeps the spine in alignment. Adjustable armrests offset the weight of the arms and shoulders. A reclining backrest helps the seated body to move.
There are several benefits to be gained by using this technique. First, you’ll be able to sit comfortably for as long as you want, without issues. Second, since the chair supports the muscles, more energy becomes available for the brain. Third, an energized brain becomes sharper and more productive.
Racing Chairs Are More Versatile
Most ergonomic chairs come with a backrest offering mid-back support and a limited recline. For example, the Herman Miller Aeron offers mid-back support with a limited recline to only 104 degrees.
With a limited recline, users are forced to sit in upright working postures at all times. That’s why office-style models are often called ‘task chairs’ — they’re strictly for doing work tasks.
Strict posture enforcement is a great concept for cubicle workers. But in a work-from-home setting, it can become a detriment.
Working from home doesn’t always mean focused desk work. When you need to relax in a task chair, you move to the couch. In a gaming chair, all you need to do is pop the recline and ease back.
If you’ve decided to buy a racing-style gaming chair, this article makes it easy to find the perfect model. It includes 15 different collections spread over five different genres. Choose by price, sizing, quality of features, functionality, or aesthetics.
No matter which types you choose, stick with neutral sitting basics for best results. Refer to our Gaming Chair User Guide for step-by-step instructions.