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Cheap gaming chairs vs cheap ergonomic office chairs

The cheapest ergonomic chairs on the market cost under $250. Options include both gaming chairs and ergonomic office chairs. Both types of chairs provide healthy sitting support for long periods. Here, we compare cheap gaming chairs vs ergonomic office chairs under $250. Learn which type offers better value for money as a work-from-home chair.

Cheap ergonomic chairs vs cheap gaming chairs

What defines a chair as ‘ergonomic’? Based on a compilation of healthy sitting studies, we boiled it down. To qualify as ergonomic, a chair needs three features. First, adjustable lumbar support. Second, adjustable armrests. Third, a reclining backrest.

Essential ergonomic components for a chair
All types of ‘ergonomic’ chairs come with (at least) these three key features.

Combined, these features align the hips, spine, and upper back into a healthy position. At the same time, they take immense pressure off the back and surrounding muscles. That saves massive amounts of energy, which has a positive effect on cognitive functioning.

As a result, users can enjoy long periods of comfortable, healthy, energizing sitting support. That ensures that users can sit longer, feel better, and be a lot more productive.

Best cheap models compared

For comparisons, we’re choosing from among the best cheap gaming and ergo office chairs of the moment.

Sihoo fabric ergo chair vs GTRacing Ace

On Amazon, the Sihoo ergonomic chair costs $229.99. It comes with a mesh backrest, fabric seat, and decent features. Those include 1D armrests, a height-adjustable lumbar, and a 1-year warranty.

Sihoo high back ergonomic chair
Sihoo ergonomic office chair.

On the opposing side, the GTRacing Ace sells on Amazon for $159.90. It comes with 4D armrests, a choice of leather of fabric upholstery, plus a 5-year warranty.

GTRacing Ace gaming chair conclusion
GTRacing Ace S1 chairs come come in five different fabric and leather styles.

Here’s how the two measure up head-to-head:

 Sihoo ergo chairAce S1 gaming chair
Armrests1-directional4-directional
Backrest recline90-120 degrees90-165 degrees
Lumbar supportHeight-adjustable plastic unitHeight-adjustable foam pillow
UpholsteryMesh backrest, fabric seat.Choice of PU leather or nylon fabric.
Size rating5’5″ to 6’0″, 250 pound weight capacity5’3″ to 6’1″, 290 pound weight capacity
Warranty1 year5 years
Price$229.99 on Amazon.$159.90 on Amazon.

The GTRacing Ace S1 comes out far ahead. It’s cheaper, has better adjustability, and comes with a longer warranty. It also has a wider range of design options than the single style offered by Sihoo.

Ace S1 chair vs Sihoo office chair
The Ace S1 beats the Sihoo chair by a wide margin.

Even so, both provide a comparable level of healthy posture support. With slight pressure into your lumbar curve plus a mild recline, sitting for long periods is easy.

If you prefer an office-style chair and don’t mind the lesser value, the Sihoo model is still a decent option.

Buy the Ace S1 chair from Amazon for $159.90

The Sihoo ergonomic chair is also available on Amazon for $229.99.

Cedric office chair vs Autofull Ergo chair

The Cedric ergonomic office chair is cheap, stylish, and comes with decent features. Opposing it is the Autofull Ergonomic gaming chair. It’s the cheapest model in the Autofull gaming chair collection.

Cedric vs Sword ergonomic chairs
Cedric ergo office chair vs Autofull Sword gaming chair

Here is how the two models stack up:

 Cedric office chairAutofull Sword
Armrests1-directional2-directional
Backrest recline90-130 degrees90-160 degrees
Lumbar supportHeight and depth-adjustable plastic unitHeight-adjustable foam pillow
UpholsteryMesh backrest, fabric seat.Black PU leather with colored trim.
Size rating5’6″ to 6’2″, 350 pound weight capacity5’5″ to 6’0″, 390 pound weight capacity
Warranty2 years3 years
PricePrice not available on Amazon.$199 from Autofull.

Both models have similar dimensions, but the Sword edges ahead on features. Its armrests adjust up and down, and also forward/backward. The Autofull chair also has a deeper recline range and a longer warranty.

Autofull gaming chair features
Sword chairs come with 2D armrests and deep recline to 155°.

The Cedric chair is a bit more expensive. Its only superior feature is the lumbar support. It’s one of the few chairs in this price range with a lumbar that is both height and depth-adjustable.

Cedric chair adjustable features
Cedric chair features include a height & depth adjustable lumbar, headrest, and 1D armrests.

Overall, the Autofull Ergo chair edges ahead based on its features. However, the Cedric chair has an executive style, rather than a racing style. This battle ends in a draw.

If you decide to buy the Autofull model, use the coupon code ChairsFX for a $40 discount. That will get you this chair for $159.99 $199.99.

Buy the Ergo chair from Autofull for $159.99

The Cedric ergonomic chair is also available on Amazon for Price not available.

Hbada ergo office chair vs Respawn 200

The Hbada ergonomic office chair is a popular seller on Amazon. It comes with 1D armrests, a headrest, and height + depth-adjustable lumbar support.

Respawn vs Hbada chairs
Respawn 200 (L) vs the Hbada ergonomic office chair.

Opposing it is one of Respawn’s top-selling gaming chairs. Respawn 200 differs from other gaming chairs with two unique features. The first is an ultra-breathable mesh backrest. The second is a height and depth-adjustable lumbar support. No other gaming chair in this price class offers that kind of lumbar support.

Here is how the two chairs stack up head-to-head:

 Hbada office chairRespawn 200
Armrests1-directional2-directional
Backrest recline90-125 degrees90-130 degrees
Lumbar supportHeight and depth-adjustable plastic unitIntegrated lumbar (height and depth-adjustable)
UpholsteryMesh backrest, fabric seat.Mesh backrest, PU leather seat.
Size rating5’5″ to 6’0″, 250 pound weight capacity5’5″ to 5’10″, 275 pound weight capacity
Warranty1 yearLifetime
Price$179.99 on Amazon.$170.53 on Amazon.

The Respawn 200 has slightly better armrests and a deeper recline. Otherwise, these chairs are almost identical in terms of both features and price. Besides office versus racing aesthetics, there are two notable differences.

Hbada chair ergonomic features
The Hbada chair has everything you need to support healthy sitting.

First, the Hbada chair has a breathable fabric seat, while the Respawn chair has a faux leather seat. The other big difference is the warranty.

Respawn budget gaming chairs mesh back
Respawn 200 chairs come with mesh backrests and faux leather seats.

The Hbada model comes with a 1-year warranty, which is standard for this price range. In contrast, the Respawn 200 comes with a lifetime warranty. Learn more in our detailed Respawn 200 review.

This comparison is also too close to call, so it also ends in a draw.

Buy the Respawn 200 from Amazon for $170.53

The Hbada ergonomic chair is also available on Amazon for $179.99.

Summary of findings

As our comparisons show, there are only minor differences between the two types of chairs. Overall, both types provide adequate back support for long periods. Gaming chairs in this price range generally better value for money, but only marginally. Here is a summary:

Back support qualities: draw

To support healthy sitting, ergonomic scientists cite three essential features that define a chair as ‘ergonomic’. Those are adjustable lumbar support, adjustable armrests, and a reclining backrest.

Standard ergonomic features on a gaming chair
Cheap gaming and ergo office chairs both come with the three essential ergonomic features.

The lumbar support keeps your lower back and hips in alignment. Armrests relieve the spine by absorbing the weight of the arms.

A reclining backrest lets the user shift through a range of healthy motions, instead of a single fixed position. In both types of chairs, these features support the back adequately over full-time sitting sessions.

There are two keys to success in both types of chairs. First, use the lumbar support and armrests to support a neutral sitting position.

Neutral sitting examples using different types of ergonomic chairs
Neutral sitting postures look the same in all types of ergonomic chairs. (click to enlarge)

Second, use the reclining functionality to shift through a range of neutral postures. Sitting in a fixed position strains muscles and slows blood flow.

Healthy movement while sitting
Use a range of neutral postures to protect the spine and work core muscle groups.

In contrast, seated movement stimulates muscles and enhances circulation. Learn more about neutral sitting tactics here:

Step-by-step ergonomic chair user guide

Adjustability: cheap gaming chairs

Based on our comparisons, gaming chairs generally offer better features. For instance, office variants come standard with 1D armrests. Gaming chair alternatives come with 2D or 4D armrests instead.

Dynamic sitting features used by gaming chairs
Cheap gaming chairs have more adjustment options than cheap ergo office chairs.

Gaming chairs also come out well ahead in backrest recline functionality. Two out of the three reviewed models have a 160-degree recline or better. In contrast, ergo office chairs usually come with a 130-degree recline at most.

Value for money: cheap gaming chairs

We quantify ‘value for money’ using two variables. The first is adjustability. Here, gaming chairs edge ahead with better armrest and recline adjustability.

The second variable is durability. Based on our three product comparisons, gaming chairs also come out on top.

Cheap gaming versus ergonomic office chairs
Based on our findings, cheap gaming chairs offer slightly better value for money.

That said, the margins are slight. You will get better usability for a longer time by investing in a gaming chair. But if you prefer office-style aesthetics, you won’t lose much opting for a cheap ergo chair.

Conclusion

People who sit for long periods include gamers and full-time office workers. Everyone spending more than six hours per day sitting should invest in a good ergonomic chair.

Cheap gaming versus cheap ergo office chairs
Choose whether you want casual or conservative ergonomic chair support.

If you don’t have much money, stick to the basics. As this article shows, there are many models on the market with essential ergonomic features for under $200.

Cheap gaming chairs offer slightly better value for money than cheap ergonomic office chairs. If you prefer an executive look, expect to pay a few dollars more for a cheap ergonomic office chair. You’ll get slightly lesser features, but a comparable overall experience.

Bottom line: choose whichever type meets your aesthetic preferences. Expect basic comfort and adjustability that does the job reliably.

Check these links to learn more about either type of chair:

Best cheap gaming chairs under $200

If your prefer office designs, check out the best ergonomic models under $250.

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