Ergonomic task chairs support all sorts of seated tasks. Top models from Herman Miller cost over $1000. In contrast, PC gaming chairs are more focused, providing ergonomics tailored for PC users. This article looks at PC gaming chairs vs. ergonomic task chairs. Which type provides better value for computer users in 2020?
Compared to office chairs, PC gaming chairs are a massive upgrade because of the simple ergonomic concepts they use.
When sitting in a cheap office chair, the spine holds up the weight of your torso, upper body, and arms.
To relieve the spine and take over support, PC gaming chairs start with a tall backrest. Two support cushions attach to the backrest in the neck and lumbar area. When the user leans back, the cushions fit into the spine’s natural curves. The result is that the user sits with optimal posture.
To offset the weight of the arms, PC gaming chairs also offer adjustable armrests. These reduce strain in your arms and wrists to ensure crisp use of your mouse and keyboard.
What are ergonomic task chairs?
In the 1950s, office chairs were a status symbol. Clerks sat on stools while chair features depended on rank. More prestigious ranks got thicker padding and higher backrests.
Then, PC computers entered the market in the 1980s. In the 90s, the Internet emerged. 90s office culture became synonymous with PC computing.
The office chair industry answered the call. In 1994, Herman Miller introduced the Aeron, an ergonomic task chair. This radical upgrade was an instant hit, becoming the blueprint for all office chairs to follow.
Anatomy: Aeron task chair
Amazon price: $1,395.00
The Herman Miller Aeron (Amazon link) continues to be one of the best selling task chairs in the world. The current price on Amazon is $1,395.00.
This is the original ergonomic task chair — and the blueprint for all other task chairs to follow.
The Aeron has four frame options. The black graphite frame with graphite base is the cheapest. A graphite frame with polished aluminium base is the most expensive, costing around $150 more.
The Aeron provides comfort without foam, fabric or leather. Instead, both the seat and backrest use 8Z Pellicle mesh.
This is a “suspension material” designed to make you feel like you’re floating. 8Z Pellicle mesh is ultra-breathable. It allows air, body heat, and water vapor to pass through the seat. This helps maintain even and comfortable skin temperature.
8Z Pellicle also adds a subtle ergonomic enhancement that makes a huge difference. Across the seat and backrest, the mesh varies between eight zones of tension.
The tightest zones along the edges keep the body off the frame. The more compliant zones conform to the body. When the user leans back, that distributes weight across the seat and backrest.
The Herman Miller Aeron Chair comes in three different sizes:
- A size: 4’10” – 5’9″ 90 – 150 lbs.
- B size: 5’2″ – 6’6″ 130 – 325 lbs.
- C size: 5’3″-6’7″ 180 – 350 lbs.
Here are the dimensions of the largest size C option:
- Seat: 18.25″ (W) x 18.5 (D)
- Backrest: 22.75″ (W) x 23″ (H)
- Total height: 36.5″ to 43″
The Aeron trio compares to the small, medium and large PC gaming chairs from Secretlab:
In the office, the point of ergonomic seating is to increase efficiency by reducing fatigue. The Aeron achieves this by supporting good sitting posture. That concept revolutionized the office chair industry.
The Aeron starts with a sturdy graphite or mineral steel frame. Over top goes load balancing 8Z Pellicle mesh fabric. But steel and mesh are not enough to overcome this reality: the human body is not designed for sitting. The Aeron addresses that with ergonomic extras.
The key to the extras is the ergonomic backrest. Adjust the support up or down until it fits into the small of your back. Then turn the knob to increase or decrease the support level. When you sit back, the support should fit snug into your lower back curve.
With your lower back supported, the other ergonomic features give more options to move your body without getting up out of the chair.
Here is a summary of all the Aeron’s ergonomic features:
- Height adjustment: raise until your feet lie flat on the floor.
- Tilt limiter: increase or decrease the range that the chair tilts.
- Tilt tension: adjust the seat rockback tension when you push off the ground with your feet.
- 3D armrests: adjust up, down and side-to-side.
- Posture-fit lumbar: adjustable lumbar. Increase or decrease depth to small of the back; adjust up and down.
- Forward tilt: set the chair to tilt forward while keyboarding. This prevents computer users from hunching over.
Summary of all features:
- 12-year warranty
- Breathable seat and back
- Adjustable tilt and seat angle
- Superior back support
- Fully adjustable arms (height, depth and angle)
Task chair price ranges
Not all ergonomic task chairs cost over $1000. This section compares the features of models at different price ranges. With the Aeron as our blueprint, the following chairs add more features or less, at different price points.
Over $1000: Herman Miller Embody
Amazon price: $1,491.60
The Herman Miller Embody is more expensive than the Aeron. It has similar core features, but some differences. First, the Embody’s lumbar support is fixed — the Aeron’s adjusts up and down. Second, you can adjust the seat depth on the Embody.
Third, the Embody only comes in one size:
- Seat: 21.25″ (W) x 15″-18″ (D)
- Backrest: 14″ (W) x 23.5″ (H)
- Total height: 42″ to 45″
In place of a height-adjustable lumbar, the Embody’s comes with pixelated support. The backrest works like a human back, with a central spine and flexible ribs. As you lean into the backrest, the parts adjust to align with the natural curve of your spine. As you shift position, support remains constant.
The Embody borrows these features from the Aeron:
- 12-year warranty
- Adjustable tension lumbar support
- Tilt tension and tilt limiter
These features are unique to the Embody chair:
- Pixelated support: seat and backrest reacts to small micro-movements.
- Armrests: 2D adjustable (up/down, pushed further or closer to the body).
The Pixelated support is the star feature. Sitting in this chair feels like steady, balanced floating.
When you sit, the seat and back surfaces conform to your body. This ensures perfect posture with optimal circulation. The result is greater vitality, enhanced concentration and boosted work performance.
Over $900: Steelcase Leap
Amazon price: Price not available
The Steelcase Leap is a little cheaper than the Herman Miller chairs. It follows the Embody formula, with a dynamic backrest that adjusts to your body.
There are five recline modes. When you lean back, the seat glides forward. This lets you stay within reach of your keyboard whenever you recline. It also encourages varied spinal postures through a workday. The result is less pressure on your back.
- Armrests: 4D adjustable
- Build: aluminium frame and base; pneumatic seat lift
- Backrest: changes shape to conform to your back as you sit; 5 recline modes.
- Lumbar support: height adjustable; depth adjustable. Upper back tension adjuster added as an extra.
- Natural glide: when you recline, the seat glides forward.
- Upholstery: available in mesh fabric, vinyl or real leather.
Over $600: Eurotech Ergohuman
Amazon price: $699.00
The Eurotech Ergohuman offers similar features to the preceding models. It has a mesh seat and backrest, adjustable lumbar, tilt lock, tilt tension etc.
There’s also a depth adjustable seat, 4D armrests, headrest support, and pneumatic lift. Warranty coverage is for life. This excludes the mesh fabric and foam padding, which get 5-year coverage.
- Tilt lock & tilt tension: lock the tilt at an angle; recline rate adapts to weight of the user.
- Back adjustments: adjustable back angle; raise or lower lumbar support.
- Synchro-tilt: set this so the back reclines in a preset ration to the seat.
- Seat adjustments: adjust depth and height.
- 4D armrests: up/down; swivel; forwards/backwards; width adjustable.
Over $300: Angel Queen
Amazon price: $359.76
The $300-$400 price range is what most pro quality PC gaming chairs cost. The Angel Queen is a good example of what ergonomic task chairs offer at this range. For the most part, you get similar features as high-end PC chairs, with classic task chair tweaks.
The Angel Queen starts with a steel frame and a mesh fabric padded seat. The backrest is pure mesh. As with pricer models, the mesh conforms to the shape of your body, creating a floating sensation. The rest of the features are in line with high-end PC chairs.
- Back support: fixed lumbar; adaptive mesh fabric.
- Armrests: 4D adjustable
- Recline: 90° to 135°
- Warranty: 3 month money back guarantee
The price and features of the Angel Queen match up well with our top-rated pro esports PC chairs. But the warranty is dubious. Angel Queen doesn’t even have a website.
Under $300: Komene Office Chair
Amazon price: $269.99
The Komene is a cheap ergonomic chair following the typical task chair formula. Over a steel frame goes a mesh seat, backrest and neck rest.
The back and neck components are height adjustable. When you sit, the mesh adapts to the weight of your body to create a floating sensation.
- Build: steel frame, mesh seat and backrest.
- Back support: height adjustable backrest and neck rest.
- Armrests: 3D adjustable
- Recline: 90° to 135°
- Warranty: 10-day return policy
PC gaming chairs vs task chairs
How do the best ergonomic task chairs compare with the best PC gaming chairs? Below are three head-to-head comparisons.
Secretlab Omega vs Angel Queen chair
The Secretlab Omega is the compact chair popular among pro esports players. It provides ergonomic support using removable neck and lumbar support pillows. The Omega sells for RSP $359. The Angel Queen sells on Amazon for $359.76. Here’s how the two models compare:
- Armrests: both have 4D adjustable armrests.
- Lumbar: the Omega uses an adjustable lumbar pillow that fixes to the backrest; the Angel Queen has a fixed lumbar.
- Tilt lock: only available on the Omega.
- Neck support: only available on the Omega.
- Upholstery: the Omega comes in mesh, leather and faux leather styles. The Angel Queen only comes in black mesh fabric.
- Warranty: the Omega comes with a 3-year warranty extendable to 5 years. The Angel Queen has a 3-month return policy.
Winner: both chairs cost around the same, but the Omega wins by a wide margin. It has more ergonomic features, many more design options, and a much longer warranty.
Secretlab Titan vs Herman Miller Embody
The Secretlab Titan (RSP $399 from Secretlab) is our top-rated PC gaming chair. It costs 1/4 the price of the Embody, Herman Miller’s top of the line task chair.
This comparison pits the best PC gaming chair against the best ergonomic task chair in the world.
- Armrests: the Titan has 4D armrests; the Embody has 2D.
- Lumbar: both are depth adjustable. The Embody also has a pixelated backrest that adjusts to maintain support as the user moves.
- Upholstery: the Embody uses a skin-like textile covering. The Titan has mesh, leather and faux leather styles.
- Warranty: the Embody comes with a rock-solid 12-year warranty. The Titan has a 3-year warranty extendable to 5 years.
- Neck support: the Titan uses a neck pillow. The Embody only has back support.
Winner: draw. The Embody has a longer warranty and more precise back support. The Titan is 1/4 the price with comparable but less precise support that’s good enough. The Titan will support your back when you recline. The Embody does the same, but with fancier bells and whistles that cost $1200 extra.
DXRacer F-Series vs Komene Office Chair
The Formula Series is the modern version of DXRacer’s original gaming chair. Here’s how it stacks up against the cheapest task chair on our list, the Komene Office Chair.
- Amazon prices: F-Series $299.00; Koemene $269.99.
- Armrests: the Komene has 3D armrests; the D-Series has 2D.
- Support: the Koemene has a height adjustable back and neck rest. The D-Series uses adjustable neck and lumbar pillows.
- Upholstery: the Koemene uses mesh fabric. The F-Series uses a mesh fabric with PU leather trim.
- Warranty: the Komene has a 10-day return policy. The Formula Series has a 2-year warranty with lifetime warranty on the frame.
Winner: the Formula Series is an iconic PC gaming chair. It costs a bit more than the Komene, and offers less versatile 2D armrests. On the upside, it offers a comparable level of back support and a legitimate warranty. Based on our 2+ years of field test, you can expect the F-Series to meet or exceed the warranty period.
Value for money
The best ergonomic task chairs offer more precise back support — but cost more money. PC gaming chairs offer good back support, but none to the level of precision that Herman Miller does.
This section concludes the article with a look at the value for money that each type of chair offers.
Verbose ergonomics cost more
The Herman Miller Aeron debuted in 1994 and was an instant hit. It was a massive upgrade over traditional office chairs, with far better back support. Its adjustable lumbar support became the hallmark of every task chair to follow.
The Herman Miller Embody took that concept further with a backrest shaped like a human spine.
Here’s how their sales copy describes it: “Embody’s back is like a human’s, with a central spine and flexible ribs. The Backfit adjustment allows you to position the backrest to your spine’s natural curve. Once the chair fits, the backrest adapts to your movement. Whether you lean forward or recline, support remains constant.”
In simpler terms, when your back moves, the chair will adjust to maintain support. It’s a nice touch, but not necessary, and hard to justify paying over $1500 for.
Straightforward ergonomics cost less
With their original gaming chair blueprint, DXRacer took the Herman Miller ergonomic formula and radically simplified it.
- The body has natural curves at the neck and small of back.
- Removable pillows fit into those curves when the user leans back.
- The ensures proper posture while the user sits.
The most expensive task chairs offer better ergonomics than PC gaming chairs. That’s because the best task chairs will better conform to your back as your body moves.
But ergonomic task chairs offer terrible value for money. Paying $1000 more gets you back support a bit better than PC gaming chairs.
That’s a big reason why pro esports players use PC gaming chairs. Built for PC users, they offer great ergonomics, varied styles, and excellent comfort. But PC gaming chairs are not just for pros. They’re also the best option for office workers seeking a performance boost.
In fact, all gamers and computer users can benefit by using PC gaming chairs. That’s because gaming chairs let you sit longer, work smarter and be more productive.