The world’s largest furniture retailer is now in the gaming furniture business. In collaboration with ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG), IKEA has released a gaming furniture collection. It includes three gaming chairs, two gaming desks, and gaming accessories. After a pre-release in China earlier this year, the collection is now available in America. Here’s a look at the new IKEA gaming collection.
IKEA first announced its gaming furniture plans in September 2020. The idea was to launch the collection in China in early 2021, then globally by October. Everything went exactly as planned.
The collection rolled out in China on schedule. Then, on October 1, it launched on IKEA’s USA website. There are three gaming chairs in the collection. The Matchspel gaming chair ($189) is the premium option; the Utespelare ($129) and Huvudspelare ($69) are cheaper alternatives.
In a press release, IKEA’s description of its collection is more complicated. “The new gaming range… includes six product families: UPPSPEL, LÅNESPELARE, MATCHSPEL, GRUPPSPEL, UTESPELARE and HUVUDSPELARE.
IKEA and ROG designed all UPPSPEL products in close collaboration. The rest of the series has been developed by IKEA.”
That’s a super-confusing statement packed with gibberish words! Below, we make sense of the collection in more coherent terms.
New IKEA gaming collection
In America, the IKEA gaming collection is now available to order online. IKEA has 51 stores across America. Some offer home delivery. Many offer pickup services only.
The new gaming collection is currently only available on IKEA’s China website. From May, it will become available in Japan. In October 2021, sales will start globally.
IKEA Gaming Chairs
There are three models in IKEA’s gaming chair collection. All come with a 3-year IKEA warranty.
All three are cheap, basic chairs with limited adjustability:
|Huvudspelare||Fixed backrest and armrests; seat height adjustment||$69 from IKEA|
|Matchspel||1D armrests; mesh back with leather seat; sync-tilt recline; white or black designs||$189 from IKEA|
|Utepselare||Fixed armrests; tilting backrest; PU leather in black or grey||$129 from IKEA|
The Huvudspelare is the most basic. It has a mesh backrest and faux leather padded seat. You can adjust the seat height, but the backrest and armrests are locked in a static position.
The Utepselare adds a reclining backrest with synchronized seat tilt. As you recline, the seat tilts up by around one degree. It comes with a padded seat and backrest covered in faux black or grey leather.
The Matchspel is the flagship gaming chair of the collection. It also offers a synchronized seat tilt recline, 1D armrests (adjust up or down), and a height-adjustable headrest.
Frankly, it’s a weak collection. None meet modern ergonomic requirements for healthy sitting. Those are adjustable lumbar support, adjustable armrests, and a reclining backrest.
All three also lack adjustable lumbar support. That’s the most important component helping the seated spine stay upright.
Better Option: IKEA Jaervfjaellet Office Chair
If you plan to sit full-time, none of IKEA’s gaming chairs deliver the ergonomic support you need. But if committed to buying from IKEA, consider its office chairs instead. The IKEA JÄRVFJÄLLET ($259) is its most advanced ergonomic chair.
Even so, compared to the best work-from-home chairs, it’s a very basic model. It has a flat, spacious, padded fabric seat and mesh backrest. On the downside, the armrests are non-adjustable plastic stumps.
On the plus side, it has a sync-tilting recline. As you lean back, the seat tilts in proportion with your backrest recline. As well, it has height-adjustable lumbar support. For long periods of healthy sitting, that’s essential.
IKEA Gaming Desks
There are also two gaming desks in the IKEA gaming collection. Here’s a quick look at both, plus some other IKEA desk alternatives:
Uppspel Sit-Stand Gaming Desk
The Uppspel gaming desk ($599) is a sit-stand model with motors in each leg. Press a button and the desk can raise or lower to reach your perfect sitting or standing height.
There are two problems with sit-stand desks, as covered in our Work-From-Home Setup Guide. First, motorized lifting technology is expensive. Second, it’s a pointless feature with no actual benefits!
Taking frequent breaks is an essential part of healthy sitting. However, standing on its own is ineffective. Standing all day will burn around a carrot’s worth of calories. From Cornell: “Standing is insufficient. Movement is important to get blood circulation through the muscles.”
Utespelare Gaming Desk
The Utespelare Gaming Desk is a cheaper knockoff of the Secretlab Magnus desk. Both come with slots at the back to streamline cable management.
It’s a much cheaper option than the Uppspel desk, with more useful functionality. It’s one of the few desks on the market with proper height adjustability.
Its adjustment range of 26.7-30.7 inches makes it suitable for all sizes. Kids, small adults, and extra-tall adults can all make use of this desk.
Karlby Tabletop With Alex Drawers
In many PC gamer forums, you’ll find many touting the appeal of a DIY IKEA desk solution. The Karlby desktop is a block of wood veneer 74″ long x 26.25″ deep. As an example, the Walnut veneer edition costs $189.
A Karlby tabletop paired with a set of Alex drawers ($79 each) gives you a massive, stylish workspace to enjoy.
IKEA Gaming Accessories
IKEA gaming accessories include mousepads, cupholders, peg boards, and assorted knick-knacks. Highlights:
- Uppspell drawers on caster wheels: $129
- Lanespelare ring light with phone holder: $34
- Lanespelare mug and mug holder: $19.99
Nothing stands out. Outside of the desk on caster wheels, everything seems like generic IKEA merchandise.
Bringing ‘democracy’ to gamers?
In its press release, IKEA notes that 46% of all gamers are females. However, existing gaming furniture is “often perceived as masculine design-wise”. As a result, IKEA intends to “democratise the gaming experience”. Its new products are “complete solutions that we hope reflect people’s personality and taste”.
Is there a really gender bias in the gaming furniture industry? Our pink gaming chairs review lists several designs geared towards females.
As another example, Secretlab is one of several brands with many female-oriented designs. The company’s K/DA gaming chairs pay tribute to the mega-popular virtual group K/DA. Notably, all K/DA songs are based on themes of female empowerment.
IKEA’s new line of gaming furniture isn’t spectacular. Rather, it meets typical IKEA standards in a few ways. For one thing, all products have minimalist designs. For another, all are easy to order and assemble. On top of that, most pieces in the collection are inexpensive.
Even so, it’s up against strong competition. Herman Miller, Secretlab, and other top names have more polished products. Most leading brands also offer an easier buying process: order online, have it delivered to your door.
In comparison, IKEA’s is better for hobbyists, casuals, and part-timers. IKEA gaming chairs are basic. Without adjustable lumbar support, they’re less than ideal to support healthy full-time sitting.
Even so, we expect this collection to sell very well. IKEA is the world’s largest furniture retailer, with a proven sales formula. If you’re in the market for cheap, basic gaming gear, IKEA products are worth a look.
However, hard-core gamers and full-time pros have access to a lot more potency. To learn more about building an effective home office, check this guide: