There are a number of reasons to add a gaming chair to your setup at home. Yes, they tend to look cooler than the average desk chair, but they also have tangible benefits. Gaming chairs are typically designed for comfort throughout lengthy sessions--whether you're sitting at your desk working or leaning back to relax while playing your favorite games. They have taller backs to support your head and neck, lumbar support, and some even have footrests. Plus, have we mentioned these racing-style chairs look really cool?
Gaming chairs can get quite pricey, and it might be hard to justify spending $300 to $500 on one of the premium brands; thankfully you can still get a solid and comfortable chair without breaking the bank. We've rounded up our picks for the best cheap gaming chair, from traditional rolling chairs to rockers to even a gaming-focused recliner. All of these cheap gaming chairs can be purchased on Amazon, where they have hundreds upon hundreds of highly-rated user reviews. Best of all, every chair on this list is around $200--and several of them are a decent amount less than that. They may lack some of the more luxurious features of higher-end chairs, like 4D armrests, PU leather, or a retractable footrest, but they're more than capable of making you comfortable for long hours.
Benefits of a gaming chair vs. office chair
The main benefit gaming chairs have over regular office chairs is their dedication to ergonomics, particularly lumbar and head/neck support. While a regular swivel office chair may do well for short intervals, gaming chairs are designed for consistent, prolonged use. They generally have thicker cushions and, importantly, extra lumbar and head cushions. If you're finding that your lower back is sore after sitting in a regular desk chair, a gaming chair is a great option for you.
Once you assemble your chair, there are a few things you should keep in mind when using it at your desk. The Mayo Clinic recommends adjusting the height of the chair so that your feet lay flat on the floor. Armrests should be situated so that your shoulders can be relaxed while resting your elbows, and your knees should be parallel to your hips.
Gaming chairs are versatile, though. When not hammering away at the keyboard, they still provide comfort and support when reclined. While remaining upright at a desk is helpful, chances are you're looking at a gaming chair for more than just work, and most of the chairs on this list are designed for both work and play.
We've chosen seven rolling chairs that are ideal for both desk use and lounging, and three chairs that are mainly aimed at gaming away from the desk. Every chair is ergonomically designed to reduce strain on your body and provide optimal comfort, though some provide more comfort than others. Budget chairs sometimes make concessions when it comes to armrests and lumbar support, so you'll want to weigh the pros and cons of each against their prices.
If you're interested in rounding out a new gaming setup, make sure to take a look at our picks for the best gaming desk. And if you're planning on using your new chair to stream, make sure to also take a look at our best capture cards roundup, the best budget monitors, best gaming headset, and best accessories for streaming guide. And if you're looking for something to do while in that chair, check out our guide to the best VPN for streaming TV and movies, as well as the best Nintendo Switch games, best PS4 games, and best Xbox One games to play. Looking for a nice PC to pair your new gaming chair with? Check out our guide on how to build a gaming PC.
Quick look: Best cheap gaming chairs in 2020
Note: Prices often fluctuate on all of these chairs, so the prices listed below may not be accurate. Please double-check the price before you buy.
This racing-style Gtracing gaming chair has a very similar design as the Wensix (i.e., something modeled after the bucket seat in a racecar) and it also happens to be one of the most popular budget gaming chairs on Amazon. With an average 4.3/5 stars and over 4,300 reviews on Amazon, the Gtracing chair is a crowd-pleaser. Featuring an adjustable lumbar cushion backrest and removable headrest, the Gtracing chair has everything you need to remain comfortable while sitting for long durations--which is exactly what you want in a cheap gaming chair.
Its ergonomic design makes this chair really stand out. The recessed seat cushion is guarded on each side by raised leather wings, and the back cushion has a simplistic yet striking look. The chair has adjustable armrests and a gas-powered spring for altering its height. You can recline all the way back to 170 degrees, too, which is impressive in a cheap gaming chair.
Even more popular than the Gtracing gaming chair, the Homall S-Racer has more than 11,000 user reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.3/5. It's available in black, blue/black, and red/blue right now, but there's also a cool purple/black model that's currently out of stock. You're getting all of the same features found in most of the chairs on this list except for the whole adjustable armrest thing, including a backrest pillow and a headrest pillow. However, it's a tad cheaper than similar styles because of this omission.
Once again, you can adjust the wide lumbar cushion and remove the headrest. The sponge cushion contours to the shape of your body and rises back to normal between uses. It also has a gas-powered spring to raise and lower the height and reclines to 180 degrees. As a nice touch, the rubber wheels have a race car design.
While some prefer gaming chairs that stand out, others might want the design without the flair the average PC gaming chair provides. That's where this gaming chair from Vitesse comes in. This slick, all-black chair has an understated look but boasts most of the same features as other chairs on this list. Along with the adjustable lumbar support, the Vitesse gaming chair has a fairly big neck pillow that will probably double as a head pillow for most people.
It reclines back to 180 degrees and has an adjustable rocking dial to modify how much the chair sways. Of course, the chair has an easy-to-use lever to adjust the height and a locking mechanism to prevent inadvertent changes. At just $149, the Vitesse chair is a stellar deal. Keep in mind that like most chairs in the sub-$150 range, you cannot adjust the height of the armrests. If you like the design of the Vitesse but want something a tad flashier, blue/black, white/black, and red/black color options are available, too.
For fans of Call of Duty and other war shooters (or hunters in general), Musso has a pair of nice camouflage gaming chairs that are highly-rated on Amazon with more than 500 user reviews. Like other chairs on this list, these camouflage chairs have soft, adjustable lumbar pillows and removable headrests. The gas spring adjusts the height, while the padded armrests can also be shifted up and down easily.
The chair fully reclines to 180 degrees and swivels 360 degrees. It's on the upper end of prices on this list at $190, but Musso's chairs use high-quality components, including thick artificial leather to prevent wear and tear, a steel frame, and high-density sponge to retain its bounce through years of use.
A no-frills gaming chair for less than $100, the Essentials chair option from OFM sacrifices features to make it extremely budget-friendly. While it doesn't have a dedicated lumbar support or head pillow, it's still made of similar artificial leather and soft sponge-like cushioning as the rest of the chairs on this list. Ideal for someone who simply wants to use it as a desk chair, the OFM Essentials racing chair has a nice, wide cushion with mesh fabric. The armrests easily flip up, which is helpful for pushing it under your desk when not in use.
Unfortunately, this chair doesn't recline, so it's not as versatile as the other gaming chairs on this list. That said, it certainly looks like a gaming chair thanks to the two-tone color schemes. You can grab it in a bunch of different colors from Amazon. Black, green, gray, purple, and white designs are available for $95--when it comes to price tag alone, it might be the best cheap gaming chair out there. It's also neat if you're looking for a chair with a lower seat height without going full bean bag.
Marvel fans can add some superhero style to their gaming setups with officially licensed gaming chairs designed around two popular Marvel heroes: Captain Marvel and Spider-Man. Both designs have something to love. The Captain Marvel chair looks the coolest in my opinion, but the hole placement for the lumbar pillow straps on the Spider-Man chair--resembling Spidey's eyes--definitely gives it a run for its money. It doesn't have an adjustable armrest, but the overall look of the chair is so nice we don't really mind. And yes, these also include a lumbar pillow.
Each chair has a thick padded armrest pair, a tilt tension dial, and height adjustment bar. One major downside of these Marvel chairs--at least the ones at this price point--is that they only tilt back to 130 degrees and don't lock. So if you plan on using your chair away from your desk, you might want to avoid these.
For those looking to game in style away from the desk, you might want to take a look at the series of gaming rocking chairs from OFM. Fortnite fans will be particularly interested in the model shown above, though it retails for a higher price point. Designed with the multi-colored aesthetic of most rolling gaming chairs in mind, OFM's rocking chair is certainly an interesting option. It's larger than a regular gaming chair, with a high back and wide cushion. The sturdy circular base provides a nice rocking experience that has adjustable tension to fit your preferences.
If you're not a fan of Fortnite, there are several other models available for a bit less money. You can get the rocker in a number of non-Fortnite color schemes, including black, blue, gray, red, and white.
Gaming floor chairs have been around for decades, and while the newer desk chairs are often seen as the "gaming chair," some floor chairs still rock. Take the X Rocker Drift rocker chair for instance. In addition to looking like it was jacked from a race car, it comes equipped with two speakers, a subwoofer, and is bluetooth compatible with mobile devices and PCs to output sound. If you want to run the sound from game consoles like Xbox One, PS4, and Switch, you'll need to hardwire it with an HDMI audio splitter.
The X Rocker Drift has an ergonomic design to promote lumbar comfort. While floor chairs don't necessarily work well in a home office setting, they're ideal for game rooms and basements, especially if you have kids at home or are a console gamer yourself. It's also the lowest-hanging kind of PC gaming chair that isn't a bean bag, assuming you have the right gaming setup for it.
Doubling as a nice gaming chair and a regular recliner, Homall's gaming recliner is quite different from other chairs on this list. It looks like one of the seats you'd see in an updated movie theater, which is nice, though that does mean it lacks some of the features of other chairs, like an adjustable armrest. The two-tone design comes in red/black, white/black, and blue/black--though all of them lean heavy into a traditional black look. The recliner has a lumbar cushion and headrest like you'd see in rolling gaming chairs, but it's obviously much more spacious and is meant to stay put in one spot in front of your TV. Additionally, the lumbar cushion has a built-in massager that has multiple different modes and intensities that can be cycled through with the included remote. The PU leather build helps with comfort, too.
The recliner has three modes: game mode (upright), TV mode (leaned back with footrest partially up), and napping mode for when you're all tuckered out. Despite being more of a conventional recliner, it still features the same artificial leather and cushions you'd see in regular rolling gaming chairs. The chair also has pockets on each side to store remotes, cables, books, and other small essentials you want nearby, so you won't even miss the lack of 4D armrests.
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