GROUP TEST: Gam­ing chairs

Don’t over­look your chair as part of a gam­ing PC. Jim Martin ex­plains what to look for and re­view the best gam­ing chairs you can buy in the UK

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

You’ve prob­a­bly spent time and money buy­ing the right gam­ing key­board and mouse for your PC, and maybe even have other ac­ces­sories that you hope will give you the edge. Few peo­ple put much thought into their chair, though. Gam­ing chairs are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, and we’ve rounded up a small se­lec­tion of the lat­est mod­els.

Buy­ing guide

In most re­spects, gam­ing chairs are no dif­fer­ent to a reg­u­lar desk swivel chair. They have height ad­just­ment, cas­tors for smooth move­ment across the floor and arm rests. How­ever, as with a lot of gam­ing hard­ware, gam­ing chairs are more stylish than your stan­dard of­fice chair and typ­i­cally take in­spi­ra­tion from the bucket seats in rac­ing cars. What is and isn’t stylish is down to your per­sonal taste, but what should you look for when buy­ing a gam­ing chair?

Er­gonomics

Ba­sic chairs tend to have only height ad­just­ment, but it’s well worth go­ing for a chair that has an re­clin­ing back and ad­justable arm rests, too. Er­gonomics are im­por­tant, so you need a chair that sup­ports your spine prop­erly and of­fers enough ad­just­ment to fit your body, rather than forc­ing it into a bad pos­ture.

Best gam­ing chairs

Al­most all chairs are ‘one size fits all’, so it’s cru­cial to make sure the seat height ad­just­ment range will suit you. You won’t nec­es­sar­ily get a more er­gonomic chair if you spend more, so good er­gonomics don’t have to be ex­pen­sive. Some chairs come with re­mov­able cush­ions for lum­bar (back sup­port) or for a head rest. An er­gonomic chair shouldn’t need th­ese, but some peo­ple might find they’re needed for the best fit and com­fort.

Longevity

What you will get if you spend more is bet­ter qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and build. Al­though the

price of some chairs may make you wince, a good-qual­ity chair should last years, if not a decade or more.

At the en­try level, cheap foam may feel okay to start with (some man­u­fac­tur­ers use re­cy­cled foam scraps), but might lose its struc­ture and there­fore its sup­port be­fore long, while high-qual­ity foam will re­tain its shape and also sup­port heav­ier users. A chair’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions should al­ways state the max­i­mum weight they can han­dle.

Talk­ing of ma­te­ri­als, the most com­mon is PU leather, also known as faux leather or ve­gan leather. In essence, it’s plas­tic with a leather-like tex­ture. It’s not a bad choice: it’s rea­son­ably hard wear­ing, easy to clean and not ex­pen­sive. Real leather costs a lot, but should last con­sid­er­ably longer. Some chairs use a suede-like ma­te­rial. This isn’t as easy to clean, but has a softer feel.

War­ranty

Since gam­ing chairs have a gas strut for height ad­just­ment, plus other moving parts, it’s fea­si­ble that some­thing might fail. Ob­vi­ously a longer war­ranty is bet­ter, but al­ways check what the war­ranty cov­ers.

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