Gaming Chair vs Ergonomic Chair: Which Is Best?

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Comparing a gaming chair vs ergonomic chairs can help you find the ideal office furniture.

Gaming chairs are known to have ergonomic features, while ergonomic chairs are designed for a specific purpose.

Knowing the differences between the two can significantly improve your overall health and comfort.

Are Gaming Chairs Better Than Ergonomic Chairs?

When you begin shopping for office chairs, you'll likely see many different types.

All of the fancy technology in the furniture can make it challenging to choose the best style.

Before you can decide between them, let's get into the details of what they typically offer.

What Are Ergonomic Chairs?

Ergonomic chairs are explicitly designed to maintain adequate posture throughout the day.

Unlike office chairs, they have revolutionary technology embedded in their designs to improve anatomically-correct posturing.

Having an ergonomic chair means that you can expect to have exceptional biotechnology at your fingertips.

These models are specifically designed to support the human body and all of its bones and curves.

Typically, the designs take in several considerations, including support, posture, comfort, and health.

What Are the Features of Ergonomic Chairs?

The usual things you'd expect from an ergonomic chair are:

  • Heightened Adjustability

The most common feature of an ergonomic chair is its adjustable features for a more customized feel.

Many offices consider these chairs because they're easily tailored to any user, which allows the chairs to be shared.

You'll find that you can find the perfect fit for anyone in the office with the appropriate tweaks.

  • Office-Friendly Style

Ergonomic chairs have a rather bland and unoriginal style to them, which is why they're commercially popular.

They can also be significantly larger than standard office chairs, but the bulkier size makes them comfortable.

  • Comfortable Lumbar Support

One of the most impressive features of ergonomic chairs is their lumbar support.

Typically, you'll find the support is built into the chair's frame and offers limited adjustments.

However, when appropriately aligned, the backrest enhances the natural 'S' curvature of your spine.

  • 2D or 3D Armrests

When you begin shopping for office chairs, you'll often find armrests advertised as "2D" or "3D".

This spec relates to how you can adjust the arms for comfort and ergonomics.

In standard chairs, the armrests are typically 2D, which means they can be shifted forward and backward.

On the other hand, ergonomic chairs can be 2D or 3D, with 3D allowing for flip-up arms.

This adjustment is ideal for ensuring your arms are at a 90-degree angle when at your desk.

facts about gaming chair vs ergonomic chair

What Are the Disadvantages of Ergonomic Chairs?

The bad things about ergonomic chairs are:

  • Semi-Adjustable

Although ergonomic chairs are more adjustable than standard office chairs, they're not the best on the market.

You'll typically be able to adjust the tilt of the backrest and the arms up to a certain point.

However, they lack in key areas such as seat tilt, 3D armrest adjustments, and lumbar support changes.

This disadvantage is significant to consider if you spend a lot of time at your desk.

You'll want to ensure you have the highest number of adjustable features for all-day comfort.

  • Restricted Movements

Since you don't have a high level of customization, ergonomic chairs can be limiting in several ways.

Unless you tailor your chair's fit, you can force your body into unnatural positions.

Forcing your body to sit in static positions with an unnatural posture can be equally as damaging as using a regular office chair.

  • Faulty Advertising

When you start shopping for an ergonomic chair, you'll find several hundred in the first few seconds.

Unfortunately, not every model you come across will have correct ergonomic features.

With the lack of marketing consistency, many manufacturers tag their office furniture as ergonomic when it's not.

This issue often leads to people purchasing inexpensive chairs that aren't anatomically correct.

You might also find they lack significant adjustments that are necessary for a tailored fit.

Without adequate support, your body will experience an ample amount of undue stress over time.

What Are Gaming Chairs?

Another heavy-hitter on the office furniture market is gaming chairs, which feature intuitive designs.

Users can often prefer these models to ergonomic chairs because they are designed with all-day gaming sessions in mind.

You'll often find many higher-end models that have luxurious features that ergonomic chairs do not have.

These units have a ton of fantastic features ranging from adjustable lumbar support to 4D armrests.

They also have a far more unique style, ideal for home offices and adding a personal flair.

Like ergonomic chairs, gaming chairs help to target significant problem areas when focusing on posture and comfort.

Are Gaming Chairs Ergonomic?

The most considerable advantage of gaming chairs is that they're specifically designed to be ergonomic.

You must have adequate support when grinding an action-adventure game for eight hours at a time.

You'll also need a healthy posture when taking conference calls or chatting with friends and family.

As a newer concept, gaming chairs often have the best ergonomics and high-tech features.

They can also be more expensive, which speaks to the ingenuity and quality put into every design.

With adjustable cushions, advanced lumbar support, and thorough customization options, they're the perfect ergonomic option.

What Are the Features of Gaming Chairs?

Generally, gaming chairs offer the following:

  • Adjustable Recline

You'll find one of the most used features of your gaming chair is the adjustable recline.

Depending on the model, you might find chairs that have both seat and backrest tilting functions.

They're also divided into two categories: synchronous and asynchronous.

Synchronous reclining chairs automatically adjust the backrest based on how you sit in the seat.

Although it can be convenient for saving time, it might not give you the best posture for your body type.

Alternatively, asynchronous require manual adjustments, which are perfect for tailoring your chair's fit.

Reclining your gaming chair allows you to have the perfect posture for computing or relaxing.

Some models are even able to recline to 180 degrees, ideal for a midday nap.

  • Adjustable Armrests

The main component that makes gaming chairs differ from ergonomic chairs is their armrests.

These models are often available with 2D, 3D, or 4D arms.

4D arms allow for vertical, horizontal, forward, backward, and inward or outward adjustments.

Managing the inward and outward placement of your armrests can make a whole world of difference.

If you've found traditional office chairs don't accommodate your shoulder width, 4D armrests are needed.

  • Footrests

The luxury of a place to put your feet while at your computer is something you won't have with standard office chairs.

It's also important to note that many ergonomic chairs don't have built-in footrests.

Gaming chairs mostly come with built-in footrests that are ideal for reclining at your desk.

They will often have integrated ergonomics as well, ensuring the overall comfort of your legs and ankles.

  • Lumbar Support Cushions

The lumbar support in your gaming chair can differ by models since some supports are built-in while others are removable.

Removable lumbar support cushions are often preferred because you can adjust their height to fit your specific body type.

You also have the opportunity to remove them entirely if the padding is too uncomfortable for your back.

Regardless, it's an option you're unlikely to find with most standard ergonomic chairs.

  • Improved Cushioning

Cushioning is a significant benefit to office chairs, especially for heavier gamers.

Gaming chairs typically have extreme padding that fits the contours of your body.

Over time, the cushions will shape themselves to feel like your chair is made just for you.

You'll experience far less back stress as well as tailbone stress if you sit for long periods.

The cushioning can also be beneficial for maintaining the chair's comfort over time.

  • High-Quality Materials

The higher cost associated with gaming chairs ensures you're getting the best of the best.

You're bound to find high-quality materials, such as leather, vegan leather, performance mesh, and linen.

All of these materials have their benefits, but leather and faux leather seem to be preferred.

Leather is renowned for its longevity and water resistance, although it can be warm during the summer.

Mesh is another excellent option because it allows for optimal breathability while maintaining the chair's integrity.

  • Luxury Features

Gamers can find luxurious features in some of the top-tier chair models, but they're not standard.

You can find built-in Bluetooth speakers for a more immersive gaming experience.

Some models also have ports to charge your devices and use a headset through the chair.

At the top-end of gaming chairs, you'll find built-in massaging functions.

Massaging chairs can be preferable for people prone to back pain and general discomfort.

difference between gaming chair vs ergonomic chair

What Are the Disadvantages of Gaming Chairs?

The common drawbacks of gaming chairs are:

  • Less Portable

If you're looking for a chair to move around the office quickly, gaming chairs aren't ideal.

They're typically made of heavy-duty parts crafted from steel and hard plastic, making them very heavy.

You'll find that moving them from one office to another can be more challenging than with ergonomic chairs.

  • Size

Another significant disadvantage to gaming chairs is that they're often bulky and large.

Their backrests are significantly larger since most models accommodate users over six feet.

Also, their seat widths are extended for comfort, making them challenging to fit under your desk.

  • Vibrant Designs

This feature could either be seen as a pro or con, depending on your preferences.

In an office environment, the style of gaming chairs can take away from your professional demeanor.

You'll find most models come in bright colors, such as red, neon orange, and lime green.

However, many manufacturers also have black, gray, and white options for a more seamless appeal.

One of the most significant disadvantages of gaming chairs is their branding.

The majority of manufacturers will imprint giant logos on the chair's back or the lumbar support cushions.

If you can find a custom chair company, you can opt to remove the branding.

Still, there will likely be a higher price tagged onto specialty models.

Are Gaming Chairs Good for Back?

The most important thing to consider before investing in a gaming chair is whether or not they're good for backs.

Maintaining an anatomically-correct posture throughout the day is imperative to your overall health.

Different components of your gaming chair will work together to offer ample back support.

Taller Backrests

The most iconic trait of gaming chairs is their tall backrest, which is perfect for full spinal support.

When seated, you'll notice the entirety of your back is supported, as well as your shoulders, head, and neck.

With a more extended column, even taller users will find significant improvements to their overall spinal health.

As a general guide, there are specific measurements to look for based on your height.

  • Short (5'3" and Shorter): If you're short, your backrest should be at least 30", if not greater.
  • Average (5'3" to 6'3"): Those of average height can benefit from backrests between 30" and 33".
  • Tall (Greater Than 6'3"): Taller gamers need to consider gaming chairs larger than 33" for optimal support.
Robust Reclining

There is an ample number of reclining options when you begin using a gaming chair.

The majority of basic models allow for up to 135 degrees, while others recline up to 180 degrees.

With this feature, you'll find it's simpler to find the perfect position to reduce back strain.

Another impressive component of your chair's recline is how it can lock into position.

When you found the ideal positioning, you can typically engage a lever to hold the chair at your desired tilt.

This feature makes it easier to adjust the chair's ergonomics and keep it there for extended periods.

External Pillows

The lumbar support pillows in your gaming chair will quickly become your best friend for back adjustments.

Most are connected with straps that allow you to shift the neck and back pillows up and down.

Depending on the curvature of your spine, you can position the pillows perfectly for added support.

Another option is to remove the cushions altogether and use the chair's built-in ergonomics.

As you begin working, you'll quickly be able to tell whether the support cushions are necessary.

Seat Widths and Lengths

The extended seat widths and lengths in gaming chairs are ideal for your back's health.

These features encourage your feet to reach the ground and stay flat with a 90-degree angle in your knees.

You can also adjust the seat's pan for one to two inches of space between the edge and your thighs.

Shorter users should find seat depths of 18" or less, while taller people can benefit from 20.5" or larger.

Gaming Chair vs Ergonomic Chair: Final Thoughts

When choosing between a gaming chair vs ergonomic chairs, gaming chairs are the clear winner.

They have significantly more adjustable features and comfortable components for all-day use.

Also, their higher-quality components offer improved longevity, even with daily use.