Gaming chair = office chair?
While manufacturers of gaming chairs like to act as if their products are very special, they are simply office chairs. The gaming chairs we tested all use a base that consists of five arms with casters and a central vertical pole with built-in gas spring, which allows the chairs to be adjustable in height. All tested models are mobile and can rotate 360 degrees, as every other office chair. All of the models we look at also have height adjustable armrests, where some models allow these to pivot in- or outwards. Once again, these are characteristics of regular office chairs.
There are also differences when compared with office chairs. These start with the seat. It is not simply flat but represents the shape of a racing chair, with upright edges at the sides. While these edges have an added value in a car (they prevent you from sliding from your seat when cornering), the added value is absent for gaming chairs. The same can be said for the shape we find in the backrest. While certainly valuable for motorsports, behind your desk you are less bothered by G-Force. In a best-case scenario these gaming chairs offer you more support than regular office chairs, although the shape can also result in a less pleasant posture when sitting, especially if you have slightly wider shoulders. Leaning back relaxingly is out of the question. They also feel a lot warmer when you sit back. Gaming chairs do offer a true added value with their built-in headrest. The backrests of gaming chairs are a lot taller than that of the average office chair, which results in you being able to rest your head comfortably.
Furthermore, gaming chairs often come with extra head/neck- and lumbar support. The lumbar support is usually a cushion of about thirty centimetres wide and twenty centimetres high, that is mounted to the backrest with two elastic bands and can be adjusted in height by sliding it up and down. The goal of this is to support the lower back, also when you are not sitting all the way back. If you do like to sit against the backrest all the way you should try and see whether or not you like such support. In all cases the lumbar support can easily be removed. The same goes for the neck/headrest. With some chairs it is (partially) height-adjustable, with others it is not. If the support is not to your liking, you can simply remove it. In practice, a padded neck rest is more comfortable compared with a (faux) leather version, because cloth takes up perspiration and does not feel sticky as fast.