What makes the best cheap gaming chair?

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Best cheap gaming chairs

(Image credit: Future)

Picking up the best cheap gaming chair might seem like a good way to save on your home setup, but it’s worth doing some research. The absolute best gaming chairs can cost nigh-on $400 for the privilege of somewhere to rest your butt. But such is the work-from-home environment right now; you can be sure there will be some cheap gaming chairs on offer whenever you’re looking to buy.

But what do you need to look out for when picking up a budget gaming seat, where can you make compromises, and what do you absolutely need to avoid? 

Considering that you’re likely to be sitting on your gaming throne for many hours, it’s worth making sure that it’s something that will be supporting you throughout that time. Though if you go for one of the best gaming desks, then at least half the time, you could be standing…

What the best cheap gaming chair?

It’s all about support. Ergonomics can be one of the first things to go out of the window when you go for a cheap gaming chair over a more expensive option, and that means you might miss out on decent padding, adjustable armrests, neck support, and extra lumbar support cushions. 

You may also find that cheap gaming chairs come in mid-height variants, too, shaving dollar off the sticker price by, well, giving you less chair. Ideally, you want a full-height backrest that will support the spine throughout a gaming session.

You don’t want to have an ultra-soft seat either; you want something with a little firmness actually to cradle your behind. It is going to give overtime, after all. We found the Noblechairs Doom gaming chair to be a little too firm, to begin with, but that’s going to age a lot better than something that’s made from cheap packing foam and will have you sitting on a bare metal frame in a matter of months.

The best cheap gaming chairs

When you’re spending under $200 on a gaming chair, you’re not going to get the refined throne that companies such as Secretlab and Noblechairs can offer, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo any luxuries for your derriere.

GTRacing Gaming Chair – $189.99 $142.99 at Newegg


Adjustable armrest | Neck pillow | Lumbar support

The chairs look the part and come with many of the features of gaming chairs which cost twice the price. It’s comfortable and adjustable and will definitely do the job.View Deal

GoPlus Massage Gaming Chair – $342.99 $159.99 at Walmart


Adjustable armrest | Neck pillow | Lumbar support (with massager)

Okay, so a massager may not be high on the priority list for a gaming chair, but when it comes to this price, why not give it a go? I mean, you don’t have to plug it in. The chair itself gets great reviews from users over at Walmart, so its ease of assembly and sturdiness seems to be winning people over.

View Deal

 Should I buy a cheap gaming chair? 

If you’re after the racing aesthetic, then a cheap gaming chair will absolutely deliver that, but it’s also about what’s underneath that faux leather exterior. Going too cheap will mean you get a frame that can’t stand the enthusiastic exertions of a heated gaming session or a seat with padding that either offers no support or melts away within months.

Alternatively, if you’re not desperate for the streamer look, then you can find decent office chairs, with far more ergonomic designs, for less than the sticker price of a serious bucket seat. 

But there are cheap gaming chairs out there that won’t kill your spine; make sure you don’t make too much of a sacrifice on your seat ergonomics.

Dave has been obsessed with gaming since the days of Zaxxon on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. Thankfully it’s a lot easier to build a gaming rig now there are no motherboard jumper switches, though he has been breaking technology ever since… at least he gets paid for it now. 

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