Cheap Vs. Expensive Gaming Chairs: Which Ones To Choose?


Just like PCs, gaming setups, smartphones, and even cars, the world of gaming chairs divides the products into two main categories: cheap and expensive gaming chairs.

If you are looking for a new gaming chair, you probably wonder if you should purchase a cheap chair or an expensive one. In this article, I am showing you which type is best for you.

In my opinion, the perfect answer stems from your specific needs and budget. Buying an expensive gaming chair is definitely a better-suited option for many out there. However, you can also get some of the best features in an entry-level (cheap) gaming chair.

A Quick Summary Of Our Cheap Vs. Expensive Gaming Chairs Review

Before we start, I must let you know that this is a big post which outlines all the details you need to know when it comes to cheap and expensive gaming chairs. We will talk about:

  • The beginning of gaming chairs – how they were introduced and quickly became part of every gamer’s reality
  • The obvious need for a comfortable gaming chair for every gamer
  • The main features that separate expensive from cheap gaming chairs (allowing you to see where cheap chair manufacturers are saving and where are the big players making their money)
  • The main benefits that you will get to see once you purchase a great gaming chair for your needs
  • The best expensive gaming chair brands out there
  • My personal opinion and advice on your future gaming chair purchases

So, let’s begin.

How Expensive Gaming Chairs Became Popular

It all started with fancy keyboards, gaming mouses and unique options for playing games.

It continued with gaming chairs – ones in a basic form – with fancy terms such as ‘the best choice for gamers’ or ‘the perfect racing chair’ or ‘leading technologies’.

Racing chairs? Seriously, racing gaming chairs?

Comparing gaming chairs to racing chairs is definitely something out of any marketer’s league. However, they found that this works – and the market went along with it.

What’s very interesting is that gamers are people driven by emotions. By pitching gaming chairs as a product to them, the marketers saw a unique opportunity for a growing market. The truth is that the market started promoting a new product and convincing gamers that it is ‘just the right type for them.’

Even though I am spitting out everything I think in front of my keyboard now and nay-saying these marketers, I was one of their first customers.

Yes, you read that right.

I was among the first gamers to buy these chairs and convince others of their amazing benefits (LOL, seems like I have been doing this for years now.)

However, I also know another part of the story. A part which very few gamers know.

This part revolves around the fact that gamers don’t essentially know what is best for them (besides games, options, mods and player profiles). They know nothing about furniture, comfort or chairs.

Just like that, gamers are stuck in a gaming chair industry that is growing – yet are unable to make solid buying decisions for themselves.

This is where I (your Superman) come to rescue – helping you differentiate everything when comparing gaming chairs – and helping you find the best products for your needs and budget.

Below, I am talking about the actual benefits of gaming chairs. Yes, the ones I used to convince my friends to buy their first gaming chairs (they are proud owners of more than a dozen chairs now) and convince the world through this blog that gaming chairs are more than just….chairs.

Having The Best Gaming Chair Is Becoming More Than Just ‘Essential’

In times when we are flooded with options coming in all forms of gaming chairs, you should know that there is a big difference between every make and model.

No matter how affordable a chair is or how ‘premium’ its brand is, there is A BIG difference between literally every model. Even if we are comparing the high-end gaming chair models to the other high-end chairs, the differences are big and mostly seen from the user perspective.

If we compare affordable to affordable gaming chairs, the scenario is the same. And if we compare high-end and expensive gaming chairs to cheap gaming chairs, the contrast is the strongest.

What we can all agree on, however, is that gaming chairs are becoming more than just essential to gamers pulling all nighters and playing long sessions in front of their PC or gaming consoles.

The biggest differentiator between cheap and expensive gaming chairs is not the price – it’s actually the features that both of these categories of products have.

The Features That Separate ‘Expensive’ From ‘Cheap’ Gaming Chairs

To really enjoy your gaming chair setup, you need to be comfortable, right?

You obviously want a chair that will look after you in all those longer sessions yet also be comfortable to drop in and out of – as well as suit your personal tastes and aesthetics. If it is well designed, it can even improve your posture and help to alleviate all of your aches and pains that can accumulate from you being sat down for a very long time.

So, a gaming chair is best reviewed when it comes to its features.

How do you decide if a certain chair is good (for its price) – or just an expensive piece of sh*t?

It’s the features.

They tend to differentiate and set apart ‘expensive’ from ‘cheap’ gaming chairs. Some of the most notable ones and the ones which make the price go up or down include the following.

Steel Framework

The most important thing to look out for when seeing the differences between expensive and cheap gaming chairs is the steel framework. This is directly linked to the durability of your chair. In other words, if a chair is made out of hard plastic, it may not be able to support your weight for years to come.

So while cheap gaming chairs have some kind of a framework, expensive ones come with a steel framework inside – one that won’t break down easily and one that will support all of your anxious attacks as well as ‘hooray’ achievements supported by your jumps on the chair.

Aluminum Base

Next up in the list is the base. Most of the gaming chairs available nowadays only have a base that is made out of hard plastic or in some cases, nylon.

Expensive gaming chairs, on the other hand, tend to have a base that is made out of aluminum or steel, which again is meant to withstand a lot of pressure and general wear and tear.

Durable Wheels

Wheels are an important element when buying the best gaming chair for your needs. They are the point that connects the chair to the ground and supports the person sitting on the base.

Most of the cracks and damage on gaming chairs is firstly seen through their wheels. Expensive chairs have reinforced wheels, preferably designed from high-quality and sturdy materials.

Adjustable Armrests

If you are sitting too far away from your keyboard – one of the reasons is because your chair’s armrests don’t fit under your desk.

If your hands and elbows suffer during your gaming – one of the reasons is that your gaming chair lacks armrests. Or….If the armrests are in a weird position.

The difference between cheap and high-end gaming chairs can also be put in the armrests. Expensive chairs tend to have adjustable armrests – solving the desk scenario and eliminating your arm and elbow pain. These armrests can even be turned in multiple directions, ensuring comfort in every possible way.

Cover Material

Some gaming chairs have wrinkles in their cover material – and this is commonly a case for the more affordable models out there. The headrest of leather-covered chairs or the actual seat base can often have these – leading to cracks and tears in the materials as the days go by.

Expensive gaming chairs are known for their perfect craftsmanship, exceptional stitching, great materials and smooth covers. Not only they will support you in a comfortable way – they won’t show signs of damage after a few months of use.

Craftsmanship

The overall build quality often gives away cheap construction methods or design flaws. This is mostly seen with the entry-level gaming chairs and is rarely a case with the more expensive models.

Craftsmanship is definitely worth paying for – and knowing that your chair was well manufactured is definitely something that sets apart many gamers’ expectations.

A Unique Touch

Last but not least is that extra feature you will rarely get with cheap gaming chairs.

The unique touch can be seen through a unique design, an extra adjustable feature, a nice logo display, a mixture of colors in the cover material, a sturdy chair base with reinforced wheels, a smooth reclining position and many other things.

Brands like SecretLab and AKRacing are known for these features. In fact, these features speak a lot for them like brands and are giving people all the reasons to purchase their gaming chairs contrary to some entry-level models.

The Benefits You Are Getting From Cheap Versus Expensive High-End Gaming Chairs

The last thing every gamer wants is to constantly re-adjust their seat, dealing with an uncomfortable chair or a bad position. Or, dealing with lack of features and something that is just wrong with their chair.

Don’t get me wrong here…

Even the best gaming chairs online can have these drawbacks – especially if they are not meant for you or are not in line with your unique needs.

However, in most of the cases, high-end chairs will give you a lot more than cheap ones. Their benefits are mostly seen through their:
Durability
This is something that every customer looks for when buying a product. As such, it is also something that you should focus on when buying a gaming chair.

A durable gaming chair goes a long way. It can be your go-to chair in multiple houses, moves and environments – and easily become your most favorite chair to ever sit on. Speaking of, some of the best expensive gaming chairs last for decades and can survive all the spills, bumps and jumps that tend to happen during your gaming endeavors.

Strength

You should not confuse strength with durability. A gaming chair could be durable but not strong enough to support you. It can be manufactured from a premium brand – yet manufactured so that it screams with uncomfortable sounds, squeaks all over its materials and sound like it is about to break down (even despite its durability).

So, the clear benefit of a great gaming chair is strength. Quiet, able to take bumps and strong enough to support you after thousands of hours, it is a product that should be as strong as your gaming skills.

Health Issues

Gamers are known for being unhealthy – not only because of their junk food addiction but also because of their improper posture and lack of exercise. Now, even though an expensive gaming chair does not take you outside and jog along with you, it can definitely solve some of the common posture problems out there.

Furthermore, a chair with lumbar support and the right balance of materials can prevent back, neck and arm injuries – as well as torque on the spinal column. The right chair will go a long way and give you comfort, sticking to every bone and muscle on your body and allowing you to game safely and effectively.

Adjustability

You paid big bucks for an expensive chair, right?

Now, you expect it to do wonders. Or even to help you do the basic things such as gaming (of course), eating, working on your computer, watching movies or just chilling with your friends.

If your gaming chair only suits you when you are gaming – it is not adjustable enough to suit your needs. This can happen if you don’t choose a gaming chair with your specific height and wight in mind. Or, if you choose a chair that does not fit your body or doesn’t adjust to it.

After all, no gamer is built the same and even if an expensive gaming chair is great in many ways – it can sometimes fail to adjust you or your needs.

How Do You Know If A Chair Is High-End Or Cheap?

The first indicator, in most of cases, is the actual price of a specific gaming chair.

However, prices tend to be pumped out a lot in this industry. For example, you can find a gaming chair for around $300 which has literally the same features such as a $600+ gaming chair. There are surely exceptions to this rule (even if the features look the same) in terms of materials, reputation and warranty. However, my point is that gamers can be easily fooled.

The best way to know if a gaming chair is worth your money is through three things:

  • Its features (check the list that we presented above and see if it has everything aforementioned)
  • Its positive reviews
  • The brand behind it (AKRacing, SecretLab, Noblechairs are all good proof of great brands)

Additionally, most of the high-end brands have perfect websites with testimonials, pages for every specific model, PDF pamphlets and the entire technology used in their chair described on their website. This is how you know that a brand has went the extra mile to give you something you desperately need and crave for.

The Best (Expensive) Gaming Chair Manufacturers To Look Out For

Now that you know practically everything about the different gaming chairs out there, their benefits and all of the features you need to know of and differentiate high-end with cheap gaming chairs, it’s time to see the best brands out there.

SecretLab

First on our list is SecretLab – one of the best gaming chair brands out there. Even though for many the SecretLab gaming chairs look understated, they have everything you need for a comfortable, sturdy and healthy gaming experience.

The technology behind these chairs is fascinating. Many models have won awards for their excellence in both gaming and office scenarios. They tend to keep the lower back pain away and provide comfort that is delivered by the top-quality, industrial-grade materials.

Assembling the SecretLab gaming chairs is easy – you need to follow the instructions and carefully connect all the parts. On top of this, SecretLab always makes sure to accommodate to the different needs of gamers in terms of design and features – carefully crafting each chair to perfection.

AKRacing

AKRacing is another expensive gaming chair manufacturer which builds amazing mesh chairs, leather office chairs, sport and racing chairs and exquisite gaming chairs. For a long time, it has been the go-to brand for many gamers, providing live support and giving the answer to their unique needs.

You can find AKRacing gaming chairs in all colors and styles, as well as expect the very best from features. The manufacturer puts a unique focus to design and functionality, ergonomics and a lot of other features that are guaranteed to give you durability and comfort.

Noblechairs

Known for their tagline “the gaming chair evolution”, Noblechairs is a brand that focuses on minimalistic design and tons of top-quality materials. With this, they create what they call “the next level of office seating” that is inspired by the world’s best racing cars.

Noblechairs is a premium choice for many gamers looking for the best expensive gaming chairs. Their attention to detail and focus on ergonomics is only paralleled by some brands in the industry (most of which shown in this list).

DXRacer

DXRacer is another brand that has won tons of awards for its gaming chairs. For many gamers, it is known by the two holes in the upper backrest area of its gaming chairs. Based in Canada, this brand aims to provide a comfortable experience for gamers, putting them in its chairs longer when compared to other brands.

The higher backrest area is another competitive advantage for DXRacer, just like the spinal support (from pelvis to neck) and the various chair models that give gamers of all sizes the perfect adjustability, durability and comfort.

Vertagear

Last in this top 5 best expensive gaming chair brands list is Vertagear – a brand that emerges as one of the leaders in the gaming chair market. They produce comfortable, elegant and durable gaming chairs with tons of features.

Some of the newest Vertagear gaming chairs even have LED lights inside them – and the brand is known for refining and innovating the industry. Crafted with a luxurious PVC Faux leather, the Vertagear chairs last long and are resistant against tearing when compared to many other gaming chairs (including cheap ones, of course).

Below, we are coming to the final point where I am showing you my final verdict.

So, Cheap Or Expensive? Which Gaming Chair To Buy?

At this point, when you have seen every feature and were introduced to the best brands for gaming chairs out there, you probably think that going expensive is the best way to move forward when buying your gaming chair.

The truth is…

It may be worth your time to choose the best expensive gaming chair and start playing.

However, I did not learn this lesson that way. I was forced to sit on so many chairs (and so many affordable ones) that I really felt the difference when I got my first expensive chair. Which is exactly my point.

Sometimes, you cannot appreciate a new Ferrari if it is your first car. Just like you cannot appreciate a new iPhone XS if you did not have a phone before that.

But if you were driving an old car and manually repairing it for years….Or if you had an old iPhone 4S before buying your iPhone XS, you will certainly know the difference.

So, if you are on a tight budget and want the very best out of your affordable chair with the best features that you can get, go for it. Buy the cheap gaming chair and start playing on it. My personal advice is to hold on to your cheap gaming chair up to six months (while you are saving for an expensive one) and purchase a great and expensive gaming chair difference.

If you have some money to throw, what can I say, right?

My obvious advice is to go for a high-end gaming chair that is designed for your specific size, needs and with all the features that you are looking for. If money is not your concern, you can even change it afterward and see how it adds up to your comfort.

If you wish to see the best high-end gaming chairs on the market, follow this link.
If you wish to see the best cheap gaming chairs for your needs (offering good value for money), click here.

I sincerely hope this long post helped you see the difference between cheap and expensive gaming chairs – and see what is the best choice for you.

And I especially hope that you saw a lot more than the old ‘cheap vs. expensive’ battle that you are used to when reviewing all sorts of products.

Finally, if you are not sure about what gaming chair is the best for you, I’ve made a list of the 26 best gaming chairs on the market. I am sure you will be able to find the one that fit your budget and your needs.

Have a great day!

Carl

Owner of Topgamingchair.com, I review gaming chairs (and office chairs) since 2018.

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