Gaming Chair vs. Office Chair: What’s the Difference?

Learn the difference between a gaming chair and an office chair, so you can find the right seat for your setup.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Oct 26, 2021 8:30 PM

gaming chair vs office chair

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An office and gaming setup will often have several similarities and just a few key differences, like the amount of desk surface space or storage, including drawers, cabinets, and shelves. When it comes to a gaming chair vs. office chair it can be difficult to determine the best option, especially if you aren’t quite sure about the difference between a gaming chair and office chair.

Despite having a home gaming setup, some users may even still wonder what is a gaming chair? In general, when it comes to an office chair vs. gaming chair the office chair is better suited for productivity, focusing more on strict ergonomic support than on comfort. Gaming chairs are also designed for ergonomic support, though they tend to prioritize comfort, which is expected of a product designed to enhance fun and recreation.

Related: 18 Home Office Items for Optimal Ergonomics and Productivity

Gaming chairs are designed for recreation.

When you decide to invest in a gaming vs. office chair you are choosing a product that can help make it more comfortable to game for hours at a time, but even within this product category, there are some specialized types of gaming chairs including PC and racing, rocker, and pedestal chairs.

  • PC and racing seat gaming chairs are the most commonly used style of gaming chair. They function in much the same way as a standard office chair, but these products will typically have adjustable armrests, cushioned headrests, an adjustable lumbar support cushion, and even the ability to fully recline. This GTRACING option available at Amazon has all of those features and more, and it’s the top pick in our researched guide to the best gaming chairs. Some racing gaming chairs may also incorporate steering wheels, gas and brake foot pedals, as well as wheel and pedal support plates, improving the simulated driving experience.
  • Rocker gaming chairs have a simple L-shape design that lacks castor wheels or a pedestal base. Instead, these gaming chairs sit directly on the ground and they can be rocked back and forth by the user, giving them their name. These chairs can come with several advanced features, like built-in speakers, cupholders, and a control panel that can be linked to the home entertainment system. This X Rocker Pro Series H3 available at Amazon—a favorite in our researched guide to the best floor chairs—even folds down for easy storage
  • Pedestal gaming chairs are similar to rocker gaming chairs, except that instead of sitting directly on the ground, these chairs have a short pedestal base. These chairs can be tilted, rocked, and sometimes reclined, depending on the product, so you can find the optimal position for playing your favorite game. They also include adjustable armrests and lumbar support, and premium products may have built-in speakers and subwoofers like this highly rated option available at Amazon.
gaming chair vs office chair

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Office chairs are designed for productivity.

If you need to decide on gaming chairs vs. office chairs for your company, office, or home business, then it’s necessary to understand that gaming chairs are ideal for comfort, but the ergonomic support and style of an office chair help improve productivity. This is accomplished by simply supporting the user’s body for long hours so that they don’t need to put in any extra effort to support their arms, back, head, neck, shoulders, and posterior while they work.

Due to the reduced tension on the body, the user can get more work done with less frequent breaks, helping the user maintain their train of thought during the busy workday. When you don’t have to take regular timeouts from your work to rest your hands, neck, or back, your productivity improves. This change can even help with chronic problems and recurring issues, like carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain.

Built-in speakers and vibrations provide an immersive experience for gamers.

Instead of filling up the entire desk space with peripheral accessories, consider looking for a gaming chair that comes with built-in speakers and game-responsive vibration. While either a gaming chair or office chair can be used for sitting comfortably at the desk, the immersion offered by gaming chairs cannot be beaten by a standard office chair. This is because office chairs focus more on ergonomic support in order to improve productivity, rather than packing as many features as possible into a comfortable, cushioned gaming chair.

When it comes to features, the difference between these two chairs is clear, even down to the design. Office chairs are intended to blend into an office environment so they don’t have a lot of padding and the color options are typically white, grey, black, or other neutral colors. However, gaming chairs can have intricate designs, artistic patterns, and bright colors that stand out in any room. Unfortunately, these flashy colors aren’t generally appreciated around a professional office.

Related: 12 Things Every Gen-Zer Wants for Their Room

Office chairs tend to provide more lumbar support.

The lower back is known as the lumbar region and is made up of five vertebrae with a slight inward curve that, if not properly supported, can result in significant pain.  A lat-backed chair does not sufficiently support the curved lumbar region of the back. Given that office workers can spend more than 40 hours every week sitting in an office chair, it’s necessary for these chairs to be designed with a high level of lumbar support like this Serta Smart Layers Arlington AirManager Chair available at Amazon—the top pick in our researched guide to the best office chairs.

Look for an office chair that has a built-in, adjustable lumbar support that can be expanded or contracted depending on the needs of the user. Alternatively, there are office chairs with lumbar support pillows that can be moved and positioned with one or more elastic straps in order to find the right position for your back.

gaming chair vs office chair

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Winged backs, bucket seats, and colorful accents contribute more flash than function for gaming chairs. 

When you are committing to several hours on a console or PC game, a gaming chair is a comfortable, ergonomic option that comes with many different features to improve the appearance and functionality of the chair. However, additions like winged backs, bucket seats, and colorful accents or designs are specifically intended for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the product and don’t contribute to the function of the chair.

What this means is that when you are choosing a new gaming chair, it’s necessary to look at the more important features first, like lumbar support or adjustable armrests. Once you have decided on the best product to help support your back, neck, arms, shoulders, and the rest of your body, you can spend some time choosing your ideal color or looking for chairs with specific design additions, like winged backs and bucket seats.

Related: 14 Game Room Ideas That are Truly Impressive

gaming chair vs office chair

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Compared to gaming chairs, regular office chairs feature fewer adjustable parts.

The main purpose of a gaming chair is to ensure that the gamer is as comfortable as possible and that they can move, shift, rock, and tilt to find that perfect position for playing their favorite game. For this reason, gaming chairs have a large number of adjustable parts, like armrests that can be adjusted for height, depth, and width. Reclining backrests, built-in footrests, height-adjustable bases, and adjustable lumbar supports are just a few examples of adjustable parts on gaming chairs.

On the other hand, office chairs focus less on comfort and more on support, so the adjustments that can be made to an office chair are usually restricted to changes that can help improve your posture, like adjustable lumbar support or a height-adjustable base. These chairs do not usually recline and the armrests tend to be fixed. Though it should be noted that with fewer adjustable parts, office chairs tend to last longer than gaming chairs.

gaming chair vs office chair

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