During the hunt for the perfect desk chair, you may have come across the age-old question: Which is better, a gaming chair or an office chair? As a matter of fact, the two aren't interchangeable – depending on your work (or play) style, one chair might be better than the other. In this guide, we'll introduce you to what a gaming chair is and walk you through the gaming chair vs. office chair debate so you can sit in comfort and style.

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What Is a Gaming Chair

Gaming chairs are specially designed, ergonomic chairs meant for long (but comfortable) hours playing video games. There are three different types of gaming chairs: PC and racing, rocker, and floor.

PC & Racing: Because their seats are off the ground, PC and racing gaming chairs are the gaming chairs most commonly used for playing video games at a desk. Originally produced by a luxury sports car seat manufacturer, these chairs resemble sports car seats in design. They have tall, padded backs that usually have sleek designs. These chairs are trendy, comfortable, and sturdy.

Gaming Chair vs. Office Chair

Because they are the closest in appearance and function to office chairs, PC and racer gaming chairs are those most often compared to office chairs. A common observation when comparing gaming chairs and office chairs is that gaming chairs prioritize style over comfort, while office chairs prioritize comfort over style. This isn't always the case – while the two certainly have their visual and structural differences, they're both designed ergonomically and are meant to keep you comfortable for hours at a time.

Structurally, gaming chairs and office chairs share many basic similarities. Both typically have casters, swiveling bases, armrests, padding on the seat, back, and/or armrests, and a variety of adjustable settings.

Visually, the differences are a bit more striking; while office chairs tend to be simple and clean in design, gaming chair designs place more of an emphasis on style. Because they are designed after luxury sports car seats, many gaming chairs have the flashy look of race cars, with bright accent colors, embroidered symbols, or character-oriented covers. Gaming chairs have high backs, while office chairs are a bit more low profile. Ultra-cool gaming chairs are experiencing their time in the limelight with the rise in popularity of video game streaming, so it's common to see avid gamers sitting in flashier chairs.

Discerning the difference in comfort between the two is a little more difficult. Whether you're a professional or a professional gamer, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to sitting at a desk comfortably for hours on end. Ergonomically designed gaming chairs typically have a wide range of comfort-maximizing features, including reclining, lumbar support, adjustable seat height, adjustable arms, and footrests. Ergonomically designed office chairs have mostly the same features – reclining, lumbar support, adjustable seat height, and adjustable arms – though there are a few more available, including adjustable back height and waterfall seats that allow your legs to hang comfortably.

Gaming chairs have an additional range of features that are specific to video gaming, such as steering wheel mounts, headphone output, built-in speakers, and bluetooth compatibility.

Which Should You Choose

Ultimately, your personal preferences matter most when deciding on a chair to use at your desk – because they're similar in comfort and features, there's no clear ergonomic or affordable winner. If you're a gamer interested in streaming or taking advantage of built-in audio features, you might want to choose a flashy, racer-style gaming chair with built-in speakers or bluetooth compatibility. If you're a professional who participates in video calls or hosts clients from home, a flashy gaming chair might not be the most business-appropriate choice. Whether you work hard, play hard, or both, filter your chair search by the features you want most to find the perfect chair for you.