Usually when we build a new gaming PC, the last thing on our list is a gaming chair. It isn’t considered as big a factor in shaping your gaming experience, and more emphasis is placed on core PC components such as the graphics card and CPU. While it is true that a gaming chair will not improve the fps or make you a highly skilled player, it does ensure that your body stays relaxed and in a good position while you’re mind is immersed in the virtual world. So you may be wondering now, whether a gaming chair is all that different from regular office chairs or desk chairs? Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you may think. When we say “gaming chair” most people automatically think of racing seat type chairs such as the ones you will find on Twitch streams and professional gaming tournaments.
While these racing style chairs look really cool with their sporty design and bright colors, not all of them are designed to offer a truly comfortable platform for your body to sit in. Racing car seats have bucket shapes for your body to sink into, and are equipped with bolsters on the side to prevent you from sliding around while driving. While playing games on your computer, your brain and fingers are working hard but your body isn’t moving anywhere which is why some of the racing style gaming chairs aren’t the best for relaxing. This is especially frustrating because it’s often not possible for you to physically sit in and test the chairs before buying, as most gaming chair models are sold exclusively online.
But, thankfully, there are a few brands which ARE designed with ergonomics first and looks second, and we are here to help you find them!
Without further ado, here are our contenders for best gaming chair under 100 dollars.
It looks very similar to the premium gaming chairs sold by DXRACER or Vertagear. However, don’t expect it to have all the features of a premium gaming chair since it costs nearly a third as much. But for such an affordable price, this Homall chair is equipped with some impressive features that make it a brilliant addition to any gaming setup.
It shares the same frame and materials as the Homall, which leads us to believe that both of these chairs were manufactured by the same company but are being sold under different brand names. Nevertheless, this Vitesse chair has a couple of tweaks and styling changes sprinkled around the body which give it a more aggressive and sporty look compared to its Homall rival.
The ModernLuxe ergonomic chair may look similar to the Homall and Vitesse models, but is based on a different platform. It uses better armrests and has a larger seat which means that this chair can accommodate bigger people. We also like the seat design of this chair more compared to the Homall and Vitesse models.
PU leather chairs can sometimes get a little too hot, especially during the summer. That is because they don’t breathe very well, a problem you won’t face while using mesh chairs like this one. Not only does the mesh support better airflow to keep you cooler during intense gaming sessions, but it is also more comfortable and supportive than you would expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do many of the budget gaming chairs look similar?
When you buy a gaming chair from a famous brand like DXRACER or NEEDforSEAT, they provide you with various options in terms of chair size, feature set, color schemes, etc. You can check the manufacturer’s site for the chair specifications, and they usually have separate product lineups for people of different sizes– small, medium, and large. Budget gaming chairs however, are a completely different story – when you pay less than 100 dollars for a gaming chair, don’t expect it to be made with the highest quality materials. On top of that, you don’t have a lot of options when it comes to size, since most budget gaming chairs are basically rebranded versions of the same common design from a single manufacturer. That is why a lot of them look alike, and share the same underlying frame and upholstery even though they are from different brands. So pick your chair carefully, look at the various adjustments it supports and consider your weight as well as height before purchasing a chair. Remember- it is not the looks that matter, but the ergonomics and comfort. Once you sit in the chair, your eyes will be planted on the screen but your body will develop serious problems in the future if you sit cramped or don’t have adequate support around the lower back.
What features to look for in a gaming chair?
First of all, you need to check the various adjustments it offers. A good gaming chair will allow you to change the seat height, angle of the back, and armrest height. More premium gaming chairs have tilt adjustment, sliding seat pans, 4- way adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and backs that can fold 180° so you can use the chair like a recliner. A 4- way adjustable armrest is extremely useful, since you can not only change the height but also move it forward and backward depending on how close or far away you are sitting from the computer desk. Some chairs have tilting armrests which offer even more flexibility.
Lumbar support on gaming chairs isn’t the best, and many of them don’t really try to come up with something new or innovative. The majority of gaming chairs provide pillows for your neck and lower back that attach to the chair with straps. This design has two major flaws- first of all, the pillow size is fixed and some people might find them too large while others may not find the support from these pillows adequate. Secondly, the pillows tend to move around as you periodically change posture while using the computer. They start out in a certain position, say at your lower back, and then gradually creep down until they are right against your butt and your back feels unsupported. The straps are a flimsy way of securing the pillows to the chair, and another problem with pillows is that they have a fixed thickness and cushion type- some people find them too soft, others find them too hard. There are some advanced gaming chairs like the Secret Lab TITAN series which has lumbar support built into the back of the chair, and it can be adjusted by turning a knob. If you are willing to obtain the ultimate in ergonomics and lumbar support, get ready to spend extravagant amounts of money on office chairs from Herman Miller or Steelcase. A very famous model from Herman Miller is the Aeron, and Steelcase has the Leap ergonomic chair.
Will a gaming chair improve my skills?
No, a chair doesn’t automatically make you a better gamer. Just like wearing a pair of Air Jordan shoes doesn’t make someone a better basketball player. But it will help you improve because your body is relaxed, and as a result your mind is more focused on the game. And even more importantly, it saves you a bunch of money that you would otherwise spend on medical bills in the future, by sitting in an unnatural posture for several hours a day. Gaming chairs and ergonomic chairs have excellent back support and prevent your lower back as well as neck from getting strained too much during a gaming session. The adjustable armrests on a gaming chair ensure that your elbows and wrists aren’t placed at an angle against the desk, so you have a lower chance of developing problems such as carpal tunnel or back pain. In short, a gaming chair protects your neck and back which means you spend more time gaming, and feel super comfortable. You perform at your best when feeling relaxed, so while a gaming chair doesn’t raise your skill ceiling it does make you a more consistent player.
What is the correct sitting position while using a computer?
First you need to adjust the height of your gaming chair so that your eyes are on the same level as the top 1/3rd section of the monitor. You don’t want the chair to be too low or high with respect to the monitor, because then you will be looking up or down which will strain your neck after a few hours of gaming. Secondly, the height of the chair should be such that your arms don’t have to reach upwards for the keyboard and mouse. The ideal position is when your elbows and wrists are on the same plane, flat against the table. This will ensure that there isn’t too much weight on the wrist, since the wrist contains a lot of delicate nerves and blood vessels. Sit close enough to the keyboard and mouse, such that you are able to reach them comfortably without having to stretch your arms too far away from the chest. By keeping the keyboard and mouse close to you, you reduce stress on the neck and shoulder muscles, and feel more relaxed. If needed, move the monitor a little farther back so that it isn’t too close to your face. If your feet are lifting off the ground, try getting some kind of footrest so that you don’t have to compromise your sitting posture because your feet aren’t reaching the ground. Check out this video and this web page for more info on how to sit correctly in front of a computer.
How does poor posture affect my health?
There are a ton of issues caused by poor sitting positions, even among young adults in their early 20’s. Decreased blood circulation, numbness around the upper back area, back pains, increased mental stress- all these issues can be traced back to poor posture. When you sit stationary in one spot for several hours a day, the body’s weight is focused around a specific part of your body and blood circulation is impeded. You need to get up every hour or so and take a walk around the house for a couple minutes before you get ready for the next match. Go refill your glass with some water, move outside to breath in fresh air, or just do a few stretching exercises to rejuvenate the mind and pump up the blood flow around your joints. This site lists some of the many physical and mental health issues related to poor sitting positions.
Which One Should You Buy?
This is a tough one, because 3 out of the 4 chairs we reviewed are very similar in terms of load rating, frame design, and materials used. These three chairs are equipped with the same flawed lumbar support system that uses pillows for the neck and lower back that are held to the chair with straps. However even the mesh back LCH ergonomic chair has its flaws even though we really like the fact that it has an adjustable headrest and built-in lumbar support. The LCH ergonomic chair has the worst armrest of the three, which is odd when you consider that this is the only chair in our list with padded mesh cushioning on the armrests, the others use plastic armrests with zero cushioning.
The problem with the LCH ergonomic chair is that its armrests are not height adjustable. That, coupled with the small tilt range and lower weight capacity means it is not the best gaming chair on our list. The Homall and Vitesse are almost identical in terms of specs, but the Vitesse has a lower seating position and less seat area making it less suitable for larger people. Which means we are left with two contenders- the Homall and the ModernLuxe. The ModernLuxe has a very similar lumbar support and backrest design, but it suffers from a slightly smaller tilt range- 150° vs 180° which means you cannot go all the way down into a sleeping position with the ModernLuxe. However, the ModernLuxe also has the largest seat of them all at 21 x 22 inches, compared to the second largest which is the Homall at 19.8” x 20.5”.
After considering all specifications and design choices, we declare the Homall gaming chair as our winner. Not only does it have a taller maximum seating position and a comfortably large seat size (second only to the ModernLuxe), but the Homall can recline its back all the way down to 180° which is really cool. You can’t do that on the ModernLuxe. While both chairs have a rocker function, we found that it is easier to operate on the Homall. Finally, the Homall is better value for money because it is slightly cheaper compared to the ModernLuxe.