Ergonomic office chair compared to gaming chair
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Ergonomic office chair compared to gaming chair

Ergonomic office chair compared to gaming chair 


Ergonomic office chair compared to gaming chair : Which is the best? 

Gaming chairs are something that has been going wildly popular with the rise of e-sports, to the point where almost everyone has at least heard or seen a gaming chair before. They come in many shapes and sizes, usually with a branded or slick design. 

We actually get many questions, comparing the two. “What are the differences between a gaming chair and an ergonomic one?”, especially parents of teenagers. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a chair in general, so this blog post will hopefully guide you in making the right purchase decision. 

Gaming Chairs vs. Office Chairs

    1. Pricing

    Noticeably, the office chairs are sometimes seen as boring and less striking than the red, black, or logos stitched on the back of the gaming chair. However, they are designed with providing last support, durability, good ergonomics (it’s in the name), and adjustability, with aesthetics not being a high priority generally speaking. 

    With most gaming chairs, you’ll notice a few things immediately. Wider colour/design options, usually with a lumbar pillow attachment of some kind, and a race-car like seating, also known as a bucket seat. 

    While these chairs have different purposes and functionalities, the price varies quite a bit between the two. A RM2000 gaming chair is on the high end, while a RM2000 ergonomic chair is more mid range. However, even with a mid range ergonomic chair, you’ll generally find a better warranty, adjustment, and functionality as compared to a high end gaming chair. 

    2. Design differences

    Secretlab vs Krede K10

    The gaming chair is quite similar to a car seat (Gaming chairs originated from a luxury car seat manufacturer called DXRacer) with its bucket seat type design. It’s got a little edge that hugs your body, just like a car seat would. A ergonomic office chair would have more freedom for you to move around and stretch, so it would depend on your personal preference when it comes to how you like sitting down for long periods of time.

    The main downside to the bucket seat design is the inability to move the side wings. You won't be able to cross your legs while sitting in a gaming chair, unless you sit right on the edge without touching the back rest. Could also be an issue if you aren’t a small person. A standard ergonomic chair in comparison has a much wider range of seating positions available to you. 

    3. Overall Look

    Gaming chair design

    The Secretlab Game of Thrones lineup. 


    There is no denying that a gaming chair can look very sleek, with its very personalizable and many customization options for colour, for stitching, and for the frames too. They really can show off one’s personal look and feel in a room. Style is a important consideration when trying to fit it in a room, something you don’t find quite often with ergonomic office chairs (or office chairs in general).

    Stylish ergonomic chair Krede K10
    The modern Korean ergonomic style


    Though thankfully, with the arrival of the gaming chair, ergonomic office chairs too have been focusing on the design aspect without sacrificing the ergonomic abilities of the chair, such as the Krede K10. Though you’ll likely still get more customizable options with a gaming chair. 

    4. The Malaysian Factor

    Ruined Secretlab chair

    Rather than being a commentary for just gaming chairs, this is a general commentary for all chairs using PU or PVC leather (though a lot of gaming chairs are using faux leather). Faux Leather does not stretch, breathe or wear like leather, does not develop patina over time, having a shorter lifespan than real leather. Look at the image above, it was from a real review from their Google My Business store. You’ll find many discussions on places like Lowyat on how to fix cracks that show up. And most importantly, all that leather (faux or real) will cause your book to feel really warm. You can see stains on the back of people playing at cyber cafes in their gaming chairs. 


    Ergonomic office chairs are usually upholstered with fabric, or have a mesh seating. In general quality mesh will be more expensive, though it’ll be nice and airy. Most ergonomic chairs have netted fabric covers, allowing your legs to still breath comfortably as well, so you won’t sweat as much. But the backrest is usually something that is designed to be breathable, especially in the Malaysian environment. But there are plenty of cheaply made ergonomic chairs as well, so do be careful. You can refer to our buyers guide for ergonomic chairs here! 


    5. Ergonomic Adjustments

    Truly Chair features
    It can be difficult to know what you need, and what isn't important. Truly chair features.

    While it’s easy to point out the differences in levels and points of adjustability (neckrest, recline, height, armrest, etc), even the mechanism of adjustability between the chairs will vary greatly. Most gaming chairs feature a swivel-tilt or knee-tilt mechanism, which are typically cheaper recline mechanisms that won’t provide the most ergonomic positions, people generally need a wider ‘sloping’ position for maximum comfort. Chairs like the Krede K10 have a synchro tilt mechanism that will allow you to sit very comfortably and ergonomically for the same price.

    Other major adjustability considerations are: 

    • Seat depth adjustment
    • Neck Rest adjustment
    • Armrest adjustment
    • Lumbar adjustment

    You’ll find that most gaming chairs are unable to adjust for the neck, lumbar adjustment, and limited armrest adjustments. Make sure you check the spec sheet carefully, or else you might be going home with a chair with a key feature missing.


    6. Lumbar Support

    Comparison of lumbar support between gaming chair and ergonomic chair
    Notice the difference in lumbar support; the gaming chair is unable to contour towards the lumbar, while the ergonomic chair is special built to do so.


    Much like the car seats, gaming chairs almost all have an add on for a lumbar pillow as support for your back, usually sold for an extra cost. Which is a bit strange if your primary reason for getting a better chair is so you won’t hurt your back. Lumbar pillows are also prone to compression, are generally not a great fit against your spine, and generate even more heat for the back. This is the biggest negative when choosing a gaming chair instead of an ergonomic chair. 


    While ergonomic chairs such as the Duorest come with more advanced duo-piece-movable-backrest pieces, something more traditional like the Truly chair offers great comfort and contours towards your natural spine shape, rather than introducing a non-built-in-support. 


    Final Thoughts

    Gaming chairs were actually decently ergonomical for its time, when the only ergonomic office chair was a highly expensive Herman Miller Aeron. The ergonomic chair market was still rather young, and gaming chairs provided comfort better than plastic chairs or wooden chairs. However, as ergonomic chairs keep improving and lowering its prices, gaming chairs have gone in a direction of mainly aesthetics, bringing in custom colours, stitchings, and sponsoring many e-sports teams. Opponents have called them out for being overpriced for its aesthetics, but there is no denying the cool factor of a Games of Thrones logo on a chair. However, if you’re looking for a serious long term solution towards working at a desk, an ergonomic office chair is the way to go.

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