1. Secretlab Titan Evo (2022) – Best overall
Refined, comfortable design
Superb built-in lumbar support
The Secretlab Titan Evo (2022) is the combination of Secretlab’s previous Titan and Omega lines, bringing the best design elements from the two together in one neat package, sprinkled with new design elements not seen on any other gaming chair.
The Secretlab Titan Evo forgoes the traditional bucket seat design employed by many gaming chairs, with a new pebble seat design with a smoother incline than previous Secretlab models that helps guide your body to the middle of the chair for maximum support.
It’s clad in either Neo Hybrid faux leather or SoftWeave fabric, depending on your style, with various colour options available for both materials. The seat itself is available in XS, R and XL to suit just about every body type too.
Beneath the material you’ll find Secretlab’s signature cold-cure memory foam, arguably some of the best you’ll find in a gaming chair. It’s supportive without being too firm, slowly moulding to the shape of your body as you sit, with no noticeably thin areas anywhere on the chair.
It offers height adjustment, 85-165 degree recline, rocking and 4D adjustable armrests with metal buttons that add to the premium feel of the chair.
Those 4D armrest cushions, along with the soft memory foam head pillow and other elements of the chair, are armed with magnets – a first in the gaming chair industry. This makes setup easier, with fewer small screws to fiddle with, and allows you to swap out the armrest cushioning when the first signs of wear and tear appear.
Plus, it’s cool to have a floating head pillow in place of a strap-held pillow.
The integrated adjustable lumbar support is back, so no need for those annoying lumbar pillows. The mechanism is built directly into the backrest of the chair, and a simple turn of the knob on the side of the chair provides granular control over the level of support you feel.
While the feature has appeared in alternatives like the Dualhawk Ultra, Secretlab’s latest chair offers a second dial that also lets you adjust the height of the lumbar support, offering an even more comfortable, supportive experience.
In fact, the only real downside to the Secretlab Titan Evo (2022) is its price, coming in at around £77/$150 more expensive than the previous Titan. It’s still worth the money, but it’ll likely push some towards cheaper options in our chart.
Read our full
Secretlab Titan Evo (2022) review
2. Edge GX1 – Best design
Gravity-driven tilt mechanism
Adjustments can be confusing
The UK-manufactured Edge GX1 is a unique entry in our chart; rather than sporting the racing chair-esque design of most other gaming chairs, the GX1 offers a bespoke design with parts not found on any other product on the market.
The Edge GX1 was designed with comfort in mind, and with comfort comes customisation. As well as offering standard seat adjustments like 4D armrests and adjustable seat height, the GX1 offers the ability to adjust the seat depth by up to 65mm and independently adjust the backrest height with a simple lift. This is combined with a memory foam-moulded seat base designed to relieve pressure on the tailbone to provide the highest level of comfort possible.
There’s also a unique asynchronous gravity-driven tilt mechanism that allows gamers to frequently change position without the need to use controls. You can go from leaning back to sitting forward in a single motion while still feeling supported – and it’s a gamechanger for those that work and play on a single PC. You’ll also find an inflatable lumbar support built into the backrest, pumped via a handpump tucked into the base of the bottom of the chair.
Even the material is unique; the GX1 is covered in a material made from a combination of polyurethane, polyester and cotton. As well as being soft to the touch, the material stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and the high breathability of the material means you can wave goodbye to sticky backs during intense gaming sessions.
In terms of comfort and support, the Edge GX1 is unbeaten, but it’s not the perfect gaming chair – not yet, anyway. The various levers you use to adjust the seat are missing labels, making the process of adjusting the chair a confusing and tiresome process – especially with a setup so radically different to others in our chart.
The process could be much improved with the inclusion of a handful of removable stickers for new users, and we hope it’s something the company considers in future. The company does offer a fairly detailed online manual if you do get stuck, but we’d still prefer something we could immediately glance at.
3. noblechairs Epic Black Edition – Best vegan leather chair
Harness holes for sim rigs
Great air flow
Thick lumbar pillow
Firmer than other chairs
noblechairs has a new material for its range of gaming chairs. Available for the Black Edition of the Icon, Hero and – reviewed right here – Epic, the leather-like hybrid material offers the advantages of both PVC and PU, without requiring the sacrifice of any cows and so is 100% vegan.
Yet it looks and feels (but does not smell) like napa leather and thanks to micro-pores, it has great air and water permeability which means you don’t feel hot or sweaty after long gaming sessions.
Underneath the black covers is cold foam which noticeably firmer than on most chairs, and some might find it a little hard. However, it is very durable and does ‘wear in’ like a pair of shoes.
The Epic is, like the Secretlab Titan, a large chair that’s best suited to taller gamers. The seat base is wide and accommodating, while the gas strut raises the chair nice and high. At its minimum setting, it’s around 50cm from the floor, meaning you may want to use a foot rest if you’re shorter than around 5ft7.
In addition to height adjustment, the Epic also tilts back up to 140 degrees and has a lever to lock it in position. The Black Edition’s new 4D armrests have metal buttons and softer padding (though still firm). They’re more customisable than most with height, sideways and forward-backwards adjustments. They also swivel in and out.
Where cheaper chairs use plastic, the Epic has a metal base and quiet 60mm castors.
Unfortunately, lumbar support is provided by a pillow which is likely too thick to be much use: we prefer the in-built, automotive-style adjustment in the Hero chair (and in Secretlab’s Titan Evo).
If you’re looking for a gaming chair for a sim rig, this is a great option, and there are harness holes if you want to go that extra step and actually strap yourself in.
4. AndaSeat Fnatic Edition – Best for larger gamers
Bright Fnatic branding for fans
Oversized XL design
Relies on cushions for support
AndaSeat may not have the brand recognition of Secretlab and noblechairs in the gaming space, but it does have pedigree making racing seats for the likes of BMW and Mercedes.
The AndaSeat Fnatic Edition is a premium gaming chair that boasts PVC leather, high-density moulding foam for the body, and enough tilt and armrest adjustability to finetune the whole experience to suit however you sit.
Orange accents run along the side of the chair, along with the adjustment levers below the seat. There are AndaSeat logos on either side of the headrest, and a small Fnatic logo right in the bucket. The biggest Fnatic logo is on the rear of the chair, but is actually simply stitched in black for a refreshingly subtle touch.
It is over-sized though. This is what AndaSeat calls an XL chair, and it’s a real chonker. It’s good for anyone up to 6’10”, and weights up to 440lbs/220kg, so my 5’10”, 80kg self felt a little under-sized by comparison, but it’s down to personal taste more than anything.
The body of the chair is coated in PVC leather, which looks and feels comfortable and premium, as well as being easy to wipe clean – though a solid black leather chair can get exactly as hot as you’d expect it to.
Underneath that leather is 65kg/m3 cold-cured foam over a steel frame. That’s fairly high density, meaning the chair feels sturdy and rigid. That might not sound super comfortable, but essentially is strikes the balance between just enough give to let you sink into it a bit, and enough rigidity to support your back and body.
Overall, the AndaSeat Fnatic Edition is a premium gaming chair that’s well built, sturdy, and attractive – so long as you’re a fan of the Fnatic branding.
It’s not the best value gaming chair out there, but it isn’t trying to be. Just remember that it’s only available in XL, which is both a blessing and a curse – short kings and queens will be better off elsewhere.
Read our full
AndaSeat Fnatic Edition review
5. Duelhawk Ultra – A firm, premium gaming chair
Excellent lumbar support
Firm but comfortable
Unavailable in the US
British firm Dualhawk is the latest player to enter the gaming chair market, and it has come out swinging with the high-end Dualhawk Ultra – a direct competitor to premium chairs from the likes of Secretlab and Noblechairs.
Available in three finishes – black PU leather, or fabric in either light or dark grey – the design is understated. Yes, it still sports the typical bucket chair seat design, but the minimalist blue accents aren’t too in-your-face compared to bright chairs like the Nitro Concepts S300.
The dense, firm foam found beneath the material isn’t quite as mouldable as some memory foam alternatives, and you won’t quite sink into the chair over time, but that’s actually better for back support.
The chair is designed to be a one-size-fits-all affair, with the Ultra able to support anyone from 5’3″ to 6’3″ and up to 135kg – though larger kings and queens should probably look at the AndaSeat Fnatic Edition featured above.
Customisability is another strength, offering a wide 85-175 degree tilt, adjustable height, and the “best armrests in the game”. The 4D armrests might not be the best around, but they’re smooth, subtly contoured and wide enough to comfortably rest on.
As with the Secretlab Titan Evo, lumbar support is a particularly strong point with the Nighthawk Ultra. It too has ditched the traditional back pillow for a more intricate built-in lumbar support system, with a crank on the side to adjust the level of support.
It is quite pricy, coming in at a more premium price point than the Secretlab Titan Evo without the more advanced lumbar support and magnetic connectivity, but it’s still a great quality high-end gaming chair.
Read our full
Duelhawk Ultra review
6. AndaSeat Dark Demon – A great muted design
Suits a range of body types
If the AndaSeat Fnatic Edition is a bit too big and loud for your tastes, the company’s Dark Demon is probably the better option for you. Available in either black and red or all-black (which we tested), the Dark Demon is a bucket gaming chair that could pass in an office environment.
Sporting a bucket seat design with a thick lower cushion and wing support on either side, AndaSeat is utilising its car seat experience with the Dark Demon. Coming in at size L, rather than the XL of the Fnatic Edition, the Dark Demon is slightly smaller – but still large – and is recommended for those up to 6ft6in and up to 170kg.
When it comes to materials, the chair is clad in durable synthetic PVC leather, with a layer of memory foam to keep you comfortable. Although the plastic fittings do let the overall build down, there’s a reassuring steel framework and a five-legged aluminium base to keep you sturdy during your gaming sessions.
As you’d expect from a gaming chair, the Dark Demon is customisable, not only in terms of its seat recline, but height adjustment, 4D armrests and lumbar support (in the form of pillows), but one area where it’s not quite up to scratch is in the tilt department; when in an upright position, it’s almost impossible to rock. It’s only when you recline – nearly to a horizontal level – that the tilt becomes more noticeable.
The Dark Demon has three things going for it: the muted design, the price, compared to most gaming chairs in our chart, and its ability to cater for larger gamers – although not quite to the extent of the premium Fnatic Edition.
If those tick your boxes, you could be on to a winner with the Dark Demon.
Read our full
AndaSeat Dark Demon review
7. noblechairs Icon – Best for home office
A choice of materials
The difference between gaming and office chairs is often hard to discern, so if you’re after a quality chair you can use to work in your home office as well as some after-hours gaming, the Icon should appear.
It’s less ‘racing car bucket seat’, more executive office. The style is inspired by luxury sports car interiors, says noblechairs, and it’s certainly much more refined than others here. There’s less obvious branding which, along with the absence of unnecessary openings for a racing harness, makes it suitable for the more mature gamer.
To this end, the colour option (for the synthetic leather models) applies only to the stitching, and you can opt for black stitching if you prefer.
The 1.5mm PU fabric is thicker than you’ll find on most chairs, though the Icon is proportionally more expensive for it. The new TX fabric option is the same price, but again, oozes quality.
The Black Edition uses an even more premium synthetic leather – on a par with what you’ll actually find in luxury cars – and if price really is no object, the real leather models come in black and – for the cigar-smoking gamer – black and cognac.
The Icon’s internal steel frame is 2mm thick, whereas most rivals use 1-1.5mm. As with the Epic, the foam is cold cured and not recycled. The 55 percent density may feel initially hard, but this also means it retains its shape and doesn’t sag after months (and years) of use.
So if you want a comfortable chair for working as well as gaming, this is certainly one of the best we’ve seen yet.
Read our full
noblechairs Icon review
8. Nitro Concepts S300 – Best cheap fabric-covered chair
Fabric and leather options
3D armrests don't lock into place
Uncomfortable support pillows
Priced at £229.99, the Nitro Concepts S300 is the next step up from the C80. The first thing you’ll notice about the S300 is the material it’s made from; while many gaming chairs are made from leather (or pleather), the S300 features fabric upholstery.
It does, however also come in PU leather in a model called the
S300EX, which adds a mere £10 to the price.
The use of fabric gives the chair a different feel from other gaming chairs, and once you get over the fact that it attracts cat hair like a magnet, it provides a soft, comfortable seating experience. It’s available in seven colours, and the embroidery will even match the strips on the chair’s base. It’s the little details that make the S300 shine.
Beneath the fabric upholstery you’ll find moulded cold foam, which is softer, more breathable and should be much more durable than the foam scraps used in budget gaming chairs from the likes of Amazon.
The S300 offers 130mm of height adjustment along with 14 degrees of rocking, allowing you to rock gently in the chair using your body weight. It can also recline to 135 degrees, providing an easy way to have a quick nap during lengthy gaming sessions.
It features 3D armrests that, as the name suggests, allows them to be moved in three directions – up and down, forwards and backwards and inwards and outwards. While it allows you to find the perfect position for your setup, the arms don’t lock into place and will often slide forwards/backwards with a bit of pressure from leaning.
It comes with two ergonomic supporting cushions for the neck and lumbar regions, but we found the chair to be much more comfortable without the latter present.
Overall build quality is decent, although the arm rests do rattle a bit when knocked. Oh, and beware of the white colour option as, being fabric, it’ll get dirty fairly quickly.
Read our full
Nitro Concepts S300 review
9. ADX Race19 – Best budget gaming chair
Classic gaming chair aesthetic
Not suited to taller/larger gamers
Available exclusively at Currys PC World, the ADX Race19 chair aims to provide an authentic gaming experience without breaking the bank.
Perhaps understandable given the name, the design is very reminiscent of what you might find behind the wheel of a sports car. In particular, the patterned fabric and eye-catching orange trim really help it to stand out.
However, comfort is still very much a priority, with the PU leather and moulded foam design providing plenty of support. This was particularly noticeable when in the heat of battle on Destiny 2, and we can see it being effective across a wide range of titles.
While more expensive chairs might provide a slightly more luxurious experience, we had no problem using the ADX Race19 for extended periods of time.
However, while it can support users up to 130kg, height might be more of a restriction. Some of the taller members of our team found the back slightly too short for their frame. The detachable neck rest became more of an upper back support, but it is easy to excuse at this price point.
If you’re playing a more chilled out game or wanting to relax, the ADX Race19 also reclines about 90 degrees.
Much of the rest of the features are also available on high-end desk chairs, but that’s by no means a bad thing. These include adjustable levers for height and tilt, as well as the ability to rotate 360 degrees.
The chair is designed to work well with other ADX Gaming products, with the company providing an affordable way to get a complete gaming setup.
Nonetheless, this chair proves that upgrading your gaming experience doesn’t have to cost hundreds of pounds.
Gaming chair buying guide
In most respects, gaming chairs are no different to a regular desk swivel chair. They have height adjustment, castors for smooth movement across the floor and armrests. However, as with a lot of gaming hardware, gaming chairs are more stylish than your standard office chair and typically take inspiration from the bucket seats in racing cars.
What is and isn’t stylish is down to your personal taste, but what should you look for when buying a gaming chair?
Basic chairs tend to have only height adjustment, but it’s well worth going for a chair that has a reclining back and adjustable armrests, too.
Ergonomics are really important, so you need a chair that supports your spine properly and offers enough adjustment to fit your body, rather than forcing it into a bad posture.
It’s rare to find chairs that follow the ‘one size fits all’ philosophy, so it’s crucial to make sure the seat height adjustment range will suit you. If possible – and it probably isn’t – try to find a shop where you can actually sit in a chair before you buy.
Whether or not a chair is comfortable for you will depend on how well you fit in the chair. We’ve tested the chairs here with tall and short people, and both large and slim builds, but we can’t guarantee that you will find it comfy.
You won’t necessarily get a more ergonomic chair if you spend more, so good ergonomics don’t have to be expensive.
Some chairs come with removable cushions for lumbar (back support) or for a headrest. An ergonomic chair shouldn’t need these, but some people might find they’re needed for the best fit and comfort.
What you will get if you spend more is better quality materials and build. Although the price of some chairs may make you wince, a good-quality chair should last years, if not a decade or more.
At the entry level, the cheap foam may feel ok to start with (some manufacturers use recycled foam scraps), but it might lose its structure and therefore its support before long, while high-quality foam will retain its shape and also support heavier users. A chair’s specifications should always state the maximum weight it can handle.
Talking of materials, the most common is PU leather, also known as faux leather or vegan leather. Essentially, it’s plastic with a leather-like texture. It’s not a bad choice: it’s reasonably hard-wearing, easy to clean and not expensive. Real leather costs a lot, but should last considerably longer.
Some chairs use a suede-like material (or even real suede leather). This isn’t as easy to clean, but has a softer feel which some people will prefer.
Since gaming chairs have a gas strut for height adjustment, plus other moving parts, it’s feasible that something might fail. Obviously, a longer warranty is better, but always check what the warranty covers.
If you’re looking for something more traditional, check out our
roundup of office chairs.