October 24, 2020
The best gaming chair to seat yourself in for 2020

The best gaming chair to seat yourself in for 2020


If you’ve secretly always wanted a great gaming chair to round out your gaming setup, but you were never quite sure where to start, this roundup of the most compelling options should eliminate the guesswork on your hunt. The best gaming chair for your needs should be both a comfortable and ergonomic chair, and that’s not always easy to figure out when you’re looking online.

One challenge is that many console gaming chairs look the same and offer a dizzying array of features: faux leather, mesh, breathable mesh, lumbar support pillow, adjustable backrest, padded armrest, tilt mechanism, gaming recliner, footrest, bucket seat, rocker and more. And a chair is something you need first-hand (well, maybe not hand…) experience to judge.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The chairs tested here (and most of the ones we researched) share a lot of similarities: adjustable spider bases and 3D/4D armrests that move forward, backward, up and down, and rotate inward and out. Other similarities include caster wheels and seat padding for extra comfort and ergonomic gaming. All of them would be suitable as an office chair as well. Beyond that, in your search for the best gaming chair, having a lumbar support and a good backrest are essential — you should look for a video game chair that’s sturdy, suits your size and has the lumbar support you need.

Joseph Kaminski

With the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 game releasing this fall, Secretlab teamed up with CD Projekt Red, the developer of The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, to create this beautiful $489 limited edition chair. This special edition design will be available for both the company’s Titan and Omega chair series. 

The Titan is the larger of the two, making it more comfortable for larger and taller gamers with its full-length backrest. Its wide seat base doesn’t feel restrictive and allows for more freedom to move about, something I do a lot. The leather seat has an internal lumbar support and memory foam pillow with a cooling gel for the headrest.  

The attention to detail and construction is top-notch, right down to the embroidered logo — so much detail without compromising on comfort. Just like past Titan chairs, this one is comfortable and still sporting the 4D armrests (up, down, forward, back, twist in and out as well as sliding in and out). The 10.6-inch armrests feel spacious and supportive.  I find myself constantly fidgeting in my seat but no matter how I lean, stretch or slouch, the chair is solid under me. 

The chair is designed for gamers 5 feet, 9 inches, to 6 feet, 7 inches tall and supports up to 290 pounds. The Titan ships with all the necessary tools to put it together and building it was simple, taking about 15 minutes, so it wasn’t long before I was gaming in pure comfort. Check out some of the other Secretlab Titan special editions and collaborations.

Joseph Kaminski

The $929 X-Chair X3’s design might not look like a gaming chair but it doesn’t compromise on any of the features you’d expect from one. The X3 doesn’t require any pillows, yet still offers all the support of the others here. The dedicated headrest and lumbar support can be independently adjusted and remain so until moved — no need for fidgeting with pillows every time you sit down. The backrest of the chair can be raised and lowered for that perfect level of comfort. 

One of the X-Chair’s special features is its DVL, Dynamic Variable Lumbar, which moves as you do to give you the same amount of support all the time. The headrest can be raised and lowered as well as tilted for better head and neck support. It also has 4D armrests as well as the ability to raise, lower and tilt the chair. 

Where it goes beyond the traditional chair are its tabs to slide the foam seat base forward and back and another tab to lock or allow the chair to rock. The mesh backrest is a much-welcomed feature compared to the typical gaming chair that allows for better airflow. If your back is to the window or fan you can still feel a breeze.  

The model I tested came with standard wheels and clear X-wheel Active X premium wheels that are like inline-skate wheels that glide across the floor quietly without damaging it or marking it up. There’s an option to add locking wheels to the chair, too. 

The X3 is covered in the company’s advanced tensile recovery or ATR material. It’s a multilayered nylon that it claims is both responsive and supportive in addition to water-, spill- and stain-resistant. Visually the chair is stunning from its breathable, curvy backrest to its sleek skeletal frame to its solid base and wheel options.  

The standard X3 can support people up to 350 pounds and up to 6 feet, 3 inches tall but X-Chair also offers a larger cylinder for taller people. 

Joseph Kaminski

The Secretlab Omega is a gamer’s all-day, dream chair, with two memory foam pillows — one for lumbar support, the other for the headrest. Matched with a full-length backrest and a seat cushion that rises on its sides, gamers sit snug in place. 

The model I tested was covered in polyurethane-coated leather but the chair also comes in the company’s SoftWeave fabric and napa leather. If you’re trying to choose between the Omega and Titan, I’d give a slight edge to the Omega in terms of the seat cushion comfort level. That said, this added comfort comes with a narrower seat base. The Omega was designed for gamers up to 5 feet, 11 inches tall and up to 240 pounds. However, I’m 6 feet tall and found the chair easy to sit in all day.

Just like its Titan sibling, the Omega has all the bells and whistles including the Secretlab’s 4D armrests, solid base and tilt radius. Setup time was also about 15 minutes and tools are also included.

The Omega also comes in a Cyberpunk 2077 edition as well as a few other pop culture favorites. Check out some of the other Secretlab Omega special editions and collaborations.

The Maingear Forma is functional, flexible and sturdy, and a solid middle-of-the-road choice if you’re looking for a good gaming chair with comfortable foam cushion pillow. You can swivel 360 degrees and lean back nearly 180 degrees in it and not tip over, key for the best gaming experience. With a weight limit of 330 pounds, it’s also the gaming chair most suited for, let’s say, “big and tall” inactive gamer types. Its ergonomic design and padding support a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds. The chair includes a nice memory foam head pillow (to support the neck) and lumbar pillow backrest. In terms of maximum comfort, it came in second place in this roundup after the high-end Secretlab chair. The Forma is covered in faux leather over a steel frame with an aluminum alloy base, so it would work well as an ergonomic office chair too. The casters are ultra-quiet, and this quality gaming chair has an adjustable seat height, from 14.2 to 18.1 inches.

At least DXRacer was up front in stating this racing style gaming chair is for people under 6 feet, with a weight capacity of 225 pounds or less. It’s not a suitable seat for big and tall users. Still, I was able to get my 6-foot, 225-plus-pound frame in it reasonably well. This sturdy swivel chair is covered in a polyurethane faux leather over a metal frame, with a tilt radius of 135 degrees and adjustable armrests. The high-back quality chair itself weighs approximately 55 pounds and comes with both an adjustable foam headrest pillow and a lumbar support cushion backrest pillow. The best gaming chair for the consummate color coordinator, the Valkyrie racing chair comes in black with four different highlight color options: green, blue, red and yellow.

DXRacer Drifting Series has a weight capacity of 220 pounds or less, so it’s not the best gaming chair for anyone who has a big and tall frame and needs a bit of extra room in their seat. It is a comfortable gaming chair, though. It is ergonomically designed with a height-adjustable lumbar support cushion and a headrest pillow and can be tilted back to 135 degrees, making comfortable reclining easy, even if you’re sitting for a long time. Despite the weight limitations, we liked that it took up a little less room and, with its casters, could easily be used as an ergonomic office chair.

We asked our sample sitters which they thought was the best gaming chair overall, and they almost unanimously agreed that the best gaming chair was the Secretlab Titan 2020 Series. This ergonomic gaming chair has a large backrest with a wide lumbar pillow cushion, and it supports people who are up to 6 feet, 7 inches and weigh 290 pounds. It also has style. This gaming recliner isn’t just a place to sit, it lets you lie almost fully back and the high-density foam head pillow is generously sized for a top-notch gaming experience. The internal lumbar cushion is adjustable, as are the armrests. In fact, each adjustable armrest can swivel backward and forward, rotate in and out, up and down and slide wider and narrower for extra comfort.

Secretlab has special edition models available, ranging from Batman to Game of Thrones themes (maybe not what you would want for an office chair, but who’s judging?).

More for gamers from CNET

Originally published in fall 2019 and updated frequently.



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