Buying a cheap gaming chair might seem like a good way to save on your home setup. After all, the best gaming chairs can cost nigh-on $400 for the privilege of somewhere to rest your butt. And with the looming spectre of Amazon Prime Day deals and Black Friday deals likely to offer discounts on a host of PC gaming goodies, you can be sure there will be some cheap gaming chairs on offer.

But what do you need to look out for when picking up a budget gaming seat, where can you make compromises, and what do you absolutely need to avoid? 

Considering that you’re likely to be sitting on your gaming throne for many hours it’s worth making sure that it’s something that will be supporting you throughout that time. Though if you go for one of the best gaming desks then at least half the time you could be standing…

What makes a good, cheap gaming chair?

It’s all about support. Ergonomics can be one of the first things to go out of the window when you go for a cheap gaming chair over a more expensive option, and that means you might miss out on decent padding, adjustable armrests, neck support, and extra lumbar support cushions. 

You may also find that cheap gaming chairs come in mid-height variants too, shaving dollar off the sticker price by, well, giving you less chair. Ideally you want a full-height backrest that will support the spine throughout a gaming session.

You don’t want to have an ultra-soft seat either, you want something with a little firmness to actually cradle your behind. It is going to give over time, after all. We found the Noblechairs Doom gaming chair to be a little too firm to begin with, but that’s going to age a lot better than something that’s made from cheap packing foam and will have you sitting on a bare metal frame in a matter of months.

The best cheap gaming chairs

When you’re spending under $200 on a gaming chair you’re not going to get the refined throne that companies such as Secretlab and Noblechairs can offer, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo any and all luxuries for your derriere. 

There are still sub-$200 gaming chairs that come with adjustable armrests, neck pillows, and adjustable lumbar support. And feel comfortable enough that you’ll be happily gaming for hours without definite DVT.

GTRacing Gaming Chair – $159.98 at Amazon
Adjustable armrest | Neck pillow | Lumbar support

The GTRacing chairs look the part, but also come with many of the features of gaming chairs which cost twice the price. Its comfortable and adjustable, and will definitely do the job.View Deal

Devoko Gaming Chair – $119.98 at Amazon
Adjustable armrest | Neck pillow | Lumbar support

The Devoko chair has a more padded seat, but also doesn’t come in so tightly at the sides, as some racing-style chairs are wont to do. And you still get the adjustable extras too.View Deal

 Should I buy a cheap gaming chair? 

If you’re after the racing aesthetic then a cheap gaming chair will absolutely deliver that, but it’s also about what’s underneath that faux leather exterior. Going too cheap will mean you get a frame that can’t stand the enthusiastic exertions of a heated gaming session, or a seat with padding that either offers no support or melts away within months.

Alternatively, if you’re not desperate for the streamer look, then you can find decent office chairs, with far more ergonomic designs, for less than the sticker price of a serious bucket seat. 

But there are cheap gaming chairs out there that won’t kill your spine, just make sure you don’t make too much of a sacrifice on the ergonomics of your seat.

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