14 Typical Problems With Gaming Chairs (Explained)

Are you considering purchasing a brand new gaming chair, but you’re not sure what kind of downsides it might have compared to a regular office chair? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Gaming chairs are sleek, stylish and are capable of taking your gaming experience to the next level. But, don’t get carried away by the marketing of the gaming chair manufacturers. 

Although gaming chairs have a lot of beneficial features, they might not be the best choice for you. There are some glaring issues with gaming chairs that you must consider before you spend your hard-earned cash to buy one. 

Full disclosure, this article is not about bashing on gaming chairs or about discouraging you from buying one. I just want to give you the full story about gaming chairs—the good, and also the bad. So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Top 14 Problems with Gaming Chairs

Gaming chairs are known for their style, glamor, and build quality. They have strikingly good looks, and they make you get in the mood of gaming when you sit down on them. 

However, the looks and glamor just aren’t enough for a lot of people. Think of it this way; if you’re putting too much effort into good looks, then you have to sacrifice some other aspects of the chair that might be critical to your sitting experience. 

Let’s have a look at some of the most common problems with gaming chairs:

1. Gaming Chairs Are Uncomfortable for Long-Time Use 

You should remember the fact that gaming chairs are just chairs. And just like any other chairs or any other product for that matter, your experience with it will entirely depend on the quality of the product. 

A gaming chair can be an effective solution if you’re planning on playing gaming for a few hours every day while sitting on it. It will keep your spine aligned while sitting and reduce stress on your body. Thus, you’ll have a high level of energy. 

But, using a gaming chair for many hours throughout the day as you do your work might not be the best idea. There is a good reason why virtually no office in the world is filled with stylish gaming chairs dawning their vibrant colors. 

First of all, gaming chairs don’t come with a multitude of adjustments and a high level of padding like the high-end office chairs. So, even if you feel relatively comfortable for some time, you’ll have an uncomfortable experience if you keep spending hours and hours on the chair. 

Furthermore, gaming chairs don’t feature any lumbar support that’s built into their backrest. More on that later. The lack of lumbar support and adjustments makes it hard for the user to stay comfortable throughout long hours of gaming/office work. 

2. Gaming Chairs are Oversized for Short People 

Although most manufacturers of gaming chairs market their products as being ergonomic for people of all sizes, that’s not actually the case. Typically, gaming chairs are made for people of average height (around 5”7’-5”9’)

Moreover, that might not be true for a lot of the popular gaming chair models. And unlike office chairs, gaming chairs don’t come in a wide range of sizes. Also, what’s considered to be an average size for a male user is most likely to be large for a female user. 

So, for a person who has a short/petite body frame (5”7’ for males and 5”3’ for females), the mainstream gaming chairs will be too large for them. 

And there is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in an oversized chair. It will make it hard for you to reach your desktop and peripherals. It will also prevent you from comfortably leaning back from time to time. 

Despite that, there are a few high-end gaming chair models that are ideal for both large and small individuals due to their ridged and contoured frames. A great example of such a chair would be the Secretlab Omega Gaming chair.

Recommended Article: 10 Best Gaming Chairs For Tall Person (6 – 7 ft): A Complete Guide

3. The Lumbar Pillows Are Not Good Enough for Posture 

One of the most common and widely discussed issues with gaming chairs is their lumbar configuration problems. Despite the fact that gaming chairs do have better lumbar support than some cheaper office chair models, they do leave a lot to be desired.  

Most gaming chairs come with lumbar support pillows that are placed vertically across the back of the chairs. The goal of these lumbar pillows is to keep your lower back, hips, and shoulders aligned with your natural curvature.  

But, most lumbar pillows that we’ve come across on gaming chairs are just too thick. You’ll find more reasonably sized lumbar pillows on office chairs. On the other hand, the lumbar pillow is adjustable on office chairs.

And that’s not all. A lumbar pillow can never provide enough support that’s not with a built-in lumbar support system. This could lead to back and shoulder pain and a myriad of other medical issues.  

Another issue with the lumbar pillows is that they are strapped to chairs, and those straps are not always reliable. That’s why the pillow often doesn’t stay in place, making your sitting experience even worse. 

Recommended Article: Why do Gaming Chairs Have Pillows?

4. They Have Limited Adjustable Features

You should always remember that gaming chairs are not built to be adjustable. Although they do have some adjustability like seat height adjustment, tilt adjustment, and 4D armrests, the adjustability of gaming chairs can’t hold a candle to the adjustability of some high-end office chairs. 

For instance, you might see that the gaming chair you’re buying has a tilt adjustment feature, but it might turn out that it’s only a basic tilt mechanism that doesn’t really come in handy. It might not even have tilt locks on multiple positions

Most gaming chairs feature armrests that can be adjusted vertically. Moreover, only a few gaming chair models with high price tag features fully-adjustable armrests. 

5. Pervasive Marketing Campaigns 

It’s likely that you’re considering purchasing a gaming chair because of all the hype surrounding these chairs. Gaming chairs are the perfect products for marketing. They are stylish, they look like race car chairs, and they are tailor-made for gamers. 

But it’s actually a good example of style over substance. If you’re not buying a chair for just the looks and not the ergonomics, comfort, and usability, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

Gaming chair manufacturers often cut corners in order to make them look better. You could buy a high-quality office chair such as the Herman Miller Aeron or the Steelcase Leap at the price range of a regular gaming chair.  

So, don’t fall for marketing and make the right decision based on thorough research. 

6. Don’t Come with Mesh Back Design 

It’s common in the gaming industry to build a gaming chair with PU leather or some sort of leather material following the trend of racing car seats.

As gaming chairs are totally influenced by racing car seats, most of the gaming chair provides leather material instead of Mesh Back or  Fabric Back design.

Mesh back design is very common in office chairs. Modern office chair offers mesh-back design because its comfortable, durable, easy to clean, and ensure optimum airflow between your back and chair.

As gaming chairs are meant to be used for a long gaming session, having a leather gaming chair with little to no breathability will make your gaming experience worse.

Mesh fabric is breathable and ensures optimum airflow. Only a handful of gaming chair offers mesh-back design.

Related Article: Are Mesh Chairs Good for Gaming?

7. Looks More or Less The Same

Although gaming chairs are cool and exciting to sit on, all the gaming chair looks more or less the same because of their bucket seat design.

Most gaming chair uses the same chair frame slightly different than one another, which end up looking similar.

Gaming chair typically uses leather material, multiple color combinations, stripes, and so on. Although they have different types of design due to the similar bucket seat design, they look similar.

8. Don’t Offer Adjustable Headrest

An adjustable Headrest is an essential feature for people who sits for a long time in a chair whether he is playing games or not. 

A highly adjustable headrest will allow you to customize it to your preference, making your sitting experience much more comfortable.

Gaming chair often offers a headrest pillow which is not as comfortable as having an adjustable headrest that you see on an office chair.

9. Upholstery Of Budget Gaming Chairs Are Not Durable

Budget gaming chairs cost between $100 – $150. Gaming chairs at this price range is very tempting because it looks like premium gaming chair.

But, if you use these budget gaming chairs for a few months, the upholstery of the chair starts to crack. Most of these gaming chairs provide low-quality PU leather to cut their manufacturing costs.

In the long run, budget gaming chairs don’t provide better durability in terms of upholstery.

So, if you are in the market to purchase a gaming chair, stretch out your budget a little bit and look for a better gaming chair that includes good quality materials.

10. Built-In Casters Are Usually Not Good

Like office chairs, most gaming chairs don’t come with good quality caster wheels. I have seen many gaming chairs that will give you an unsmooth rolling experience.

Also, most gaming chair wheels are not gentle on carpeted floors. If you use a gaming chair with typical built-in wheels, there is a high chance of damaging your beloved carpet.

If you want to know how you can protect your carpet from gaming chairs, read this article.

11. Assembly Difficulties

You might have heard that Herman Miller office chairs come preassembled. But most gaming chairs don’t.

So, you might feel like assembling a gaming chair is too much a hassle. If you don’t have any previous experience in chair assembly, it can be tough for you.

If you buy gaming chairs from unreputable brands, you might find that your gaming chair was shipped with some missing parts. It’s a very annoying thing. But it actually happens a lot.

I have also heard that some gaming chairs don’t come with assembly instructions. It can take hours to assemble such chairs.

Before you buy any gaming chair, make sure that it contains an instruction manual that is easy to follow. Otherwise, the assembly process can be a nightmare. 

12. Faulty Hydraulics

The hydraulics of a gaming chair is really important for a good sitting experience. I have heard from many people that their gaming chairs have faulty hydraulics.

Having a faulty hydraulic can cause irregular movements when you try to adjust the seat height of your gaming chair.

This problem is usually noticed in cheap gaming chairs that cost around 50 – 60 bucks.

In such gaming chairs,  hydraulics don’t support the seat well. You might experience issues like deflating the seat soon after adjusting the seat height.

This is a major issue. Make sure to check the hydraulics of any gaming chair properly before making the purchasing decision.

13. Lack of Padding in the Seating Area

Padding improves the level of comfort. Having perfect amount of padding is required in the seat and Arms. Otherwise, the sitting experience can decline without any doubt.

If you are a gamer can you image gaming while sitting on a hard chair which makes you feel all the materials underneath your butt? Probably not.

I have experienced many chairs with insufficient padding especially in the sitting area. Gaming chairs are always suppose to be highly padded.

If you find any gaming chair with low padding, make sure you avoid that chair.

14. Not Good For Office Use:

Gaming chairs don’t look professional, and most of the offices use office chairs instead of gaming chairs.

Due to the vibrant color design of gaming chairs, they don’t offer a professional environment in an office. 

A gaming chair offers most of the ergonomic features that an office chair offers,a  but it’s the design that makes the gaming chair not good for office use.

Recommended Article: Are Gaming Chairs Good for Office Use?


Final Thoughts  

Gaming chairs are ideal for hardcore gamers who not only want the ergonomics from their chair but also the style and premium feel.

But, if you’re a pragmatic person who wants to get the best value for the money as well as the comfort and ergonomics necessary for long time use, then a gaming chair might not be the best choice for you. 

In this article, we have gone through the top 5 typical problems with gaming chairs. 

Although gaming chairs have a myriad of benefits, they also have some drawbacks that are often overlooked or ignored by most users. 

I wanted to bring those problems to the limelight so that you can make an informed decision. 

Thanks for sticking with me. Till next time! 

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.