Fighters, to your corners. Read on to learn the obvious and secret differences between the two seating options.
I’m a gamer. You’re a gamer. We’ve got gamer shirts. We’ve got game decals on our laptops and consoles and back bumpers. I think it’s safe to assume if you’re reading a blog on a gaming chair website, then you have a space—maybe an entire room—dedicated to gaming. That’s your kingdom, and it needs a throne.
So what to choose? You already know a quality gaming chair isn’t the cheapest chair you can find, you already know the importance of ergonomics, and you already know you want something more luxe (wink) than those cheap gaming chairs at the retail store. In this search for high-performance seating options conducive to high-performance fragging, you’ve probably come across some high quality office chairs. Which begs the question:
What’s the difference between a gaming chair and an office chair anyway?
At some level, a chair’s a chair, right? If a high-quality office chair offers the right specs, then should it become part of your rig?
Spoiler alert: There are, indeed, some obvious and not-so-obvious differences in the immortal (Editor’s Note: probably like 10 year) battle of gaming chair vs. office chair. Sit back and relax while I hit you with the hard facts so you can decide which one wins a coveted place in your gaming space.
Let’s start with the obvious: office chairs don’t look like gaming chairs. I mean, if you know of a bank manager that sits in a pink chair with contrast piping and an embroidered logo on the headrest, please send me a pic and I’ll revise this article. But I think I’m right here.
Office chairs almost never have the range of colors, custom-stitching, or other aesthetic options associated with the gaming, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To paraphrase Cool Hand Luke, sometimes the hardest flex is no flex at all, so the austere look of a solid black office chair might be just the thing for your murdered out game den. Still and yet, even sweet looking office chairs focus on practicality more than pizzazz. They’re meant for work, after all.
Gaming chairs, on the other hand, are all about the optics. Makes sense, since gaming chair popularity closely parallels the rise of e-sports and streaming. So gaming chairs started with and continue to borrow the look of that other sitting sport: auto racing. That’s where gaming chairs get the high headrests, the wings behind the shoulder, and you know what? They do look cool as hell. The Luxe Master line has its own representative of this tried-and-true style in the Racer and Racer Turbo. Gaming chairs generally come in a far broader range of colors and styles than office chairs, making it easier to find the look that fits your setup.
Our recommendation here? You do you. If you’re loud and proud, pick the brightest colors and the most dramatic shape you can find. If your gaming rig doubles as your work rig, then maybe something a little more Zoom-meeting-friendly is the right fit. Luxe Master chairs share DNA with high-end executive chairs and come in a range of styles to work and play with anything on the market.
Let’s call this one a draw. But alas, while style is important, it’s only one difference between these two seating contenders.
Gaming chairs—real gaming chairs, that is—and office chairs have substantially different design when it comes to their seating platforms. Gaming chairs typically share a bucket seat shape (there’s that racing seat influence again) with bolsters to support the hips, high headrests to align the neck, widely scooped wings to brace the shoulders, and a “lip” or upward tilt at the front-edge of the seat bottom to support the legs.
While an actual race car obviously makes use of racing seat features in ways that a racing game doesn’t, we all know that having a seating platform that can handle your leaning, spinning, bouncing, and relaxing is a good thing indeed. And, lest we forget, it does look cool as hell.
Office chairs usually come with a contoured seat with no hip bolsters and, if they do have a high backs, those are more for looks than support. Interestingly, whereas office chairs tend to lack a front lips, the “waterfall edge” design of the seating platform and the un-bucketed contour does provide some ergonomic benefit vs. really hardcore racing-style seats by allowing your legs to remain at a 90 degree angle while your feet remain flat on the floor—the ideal ergonomic position for your legs. If you’re a big guy or gal, you’ll probably want to consider how much pressure you put on your thighs and legs.
The scoring here is pretty simple: office chairs are great for the office. You sit in them, you do your work, and in the best cases, they give you some ergonomic benefits. They don’t call a lot of attention to themselves. Except for those CRAZY EXPENSIVE executive chairs, but that’s another story.
If you’re a gamer, you move and lean and generally ask more from your chair than just to sit there and be sat upon. More to the point, if you’re on an e-sports team or you stream on the reg, then the aesthetics and style become part of your brand, which is no small thing. The right look can bring confidence and excitement to you, your team, your community, or your audience. The best gaming chairs (you know who we’re talking about here) are also made from sturdier metal, better foam, and generally higher quality stuff when comparing dollar for dollar and feature for feature.
As we said, the word “office” obviously correlates with work. Gaming, on the other hand, means competition, play, or, sometimes, leisurely entertainment. Which brings us to a huge difference between gaming chairs and office chairs: reclining mechanisms.
For the most part, office chairs are designed for sitting up straight and working. Even really great office chairs don’t offer much in the way of recline, typically only about 10 - 20 degrees of range. Really bad office chairs seem to take their cues from sociopathic “productivity experts” that want you to be just uncomfortable enough that you’ll never take a nap. Some so-called gaming chairs suffer this same recline deficiency and the obvious reason here is because they’re just office chairs in game clothing.
Real gaming chairs, on the other hand, again borrow engineering concepts from the auto industry in the design of recline mechanisms. Just like a sports car, gaming chairs provide a side handle that locks and unlocks the seatback at different angles, with wide ranges of adjustment up to 180 degrees. I personally don’t want to lay completely flat in my gaming chair, but maybe somebody does?
While all Luxe Master chairs feature at least 60 degrees of recline range, our Ultra and Ultra Max series feature a patented recline mechanism that allows infinite adjustments between 80 and 140 degrees. Every one of our chairs comes with neck and lumbar pillows to give you additional support depending on your preferred level of lean. The superior recline range of a good gaming chair is the perfect way to relax after a day of office work leaning back a mere 10 degrees.
You had to see it coming. The gaming chair wins this admittedly unfair fight, considering the venue. While Luxe Master exists to bring luxury high performance to gamers all over the world, the engineering and quality you’ll find in every model makes them perfect for software developers, graphic designers, music producers, and any number of work environments where you might otherwise find an office chair.
So while building the best gaming chairs will always be our focus, the most important thing for you to choose really isn’t gaming chair vs. office chair, but good chair vs. bad chair. Buy what you want, and make sure it’s built right. Best case scenario? Get a chair that works hard and plays hard.