Cheap vs Expensive Gaming Chair

You can buy a cheap gaming chair for less than $ 200. Good middle-price range chairs cost around three to four hundred dollars and the premium chairs cost well beyond that. Do expensive chairs pay off?

From the first impression, they seem to be quite similar. But what about quality if you take a closer look. What is the difference between cheap and expensive gaming chairs? Are cheap gaming chairs good? Read on to find out the answer.

Cheap Gaming Chairs vs Expensive Gaming Chairs

Nobody is going to doubt that a good chair is important for anyone who spends a long time sitting. But what is a good chair? Can cheap chairs be good chairs? And what is cheap?

Let’s ignore the purchasing power of the buyer and thus the individual opinion of what is expensive.  Of course, there are personal preferences that play an important role when buying a chair. But there are some features that good gaming chairs must have and that determines the shelf price.

In today’s “use it –  and throw it away society“, the idea that everything has to be cheap is deeply rooted in many people. However, many customers expect a cheap product to have the same quality as one would expect from premium products. How is that supposed to work? $ 200 for a gaming chair is really not much, definitely not enough to expect a premium product.

Difference Cheap vs Expensive Gaming Chair

If you choose to buy an inexpensive gaming chair, you have to cut back your expectations on the quality of the materials as well as on workmanship. A low retail price demands a low production price, and this is obviously the easiest way for the manufacturer to cut costs.

Actually it should be easy for everyone to notice immediately if something is of inferior quality.  Simply opening the box and the smell when unpacking will often a good indicator of whether something is cheap or of high quality.

A penetrant artificial smell of chemistry and plastics, tells your nose that cheap materials were used. In contrast, the smell of the high-quality gaming chair quickly disappears after unpacking. Often those fumes are not the best to breathe in any way.

Look at the seams, are single or double-stitched. Good stitching is important for the durability of the upholstery. Are the covers are neat and tight. How does the cover feel, like cheap plastic or high-quality? How do the seat and backrest feel, is the padding comfortable, does it cushion your body well or is it too soft or too hard?

seam

Synthetic Leather  – cheap or expensive faux leather

There are different types of synthetic leather, but it is always a combination of a fabric and a coating of plastic. The main differences between different types of synthetic leather can be found in the various fabrics and coatings used.

Two common materials are mainly used: Polyurethane (PU) and Vinyl synthetic leathers. PU fabric is softer, more flexible, and more breathable. The cheaper vinyl is not as breathable as PU but is often used for cheap gaming chairs.

PU synthetic leather has no noticeable smell, it has a pleasant texture a soft surface. In good gaming chairs, it is often structured or perforated to increase breathability. The cheaper Vinyl synthetic leather can often be recognized by a harder not so pleasant texture and is often accompanied by a chemical whiff, which hopefully disappears after a couple of days.

Quality Foam Upholstery

More important than the thickness of the cushioning is the density of the foam and the compression elasticity. A cheap foam has a lower density and will be worn out faster. Better gaming chairs are padded with high-quality, high-density cold foam.

A quality foam padding adapts optimally to the body shape without the occupant sinking into it, this ensures a comfortable sitting without causing pressure. Thanks to its compression elasticity, the cold foam padding retains its original shape over a long period of time. In addition, good padding must be breathable so that body heat and perspiration can be transported away from the body.

A strong steel frame

Manufacturers can easily save costs by cutting down on the quality of the internal frame. But the quality of the frame is crucial in a gaming chair and has a great impact on the ergonomics and the durability of the chair. A gaming chair with a simple cheap frame won’t last.

In cheap chairs, simple iron tubings are often used. These are often thin metal tubes that are not very durable and if the iron is not well processed and properly welded, they will not last. In the worst case, the frame will simply break and the chair will need to be replaced.

Higher priced chairs that promise a very long lifespan, have a strong steel frame, thicker material and inspected weld seams. It is constructed in such a way that there are no weak points on the connecting parts and that spots that are exposed to special loads are additionally reinforced.

 A strong Base and strong Castors

The base and the castors must carry the weight of the chairs as well as that of the chair occupant. Here the manufacturers should not try to save cost. Premium manufacturers won’t and will design their chairs with a solid metal frame and high-quality castors that run smoothly and quietly, ideally on hard as well as on soft floors.

In cheap chairs, the base is often made of plastic, even though it may be reinforced, it will not provide the same load-bearing as a metal base. Castors are likely not as strong and may not have metal bearings.

gaming chair parts

Assembly Cheap vs Expensive Gaming Chair

Even when unboxing and assembling, there may be a considerable difference between cheap and expensive gaming chairs.

The assembly of premium chairs is often made easier in such a way that a large number of parts are already pre-assembled. The few parts that need to be assembled will usually fit nicely together, screws fit the holes and can easily be tightened.

With cheap chairs, it is likely that many more small parts have to be assembled. The more bits and pieces there are, the more likely something might break or go wrong during assembly.

When all is finished and properly assembled, the chair should be stable and solid. Everything should be in the desired position, nothing should wobble, squick or be loose. All mechanics should work fine and the chair must be easy to adjust.

Chairs that are cheaper often have less stability, even if you have fixed all parts as tightly as possible. Because the cheaper materials and the poorer fit prevent the exact assembly.

Let’s Recap Cheap vs Expensive Gaming Chairs

Cheap Gaming ChairExpensive Gaming Chair
Synthetic smell
Flimsy synthetic leather
Bad seams/stitching
Low-density foam
Inferior frame
Nylon or plastic base
Wobbly stand
Prone to squicking
Little or no smell
Durable faux leather
Good seam/stitching
High-density cold foam
Steel frame
Strong metal base
Solid stand
No noise

Buy cheap – buy twice

Investing in a high-quality gaming chair is worthwhile for anyone who regularly plays a lot and long hours. A good chair has many benefits, from being more comfortable though more adjustability options to being much more robust and thus last for many years.

Cheap chairs are not bad per se, they are simply not built as strong and will not cope with heavy and permanent use. They can be great chairs if you only use them for occasional gaming on a couple of hours a week. In the worst case, they break.

If you are considering buying a cheap gaming chair, keep in mind that they can only be cheap if manufacturers cut costs somewhere.