Choosing between a gaming chair and an ergonomic office chair remains a common conundrum for many gamers in South Africa. Given the multitude of options available, both budget-friendly and exorbitant, the debate persists. Which one truly enhances the gaming experience during long hours of play? Which option boasts higher durability and better ergonomic comfort? In this comprehensive comparison, we aim to dissect the nuances between the two chair types, providing insights to help you make an informed decision.

1. Understanding the Chair Types

Firstly, it’s important to note that the labels ‘gaming chair’ and ‘ergonomic office chair’ can be misleading. Each chair type can seamlessly transition into the other’s intended space. You can, of course, use an office chair for gaming, and a gaming chair in your office. Let’s delve deeper into the defining characteristics of these two popular seating choices.

  • Gaming Chairs

Aesthetic Appeal with Some Limitations gaming chairs are renowned for their vibrant hues, bucket-style seats, racing stripes, and an overall captivating aesthetic. While some may find them comfortable, they often lack the versatility and customisation offered by similarly priced office chairs. In addition to their flashy appearance, these chairs may feature adjustable armrests and backrests capable of reclining far more than a standard office chair of up to 180 degrees. Some higher-end models even integrate speakers into the design for an immersive gaming experience.

In general, gaming chairs available in South Africa and elsewhere are primarily designed to ‘look cool’. Although many are comfortable, they often lack the adjustability of an ergonomic office chair.

One of the defining features of a typical gaming chair is the ‘bucket-type’ seat. If your body shape matches or fits into the bucket seat, then this type of seat can be extremely comfortable. If not, then the opposite is true. The sale price of a typical gaming chair can vary from cheap (approx. R2500), to expensive (R7000 or more).

  • Ergonomic Office Chairs

Prioritising Comfort and Customisation On the other hand, ergonomic office chairs continuously evolve to provide superior comfort and tailor-made adjustments. With a focus on supporting proper posture and overall well-being, these chairs boast a variety of design features, accommodating diverse body shapes and various workstation setups. Notably, some office chairs, like the Neo GTX, manage to merge functionality with an appealing design.

2. Understanding Individual Comfort

Is a gaming chair more comfortable than an ergonomic office chair? It depends on the user and the application. When it comes to chairs, there is no, and never will be a one-size-fits-all.

The comfort derived from any chair, be it a gaming chair, office chair, or any other, remains largely subjective, varying depending on individual preferences and body types. Personal comfort preference plays a crucial role in determining the suitability of a chair.

3. Feature comparison

The easiest way to compare a gaming chair to an ergonomic office chair is to compare comparatively priced products that are available for sale in South Africa. For the purposes of this exercise, we will compare the features of low, mid and high-end chairs.

Elara ergonomic chair Nitro ZF Stealth X-1
Weight Rating 120kg 120kg 120kg 120kg 120kg 150kg
Warranty 1 year 5 years 1 year 5 years 1 year 10 years
Backrest Type Wing, vinyl upholstery Mesh Wing, vinyl upholstery Mesh Wing, vinyl upholstery Mesh
Headrest Adjustable pillow Height adjustable Adjustable pillow Height adjustable Adjustable pillow Height adjustable
Extra Lumbar Support Adjustable pillow None Adjustable pillow Yes, adjustable Adjustable pillow Yes, adjustable
Backrest Tilt Separate from seat Synchro tilting mechanism linked to seat Separate from seat Synchro tilting mechanism linked to seat Separate from seat Synchro tilting mechanism linked to seat
Seat Type Bucket Moulded Bucket Moulded Bucket Moulded
Seat depth adjustment No No No Yes No Yes
Tilt Mechanism Standard swivel & tilt Synchro Standard swivel & tilt Synchro Standard swivel & tilt Synchro
Armrests Retractable fixed height Height adjustable Height adjustable Height adjustable 3D adjustable 3D adjustable
Certified No No No BIFMA No BIFMA

4. Critical Considerations

While there’s no definitive answer as to which chair type is superior, several critical factors can guide your decision-making process:

  • Seating Structure: The bucket-style seats in gaming chairs may not cater to all body shapes, potentially leading to discomfort during extended usage.
  • Adjustability: Office chairs typically offer greater ergonomic adjustability compared to gaming chairs, even in the lower price ranges. This becomes more pronounced with higher-end models. How important is a fully adjustable chair? For example, modern office chairs usually have a fully adjustable lumbar support, whereas gaming chairs typically have a loose cushion or pillow. How important is back support on an office chair?
  • Durability and Warranty: Office chairs often come with more extensive warranties, suggesting a higher level of durability compared to their gaming chair counterparts.
  • Mechanisms: Office chairs frequently incorporate superior synchronous swivel and tilt mechanisms, promoting dynamic sitting, while gaming chairs often rely on simpler mechanisms. What is the difference between office chair mechanisms?
  • Upholstery: Modern office chairs have a mesh backrest as opposed to the vinyl upholstered back of many gaming chairs. The mesh backrests commonly found in modern office chairs offer breathability and conform to the user’s back, enhancing comfort during long hours of use.


In the perpetual debate of gaming chairs versus ergonomic office chairs, there’s no definitive winner. Both serve specific user needs and preferences. Understanding your requirements and comfort preferences will guide you towards the ideal choice. Invest in a chair that not only reflects your personal style but also provides the necessary support and comfort for prolonged usage. The key lies in finding the perfect balance between aesthetics, comfort, and functionality.

To speak to an Office Ergonomics Risk Facilitator contact us on 011 392 6803 or email [email protected]

Article first seen on Karo’s Knowledge Centre – click here to read the full article.