Patrick Nowak - an editor prevails. And finds the perfect throne for gamers.
Regardless of whether you're gambling or working in the home office: Anyone who spends most of the day sitting needs an ergonomic chair that can be adapted to their own physique - otherwise there is a risk of tension and back pain. Special gaming chairs should be particularly comfortable and functional at the same time. But is that true? Are they really the ideal seating for gamers and office stallions? To find out, the editors extensively tested seven gaming and one office chair for comparison.
Structure: everything is easy
Building a gaming chair is easier than assembling an IKEA Billy shelf. The setup took between 13 and 23 minutes, depending on the test candidate. On some models, such as the Arozzi Vernazza, most of the screws are already in place, which prevents mix-ups and saves you having to search for the correct holes. Other chairs, such as the Hero Black Edition by Noblechairs, come with neatly packaged individual parts, and screws are neatly stowed in a separate box. All chairs come with clearly illustrated and texted instructions, with those of the Noble Chair and Secretlab even being laminated. The tools required for assembly are also included in the scope of delivery, in most cases these are simple Allen keys - the Nobelchairs comes with a Phillips Allen key. To the delight of the testers, assembly was easy for all chairs with the tools provided, and the toolbox can remain in the basement.
All chairs provide the tools necessary for assembly. By the way: The screwing together is easy to do with all candidates.
What is a good gaming chair?
Even if a chair gets top marks, that doesn't mean it's perfect for every buyer. Why? Every body is different, so desk abusers must choose a chair that fits their anatomy. The following points, among others, are decisive:
- Sitting comfort: How comfortable is the chair? Is the pad soft or hard? What about ergonomics and how well can it be adjusted to personal needs?
- Operation: is the chair easy to use? How many setting options does it have?
- Quality: How valuable is the chair? Is everything stable or do certain parts wobble? How is the processing?
Among other things, the backrest, seat depth and seat height play a major role. An example: Anyone who is less than 1.75 meters long and narrow does not optimally fill the large seating areas of the tested Hero Black Edition or Titan Stealth models. Four fingers should fit between the edge of the seat and the knee. With a seat depth of 50 centimeters, as with the Titan, long legs are necessary for healthy sitting. At the same time, the shell of the backrest should provide support, but the seated person must fill the backrest well.
The Noblechairs Hero exudes greatness.
But not too good, because a backrest can also be too small: stocky or tall people will not be happy with the narrow backrest of the Arozzi Vernazza, for example. This is also due to the shape of the racing seat with wings that are actually supposed to provide support. They just don't support them when the gamer is lying on his shoulder. The DX-Racer decimates its target group even more. The low seat height between 41 and 48 centimeters of the Formula F08 model makes it almost impossible for tall people to take a healthy sitting position. Important if several people use the chair: Then the seat height mechanism (lift) should have a lot of leeway. This is the only way to adapt the chair to the needs of people of different sizes.
Noblechairs Hero Black Edition
"Quality has its price" is a popular saying. This is absolutely true for the processing of gaming chairs, the Hero Black Edition from Noblechairs is no exception: the price tag says 470 euros. However, the test winner convinces with an air-permeable synthetic leather that cooled down quickly in the heat test. Its armrests can also be easily locked in and out. The lumbar support is one of the best in the test. The upholstery could be a little softer.
- Good workmanship
- Good lumbar support
Almost everyone is saving on the poor
The same goes for the armrests, which should be at the same height as the gaming table. Because not every table is the same height, like the seat and backrest, they should be adjustable: ideally, they can be adjusted vertically, horizontally, inwards, outwards, forwards and backwards and even rotated by around 45 degrees. It worked best with the Titan Stealth from Secretlab. Its armrests are easy to adjust and have little play after they are locked. In addition, their workmanship with elegant buttons and a pleasant material was convincing. It could hardly be better, but much worse! Especially bad: the Corsair. Its armrests are very wobbly and move with every action. Especially with a hectic shooter like "Battlefield 5" it is more than annoying when the mouse cannot be guided precisely due to the unstable armrests. The popular IKEA "Markus" office chair, which we also tested for comparison, comes in last in the armrests test. Although its armrests have a comfortable surface, they are not height-adjustable. If you are toying with a purchase, you have to measure carefully beforehand whether the chair fits the height of the table.
Prize Lead Winner:
Arozzi Vernazza Soft Farbic
- Neatly processed
- Good hold
- Sit a little too low
- Armrests processed quite cheaply
Relief for the muscles
Also important: humans have two natural curvatures in the cervical and lumbar spine, which are called lordosis in technical terms. Gaming chairs should fill these curvatures and thus relieve the muscles and prevent tension. The Titan from Secretlab and the Hero from Noblechairs do this best for the back area, because both have a rotating mechanism that allows the seated person to adjust the chair to their lordosis. The experts at the back center of the Schön-Klinik in Hamburg gave it good marks. All other test candidates only come with pillows. With the HP Omen Citadel, it's very cozy, but too big that it barely supports it. The Arozzi and the Corsair do better with their high quality pillows. With the DXRacer and GTPlayer, buyers should do without the lumbar cushions: They are too small and uncomfortable. IKEA's Markus doesn't have a real lumbar support, even if the backrest on the loin is a bit thicker. And the neck? In this area, pillows are used in all test candidates, which do not stand out in terms of quality and function. The Arozzi stands out positively, as its pillow also supports the neck on the side. The Secretlab's memory foam pillow feels particularly good. The Noblechairs are also available with more comfortable and flexible memory foam pillows. But then there is another 59.99 euros on top of the already steep price.
A trained eye: COMPUTER BILD invited orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapist Dr. Jens Lohmann (left in the picture) and prevention trainer Jan Winter (right in the picture) in the test laboratory. Both belong to the management team of the back center of the Schön-Klinik in Hamburg. Armrests, cushions, lumbar and neck supports: the experts analyzed and discussed everything that is important for ergonomics.
Comfortable or ergonomic?
The most important factors for ergonomics are the seat surface, seat height, seat depth, armrests and lumbar supports. But none of this says anything about the general seating comfort. The company CMV Hoven GmbH from Mönchengladbach has provided the editorial team with a special seat cushion that is also used by the automotive industry. The so-called BPMS system measures the pressure distribution of the body on the contact surfaces, the associated software displays the results in a 3D image. The results show how well the weight is distributed on the chair. Which in turn allows conclusions to be drawn about comfort. The red area shows where the greatest pressure is created. The Noblechairs and the Secretlab meet all ergonomic requirements, but the upholstery feels hard. The pressure point measurements confirm the impression. The Citadel is again the softest and most comfortable chair in the test, but its ergonomics leave a lot to be desired. The Corsair can score here: The pressure distribution is neat and the padding feels good.
The pressure distribution of the seats in the laboratory was measured with a special cushion.
Wet back while gambling
You can work up a sweat while gambling. This is not only due to the exciting games, but also to the material of the seating. The editorial team used a thermal imaging camera to determine how hot the chairs get after sitting for ten minutes and how much they cool down after three minutes. Airtight plastic like the Citadel and the GTPLayer ensure high temperatures on the seat. This is where the heat builds up and makes the gamer's back sweaty. This is not only uncomfortable for the sitter, but also affects the material in the long run. The Hero Black Edition does this better, its pore-provided seat surface lets air and moisture through and does not heat up as much (37 degrees). The fabric backrest of the IKEA chair is definitely the coolest.
The Hero Black Edition from Nobelchairs is warmest in the area of the lower back. After all, it cools down after a short time - thanks to the pores visible in the small picture.
There is nothing for free
"Quality has its price" is the popular saying. This is absolutely true for the processing of gaming chairs. The 399 euro chair from Secretlab is the best in this test point, closely followed by the Noblechairs for 470 euros. With the Secretlab, the armrests are particularly successful, even the buttons look high-quality - similar to the noble metal lever for adjusting the backrest of the noble chair. The Vernazza also made a positive impression: its fabric feels comfortable, the seams are okay and the upholstery is firm. Most other chairs show weaknesses when it comes to workmanship: The synthetic leather of the HP chair is a nubby mass, its decorations are made of the cheapest plastic, even the weld seam is visible. The fabric of the Corsair, in turn, becomes statically charged and torments owners with small electric shocks. The sad bottom in the comparison and the processing is the GTPlayer: Due to poor seams and cheap material, its upholstery broke in the test.
The processing of the GTPlayer is poor, but that really doesn't surprise anyone.
Gaming chair test: the conclusion
Gaming chairs aren't just a matter of taste. The perfect gaming throne must also fit the gamer's anatomy or be adaptable to it. In the test, the Hero Black Edition from Noblechairs and the Titan from Secretlab offered the most diverse setting options. The processing was also right. In the end, the Hero came out on top because of the best ergonomics. Anyone who can live with fabric instead of synthetic leather and a little simpler processing and want to save a few euros can rely on the price-performance winner from Arozzi.
Corsair T3 Rush Charcoal
The Corsair has a solid pressure distribution on the seat. In addition, its padding is nice and soft and offers good support. However, the material is electrically charged and occasionally gives the owner a slight electric shock. The wobbly armrest could also be improved.
- Charges electrically
- Shaky armrests
Tips for correct sitting behavior
- Sit at 90-degree angles: Choose a seating position that allows you to stay comfortably for a long time. The 90-degree rule is a good guide: the back and thighs as well as the upper and lower legs form a 90-degree angle. With the knee joint, however, more is allowed, because values around 110 degrees are often much more comfortable there.
- Take breaks - movement is the key: If you gamble, you know the problem - you forget your surroundings and stay in the same position for a long time. You should avoid that. Whether you are gambling or at work: set a timer for 55 minutes and get up as soon as the clock rings. A short walk is enough, but a few squats or even push-ups are even better.
- Stretching exercises help: The hip flexor is a muscle that should be kept moving in everyday life. If you sit a lot, you risk a so-called shortening of the hip flexor. The consequence: regular pain in the lower back. To prevent this from happening, sprinkle in short stretching exercises every day. Especially if you've been sitting for a long time.
* The cheapest price may be higher in the meantime.