If you’ve been gaming for any length of time, you know that not just any old chair will do. Chairs made specifically for gaming can cost quite a bit more than regular office chairs—but they don’t have to.
While there are many factors to consider when evaluating a gaming chair, its price is generally a good snapshot of its quality. Chairs under $200 can be especially tough to judge fairly; there are a lot of them, and unfortunately, some manufacturers compromise on quality in order to stay under that price point.
We’ve done some of the hard work for you and combed through dozens of competitively priced gaming chairs to find the best of the best. Good news: an affordable chair isn’t always a crummy one!
Best Choice: Homall Ergonomic High-Back Racing Chair
Pros & Cons
- Built more sturdily than many more expensive chairs
- Quite comfortable for extended use
- Foldable footrest
- A bit narrow for people with wide hips
- Armrests have limited adjustment options
Homall is a well-known name in gaming chairs; they’re aware that you’ve likely spent considerable cash on your gaming setup, so most of their products aim to soften the blow to your wallet as much as possible.
Their Ergonomic High-Back Racing Chair is our top all-around pick for chairs under $200. If you want the most balanced list of pros and cons in a budget chair, this one deserves serious consideration.
A close contender (which didn't make the list) was the Merax Gaming Chair. If you decide you like the Homall model, make sure to also check the Merax.
Homall Ergonomic High-Back Racing Chair Review
For $115, you’re right to be suspicious. Many chairs at this price point are made of particleboard, light plastic, and not much else—they’re liable to fall apart before too long. While this Homall chair is no 75-pound Steelcase behemoth, it does have a steel frame and decently thick PVC leather upholstery. As long as you’re reasonably gentle to it, it should last for a number of years.
It’s pretty hard to gauge how a gaming chair feels without sitting in it yourself, but this Homall chair is praised far and wide for comfort. The seat cushion is firm and supportive, yet also somewhat cushy. The back is similarly supportive but springy. It’s easy to spend several hours in this chair without feeling a pressing need to get up and stretch (but you definitely still should).
This chair also boasts a pretty hard-to-find feature: a foldable footrest. While it’s not exactly flimsy, it doesn’t seem capable of withstanding a great deal of weight or abuse, and users over 6’ tall may find that it doesn’t extend far enough to be very useful. Nonetheless, a footrest is a pretty cool bonus that at least some users will appreciate.
No chair is perfect, and the Homall Ergonomic High-Back model is no exception. If you have wide hips, or if you like to sit with your legs far apart, this chair may feel a little constricting, width-wise. The sharp upward angles on the outer edges of some bucket seats can be truly obnoxious; these aren’t as bad as some others, but at just a hair under 21” wide, this seat will definitely not please everyone.
Getting your arms comfortable may be equally challenging. The armrests can only be adjusted to a few static positions, which may or may not work for you. Since keeping your arms pretty close to level with your keyboard is super important for good posture, you may have to mess with the seat height to keep your wrists happy—but having to sit higher or lower than you’d like can cause its own problems, too.
All in all, if you’re determined to stay under $200 for your next gaming chair, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better candidate, as long as you’re not super tall or overly concerned about fine-tuning your posture with a high degree of precision.
Premium Pick: GTRACING GT099
Pros & Cons
- Very well built for its price point
- Bicast leather is durable and doesn’t get too hot
- Lots of adjustment options
- The headrest is finicky—needs a bit of jury-rigging to stay in position
- So-so warranty
GTRACING chairs are popular with streamers for a reason: they can handle a fair amount of abuse, but don’t come with a hefty price tag.
The GTRACING GT099 is ideal for gamers who prefer a firmer seat with a good deal of support. This chair retails for about $160 and can be an especially good choice for tall people who find many other gaming chairs uncomfortable.
GTRACING GT099 Review
You’d have to try pretty hard to deal any serious damage to this chair. Almost every part of it feels heavy and solid, and the armrests click firmly into place when adjusted without feeling loose or wobbly. The bicast leather upholstery is surprisingly resistant to cat claws, and it’s easy to clean as well. It does get a little warm during the summer (or if the air conditioner is off), but never intolerably so.
While the back does recline almost 90 degrees, it’s hard to imagine why you’d want to be in that position in a chair that has wheels. Nonetheless, the large range of movement means that you can surely find an angle that feels good to you. The armrests have six vertical positions but don’t rotate.
The bucket seat is on the narrow side and can’t be adjusted (except vertically), so it may be uncomfortable for some. Finally, the lumbar and head pillows are both detachable if you don’t want them, but they do help you maintain good posture.
In its default position, the headrest is a moderate hassle—it will likely be uncomfortable for most people, and it never stays put when adjusted. However, by removing it entirely and placing it higher up on the chair (as opposed to snaking the straps through their intended holes), tall people will find that it works quite nicely—but if you’re under about 5’10”, you may find it impossible to get the headrest to feel comfortable.
GTRACING offers an okay warranty for the GT099, with no-questions-asked replacement or repair on most (but not all) parts within one year. In the sub-$200 range, you’re unlikely to find better warranties, but that’s okay—warranties are most useful for really cheap or really expensive chairs. If your GT099 is still in good shape after a year, it will probably stay that way for some time, and if it does break after that, being out $160 isn’t the end of the world.
Maintaining healthy posture while gaming is really important, especially if you’re past your early 20s and no longer invincible. While the GT099 certainly isn’t uncomfortable, it does prioritize ergonomics over maximum comfort. Its dense foam and reasonably thick upholstery atop a heavy metal frame do an excellent job of keeping your back and wrists in healthy positions, provided you adjust it correctly.
I’m sitting in one of these chairs right now; I’ve owned it for about a year, and I plan to hang on to it as long as it stays in good condition. I actually consider the narrow bucket seat to be a pro, not a con—it starts to get slightly uncomfortable after sitting for about two hours, which essentially forces me to get up and take a stretch break.
Once I’ve limbered up a bit, the chair feels just fine for another few hours. 😊
The GTRACING GT099 won’t be perfect for everyone, but it will be great for many people. It’s a solid all-purpose chair, equally suited for gaming or working, and it should last many years with proper care. Few other gaming chairs under $200 will even compare to this one.
Best Value: Devoko Executive Gaming Chair
Pros & Cons
- One of the most affordable chairs out there
- Devoko has a good reputation for product support within warranty period
- Stays reasonably cool
- Lackluster warranty in terms of length
- Questionable long-term durability
- Limited adjustment options
If you need to stretch every dollar as far as possible, it can be hard to find an affordable gaming chair that isn’t a complete piece of trash. Devoko has you covered with their Executive Gaming Chair, which you can pick up for about $99.
The Devoko Executive Gaming Chair isn’t especially fancy, but it’s quite gentle on your wallet. It’s not as durable as our other two top picks for chairs under $200, but it wouldn’t be fair to call it flimsy. If you’re looking for something nicer than a bottom-of-the-barrel office chair, but still need to get a quality gaming chair under $100, Devoko deserves serious consideration.
This chair is warrantied for only one year, but if nothing else, you can feel confident that it will last at least that long. Devoko is known for consistently upholding its warranties and for communicating transparently with customers. (If you buy the chair on Amazon, you can also drop another $15 or so for a third-party 5-year warranty—$115 for a guaranteed half-decade of chair life is a pretty good deal.)
The chair’s PVC leather is a little thinner than comparable upholstery found on similar chairs in this price range. That means it’s a bit less durable, but also more breathable, and somewhat better suited to warm environments. A decently wide gap between the lower section of the back and the edges of the bucket seat also helps with airflow.
Of the three chairs on this list, the Devoko is the least durable. Upon sitting on it, it’s immediately clear that its frame is lighter than those of both the GTR099 and the Homall High-Back Racing Chair, and it’s not assembled quite as sturdily. The casters also feel lighter and thinner—more cheaply made. You are buying a budget chair, after all; it’s got to save you money somehow. There are certainly flimsier chairs out there, but you’ll nonetheless want to be extra gentle with this one.
The Devoko’s adjustment options are also limited, compared to the Homall and GTRACING chairs. The armrests and back only offer a few different positions to choose from. You may find it hard to get comfortable if you happen to be taller, shorter, wider, or thinner than the sparse adjustments allow for.
Even though the Devoko Executive Gaming Chair is by no means a top-tier piece of furniture, it’s still light years ahead of most cheap general purpose office chairs. If nothing else, it should serve you well until you’re ready to upgrade, as long as you take good care of it.
Gaming Chairs Under $200: Buying Guide
There’s a lot to consider when you’re in the market for a gaming chair, but there’s certainly no shortage of options. No matter what your budget is, you can surely find a chair that will be great for you.
Different people value different things in a gaming chair, but ergonomics should arguably be near the top of the list for everyone. When you’re young (under 25 or so), you may generally feel good no matter how you treat your body, but improper posture really does catch up to you later in life.
Choosing the right chair and sitting in it properly now can save you a lot of pain (and money) down the road.
Good posture is important to consider when shopping for a chair, but so is what you’re going to be using it for. Some gaming chairs are best suited to one thing: PC gaming, console gaming, typing, reading, or lounging. Some can even do everything well enough.
If you need a chair for computer-related work, you’ll probably want a high back with good lumbar support, highly adjustable armrests, and maybe even a footrest. For PC gaming, you’ll likely want to recline a bit and lower your arms, and for console gaming, you may want to lean back even more. Make sure you choose a gaming chair that can conform to whatever you want to do.
Durability & Materials
A gaming chair’s durability and lifespan are also important factors to weigh. A $99 price tag may be appealing but will be less so if you’re buying another $99 chair a year from now. If you can comfortably afford to plan for the long haul, consider investing more money up front in a chair that will outlast and outperform several cheaper ones put together.
You may also want to pay special attention to the materials a gaming chair is made of and think about how they’ll handle your environment; desert dwellers may prefer more breathable mesh materials over leather or thick fabrics, for example. If you have pets or kids, choose a chair that can resist stains and damage.
Ideally, a gaming chair is something you shouldn’t have to buy very often. By taking your time and carefully considering lots of options, you’re much more likely to make a purchase you’ll be happy with for many years to come.
Budget Gaming Chairs: FAQ
What is the best gaming chair in 2020?
There’s no such thing as one chair that will be the “best” for everyone, but we’ve done some research to help point you in the right direction depending on your needs. For example, you might be looking for the best gaming recliner instead of a regular chair.
No one chair can do everything (although some can do quite a lot, usually for premium prices). This is best seen in our DXRacer vs. Maxnomic debate, as the final conclusion is to pick whatever is more convenient for your needs.
Deciding on your top two or three most important needs will help you narrow your list down to certain brands or types of chairs, and our other comparison and buying guides can help you take it from there.
Are gaming chairs good for your back?
If they’re well-designed and well-built, yes. “Gaming chair” is a loose term and can be spun in marketing to mean almost anything, but on the most basic level, a gaming chair is one that should do two things: be comfortable and promote a healthy posture during long periods of sitting.
Is finding the most comfortable gaming chair your top priority?
Every human body has the same basic physical needs but is nonetheless built differently. This is why cheap or generic office chairs are uncomfortable to almost everyone; they’re built for “perfectly average” bodies, but most of us aren’t perfectly average.
Gaming chairs emphasize ergonomics, which is a highly individual science. There are so many models of gaming chairs to choose from that you can surely find one that’s ideal (or at least pretty good) for your exact size and shape.
What is the best PC/Xbox/PlayStation gaming chair?
There’s no significant difference between Xbox and PlayStation in terms of compatible gaming chairs, but that doesn’t mean there’s no difference. However, it’s apples and oranges when it comes to PC chairs versus console chairs.
The way you sit when playing a PC game or working at a desk is totally different from the way you sit when you’re gaming on a console. Gaming chairs marketed specifically toward one crowd or the other account for these differences in terms of ergonomics.
While ergonomics is arguably the most important factor in choosing a gaming chair, it’s not the only one. If you prefer to not spend money on a good gaming headset, check out the best gaming chairs with speakers.
Gaming gear is getting expensive these days - and for a good reason. For example, you can find pricey chairs like the Secretlab Titan which are designed to last practically forever.
Still, looking that this list, it's obvious that you can analyze the market for the best gaming chair under $200 and find something just as valuable.
- Ergonomic Benefits of a Footrest, Backcare & Seating