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What is a gaming chair?

Posted on26/04/2021

Gaming chairs have taken the world by storm! Generally, a gaming chair refers to a chair that is ergonomically designed to ensure comfort during long hours of gaming. However, this definition of a “gaming” chair has since expanded to include a chair that is both supportive yet comfortable for any form of sitting for long hours at a desk at a time. Hence, a gaming chair should be designed thoughtfully to provide the best comfort while taking into consideration the user’s proportions as well as the desk being used. To this end, most gaming chairs have a slew of features that enable them to be customized to each individual user and their uses.

Compared to an office chair, a gaming chair needs to be more versatile. As the name implies, an “office” chair is meant to be used at the office, mainly for working. However, a gaming chair’s use will extend far beyond that. It is multi-purpose and can be used for gaming, work and relaxation as well. Because it is meant to serve so many different purposes, a gaming chair has many functions that will enable it to adapt to whichever situation the user wants.

Let’s look at some of the features of a gaming chair and how it affects the overall feel of the chair:

1. Ergonomic Features: Neck & Lumbar cushion, chair design, chair cushion

Initially, a gaming chair was designed to support the body during long sessions of sitting down (i.e. its original purpose of “gaming”). To achieve this, many major brands such as AKRacing have worked with e-sports teams over the years, and have gathered feedback from them to design their chairs. Several features implemented in the chair affect its ergonomic design and these include the neck and lumbar cushion, the chair design itself and the material used for the chair padding.

Neck & Lumbar Cushion

Most gaming chairs include neck & lumbar cushions that help to support the back and neck during long hours. These cushions can be adjusted to different positions to suit different heights and body proportions.
AKRacing offers 2 types of neck cushion, depending on model, to cater to different individual feel of the chair. The “Standard” design is thicker while the “Max” design is wider and flatter.

Chair design

Every gaming chair has its own design and each one will usually feel unique to each user. For instance, some chairs will have raised edges along the seat base to provide a “tighter” or more “racing-car-seat feel” while other chairs have a fully flat base for a more relaxed “wider” feel. The height of the chair’s back and the depth of the seat base will make a difference when sitting for long hours and even a seemingly minor difference of 1cm can definitely be felt.

Chair Padding

Currently, the best gaming chairs are made with cold-moulded foam filling. This foam is precisely chosen as it does not sink in (unlike memory foam or other types of filling such as polyester filling that are stuffed into a casing) hence can remain supportive even hours of use. By forming the foam into precise shapes, each chair is designed to provide support for all types of body shapes.

Why Cold Moulded Foam?

  • Hold its shape even after years of use
  • Manufactured in a mould for 1 continuous piece of dense foam
  • No seams or lumps
  • Extremely durable
  • Unparalleled comfort  and support

2. Recline Feature

Most gaming chairs provide a chair back mechanism that can be reclined up to 165° or 180°, depending on the mechanism of the chair. This enables to user to recline according to their activity. For example, the chair can be adjusted to the most upright position for work and can also be reclined to a more relaxed angle to Netflix and chill.

3. Rocking Feature

Most gaming chairs also have a rocking function which allows the chair to rock back and forth to provide extra comfort for the user. There is also usually a “lock” if the user does not want to use the rocking function. Some chairs also come with a mechanism that allows for “Tilt locking” whereby the chair can be rocked backwards and locked in a tilted position.

Choosing the right chair

"But which is the best chair you have?" We get this question very often! The answer is, everyone has different preference for which chair is their favourite and the “best” chair will generally differ from individual to individual. The guide below will look at the main features that affect the feel of the chair to help make your decision easier.

Chair measurements: Height, width and length

Every gaming chair will have their own unique measurements based on design. This is one of the main factors that will affect the overall feel of the chair.

Height

Height usually refers to the length of the chair’s back. Chairs with a taller back can accommodate a wider range of heights while chairs with a shorter back tend to be more limited. The placement of the cushion on the back will also play a part in the feel of the chair. We recommend looking at the height supported for the chairs when considering this factor.

Width

This usually is affected by the width of the seat base (although the width of the back can also affect the feel, but not as much as the seat base). The width of the chair will affect how “tight” the chair feels. Some users enjoy a racing car bucket seat feel, which a narrower width can provide. Other users like a wider, more relaxed feel and will prefer a wider chair base. Another factor which affects the width is the cushion design which is explained further in this article.

Depth

This refers to the length of the seat base and will affect how “deep” the chair feels. In general, those with longer legs will suit chairs with more depth as it can support the length of the legs. However, there is also a personal preference factor as some users like feeling the chair all the way to the back of the knees while some prefer having some space between their knees and the chair.

Cushion Firmness

This is one of the main factors when choosing a gaming chair. All our gaming chairs are made of cold moulded foam. This material’s density can be adjusted during the manufacturing process. This allows for a range of cushion densities that will affect the overall feel of the chair. A denser foam will feel firmer while a less dense foam will feel softer. The gaming chairs we carry cover a wide range from soft to very firm.

Cushion Base Design

Generally, the chairs have either a flat base or a base with raised edges. The raised-edge bases provide a more “hugging” feel which those who enjoy “tighter” feels will enjoy. The flat seat bases cater to those who prefer a more relaxed feel. Users who enjoy sitting cross-legged also tend to prefer the flat base models.

Upholstery (exterior) material: Premium PU leather, Fabric and Premium Soft Fabric

The upholstery material refers to the material that covers the cold-moulded foam. At our shop, we offer 3 types of upholstery material, depending on chair design (each chair has their own material). These are: Premium PU leather, Fabric and Premium Soft Fabric.

Premium PU Leather

This is the most popular upholstery material, and for good reason! It provides a sleek hand-feel and looks luxurious. As it is a premium-quality PU, it can be treated like real leather and we recommend to use leather wipes to clean and maintain this material. As such, it not only looks and feels good, it is also easy to clean and maintain. Its main weakness is that it can get hot in our weather and we recommend using a seat cover or seat base cushion to help disperse the heat if necessary.

Fabric

For those who want to beat the heat! Fabric is a breathable material and is the recommended option for those who prefer a cooler feel. Fabric is also more durable and has a softer hand-feel than Premium PU leather. The main weakness of fabric upholstery is that it is more difficult to clean, and those prone to spilling coffee may want to avoid this material!

Premium Soft Fabric

The latest models in our line-up use Premium Soft Fabric upholstery. This material is an exclusive furniture fabric specially chosen for its durability, hand-feel and ability to disperse heat. This fabric is also dust and water repellant which makes it easier to clean than the traditional fabric material; it can be cleaned with warm water and a towel. It is overall a great choice for our humid and warm weather as it is more cooling than the other options.

Bonus Features: 3D/4D Armrest, Tilt Lock Function

Some chairs come with extra features that may not necessarily affect the overall “feel” of the chair but may affect the seating experience.

Armrest Direction

The more directions the armrest can move, the more customizability the chair has, and it can be adapted more comfortably to different situations. For instance, an armrest that can move front and back, can be adjusted to suit the user when they recline backwards (which shifts the arms back as well).
The table below explains arm rest functions:

Tilt Lock

Tilt lock function refers to the ability of the chair to be locked in a rocking position. Some users enjoy this when relaxing.

Conclusion

Of course, nothing beats trying the chairs out for yourself and we highly recommend to test out the chairs before purchasing as each chair feels different due to the different combinations of materials chosen as well as chair design. However, the above guide provides an overview of the factors that will affect the feel of the chair and provides some points to note when trying out a gaming chair. We have a show room at our retail space with a wide range of chairs for you to try and we welcome you down to experience the chairs for yourself!

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