Best Budget Gaming Chair 2022
Gaming chairs might seem like a frivolous expenditure that's especially hard to justify when the price tag is £500 or more. But these race seat-inspired thrones offer the full-back support and the adjustability gamers need for long stints of sitting in place. The good news is some affordable options are also available, which are made with quality materials and offer solid ergonomics, so you don't need to give up your dreams of buying quality gaming peripherals.
The best budget gaming chairs can cost as little as £100. You might be afraid of going cheap and ending up with a chair that breaks apart after just a few hours, but you'll only find quality options below. The seats we recommend all offer ample cushioning that's soft to the touch and firm enough to prevent you from sinking into them.
You'll also get solid ergonomics in some with adjustable armrests, headrests, and lumbar support to keep you comfy for hours. There are even options with a tilt that lets you recline so far that you can almost lay flat or ones that let you rock around. So, if you're ready to pull a gaming chair up to your gaming desk or plop it in front of a gaming TV, check these out - and click here to find them in the UK.
TL;DR - These are the Best Budget Gaming Chairs:
Cougar Explore S
Best Budget Gaming Chair
Seat Height: 15-17.32" | Seat Width: 25.8" | Seat Depth: 22.44" | Backrest Length: 34.3" | Backrest Width: 21.5" | Tilt: 90-155? | Ergonomics: 3D armrests, lumbar pillow, padded headrest | Max Load: 264.55 lbs
Cougar isn't new to the gaming chair world and knows a thing or two about making quality seats, so their wallet-friendly option, the Explore S, takes that expertise without sacrificing features or comfort. This racing-style throne is packed with high-density foam and wrapped in stylish PVC leather with a slight perforation to give it a bit of extra breathability for staying cool during intense play sessions.
Its wide seat sits on top of a robust steel frame ready to support up to 264 pounds, and the wheels are even slightly larger than average for more stability and effortless movements. The Cougar Explore S totes more than just the basics as it includes 3D armrests and piston lift height adjustments to give you an ergonomic alignment with your desk. There is no built-in lumbar support, but a back and neck pillow comes with the chair.
And to kick back between matches, there is a deep reclinable backrest, though unfortunately, the chair only offers a simple tilt base that can't be locked in place.
OFM ESS Collection Generation 2.0
Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Chair
Chair Dimensions: 48.2"H x 28.1"W x 30.3"D | Ergonomics: flip up armrests, lumbar support, neck support, tilt | Max Load: 275 lbs
Dropping the price even lower than the Cougar Explore S is the OFM ESS gaming chair. This option offers classic racing chair elements while avoiding the bucket seats, so you'll have more freedom in finding the perfect position for your legs without those little wings getting in the way. Luckily, you still get a solid build that can hold up to 275 pounds, and it packs in high-density foam seats for a comfy place to rest your backside.
At such an affordable price, you do lose out on a robust feature set. You only get padded armrests that flip up and out of the way to scoot closer to your desk, while integrated lumbar and neck support can't be customized. Beyond that, the seat can raise or lower, and a center tilt with adjustable tension allows you to lean back occasionally for deep relaxation.
Razer Enki X
Best Budget Racing-Style Gaming Chair
Seat Width: 21" | Tilt: 152? recline | Ergonomics: 2D armrests, built-in lumbar arch | Max Load: 299 lbs
You don't need to spend a fortune to get a chair that feels like a bucket seat ripped right out of a race car, as the Razer Enki X does it on the cheap.
This member of the Razer Enki lineup offers a similar chair to its more expensive sibling, and it's really only missing reactive tilting and 4D armrests. You definitely don't lose out on style with it offering the same sleek quilted fabric and synthetic leather design. The Enki X still has all the usual ergonomics expected in a gaming chair.
There are 2D armrests that can change their height and rotate inwards or outwards to find an ideal position for gaming, while a built-in lumbar arch encourages sitting with better posture. Though you don't get the reactive tilt, you can still recline up to 152 degrees. And the wide, cushy seat with a slightly firmer back ensures you're good for marathon gaming sessions.
Best Budget Fabric Gaming Chair
Seat Height: 16.8-20.4" | Seat Width: 22.6" | Seat Depth: 17" | Backrest Length: 33.46" | Backrest Width: 22.12" | Tilt range: 105? | Ergonomics: Synchronized tilt, 3D adjustable armrests, Built-in lumbar support | Max Load: 264.5 lbs
A good chunk of gaming chairs feature PU leather or pleather for the haters, but if you're gaming in shorts or a tank top, it doesn't always feel great on the skin, especially when the inevitable sweat starts to happen.
To avoid that sticky situation, you can snag a fabric option, like the Corsair TC60, while still staying on budget. You'll welcome this racing-style chair's soft, breathable material during even your longest gaming sessions. Corsair didn't skimp on the TC60 either, with its large, inviting seat toting built-in lumbar support and piston that can hold 264.5 pounds, so bigger gamers need not shy away.
If you want to kick back after each match, you get a deep recline, and it's even got a synchronized tilt, allowing the seat base to lean back slightly to keep you from sliding out. There are 3D adjustable armrests to round out this chair, where you can tweak the height, front-to-back positioning, and rotation to get the ideal positioning at your battle station.
Respawn 205 Gaming Chair
Best Budget Mesh Gaming Chair
Seat Height: 19-23" | Seat Width: 20.5" | Seat Depth: 20.5" | Tilt: 90-130? | Ergonomics: 4D adjustable armrests, lumbar pillow, neck pillow | Max Load: 275 lbs
If your gaming sessions tend to get a little steamy, a mesh gaming chair like the Respawn 205 is the way to go when on a budget. With this seat, you get a mesh backrest allowing for far more airflow than the typical PU leather.
And even though it's mesh, you don't lose out on durability, as this chair lives on a steel frame that can support up to 275 pounds. For the most part, the Respawn 205 is your typical gaming chair with a bucket seat, caster wheels, and pillows for your neck and lumbar. You also get a comfortable and wide PU leather molded foam seat with a decent range of height adjustments, making this a viable option for tall and short gamers alike.
When it comes to getting a comfortable seating position, the included 4D armrests help with those ergonomics, and you can kick back with a 130-degree recline that locks in three positions.
Best Budget Ergonomic Gaming Chair
Seat Height: 18.5-22.4" | Seat Width: 19.17" | Seat Depth: 16.3" | Tilt: 90-135? | Ergonomics: 4D adjustable armrests, dynamic lumbar support, adjustable headrest, adjustable seat depth | Max Load: 275 lbs
When grabbing a budget gaming chair, the first features to go are often the ones that help with ergonomics. Luckily, the Nouhaus Ergo3D lets you get comfortable on a budget, as it offers 4D adjustable armrests for ideal positioning to reach your mouse and keyboard. However, the backrest is extra special, with separate sections for your lumbar, upper back, and neck, ensuring you'll be happy sitting for hours.
The Nouhaus Ergo3D lets you stay comfy and cool while gaming, thanks to its mesh seat and backrest for extra breathability. And durability won't be a concern, as this chair is rated to hold 275 pounds with its five-point aluminum base and rollerblade-style wheels to roll around smoothly and silently. It also provides a good degree of recline for relaxation, while gamers of any size can enjoy the benefits of this ergonomic chair with its wide range of height adjustments.
Big Joe Roma Chair
Best Cheap Beanbag Chair
Seat Width: 26" | Backrest Length: 26" | Backrest Width: 26" | Ergonomics: Megahh beans
The Big Joe Roma is a bean bag chair that's grown up a bit to provide better comfort and support.
With such a low price, you can even grab a set of them to surround your living room gaming setup for all your friends to relax while playing. It comes in several color options, too, so you can pick a seat that best matches your room's aesthetic. You'll be able to lean back and lounge in this heavily stuffed seat featuring a special arch shape.
But if you ever find the bean bag chair losing its original comfiness, it's easy to refill with new beans. And at 2 feet wide, the Roma should comfortably seat most, while double stitching and an easily cleanable fabric make this seat surprisingly durable.
Homall High-Back Racing Chair
Best Budget Big and Tall Gaming Chair
Seat Height: 17.3-21.5" | Seat Width: 14.5" | Seat Depth: 20.8" | Backrest Length: 30.5" | Backrest Width: 22.5" | Tilt: 90-150? | Ergonomics: lumbar pillow, neck pillow | Max Load: 300 lbs
It's hard to find a big and tall gaming chair that's also super cheap, but luckily, there's the Homall High-Back Racing Chair. For £100, you get a seat that rests on a sturdy steel frame and five-star base, holding a max load of 300 pounds to accommodate heavier gamers.
If you're on the taller side, it's also an effective fit thanks to that seat's 20.5-inch depth and the gas lift height adjustments from 17 to 22 inches. The Homall High-Back Racing Chair is surprisingly comfortable with its high-density foam seat, though it is on the narrower side at 14.5 inches. Adding to the ergonomics are moveable pillows for your neck and lumbar, but unfortunately, the armrests don't adjust.
And when you want to take a break from the game, you can tilt the seatback 180? for added comfort or even rock.
Best Budget Rocking Gaming Chair
Seat Height: 15.75" | Seat Width: 19.29" | Tilt: 90-118? | Ergonomics: built-in lumbar support, extra head and neck cushioning, flip-up armrests | Max Load: 275 lbs
If you don't need all the bells and whistles of a rolling, deep-reclining, and pillow-loaded gaming chair, then the Respawn RSP-800 offers a solid but simple rocking alternative. This rocker totes a 28-degree range of motion with an adjustable tilt tension to tune the rocking to your liking. To keep you rooted while swaying is a stationary base, though you get a 360-degree swivel.
The Respawn RSP-800 has plenty of comfort features as well, like armrests that can flip out of the way and built-in lumbar support to keep your back cozy. Extra padding around the neck and head let you really sink in. However, it's not height adjustable, so you'll want this option for gaming in front of a TV rather than at a desk.
Where to Get the Best Budget Gaming Chairs in the UK
Unfortunately, a vast number of gaming chairs on this list are currently either out of stock or completely not available in the UK at the moment.
This will likely change in the future and we will update this page accordingly when it does. Right now the only chair on this list that is available to buy in the UK, is the AKRacing Core Series EX -- which can be found at Amazon.
AKRacing Core Series EX
Best Budget Fabric Gaming Chair 6 GBP302.04See on Amazon
High-Back Racing Chair Best Budget Big and Tall Gaming Chair 6
GBP119.99See on Amazon
What to look for in a Budget Gaming Chair
Buying affordable furniture is tricky, but don't worry the gaming chairs above aren't lemons. However, if you'd rather find a budget-friendly option on your own, here are a few things you should look out for. Starting at the base, you want a strong foundation for your gaming chair.
At this price point, most, if not all seats have a base made of plastic, which is fine as long as you double-check the thickness of the material for sturdiness. The next thing you'll want to look at is the padding, and once again, thickness wins here. There's nothing worse than sitting on a thin cushion that'll make you sore in the long run.
Upholstery is important to check for quality. If it looks like a cheap pleather chair upon first inspection, chances are it is, and it'll start cracking and peeling on you after just a few months (or even weeks) of usage. When grabbing a mesh chair, you also want to ensure it's strong and sturdy.
Otherwise, it could start sagging. No matter which type of gaming chair you choose, you'll want good, adjustable ergonomics. When we say that, we mean a chair with customizable lumbar support, adjustable armrests, levers for tilt and height, and a movable headrest.
For the most part, all the gaming chairs on this list include at least one to all the points of adjustability mentioned, and you'll want to take advantage of them. Wondering if you should buy an office chair instead? Check out our guide to the gaming chairs vs. office chairs for more info.
Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor.
Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.