With all the time a gamer spends sitting in front of a desk, what we sit on is a fairly important. After selling all my possessions and moving halfway across the world to Australia, I needed a chair and set out to find the best gaming chair that money could buy.

 

Over the years I’ve sat on everything from hardwood dining chairs and the ever popular plastic deck chair on the very low end, to a $900 Steelcase Leap on the high end. All succeeded in some areas and failed in others. The Leap, my most recent throne, while a fantastic chair, didn’t offer me enough shoulder or neck support. Coming in at 6’5 and 100kg, I’m a huge nerd and need a chair to match.

 

I planned out what I was looking for. It had to be large and it had to be comfortable. This was non negotiable. It had to be at least somewhat stylish. I like understated, nice things, which meant that 95% of ‘gaming chairs’ covered in logos probably weren’t going to work. Lastly, in a perfect world, I wanted it to be made of leather… The peeling that happens in PU makes me very sad. This left me surprisingly little choice, but fear not! Armed with my trusty internets, I narrowed down my search to the best of the best.

 

Now before I really get stuck into the chairs I did look at, I feel like I should address the two non leathery elephants in the room. Firstly, I know there are other task chairs like the Herman Miller Aeron, the Embody, the NeueChair and the Steelcase Leap, but for now I’m focusing on strictly gaming, racing style chairs. I’ve used task chairs and they’ve been hit and miss for me, especially in the shoulders and neck department.

 

The second leatherphant that’s technically missing from the room are the likes of the cheaper DXRacer and AKRacing chairs. I’ve found that these chairs can actually pretty comfortable, but durability can be an issue. I really dislike rickety feeling chairs and wobbly armrests, and it’s fairly possible that’s where you’ll end up with a cheaper chair. Add to the fact that they’re PU and often in bright colours, and yeah… You can see why I don’t sit on one of these. With that out the way, lets look at the chairs that I did like!

 

When I first did this roundup last year, these were the contenders for the title of best gaming chair: The Noblechairs Epic Leather, the Vertagear PL6000, the Vertagear Triigger 350, the Maxnomic XL and the Secretlab Titan. At the time, the Noblechairs Epic Leather won the day and I’ve been very happily sitting on that chair for the last year. (You can read about my experiences here)

 

But what’s that I hear you say? It’s 2019 Graeme, what about all the new chairs!? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I trawled through the best the last year brought and in no particular order, they are: the Secretlab Omega 2018, the Secretlab Omega Napa, the Secretlab Titan Napa, the ZQ Racing Ultra Series, the DXRacer Office Chair, the Noblechairs ICON Leather and last but not least, the new Nappa editions of the Noblechairs EPIC and Noblechairs ICON!

 

Which one will claim the title of best gaming chair at the end of this chair battle royale? Read on my young padawan, and find out. First lets take a look at the contenders and their pros and cons.

 

Noblechairs Epic Leather @ $549

 

Pros:
  • Beautiful! Slim profile, real leather and beautifully made.
  • It’s huge. One of the biggest gaming chairs out there.

 

Cons:
  • The chair can be quite hard. It could definitely do with a little more padding.
  • Like most gaming chairs, lumbar support and head rest relies on pillows.

 

 

Noblechairs Epic Nappa @ $999

 

Pros:
  • Beautiful! Slim profile, real leather and beautifully made. Only now with even better leather!
  • It’s huge. One of the biggest gaming chairs out there.

 

Cons:
  • Despite the new leather, the design seems to mirror the regular Epic. It’s going to be hard and could do with more padding.
  • Like most gaming chairs, lumbar support and head rest relies on pillows.

 

 

Noblechairs ICON Leather @ $ 549

 

Pros:
  • Like the EPIC, it’s beautiful, only with a little more cushioning.
  • That extra cushioning makes it very comfortable.

 

Cons:
  • It’s huge. Shorter gamers need to be careful that its not too high.
  • Like most chairs, lumbar support and head rest relies on pillows.

 

Noblechairs ICON Nappa @ $ 999

 

Pros:
  • Like the EPIC, it’s beautiful, only with a little more cushioning.
  • That extra cushioning makes it very comfortable.

 

Cons:
  • It’s huge. Shorter gamers need to be careful that its not too high.
  • Like most chairs, lumbar support and head rest relies on pillows.

 

 

Noblechairs Hero Leather @ $ 549

 

Pros:
  • It’s a great option if you want mid priced leather alternative to the Secretlabs Titan.
  • One of only two gaming chairs to offer internal lumbar support.

 

Cons:
  • Like the Epic, it’s going to be hard and could do with more padding.
  • Not a whole lot.

 

Vertagear PL6000 @ $439

 

Pros:
  • Big and comfy.
  • If you get a good chair, they have great reviews.

 

Cons:
  • It’s a bulky and chunky looking chair with a loose lumbar pillow.
  • There have been manufacturing issues, so it’s a gamble.

 

 

Vertagear Triigger 350 with headrest @ $968

 

Pros:
  • If iron man was a chair, this is what it would look like.
  • It’s ergonomic. A gaming task chair, unlike the rest of the chairs here.

 

Cons:
  • You may need to sell your kidney to be able to afford one.
  • There’s very little actual review feedback out there, likely because of the price. @Vertagear, feel free to send me one to review 🙂

 

 

Maxnomic Need For Seat XL @ $589

 

Pros:
  • Huge, not just in height, but also width
  • Based on reviews, comfy.

 

Cons:
  • At $589, I’d expect it to look better and/or be made of leather.
  • Loose lumbar pillow.

 

Secretlab Titan @ $399

 

Pros:
  • Cheap, yet beautiful, with the all the features of a $500+ chair.
  • One of only two gaming chairs to offer lumbar support.

 

Cons:
  • Availability. Secretlabs seems to struggle to keep up with demand
  • Unlike the Omega Elite and now the Napa chairs, it’s not made of leather.

 

 

Secretlab Omega 2018 @ $ 329

 

Pros:
  • The little brother to the Titan, it’s better suited to smaller gamers.
  • Much like the Titan, great quality and value for money.

 

Cons:
  • Availability. Secretlabs seems to struggle to keep up with demand.
  • No internal lumbar support!

 

Secretlab Omega Napa @ $ 749

 

Pros:
  • Like the regular Omega, this chair is best for smaller gamers.
  • It’s got the napa treatment and is covered in premium calf skin leather.

 

Cons:
  • As with all Secretlabs chairs, availability can be a challenge.
  • Still no internal lumbar support. At more than double the price of the regular Omega, I’d have loved to have seen that as a feature.

 

Secretlab Titan Napa @ $ 799

 

Pros:
  • Much like the regular Titan, it’s the only gaming chair with adjustable internal lumbar support.
  • It has the napa treatment and is made from premium calf skin leather.

 

Cons:
  • Like most Secretlabs chairs, they’re popular, so Secretlabs will probably run out of stock regularly.
  • It’s not a cost effective like the regular Titan. Wallet busting stuff.

 

DXRacer Office Chair @ $ 799

 

Pros:
  • Has great reviews with a lot of focus on comfort.
  • It’s made of real leather.

 

Cons:
  • It’s pricey and for what it costs, should look better and offer better lumbar solutions.
  • The only real complaint is that like the Noblechair Epic, the seat base can be a bit hard.

 

ZQ Racing Ultra Series @ $ 620

 

Pros:
  • With a back rest height of 98cm, it’s huuuuuuge.
  • It’s made for equally huge gamers with a weight limit of 220kg.

 

Cons:
  • It’s not the most attractive chair of the bunch and it’s not real leather.
  • ZQ Racing are Australian based, so it may be a challenge getting your hands on one if you’re not in Australia.

 

The first time I made this decision, the Maxnomic looked too cheap for the cost, so that was first to be culled. The Secretlab looked really appealing, but was constantly out of stock and I couldn’t wait 2 months for them to make more, which meant it got 3 red buzzers. This left the Noble and both Vertagear models.

 

I thought long and hard about the Vertagear Triigger, but in the end it was just too expensive. If there had been a slew of great reviews to back it up, it may have given me the confidence to pull the trigger, but with limited actual user feedback, it seemed to big a risk. I find that as a bigger human, task style chairs either fit your frame, or not. Not a risk I wanted to take for almost $1000.

 

This left the Vertagear PL6000 and the Noblechair. Both offered a similar set of features in a fairly similar price range. The Noble was $100 more, but it was made of real leather, which I saw as fair. Both chairs suffered from the manufacturing lottery. The early PL6000’s had legs that would snap off. Not ideal for a chair marketed at large humans. The early Noble’s occasionally had misaligned backs that wouldn’t fit on the base properly. Again, not ideal.

 

What finally swayed me was the aesthetics. The Vertagear looked big and blocky, almost as if it had been built in Minecraft. The clean lines of the Noble on the other hand just couldn’t be ignored. It wouldn’t look out of place as the driver’s seat for a classic Porsche. It also wouldn’t look out of place in the corner of a smokey cigar lounge, with a whiskey perched next to it and some soft jazz in the background.

 

I ended up crowning the Noblechairs Epic Leather as the best gaming chair and I got one shortly afterwards. As you can see below, it has both form and function and is made of real leather. At a price of  $549, it made it a no brainer. If you’d like to know what I think about the Noblechair, read my review here!

 

Best Premium Gaming Chair

 

Enter 2019, and I’m not so sure I’d make the same choice. Some strong contenders have stolen the limelight, starting with Noblechairs own ICON. It’s essentially an upgraded EPIC and it adds a bit of padding, to both the seat base and the head rest. If only they’d added internal lumbar support!

 

Speaking of upgraded Noblechairs… they’ve rolled out nappa leather versions of both the ICON and the EPIC. I’d be tempted to give the ICON a try, but my gut tells me that the seat base of both chairs, and the EPIC especially, will be too hard. If you’ve read my review of the EPIC Leather, you’ll know that I think it’s a great chair, albeit a bit hard where it matters. With both of the nappa chairs being priced at an eye bleeding $999, I’d really have liked a chair with no drawbacks, like some extra cold foam padding.

 

The Hero leather is also a really interesting choice. I’m not sure which came first, but it’s basically Noblechairs version of the Secretlab Titan. It’s a great option if you want a leather version of the Titan, but can’t afford that tasty Napa goodness. I do think that like my experience with other Noblechairs, the seat base is going to be pretty hard, which may put you off.

 

We then have two really interesting entries from DX Racer and ZQ Racing. The DX Racer chair ticks a lot of boxes, but to me, it falls down on both looks and the slightly hard seat base. The ZQ Racing chair seems like it could be a real winner, but it’s not leather, the looks don’t appeal to me personally and it has a bulky, shiny chrome leg base that could be better.

 

Which leaves us with the worst kept secret in the world, the Secretlab trio of chairs. First up, the Omega is a cost effective, great chair, but not one for a 6’5 giant, as it’s aimed at gamers under 6 foot. This also crosses the Omega Napa off the list, but leaves the Titan, and Titan Napa.

 

The Titan was on my shortlist last year, as it ticked most of the boxes that the Noblechairs Epic did, but went a step further with some more seat cushioning and internal lumbar support. Only the Secretlab Titan and the Hero from Noblechairs have internal lumbar support, so you can finally get rid of the annoying back pillow. I don’t know about you, but I can never get them to be comfortable.

 

The only drawbacks were availability and the small fact that they didn’t do a leather version. Now that Secretlab have given both the Omega and the Titan the napa treatment, it made me look back into the Titan Napa.

 

Similarly to the Triigger, expensive chairs don’t get nearly as much reviewing as the cheaper / mid tier option, but the information I could find about the Titan Napa seemed very positive. This meant that the Secretlabs Titan Napa stood a chance of stealing me away from my trusty Noblechair.

 

So what chair do I think you should buy in 2019? You’re really spoiled for choice, not just in the expensive options, but on both ends of the budget spectrum.

 

If you have deep pockets, the Noblechairs ICON Napa and the Secretlab Omega / Titan Napa pretty much share the title for best gaming chair in my book. That said, the Secretlab chairs are $150 cheaper, so I think they get the edge. You can read my review of the Secretlab Titan Napa here.

 

If you want a great chair leather chair, but don’t want to sell your kidney to afford your new throne, I’d highly recommend any of the Noblechairs Leather versions, with the Hero likely getting the edge over the Epic and the Icon. Alternatively, if you’re not too bothered about riding a cow into battle, get the regular PU versions of the Secretlabs Omega 2018 or Secretlabs Titan for what you’d pay for a DXRacer.

 

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