Gamers are a tough bunch to shop for. They’re one of the few consumer groups that a) buys their own equipment almost exclusively; b) are very particular about what they buy; and c) enjoy comfort as much as they do gaming. Luckily for us, Spieltek understands the struggle is real for gamers, and they have developed a line of gaming chairs that really hits gamers where it counts—in their butts.
Now, I understand gamers. I’ve been seriously gaming for more than 30 years, starting with my days as a GamePro editor, where I played games for a living 12 hours a day, right through my days at Pokémon (also long days of battling through some very competitive matches), and even now, as a father of two avid gamers and a wife who puts up some serious numbers when going head-to-head (life advice: don’t get into an argument over something petty, then sit down to play Call of Duty and never, ever, ever tell her she’s just like her mother, or you will be looking at a kill rate that makes Jack the Ripper look like Mary Poppins). Yeah, gaming’s in my blood. But as the years have passed, and gaming has gotten far more intense, comfort levels for gamers is of tantamount importance. Gone are the days of just finding an office chair or spare beanbag and playing a couple of friendly matches—gamers are heavily invested in hour upon hours of critical and intense matches, and now there is furniture that caters just to them.
Gaming chairs run the gamut on features, ergonomics and price. You could easily drop upwards of $2,000 on a fully featured, top-of-the-line Japanese shiatsu/robotic butler gaming chair, but you’ll constantly wonder if that money is well spent. And since gamers are likely to save money for games, consoles, PC parts, headsets, and just about anything else before they settle on their derriere’s well-being, $2,000 is not something most would consider spending.
I had the opportunity to experience a lineup of chairs recently, from Spieltek, and interestingly enough, I found some real surprises in the selection, the least of which was the amazing price points. From gamers on a budget, someone special looking to surprise you without making a down payment, or even for the rare gamer who wants to splurge a little and sit on their high horse with some style, Spieltek really has something for everyone.
The Spieltek 100 Series chairs are where you would start when you are considering a gift for the gamer who has everything, or who’s had their wallet weakened recently by the large ding created by purchasing a new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. These were my first experience with the lineup, and I found it a little underwhelming. So, I did the right thing and gave it to my son, who’s home and distance learning while in his first year at college. He loved it, but he was sitting on an Elmo rocking chair before that (we rarely throw anything out in this house) and then he graduated to a broken office chair that someone gave us a couple of years ago. When I had the chair, I noticed that the seat seemed to always lean slightly forward, and the build quality felt marginally flimsy. Adjusting the chair was simple (and putting it together was so easy that I let him do it himself, and this is a kid who I saw trying to juggle my chainsaw the other day). Still, he appreciated the smallish padding in the lower lumbar, the ample headrest, and the feeling that he was enveloped in the chair, unlike the aforementioned office chair.
Who’s this targeted for? Obviously, this is grandma’s gift to show you that she understands and respects you even though you have the moniker Dead Clown Killer on Xbox Live, you still have the cutest little punim, and you deserve something special. This is also a great chair for college students who can’t afford more but want some comfort and style, and don’t want a barstool that their parents were getting rid of anyway. The build is metal, with a PU covering (polyurethane leather, because no one wants to see an animal skinned so that you can play Untitled Goose Game for six hours), two pillows (lower back and headrest) and a recline of 90-180°. Sadly, this single-lever adjustable chair has no tilt lock, so when reclining (which it does in locked steps or stages) you will always return to your original position unless you force the recline. It does come in a variety of color configurations: basic black, and black hybrids that include red, white, blue, gray, orange, and purple. These also have 2D armrests, which in case you are not paying close attention, is a big deal with chairs. The armrests have no depth or dip in the middle. Think of your office chair—even that isn’t just a straight piece of fixture, there’s some context and molding to make resting your arms more comfortable. A 2D armrest means there are two directions of motion adjustment in these armests: up/down and lateral rotation.
Next, I got to experience the Spieltek 200 series chairs, and the difference was palpable. For the price of a game, around $60, you’ll feel a difference in the quality and build. The build is a full steel frame with a PU covering, but you don’t feel the same flimsiness that you would in the 100 series. First of all, the armrests are 3D molded (up/down, lateral, backward/forward), and that extra level makes a difference when you’re experiencing forearm fatigue from holding a racing wheel on your lap, or maybe some seriously intense FPS gaming. It also has a single-lever tilt adjustment, but the recline angle is between 90-165°, and the incline mechanism is smooth, no steps or locking in place. The plastic wheelbase with 60mm casters makes gliding around in the chair smooth and effortless, but just the general feel of the chair is something you’ll notice. Who’s buying this chair? More attentive grandparents, for one, but this also makes a great gift when coming from a girlfriend or boyfriend, or any good friend who knows you love gaming as much as you love them. It’s a good choice in the mid-range and won’t crack your bank wide open.
But then. But then. But then I got to experience the Spieltek 300 Series gaming chairs, and my mind was instantly made up—I had to have one. These are the apex of the series, even though there is one more level of chair (we’ll get to that). I played and beat Maneater for the Xbox (great game, time intensive, and if you’re a completionist, it should only take you about six hours to get through the game) and not once did I ever feel booty fatigue, which is a real thing that I just made up. The chair is substantially more comfortable than the others in the series, with 4D armrests (up/down, lateral, backward/forward, and in/out), a full steel frame with leatherette covering and PU leather details, 60mm casters, and two adjustment levers—one for the tilt and one for the height. The seat can lock in place when reclining, which is so cool when you’ve found your gaming zone. The hydraulic lift is an SGS-certified Class 4 mechanism, which sounds like something a gaming aficionado should be concerned with but, in reality, it just means that the lift and fall of the chair is smooth and effortless (I’ve had many chairs where I fought with the lift and fall of the chair, sometimes with comic results). The lumbar and headrest are not just pillows, they’re memory foam enclosed in durable fabric, and since both are adjustable, almost anyone can discover their sweet spot for comfort. The color array is a little more limited than the 100 series, but the style, ergonomics, and comfortable feel of these chairs make them my favorite of the bunch. Also, an added plus: the full-size side bolsters (or wings) give you a sense of being cocooned in the chair, which is an absolute must for gamers who just want to lose themselves in whatever they’re playing.
For less than $200, these are not only affordable, but compared to competitors’ chairs, these are a great value-added gaming buy. These are the ones that I wouldn’t consider a gift, even if my awesome grandparents were still alive, but rather one that I would purchase myself. It’s worth it, and I rarely spend anything on gaming accessories. I don’t have fancy headphones, or leather gaming grips for my controllers (or expensive $200 controllers, for that matter), but I would find money in my account for this chair.
Finally, the Spieltek 400 series chairs were on hand for me to experience, and they possess the same uptick in quality that each progression of the series offered. They also come with 4D armrests, memory-foam headrests and lumbar support, dual-lever height and recline adjusters, and a tilt-lock seat. Full metal frame with leatherette details, PU leather highlights, and even larger wing bolsters on each side add to the experience. This chair also has a smooth rocking feature (and that same SGS-certified Class 4 hydraulic lift) with a 90-160° recline and tilt-lock for the seats so you can keep your gameplay (and your spine) in target for your gaming sessions. Still, if I have to be honest, the jump between the 300 and 400 series is not significant enough to change my purchase. I did feel a slight positive deviance in the 400 series, but I still think the 300 series is the one to beat. Who’s the target for the 400 series chairs? The most significant difference between the 300 and 400 is the physical size. It has a taller, wider backrest, and a wider, deeper, thicker seat. A gamer who’s interested in all the features of the 300, but wants the extra real estate, would be interested in the 400. The 400 would also appeal to rich grandparents, gamers who are looking for top of the line and are willing to spoil themselves, or those of you who are researching and pricing out gaming chairs and have come to find that for less than $250, these chairs are a real bargain.
Before we leave you today, there were two more chairs that I got to use that are kind of a niche gaming accessory. They are the Spieltek Gaming recliners, and I say niche because gamers don’t really dig recliners the way, say, my Uncle Freddy does, which is usually while watching NCIS, falling asleep with his pants indecorously unbuttoned. The Spieltek RL recliners are a budget-friendly recliner that doesn’t have much going for it, except that it reclines. I’ve been using one for a couple of months, and it does what it purports to do—it reclines. While you’re gaming. Because gaming needs that extra push toward lack of exercise. You have to push back on the recliner to make it recline, and although not uncomfortable, it does feel weird to game from a recliner that looks more comfortable at a child’s tea party than it would in a gamer’s den. Still, this is not competing with real, plush luxury recliners, it’s just a fun thing that a gamer may or may not enjoy.
This is definitely the gift for the gamer who has said to you “Do you know what my life is missing? A recliner.” And then you crack open your wallet and realize that you’re missing disposable income. Value-priced, niche, but still fun. And ease of assembly? It comes in two pieces, and you simply slip one into the other. Perfect for the gamer who has everything but wants to do nothing.
As with all the other Spieltek lines, there is an upgrade to this basic recliner. The Spieltek SRL recliners rock back and forth, are far more comfortable, and have a better build quality. The SRL recliners are plushier, more comfortable, and use a lever to recline, adding another layer of comfort (or laziness, depending on how you look at it). They have a 360° swivel and recline to 150°, giving you a far more comfortable experience than the RL series. But gaming recliners are something that need room and area to enjoy. Gamers don’t pull up their gaming recliners to their desktop PCs (not comfortably at least) but they are good options for gamers suffering from back problems who cannot spend hours in a traditional gaming chair.
So, if you want to spoil a gamer this holiday season or are just looking to upgrade your own seating arrangements, take a good hard look at the Spieltek line. When you search and compare the feature set and quality against other available gaming chairs, you’ll be surprised to learn that Spieltek—a company with a German-sounding name, long known for its quality and comfort in the gaming chair business—knows its trade. No butts about it.
What are your gaming needs regarding your comfort as you play? Have you tried any of the Spieltek gaming-series chairs? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.