If you take your racing games seriously, you may have considered whether sim racings seats are comfortable if you're planning on purchasing one.
Fortunately, we're here to help by talking you through some of the key characteristics of a racing seat before giving our overall verdict on whether we think they can deliver an enjoyable ride.
Let's begin with their purpose...
Purpose of a racing seat
Racing seats in real-life racing cars are not designed for comfort. Instead, they're built to be secure, lightweight, and strong to maximise performance and safety.
Also, they're normally tailored to fit the driver and their body shape, something that doesn't typically apply to sim racing seats which are built primarily to add realism to your racing setup.
With that being said, sim racing seats aren't used in real life and, therefore, can afford to include some additional elements to ensure you remain comfortable, even during extended gaming sessions.
Padding and support in a sim racing seat
Most sim racing seats come with a good amount of padding to increase comfort as this is arguably one of the most important factors to take into consideration when purchasing a gaming chair.
For example, this Next Level Racing GT, featured in our list of the best racing seats for GT7, includes a ton of extra cushioning plus additional lumbar supports, designed to enhance your levels of comfort whilst racing.
Moreover, some chairs, like this Playseat Challenge, are highly adjustable so can be reclined into a more laid-back position to, again, improve comfort and make being seated in a racing chair an enjoyable experience.
These are things that can't be applied to their real-life counterparts as they normally add too much weight.
For example, an F1 seat comes with next to no padding and is fixed in one position for an entire race.
Materials used for a sim racing seat
Another element to consider when figuring out whether a sim racing seat is comfortable is what materials are used to build the chair and to line it.
This Playseat Evolution, for example, appears to be an extremely sturdy bit of kit, but its chair is covered in soft, premium Alcantara which should deliver a luxurious and comfortable ride, particularly on a warmer day.
Alternatively, some chairs, like this Extreme Simracing Cockpit 3.0 featured in our list of the best racing seats, come decked out in real or faux leather which can be soft to sit on, and are usually filled with a good amount of padding.
While real-life racing seats can be lined in some sort of fabric, this is usually kept very thin to keep the weight to a minimum.
For example, McLaren was the first F1 team to deck their chairs out in natural fibres, however, the layer is extremely thin, it sits on top of stiff carbon fibre, and doesn't even cover the entirety of the chair.
Are sim racing seats comfortable?
Deciding whether sim racing seats are comfortable is, ultimately, quite subjective and will vary between different manufacturers.
However, generally speaking, sim racing chairs should be comfortable as this is a hugely important aspect of making gaming enjoyable.
Sim seats are also not under the same kind of restraints as real-life racing chairs, so can incorporate a few extras like padding, leather, and Alcantara to help improve the levels of comfort, all whilst making sure they remain relatively accurate to their counterparts.