Best racing seat 2022: Our top picks to upgrade your sim setup

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Finding the best racing seat can be challenging at times, especially with the wide range of price points to consider that make it hard to know how much you should spend and what sort of quality you're getting for your cash.

The good news is that we have already done some of the leg work for you by compiling a list of our top picks based on features, price, and reviews to help you find the right seat to upgrade your setup.

In fact, with top racing titles like F1 22 out now and already on its 1.05 update, we'd argue there's never been a better time to take your setup to the next level.

So whether you're after something build for racing, like this Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit, or you're looking for something designed more for gaming in general, like this noblechairs HERO, we've got you covered right here.

We've also picked out a few upcoming releases for you to mark in your diaries to upgrade your racing set-up in the near future.

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Best all-round racing seat - Next Level Racing GT Track Cockpit

next level gt track
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Image Credit: Next Level Racing
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Brand: Next Level Racing | Materials: PU Leather | Dimensions: 138 x 120 x 55 cm

This Next Level Racing GT Track seat is designed for serious sim racing enthusiasts who want to achieve as realistic a racing experience as possible playing games like F1 2021.

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It comes with fully adjustable steering, shifter, and pedal mounts to suit your preference, and is compatible with Next Level Racing's motion platform to bring even more realism to your racing games.

We feel the Next Level Racing GT Track cockpit is well worth considering if you're looking for a well-rounded bit of kit, especially as it is compatible with some of the best racing wheels around, including Thrustmaster, Logitech, and Fanatec.

Best budget racing seat - Playseat Challenge

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Image Credit: Playseat
Brand: Playseat | Material: Alcantara | Dimensions: 136 x 54 x 96 cm

Featured in our list of the best racing chairs for FH5, the lightweight and portable Playseat Challenge should be a good option to consider if you're searching for a slightly cheaper racing seat.

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That's not to say it isn't made using quality materials though. For example, the frame is made from powder-coated steel, designed to be highly durable and supportive, and the seat is lined with alcantara which should be nicer to sit on than leather on a warm day.

As far as compatibility goes, the Playseat Challenge is built for all the main controller brands currently on the market, which is another reason why it makes our list as one of the best budget options around.

Best racing seat for controllers - noblechairs HERO

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Image Credit: noblechairs
Brand: noblechairs | Material: Faux Leather | Dimensions: 67 x 69 x 136 cm

If you prefer to race using a controller, or you're after something slightly more versatile for everyday use, then the ergonomic design of the noblechairs HERO might be for you.

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Its sturdy steel frame can support anyone up to 330lbs, and the added lumbar support has been included to help you feel relaxed and comfortable, particularly during longer races.

The noblechairs HERO also looks sophisticated with its quilted back made from faux leather, plus it comes with a choice of different stitching colours so you can match the seat to whatever colour scheme you'd like.

Best premium racing seat - Extreme Simracing Cockpit 3.0

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Image Credit: Extreme Simracing
Brand: Extreme Simracing | Material: Faux Leather | Dimensions: 61 x 109 x 58 cm

The Extreme Simracing Cockpit should be an extremely comfortable and sturdy seat for anyone up to 300lbs thanks to its no-flex Carbon Steel chassis and reclining faux leather bucket chair.

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What we particularly like about this cockpit though is the number of accessories it comes with. For example, it features a 50" TV stand, a shifter mount, and even a cup holder to ensure you stay refreshed, even during longer races.

It's also worth noting that the Extreme Simracing Cockpit has a rubber levelling base, designed to improve stability, especially if you're planning to use it as a more permanent fixture.

Best portable racing seat - Next Level Racing F-GT Lite

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Image Credit: Next Level Racing
Brand: Next Level Racing | Material: Breathable Fabric | Dimensions: 140 x 61 x 124.5 cm

The Next Level Racing F-GT Lite looks to be an extremely versatile and highly compatible bit of kit as it can be arranged into both GT and Formula racing configurations depending on whether you're playing games like Gran Turismo 7 or F1 2021.

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Moreover, the wheel mount is built to accommodate a direct drive wheel, plus it supports haptic feedback devices to help fully immerse yourself in the racing experience.

On the whole, we feel it is definitely a strong option to consider, especially as it's fully foldable so should be easy to store when the F-GT Lite is not in use.

Best versatile racing seat - OpenWheeler GEN3

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Image Credit: OpenWheeler
Brand: OpenWheeler | Material: Unspecified | Dimensions: Unspecified

We previously featured the OpenWheeler GEN3 in our list of the best racing seats for Gran Turismo 7 and, what we like about this bit of kit is its versatility as it is said to fit all racing wheels including Logitech, Thrustmaster, and Fanatec.

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On top of that, OpenWheeler boasts its racing seat is compact and easy-to-store which is great if you're limited to space and want a scaled-back FH5 setup.

Moreover, you get a gear shifter mount for either the left or right side included in the package which is great as it allows you to gear change with whichever hand feels most comfortable.

Overall, the OpenWheeler GEN3 looks to be an extremely versatile seat to take your racing setup to the next level.

Latest racing seat news

With sim seats constantly evolving and improving, we've decided to include some of the latest news surrounding them to keep you in the loop with the most notable releases.

Prodrive unveil new home racing simulator

Latest racing seat news Prodrive simulator product image.
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Credit: Prodrive

It has been announced that British engineering group Prodrive will launch a home simulator in the summer.

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As most racing simulators are designed to be functional, Prodrive's aim is to build a piece of 'modern art' that can be proudly displayed in your living room

Prodrive has partnered with the design studio CALLUM, founded by legendary car designer Ian Callum, to bring this concept to life. Stay tuned to find out more once further information is revealed.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When it comes to finding the right racing seat, there are usually a few questions that pop up, but we're here to answer some of the more common queries.

What types of racing seats are there?

Racing seats can vary in complexity depending on their style and price tag.

If you're looking for something more akin to a normal office chair if you prefer using a controller, then a standard gaming chair may be for you.

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By contrast, you can also get a racing simulator seat that is more of a cockpit-style setup if you have the whole wheel, shifter, and peddle ensemble.

There are also motion cockpits available which, as their name suggests, move in correlation to what you see on your screen. This is obviously the most expensive variant, but should also be the most realistic and immersive option.

Why should you get a racing seat?

Although they're not absolutely necessary, a good racing chair can help bring your favourite racing game to life.

A racing chair can also increase your level of comfort, particularly if you're used to a desk set up and monitor.

Unfortunately, they can take up quite a bit of room, however, most racing seats are foldable these days, making them easier to store when they're not in use.

How much should you spend on a racing seat?

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Racing seats can be pricey, but there are a number of budget options available if you don't want to splash the cash on a premium cockpit

In terms of how much you should spend, that really depends on your available budget and how seriously you invest in racing games.

If you're planning on playing games like FH5 more casually, then picking up a racing chair may not be entirely necessary and worth the added cost.

However, if you're a serious and keen racer looking to add realism into your experience, then going for a top gaming chair should satisfy your needs.

Are bucket seats comfortable for sim racing?

We've previously gone into detail on whether racing seats are comfortable and, in the said guide, we mention that bucket seats in real life are built to be secure, lightweight, and strong to maximise performance and safety.

However, as sim racing seats aren't used in real life, they can therefore afford to include some additional elements to ensure you remain comfortable, even during extended gaming sessions.

For example, most sim bucket seats come with a ton of padding for added comfort, plus they can be made from premium materials like leather and Alcantara to ensure a highly enjoyable gaming experience.

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How do you mount a racing seat?

Most sim racing seats are fitted with brackets to your sim rig, often side-mounted, which typically gives the greatest range of options in terms of adjustability.

However, in some circumstances, racing seats are mounted underneath, although this is rare.

One thing to be careful of if buying a seat that is bottom-mounted though is that it often restricts the adjustability, therefore, they can occasionally be stuck in a fixed position.

What is Alcantara?

Alcantara is often thought to be suede; however, it's actually a synthetic textile developed in Japan in the 1970s.

It is also made by an Italian company named... Alcantara.

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A major advantage of Alcantara is its improved levels of grip over leather, which is why it is commonly applied to racing wheels.

In addition to being more durable and hard-wearing than suede, it is also easier to clean, which is why it is commonly used for car interiors such as racing chairs as well.

More racing accessories

It's important to get your setup right in order to beat your competition. Check out some of our other top racing accessories picks right here to help you build the ultimate racing environment.

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Read More: Best budget racing equipment - Our top picks