The Best Drafting Chairs of 2022

Working at a drafting table or standing desk? The best drafting chairs have a range of ergonomic features to make sitting in the studio or office more comfortable.

By Jasmine Harding | Published Jul 1, 2022 1:41 PM

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Best Drafting Chairs

Photo: amazon.com

Drafting chairs were originally made for designers, architects, and artists to draw at elevated, sloped drafting tables. Today they come in various iterations, from simple drafting stools to ergonomic drafting chairs that resemble a taller office chair. These high seats are ideal for sitting at taller desks, including both drafting and standing desks.

A good drafting chair is not only supportive, but it also includes a range of adjustable features to make it more comfortable to sit all day. Keep reading for the best drafting chairs for your studio or work space.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Flash Furniture Mid-Back Ergonomic Drafting Chair
  2. RUNNER-UP: Modway Veer Drafting Chair
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Boss Be Well Adjustable Drafting Stool
  4. BEST DRAFTING STOOL: Flash Furniture Drafting Stool with Tractor Seat
  5. BEST ARMLESS: Office Star DC2990 Deluxe Mesh Back Drafting Chair
  6. BEST PADDED: Boss Ergonomic Works Adjustable Drafting Chair
  7. BEST WITH HEADREST: Nouhaus ErgoDraft Drafting Chair
  8. MOST STYLISH: Modway Thrive Mesh Drafting Chair
  9. ALSO CONSIDER: Hylone High-Back Mesh Ergonomic Drafting Chair
Best Drafting Chairs

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Drafting Chair

With many options to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to shop for a new drafting chair. Besides the chair’s style, shoppers should also consider several other factors when searching for the best drafting chair for their desk. To find a suitable drafting chair, consider its seat height, adjustability features, footrest and armrests, ergonomic design, and upholstery materials.

Seat Height

The seat on most regular office chairs ranges in height from 16 to 21 inches tall. Drafting chairs are taller than regular office chairs, with some drafting chairs as tall as 34 inches (measured to the seat). Because of their height, drafting chairs aren’t suitable for use with regular desks. To maintain good working posture, use them only with tall desks, like drafting tables or standing desks.

When choosing a drafting chair, consider the height of your drafting or standing desk. Plan to have enough space to sit at the chair and slide it under the desk while also maintaining proper arm and shoulder posture. A general rule of thumb is to allow around 8 to 12 inches of space between the desk and the seat. Like many office chairs, the seats on most drafting chairs are adjustable.

Adjustability 

All the best drafting chair options have adjustable features, most likely an adjustable seat height. An adjustable footrest, an especially important feature for short or tall users, is another attractive feature to consider. It allows users to adjust the footrest to their height, and since leg alignment is crucial for ergonomics, this feature can greatly improve comfort.

Other adjustable parts include backrests and/or lumbar support, headrests and armrests, and seat depth. Seat tilt tension adjustability and tilt locks can make it more comfortable for users to lean forward over a drafting table.

Footrests and Armrests

Because of their height, many of the best drafting chairs have footrests, which prevent the user’s feet and legs from dangling. Most commonly, the footrest is a metal foot ring that wraps around the chair post, allowing users to adjust the footrest to their ideal height.

While not all drafting chairs have armrests, they can add to the chair’s comfort. Armrests provide a place for the arms and elbows to rest while sketching, writing, or typing, and if adjustable, they can help ergonomics. Most adjustable armrests adjust in height only, but some also can be moved forward and backward or inward and outward. Flip-up armrests add convenience, allowing the armrests to flip for extra mobility or to tuck the chair under the desk.

Ergonomics

An ergonomic design is important for any work chair, but especially for those who sit at a desk for most of the day. Drafting chairs can range from simple drafting stools to ergonomic drafting chairs with several adjustable features.

Ergonomic drafting chairs have many of the same features as ergonomic office chairs, including contoured seats, a supportive backrest and armrests, lumbar support, and a host of adjustable features. Some drafting chairs feature a waterfall-seat style, in which the seat slopes slightly forward to minimize pressure on the backs of the thighs, an especially useful feature when working at a drafting table.

Compared to regular ergonomic office chairs, drafting chairs typically lack a few features. To keep them safe at their taller height, drafting chairs often don’t recline, although they may tilt forward. Their backrests also usually stop at the low- or mid-back to reduce overall chair height. However, drafting chairs with a headrest are available for those who want a higher level of support.

Upholstery

Besides ergonomics, a drafting chair’s materials also contribute to its comfort. Similar to office chairs, drafting chairs come in a range of material options, including mesh, fabric, vinyl, leather, and faux leather.

Mesh and fabric seats are affordable, come in a range of colors, and (especially in mesh) are breathable. Mesh seat backs cradle the back without holding in heat. However, mesh and fabric upholstery can be hard to clean and may sag over time.

The smoother texture of vinyl, leather, and faux leather makes them easier to clean than mesh or fabric. For a more premium look, these materials come in a range of colors. However, they’re less breathable and can feel hot or uncomfortable to some users. Genuine leather upholstery also can be expensive.

Our Top Picks

An ergonomic drafting chair may be the ideal choice for tall desks. Sketch, draw, and type in comfort with one of the best drafting chairs in this list.

Best Overall

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Flash Furniture Mid-Back Ergonomic Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

With a contemporary design and several ergonomic features, the Flash Furniture Mid-Back Ergonomic Drafting Chair is the best drafting chair for most settings. This commercial-grade drafting chair features an ergonomic mid-back design with a curved shape, built-in lumbar support, and breathable mesh material. Along with the padded swivel seat, this chair is comfortable enough to sit in for a long day of work.

Other ergonomic features include the adjustable seat and footrest height, height-adjustable padded armrests, and a tilt mechanism, which comes with a tilt tension adjustment knob so users can adjust the tilt tension for different tasks.

This cozy chair sits atop a heavy-duty nylon base with smooth-rolling caster wheels. Its seat height ranges from 23.5 to 31.5 inches. Overall, this drafting chair offers good adjustability features and a supportive, ergonomic design at a reasonable cost.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 23.5 to 31.5 inches tall
  • Seat material: Mesh and fabric
  • Adjustability: Armrests, seat, and footrest height

Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • Several adjustable features
  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Contemporary look

Cons

  • Lacks waterfall seat design

Get the Flash Furniture drafting chair at Amazon, Overstock, or Best Buy.

Runner-Up

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Modway Veer Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

The Modway Veer Drafting Chair is ideal for those who want an ergonomic design at a more affordable price. This comfortable drafting chair features a breathable mesh back design, a cushioned contoured seat, and padded armrests. Both the seat height and footrest height are adjustable, and the seat height can adjust from 21.5 to 29.5 inches. However, this drafting chair lacks height-adjustable armrests, but the armrests flip up and out of the way when desired.

The waterfall-style seat makes it easier to lean forward in this chair without putting pressure on the legs. The curved backrest also provides good lumbar support to encourage proper seated posture. Like many other drafting chairs, it comes on rolling casters to make it easier to move around.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 21.5 to 29.5 inches tall
  • Seat material: Mesh and fabric
  • Adjustability: Seat and footrest height

Pros

  • Waterfall seat
  • Breathable mesh back
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • Armrests aren’t adjustable

Get the Modway Veer drafting chair at Amazon, Target, or Modway.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Boss Be Well Adjustable Drafting Stool
Photo: amazon.com

Created for medical offices and spas, the Boss Be Well Adjustable Drafting Stool is a budget-friendly, long-lasting pick that’s designed for heavy use. While this simpler drafting stool doesn’t have the ergonomic design of others on this list, it’s still a comfortable choice. It features an adjustable seat height design, a small but supportive backrest, and a 4-inch-thick molded foam seat cushion. With a seat height range between 28 and 34 inches, it’s ideal for high tables.

This drafting chair is upholstered in durable antimicrobial black vinyl. The smooth material looks like leather but is easy to clean. It’s designed to look professional and attractive, even with daily use. Whether for a medical office, a workplace, or a home studio, this drafting stool is an affordable, comfortable, and smart-looking choice.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 28 to 34 inches tall
  • Seat material: Antimicrobial vinyl
  • Adjustability: Seat height

Pros

  • Easy-to-clean vinyl upholstery
  • Thick, molded seat cushion
  • Tall seat height range

Cons

  • Footrest doesn’t adjust for height
  • Lacks lumbar support

Get the Boss Office Products drafting stool at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target

Best Drafting Stool

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Flash Furniture Drafting Stool with Tractor Seat
Photo: amazon.com

Unlike drafting chairs, drafting stools typically have a small lower back support and no armrests. This simple design offers extra mobility for those who like to move around while working. The Flash Furniture Drafting Stool with Tractor Seat features a pared-down but comfortable drafting stool design, with a bit of a stylish edge.

Its comfort-molded tractor seat is one of the stand-out features of this chair. The seat is made from easy-to-clean, high-density plastic and has a comfortable contoured design. The seat’s appearance is charming; it’s different from a plain-cushioned drafting stool. This chair comes in a wide range of colorways to suit different tastes. To add comfort, this chair adjusts for height from 22 to 30.5 inches and has a small backrest to provide a bit of support.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 22 to 30.5 inches tall
  • Seat material: Plastic
  • Adjustability: Seat height

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Wide color range

Cons

  • Plastic chair material can be slippery

Get the Flash Furniture drafting stool at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Best Armless

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Office Star DC2990 Deluxe Mesh Back Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

While armrests are supportive, they also can be restricting. For those who want an ergonomic design but prefer to have a full range of movement, the Office Star DC2990 Deluxe Mesh Back Drafting Chair may be the right choice. Unlike simple drafting stools, which often lack ergonomic features, this chair still has the supportive features of an ergonomic drafting chair—sans armrests.

A mesh, curved backrest provides a breathable surface to rest against, and it comes complete with built-in lumbar support. Paired with the padded seat, this chair is built for comfort. Both the seat height and footrest height are adjustable. Ideal for high tables, this drafting chair is on the taller side, adjusting from 24.25 to 33.75 inches in seat height.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 24.25 to 33.75 inches tall
  • Seat material: Mesh and fabric
  • Adjustability: Seat and footrest height

Pros

  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Tall seat height
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Footrest can slide down when in use

Get the Office Star drafting chair at Amazon, Office Depot, or Office Star.

Best Padded

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Boss Ergonomic Works Adjustable Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

While mesh-back drafting chairs are very common, some users prefer the feel of a cozy old-school cushioned seat and backrest. The Boss Office Products Ergonomic Works Adjustable Drafting Chair features a fully padded backrest and seat, which is upholstered in fabric. This classic design gives users a soft, cushy surface to rest against that feels more substantial than the weightless feeling of mesh.

Both the backrest and the seat padding are contoured to help support posture and prevent back strain. The back has lumbar support, while the seat features a waterfall design to reduce pressure behind the legs. To add to ergonomics, this drafting chair has a height-adjustable seat (between 25.5 to 30.5 inches); however, it lacks a height-adjustable footrest. While this chair is armless, Boss Office Products also sells it in two versions with armrests as well as in several colors.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 25.5 to 30.5 inches tall
  • Seat material: Fabric
  • Adjustability: Seat height

Pros

  • Padded backrest and seat
  • Lumbar support
  • Waterfall seat
  • Fabric finish

Cons

  • Footrest is not adjustable

Get the Boss Office Products drafting chair at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best With Headrest

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Nouhaus ErgoDraft Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

A headrest that provides full support from head to seat can help improve ergonomics. The Nouhaus ErgoDraft Drafting Chair is one of a few drafting chairs that includes a headrest. This drafting chair combines comfort features common in ergonomic drafting chairs, including adjustable seat and footrest height. Its adjustable headrest, which can adjust up and down and has an ErgoTilt feature to flexibly provide neck support, helps boost performance and comfort.

This chair features a high contoured backrest for total back support. Along with the supportive backrest, it also has height-adjustable armrests. A mechanism allows for a comfortable tilt, while a recline lock allows users to set the seat angle in place. Unlike many other drafting chairs, this chair also features wheel locks for added safety.

The cherry on top: A handy built-in coat hanger on the back of the chair provides a place to hang a small bag or a coat.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 23.4 to 30.9 inches tall
  • Seat material: Mesh
  • Adjustability: Headrest, armrests, recline lock, seat, and footrest height

Pros

  • Adjustable headrest
  • Adjustable armrests
  • Lockable wheels
  • Recline lock

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the Nouhaus drafting chair on Amazon or Nouhaus.

Most Stylish

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Modway Thrive Mesh Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

Whether for an office, a studio, or a reception desk, the Modway Thrive Mesh Drafting Chair is a contemporary pick. Moreover, this drafting chair sneaks ergonomic features into its attractive design.

A low seat and spiraling armrests give it a creative feel and a chic edge over plain drafting chairs. The nylon seat frame features a breathable mesh backrest that’s shaped to provide passive lumbar support. Both the seat and footrest are height adjustable, with the seat height adjusting from 22 to 29.5 inches.

The mesh-covered padded seat is simple but features a waterfall edge along the front to improve seated comfort. While this option comes in a classic black color, Modway also sells this chair in several bold colors.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 22 to 29.5 inches tall
  • Seat material: Mesh
  • Adjustability: Seat and footrest height

Pros

  • Creative armrest design
  • Contemporary look
  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Breathable mesh upholstery

Cons

  • Armrests aren’t very functional

Get the Modway Thrive drafting chair on Amazon or at Target.

Also Consider

The Best Drafting Chairs Option: Hylone High-Back Mesh Ergonomic Drafting Chair
Photo: amazon.com

With an ergonomic design, adjustable features, and a large seat and backrest, the Hylone High-Back Mesh Ergonomic Drafting Chair is an excellent choice for those looking for a roomier drafting chair. This tall seat includes several must-have features in an ergonomic drafting chair, including adjustable height and a footrest, a contoured seat with a waterfall-edge design, and a curved backrest with lumbar support.

A tilt tension mechanism, which features tilt tension control, enables the seat to tilt back for comfort. While the padded armrests aren’t height adjustable, they can be flipped up 90 degrees to tuck out of the way.

While many drafting chairs have a weight capacity of 250 pounds, this chair can support up to 285 pounds. Its slightly larger-than-usual seat and backrest make it a comfortable choice for those looking for a bit more room to maneuver.

Product Specs

  • Seat height: 22.4 to 30.3 inches
  • Material: Mesh and fabric
  • Adjustability: Tilt tension, seat, and footrest height

Pros

  • Ergonomic, breathable design
  • Wide seat
  • Flip-up armrests

Cons

  • Seat height can lower 1 inch or 2 inches

Get the Hylone drafting chair on Amazon.

Our Verdict

The Flash Furniture drafting chair is our top pick because it features both a contemporary look and an ergonomic design, with adjustable armrests, seat, and footrest height for ultimate support. The Modway Veer drafting chair, a close runner-up, is equally as stylish and slightly more affordable. It has fewer adjustable features, but it makes up for it with a comfortable waterfall seat design.

How We Chose the Best Drafting Chairs

Whether it’s a chair for a traditional drafting table or the best drafting chair for standing desk setups, high-quality drafting chairs are supportive and comfortable to improve long workdays. When choosing the best drafting chairs, we placed comfort at the top of our criteria list. We conducted in-depth product research and considered shopper reviews to choose comfortable chairs, looking for ergonomic features such as contoured seats, supportive backrests, and sturdy footrests.

Adjustability is an important factor for both comfort and ergonomics, so the more adjustable features a drafting chair has, the better. At minimum, the chairs on our list have adjustable heights, but we prioritized chairs with additional adjustable features, particularly footrest height adjustment and armrest adjustments. We also considered materials, choosing a range of upholstery types that appeal to both comfort and style. Lastly, we included several affordable options on our list, since comfortable work seating shouldn’t be expensive.

FAQs

Choosing a new work chair can be overwhelming, especially since it’s so important to find a supportive option. If you’re still having trouble choosing the best drafting chair for your work setup, keep reading for answers to some frequently asked questions on choosing and using a new drafting chair.

Q. What is a drafting chair?

A drafting chair is a type of work chair that is taller than a standard office chair to use at a drafting table or standing desk.

Q. How do I choose a drafting chair?

There are several features to consider when choosing a drafting chair, including the chair height in relation to your worktable, the chair’s comfort and ergonomics, and the chair’s design and materials.

Q. How tall should a drafting chair be?

The seat of the drafting chair should be about 8 to 12 inches below the desktop. Many drafting chairs are height adjustable between 22 to 34 inches tall (measured from the seat).

Q. How low does a drafting chair go?

In seat height, some drafting chairs can go as low as 21 inches.

Q. Can I use a drafting chair as an office chair?

Yes, if you have a high desktop like a drafting desk or standing desk, a drafting chair can be suitable as an office chair. Drafting chairs will be too tall for most regular office desks.

Q. What kind of chair is best for standing desks?

A drafting chair or a standing desk chair are both suitable for standing desks. The type that’s best for your workspace comes down to personal preference.