Checked and updated on April 8, 2021 by Aaron Barnett
It can be tiring to be a drafter or designer with the wrong body posture, often spending long hours hunched over, focused on your project. In instances like these, you can ask yourself ‘what can make work easier, relaxed, and more comfortable? The best drafting chair in my opinion has both armrests and a headrest.
The answer doesn’t get any simpler than getting yourself a drafting chair. Tall and nimble, these seats will surely elevate your working mood and protect your spine.
#3 Best flip-up up arms mid-backrests
Flash furniture BL-LB-8801X-D-GG black mesh, 300 lbs, flip-up arm, drafting chair
#4 Most ergonomic one-touch lift
Modway veer EEI-1423-GRY 300 lbs, mesh seat, padded flip-up arm, drafting chair
#13 Highest weight capacity steel-framed drafting chair
Luckwind OF-C02 400 lbs, leather seat, steel loop arm, drafting chair
#14 Nylon base supported sketching chair
Boss office B315-BK 275 lbs, tweed seat, nylon loop arm, drafting chair
For this reason, drafting chairs are a thing.
The drafting chair is specialized as a tall desk chair that was made to reach taller workspaces. In appearance, they look similar to your average office chair, except that they sport an added feature or two, such as adjustable heights and ergonomic rests.
A drafting chair or drawing chair is specifically used in tandem with a drafting table, giving a drafter added comfort and access. For architects, drafters, chemists, engineers, and even designers, this seemingly simple piece of furniture is a trump-card.
So have a seat and enjoy this guide on the best drafting chairs.
Features to consider when choosing a drafting chair
Reasons to buy a drafting chair
Drafting chair vs office chair
Appearance-wise, drafting chairs don’t really differ that much from office chairs, so there is sometimes confusion distinguishing between them. However, while not necessarily apparent from the start, drafting chairs are much taller when extended.
Since a drafting chair offers added height, they usually have elevated rings beneath them that function as a footrest so that your legs don’t just dangle and fatigue. Additionally, an industrial drafting chair can have a comfy headrest.
What adjustable height should you have?
Your average office chair extends only to about 22”. A standard drafting chair takes this up to about 30”. 30 inches is the recommended optimum extendable height for drafting chairs, though you can get smaller ones that go to only about 28 – 29” if you have an adjustable table.
The adjustable height plays a very important role in reaching office or work supplies and documents without needing to stand or get off from your chair. You can reach documents in a strategic spot and still be able to reach them without straining your back.
By the way, if you’re looking into secure storage for your documents, here’s a list of portable fire and waterproof safes .
Drafting stool vs drafting chair
The question of which is better between a drafting chair and a drafting stool is answered by which one better fits your needs. Drafting stools are seats that usually don’t have back and armrests. They are lighter, and more economic, making them better for casual use.
On the other hand, drafting chairs are less affordable, but more diverse, adding a greater range of comfort and adjustability. A drafting chair is a better option if you’re looking to invest.
What makes the best drafting chair for back pain?
If you have back pains, it’s better to go with models that have thicker and/or softer back-padding. We recommend going with either highly cushioned models or those with mesh backs as these provide better relief if you need to rest.
Besides the material, it’s also better if the model you choose has a reclining or adjustable backrest. Basically, you’d want as much ergonomic back-support as possible so that you can get relief quickly at any time.
You should also have work-rest cycles that allow for regular intervals for stretching.
And don’t just go with wood drafting chairs a wooden drafting chair might look great but isn’t the best if you want to support your back and posture.
Choosing the top drafting chairs
Best drafting chair
We ranked the Staples Hyken as the best drafting chair. The padded mesh material is both comfortable and breathable, providing needed relief throughout even the most daunting of jobs. The chair is easily configured, allowing for quick and minute adjustments to perfectly suit your style and preferred position when working.
The Hyken is all about fit and ergonomics; its easy tilt lock and tension control allow you to position it at an angle you’re happy with and the addition of a headrest it provides extra support for your neck and head. The adjustable armrests are a welcomed bonus for this already impressive, 250lbs-tolerant seat.
Best value drafting chair
If you want a chair that’s the best value, then you won’t go wrong with the Flash Furniture BL-X-5M-D-GG. It has flip-up padded armrests that provide extra comfort and can be retracted if you need more space and arm range. The tilt lever locking mechanism also allows you to easily adjust tilt angle and resistance.
With built-in lumbar support and an adjustable foot-ring, this chair is a good pick, more so if you prefer to work while being relaxed.
Most affordable drafting chair
We highly recommend the Best Office OC-DF846 if you’re after affordability. It can actually function as a rather tall office chair as well, given its look – perfect if you work with a high-level table or standing desk. The chair has fixed armrests and a mesh back with lumbar support, not too bad given its low price tag.
Easy to assemble and with good height and depression levels, it’s a great choice for casual and all-around use.
Drafting chairs with arms vs no arms
This is more of a case-to-case or preferential basis. Generally speaking, drafting chairs with arms are better suited for work, especially if you tend to work long hours daily. Armrests can provide you with relief if you need a break and also function as leverage or support if you need to work with your arms at a particular angle.
Armless chairs are usually lighter and more mobile. Armless models are better in smaller spaces or with those who are often moving around while working.
Why a comfortable chair is so important?
A comfortable chair matters because those that use it are going to be seated for the majority of the time that they’re working. Even though you are seated, the body can still tire and fatigue in maintaining certain positions.
A comfortable chair helps lessen the amount of fatigue you experience while seated while also providing additional support to let you rest – it takes away the tension from your arms, back, and neck to allow for better and longer productivity.
Other hacks you can use to make work comfortable
It can be tiring going back and forth to look at blueprints or plans, especially if you don’t have much desk space. One solution to make that situation easier is to actually make use of your TV better. A rolling TV stand can help make work more convenient, enjoyable, and comfortable for you, especially during your presentations.
If you’re looking for the ability to extend and tilt your screen in the right position for your eyes and back, here’s our recommended best TV wall mount that you can choose from.
If your chair padding is not comfy enough, you can prop it up with either a small soft pillow or a nice towel/blanket. If your chair has no lumbar support and you need to rest your back, simply tilt the chair or recline the backrest while arching your back.
Comparing drafting chairs with armrests
|Staples Hyken||Flash furniture BL-X-5M-D-GG||Flash furniture BL-LB-8801X-D-GG||Modway veer EEI-1423-GRY||Flash Furniture BL-ZP-809D-BK-GG||Laura Davidson Soho||Hylone||Modway thrive EEI-3040-BLK||Modway EEI-1422-BLK||Smugchair||Best office OC-DF846||Best office OC-H3127||Luckwind OF-C02||Boss office B315-BK|
|Verdict:||Top drafting chair||Best value||Most affordable|
|Max seat height:||45.3 to 49.8 inches||23 to 30 inches||up to 31 inches||21.5 - 29.5 inches||22.5 to 30 inches||30 to 38.5 inches||22. to 30.3 inches||Up to 43 inches||22.5 to 30 inches||25.79 to 34.25 inches||20.7 to 28.5 inches||21.3 to 30.5 inches||39 to 47 inches||26.5 to 31.5 inches|
|Weight capacity:||250 lbs||250 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs||250 lbs||400 lbs||285 lbs||331 lbs||330 lbs||230 lbs||250 lbs||250 lbs||400 lbs||275 lbs|
|Back seat:||Mesh/ high-back||Mesh/ mid-back||Mesh/ mid-back||Mesh/ mid-back||Mesh/ high-back||Leather/ mid-back||Mesh/ high-back||Mesh/ mid-back||Mesh/ high-back||Mesh/ mid-back||Mesh/ mid-back||Mesh/ high-back||Leather/ mid-back||Tweed/ mid-back|
|Certification:||ANSI/ BIFMA||ANSI/ BIFMA||ANSI/ BIFMA||ANSI/ BIFMA/ CAL 117||SGS||BIFMA||BIFMA/ SGS||BIFMA||SGS-4/ BIFMA||ANSI/ BIFMA/ CAL 117|
If you’re looking for a drafting chair that’s worthy of an investment, we recommend the Staples Hyken. It’s comfortable, highly functional, and fully adjustable in almost all aspects. A good alternative to the Hyken is the Flash Furniture BL-X-5M-D-GG. The lumbar support and flip-up arms make this chair a ‘freer’ option. The Best Office OC-DF846 is your best bet for a quick purchase; it’s easy to set up and the simple look is made up for an ergonomic backrest.
The best chairs with the best features for the best prices; that was our list! We hope you enjoyed this guide and if you did, check out how to be even more comfortable at work with heated socks – if you’re gonna use that footrest, best use it with style right?
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