After performing countless research, we nominated the Flash Furniture Mid-back Ergonomic Drafting Chair as our Top Pick for the best drafting chair. We liked that this was an adjustable-height chair that relied on pneumatic controls for smooth movements. It also featured a ventilated mesh back for enhanced breathability, but still incorporated built-in lumbar support. And finally, flip-up armrests made this choice a compelling option as one of the best office chairs.

To determine the best drafting chair we looked at the following features: height and width, adjustability, footrest, and materials. We noted that it was important to have a footrest and ignored any drafting chair that lacked one. We also focused on the height adjustment controls and noted if a chair also offered footrest height adjustment. Likewise, we prioritized mesh designs because they are the most breathable, but also included alternatives for people who prefer a different design aesthetic. Keep reading to learn more about our selection criteria and to shop from our recommendations on the best office chairs.

Top Best Drafting Chairs

 #1  Flash Furniture Mid-back Ergonomic Drafting Chair

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: An adjustable-height chair with a breathable mesh back and built-in lumbar support as well as a large footrest makes this the best drafting chair.

Pros
  • Pneumatic height controls
  • Ergonomic seat back with lumbar support
  • Ventilated mesh seatback
Cons
  • Some people may have difficulty adjusting the armrests

The Flash furniture drafting chair is a solid choice for someone whether they’re working at a traditional drafting table or are working with a standing desk. We nominated it as our Top Pick and the best drafting chair because it offers adjustments in the seat, back, and arms. We like that the armrests flip up so you can get a full range of motion when you need to.

Additionally, you’ll appreciate that the base features a large 360-degree footrest. You can control the back tilt as well. Plus the height adjustment is made through pneumatic controls for a smoother transition. And that seat can be adjusted from 17.25 to 20.75 inches. Another nice feature is that the back is made from mesh for breathability but still includes lumbar support. And you’ll like that the seat is well padded and covered in similar mesh upholstery. Compare this model to the best mesh office chair that is designed with ergonomics as a priority.

 #2  Modway Veer Drafting Chair

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A sturdy drafting chair with an adjustable height between 21.5 to 29.5 inches, with a breathable mesh back makes this the best drafting chair for a standing desk.

Pros
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Adjust height from 21.5 to 29.5 inches
  • Breathable mesh seatback
Cons
  • Foot ring may be too small for some

Modway is a popular office chair brand and their Veer drafting chair is our Honorable Mention. We like that this pick comes in four colors: black, blue, white, and red. With a one-touch lever, you can adjust the seat height of this drafting chair from 21.5 to 29.5 inches, making it the best drafting chair for standing desks. As is standard, this is another drafting chair that features a five-spoke base that’s set on casters for enhanced mobility.

However, we did note in our research that some people may find the foot ring to be a bit small — especially if the chair is extended to it’s tallest sitting position. Still, you’ll get a breathable mesh back and foam covered seat with a waterfall edge for ergonomic support. And the height adjustment is operated through pneumatic controls for a more comfortable experience. And you’ll also like that the armrests can flip up 90 degrees so you have more freedom. Compare this model to one of the most comfortable office chairs that have adjustable lumbar support.

 #3  Boss Office Products Ergonomic Drafting Chair

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable and simplified taller armless drafting chair that relies on pneumatic gas lift controls to adjust the seat height and can support up to 275 pounds.

Pros
  • Pneumatic gas lift for 44.5 to 49.5 inches
  • Supports up to 275lbs
  • Ergonomic padded seat and contoured back
Cons
  • Lacks armrests

Whether you’re shopping on a budget or just don’t see the need to splurge on a drafting chair, this Boss Office Products drafting chair is a great choice. We’ve nominated it as our Best on a Budget because we like that in addition to being affordable, it’s also available in four colors and relies on a smooth pneumatic gas lift to raise and lower the seat height.

Choose from black, blue, burgundy, or gray upholstery. While this pick lacks armrests, we did like that you get a sturdy 20-inch diameter chrome foot ring. This chair also comes with a solid weight capacity of 275 pounds. You’ll like that it comes with casters, but that those can be swapped for glides if you prefer. And the seat can be adjusted between 44.5 to 49.5 inches for the seat height. You should also compare this to the best office stool that has smooth dual-wheel casters.

 #4  Harwick Evolve All Mesh Heavy Duty Drafting Chair

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: A solid drafting chair with built-in lumbar support that can support up to 325 pounds while also offering seven inches of seat height adjustment and flip-up armrests.

Pros
  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Seat adjusts from 24 to 31in
  • Supports up to 325lbs
Cons
  • Assembly can be difficult for some

The Harwick Evolve Heavy Duty drafting chair is a popular option for anyone seeking a sturdy office chair that provides plenty of lumbar support, height adjustment, and flexibility. We like that this is a mesh combination seat that offers a well-cushioned seat. The seatback has built-in lumbar support to keep you comfortable.Making it a grat choice if you’re looking for the best office chair for low back pain.

But what set this pick apart for us was the fact that the Harwick drafting chair can support up to 325 pounds, one of the largest weight capacities that we found in our research. Through pneumatic gas lift, you can adjust the height from 24 to 31 inches. And as is standard, you also get flip-up armrests, 360-degree swiveling action, and a 20-inch diameter chrome foot ring. Note though that assembly is required for this drafting chair. Compare this model to the best armless office chairs with lumbar support.

 #5  BestOffice Massaging Drafting Chair

Award: BEST FOR EXTENDED USE

WHY WE LIKE IT: A comfortable chair with a built-in USB powered massager that also comes in five colors, proving it’s the best drafting chair for back pain.

Pros
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Built-in USB powered lower back massager
  • 7.9in adjustable seat height
Cons
  • USB cord can’t be removed when massager isn’t in use

We all know that sitting for extended periods is bad for our health — especially our back health. If your job doesn’t leave room for a lot of walking or standing breaks, at least you can take mercy on your back with this drafting chair from BestOffice. It’s a drafting chair with a built-in massager that’s USB powered. The massager is located precisely to provide relief in the lumbar region of your lower back. This is why we think it’s the best drafting chair for back pain.

Aside from the massage functionality, the BestOffice drafting chair is fairly comparable to most standard drafting chairs with armrests. You’ll get 7.9 inches of adjustable seat height, and even a foot ring that can be adjusted by 5.7 inches. This chair is compatible with standard and standing desks, as well as drafting tables. If you’re looking for the best standing desk chair you’ll want to consider this one. The armrests can flip up between 90 to 180 degrees for when you don’t need them. And you’ll like that you can assemble this chair in as little as 15 minutes.

 #6  AmazonBasics Multipurpose Drafting Chair

Award: BEST FOR STUDENTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A simple drafting chair that doesn’t take up too much space but offers adjustable seat heights from 30.3 to 36.2 inches, making it great for lab or art class when working at taller tables.

Pros
  • Seat height range from 30.3 to 36.2 inches
  • Supports up to 250lbs
  • Simple black bonded leather upholstery
Cons
  • Lacks armrests

Whether you’re trying to stock chairs for an art or chemistry class where students will be working at taller desks, this drafting chair from AmazonBasics is perfect. Although it lacks armrests, we did like that it was rated safe for up to 250 pounds and features an ergonomic padded back and seat for increased comfort.

While this pick doesn’t feature all of the bells and whistles as the more advanced seats, you’ll like that you still get a chrome-finish foot ring and a sturdy base with five casters. But we think this chair is perfect for classroom use because it features a black bonded faux leather upholstery that can easily be kept clean by simply wiping the exterior. Compare this model to the best executive leather office chair that also features faux leather upholstery.

 #7  Devoko Drafting Chair

Award: BEST FOR WORKING FROM HOME

WHY WE LIKE IT: A supportive drafting chair with built-in lumbar support, an adjustable footrest ring, and flip-up armrests that makes it great for home office use.

Pros
  • Customize seat height between 21.5 to 30.5in
  • Flip-up armrests
  • 7.8in adjustment range for footrest
Cons
  • Hydraulics can be inconsistent

When you’re looking for an office chair or a task chair for the home, you want something comfortable, durable, and that can adjust to various people — especially if multiple family members or roommates are using the same chair. The Devoko drafting chair is great because it offers seven inches of height adjustment from 21.5 to 30.5 inches, making it ideal for standard, drafting, and standing desks.

We also like that you can adjust the footrest height up to 7.8 inches and the armrests can be flipped up for more freedom of movement. Another nice feature is that this is a mesh-combination seat with a breathable mesh back and a padded 3.34-inch thick covered seat cushion for added comfort. And as is common, this is another pick that is set on casters for added mobility. For an affordable option that still offers adjustable settings, have a look at the best office chairs under $300.

 #8  Smugdesk Drafting Chair

Award: BEST BREATHABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: A drafting chair that prioritizes ventilation with not just a mesh back, but a padded seat cushion that helps to push airflow and vent heat.

Pros
  • Supports up to 300 lb
  • Seat height range from 25.2 to 33.9in
  • PU casters ensure quiet movement
Cons
  • Seat angle isn’t adjustable

While flip-up armrests are pretty standard for drafting chairs, most of the chairs in our guide fail to offer more than that feature when it comes to armrest customization. So, this pick from Smugdesk is great because you can control the height of your armrests. This means you can adjust them as you switch desks for the most comfortable natural working posture.

As is common with drafting chairs, you can adjust the seat height using the pneumatic gas control lever to between 25.2 to 33.9 inches. The foot pedal height can also be adjusted. And you also get a mesh back with lumbar support built-in, paired with a dual cushioned seat that’s breathable and wrapped in mesh cloth to help vent heat away from the body. For a chair with extra lumbar support, consider the best office chair for back pain.

 #9  Office Star Deluxe Mesh Black Drafting Chair

Award: BEST UPHOLSTERY CHOICE

WHY WE LIKE IT: With a choice between fabric or vinyl upholstery for the seat cushion, you still get pneumatic seat adjustment controls, lumbar support, and over nine inches of seat height adjustment.

Pros
  • Customizable footrest
  • Seatback comes with lumbar support
  • Adjust seat height form 24.25 to 33.75in
Cons
  • Assembly can be difficult

If you want to upgrade to an armless drafting chair, but don’t want to break the bank, you’ll like this pick from Office Star. This is a simple and straightforward drafting chair that is available in both fabric and vinyl upholstery. The seatback is the classic mesh design for enhanced breathability. But the seat features a covered cushion in your choice of fabric and vinyl. If an armless option is what you’re looking for take a look at our best armless office chairs to find the best chair for your needs.

You’ll like that this pick allows for a rather large seat height adjustment from 24.25 to 33.75 inches and relies on pneumatic controls to customize the height. Another nice feature is that the footrest is also height adjustable. But an added feature is that the casters on this chair are rated for use with carpet too. And for comfort, you consider any one of the best office chair seat cushions that have additional gel cooling features.

 #10  Modway Attainment Vinyl Drafting Chair

Award: EASIEST TO CLEAN

WHY WE LIKE IT: A drafting chair with flip-up armrests and hydraulic controlled seat height adjustment that is easy to keep clean thanks to the vinyl chair cushion.

Pros
  • Breathable mesh back with lumbar support
  • Flip-up armrests
  • Cushioned vinyl seat
Cons
  • Seat cushion may go flat prematurely

If you spend a lot of time at your desk, eventually you’re going to eat and drink there too. And inevitably, you’ll have an accident, drop some food, or spill a drink. Thankfully, this Midway vinyl drafting chair is perfect for those “oops” moments. With a simple damp cloth, today’s lunch or this morning’s coffee can be a distant memory.

Aside from the cleanliness factor, the Attainment drafting chair from Modway is competitive with other drafting chairs we researched. It offers hydraulic seat controls for 7.5 inches of seat height adjustment between 22.5 to 30 inches. You also get flip-up armrests for added freedom of movement. And the breathable mesh back has built-in lumbar support to help keep your back in proper form as you work. For office use, also consider the best ergonomic kneeling chair that’s perfect for personal or professional use.

How We Decided

Drafting chairs are an essential item if you’re working at a drafting table or standing desk. To create our guide, we focused on the following features — height and width, adjustability, footrest, and materials. All of the picks in our guide came with footrests and offered adjustable seat heights.

Seat height is important for any chair, but with drafting chairs it’s doubly important so that you’re not straining to comfortably reach your desktop. In our guide, heights ranged from 19 inches to as high as 49 inches. But you’ll also want to consider how easily that height can be adjusted.

The most common option in our guide was a pneumatic lift mechanism, which creates a smooth lifting experience. But height adjustment could also extend to the footrest. While not all drafting chairs offer an adjustable-height footrest, this is a great value-added feature that can help you to create a chair height that’s customized to your dimensions.

And finally, we considered the materials. For the most part, a mesh-combo chair that featured a breathable mesh back with a padded seat chair was the most popular option we found from our research. Mesh models often offered the most comfortable seating choices. But there were also a few armless options that had a padded back and seat. And we did include a small selection of vinyl upholstered options too.

Best Drafting Chair Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Height and Width
    By default, drafting tables are usually taller than standard desks and tables. So, you’ll want a chair that’s taller so that you can comfortably work at your table. Also keep in mind that if you have a traditional drafting table that is angled, you’ll want to find a chair or drafting stool that is most compatible to help you maintain proper posture as you work. For the best results, measure your desk at the tallest point and then subtract eight to 12 inches. That figure will be the optimal height range for your drafting chair. But you might also want to look for a chair with an extra tall height adjustment if you’re very tall. Likewise, most drafting chairs are 20 inches wide.
  2. Adjustability
    Look for chairs that let you adjust your seat angle, or adjust your armrests. In some cases, this can include flip up arms so that you have more freedom to move. The goal is to find a seat that offers ergonomic adjustments that you can customize to your body so that you’re comfortable as you work. Other options can include tilt tension but are not as common on budget or median-priced drafting chairs.
  3. Foot Rest
    A footrest is essential as drafting chairs are usually much higher than standard chairs. Without a footrest, your feet may end up dangling in the air, which can put pressure on the nerves in your legs.
  4. Material
    Drafting chairs can come in an array of material options from leather to faux leather, fabric or mesh, and even plastic. Most people find that mesh is the most breathable. But faux leather-like vinyl or PVC is easy to keep clean. And if you’re going solely for aesthetics, a leather drafting chair can create a more polished effect. Most drafting chairs feature a nylon base though which is very durable.

Drafting Chair FAQs

What is the best drafting chair?

The best drafting chair is one that gives you the freedom to adjust the seat and footrest height adjustment. In our guide, we nominated the Flash Furniture drafting chair as our Top Pick because it offered pneumatic height adjustment, flip-up armrests, and a large footrest ring.

How tall is a drafting chair?

Drafting chairs are usually taller than traditional chairs to accommodate the increased height of a drafting table. Typically, you’ll find that drafting tables are around 37 inches high. So, if you follow the rule of subtracting eight to 12 inches from your table height, you’ll want to look for a chair that’s no lower than 25 inches. But for best results, find a chair with an adjustable height so you have room to make adjustments.

What is the best material for an office chair?

It’s going to depend on your preference. However, popular options include fabric, vinyl, mesh, and leather. Mesh and leather tend to be the most popular since the mesh is the most breathable and leather creates a polished finish to any office set up.

Are mesh office chairs better?

Again, this will come down to personal preference. However, one of the biggest benefits of a mesh chair is that it’s very breathable. The only drawback can be that sometimes mesh chairs can lack the necessary support you need if you’re going to sit in them for long periods.

Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *