Best Drafting Chair

Updated: Nov 2, 2023 4:29 PM
best drafting chair featured image that shows the top three best office chair models

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.

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 10 Drafting Chairs

 #1  Flash Furniture Mid-back Ergonomic Drafting Chair


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.

  • Pneumatic height controls
  • Ergonomic seat back with lumbar support
  • Ventilated mesh seatback
  • 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.

Related: Compare this unit with the best big and tall office chairs.

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


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.

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Adjust height from 21.5 to 29.5 inches
  • Breathable mesh seatback
  • 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 its 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


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.

  • Pneumatic gas lift for 44.5 to 49.5 inches
  • Supports up to 275lbs
  • Ergonomic padded seat and contoured back
  • 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  Office Star Deluxe Mesh Black Drafting Chair


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.

  • Customizable footrest
  • Seatback comes with lumbar support
  • Adjust seat height form 24.25 to 33.75in
  • 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 drafting chair that is available in both fabric and vinyl upholstery. The seatback is a 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.

 #5  Modway Attainment Vinyl Drafting Chair


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.

  • Breathable mesh back with lumbar support
  • Flip-up armrests
  • Cushioned vinyl seat
  • 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.

 #6  SMUG Drafting Chair


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

  • Supports up to 250 lb
  • Seat height range from 25.2 to 33.9in
  • PU casters ensure quiet movement
  • 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. Unfortunately, this pick from Smug is the same because you can’t control the height of your armrests. However, it is comfortable and breathable, preventing discomfort whether sitting or standing.

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 built-in lumbar support, paired with a breathable dual cushioned seat 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.

 #7  Harwick Evolve All Mesh Heavy Duty Drafting Chair


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.

  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Seat adjusts from 24 to 31in
  • Supports up to 325lbs
  • 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. The features like this make it a great 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 a 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.

 #8  BestOffice Massaging Drafting Chair


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.

  • Available in 5 colors
  • Built-in USB powered lower back massager
  • 7.9in adjustable seat height
  • 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 when you don’t need them. And you’ll like that you can assemble this chair in as little as 15 minutes.

 #9  AmazonBasics Multipurpose Drafting Chair


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.

  • Seat height range from 30.3 to 36.2 inches
  • Supports up to 250lbs
  • Simple black bonded leather upholstery
  • 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.

 #10  Devoko Drafting Chair


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.

  • Customize seat height between 21.5 to 30.5in
  • Flip-up armrests
  • 7.8in adjustment range for footrest
  • 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 for under $300.

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 ergonomic design features — height and width, adjustability, footrest, and materials. All of the picks in our guide came with footrests and offered adjustable seat heights. You should also make sure the seat depth is deep enough so that you won’t slide off because of the bad design ergonomics of the chair. Additionally, some chairs offer support for big and tall users, you can read our Harwick Evolve Heavy review for an option that supports up to 325 pounds.

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 lever mechanism, which creates a smooth lifting experience. But height adjustment could also extend to the footrest. While not all drafting chairs offer a height-adjustable 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 in 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. Whether it’s a breathable mesh material or fabric upholstery, you want a chair that has sturdy construction with high-quality materials to ensure it will last a long time.

Best Drafting Chair Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Height and Width
    By default, drafting tables are usually taller than regular desks and tables. So, you’ll want the most comfortable drafting chair over an office chair that’s taller so that you can easily 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. A decent backrest can greatly help your posture. With that said, you’re probably looking for a high-end ergonomic drafting chair to match your table setup. It’s not a console gaming chair or massaging gaming chair, so make sure you’re searching for the right type of chair. The prices may be higher, but you get what you pay for. For the best results, measure your desk at the tallest point and then subtract eight to 12 inches. The resulting figure will be the ideal height you’ll want to use to find the best drafting chair in 2023. Also, keep in mind not all drafting chairs have armrests, but if you want them, make sure they are adjustable armrests to help ensure a comfortable seat. But you might also want to look for a chair with an extra tall pneumatic seat height adjustment if you’re very tall. Ultimately, the best thing to do is to read plenty of drafting chair reviews before you make a buying decision.
  2. Adjustability Features
    Look for adjustable chairs that let you alter your seat tilt or have adjustable arm options (AKA: ergonomic office chairs). In some cases, this can include flip-up arms so that you have more freedom to move. This is also useful if your draft chair won’t slide underneath your office desk because the desk height is the same height as your armrests. Though not an adjustable feature, a padded waterfall seat can help with blood flow.
    • If you don’t care about armrests, there are plenty of armless design options, or you can also consider the best ergonomic stool to improve your posture. An adjustable drafting chair is a great choice that allows for more customization and improved features at a decent cost than traditional ergonomic chairs.
    • The goal is to find a seat that offers ergonomic features and adjustments that you can customize to your body so that you’re comfortable in a good drafting office chair as you work.
    • Other options can include tilt tension but are not as common on budget-friendly or median-priced drafting chairs.
    • Regardless of the chair’s cost, a breathable mesh backrest paired with lumbar support is essential for providing users with a comfortable seating experience.
    • Alternatively, if you’re a short person, you’ll probably want to find a great office chair for short people.
  3. Foot Rest
    A footrest is essential as drafting chairs are usually much higher than standard office chairs. While that may be good for tall people, without a footrest, your feet may end up dangling in the air, which can put pressure on the nerves in your legs. Moreover, pairing a good drafting chair for back pain with a footrest will eliminate any additional body aches. Alternatively, you could also simply go with a top-rated drafting stool that will permit you to perch and lean forward comfortably with convenient foot supports. An adjustable footrest can be a great option if you switch positions often or you share your chair with others frequently. An adjustable foot rest and 360-degree swivel seat can help make it an ergonomic chair for everyone in the office or household.
  4. Material
    Like regular office chairs, drafting chairs can come in an array of material options from leather to faux leather, to breathable 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.
    • And if you are more concerned about your chairs having a contemporary design or modern design, you may want to look at a different seating option as these models will be relatively designed the same.
    • Additionally, if your chair begins to wear out or has pneumatic cylinder issues when in use, you’ll want to know if the chair has a warranty first before you shell out more cash for a brand-new one.
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