Drafting Chair vs Office Chair

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Written by:

Updated December 8, 2022

If you are shopping around for a new professional chair, you may be comparing drafting chairs vs office chairs. The best office chairs, after all, come in a wide variety of styles to suit many professions, including architecture. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two chair types.


  • Drafting chairs are essentially high-grade office chairs with additional features intended for the profession.
  • A drafting chair is sturdy and durable, with a multitude of adjustability options, making it a great ergonomic chair.
  • Due to the added features, drafting chairs tend to be more expensive than regular office chairs.

Differences Between Drafting Chairs and Office Chairs

Basically, a drafting chair is an office chair, though one with some drafting-centric features. In other words, the difference here will be subtle, such as when you are comparing vinyl vs leather office chairs.

Here are some of the key contrasts between a standard office chair and a drafting chair.

Insider Tip

Make sure your drafting desk is up to snuff and that it integrates with the adjustments on offer with your drafting chair.


Both drafting chairs and office chairs require superior ergonomics via adjustable controls. After all, working professionals of all stripes tend to sit in chairs for at least eight to nine hours each day, so postural health is extremely important. These chairs will offer adjustable seat heights, adjustable seat depths, moveable armrests, adjustable backrests, and more. Not all drafting chairs and office chairs feature armrests, though, if you are looking to compare office chairs with pivoting armrests vs no armrests. So if armrests are important to you and you need a drafting chair, read our Modway Veer drafting chair review to see if it will suit your needs.

Reinforced Cylinders

Most drafting chairs, though some office chairs, will include reinforced pneumatic cylinders as part of the seat height adjustment mechanism. This will ensure that the seat will not sink during use, which is essential as you draw up architectural plans, so you will never forget your place. Read our Boss Office Products DOT drafting stool review or Boss Office Products ergonomic works drafting chair review for a couple of well-liked drafting seating options. You can also check out our Modway Thrive drafting chair tall office chair review if you are a taller individual.

Additional Features

Many drafting chairs, like with our SmugDesk drafting chair review, are beefed up with additional features to suit this type of professional. You’ll find dedicated and adjustable footrests, further helping to achieve a neutral posture, reinforced casters with a locking mechanism to ensure the chair does not slide down during use, and more. Essentially, the point of a drafting chair is to disappear as it’s used, so you can focus on the labor-intensive work of drawing up plans and such. And if you are curious about a stool as a seating option, check out our AmazonBasics multi-purpose chair review.


Standard office seats will cost less than dedicated drafting chairs, which is something to consider. It must again be reiterated that any office chair could work as a drafting chair. It just depends on personal preference and what features you are looking for. Try some out in the showroom before making a purchase. These are both desk chairs, after all. But, you may want to opt for an office chair over a kneeling chair, as it might not sit high enough for you to use comfortably.


Are drafting chairs comfortable?

A drafting chair tends to be comfortable, with features such as a high maximum weight capacity, breathable mesh backrests, adjustable height, a padded seat, an ergonomic design, and more.

What are the best drafting chairs for a standing desk?

This depends on the specifics of your standing desk setup. Ergonomic office chairs are a good match here, as are desk chairs with flip-up arms so you can tuck the chair away when not in use.

Are expensive office chairs worth it?

This depends on your price range and your must-have features. There are many types of chairs that are expensive, some with breathable mesh, a high weight capacity, padded armrests, adjustable armrests, flip-up arms, a tilt mechanism, and more. You get what you pay for.

STAT: According to the 2018 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, standing for long periods of time is linked to a higher risk of heart disease. (source)

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