Drafting Chair vs Office Chair: What is the Difference?

Are you torn between an office chair and a drafting chair? Then, this post is for you.

Choosing the right chair for your tasks can be challenging, especially if there are different types of chairs available. And office chairs and drafting chairs are two of the popular options.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the detailed comparison between drafting chair vs office chair. Keep reading to know which one best suit your needs.

Also, if you are ready to get yourself a new drafting chair, our top 15 picks for the best drafting chairs will help you choose the best one for your needs.

What is an Office Chair?

An office chair is designed with wheels for mobility. This chair type usually has an adjustable height. It has an ergonomic design that provides good comfort and great support.

This chair has a high or medium back and may contain a headrest. It provides great comfort for your entire body, particularly neck muscles and head, during long work hours. A good office chair offers strong lumbar support.

Some models include features like lumbar support adjustments and adjustable armrests. Different fabrics are used to cover the chair, such as polyester, leather, or breathable mesh. This chair generally has a seat height from 16 to 21 inches.

What is a Drafting Chair?

Architects and artists often use a drafting chair for drawing tables. It is also preferred by those who work at drafting tables or at sit-stand workstations.

Drafting chair comes with a higher seat height compared to office chairs. It also has a foot ring, helping your feet rest if you cannot touch the floor and are seated. It offers a comfortable sitting posture and ergonomic benefits.

The chair allows you to customize its height and your unique needs accordingly. It comes with a low or medium back, which helps you move from one place to another while working. It can also swivel 360 degrees.

The tilt mechanism found on the seat is another exciting feature of this chair. The chair can either have or have no armrests. Some models also include a waterfall sear design for an improved sitting experience.

Drafting Chair vs Office Chair: Complete Comparison

For a bigger picture of the difference between an office chair and a drafting chair, check out the side-by-side comparison below:

Seat Height 

Drafting chair height
Image Credits: Staples

Both the office and drafting chairs have adjustable seat heights. However, a dragging chair can easily be adjusted up to 30 inches or higher, while an office chair has a maximum of 22 inches adjusted height.

The drafting chair enables you to sit and rest without worrying about interruption while doing something at a high table. On the other hand, you will find it hard to get in and out of an office chair.


An office chair usually has armrests, while a drafting chair does not always require this feature. You can often find drafting chairs with no armrests. The drafting chair’s seat heigh enables you to align your arms at comfortable angles at a tall desk when working.

The office chair also features adjustable armrests that you can flip upwards or downwards. As for the drafting chair, the armrests are often two-dimensional.

Foot Ring/Footrest

A drafting chair has a distinctive feature – a foot ring. If you have an average height, you will find it hard to have your feet flat on the floor if you sit on a drafting chair. That is due to its high seat; particularly, it has a foot bar or ring.

Meanwhile, an office chair may not have a footrest. Instead, it is equipped with a footrest for an additional fee.

Reinforced Cylinders 

In most cases, a drafting chair includes a reinformed pneumatic cylinder alongside the seat height adjustment mechanism. You can also find an office chair with this reinforced cylinder.

With the feature, rest assured that the chair’s seat will not use while you are using it. When doing some architectural plans, you will not experience any unnecessary movements.


These two chair types need superior ergonomics through adjustable controls. Remember that you may need to sit at least 8-9 hours per day, so good posture is critical.

Drafting and office chairs offer adjustable backrests, seat depths and heights, and movable armrests. 

Adjustments/Additional Features 

When it comes to adjustability, the office chair is the winner. An office chair with the same price as a drafting chair, but the former may have more features.

On the other hand, a drafting chair may offer functions like seat tilt adjustment and waterfall edge seat that are perfect for heavy-duty use.


A standard office chair usually costs less compared to a dedicated drafting chair. These two chairs are priced differently according to the materials and brand, depending on the available adjustments.

Can I Use My Drafting Chair as a Regular Desk?

No, you cannot use a drafting chair as a regular desk because its seat is too high. Remember that the chair’s minimum seat heat is around 25 inches. So, you will find it challenging to use this chair as a desk comfortably unless you are very tall.

On the other hand, it is ideal to use your drafting chair alongside a sit-stand desk. The desk’s height is easy to adjust, allowing you to use the drafting chair with it.

Office Chair vs Drafting Chair: Which One Should I Choose?

Your choice rests on the work type you do. An office chair is perfect for you when you sit for prolonged periods. On the other hand, if you have to work from higher perspectives like artists or architects do, investing in one drafting chair is the best decision.

Again, if you work with a standing desk or your desk is taller, choosing a drafting chair gives an additional advantage of getting a higher seat height. If you pick this chair type, ensure that you will enjoy all the benefits that the adjustable foot ring and higher seat height offer.

Meanwhile, if you prioritize comfort while sitting for extended periods and do not care about the price, getting a good-quality office chair is advantageous.

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