Which drafting chairs with arms are best?

If you prefer to work at a standing desk, standing for hours on end can be tiring. That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase a drafting chair, which lets you comfortably alternate between sitting and standing. Drafting chairs are tall and tend to be more comfortable than stools. They also have circular footrests to help you maintain proper posture when you sit. The Boss Office Products Drafting Stool provides a professional feel and quality at an affordable price point.

What to know before you buy a drafting chair with arms

Materials

Drafting chairs come in a wide range of materials that provide various levels of comfort and support.

  • Mesh is the most common material for drafting chairs. It is sleek and lightweight and gives a modern look to the chair.
  • Leather is known for its soft comfort and classy traditional look, but it is usually more expensive than synthetic materials.
  • Fabric. There are a wide range of fabric patterns and colors for drafting chairs. Fabric usually covers foam cushions and it works well in a diverse array of temperatures, but direct sunlight can fade the fabric color.
  • Vinyl is an inexpensive alternative to leather with a similar feel and look. It typically covers foam cushions on the back and seat. It’s also durable, simple to clean and comfortable.
  • Wood gives your chair a traditional look. Some wood drafting chairs have cushioning on the seat, while others don’t have any upholstery. Some chairs have a metal frame, which makes them heavier than those with plastic frames.

Armrests

There are a couple of different armrest styles, including ones resembling a “T” and others with a loop shape. With a small T-shaped armrest, your elbows or arms rest on a horizontal bar. On the other hand, looped armrests feature a curve that gives you room for both your hand and forearm. Some drafting chairs have cushioned armrests, but most consist of the same material as the rest of the frame.

Frame

Most office chairs have a plastic frame with metal parts, but drafting chair frames are often made with stainless steel. Metal frames are more reliable overall and have a cleaner look than plastic chairs.

What to look for in a quality drafting chair with arms

Adjustability

Almost all drafting chairs have some kind of adjustable feature. Most chairs let you raise and lower the height of the chair. Other’s allow you to adjust other areas of the chair, like the tilt tension, the back angle or height, the armrest angle, width or height and the seat angle.

Type of seat

The seat shape will impact your overall comfort. There are a few different types of seats, including bucket, waterfall, tractor and stool seats.

  • Bucket seats provide depth, as well as curved design that wraps around your body for cushioned support.
  • Waterfall seats have curved front edges that decrease the pressure on your knees and thighs.
  • Tractor seats feature short backs that wrap in a similar way to bucket seats. These seats are comfortable but don’t offer much back support.
  • Stool seats are often cushioned and circular and provide more freedom of movement but less support.

Swivel

It’s helpful to be able to turn your chair, so you can easily get up from your desk or turn to work at different surfaces throughout your office. Most drafting chairs swivel, but not all of them have this feature. If this is something you want, double-check the product description to ensure your chair can do this. 

How much you can expect to spend on a drafting chair with arms

Drafting chairs with arms range in price, from about $50-$200. The most inexpensive drafting chairs go for $50-$80, while midrange chairs cost about $80-$110. High-end chairs typically cost between $110-$200.

Drafting chair with arms FAQ

Will the hydraulic function break down over time?

A. The hydraulic function can break down and will likely show decreased performance over time. The hydraulic function uses a gas chamber to create pressure that raises and lowers the drafting chair. This function eventually wears out, but you can replace it easily.

What is tilt tension?

A. Tilt tension allows you to slightly tilt your seat while you move around in your chair. This feature decreases strain on your legs, arms and back. If you move around regularly at your desk, a drafting chair with tilt tension is an excellent option.

Can you replace the wheels?

A. Yes, you can replace the wheels. In many cases, adding or replacing the wheels or casters is a great way to upgrade a drafting chair. Installing new casters is easy, and many drafting chairs come with lower-quality casters, which might not roll smoothly.

What’s the best drafting chair with arms to buy?

Top drafting chair with arms

Boss Office Products Drafting Stool

Boss Office Products Drafting Stool

What you need to know: This customer favorite product provides a professional feel and quality at an affordable price point.

What you’ll love: This drafting chair comes with a support ring that acts as a solid platform for your feet. It also has LeatherPlus bonded leather, giving the chair a top-quality surface with a great mix of durability and comfort. It’s also adjustable, so you can tailor it to your preferences.

What you should consider: This chair won’t fit most standard office desks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top drafting chair with arms for the money

Boss Office Products Ergonomic Drafting Chair

Boss Office Products Ergonomic Drafting Chair

What you need to know: This basic drafting chair with adjustable arms will fit in most small spaces.

What you’ll love: This product has various setups, including the option of support arms and four color options. The chair gives you all of the features of a standard office chair with the advantage of additional height.

What you should consider: The assembly instructions don’t include information about the seat height extension.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Modway Edge Drafting Chair

Modway Edge Drafting Chair

What you need to know: If you want to be able to make plenty of adjustments, this drafting chair offers lots of customization as well as some options not typically found on other chairs.

What you’ll love: It comes with 360-degree tilt and swivel functions, as well as moveable arms that provide additional support when needed. 

What you should consider: The initial assembly of this chair can take a long time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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