Office Chair vs Drafting Chair: What’s The Difference?

Choosing a perfect chair for your office can be troublesome, as a certain level of comfort is mandatory. There are various types of chairs available in the market, and surely office chairs and drafting chairs are among the most popular ones. 

But have you ever wondered what the differences are between a standard office chair and a drafting chair? 

What’s the Difference between an office chair and a drafting chair? The main difference between Office Chair and Drafting Chair is that the drafting chair contains extra foot-ring and the seat height of a drafting chair is usually higher than any regular office chair. Additionally, drafting chairs are generally cheaper.

Drafting chairs are gaining more popularity due to all the new facilities they are providing. On the other hand, office chairs are a bit expensive in general and go perfectly with the sophisticated environment of any office.

In this article, I will provide you an idea about why office chairs are different from drafting chairs and which one is suitable for you. I will also tell you if why you shouldn’t use a drafting chair as a regular desk or office chair. So, keep reading!!

What is a Drafting Chair?

If you are new to the term drafting chair, let me first introduce you. A drafting chair is an ergonomic office chair that has an extended pneumatic cylinder and a foot-ring adjusted to it. 

Its seat height is extra adjustable; as a result, you can easily change the height of the chair. On average, an usual office chair seat height can be anywhere from 16 – 21 inches. But the seat height of a drafting chair can be extended from 25 to 35 inches.

Even though sometimes the armrest is missing, it will always have a backrest and foot ring. Some drafting chairs offer features like seat-tilt options that will control your lower body and enhance waterfall edge seating.

Currently, a wide range of drafting chairs offer various functions. They can naturally pair with taller standing desks. 

These kinds of chairs are mostly used for workstations that require continuous movement or have taller workspace.

If your work requires working from a normal height desk, then I will not recommend you to buy drafting chairs. 

But if you need to oversee the work of you and your colleagues on the desk, and sometimes you work on taller or standing desks, then drafting chairs and their extra seat height will serve you well.

Drafting Chairs Vs. Office Chair – Understanding The Differences

When you need to make a choice between a drafting chair and an office chair, you should look for a detailed difference and understand the advantages and disadvantages of both types of chair.

I am here to clarify all your doubts and mention the pros and cons of both so that you can get an overall idea about what will be good for you.

The Key Difference in Ergonomics:

Drafting ChairOffice Chair
Seat HeightThe average Seat Height of the Drafting Chair is 25 to 35 inches.The average Seat Height of an Office chair is 16 – 21 inches.
BackrestMostly Mid-Back or low backMostly Mid and High-Back
Lumbar SupportLess ProminentMore Prominent
Foot-ringFootring is presentFootring is absent
ArmrestsHave basic or no armrests.Most office chairs contain 3D, 4D, Flip-up armrests.
HeadrestHeadrest is always absentHeadrest can be present or absent

Drafting Chairs

Drafting chairs are not ordinary chairs. It not only provides a comfortable sitting posture but also provides ergonomic benefits. It will help you adjust your height according to your needs.

This type of chair has either a low or medium back. It will mainly be helpful for those who have to move from one place to another, during the work. 

Drafting chairs come handy only when you need to adjust the height; however, many other features of regular ergonomic office chairs can be missing. This might be the reason; they are cheaper than office chairs.

However, drafting chairs allows you to adjust the height of the seat to a greater extent and also to swivel 360 degrees .

The seat has a tilt mechanism for the seat, and sometimes the armrests can be missing; on the other hand, sometimes they are detachable. 

There is one specific thing that I can tell you from my experience that good quality drafting chairs include waterfall seat design which improves the sitting experience. 

As I have mentioned earlier, you will be able to take the benefit of extra or higher seat height and the adjustable foot ring to rest your feet only in drafting chairs.

Let’s look at some examples of drafting chairs and their seat heights:

Drafting Chair ModelSeat Height
Office Star Sculptured Vinyl Drafting Chair23 to 33 Inches
SMUGOFFICE Drafting Chair25.79 to 34.25 Inches
Office Star Deluxe Mesh Back Drafting Chair24.25 to 33.75 Inches
Modway Articulate Drafting Chair24 to 31.5 Inches
Modway Thrive Drafting Chair20.5 to 28 inches
NOUHAUS ErgoDraft Drafting Chair23.4 to 30.9 Inches

Office Chairs

Office Chairs have developed to a great extent in recent years. Its ergonomic design not only provides great support but also good comfort.

Office Chairs have a medium or high back and may also contain headrests. This provides you great comfort for your entire body, especially for your head and neck muscles when you have to work for longer hours. 

There remain various office chairs in the market. The more adjustments it contains, the higher the price gets. So, with a big budget, you can manage a comfortable office chair which will help you to sit and relax.

The most productive thing about office chairs is that they include robust lumbar support.

In the expensive ones, you will get the feature of lumbar support adjustments as well. Most of the good ergonomic office chairs also have adjustable armrests, and you can position them according to your need. 

You will find office chairs covered in various types of fabric, leather, polyester, or even breathable mesh. You can buy anyone that matches your requirement. 

But you will not find the foot-ring and higher seat height range in office chairs. As I said, office chairs have seat heights from 16 to 21 inches in general; let’s check that out with some examples:

Office Chair ModelsSeat Height
Tacroney Home office chair16.7 – 19.9 Inches
Steelcase Series 116.5 – 21.5 Inches
All33 BackStrong C118.75 – 21.75 Inches
Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair – Size B16 – 20.8 Inches

So, Which one should you choose between the Drafting Chair & Office Chair?

Well, after researching both draft chairs and office chairs, I understand it is really hard for me to choose a perfect chair for you.

It actually depends on the type of work you do entirely. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit and work with a regular desk for prolonged hours, then a regular office chair or task chair is the best option for you.

But if your work requires more, like looking over the works on the table from a higher perspective just like architects or artists do with their work, then getting a drafting chair can help.

Again, if your desk is taller or you work with standing desks sometimes, then getting a drafting chair can give you the added benefit of having a higher seat height.

The bottom line is, if you are going with a drafting table, make sure you can reap the benefit of higher seat height and the adjustable foot-ring.

Still, I would like to suggest you check all the pros and cons of both chairs then decide which one goes with your requirements.

Among all other draft chairs, I would recommend drafting Chair from Nouhaus. The NOUHAUS ErgoDraft Drafting Chair is awesome. You can find out about all its features later in this article.

On the other hand, if your priority is comfort while sitting for long hours and the price does not matter, you might consider buying a good quality office chair. A good-quality office chair will also go with a standard office environment.

If you buy a draft chair for an upper-level employee or CEO, it might not go according to standard. 

If you are considering buying a good quality office chair, then you should check Steelcase Series 1 Chair. Later on in this article, you will get to know more about it. 

By now, you might have made a decision, and you know which type of chair you are going to buy; let me suggest you the best product for each type of chair.

Can a Drafting Chair be Used as a Desk Chair?

A drafting chair can not be used as a regular desk as the seat height of a drafting chair is too high to be used with a regular desk.

The minimum seat height of any drafting chair is about 25 Inches. So, unless you are a very tall person, you can not use a drafting chair as a desk chair comfortably.

However, It is totally reasonable to use a drafting chair with a sit-stand desk. The height of sit-stand desk is adjustable which will allow you to use a drafting chair along with it.

My recommendation for Drafting Chair:

If you have decided to buy a draft chair. I would like to tell you details of the NOUHAUS ErgoDraft Drafting Chair. It fits perfectly with your home or office environment.

It comes with the great build quality, features, and design and costs around 210 dollars. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Then again, it has a well-ventilated curved back that provides lumbar support and breathability. 

It gives a 360º swivel facility, and the height can be adjusted. The tilt lever gives you the privilege to lock or activate the rocking motion. 

My recommendation for Ergonomic Office Chair:

If you are determined to buy an office chair that will enhance your office environment and if you have a handsome budget, I would suggest you buy the Steelcase Series 1. 

This chair comes in different colors, but among those, my personal choice is Graphite. It gives a sleek look that will go perfectly with your office or home office environment. 

Steelcase Series 1 comes with high-quality material from caster wheels to the backrest. You will get the best ergonomic sitting experience and 12 years of warranty from Steelcase, which makes it more sophisticated. 

I love this chair, and it’s the best in the price, currently costing $396.93. So, if you are interested, you can get one for yourself. Check the most updated price on Amazon.

Related Content:

Since you have learned about the differences between the Drafting chair and regular office chair, I think you should know about the differences between the Kneeling chair and office chair as well.

We have written an article on Kneeling Chair Vs. Office Chair. You can read it here.

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.