A drafting chair is a chair or tool designed specifically for use with a drafting table. A very basic one has an adjustable height, allowing the designer to find a height which is comfortable for him or her to work from. More complex versions offer adjustable backs and arms for comfort, along with supportive foot bars. Since many designers spend long hours at the drafting table, using a comfortable and supportive chair is very important.
Since a drafting table is usually higher than a conventional table, it requires a higher chair for comfortable seating. Some designers also like to lean over their work, requiring a chair seat which will allow them to perch over the drafting table. A drafting table is also adjustable in height and slant, making an adjustable drafting chair a necessity.
The most stripped down design of a drafting chair is actually a drafting stool. A drafting stool is designed with an adjustable height, and often includes a foot bar for resting the feet, so that the legs do not dangle while the designer works. Both hard and soft seated drafting stools are found for sale by several supply companies. For long term work, however, a drafting stool is not terribly comfortable, since it does not support the back or arms.
A drafting chair, on the other hand, has a properly supportive backpiece, and often includes armrests as well. In most cases, the chair is padded for comfort. The seat and backpiece should ideally be adjustable, as well as the height, ensuring that the designer fits comfortably into the chair, and that the back is supported. If armrests are included, these are adjustable for comfort as well. A foot bar or low stool is included to support the legs.
When used correctly, a drafting chair can make working much more comfortable for a designer. It also can prevent stress injuries and other issues caused by poor posture and low quality office equipment. A designer should always try out a drafting chair before purchasing it, to ensure that it will suit the user's needs. If multiple designers are using the same drafting table, they may want to seek out a chair together, to make sure that everyone is happy with the chair. In this case, a chair with memory settings is an excellent idea, allowing each designer to customize the feel of the chair individually.