If you’re willing to fork over a bit of extra money for a lifetime’s worth of pain-free work and study time, a drafting table is designed to promote the most ergonomically ideal experience for users. Rather than bring yourself down to its level, a drafting table rises to meet your needs and then some. If you’re in the market for a new kind of work desk, here are a few options that we recommend.
Why buy a drafting table?
Drafting tables provide quite a bit of flexibility in one single piece of furniture. While they can sit flat like a regular table, they can also be tilted upward at various angles or raised or lowered in height. A tilted drafting table surface is quite useful for artists, engineers, architects, and anyone else who writes, draws, or sketches by hand, whether for work or for fun.
Even if a drafting table is sitting flat, the height adjustment features are useful for typing on a laptop, sewing, or quilting. You can raise the drafting table to a height that’s more comfortable for you while sitting upright so that you don’t have to lean or bend over your work.
When they’re used this way, especially over the course of a full workday, drafting tables might even help reduce or prevent back and neck pain. And as a bonus, their generally slim width and tilted surface often make drafting tables easier to tuck or store away if needed.
What should you consider in a drafting table?
- Measurements: A drafting table is often used for art and engineering projects, so they tend to run large and long. It’s important that you consider the dimensions of whichever room or wall you intend to place it near.
- Adjustments: In hand with understanding the dimensions of your environment and table, you should take further note of how high, low, and easily your drafting table can be positioned. Most drafting tables feature tabletops that can be angled and locked into specific degrees and raised to an even higher standing. You should seek at least one of these qualities in a potential purchase, as they’re critical to the ergonomic side of your work experience.
- Additional Features: You should also consider a table that offers a few more convenient perks. Features outside of height adjustments, like storage compartments and brush containers, smooth tabletops, or even a seating option, are big perks that you should prioritize in your purchase.
How much do drafting tables cost?
Expect to spend a decent chunk of change when purchasing a drafting table. The actual price of a drafting table can run quite a gamut, depending on its size, material, and other features. Most will cost over $100, and $225 to $500 is a pretty common range for a high-end drafting table. There are some quality models with useful features that run in the $150 to $175 range.
SD Studio Designs Vintage Table
Here's a drafting table that offers a classic table in both style and practicality.
Pros: This vintage-style drafting table can be tilted as far as 90 degrees, whereas the average drafting table will tilt to a maximum of around 60 degrees or so. The feet are specially designed to keep the table level and to protect your floors from scratches. And you have a nice variety of purchasing options, from several color and size choices to extra accessories that can be bought along with the drafting table.
Cons: Lovely as the vintage style of this drafting table might be, it’s not going to suit every home. If you’ve decorated your home in a more modern fashion, this drafting table will stick out like a sore thumb among your decor. It doesn’t come with any built-in storage space.
Bottom Line: This drafting table is ideal for those who want or need to tilt their tabletop to a vertical or near-vertical angle. It’s also a great choice for those who want several color or size options to choose from, which isn’t super common among drafting tables. However, if you want a model with more freedom of motion or your home has very modern decor, this probably isn’t the one for you.
ZENY Glass Top Adjustable Drawing Desk
In addition to providing a trendy new look, this drafting table offers its users 360 degrees of around-the-house mobility.
Pros: This is one of the less expensive drafting tables on the market, and it offers more than many other lower-priced models. It offers tabletop storage slots (one on either side) for items like pencils and paintbrushes as well as two small storage drawers underneath. The wheels on the feet make it easy to move as needed, and they lock into place to keep it from sliding once the drafting table is in the right spot.
Cons: Unlike some other drafting tables, you can’t adjust the height of this model. You can tilt it anywhere from 0- to 60-degree angles, but the height will always remain the same. And while the under-table storage drawers are useful, they also limit the amount of available legroom when you’re sitting at the table.
Bottom Line: If you want a sleek, modern-looking, yet sturdy drafting table or are on a budget, you’ll love this model. It’s also a great choice for artists since there’s plenty of tabletop storage space for art supplies. But someone who’s taller than average might find the lesser legroom and the lack of height adjustment inconvenient.
SD Studio Designs Comet Art Drafting Table
Keep all of your arts and crafts supplies on hand with this drafting table and its built-in shelving.
Pros: Between the set of side drawers and the shelf below, this drafting table offers all of the built-in storage space you could desire. The under-shelf is strategically placed low enough so that it won’t decrease your legroom, and it can even function as a footrest when not holding supplies. The entire unit is sturdy and stable, thanks to the solid steel construction and floor levelers. The stool comes included at no extra cost, and both the table and the stool are available in 14 different colors.
Cons: This drafting table is quite heavy, making it more difficult to move, and it’s not the most adjustable model on the market. It only tilts to a maximum of 40 degrees, and the height can’t be altered at all, either. And as handy as the built-in drawers are, they do make this drafting table wider than most, so it will take up more room in your living space.
Bottom Line: If extra storage space is an important feature that you’re looking for in a drafting table, this is the model for you. And thanks to the unusual variety in color choices, it’s also much easier to match this drafting table with the rest of your decor. But those looking for a greater range of angles and adjustability will want to pass on this model, as it’s less flexible in those areas than most.
H&A Tiltable Drawing Desk
This drafting table offers its user the longest workstation available.
Pros: This drafting table offers extra workspace without breaking the bank. It’s one of the least expensive models on the market yet still has larger dimensions than most. The simple yet elegant design will suit just about any home decor: the maple wood-colored version for rustic and vintage-style homes and the black version for more modern, minimalist, or industrial looks. And it offers seven different adjustable height levels.
Cons: As elegantly simple as this drafting table is, its simplicity means that it doesn’t offer any extra features or accessories that other models do (the tradeoff for its lower price tag). It doesn’t come with built-in storage space or seating options. And since it’s larger than most other drafting tables, it will take up more room in your home.
Bottom Line: Minimalists, those keeping an eye on their budget, and those who require extra workspace will love this drafting table. However, if you have a small office or apartment, you’ll probably want to pass on this model, as it isn’t particularly space-efficient. The extra workspace and pen slot make it great for engineers and architects, while most artists probably won’t find it as useful since it doesn’t have a convenient spot to hold brushes and paints.
ZENY Height-Adjustable Drafting Table w/Stool and Storage
This drafting table offers its users a customizable experience.
Pros: Not only does this drafting table offer nearly 10 inches of height adjustability, but changing the height is a simple task. All you have to do is turn the knob on the left-hand side, and the drafting table will raise or lower to your desired height. The stool and a decent amount of built-in storage space are included, so you get a good bang for your buck. It also comes with pads to protect your floors.
Cons: This drafting table can only be tilted up to 45 degrees, limiting it a bit more than some other models on the market. The two drawers under the tabletop and the storage shelf underneath might get in the way when you’re seated at the table and limit your legroom. The wooden sections are made of MDF, which means that they’re less sturdy than real wood.
Bottom Line: This is a great choice for kids who are budding artists or writers, as it’s not super expensive, they can adjust the height as they grow, and the lack of legroom is less likely to affect them. Artists will also get some good use out of this drafting table, as the 45-degree angle is ideal for painting, and there’s tabletop space to hold art supplies. If you want a great range of tilting angles or a longer-lasting, more secure drafting table, consider looking elsewhere.
Drafting tables aren’t just for artists and engineers anymore, although they’re undeniably useful for both of those professions. If you often find yourself hunched or bent over a desk or table all day long, a drafting table could well be worth your investment. Your back and neck will certainly thank you for it.