Best Artist Chair in 2021

This is the second article in my three part series all about setting up the best workstation for any artist’s office or studio. This article is specifically focused on finding the best chair for artists and crafters

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Table of Contents

… and in particular, we will try to find:

  • The Best Artist Chair for Painting or Drawing
  • The Best Artist Chair for a Desk
  • The Best Artist Chair for a Drafting Table
  • The Most Comfortable Chair for Artists
  • The Most Ergonomic Chair for Artists

But we artists often prefer a more plain and utilitarian stool when we’re working, as opposed to the super-fancy ergonomic chairs so popular these days, so we will also try to find:

  • The Best Stool for Painting or Drawing
  • The Best Stool for a Desk
  • The Best Stool for a Drafting Table
  • The Most Comfortable Stool
  • The Most Ergonomic Stool

I hope you’ll also check out part 1 and part 3 of this “Studio Suite” of buyer’s guides, which are intended to help you find the very best artist desk or drawing table and the very best artist lamps and work lights:

What to Look For in the Best Artist Chair / Stool?

There are a lot of different studio and work chairs out there, and it is normal that people have a bunch of questions about them, like:

  • What is the Best Artist Chair for Artists?
  • What is the Best Artist Chair for Drawing?
  • What is the Best Artist Chair for Painting?
  • Can Drafting Chairs be Used as a Regular Chair?
  • What Artist Chair is Best for Posture?
  • What Is Most Important in an Artist Chair?

I’m tempted to say that the most important thing in a new art chair is comfort, but perhaps more important is getting a chair that allows you to work for extended periods without fatigue or physical pain and discomfort. After all, comfort is important, but too much comfort can be as bad for a work chair as too little, and ideally your new art chair, or your new art stool for that matter, will be so comfortable that you essentially forget you’re even in it (or on it) but not so comfortable that you get groggy, drift off and wake hours later with your forehead plastered to your canvas.

And, equally important, you really want to look for an art chair that sort of gets out of your way – that is, a chair or stool that doesn’t physically keep you from your full range of motions, movement or techniques.

So, let’s list out the main things we would want and expect from the best stool or the best chair for artists:

  • Ergonomic Design — for comfort and physical health
  • Useful Design — a chair or stool that accommodates your work process
  • Rock Solid Construction — a chair that will not break or make odd noises, and that will last and last
  • Style — well, you better not look at my first art stool recommendation (unless you think that Carhart is the height of fashion…)

How Can You Find the Right Artist Chair or Art Stool for You?

As I’ve mentioned in the two companion pieces in this series, about finding the perfect studio art desk or drawing table and finding the perfect artist’s lamp or work light, I am not able to really get my hands on and personally test every single one of these chairs and stools. So I have had to rely much more heavily on the reports of others — not just my own experience (I have tried a few of these), but feedback from other artists, friends and students, and especially the reviews of as many actual verified customers as possible, from Amazon and elsewhere.

But that’s what I’m here for, to do the hours and hours of homework for you, and to lend my own insight as a working artist to the pool of information and feedbackI’ve been able to put together. And as a result I am really happy with our final selections, and so confident that each and every one of them is not only a great chair or stool, perfect for any working artist, fine artist, art student or crafter, but also represents an amazing value and a really smart and good purchase. 

And yes, when I say “amazing value” I include even the Herman Miller chairs!

So, I have divided this buyer’s guide into two simple sections:

  • The Best Artist Chair in 2021
  • The Best Stool for Artists in 2021

Within these two sections the recommendations are listed by price, from lowest to highest, and so if you already know your budget, and whether you are leaning more toward a more normal studio chair or a working stool, it should be super easy for you to find the very best choice you can make from the list below.

And make sure to check out my “Closing Thoughts” section, at the end of this article, where I will pose the rather straight-spined question “Posture at What Cost?”

But now let’s have a seat and get started with the best chairs and the best stools for artists and crafters!

Overview: Best Artist Chairs and Art Stools in 2021

  1. Victone Lumbar Support Mesh Back Office Chair
  2. Victone Lumbar Support Mesh Back Office Chair

    Chair for Artists, Home Office Desk Chair Task Mid Back Mesh Chair Ergonomic Swivel Lumbar Support Desk Computer Chair


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. BestOffice High-Back Faux Leather Office Chair
  4. BestOffice High-Back Faux Leather Office Chair

    BestOffice Office High-Back PU Leather Racing Reclining Computer Executive Desk Lumbar Support Adjustable Arms Rolling Swivel Chair for Women, Men


    Buy Now on Amazon
  5. Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh High Back Office Chair
  6. Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh High Back Office Chair

    Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office, Artist Chair, High Back Desk Chair - Adjustable Headrest with Flip-Up Arms, Tilt Function, Lumbar Support and PU Wheels, Swivel Computer Task Chair


    Buy Now on Amazon
  7. Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair
  8. Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair

    Drafting chair, Tilt Limiter, Butterfly Back, Lightweight design, offering a combination of simplicity, flexibility, and personalized ergonomics

    12 Year Warranty


    Buy Now on Amazon
  9. Steelcase Gesture Chair
  10. Steelcase Gesture Chair

    Ergonomic chair – adjustable seat depth, fully adjustable arms, pneumatic seat height adjustment, recline tension adjustment, 4 position recline lock, wrapped upholstered back and seat, light/light frame color scheme


    Buy Now on Amazon
  11. CRAFTSMAN Fixed Height Work Shop Stool
  12. CRAFTSMAN Fixed Height Work Shop Stool

    28.5-inches Tall, Rip-Resistant Padded Vinyl Seat, 300-lb Capacity, 360-degree Footrest, Non-Marring Feet


    Buy Now on Amazon
  13. Amazon Basics Adjustable Activity Office Tilt Stool
  14. Amazon Basics Adjustable Activity Office Tilt Stool

    Active stool for home, school, or office; can help an energetic or restless person stay focused; suitable for kids and adults. Curved base enables a wide range of motion; comfortable foam seat covered in durable polyurethane (PU).

    

    Buy Now on Amazon
  15. Christopher Knight Black Padded Faux Leather Barstool
  16. Christopher Knight Black Padded Faux Leather Barstool

    Christopher Knight Home Ximen Fir Wood Barstool with Backrest, Naturally Antique


    Buy Now on Amazon
  17. Perch Life Rolling Height Adjustable Stool
  18. Perch Life Rolling Height Adjustable Stool

    For Hardwood & Tile | Workbench Height 20.5-28 inches w/Footring 250-pound Weight Capacity | 12 Year Warranty | Drafting stool


    Buy Now on Amazon
  19. HON Volt Armless Task Chair
  20. HON Volt Armless Task Chair

    The HON Volt Task Drafting Chair, Armless, has generous seat and back cushions that are contoured for comfort and is ideal for sit-to-stand applications

    

    Buy Now on Amazon
  21. Stand Steady Active Motion Stool
  22. Stand Steady Active Motion Stool

    Wobble While You Work! | Premium Ergonomic Stool/Ergonomic Office Chair for Comfort & Back Pain Relief - Made in Germany


    Buy Now on Amazon
  23. Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool
  24. Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool

    The original Tilting Saddle Stool designed by Per Die in 1985, Norwegian design, manufactured in Europe, stool constructed to move with your body. Easy assembly: 3 pieces that are easily put together, no tools needed.

    

    Buy Now on Amazon

Best Artist Chairs in 2021

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Victone Lumbar Support Mesh Back Office Chair

Chair for Artists, Home Office Desk Chair Task Mid Back Mesh Chair Ergonomic Swivel Lumbar Support Desk Computer Chair


There are a lot of really cheap chairs out there, and lots of them look pretty much the same — and actually at least look pretty nice. But my choice for the best budget chair for artists really is nice, with super stable and strong construction and an ergonomic design that supports the lumbar, takes pressure off the legs and arms and offers that perfect balance between engaged posture and comfort.

The Victone office chair is really inexpensive too, even less expensive than some of the most popular super budget chairs on Amazon, and by all reports is a much better chair overall. If there is one drawback, it would be that you cannot swing the arms out of the way, but for this price, and considering the quality and usefulness of this chair, that is a pretty small thing, and I can recommend the Victone without reservation.

BestOffice High-Back Faux Leather Office Chair

BestOffice Office High-Back PU Leather Racing Reclining Computer Executive Desk Lumbar Support Adjustable Arms Rolling Swivel Chair for Women, Men


Our next recommendation for best art chairs is a bit of a different beast — rather than the all-popular mesh-back breathable studio chairs that everybody seems to be making these days, the BestOffice high back faux leather chair is a more luxurious looking padded chair with intelligent and well executed padding for the neck and head and for the lumbar support. And with nice padding on the seat too, and a perfectly curved surface, this chair is really comfortable as well as good for you.

At the same time, the swing-away armrests, the down curve at the front of the seat, and the super solid frame and overall construction seem to encourage alert and effective work, both supporting you and staying out of your way. For the money, quite a brilliantly designed and well made chair, and a great choice for any working artist’s office or studio.

Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh High Back Office Chair

Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office, Artist Chair, High Back Desk Chair - Adjustable Headrest with Flip-Up Arms, Tilt Function, Lumbar Support and PU Wheels, Swivel Computer Task Chair


With the Gabrylly mesh studio chair we have hit a new level of ergonomic design, with a chair equal to many very expensive and well known models but at a fraction of the price. The Gabrylly is especially strong in providing the perfect balance between extreme comfort and alertness, and its size and easy swing-up arms make it great for painting, drawing and other artistic work.

Extremely well made, solid and stable, this is a chair that you don’t have to worry about, and so when you are working you can just fall into the creative flow, forgetting about the chair completely. At the end of the day that’s really the best thing any art chair can offer, and in this way and many others the Gabrylly is a great choice for any working artists, and the best mid-priced art chair I’ve found.

My Pick
Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair

Drafting chair, Tilt Limiter, Butterfly Back, Lightweight design, offering a combination of simplicity, flexibility, and personalized ergonomics

12 Year Warranty


It may seem like there should be some recommendation between the Gabrylly above and this gorgeous Herman Miller Aeron, which is more expensive. But to be honest the Gabrylly is such a good chair that I don’t think you would get significantly more in any of the somewhat more expensive choices.

And the Herman Miller, well, it’s a Herman Miller – it is without a doubt the best value on our list of the best office chairs for artists. Perfectly designed to be essentially unnoticeable, with incredible comfort and absolutely ideal support, it allows you to work endless hours without fatigue or discomfort, and completely enables — even seems to encourage — your physical motions, processes and techniques, making work better, more productive and more enjoyable.

The Herman Miller Aeron — and any Herman Miller product — is also one of the very best quality studio products you can buy, made in the USA and offering an amazing 12 (!) year warranty. I can’t for a moment entertain the thought that the Aeron is expensive, not for what you are getting and what it can do for you, and if it is within your budget please don’t hesitate!

Steelcase Gesture Chair

Ergonomic chair – adjustable seat depth, fully adjustable arms, pneumatic seat height adjustment, recline tension adjustment, 4 position recline lock, wrapped upholstered back and seat, light/light frame color scheme


The Herman Miller Aeron is certainly a tough act to follow, and the plain looking and unassuming Steelcase Gesture doesn’t necessarily look up to the challenge, but I have to say right up front that this is without question my favorite work chair, and my absolute top recommendation as the best chair for any artists on any level.

The Steelcase Gesture is, despite its apparent plainness, a bit of a masterpiece of modern industrial minimalism — in large part due to the extremely high levels of material quality and craftsmanship, but also the “just right” curves, form and balance.

It is also, and much more importantly, the perfect support — absolutely solid and ideally yielding, and encourages perfect posture, alertness and physical health and well-being at the highest level, while still feeling incredibly comfortable. And at the same time the Aeron also encourages productivity at the highest level — what more could you ask for?

I guess this is a chair designed for any office and any kind of work, but the design and the functionality seem to be tailor made for artists, and the Steelcase Gesture is undoubtedly the best art chair on the market today.

Best Art Stools in 2021

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CRAFTSMAN Fixed Height Work Shop Stool

28.5-inches Tall, Rip-Resistant Padded Vinyl Seat, 300-lb Capacity, 360-degree Footrest, Non-Marring Feet


If you’ve been reading this 2021 buyer’s guide to the best art chairs and art stools straight through, then I’m afraid you’re in for a bit of a shock, because we are going from an almost high art beauty, in the Steelcase Gesture, to a bright red, boot-ugly stump in the Craftsman Workshop Stool.

We also go from admittedly quite expensive — though unquestionably worth it — to downright cheap. For less than 60 bucks, though, you end up with an incredibly solid, simple fixed height (about 28 inches tall) work stool that is absolutely perfect for working at a drafting table, on a canvas or mural, or really in a thousand places in a working art office or studio. 

And it’s really not that ugly, is it? Let’s call it cool and trendy instead, and be confident that because we’re all artistic and stuff we can easily pull it off. Whatever we think of the looks, though, this Craftsman work stool is a brilliant piece that will solidly support you and your work for many years to come.

Amazon Basics Adjustable Activity Office Tilt Stool

Active stool for home, school, or office; can help an energetic or restless person stay focused; suitable for kids and adults. Curved base enables a wide range of motion; comfortable foam seat covered in durable polyurethane (PU).



Our next recommendation in this list of best stools for artists is the Amazon Basics Adjustable Activity Office Tilt Stool, a brilliant concept that is equally brilliant in execution and actual use — unlike, for example, those annoying yoga balls…

This stool is basically the same concept as the yoga ball, but with a solidity that allows you to relax and focus on work, instead of on your core or the floor you’re sure you are about to crash into. With its cleverly curved base, the Tilt Stool, well, wobbles, and keeps you sitting alert and straight, with the best possible posture. And yet with its support beam and overall super-solid construction there’s no anxiety, and much less motion and fighting, and you can relax and get into your work — the best of both worlds.

A basic and inexpensive wobble stool, the AmazonBasics is nonetheless very effective, comfortable and well made, and a great value!

Christopher Knight Black Padded Faux Leather Barstool

Christopher Knight Home Ximen Fir Wood Barstool with Backrest, Naturally Antique


A well made basic barstool, with comfortable padding on the seat and the backrest, this Christopher Knight stool is perfect as a perch for painting, drawing and other studio work — wide open to allow for a full range of motion and any techniques or processes, great for somebody who moves around a lot, but also comfortable enough for an extended sit.

Solid, well made and with a nice fit and finish, this stool is adjustable (from 28 to 34 inches in height) and works well with a variety of easels, drawing tables and desks. A great value for the money, and a perfect choice for somebody who wants a simple, stable work stool with a backrest.

Perch Life Rolling Height Adjustable Stool

For Hardwood & Tile | Workbench Height 20.5-28 inches w/Footring 250-pound Weight Capacity | 12 Year Warranty | Drafting stool


I guess the Perch Life seems a bit expensive, considering it’s, you know, a stool. But customers repeatedly say that these professional work stools are an amazing value and a great investment. Not only is the Perch Life stool perfectly designed for maximum comfort, great posture and back relief and maximum workflow with minimum interference, it is incredibly solid, stable and well built.

With a strong foot ring to reduce strain on the lower back, full and silky smooth height adjustment from 20 to 28 inches, three and a half inches of memory foam on top and solid steel and fiberglass reinforced nylon construction, this is the perfect basic work stool, made in the United States and offering an unbelievable 12 year warranty.

The best art stool overall on the market today, the Perch Life earns my highest recommendation.

HON Volt Armless Task Chair

The HON Volt Task Drafting Chair, Armless, has generous seat and back cushions that are contoured for comfort and is ideal for sit-to-stand applications



Our last recommendation for best work stools for artists is, admittedly, a bit of a cheat. It is, after all, really just a fine ergonomic chair without arms.

Still, if you love the idea of a work stool, with its wide-open freedom of movement, easy mobility and utter simplicity, but prefer a more ergonomic design and a nice padded backrest, the Hon Volt may be the perfect choice — especially so if you also want the very best material and build quality.

Hon is, after all, as much of a legend as SteelCase and Herman Miller, and equally well known for making the very best quality office furniture available. And the Volt is a great example, with its solid and stable construction, extreme durability and intelligent design.

Frictionless pneumatic height adjustment (from about 22 to 32 inches), precise control over tilt and tilt tension (including the ingenious synchro-tilt feature), super smooth heavy duty casters, 360 degree swivel and the highest quality materials and finish — it all adds up to a superior work stool for a surprisingly affordable price. 

And if you want to call it a chair instead, that’s fine — you can also get the optional Hon Adjustable Armrests and call it a day. Either way, this is a brilliant and highly recommended stool / office chair for any artists or crafter.

Final Thoughts: Posture at What Price?

One of the most important questions we can ask is along the lines of:

  • What is the Most Healthful Chair for Artists?
  • What Art Chair is Best for Posture?
  • What Office Chair is Best for Back Pain (decreasing, BTW, not increasing)

But I would like to pose another, perhaps even more meaningful question:

Is There an Art Chair Which Is Good for Both Posture and Productivity?

In the last few decades there have been a few semi-successful trends toward active, exercising and posture-correcting seating, the most popular of these being the yoga ball and the Danish kneeling chair. Both great ideas, I guess, but both ultimately not that great as actual working chairs. The kneeling chair, for all its promise and beautiful design, was often too short to be practical, and surprisingly uncomfortable over long use, and the yoga ball was, well, very big and round. 

And they are both extremely fiddly and fidgety. Yes, they are meant to promote a healthy upright posture, and to engage the core while you’re working, but all of the movement they cause, and the attention you consciously end up giving the effort to just keep still, proves to be much better for your spine and abs than for your work flow.

There is now, though, a newish product; the wobble stool — that’s not really true; I guess the first one was introduced even before the kneeling chair or the yoga ball, but they are certainly in vogue now. The wobble stool seems a great alternative to the others, with a kind of apparent strength and stability that allows you to relax a lot more, a useful (and often adjustable) height and, for some mysterious reason, less of the continuous, conspicuous movement as you struggle to stay still.

They still engage the core and help you maintain good posture, they help with energy and awareness while working, they are much more comfortable and — best of all for artists — they let us fall more deeply into our creative flow.

Amazon Basics Adjustable Activity Office Tilt Stool

Active stool for home, school, or office; can help an energetic or restless person stay focused; suitable for kids and adults. Curved base enables a wide range of motion; comfortable foam seat covered in durable polyurethane (PU).



I already recommended one wobble stool above, in the list of best work stools for artists — the Amazon Basics Adjustable Activity Tilt Stool — and here are a couple more of the best wobble stools on the market today:

Stand Steady Active Motion Stool

Wobble While You Work! | Premium Ergonomic Stool/Ergonomic Office Chair for Comfort & Back Pain Relief - Made in Germany


Stand Steady Active Motion Stool — the Steady Stand is a little more active but no less stable, than the other wobble stools here, is extremely well made and has a great sense of style. 

Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool

The original Tilting Saddle Stool designed by Per Die in 1985, Norwegian design, manufactured in Europe, stool constructed to move with your body. Easy assembly: 3 pieces that are easily put together, no tools needed.



The original and still the best. A premium stool so solid, effective and beautiful that it might itself be considered a work of art!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article – Finding the Best Art Chair: A 2021 Buyer’s Guide for the Best Chairs and Stools for Artists – and I would love for you to also check out the two companion pieces, Finding the Best Art Desk and Finding the Best Art Light. And please visit my blog – Art Side of Life – for other buyer’s guides, online courses, articles and lots of other resources.

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