A quality drafting table is as versatile as it is unique. These drawing desks can be used as architectural drafting tables, art desks, and even computer desks. One of the hallmark characteristics of a professional drafting table is an adjustable top.
Quality Begets Quality
Long hours are spent hovering over drafting tables so it’s prudent to consider some important features. Tilt tops, file drawers, glass tops, and guide bars are some important features to look for. Other features such as magnetic organizers (for things such as paperclips), finish/color, brand, and cup holders aren’t as important. If you’re fighting with your drafting table rather than putting pencil to paper there’s a chance the quality of your end product is going to suffer.
The Best Drafting Tables
We’ve put together a list of the best drafting tables on the market. These tables range in price, features, and overall style. Knowing your intended use will help understand which type of design will best suit your needs. For example, if you plan to use your computer on your drafting desk make sure to look for one with a larger surface area!
NOTE: Check Out Wayfair’s Drafting Table Catalog for a Complete List of drafting tables & artist desks
The Best Cheap Drafting Tables
Just because the price of a drafting table is low doesn’t meant the quality has to be too! Some of the best drafting tables out there are sold at price points far below what one might expect. Sure, there are luxury drafting tables that go for upwards of $2000 but that’s not on most shopping lists. Below you’ll find a list of the best drafting tables that are reasonably priced but offer good quality manufacturing and rich feature sets as well.
Drafting Table by Coaster Home Furnishings
What we love: Compact design & Glass Tilt Top
Coaster is one of the best furniture brands on the market today. Their drafting table falls in an odd place within their catalog. Most of the furniture designed by Coaster sells at considerably higher price points. This glass-top tilting drafting table offers a much more affordable option than other products typical to their catalog.
Vintage Drafting Table by Studio Designs
What We Love: Vintage Style & Stool
Perhaps you expect your drafting table to double as an artist’s table as well? The Vintage Drafting table by Studio Designs offers a much more aesthetically-pleasing design than most. This architectural desk features turn-knob adjustments to manipulate the tilt angle and a minimalist design. This drafting desk is a steal compared to other similar designs!
Pavillion Drafting Table by Alvin & Co.
What We Love: Compact Design & Affordability
If you’re looking for a basic drafting table for architectural work this may be your best pick. It’s cheap, reasonably durable, and offers the tilt-action featured by the best drafting desks out there. You won’t turn many heads with this desk but you’ll get the job done and have some money left over.
Split Level Workstation Drafting Table by Safco
What We Love: Split-Level Design & Adjustable Height
Safco isn’t a household name (not yet anyway!) but they offer some truly remarkable furniture. Among their vibrant catalog, their split-level drafting table stands out with confidence. This architectural table comes with a lot of features including adjustable height, tilt-top desk, and second (split-level) surface for storage, and even a side surface for a laptop or sketch pad. This drawing desk was purpose-built for productivity and, at least in our opinion, is one of the best drafting desks on the market for the price.
Vanguard Drafting Table by Alving & Co.
What We Love: Flip Top & Solid Wood Design
Flip-top tables comes in many varieties. Some are good—even great—though many are poorly made and offer little utility. The Vanguard Drafting table by Alvin & Company offers a sturdy design complete with a footrest and under-top storage. This desk is the most akin to a professional drafting desk that we’ve seen for under $1000 and is certainly one of the best drafting tables on the market today.
Harvard Drafting Table by Safavieh
What We Love: Bargain Pricing & Extra Storage
Not all apartments have the luxury of unlimited space. One’s drafting table often doubles as one’s dining table, studying desk, laundry board, and hallway cabinet. Just kidding, don’t put your desk in hallways! The Harvard drafting table by Safavieh isn’t going to win any international awards for luxury design. However, we do feel it offers one of the best well-rounded feature sets for a budget drafting table. This desk features sliding storage drawers, tilt-top capability, a flat surface for note-taking, and even auxiliary storage under the top. If you’re looking for a well-rounded architectural drafting table that won’t break the bank this is a clear winner.
The Best Quality Drafting Tables
Not all shopping sprees are defined by dollars saved. More expensive drafting tables generally mean higher-quality designs and richer feature sets. The drafting tables mentioned earlier are all excellent options but fall a bit short of what we’d consider luxury drafting tables. They’re good—but not that good. Below you’ll find a list of the best drafting tables on the market today that take into account overall quality and design more than total price. These are the best options available on the consumer market without bulk ordering or custom building.
Bureau Architect Drafting Table by Authentic Models
What We Love: Vintage Style & Authentic Design
Ever heard the saying They don’t make them like they used to? Well, that’s not always true! This drafting table might not be akin to the 8-foot-long tables one might find in an architect’s office but it certainly is of the same quality. We’ll be the first to admit this design kind of looks like a BBQ grill. Don’t let that fool you though—this is one of the best drafting desks on the consumer market. It features vertical filing storage, folding-leaf extensions, an adjustable top, and ample storage space. Not only will this drafting table support your professional workflow but it’ll impress your house guests as well!
Omari Drafting Desk by 17 Stories
What We Love: Everything!
This is our favorite drafting desk, hand’s down. You’ll sacrifice some features like extra storage but we think it’s absolutely worth it! We had a chance to view this desk at one of the past furniture markets and absolutely fell in love. It features a beautiful medium brown oak finish, an conservative traditional design, and authentic top-angle adjustment wheels to help support any workflow preference. This is the best drafting desk we’ve had the opportunity to experience ourselves and we feel that it comes in at nearly half the price that it should!
Be it drafting, painting, or drawing—a solid table to support one’s work is essential. The drafting tables discussed here are only a fraction of tables available on the market. The features here include everything from tilt-tops to lift-tops but should impress upon you one thing: you’ll always be balancing quality vs. price when shopping for a new drafting table. The models we’ve chose to include here are excellent representations of this balance and we feel to be fruitful choices for any student of the arts.