The best drum thrones can make a real difference to a drummer’s performance, whether that’s in the studio or on stage. By providing superior comfort and stability, good-quality thrones can help you to play better for longer, and, if set up correctly, can even prevent you from developing long-term health problems.
But what are the best drum thrones available today and, more importantly, which one is best for your individual playing style and budget? There’s only one way to find out – take a seat while we help you to claim your new throne.
We've included some expert buying advice at the bottom of this guide. If you'd like to have a read, click the 'buying advice' button above. If you're just here for the products, then keep scrolling.
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Best drum thrones: Our top picks
When it comes to choosing from the best drum thrones, your selection will be largely guided by your height and weight, the shape of seat you like to park your backside on, and the type of adjustability you prefer (read more about those things in our buying advice at the foot of the page). However, there are a few models that are worth singling out for special praise.
Gigging drummers who use monitoring, and stay-at-home electronic players, might want to look at the Porter & Davies BC-X for its unique tactile features. The Ahead Spinal-G is a great choice for anyone who experiences lower back pain. DW’s 5100 is one of the best utilitarian thrones you can buy right now, while the Tama 1st Chair Ergo-Rider Hydraulix Cloth Top gets our vote for features and comfort.
Best drum thrones: Product guide
Ask any drummer who’s made the switch to a Porter & Davies BC-X, and they’ll tell you they wouldn’t be without it. So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, not only does this throne offer a very comfortable driving position, it’s also loaded with a transducer. When hooked up to the included BC-X engine, it’ll pump your miked-up bass drum or electronic drum kit straight through your hide and into your skeleton (seriously!) for bass that you can not only hear but feel too.
The BC-X is the most affordable offering from Porter & Davies, so those looking for a different-shaped seat will need to go up in price range. It’s also worth noting that the BC-X doesn’t include a base as standard, although many retailers offer bundled options to make purchasing easy.
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Mapex is known in the industry for manufacturing products that punch above their price tag, and this extends to its drum stools. Boasting a four-inch-thick cushion, the T575A is one of the best drum thrones you can get in terms of comfort – and it’s built to last, too. Though adjustments are made via a friction clamp, which won’t be to everyone’s taste, the inclusion of a memory lock means there’s a safety net in the unlikely event of any slippage.
If you’re looking for an affordable upgrade on your old throne and are likely to keep your seat set at the same height for long periods of time, this is undoubtedly an excellent-value choice.
You just know that any drum throne with that famous Roc-N-Soc logo etched onto it is going to be a dream to sit on, and the Square doesn’t disappoint. Comprising a high-grade foam cushion clad in a stylish velour and vinyl covering, this handcrafted stool is credited with reducing fatigue on the lower back and legs.
If you want to make the Square even more comfy, you could upgrade it with a Roc-N-Soc backrest. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to budget for a base, since this drum throne doesn’t come with one.
Can’t decide between a round and a saddle seat? The Tama 1st Chair Ergo-Rider Hydraulix Cloth Top gives you the best of both worlds. With its eye-catching design, thick cushioning and cloth cover, it’s as classy as it is comfortable. As well as featuring a hydraulic lifting mechanism for speedy positioning, it includes a two-piece locking hinge to make sure your seat remains firmly in place at all times: there’s no irritating wobble here.
Throw in a sturdy three-legged base and oversized rubber feet, and you’ll start to understand why Tama’s drum throne is such a popular choice among sticksmen everywhere.
No, it’s not a tribute to Spinal Tap – the Ahead Spinal-G (the G stands for ‘glide’) is so-named because of its ability to minimise spinal pain. Boasting an 18”-wide memory foam seat, this throne has a gap running through the middle that apparently allows the coccyx to “hang naturally, rather than being compressed”.
With a height range of 18 – 24”, the Spinal-G can be adjusted to suit. It’s expensive, but ideal if you’re prone to posture problems.
The Natal Deluxe boasts an extra-thick seating area with a quilted top. But as well as scoring high in the comfort stakes, this drum throne is one of the more user-friendly options we’ve tried. Natal has included its nifty quick-release mechanism for locking/unlocking the threaded spindle. You simply unclip it, spin the stool in either direction to set your height, then clip it back down for rock-solid grip.
Available in a range of colour combinations, Natal’s throne sits toward the mid-price bracket, and is a good trade-off between higher-end features and affordability.
Read the full Natal Deluxe review
Gibraltar has a reputation for manufacturing extremely strong third-party hardware. Despite the name, the Airtech isn’t an air-lift-equipped throne. Instead, that terminology applies to the seat, which is not only a generous 17” wide by 3.75” deep, it also makes use of a breathable mesh seating surface to keep the air flowing while you play. There’s a vinyl centre patch to help you remain partially anchored, too.
On the base, you’ll find a threaded adjustment with a quick-release mechanism, and this drum throne’s height range goes from 20 to 30”, making it suitable for even the tallest of drummers. Consider this a La-Z-Boy for your kit.
Comfort and functionality combine to make the Roadster D3500BR one of the best drum thrones you can buy right now. Featuring multi-core foam technology and a computer-tempered seat top that eases the pressure while you sit at the kit, it’s a real treat for your backside. But that’s just the start.
The throne’s seat-locking mechanism can be reversed to allow the top to spin (without changing the height) or lock in place, depending on your preference. And the Roadster D3500BR also comes with an adjustable backrest for optimal support while you bash out those beats.
Before it started manufacturing drums, DW was all about the hardware – so it knows a thing or two about crafting sturdy, reliable thrones. And the 5100 Series is certainly designed to last. Measuring 13” in diameter, the seat probably won’t suit those with a larger build, but the throne’s 20 – 27” height range is more than decent.
The 5100 Series is a mid-priced workhorse that’s among Drum Workshop’s best-sellers, but if you’d prefer the same robust quality with a bigger seat, opt for the 5120 Tractor version.
So far in this selection, we’ve assumed that most drummers will choose a medium or heavyweight throne to park themselves on. But what if you want a lightweight option for streamlined load-ins, or simply don’t require the bulk of a heavy throne? Well, you might want to consider the Yamaha DS550U.
Weighing just 4lbs and with an 11”-wide seat, this throne is definitely one of the more compact options out there. While we wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on the protein powder, it’s a sound choice if you’re on the smaller side, looking to cut the overall weight of your setup or buying for a younger drummer.
Best drum thrones: Buying advice
Throne seats come in a variety of shapes (round, saddle, rectangular, etc), all of which can have an influence on your comfort and playing. Some drummers find round seats more comfortable, while others prefer the cutouts you get on saddle-style seats, as they tend to remove restrictions on leg movement. The depth and density of the seat also come down to personal preference, with some players preferring a deep, spongy cushion, and others favouring something more rigid. As for the material used to cover the seat, vinyl or similar non-porous materials are durable and easy to clean, but aren’t ideal if you’re the kind of player who sweats a lot.
Throne bases range from lightweight and portable, ‘sling ’em in your hardware bag’ affairs, to heavyweight items that require their own case, and choosing a throne the size of a wingback armchair for comfort reasons is obviously going to make transporting it less convenient.
You’ll also want to pay attention to your throne’s fastening and adjustment options. If you’ve ever played a kit-share gig, you’ll understand the importance of being able to quickly set your stool height. The most basic stools tend to feature a simple pin/wingnut design with pre-determined hole spacings for raising and lowering the height in increments. Other designs use a ‘friction’ fastening, similar to the tubes on your cymbal stands where you select your height and tighten a screw. At the more expensive end of the market, you’ll find office-chair-style air-lift mechanisms for super-quick adjustment.
In some cases, it’s also possible to add a backrest, which will come in handy if you require additional spine and lumbar support. It’s also worth noting that some brands offer their seats separately, so if you already have a base with an adjustment system that you’re happy with, you can just add a new seat.
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