The best easels for painting can improve the quality of your art, as well as preventing shoulder, neck and back pain. So whether you're a professional artist, a total beginner, or somewhere in between, they're well worth the investment. So how do you pick the best easel for your specific needs? Well, first think about where you paint. If you travel often, or do a lot of plein air work, you'll want something nice and portable. So the best easel for you will be light, easy to collapse, and not too bulky. If you always paint in one place, though – your home or studio, for example – then those things become less important. In fact, you'll probably prefer an easel that's robust, heavyweight and stable. (Unless, of course, you're working in a small space or need to store your easel away at the end of the day.)
“When choosing an easel, you'll also have to think about the canvas you like working on, and whether you prefer standing up or sitting down”
Also think about the canvas you like working on, and whether you prefer standing up or sitting down. That will determine how tall your easel will need to be, and how much you'll need to adjust it.
We've gathered together the best easels for painting below, starting with the best easels for painting in the US. However, if you're on the other side of the pond, jump straight to the AMAZON shop of MEEDEN.
Meanwhile if you're new to painting, then you should also read our guide to the best art supplies, and check out our roundups or best paintbrushes for oils.
01. MEEDEN Large Studio H-frame Easel
This MEEDEN studio art easel is a great mid-point for a lot of artists’ needs. The overall functionality is great, as an H-frame easel will give you a more stable easel to work on. The wheels make it easy to move around the studio as needed.
You can also convert it into a horizontal easel, which gives you a wealth of options when it comes to your medium. Convertible easels are perfect for watercolour painting or just as extra table space.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RBR8J6R
02. MEEDEN Versatile Studio H-Frame Easel
Well-constructed from solid beechwood, this medium-sized, wooden H-Frame is one of the best easels on the market today. 2 wheels underneath makes it easy to wheel it around your studio to find the best light. Adjustable from 59" (150cm) to 95" (240cm) while tilting in vertical, holding canvas art up to 77" (196cm)
And that's not all! There's two units to hold your artworks up and down to make the referencing easier and smoother.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R5RHWVT
03.MEEDEN Artist Plein Air Pochade Box
This all in one adjustable pochade box was designed for travelling.With a sturdy aluminium tripod,it can be used as Plein air like a french easel for outdoor painting.With the rubber bumpers on the bottom, it can be used as a small tabletop easel for indoor studio use as well. Its versatility enables you to paint anywhere you like.
And more, with three parts large storage space with removable dividers.Including one wood palette by sliding and a paint brush holder.You can aslo carry 3-4pcs in size 8" x 10" to 9" x 12" canvas panels at the box bottom.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GPFL7BM
04.MEEDEN Extra Large Studio Professional Artist Easel
Here is the choice when you get a generous budget. The single-pole design will not only be that accent furniture in your art space, but a versatile tool for any kind of technique you choose.
This easel enables you to do large scale works up to 71” high, is available with a 20" height adjustable canvas holder tray which could be used to rest supplies or a palette while working, is also equipped with a firm quad base supports for adding stability and strong canvas-resting arms for comfortable painting.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YTMWPVK
05.MEEDEN Large Adjustable Artist Tabletop Sketchbox Easel
If you're short on space, or just don't like painting standing up, you may be looking for a smaller easel that can fit on a table. In which case, this lovingly-made, compact H-frame is just the job. Solidly constructed from beechwood – making it a stable base for working on tables.
This light and portable H-frame easel is easy to carry around, and it measures just 16.5'' W x 11''D x 5'' H when folded down. It's nice and easy to assemble, and very affordable too.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZGJMBP
06.MEEDEN Basic Large Lyre Easel
Looking for some practical ideas about your first easel? Here is the MEEDEN basic lyre easel which could be adjusted from 63" to 89" in height, holds canvas up to 48". Two colors(nature wood/walnut) to choose in a very practical prize range.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081Q9CL4Q
07.MEEDEN 142-piece Deluxe Artist Painting Set with Aluminum and Solid Beech Wood Easel
Total 142-pieces artist paint set, all elementary painting mediums, materials, supplies & tools included. All-round painting kit contains field metal & beech tabletop wood 2 easels, 108pcs paint tubes, 8Pcs 11"x14" & 10"x10" & 8"x10" canvas panels with 2 colors each, 15pcs paintbrushes with 2 pcs oil spatula knives, 1pc color wheel.
Gift idea? No clue of starting your art journey? Or just want it all? You got it.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VSNS93R
08.MEEDEN Tripod Field Painting Easel with Carrying Case
Looking for a classic A-frame easel? Then we recommend the MEEDEN Tripod Easel. Expertly handcrafted from seasoned beechwood, with high-quality steel fittings, it's strong, stable and durable. It's capable of holding a canvas up to 31 inches (79cm) high, there's a handy ledge for your brushes and paints, and the frame can be adjusted to a multitude of positions.
It folds away nice and easily too, the reasonable price makes this an excellent value choice for both home, studio, and outdoor. All this in consideration, the MEEDEN Tripod Easel is one of the best A-frame easels for painting we've seen.
View it at AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R7SSSTF
How do you choose the best easel?
There are many factors which dictate what kind of easel will be best for you. The first is where you paint. If it's always going to be in the studio, you'll want an easel that's as sturdy as possible, however heavy that makes it. (Although if you plan to move it around the room to capture the light, you'll want it to be on wheels.) If you mainly paint outdoors, though, you'll want a lighter easel that's easy to collapse and carry around. Too lightweight and flimsy, though, and it might tip over in a strong wind, so there's a balance to be struck there.
The overall size of your easel will depend on how big a canvas you like to work on, and what height you like to paint at. So it's important to check the dimensions of any easel before you buy it, measure this out with a tape measure, and make sure you're not going to be stooped over or stretching up too much.
Most easels are adjustable, but only within a certain range, so take that into account too. Also, if use a heavy canvas, a lot of thick paint, and/or heavy collage pieces, think about the amount of weight your easel will need to support.
Finally, consider how you paint. If you like to be energetic, lively and passionate with your strokes, you may need something pretty sturdy to hold everything in place. Conversely, if your approach is more gentle and quiet, you'll be fine with a more lightweight frame.