“Today, more than ever before, we need to relax”
Designed in 1946 by architect and furniture designer, Eero Saarinen the iconic womb chair is, (and I can’t overstate this) every bit as contemporary and cutting edge as it was when it made its debut over 70 years ago.
Few functional objects have achieved the status of high art, rare exceptions include a few iconic pieces of mid-century modern furniture. The Barcelona, the Eames, and of course the womb chair are such examples – each of which are as much objects of modern art as they are, chairs.
Founded on principles that valued well-designed everyday objects, mid-century modern designers, used natural, as well as modern materials, to create aesthetically beautiful, organic forms that were, both comfortable and functional for everyday people.
The challenge for the womb chair, in particular, was set by architect, furniture, and interior designer, Florence Knoll. She asked Saarinen to design her a chair that would feel, “like a basket full of pillows . . . something I can curl up in.”
The result, after two years and numerous failed attempts to design a chair “that would work” – one that would feel as comfortable whichever way it was sat in, was the elegantly curved, originally titled, Model No.70.
Minimalist, and organic in form, it was described by Saarinen as “a cup-like shell into which you can curl up and pull up your legs.” It was so comforting to sit in and relax, both physically and psychologically, it soon became affectionately known as the womb chair.
Womb chairs, (still produced by Knoll), command a price tag beyond the budget of many of us who, never-the-less, appreciate good design.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t own a beautifully made chair that was originally designed by Eero Saarinen.
There are some exceptionally well-made replicas out there, womb chairs that adhere to the original design specifications – to the extent that in some cases it would take a design expert to distinguish them from the official chair.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best replicas you can get.
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Womb Chair Replica
|Editor’s Award||Brand||Read More|
|Best High-End Womb Chair Replica||Emorden Furniture Womb Chair & Ottoman|
This one is about as close to a genuine Saarinen as they come. It costs more than our other options but it’s still several thousand dollars cheaper than the official chair.
Material: Hand-stitched Premium Cashmere
Color Options: Oatmeal
|Best Budget Womb Chair Replica||Cashmere Womb Chair and Ottoman by EOE|
At more than $5,000 cheaper than an original, this one is our cheapest choice and suitable for almost every budget.
Material: Cashmere Wool
Color Options: Coffee, Dark Purple, Light Blue, Orange, Red, Light Grey.
|Another Worthy Mention||Kardiel Womb Chair & Ottoman|
A very high-quality replica, and a little cheaper than the Emorden one.
Material: Premium Cashmere Wool Blend comprising of 35% Cashmere and 65% Polyester Dacron (a soft and durable synthetic silk)
Color Options: Red, Orange.
|2nd Other Worthy Mention||Mid Century Saarinen Style Womb Chair and Ottoman by AP|
Not currently in stock
Also in this guide.
Our Top Pick for the Best Womb Chair Replica: Emorden Furniture Womb Chair & Ottoman
And as with their Eames chair replica, they have stayed true to the original design.
Admittedly this is the most expensive replica of all our picks, but the quality is far above that of the cheaper ones – and it’s still more than four thousand dollars cheaper than an original womb chair.
Hand Stitched and upholstered in premium Cashmere wool over custom formed foam cushions, the shell is fabricated from reinforced fiberglass – just as Saarinen designed all those years ago.
You can see the quality of stitching in this chair in this photo above.
Stainless-Steel legs with a polished chrome finish give strength and stability to the shell and they are constructed in the same materials as the original design.
What We Like:
- Cashmere Fabric | The seat and ottoman are also piped in the same fabric.
- Stainless-Steel Legs with Polished Chrome Finish | As per the original design.
Check the latest price and color options for the Emorden Furniture Womb Chair & Ottoman on Amazon.
Best Budget Womb Chair Replica: Cashmere Womb Chair and Ottoman by EOE
Best Budget Womb Chair Replica
This replica is as cheap as you will find anywhere for one that remains true to the original design.
Womb chairs are not cheap to reproduce, simply because they are replicating a chair that is, by nature, costly and labor-intensive to make.
So considering you get the lounge chair and the ottoman too, for just under $600 (that’s more than $5,000 cheaper than an original) it’s a very affordable option for those who love the style but can’t justify the high price tag that usually comes with it.
What we love about this chair is that it’s still made with 100% Cashmere wool. You can see a close up of the stitch above. It’s not going to be quite a thick and soft as the original, or even as thick and soft as the higher quality reproductions.
But then the original doesn’t have super thick cushioning to start with. All the comfort of an original Saarinen is in the ergonomic shape of the chair rather than in the cushioning itself and it’s the design of the shell that cocoons and envelops the sitter to create the perfect place to relax.
This replica comes in a good choice of bold color options too and whichever you choose, this chair will be the statement piece in any room.
Check the latest price and color options for the Cashmere Womb Chair and Ottoman by EOE on Amazon.
Another Worthy Mention: Kardiel Womb Chair & Ottoman
Another Worthy Mention
Upholstered in 35% cashmere wool, and blended with 65% polyester dacron synthetic fiber, this chair combines the quality and luxurious look of boucle fabric with all the softness and comfort that Dracon provides.
Just so you know, Dracon is actually synthetic silk.
The chair and ottoman are cross edge-stitched and crafted by hand.
The modular high-density foam cushions are cold-pressed. Cold foam is very long-lasting – not least because it doesn’t require heat to be processed, this leaves the foam molecules less stressed.
Supporting a fiberglass shell, are sturdy and well-made legs, though not as in our top choices, made from stainless steel. This chair has an aluminum base with a chip and flake resistant chrome finish.
What We Like:
- Value for Money | This chair is a more affordable option than Emorden option we have looked at in this guide. It’s an excellent choice and a faithful reproduction of the original design.
Check the latest price for the red or orange Kardiel Womb Chair & Ottoman on Amazon.
Another Worthy Mention: Mid Century Saarinen Style Womb Chair and Ottoman by AP
Another Worthy Mention
This high-quality womb chair reproduction is another worthy mention and a well deserved addition to our top pick list.
Made from cashmere wool fabric, the chair is meticulously hand-stitched over high density modular cushions.
Like our other higher-end options, the frame is constructed in polished # 304-grade stainless steel.
The chair is available in a red option.
Check the latest price for the Mid Century Saarinen Style Womb Chair and Ottoman by AP on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
How comfortable is a womb chair?
The womb chair is very comfortable to sit in. It was designed by Eero Saarinen at the request of architect, furniture, and interior designer, Florence Knoll who wanted a chair in which she could “sit in sideways or any other way I want” – a chair that would feel, “like a basket full of pillows . . . something I can curl up in.”
The organically curved, minimalist chair originally titled, Model No.70 was the result of many failed attempts to produce the perfect design.
When it finally made its debut, the chair was so comfortable and comforting to sit in, it became affectionately known as the womb chair.
What is the womb chair made of?
The main components of the womb chair are an underlying molded fiberglass shell covered with latex foam, supported by chrome-plated steel legs and a u-shaped section which supports the underside of the chair and forms the back legs.
Foam-filled cushions are upholstered in hand-sewn tweed or bouclé wool/cashmere fabric.
What is Eero Saarinen famous for?
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect. He is most famous for designing Washington Dulles International Airport, the TWA Flight Center in New York, and the Gateway Arch, Washington.
He was also a furniture designer, famous for his tulip chairs and tables as well as the iconic womb chair.
When was the womb chair designed?
Although the womb chair looks very modern, it was in fact designed by Eero Saarinen in 1946 and officially launched in May 1948 at Knoll Associates’ New York showroom.
Other Womb Chair Replicas We’ve Reviewed:
These are the products that didn’t quite make our top picks, but they’re still pretty good so you might like to take a look:
High-End Option with Stainless Steel Legs
This is another good quality chair that has stayed true to the original design.
- Upholstered in a 100% premium cashmere wool blend.
- Multi-density foam cushions – which provide a layer of firmer foam for the base and a softer topping.
Soho Modern Style Mid-Century Minimalist Chair
This is another great option by Soho Modern Style.
- Stainless steel frame for both the chair and ottoman.
- Premium wool bouclé fabric.
Lastly, if your like a free mid century modern print, hop over to our free printable page.