The womb chair is a timeless design that has been a popular choice for modern interiors since its inception in the 1940s. Designed by Eero Saarinen, this iconic chair is known for its comfortable, womb-like shape and its ability to adapt to the body’s natural curves.
The inspiration behind the design was 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 many failed attempts to design a chair “that would work” – one that would feel as comfortable whichever way one sat in it, 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.
But with its high price tag, the original womb chair is not always within reach for everyone. That’s where womb chair replicas come in.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best womb chair replicas on the market, so you can get the iconic look without breaking the bank.
|Our Top Pick
|Kardiel Womb Chair and Ottoman
|Womb Chair and Ottoman
|Best Budget Buy
|Danish Cashmere Wool Womb Chair
Also in this guide.
This one wins our top pick by a long way, here’s why…
Kardiel’s womb chair and ottoman are a testament to the high quality of workmanship that goes into their reproduction of Eero Saarinen’s iconic design.
They are a US-based company owned and run by four, Modernism-obsessed family members who have a passion for good design, (Debbie, Jason, Brando, and John).
Collaborating with leading furniture designers from around the globe, they hand-source manufacturers to produce small-scale original designs, and they occasionally, remanufacture iconic, mid-century modern pieces of furniture.
One reason we recommend choosing an iconic piece such as this, from an independent company, rather than from Amazon, is that you will inevitably have more fabric choices and color options. And you do want choice if you are investing in a statement piece that will take pride of place in your living space for years to come.
Womb chairs, even reproduction womb chairs, are admittedly not cheap, but that’s because they are not cheap to reproduce.
They are, however, still several thousand dollars cheaper than the official chair! Offering those of us who love and appreciate the cool, classic, mid-century modern design of this chair, a much more affordable option to cater to a smaller budget than the official version would ever accommodate.
With the Kardiel chair and ottoman, you get a good choice of fabrics as well as several color options. You can choose between indigenous boucle, cashmere tweed, or luxurious matte velvet.
We’ll now take a quick look at each of the fabric choices:
Indigenous Boucle – With a weight of 590 grams per square meter, and scoring a very high Martindale rub count of 100,000, this stunning textured fabric is very on-trend and it’s just as durable as it is beautiful. The boucle fabric is made from 95% Polyester and 5% Acrylic.
Cashmere Tweed – Upholstered in 50% cashmere wool and blended with 50% polyester Dacron synthetic fiber, the cashmere tweed option (below) combines all the quality and luxury of boucle fabric with the softness, durability – and indeed the practicality that Dracon provides. Just so you know, Dracon is actually synthetic silk.
Matte Velvet– Additionally, the chair is available in fern, petrol, or merigold matte velvet. This is a heavy velvet made from polyester and cotton yarns which results in a high Martindale rub count of 100,000. This means it’s certified for heavy usage and it’s also fade and stain-resistant.
Whichever fabric you go for, each chair and ottoman is stunningly handmade including the neatly, cross edge-stitched, finish which gives the chair its distinctive handcrafted appearance.
The fiberglass shell is true to the original design and supports sturdy, well-made steel legs with adjustable feet, the chair comes with chromed steel legs or a black steel finish.
The modular multi-density foam cushions are detachable and adhere to all safety and fire regulations. Without, (we’d like to emphasize) any added chemicals.
And that’s the thing, Kadiel is a reputable company, their customer service is friendly and most importantly they are contactable.
They offer a lifetime warranty on bases, legs, and hardware, and a 3-year warranty on all fabrics, cushioning, and seams.
What We Like:
- More fabric choices and color options – Because this one is from an independent company you get a much wider selection of fabric choices and colors.
- High Quality – It’s a very well-made replica, nearly identical to the original design.
Chair Dimensions: 37.8″ (W) x 38.6″ x Height 35″
Ottoman Dimensions: 24.8″ (W) x 21.7″ x Height 18.9″
Custom Made Womb Chair and Ottoman by Eternity Modern
The thing we absolutely love about this chair – and that’s that it’s completely customizable.
This is a stunning new addition to our top-pick list. To sum it up it’s an exceptionally high-quality, faithful reproduction of the original Saarinen design.
If you are choosing an accent chair, especially one that’s as iconic as the womb chair, you want it to be the perfect color in the perfect fabric choice -something that takes you to your happy place every time you look at it.
Eternity Modern custom makes each chair, especially for you. You can choose between the impressively wide range of fabric choices listed below, or you can choose to have a chair made, using your own fabric.
Here are your fabric choices:
Boucle wool, velvet, chenille, helios linen, Sunbrella fabric, aniline leather, and vintage.
The wide choice of fabric options makes the Eternity Modern chair our most practical option too.
For example, if your chair is likely to be exposed to sunlight for much of the day, you can opt for Sunbrella fabric.
If you’ve read our outdoor chaise lounges, guide, you’ll know how amazing this fabric is. But in brief, it’s highly UV-resistant so it’s not going to fade. It’s also water-repellent, breathable, and it’s super easy to clean.
Perfect for sunrooms or for homes with children and pets.
And whereas most womb replicas only come in bouclé wool, this chair also comes in a rare, full aniline leather option too – aniline leather being the highest quality leather you can get. If you what to learn more about aniline leather, just check out our Barcelona replica guide.
So let’s take a look at the details.
The cushions are filled with highly-resilient, baby-friendly, urethane foam, and, of course, all materials on this chair are fire-retardant and non-toxic.
And the shell is molded fiberglass just like the original, and it’s supported by black powder-coated steel legs.
What We Like:
- Completely Customizable | You can have one made in your own fabric or choose from a wide choice of fabric and color options. Most notably Sunbrella fabric is perfect if your chair will be situated in a sunny location. Or even (a rare find) – a leather option.
Buying Factors to Consider:
Eternity Modern is a highly respected company, established in 2005, and specializing in high-quality mid-century modern furniture, and their womb chair is a testament to the exceptionally high standard of workmanship that goes into their pieces.
As we’ve already mentioned, these chairs are custom-made, so each one is made to order – that means there will inevitably be a few weeks’ wait. That said, this chair is, in our opinion, totally worth it.
Best Budget Buy
This is a very well-made option that is faithful to the original design.
…And it’s as affordable 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. But the same is also true for other iconic chairs. So all things considered 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 as 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.
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 the photo above.
Stainless-Steel legs with a polished chrome finish give strength and stability to the shell and they are constructed with the same materials as the original design.
What We Like:
- Matching Womb Style Setee Available | Why not complete your look with this rare find?
- 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.
- It’s worth noting that you just get the chair with this option. Not the ottoman too, but then, that may be your preference anyway.
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 that 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.
In conclusion, womb chair replicas are a great way to get the iconic look of the original at a more affordable price. When shopping for a replica, be sure to consider factors like materials, construction, and dimensions to ensure you get a high-quality product.
Lastly, if you’d like a free mid-century modern print, hop over to our free printable page.