I thought it would be helpful to tell you more about the essential details that you should look for when buying an Eames Lounge Chair Replica:
First I’ll go over the price. Understandably, not everyone has the same budget to spend but Eames replicas do vary considerably in price, so there’s a replica to suit most budgets.
At well under $700 the TOOMOO is the cheapest full leather option over on my reviews page. For comparison, the theiconicchair and the ever-popular eMod brand from Amazon are upwards of $1000.
So now, no doubt you are wondering what the actual difference is between the higher and lower price points in terms of what you’ll get for your money.
The answer is that the difference in price is reflected in the finer details.
So, for example, whether the cushions are removable or not. The original Eames chair has removable cushions via a clip system. This is also true for theiconicchair and also the high-end eMod version on Amazon. For added comfort, the modular foam seat cushions are encased in silk fabric in the higher-end models. As you’d guess, the cheaper Amazon ones don’t have this added comfort and the cushions are not removable.
You can expect the leather quality to be softer in high-end replicas too, and the quality and thickness of the foam filling are also a factor, but I’ll go into more detail as we go along.
The added advantage of the higher-end theiconicchair range, in particular, is that you get a lot more choice. Choice in color, wood veneer finish, and also size (see the section Standard or Tall? below).
That being said, the cheaper replicas can look every bit the part so if you are looking for a replica from the cheaper range, please do head down to the section Lower Priced Eames Chair Replicas on my reviews page, where I cover those in more detail.
And speaking of the lower-priced replicas, in case you are wondering, the cheaper Amazon ones are not all the same chair under a different name. Although some actually are, and I’ll tell you which ones are and aren’t too…
Lower Priced Eames Chair Replicas
For anyone on a budget, the good news is that there are some good replicas out there that totally look the part and are also comfortable to sit in. Below is a list of the brands that we’ve featured (and approved of) in recent months.
They tend to sell out very quickly on Amazon and sometimes they disappear for quite a while only to pop up again when the sellers finally get a new shipment over from China (where they are manufactured).
In case you are wondering, they aren’t all the same chair. The TOME and the TOOMOO, for example, are different from the 1inchome or the Rimdoc, but in some cases (usually in the case where one company is owned by another) the chair is identical. I’ll point that out as we go on:
Just so you know the 1 Inchome and Rimdoc are registered at the same address in NYC. They are basically the same chair so please do read on.
Just so you know other brands sold by 1inchome are the following:
The Eames chair is made up of 3 separate molded plywood shells. If you’re interested in how they are made, here’s a very brief summary of the process in one sentence: The sheets are layered (cross-grained), glued, and then heated to the precise temperature required to mold the wood into shape.
Replicas are made in the exact same way. However, you will find a few manufacturers of the cheaper replicas are now boasting of “new improved 8 layers“. I think you know where I’m going with this. Herman Miller and Vitra manufacture their chairs using 7 layers and so do the better quality replicas.
That being said, some people have said they just really like the beefier look of the 8 layers of plywood.
Which Size to Go For – Standard or Tall?
So there are two official size options that you should know about, standard and tall. There’s only a couple of inches difference between the two sizes but it may make a difference to your level of comfort. One thing to note, however, is that the upper shell is in fact designed to contour your shoulders. It was never designed to be a headrest. If you want to see people of different sizes sitting in the chair to give you more of an idea of what to expect, check out this YouTube video before you make your decision. Not all replicas give you the choice of two sizes but some do.
Shipping and Returns
You should generally expect to receive your replica in two big boxes. Occasionally Amazon customers have reported that their boxes arrived within a few days of each other. Amazon has a good returns policy which makes them a popular company to buy from.
But lounge chairs, like all large items of furniture, can be costly to return if you change your mind.
I’ve copied part of an answer I gave to a question in the comments section below as well a question emailed to me directly, as I think it’s worth highlighting again here:
My advice: (And this applies if you are buying anything that is bulky or potentially difficult to return for any reason) do carefully go over the company’s returns policy page. There are usually (and this applies to any site) a specific bunch of rules you have to follow so do be mindful of that or you may run into problems.
- Take photos on receipt of delivery, write on the delivery note (or whatever documentation they give you to sign) something like “damages – subject to inspection” and take your time to open it very carefully.
- Make sure you keep all the original packaging and understand that the cost to return may in many cases be borne by you.
Another thing to note is that some furniture companies charge a restocking fee if you change your mind. theiconicchair doesn’t charge a restocking fee and they also offer free shipping for their mid-century chair (another factor that impressed me about the company). For comparison, Manhattan Home Design charged a 25% restocking fee, although as of mid-June last year they have discontinued their version of the chair.
Assembling Your Chair
You should expect to spend some time assembling your chair. Some require more assembly than others. Generally speaking the cheaper the chair, the more bits you need to bolt together. None of it is rocket science but often they aren’t clear or in some cases any instructions to follow. You can, however, find a few good YouTube videos out there to help you if you get stuck.
The Key Design Elements of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman:
|The Recline||The chair has a fixed angle of 15°. It feels flexible to sit in but doesn’t actually recline.|
|The Swivel||The chair has a 360° swivel, (the ottoman doesn’t swivel).|
|The Legs||The chair seat and ottoman seat are the exact same size and are interchangeable.|
|The Cushions||The chair seat and ottoman seat are the exact same size and are interchangeable.|
|The Filling||The filling is foam and the cushions are 6-inches thick (interestingly, very early Eames chairs were upholstered with feathers and down).|
|The Shell||The shell has 7- layers of molded plywood made from FAS-certified sheets of hardwood – kiln-dried to prevent warping and cracking. (Pre 1974 the Eames chair had only 5 -layers of plywood.)|