Are you looking to add a touch of mid-century modern style to your home? The Eames Lounge Chair is a classic design that has been popular for decades. But with its high price tag, it’s not always accessible to everyone. That’s where Eames lounge chair replicas come in.
In this guide, we’ll provide some tips on how to buy a high-quality Eames chair replica to help you make an informed decision.
We’ll cover factors like materials, construction, and pricing, so you can be sure to find a replica to best suit you. 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.
How to Choose a High-Quality Eames Lounge Chair Replica
When it comes to choosing a high-quality Eames lounge chair replica, there are a few key factors to consider.
The original Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman are designed with several key elements that contribute to their iconic look and comfortable design. Some of these key features include:
- A fixed angle of 15°: This allows for a comfortable recline while sitting in the chair, without the ability to fully recline.
- A 360° swivel: The chair has a swivel base, allowing for easy movement and flexibility. The ottoman does not have this feature.
- Interchangeable seats and cushions: The seat and cushion for the chair and ottoman are the same size and can be easily swapped. The cushions are 6 inches thick and filled with foam for added comfort.
- 7-layers of molded plywood: The shell of the chair is made of 7-layers of FAS-certified hardwood plywood, kiln-dried to prevent warping and cracking. This construction method was introduced in 1974 and has become a signature feature of the Eames chair.
These design elements are the benchmark for choosing a high-quality Eames chair replica:
Materials: The Importance of Quality
The materials used in the construction of an Eames chair replica can make a big difference in terms of comfort, durability, and overall quality. High-quality replicas will typically use materials that are similar to those used in the original Eames chair, such as premium leather and high-density foam.
Construction: What to Look for in a High-Quality Replica
Another important factor to consider when choosing an Eames chair replica is the construction. High-quality replicas will be made using the same techniques as the original Eames chair, including the use of molded plywood shells.
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.
Pricing: How to Choose the Right One for Your Budget
As with any product, the price of an Eames chair replica can vary widely. High-end replicas will typically be more expensive than cheaper options, but the added cost is often reflected in the finer details and higher-quality materials used.
In terms of the Eames chair, the difference in price between the higher and lower price points is largely determined by the attention to detail and the materials used in the construction of the chair. For example, the higher-end replicas typically feature softer, higher-quality leather and thicker, more comfortable foam filling in the seat cushions. Additionally, the seat cushions in the higher-end models are often encased in silk fabric for added comfort, while the cushions in the lower-priced models may not have this feature.
Another factor that sets the higher-end models apart is the removable cushions, which are attached using a clip system. This feature is present in both the original Eames chair as well as the higher-end replicas from theiconicchair and eMod on Amazon. In contrast, the cheaper Amazon models may not have removable cushions.
Furthermore, the higher-end theiconicchair range offers a greater variety of options in terms of color, wood veneer finish, and size. This allows customers to choose the chair that best suits their individual style and needs. In contrast, the lower-priced models may have limited color and finish options. Overall, the higher price point of the Eames chair reflects the added attention to detail and the use of higher-quality materials in its construction.
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 Best Eames Chair Replica post, 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…
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).
Size: Standard or Tall?
When considering the size of your Eames chair, it is important to consider the difference between the standard and tall sizes. While the difference is only a few inches, it can make a significant impact on your level of comfort. It is worth noting that the upper shell of the chair is designed to contour to your shoulders, rather than serve as a headrest. To get a better idea of how the different sizes look on people of different heights, it is recommended to watch a YouTube video before making a decision. Not all replicas offer the option of different sizes, but some do.
Shipping and Returns: What to Expect
When it comes to shipping and returns, it is important to carefully review the company’s returns policy. Furniture, especially large items such as lounge chairs, can be costly to return if you change your mind. To avoid potential problems, it is advisable to take photos upon receipt of delivery, write “damages – subject to inspection” on the delivery note, and carefully open the boxes. Make sure to keep all original packaging and be aware that the cost of returning the chair may be your responsibility. Some furniture companies may also charge a restocking fee if you change your mind. theiconicchair does not charge a restocking fee and offers free shipping for their mid-century chair.
Assembly: Do I Need a Degree in Rocket Science?
Assembling your Eames chair may require some time and effort. The amount of assembly required may vary depending on the model and price of the chair. In general, cheaper models will require more assembly, including bolting together various parts. While the process is not complicated, it may be helpful to consult YouTube videos for guidance if needed.
One of the best ways to gauge the quality of an Eames chair replica is to read customer reviews. Look for reviews that mention the materials, construction, and overall comfort of the chair, as well as any issues that customers may have had.
Top Eames Lounge Chair Replicas
Theiconicchair offers the real deal in Eames chair replicas, with a wide selection of colors, veneer options, and sizes. With over 10 years of experience in manufacturing, they know how to create a chair that looks and feels like the original Eames design at an affordable price.
At well under $700, the 1inchome or the identical Rimdoc is the cheapest full-leather option on the market. If you want the look and don’t mind missing out on the extra details, to get a cheaper chair this is a great choice.