The Barcelona Chair is an iconic piece of mid-century modern furniture design that’s still as ahead of its time as it was when it was first designed by the German-American architect and furniture designer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929.
Although a genuine Barcelona chair produced by Knoll today commands a price tag that runs into the thousands, there are some beautifully handcrafted replicas out there so you can have your very own piece of mid-century modern furniture that still stays true to the original design.
About Our Reviews:
We’ve put together comprehensive reviews for the best Barcelona chairs on the market today. Our research showed that there were three clear winners based on the following criteria:
- How close the materials and overall design was to the original chair.
- The best quality for each price point.
- Positive vs negative customer feedback.
But first, you’ll no doubt be wondering if they are comfortable to sit on, and indeed design critics have said that they’re not, but I do own one of these myself, (I’m a huge fan of mid-century modern design) you can see mine in the photo to the left and I can honestly say, yes it is absolutely comfortable.
It’s not made for slouching on as you might with a womb chair and you won’t sink into it, but it’s very comfortable – ideal for sitting while you drink coffee and maybe read or meditate, or maybe just to sit to enjoy the art of sitting.
Reviews for The Best Barcelona Chair Replicas
|Editor’s Choice||Brand||Read More|
|Best Barcelona Chair Replica||eMod – Modern Pavilion Chair Italian Leather|
|Alternative Pick||ModStone – Barcelona Pavilion Lounge Chair|
Top-Grain Aniline Leather
|Best Budget Option||Lounge Chair with Ottoman by ToMe|
Leather with PU Side Pieces
|Editor’s Award||UK Brand||Read More|
|Best Barcelona Chair Replica ||Inhomedesign Barcelona chair|
|Best Alternative Choice||Modecor – Barcelona Chair|
Full-Aniline Top Layer Italian Leather
|Another Worthy Mention ||PLUSHY Ludwig Mies Ven Der Rohe Barcelona PAVILION Chair|
Top-Grain Aniline leather
Click below to jump to each topic:
- Best Barcelona Chair Replica – Top-Grain Aniline Leather
- Alternative Pick – Top-Grain Aniline Leather
- Best Budget Option
- Best UK Barcelona Chair Replicas
- Frequently asked Questions
- Other Barcelona Chair Replicas We’ve Reviewed
Best Barcelona Chair Replica – Aniline Leather: eMod – Modern Pavilion Chair Italian Leather
Best Barcelona Chair Replica – Aniline Leather
eMod – Modern Pavilion Chair Italian Leather
This Barcelona chair is a beautifully made reproduction, and about as close as you can get to the original design.
It costs a little more than the standard replicas you see out there, but it does come complete with a matching ottoman, so it’s actually excellent value for money – especially when you take into account the sheer quality of the craftsmanship that has gone into the making of this chair, and yet still, astonishingly, it’s more than $5000 less than one in the official knoll range.
When you take a closer look, there are no seamed edges on the corners of this chair – it’s made from one single piece of leather.
This is something you just don’t get with other lesser quality reproductions.
This chair is made from top-grain aniline leather, all four edges under the bottom cushion are Italian leather and there is a breathable fabric center.
If you are wondering what top-grain aniline is, don’t worry, I’ll explain:
What’s Top Grain Aniline Leather?
Aniline is a dye. It’s a translucent, water-soluble dye that is used along with oils, to soak all the way through into tanned leather.
Because it doesn’t contain any insoluble pigments, the leather is much softer and richer and maintains all its own characteristics including the natural grain but also, of course, any markings or wrinkles.
So this means only the highest quality Italian Napa leather is suitable for this process, as the imperfections of lesser quality leather would just show through.
But wait, there’s is a downside that I have to mention before I wrap it up and say you should just go ahead and get one.
Because Aniline leather doesn’t have a layer of any insoluble pigments sprayed onto it, it’s more porous and so sensitive to water or grease.
Top grain aniline leather, on the other hand, has a thin coating of non-soluble pigment applied to the surface which hides any imperfections.
So this means the quality of leather used does have to be quite so high but it’s still very high quality, and a step up in grade to Italian leather.
It’s also pretty easy to clean.
There are just a couple more things I need to mention:
A genuine Barcelona Chair is difficult and expensive to make due to the amount of handcrafted workmanship that has to go into its making. That is no less the case with a high-quality replica.
Both cushions are entirely hand-stitched and the individual squares of leather are cut from a single hide which is then sewn, welted, and tufted.
Unlike some, which only have nylon straps, the straps on this one are strong high-quality thick hide leather, and the heavy welded single-piece stainless steel frame has been accurately reproduced and is hand polished.
- Top-Grain Aniline Leather – What stands out about this one is that it’s made from premium imported top-grain Italian leather on all sides of the cushions. It’ll look and feel rich and soft from every direction.
- Hand Crafted – Both cushions are entirely hand-stitched and the individual squares of leather have been cut from a single hide which is then sewn, welted, and tufted.
- Strong Leather Straps – Others only have nylon straps, this is a much higher quality product and very true to the original Barcelona chair.
- True to the Original Design – This is a very high-quality reproduction it’s more than $5000 less than the cheapest one in the knoll range so it’s exceptional value for money.
- It’s Not the Cheapest Option – It’s a high-end high-quality option there are cheaper ones out there though you basically only get what you pay for.
Dimensions: 31.5″W x 32.3″H
Check the latest price and color options for the Chair and Ottoman Set on Amazon.
Best Barcelona Chair Replica – Top-Grain Aniline Leather: ModStone – Barcelona Pavilion Lounge Chair
Best Barcelona Chair Replica – Top-Grain Aniline Leather:
ModStone – Barcelona Pavilion Lounge Chair
The main difference between this option and the eMod is that this one is made from Top Grain Aniline Leather.
What this actually means is that it has a thin coating of insoluble pigment sprayed over the surface.
Because of this process, the leather quality doesn’t have to be quite so high though it’s still higher-quality than even Italian leather alone.
There’s an advantage to Top Grain Aniline leather too, and that is that it does make the leather less sensitive to water and grease stains so it is it’s a slightly more durable option, to go for.
Mine is Top-Grain Aniline Italian leather. It does feel softer than Italian leather. I have a sofa in Italian leather to compare it with, and though it’s not as soft as Aniline, it is beautiful, natural-looking and soft to the touch.
Like our previous choice, this chair has no seamed edges on the corners it’s made from a single piece of leather. It also has Italian top grain aniline leather on all sides of the cushions not just the bits you can see. The underside has a breathable fabric center.
What We Like:
- Italian Top-Grain Aniline leather – It has a thin coating of insoluble pigment spayed over the surface. It’s higher quality than Italian leather, though one step down from Aniline which is completely natural and breathable. This actually has an advantage in that it’s more hard-wearing and less water|grease sensitive.
- Strong Leather Straps – Others only have nylon straps, this is a much higher quality product and very true to the original Barcelona chair.
- Hand Crafted – Both cushions are entirely hand-stitched and the individual squares of leather have been cut from a single hide which is then sewn, welted and tufted.
Things to Consider:
- This is a very high-quality reproduction it’s more than $5000 less than the cheapest one in the knoll range so it’s exceptional value for money.
But this one is currently (at the time of writing) more expensive than our previous option.
Best Budget Option: Lounge Chair with Ottoman by ToMe
Lounge Chair with Ottoman by ToMe
If you’re looking for a good budget option that still looks very close to the original Barcelona chair, this lounge chair and ottoman by ToMe is a great choice.
This Barcelona chair is made from genuine leather on the seat surfaces of both the chair and ottoman as are the sturdy leather strips on the back – that the chair is so famous for.
The side pieces and back of the chair are PU, however, and this is the reason for the lower price point than the first two options we have looked at.
Never the less, it’s a good looking chair and unlike the Waffle Accent Chair we’ve reviewed at the bottom of this page, it is a good Barcelona replica and remains faithful to the original design.
The chair even has a polished stainless steel base. And you can choose to buy the set with a matching ottoman – or just the chair if you wish.
Check the latest price for the Lounge Chair with Ottoman by ToMe on Amazon.
Best UK Barcelona Chair Replicas
Best UK Barcelona Chair Replica – Top-Grain Aniline Leather: Inhomedesign Barcelona chair
Best UK Barcelona Chair Replica – Top-Grain Aniline Leather
Available in five different colour options, the classic style of this Barcelona replica chair will suit any decor.
It’s a beautiful 1 on 1 reproduction of the original and it’s upholstered in hand stitched, premium quality, top-grain aniline leather.
The chair has a solid, polished stainless steel frame – made from one single piece, as per the original design. That means there’s no chrome coating that could chip off over time.
The cushions are filled with two types of foam. A sturdy polyether SG 40 foam for the seat and a softer, pre-molded, cold foam for the backrest.
Cold foam is of higher quality and more long-lasting than regular foam – not least because this type of foam doesn’t require heat to be processed, leaving the molecules less stressed.
- Top Grain Aniline Leather | This type of leather is more durable than full-grain aniline leather. Unlike full-grain aniline leather, it won’t leave watermarks or grease stains so its much more practical for everyday use.
- Polished Stainless Steel Frame | A sturdy one-piece construction as per the original design. And no coating to chip off and ruin the chair.
- What’s not to love about this high-quality reproduction Barcelona chair from a reputable company and at a very affordable price.
Check the latest price and color options for the Inhomedesign Barcelona chair on Amazon UK.
Best Alternative Choice: Modecor – Barcelona Chair
Best Alternative Choice
We completely love this vintage brown leather barcelona chair.
It has a cool retro vibe with a soft old leather-lived-in look that only the highest quality leather can pull off.
Filled with high-density foam, the cushions are made using full-aniline top layer Italian leather, which allows the natural patina of the leather to show through.
The chair has a sturdy stainless steel frame construction.
Check the latest price for the Modecor – Barcelona Chair Amazon UK.
Another Worthy Mention – Top Grain Aniline leather: PLUSHY Ludwig Mies Ven Der Rohe Barcelona PAVILION Chair
Best Barcelona Chair Replica
PLUSHY Ludwig Mies Ven Der Rohe Barcelona PAVILION Chair
This beautiful white barcelona chair reproduction is available either as a set or on its own.
It does cost more than our top choice which is why it didn’t make our top pick but you can’t go wrong with the sheer quality of this chair.
It’s made from hand-stitched top grain aniline leather – the perfect combination of durability and fine quality, and as you would expect, it conforms to all UK, Europe & USA fire safety standards.
The frame is polished chrome and the heavy saddle straps are made from leather hide and riveted to the frame.
- Top Grain Aniline Leather | Top grain aniline leather is more durable than full-grain aniline leather. It won’t leave watermarks or grease stains.
- Polished Chrome Base | A sturdy one-piece construction as per the original design.
- Matching Ottoman Available Separately | You can choose to add a matching ottoman or just go for the chair on its own.
Check the latest price of the PLUSHY Ludwig Mies Ven Der Rohe Barcelona PAVILION Chair on Amazon UK.
Check the latest price of the PLUSHY Ludwig Mies Ven Der Rohe Barcelona PAVILION Chair and Ottoman on Amazon UK.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Barcelona chair mid century modern?
The Barcelona chair is one of the earliest examples of mid century modern furniture design – a design movement that emerged in the early 1930s and continued into the early 1960s.
It was designed in 1929, by one of the leading mid century modern architects and designers, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Although the principles behind the movent focused on making beautiful and well-designed products, affordable for everyday people, through mass production, the Barcelona chair was, in fact originally designed for an exhibition that Spanish Royalty were due to attend.
Where does the style of the Barcelona chair come from?
The distinctive design of the Barcelona chair took influences from early Roman folding chairs known as Curule chairs.
Curule chairs where a symbol of political and military power and were adopted by European Kings.
As the Barcelona chair was designed specifically to be seen (if not actually sat on) by Spanish Royalty at the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
We can see how the concept for the chair may have developed.
Has the Barcelona chair changed from the original design?
Originally only two chairs were produced. These had chrome-plated frames that were (discreetly) bolted together. The cushions were filled with horsehair and covered with ivory-colored pigskin.
Subsequently, replicas of the original two chairs were created and adapted for mass production. The look, however, has stayed faithful to the original design.
Are Barcelona chairs comfortable?
Though it has been said by critics that they aren’t comfortable to sit on, the chair is not made for slouching on as you might with a sofa – you won’t sink into it, but it’s very comfortable.
The fact that the chair usually comes with an ottoman makes it an ideal way to relax and put your feet up.
Other Barcelona Chair Replicas We’ve Reviewed:
When you get to under $400 there’s a marked difference in quality and closeness to the original design. While some are just bad imitations others have their own merit, being just loosely based on the original design.
We’ll take a look at a few now.
Coaster Home Furnishings Armless Waffle Accent Chair
At first glance, it’s pretty similar, but there are some big differences that are easy to spot.
Firstly, if you look at the metal frame above, there are supporting wedge pieces in the area that crosses. That’s because the metal isn’t nearly as strong as our top two choices. It, therefore, needs this extra support to prevent the frame from bending.
The seat’s also held on with elastic loops that are clearly visible underneath. Higher-end versions of the chair have concealed leather straps that secure the cushion to the framework underneath the seat so you can’t see them at all. And the back is different too. There are no thick strong leather straps on this one. You’ll also notice that there are no buttons on this one either.
So you see the details that would make this a good replica are just not there.
If they were, you could forgive the fact that this is leatherette which only kinda looks like leather from a distance.
It feels a bit too firm and looks plasticky close-up.
I wanted to like it, but it just doesn’t do it for me. At just over the $200 mark you could probably choose a nice chair in a different style. But if it’s not heading for the pride of place in your lounge, it’s worth considering as a budget option.
Click below to view price and color options:
Check the latest price and color options for the Waffle Accent Chair on Amazon.
Studio Designs Home Modern Atrium Velvet Accent Chair
The Studio Designs chair is a nice looking chair that’s clearly based on the original. It’s more of an interpretation of the Barcelona chair than a copy but it’s probably better for it.
The velvet cover looks better than the cheap leatherette versions out there and though it doesn’t have the buttons, the polyester velvet looks more modern and minimalist without them.
The frame is sturdier than the last one we looked at too. There are no wedges in the part where it crosses to support it and keep it from bending when you sit down.
Like the previous option, there are no straps on the back or the underneath as there would be in a good replica. This one is just board. But the chair is comfortable and comes in a choice of two colors, mink brown or the velvet slate blue, shown above.
If you are looking for a good replica of the Barcelona chair, this isn’t it. But it’s a nice looking chair that’s loosely based on the original.
Check the latest price and color options for the Atrium Velvet Accent Chair on Amazon.
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