“a special refuge from the strains of modern living”
If like me, you love mid-century modern design and want to add a hint of timeless elegance to your living space, choosing the best Eames chair replica is pretty much essential for capturing that cool, classic look.
There are few chairs that have achieved truly iconic status – not just in furniture design but in the world of modern art. The Eames chair with matching Ottoman – officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) – are well-deserving recipients of such acclaim. The original, mid-century modern, Eames lounge chair and ottoman still reside in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Designed by a husband and wife team, the chair and ottoman were released in 1956 after years in development. Charles and Ray Eames began working with molded plywood in the 1940s and the design of the lounge chair was based on Charles’s vision of a chair with the look of a “well-used first baseman’s mitt.” He intended for it to be “a special refuge from the strains of modern living.”
Still in production today, authentic Eames lounge chairs command a super-high price tag that puts them tantalizingly out of reach for so many of us.
There are, however, some very good Eames chair replicas for those of us who love and appreciate the cool, classic, mid-century modern design but can’t justify the huge outlay, you just have to know what to look for.
To that end, we’ve compiled a guide to the best Eames chair replicas out there, based on the quality of materials used, and faithfulness to the original authentic design.
And it’s worth noting here, just so you know your Eames, that while Herman Miller and Vitra Eames chairs are both authentic, Herman Miller’s version of the chair is ever so slightly closer to the original 1956 design and you can easily spot this by looking at the base.
It’s really a matter of personal preference, but if you want that authentic 1956 look then the Herman Miller replicas will probably appeal to you more – but don’t worry we’ll point out which version the chair is based on in our reviews.
A Comparison Table for the Best Eames Chair Replica in the US
|Editor’s Award||Brand||Click to Read|
|Our Top Choice|
Highest Quality and Most Faithful to the Original Design
|Mid-Century Plywood Chair by Urban Furnishing|
Full-Grain Semi-Aniline Leather Imported from Italy
Save $150 Use Code: COMFYZEN150
|Highest-Quality Eames Chair Replica Alternative Pick||eMod – Mid Century Plywood Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman|
Italian Aniline Leather
(Not currently in stock as of 09/18/20)
|Highest-Quality Eames Chair Replica Alternative Pick ll (New Pick)||Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Decorific NYC|
Italian Aniline Leather
|Quick Pick Review|
|Best Mid Price Eames Chair Replica||1-inch Mid Century Eames Replica Plywood Lounge Chair & Ottoman|
|Best Budget Full Leather Eames Chair Replica||Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman by Rimdoc|
|Another Worthy Mention||DERCASS Full Genuine Leather Mid Century Style Recliner Lounge Chair & Ottoman Set|
|Second Worthy Mention||Genuine Leather Lounge Chair with Ottoman by GUBANGKE||Out of Stock|
|Lowest Price Leather Option||Leather Recliner with Ottoman by ToMe|
If you are in the Canada, see below.
|Editor’s Award||Brand||Click to Read|
|Best Eames Lounge Chair Replica||FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman||Full Review|
Also in this guide.
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Eames Chair Replica
Read on for our full reviews.
An Exclusive promotional offer for the Mid-Century Plywood Chair featured in this guide:
Our Top Choice | Highest Quality and Most Faithful to the Original Design: Mid-Century Plywood Chair by Urban Furnishing
Our Top Choice | Highest Quality and Most Faithful to the Original Design
While this one is not the cheapest one that we’ll be looking at in this guide, this Eames chair replica, is one of the most sought after replicas on the market – and for good reason.
This lounge chair and ottoman set is as close to the original Eames design as you’ll find – and it’s still several thousand dollars less than an official Herman Miller version.
Urban Furnishing have been manufacturing their Mid-Century Plywood Lounge Chair and Ottoman for close to 10 years and it’s safe to say they know what they are doing.
Almost identical to the original version of the Eames chair, the replica features the more classic mid-century modern base of Herman Miller’s version of the Eames chair. The minimalist style of the black, die-cast five-point aluminum base which you can see in the picture above, was originally designed by Eames more than 60 years ago. For a comparison between the two base styles, see the illustration in the intro.
Upholstered in full-grain semi-aniline leather imported from Italy, the chair offers the perfect combination of quality and durability.
If you don’t know quite know what that means, don’t worry I’ll quickly explain:
- Aniline leather is the highest quality leather you can get – only a few percent of the world’s leather qualifies for this category. Aniline is a water-soluble dye. It soaks all the way through the leather to give the leather color and bring out the grain. It doesn’t, therefore, disguise any imperfections and that’s why only the finest quality Italian Napa leather can be used.
It ages beautifully but is sensitive to watermarks and grease stains, so it’s not the best choice for families with young children or pets.
- Top-grain aniline leather, on the other hand, has a fine coating of insoluble pigment on the surface of the leather. This means the quality of the leather doesn’t have to be quite so high (though it’s still a very high-quality leather). We can see this reflected in the lower price tag.
Top-grain aniline leather is less sensitive to water or grease marks making it a great choice for families with young children and pets.
For us, there are a couple of things that really make the Urban Furnishing chair and ottoman stand out from other cheap replicas out there.
One is that while lower quality chairs have fixed cushions, often just stapled in place, this chair comes with high resilience PU-injected foam cushions that are removable – you simply unhook them from the shell.
Just as in the original chair (which also has hooks to detach the cushions) it allows for easy cleaning, replacement, or even re-stuffing or recovering at some point in years to come.
Secondly, in our opinion, the attention to detail puts others in the shade. This can be seen when you remove the cushions. The 7-ply, real wood grain veneer shell, (kiln-dried to prevent warping and cracking) is veneered both inside and out.
Additional details, often lacking in lesser quality replicas, include rubber shock mounts underneath the armrests and also between the head and the backrest to allow for flexibility, deep buttons to create a that famous Eames flower crease, as well as the 15-degree fixed tilt and 360-degree swivel which are stipulated in the original design.
Available in an impressively wide range of color options – this is something you generally only get with a real Eames – this replica is also available in a Tall Version. This adds an extra 2.5″ to the hight, which if you are taller, you may find more comfortable.
Chair = 32.75″W x 32.75″D x 32.0″H
Ottoman = 26.0″W x 21.5″D x 17.25″H
Chair = 32.75″W x 34.5″D x 34.5″H
Ottoman = 26.0″W x 21.5″D x 17.25″H
What We Like:
- Faithful to the Original Design | This is an excellent reproduction of the Herman Miller Eames chair.
- Removable Cushions | While lower quality chairs have fixed cushions, often just stapled in place, this chair comes with high resilience PU-injected foam cushions that are removable, simply unhook them from the shell.
- The Shell is Veneered both Inside and Out | The attention to detail is outstanding on this chair.
- Upholstered in Full-Grain Semi-Aniline Leather | Imported from Italy, the chair offers the perfect combination of quality and durability. It’s also less sensitive to water and grease stains than full aniline leather.
- 7-ply Wooden Veneers | Kiln dried as in the original. Also available in a choice of different woods.
Buying Factors to Consider:
If you’re looking for a high-quality Eames style chair without the super high price tag that comes with an original Eames then this is a great option to go for. It may not be as super soft and buttery as a real Eames but nothing short of a real Eames would be. And this is a nice, well made, comfortable chair.
Check the latest price and color options for the Mid-Century Plywood Chair by Urban Furnishing and don’t forget to use the coupon code: COMFYZEN150
Highest-Quality Eames Chair Replica Alternative Pick: eMod – Mid Century Plywood Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman
Highest-Quality Eames Chair Replica Alternative Pick
This is another exceptionally high-quality chair and a faithful reproduction of the original Eames lounge chair.
It doesn’t come in the wide choice of colors, wood veneers, or grades of leather options that our top choice does. And that’s the reason it missed our top spot – it’s only available in the option, you see pictured left.
But as with our top choice, this chair, has so many details in common with the original design. Details you just wouldn’t get with a cheap Eames replica.
And that’s the thing, while it does cost more than some of the cheaper replicas we will be looking at later in this guide, this chair will be a focal point of your living space. It will only look beautiful and feel more comfortable as it ages.
This Herman Miller replica is upholstered in 100% full Aniline Italian leather and that includes the piping and buttons.
That means, there is no coating of paint on the top of the leather to add color or disguise the markings or imperfections that a lesser quality leather would have.
The leather is dyed all the way through using only aniline dye so the quality of leather used is in the top few percent of the world’s leather suitable for this process.
Furthermore like our top choice, the cushions are fully removable and the shell is veneered both inside and out. This attention to detail is something you’ll only find in the very best Eames chair replicas.
The shells on this chair are made from a durable 7-ply, cross-grained wood veneer which prevents the wood from warping or cracking and the cast aluminum five-star base allows for the 360° swivel function which is integral to the original design.
Lastly, and again true to the original, the chair has a fixed backward tilt of 15° and rubber shock mounts connecting the head and backrest to allow for maximum flexibility.
What We Like:
- Full Grain Aniline Leather | This type of leather just looks more beautiful as it ages. It’s the highest quality leather out there.
- Choice of Color Options | Including a terracotta, black, and a beautiful light brown/soft mustard color.
Buying Factors to Consider:
This is a stunning reproduction of the original and amazing value for the money. The only thing we should point out is that due to the exceptionally high quality of the natural leather, you need to take care not to scratch it, or let it get water, or grease-stained.
So again this option may not be the best choice for homes with young children or pets and if that applies to you, you should consider our top grain aniline leather choice.
Check the latest price and color options for the eMod – Mid Century Plywood Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman on Amazon.
Highest-Quality Eames Chair Replica Alternative Pick ll: Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Decorific NYC
We were so impressed with this chair back in January when we were compiling this guide, that it was originally our top pick.
However, it was so popular it sold out months ago. Now it’s back. finally – at least for the time being.
We won’t be giving this a full review again, but only because it’s so similar in quality to the chair we have just looked at. The biggest difference between this one and the emod one above, is that this one is a Vitra replica, whereas the emod is a Herman Miller replica. So you may just prefer one over the other. Here’s a quick rundown of the chairs key features:
- Full-grain Italian aniline leather – sourced exclusively from Italy.
- High-density removable cushions with discrete zippers for future reupholster, cleaning, or foam replacement.
- FAS certified authentic hardwood shell and a steel base.
- Rubber shocks, 15° tilt, and 360° swivel – of course!
Best Mid-Price Eames Chair Replica: Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman by I Inch
Best Mid Price Eames Chair Replica
This is another very good Eames chair replica and very close to the original.
While it’s not made from as fine quality leather as the previous choice we’ve looked at, it is priced accordingly – and maybe more practical in terms of durability and scratch resistance for homes with young families and pets.
Unlike many cheap copies that are made from faux leather or leatherette, this one is made from high-quality leather, machine-stitched to a high standard.
It features 7-ply high-density natural laminated wood in a choice of wood veneers including walnut, palisander, and black ash (an alternative to ebony) all of which are variations of the original.
It has the natural incline of the authentic chair, to the correct fixed angle of 15 degrees.
You can choose between normal size or choose between upgrade 1 or upgrade 2. These sizes are somewhat confusing as there is very little difference between them except to say upgrade 1 is taller than the normal size and upgrade 2 is wider. To give you more an idea you can see the sizes in the table below.
Whichever you choose they are very similar but generally an inch or so larger than the original. The original also has a choice of size between classic and tall, (which measures 33.5″ high).
What We Like:
- High-Quality Genuine Leather | Many replicas in this price range aren’t made from leather at all.
- Well-Made and Close to the Original | It would take an expert to know it’s not authentic unless, that is, you get very close and look for clues.
- Good Price | This one, depending on the color and finish is very affordable and reasonably priced, especially considering it comes as a chair and ottoman set.
Buying Factors to Consider:
It won’t feel quite as soft as our first choice but as a reproduction of the mid-century iconic Eames, it would make a stunning centerpiece to any living space, as well as a relaxing and comfortable place to lie back and put your feet up.
It’s well-made, built to last, and nicely finished, complete with tufting and buttons.
|Size Guide for Chair||Length”||Width”||Height”|
Check the latest price and color options for Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman by I Inch on Amazon.
Best Budget Full Leather Eames Chair Replica: Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman by Rimdoc
Best Budget Full Leather Eames Chair Replica
We wanted to include the Rimdoc in our top picks and there really is nothing between this one and the Eames chair replica we have just looked at.
The only difference being that 1 inch version featured above has additional size choices.
The Rimdoc is equivalent to “normal 1” in 1 Inch’s table.
For that reason, we won’t go into details on this one as the spec is just the same. It too, is made from high-quality machine-stiched leather. It also features a 7-layer plywood frame and a coated black aluminum base.
Check the latest price and color options for Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman by Rimdoc on Amazon.
Another Worthy Mention: DERCASS Full Genuine Leather Mid Century Style Recliner Lounge Chair & Ottoman Set
Another Worthy Mention
Another great option if you want a faithful reproduction of the Eames chair but don’t want to go overboard on price with high end aniline leather.
Available in black, white or tan with a choice of palisander or walnut finishes, this chair is basically a like-for-like alternative to the Rimdoc featured above.
Like the Rimdoc, and indeed the 1 Inch options, it’s made from high-quality machine-stiched full leather. It also features the 7-layer plywood frame – true to the original design, and it too has a coated black aluminum base.
What We Like:
- Great Value for Money | This is a full leather chair and ottoman, and it’s in the same price range as many PU versions out there.
- Well-Made and Close to the Original | The spec is very close to the original design including the 7-ply plywood shell, and swivel with a 15-degree tilt.
Check the latest price and color options for the DERCASS Full Genuine Leather Mid Century Style Recliner Lounge Chair & Ottoman Set on Amazon.
Second Other Worthy Mention: Genuine Leather Lounge Chair with Ottoman by GUBANGKE
Second Other Worthy Mention
The GUBANGKE Eames replica is a another worthy mention in out top picks list.
Unlike others in this price range that are made from PU leather, this lounge chair and ottoman is made from full leather.
That said it is a little pricer than our last option.
The 7-ply molded plywood shell has a walnut wood finish and the chair has an aluminum five-star base with the 360° swivel function featured in the original design.
There’s ample cushioning on this chair and its proportions are very similar to the official version. Like the original chair, it has a 15° tilt.
There’s not much further information we can give on this chair. The chair has only one review on Amazon, albeit a 5 -Star one. That being said, its specifications compare well to the others we have featured so we think it’s well worth a look.
Buying Factors to Consider:
It’s currently a little pricer than our last option. (though prices do change). So you may want to compare prices before you go for this one.
Check the latest price of the Genuine Leather Lounge Chair with Ottoman by GUBANGKE on Amazon.
Lowest Price Leather Option: Leather Recliner with Ottoman by ToMe
Lowest Price Option
This is a great low price budget option to go for. Unlike may replica chairs, in this price range (the Barcelona chair replica budget options being a case in point), this replica actually retains the look of the original Eames.
The fact that it stays faithful to the original Herman Miller Eames design down to black coated aluminum five-point base means there’s nothing cheap looking about it.
For us what makes this one stand out from others in this price range is that it’s not made from PU or fake leather, it’s actually made with real leather upholstery.
Where it does differ from the others we’ve looked at – and indeed from the original design is that instead of the traditional 7- layer plywood frame stipulated in the rules for the modern authentic Eames design it has a somewhat unusual 8 -layer plywood shell.
Draw from that what you will, to us it indicates the plywood is possibly thinner or of lower quality and the extra layer is there to compensate so the shell’s sturdiness isn’t comprised.
That said, if you were to compare this one with the higher quality replicas it wouldn’t look out of place. The shell is made by hand, the cushioning consists of a memory foam filling, and the chair even has the rubber shock mount detail, connecting the head and backrest that high end, and indeed the original chair all have.
What We Like:
- Good Value For Money | It’s a good copy that’s stayed faithful to the original design. For that reason, there’s nothing cheap looking about it and it is good value for the price.
Check the latest price of Leather Recliner with Ottoman by ToMe on Amazon.
Best Eames Lounge Chair Replica for Canada: FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman
Best Eames Lounge Chair Replica for Canada
If you are in Canada, the FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman is the absolute best Eames replica to go for.
It’s a superb reproduction of the Eames Vitra chair – without the prohibitive price tag that comes with a real Eames.
There are 3 leather options to suit your budget and preference, and there’s also a good choice of color and plywood veneer options to choose from.
Plus you’ll be able to take advantage of the free shipping available across the country.
Next, we will take a look at the details that make this reproduction such a good choice.
But just before we do that, in case you skipped straight down to this section, here’s a quick reminder of the different grades of high-quality leather that you get with only the best replica Eames chairs.
- The leather used to make top grain is one of the finest qualities of leather in the world. Second only to that used for full aniline leather. Top grain aniline leather is a natural full-grain Italian leather, dyed with an Aniline dye to add color, condition the leather, and bring out the natural beauty of the grain. To further enhance the look and durability, a thin coating of non-water-soluble pigment is then applied over the top.
The coating makes it more water and grease stain-resistant as well as more durable so top grain aniline leather is suitable for everyday use in homes with younger families.
- Full aniline leather is of the highest quality leather in the world. It only looks more beautiful as it ages. It doesn’t, have that coating so the natural pattern of the grain, and texture come through – hence the superior quality of leather needed to produce it.
The lack of coating, however, means it’s not protected from water and grease marks – and this makes it less suitable for young families.
Whichever grade of leather suits your lifestyle best, you will find each FPlus chair is made to the highest standard. The cushions are lock-stitched (#301) with braided thread for the strongest seams and neatest piping you can get.
The seat pads are PU injected and then Dacron-wrapped for added comfort and breathability.
It goes without saying that with a chair of this quality, the cushions aren’t stapled to the frame as they are with many cheap copies. These cushions are (just as in the original), fully removable.
The 7ply plywood shell is kiln-dried to prevent warping or cracking. And true to the original design, the shell is made only from the best cuts from the log with minimal knots – sourced exclusively from USA, Canadian and Brazilian companies.
The 5 point base die-cast aluminum base is a replica of the Vitra Eames lounge chair, and there is a rubber shock mount plating underneath the armrest and the back of the chair to prevent the shell from cracking.
And just so you know, no tedious setup is required with this replica. Unlike many replica Eames chairs on the market, that require two people and a lengthy assembly process, this chair is shipped already fully assembled – and that’s actually a pretty big deal.
What We Like:
- It’s an Exceptionally High-Quality Reproduction | This is an excellent reproduction of the Vitra Eames chair – and there are 3 leather options to choose from: full-grain, top-grain, or vintage.
- It Comes with Removable Cushions | While most lower quality chairs have fixed cushions, (usually just stapled in place) this lounge chair comes with high resilience PU-injected foam cushions that are removable.
- The Shell is Veneered both Inside and Out | Again the attention to detail is outstanding on this chair.
- 7-ply Wooden Veneers | Kiln dried as in the original. Also available in a choice of different wooden veneers.
Check the latest price and color options for FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman on Furnish Plus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an Eames chair comfortable?
Eames chairs are in fact, very comfortable. Released in 1956 after years in the development stage, the Eames lounge chair, and ottoman was intended to have the look and feel of a “well-used first baseman’s mitt.”
The chair’s ergonomic design follows the natural contours of the body and incorporates a permanent recline or semi-reclined position, it was designed for comfort not just to be cool and admired.
Does the Eames chair recline?
The original Eames chair has a recline that is built into the design. It was specifically designed in a tilted position in order to take the weight off the lower back. It doesn’t, however, recline. The tilt is fixed to an angle of 15 degrees.
How is the Eames chair made?
The Eames chair consists of three cushioned shells with wooden veneers, a seat, a back, and a headrest, which gives the chair its floating appearance. Each shell is made up of 7 layers of molded plywood, though the original chair was designed with only 5.
Originally the cushion’s fillings were “all feathers and down”. Today, however, authentic Eames chairs are filled with 6″ of urethane foam and upholstered with high-quality leather including two tufted buttons to each cushion. The seat and the ottoman cushion are the same size and interchangeable with each other.
The base has 5 legs for the chair, and 4 for the ottoman.
Additionally, the chair is able to swivel 360° and has a fixed recline of 15°.
Other Eames 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:
This another decent budget option that has the authentic look. The cushioning is, however, a lot thinner than on the more high-end replicas models.
- 7-Layer Plywood.
- PU Leather.
- 360 swivel.
High-Quality Aniline Leather
This is not a cheap option but it’s still several thousand dollars less than the original. It’s an excellent reproduction.
- Premium aniline leather, including piping & buttons.
- High-quality 7-ply laminated veneer.
- 360° swivel function and fixed backward tilt of 15°.
Complete Your Eames Look
Made for children, this 8″ tall genuine Vitra Eames elephant would make a cool addition to any living space. It’s a lovely gift idea. It’s actually affordable for the real thing.
- Made from polypropylene, dyed throughout.
- Available in other colors and a larger size if you prefer.
- Approved according to the GS and CE safety standards
Eames Replica Bird
This is a very affordable replica of the Bird popularised by Eames. First made in 1910 the Eames’s had one in their home. It’s beautiful, definitely on my shopping list!
- 10.63″ tall.
- Made from environmentally – friendly non-toxic resin.
Or you could needle felt one of your own.
Vitra Eames Mobile
For a cool mid-century look, this genuine Virta Eames mobile designed in 1941 is very moderately priced.
- Mobiles were hung from the ceiling in Eameses’ apartment in Los Angeles.
- It’s made from aircraft plywood, with a black lacquered finish.
Baby’s First Eames
You are never too young for culture.
- An ingenious way for young children to learn about architecture and design.
- Filled with gorgeous illustrations.
- For more mid-century book ideas head over to our reading room.
And if you’d like free printable mid-century modern wall art, to complete your look, you are welcome to download some from my printable page – all my printables are free, and no sign-up is required.