The Best Eames Chair Replica – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Apr 02

The Eames lounge chair is an icon of American design. Since its debut in 1956, the chair has set the standard for style and comfort. The hallmark of a good design is that it does its function so well that it doesn’t need to change. The Eames chair has had a longevity of more than half a century and has remained unchanged. That’s what makes it a classic. You can still purchase the original Eames lounge chair from the Herman Millar company. However, the price tag of almost $5000 puts it out of reach for most buyers. There are a number of good and not so good Eames chair replicas on the market. This guide picks out the best of these so you can get a quality Eames chair replica without wasting your money on a sub-par product.

 

Our #1 Pick
The Best Eames Lounge Chair Replica - Urban FurnishingsThe Urban Furnishing Ultra Premium Mid Century Lounge Chair & Ottoman is our number one pick. The closest product on the market, with the highest quality, real leather, and exact dimension.

$100 off coupon code 'MCC' at checkout Buy the Best Lounge Chair Replica

 

Model Coupon Code Rating Price
1 Urban Furnishing Ultra Premium Mid Century Lounge Chair & Ottoman MCC $$$
2 FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman $$$
3 Manhattan Home Design Classic Lounge Chair & Ottoman $

What to Look For:

An Eames Chair Replica Buyer’s Guide

Since the Eames chair is one of the most copied furniture designs, there are a number of factors that you have to look for before making a purchase.  These are:

  • Price: Based on the reviews of many different Eames lounge chair replicas, be prepared to spend anywhere from $850 for a lesser quality piece and between $1400 and $1800  for a high quality replica. Although the higher quality pieces may have a full retail price of up to $2500, you shouldn’t have to spend this much. While you can find replica chairs for under this amount, the quality tends to be diminished. However, you can find chairs that normally retail for over $1000 that are one sale for less.
  • Manufacturer: The original chair is the only one that’s made in America. All replicas are made overseas, usually in China. That, however, is not always indicative of lesser quality. Some factories in China go to great lengths to provide a top-quality product.
  • Dimensions: One of the main customer complaints about the replicas is that they don’t get the dimensions right. Dimensions are important for the overall aesthetic of the design. The Eames chair packs a lot of comfort into a relatively small space. That’s part of its appeal. Replicas are often too big and throw off the aesthetic that the Eames’s were going for. The original chair comes in two sizes; classic and tall. Some reviewers claim that the original dimensions are too small for taller or larger people. The chairs in this guide aim to stay true to the original dimensions. Some, however, are slightly bigger and may be more suitable for larger people.
  • Seating posture: This chair is not a typical recliner. It swivels at the base but is not intended to be able to move backwards or forwards. The tilt is 15 degrees and the sitter is meant to be in a position in between sitting and laying down. Good replicas imitate this seating posture as closely as possible. Some online reviewers may complain about this feature not knowing that it was the original intention.
  • Finish and leather color options: The lounge chair in walnut wood and black leather is the most iconic. This is the look that most replicas imitate. Certainly the budget options usually opt for this look. The original chair has several options for the color of the wood and the leather. The Eames’s intended their lounge chair to fit the lifestyle of the buyer. The best eames chair replicas also offer a range of colors and wood finishes.
  • Removable cushions: The cushions of the original Eames chair and of the best replicas are removable. This is important because if you want your chair to last, you may need to have it re-upholstered at some point. It also makes the cushions easier to clean. The wooden shells of the original chair have veneer on both sides. This is evidence of the exceptional craftsmanship that goes into these chairs. This feature is also present in the best replicas. If the cushions are not removable then the wood is certainly not veneered on both sides. This indicates lesser quality.
  • (in)visible hardware: While the Eames’s were unique in their time for letting the “nuts and bolts” of their furniture designs remain visible, the only visible hardware of the Eames lounge chair should be the two “spines” that connect the headrest to the seat back. Many lesser replicas have screws showing through the wood, which ruins the smooth look of the wood pieces. To create this elegant look, the Eames’s invented a type of rubber shock mount that holds the components together from the inside. All the chairs in this guide have invisible hardware, true to the Eames’s original design.
  • Leather quality: The better replicas are very clear about using the same quality leather as the original, 100% full-grain Italian aniline leather. This leather comes from the back of the cow and is of exceptionally high quality. Only 5% of the world’s leather falls into this category. All the chairs in this guide use this kind of leather. It is durable and easy to clean. Vegan options may be available but will not be discussed in the guide, as the aim to inform buyers looking to get as close as possible to the original.
  • Wood quality: The original chair uses 7-ply laminated plywood. The Eames’s were the inventors of molded plywood. This industrial process has been copied by furniture companies ever since. The Herman Miller company offers the largest range of wood veneers. A good eames chair replica will also offer a range of veneers, usually palisander, walnut, white oak and sometimes ebony.
  • Warranty – You should always factor the warranty into your furniture buying decisions. This is especially true when it comes to shipping. If the product arrives damaged then you want to know that you have a warranty to fall back on. All the chairs in this guide have a warranty.

The Eames Lounge Chair

For the sake of comparison, we’ll begin by discussing Charles Eames’ original design. This chair is still made by the original manufacturer, the Herman Miller Company located in Zeeland Michigan. The quality of the replicas raises conversely with the amount of features they successfully replicate from this chair. Charles said that he wanted the chair to have “the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.”. The leather is deeply dimpled and soft. This chair also has the greatest range of wood finishes and leather colors. While the palisander and black leather look is the most iconic, this chair is highly customizable. This range of customization ensures that you can own a design classic that fits your taste and décor. Customization, however, can cost up to an additional $1000 depending on the wood finish.

There is some debate among consumers as to whether or not this original chair surpasses all the replicas. Some claim it does. Others claim that some replicas are just as good if not better. As we shall shortly discuss, some replicas are really top notch but for a much lower price. Before buying one must consider the chair’s upkeep. After many years, the rubber in the shock mounts can shrink and become brittle. This may cause the chair to completely fall apart. While all the best replicas also have the rubber shock mounts, they don’t cost nearly $5000 or more dollars.

The Best Eames Chair Replica

Urban Furnishing Ultra Premium Mid Century Lounge Chair & Ottoman

This eames chair replica is the best of the best. The closest product on the market, with the highest quality, real leather, and exact dimensions.

This chair is the closest product on the market to the original. It meets the highest standards of quality without sacrificing affordability. That’s because the manufacturer actually bought the rights to use the molds from the Herman Miller Company. Essentially, you’re buying the Eames chair, but at a quarter of the price. The company doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality. Like the original Eames chair, the Ultra-Premium lounge chair’s shells are lacquered on both sides and the cushions are removable. This shows that the manufacturer values and pays attention to each component of the product, not just the visible parts. Unlike the original, this chair offers three different wood veneers (walnut, palisander and white oak) but at no extra charge. These chairs are filled with PU injected foam which is soft but substantial and offers both comfort and support.

Visually the Ultra Premium chair is indistinguishable from the original. The buttons set into the leather, the creases of the leather and the depth of the dimples all conform to the original specifications. Both chairs also make a “wheezing sound” when sitting. This just proves how closely the replica matches the original if they make the same sound. It’s as if the manufacturers attempted to replicate the original Eames chair in every aspect possible, down to the smallest detail.

The photos released from the manufacturer gives insight into their production process. This same level of quality is expressed by customers who ordered the chair and put up their own pictures online. You can see that the cushions are indeed removable and that the wood has arrived veneered on both sides. As well as that the cushions are indeed removable and that the wood has arrived veneered on both sides with strong, rubber shock mounts.

The reviews for this product are overwhelmingly positive. Customers were particularly impressed by the quality of the leather. It has been described as being very smooth, buttery but not slippery. Customer’s found The PU injected foam to be very soft and comfortable as well. Many buyers also commented that this chair has good head, neck and lumbar support. Needless to say, this is very important in a lounge chair. In some replicas the head rest juts forward, which causes the sitter’s back to become rounded. The Ultra Premium lounge chair leans back at a continuous angle so the sitter can lean back and be fully supported. The picture below was taken by a customer at the Urban Furnishing’s showroom. There they set their product next to a Rove concepts chair, which Rove no longer produces but was considered a phenomenal Eames chair replica. This was to show how much more elegant, comfortable and supportive the Ultra premium lounge chair was.

 

Customer complaints are minimal. The main issue people had was with the slight damage the chair sometimes sustained during shipping. Some said that there were dings here and there on the chair but that overall the damage was minor. Scratching and damage happened most frequently on parts of the aluminum base.

These are isolated incidents, however. The manufacturer makes it clear that they package their products properly.

This chair won’t let you down. You should buy this chair if you’re looking for a very high quality, beautiful product that is built to last. It’s definitely the best value, highest quality Eames chair replica out there.

Use Coupon Code “MCC” to save $100!

Runner Up

FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman

This eames chair replica is the best of the best. The closest product on the market, with the highest quality, real leather, and exact dimensions.


The FPlus Lounge Chair with Ottoman is an extremely good, premium replica. It is completely customizable, with removable cushions, fixed 15 degree tilt, and several premium options that make it the premium choice.

This product is also almost indistinguishable from the original. Like the Ultra-Premium version, it uses 7-ply molded plywood, rubber shock mounts and is upholstered in Full-Grain Aniline leathe You’ll notice that this chair is slightly bigger than th
e original by a good one or two inches overall. If you’re a taller or larger person (or if you just like roomier furniture) then this is a good option for you. From the customer reviews it appears to be a very comfortable chair made with very high quality materials.

The FPlus Lounge Chair is well received with customer reviewers. It is fully customizable, is made from the original Herman Miller molds, offers the choice between top grain and aniline Italian leather in a wide range of colours, several different wood veneers and even provides the option to have a cowhide veneer. Additionally, this chair is shipped fully assembled. The veneer also features, a 7-ply blend cross-grained engineered wood staying true to the original design.

In a nutshell, this chair is for you if you are looking for a comfortable chair with high quality leather. If you expressly wanted the walnut finish with the black leather, then you can save a few hundred dollars on this one. This chair is a fantastic replica, and serves as a highly customizable, high quality replica of the original Eames lounge chair.

Budget Buy:

Manhattan Home Design’s Classic Lounge Chair & Ottoman

This eames chair replica is the best of the best. The closest product on the market, with the highest quality, real leather, and exact dimensions.

This chair, sold by Manhattan Home Design. This chair is high-quality for its price range. Its manufactured with 7-ply molded plywood and uses rubber shock mounts. Three veneers are available; walnut, pallisander and white oak, at no additional cost. Though the descriptions do not say that it uses PU injected foam, it does state that the foam is high density. There are also many color options, which chairs at this price range don’t usually have.

This chair costs around $900. Part of the reason for the lower price may be that they use “top aniline leather” which is a slightly lower quality than “full-grain” aniline leather. The wording is inconsistent on this point. In the same product description, MHD uses both the words “top” and “full” to describe the aniline leather. The Manhattan Home Design product description of the same chair just says “aniline” without the words top or full. This is an important point, because it may be an indication of reluctance to back up the quality of the leather.

This is a comfortable chair and by and large the buyers are satisfied. Positive reviews tended to focus on the way the chair looks. It is a very good eames chair replica. Customers also stated that the chair was sturdy, stable and did not rock back and forth uncomfortably.

Other reviews were mixed and sometimes contradictory. The positive reviews stated that the eames chair replica came in a huge box because it was already assembled. The most common issue that customers had was with the chair’s hardware. One unhappy reviewer said that she received a completely unassembled chair and that some of the parts she received were not the rights ones. This may indicate a factory error. Another hardware issue one customer had was that one screw didn’t fit into the hole properly and stuck out, but otherwise the wood and leather quality were as nice as his family’s 1960’s original.

In short, this chair is for you if you’re not a furniture snob who just wants a chair that looks nice. This eames chair replica is affordable, comfortable and customizable. For the price, it does the job of being a nice looking, comfy chair.