You know the Eames lounge chair, even if you don’t think you do. Maybe you’ve seen it in your therapist’s office, or in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art; perhaps you’ve spotted it on episodes of Frasier, Mad Men, or giving clout to countless Architectural Digest home tours. The molded plywood-and-leather ottoman set made its debut more than half a century ago, and evolved the classic English club chair into a design that felt at once familiar and totally futuristic; comfortable, yet Spartan in design. It has been called “a cross between a Mercedes-Benz and a Barcalounger” by The New York Times, and the “throne of zaddies” by a hot person in Loewe that I met smoking Vogue cigs outside of Lucien once.
“Pal, it’s a chair,” you might say, in-between chomps of sopressata. “How life-changing can it be?” To which we, your faithful decor jesters, would humbly say: Very. The lounger was released in 1956 for the legendary furniture company Herman Miller, keeper of all MCM grails, by power couple Charles and Ray Eames—kind of like the Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy of the 50s, but without being soft goths/into sarcophagi, and since then, it’s inspired countless think pieces and YouTube essays about subjects such as the “birth of the Eames lounge chair [and] how WWII led to modern luxury,” to say nothing of the over 200,900 Instagram posts under the #eameschair hashtag alone.
When they were conceptualizing the chair, according to the Herman Miller team, Charles and Ray wanted the chair to have the “warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt.”
If you have ever had the luxury of parking your peach in an Eames lounge, or an Eames-inspired chair, you know that it simultaneously feels like being cradled in the womb and ascending to Zeus-levels of MCM laird. It goes with almost everything (pair it with a Noguchi lamp, or an Italian Murano glass lamp), has your back better than Jesus ever could (fight me), and will give all your dinner guests the impression that you have way more sex than you do. Typically, a new Eames lounge costs around $8,000, and some of the über rare vintage chairs boast a $35,000 price tag, but there are plenty of folks slinging Eames-inspired chairs that deliver us from such hefty numbers.
Naturally, we’ve made it our quest of the week to find you the best places to buy an Eames lounge chair, and some even more affordable Eames lounge chair alternatives, dupes, and lookalikes, on the world wide web. Slip into something more comfortable, and let’s ride.
You best believe that Herman Miller is still out there slinging authentic Eames loungers. Granted, H-Mills is selling these beauties for nearly $8,000 a pop, so use someone else’s Amex.
In the words of Dakota Johsnon, the patron saint of blending contemporary and MCM decor like a pro, “I f*cking love 1stDibs so much.” You can find a wide selection of vintage Eames loungers in a variety of colorways and jazzy restorations on the site, from OG black leather recliners to this rare blue leather bébé that will remind everyone that your taste is timeless, but you’re also ~different~.
We couldn’t help but Eamesdrop and hear that you, too, are not flush with rubies/have a more modest budget in your quest for an Eames-inspired chair. Luckily, Amazon is filled with plenty of affordable Eames lounge chair alternatives with similar vibes, including this 4-star average rated chaise that comes in seven different colorways, including one with white leather (the Almas Beluga caviar of leathers). Swag.
What, you didn’t think Walmart was privy to the joy of mid-century modern recliners? Don’t be a snob, Tyler. This incarnation of the iconic chair is the most affordable on our list, and nearly $100 off. Cop it while the deals are piping hot.
We live, laugh, and love the hardest at Wayfair, which is like a less evil version of Amazon that doles out free shipping without the need for subscription; it’s home to everything from legendary cookware brands such as Le Creuset to Togo sofa lookalikes, so you already know it’s going to deliver an Eames lounger alternative with a five-star average rating.
Put those feet up, king. You deserve it.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.