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The Best Eames Chair Replica (Essential Guide for 2024)

A multicolored Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman on a rainbow gradient background shown for a post about "The Best Eames Chair Replica"

The smooth black leather, the flawless curves of the walnut shell, and the highly polished chrome – relaxing in an Eames lounge chair can feel like the epitome of modern design.

And the ultimate status symbol for some.

Since studying the Eameses (two of the most famous mid-century designers) in Architecture school, I have been obsessed with their imaginative take on design. They believed everyone should have the right to own attractive, modern furniture, and their never-ending ideas have shaped and inspired the design world ever since.

You may not be surprised to hear that the price of a new Eames lounge chair has doubled over the last decade. Demand has skyrocketed during the same period, and replicas have become the only practical option for most.

I own many authentic Eames designs as well as replicas and have been researching this topic for years. Respecting genuine designs is a fundamental truth, but replicas also have a place in many modern homes.

So, if you want to know everything you need to know about finding the best Eames lounge chair for your home, I promise you won’t find a better guide than this.

Get ready to sit back and relax in style!

On The Fence About Buying A Reproduction?

Charles Eames introduced his new lounge chair and ottoman on a grainy NBC broadcast in 1956, and it was an instant classic. Almost seven decades later, this piece of furniture has never been more popular.

Whether you are on the fence about whether a replica is worth it (or possible) or whether you might want the real deal, think about these things first:

The Pros

The Herman Miller original is a work of art – Image via 2modern

This chair’s lines are sleek and elegant and incredibly easy to style. The traditional molded plywood shell paired with the black leather upholstery looks just as lovely in a mid-century home as in a room with ornate detailing.

Fake or real, this chair will look great.

This design style is created to last. I was lucky enough to visit the Charles and Ray Eames designed Case Study House #8, where I saw their original chair. It was very worn but had a beautiful, slouchy patina that can’t be replicated.

A real chair should last the test of time (although keep reading about newer builds), but high-end lookalikes are also built with high-quality materials that will last.

When people walk into your living room, they will often drool over this design. It’s so ingrained in what’s cool that everyone knows this is just it. If this is important to you, you will feel good about this purchase.

I’m saying this one last: even though it’s probably the most important thing, it’s a really comfortable chair, in my opinion. Not everyone agrees on this, and I would go so far as to say that 50% of people think this chair is a dream, and the other half think the design should go back to the 50’s.

But my husband and I both love it!

The Cons (or when a replica is better)

Buying replica furniture can be seen as the ultimate design sin, but I tend to disagree. There are many situations when it’s just not possible to buy the authentic design, whether it’s your lifestyle or budget.

It’s so easy to see why everyone (including me!) covets this iconic chair. But buying an Eames lounge chair is investing in modern art, which also means it comes with a responsibility to respect the design.

This cantilever design is fragile and not ideal in households with lots of activity, kids, or pets. A replica is actually better if you have a busy house because the stakes are much lower.

A diagram visually explaining reasons why you would buy a real, inspired or fake Eames chair.
Should I buy an original Eames chair or a fake one?

A lounge chair and ottoman from Herman Miller is typically a wonderful investment, and an authentic chair will always be the most valuable version of the Eames lounge chair. However, Herman Miller has also changed a lot over the years, and some customers feel that this style doesn’t live up to the hype.

I have yet to experience this, but I’ve received emails from readers with horror stories of Herman Miller not honoring their warranties. This treatment is unacceptable for a $7000+ chair.

Herman Miller says the Eames chair is hand-assembled in Michigan. “Hand-assembled” is one of those tricky phrases that make you think a product is made in America, but it really means just the assembly.

When a product is completely made in the USA, companies typically go to great lengths to say this, so it’s possible that Eames parts are manufactured at Herman Miller’s largest factory in China and then assembled in Michigan.

How to Choose the Best Reproduction

Here are a few things to consider before buying a designer chair replica:

Chair Size

An authentic Herman Miller chair is available in standard and tall sizes. When this chair hit the market, people were generally much shorter. The original chair is supposed to be perfect for people between 5′-2″ and 5′-10″, and the tall version is ideal for anyone over 5′-10″.

That being said, most people prefer the larger, more roomy chair, even if they are shorter. Not all replica chairs are available in different sizes, but if they are, I recommend selecting the taller version, no matter your height.

Cost

Budget is another critical factor when choosing a high-quality replica. Since the market of Eames reproductions is so competitive, the quality of the craftsmanship and materials will directly affect the price.

The highest-quality replicas are still a significant investment but will be a fraction of the price of an authentic, iconic Eames lounge chair.

The upside is that if you ever want to sell your lounge chair, the higher-end replicas will hold their value better than a cheaper knockoff.

It’s important to weigh the long-term benefits of your chair purchase. If you plan to use it daily, invest in quality that will last. But if you mainly just want this design for style points, you can get away with a cheaper chair that might not have the best materials.

Dupes that are very close to the original specs are more expensive than versions that take more liberty with the design. If these details are important to you, consider this when comparing the cost differences.

The original Eames lounge chair from Herman Miller arrives fully assembled, but with replicas, it’s a different story. Higher-end reproductions will require less assembly than their cheaper counterparts.

Quality Of The Materials

Quality is essential—especially for furniture you sit on often. A good dupe will use full-grain semi-aniline leather, plush removable cushions, a solid wood structure, a shiny chrome metal base, and rubber shock mounts.

This list’s number one recommendation uses the same PU-injected foam type as a genuine Eames chair, making the seat soft and comfortable. Typically, lower-end seating has firmer cushions. 

Leather quality will vary depending on the replica, but high-quality leather is more durable in the long run.

Leather grades can be very confusing and misleading (genuine sounds good, but it’s the worst leather quality!). Check out my full article about leather types here to learn more. 

The molded plywood shell is one of the most iconic parts of the original furniture design. Initially produced in a hardwood species called rosewood, palisander is now used instead for sustainability purposes, and walnut is also very common.

Most replica Eames lounge chairs will have faux veneers that match the color of these wood species. Good reproductions should have nice-looking wood, even if the wood is an imitation.

Faithfulness To The Original Design

This guide has options that look almost exactly like the Eames chair, straight from 1956. Some have the spirit of the initial design.

Since you aren’t buying a real chair, you can take an artistic license or go with a dupe that’s a close copy – the choice is yours.

If you want something that looks like it came from the original manufacturer, look for chairs with correctly proportioned legs and arms that use high-quality materials. Avoid chairs with cheap hardware or stiff, uncomfortable upholstery.

If you want a full rundown of the differences between a real vs. a fake Eames Chair, I’ve written a whole article about it here.

Seller Trustworthiness

Four major players are making high-end reproductions, but I only mention one. As I mentioned before, every version of this design (even the original) is made in China, and the differences among these high-end sellers are primarily in how they run their businesses.

Iconic is by far the best option because it has been in business the longest (8 years longer than most companies), is the most transparent with its materials, and offers the best customer service. These items may seem small but definitely add up when making a $2000 purchase.

Please feel free to email me if you have questions about this decision.

Wayfair sells many great mid-range chairs that customers love. However, they usually use AI-generated images of their products, which I think is horrible and lazy. If you can look past this, these are good chairs for the price.

You pay for what you get regarding the quality of the sellers in this market. Budget retailers like Amazon sell good, cheaper replicas, but the sellers change often and are nowhere as good as the mid-range or higher-quality sellers.

You can buy an extended warranty with Amazon, which is not a bad option for these ultra-low-cost sellers. I still think these are good chairs and worth recommending because, for $550-$800, you will not find a better option. Just know that these companies change often, and their manufacturing can be unpredictable.

A semi aniline leather Eames lounge chair replica sits in an ultra modern room with sleek glass windows and contemporary neutral furniture.
Eames lounge chair replicas can look excellent and may even be the better choice for your home, depending on your lifestyle – Image via The Iconic Chair

What is the Best Eames Chair Replica of 2024?

​​Here are the top picks for Eames lounge chair lookalikes:

  1. The Iconic ChairBest Overall
  2. Amazon Mid-Century Lounge Chair and Ottoman – Best Value
  3. Vintage Plycraft – Most Valuable
  4. George Oliver Lounge Chair and Ottoman
  5. Vesper Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Burrow
  6. Hetherington Vegan Leather Swivel Recliner

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1. The Iconic Chair

Best Overall
The Iconic Chair is one of the most luxury Eames lounge chair replicas and one of the top Eames chair dupes on the market.
The Iconic Chair is one of the top Eames lounger replicas if you want the closest reproduction to the original Herman Miller Eames chair.

The Iconic Chair makes an ultra-premium version of the Eames lounge chair, and it’s by far one of the best dupes on the market. This design is very close to the dimensions of the original chair and features the same plush open-cell foam, ensuring ultimate comfort.

Although it’s a premium price, this chair offers superior detailing that mimics the original. The deep button tufting creates the “classic flower” creases in the leather, and rubber shock mounts add extra support under the armrests.

The removable cushions are available in six rich colors, and all leather is full-grain aniline, the highest grade of leather. Imported from Italy, this leather is exceptionally durable and will only improve with age. 

Shipping is free, and assembly only requires the installation of 8 screws. The chair has a 3-year warranty against defects, and customers love their dedicated customer service. 

One of my favorite things about The Iconic Chair is that they have been in business for over a decade, which is very unusual in this market. During that time, they’ve worked through their manufacturing and logistics process, so today, they know what they are doing better than anyone. Looking into other companies, you will see that many years of experience are unique. 

Use code BETH200 to save $200 per chair!

For now, The Iconic Chair is keeping the $200 per chair discount instead of my regular $150 discount. I’m not sure how long this sale will last, but it’s a fantastic offer.
This post is not sponsored, but the company has given me a code to share since I love their chairs.

The Iconic Chair is the best reproduction you can find today without investing in an original design. This company offers an excellent leather color selection, and its attention to detail sets it apart in the reproduction market. The price is not cheap, but it is significantly less than that of a genuine Herman Miller lounge chair.

An Eames lounge chair replica in leather and walnut wood veneer. Amazon offers one of the top alternatives if you are on a tight budget.

This version has a decent selection of wood and leather finishes, and the real leather is high-quality. Black leather is the quintessential mid-century classic, but the optional white leather is also chic.

This lounge chair is only available in one size, but the dimensions are very close to the tall version of the original chair.

This chair will require more assembly than my #1 pick, but the install guide includes a YouTube video to make things easier. The foam will also be firmer in this option, and the proportions could be nicer, but if you are on a budget, this is an excellent chair for the price.

This pick is by far the best affordable Eames-inspired option. The quality is great considering the price, and this chair will look fantastic anywhere in your home or office!

3. Vintage Plycraft

Most Valuable
A brown leather vintage Plycraft replica from the 1960s.

Don’t overlook the original dupe – the vintage Plycraft lounger.

Plycraft was a manufacturer of some Herman Miller products, and they started producing replica chairs. Yes, this caused a contention relationship, but now Plycraft designs are collector’s items in their own right.

Depending on the current condition, a vintage Plycraft lounge chair can range between $1,000-$3,500, but unlike modern replicas, these pieces will retain their value over time. The original materials used on these chairs are far superior to anything used today, so you know you are getting a fantastic piece of furniture for the price.

The lines of the Plycraft chairs are slightly different from the original Eames design, but this character only makes these chairs feel unique and special. I recommend searching 1stDibs and Chairish for the best options.

An Eames lounge chair replica in leather with walnut wood veneer.

This lounge chair and ottoman from Wayfair looks virtually identical to the real thing but for a fraction of the price. The leather upholstery and wood are available in multiple colors, making it the perfect mid-century accessory.

The dimensions of this style are very close to the original Eames chair. However, this lookalike is even more sturdy, giving it a higher weight limit than an authentic Eames lounge chair – it has a weight limit of 300 lbs.

This is one of the top Eames lounger dupes for a rowdy family or if you don’t want to be too dainty with your furniture. It’s also way more affordable!

The Vesper is a leather lounger with a solid wood finish shell.

The Vesper isn’t trying to be an Eames lounger reproduction, but that’s part of its charm. The sleek plywood shell paired with the supple black leather gives the same vibe as the original from the Herman Miller Company, but this design takes on a new look.

Although this chair does not swivel, customers’ reviews rave about its high quality and superior comfort. The aesthetic is still chic and classic but with a modern twist, making this a great updated set for your modern living room.

The ottoman is sold separately, and together, the pair is a great Eames alternative – and all for a much lower price.

A black PU leather lounger.

Ok, I know what you are thinking…How is this an Eames lounger? This looks pretty far from the iconic chair. Are you crazy? But hear me out…

If you are on an extreme budget but want Herman Miller vibes, this chair might just surprise you. Gone are the luxury materials and molded plywood, but what it lacks in design, it makes up in function. And the price tag is much easier to bear.

It can swivel a full 360 degrees and recline easily. And the faux leather in classic black is still pretty nice.

I gave my husband a genuine Eames chair as a wedding gift, which he couldn’t love more. But he wanted a cheaper substitute for his dorm room for one of his long military deployments.

This is the same chair and ottoman he purchased, and it was a solid substitute. The headrest is less supportive than the original, and the tilt has to be manually adjusted, but he found it easy to relax in this chair.

He still misses his fancy lounger but was happy with this buy, considering the amount of money he had saved.

Final Thoughts

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman has been around for over 60 years and is still one of the most popular chair designs. But that doesn’t mean you need to drop a ton of money to add this iconic mid-century lounge chair to your home. 

The Iconic Chair is hands down the premier Eames chair dupe on the market today. This lounge chair and ottoman use premium materials, and the company has excellent customer service to help with any questions or issues. For these reasons, this is the top Eames reproduction without investing in an authentic original.

I recommend checking out Amazon if you want an Eames-inspired design at a great price. You will be hard-pressed to find a better deal that looks so close to the original. 

Whether looking for a perfect duplicate or something with a little more flair, one of these lounge chair dupes will look great in your space. Not only are all the chairs on this list comfortable, but they will add instant polish to any room. 

If you have any questions about the differences between these chairs or why a certain chair isn’t on this list, please feel free to contact me. I’d be more than happy to provide you with more information – no question is too small!

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you found this guide helpful! If you enjoyed this information, you might also like reading about the best Womb Chair replica or best modular sectional sofas.

Cheers!

The iconic mid century Eames lounge chair in dark brown leather is in a bright white room with a fluffy rug. A pillow has been added to the chair for lumbar support.
An Eames lounger can make any space feel sophisticated but comfy. The warm brown leather paired with the Eames lounge chair is a great contrast with the black and white rug.

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