It’s Time to Buy Yourself That Dream Chair. Here Are Eight of the Best.

Don’t settle for a sub-par lounger, especially now

The Cisco Home Acacia leather chair, the Eames Lounge Chair and the Womb Chair
Go classic, iconic or eccentric, just get yourself that chair you've always wanted.
Photos: Cisco Home/Herman Miller/Design Within Reach

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This story is part of our Fall Refresh Guide, a weeklong series where we’ll be looking at the products that will help us make the most of yet another season stuck at home. Think of it like Back-to-School content for adults. Except, you know, during a pandemic.

The future that was promised by the proliferation of the La-Z-Boy is probably not the one occupying your dreams. A generation of schlubby sitcom dads in recliners yelling for their wives to bring them a generic beer is not your idea of success. But in an aesthetic course correction that has found more households embracing minimalism and austerity, this might be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

In short, we’ve lost sight of the dream chair, that paragon of relaxation stations that beckons at the end of the work day, singing to overworked Americans like a living room siren: come hither, take a load off, put your feet up. Chances are you’ve noticed this missing piece of furniture during the pandemic as quarantine has kept many of us inside, streaming, Zooming and otherwise holding court online from the living room. You may have a lounge chair, but is it the one? Everyone has an idea of their consummate chair, but are you settling for whatever ended up in your living room?

As we head into the fall, with the one-two punch of colder weather and potentially more quarantine measures, there’s never been a better time to pick up your dream chair. Now, we’re not going to claim to know what leather, velvet or cushion-packed throne you see when you close your eyes, but we have picked out some of the best options out there below, from iconic designs to worthy offerings from newcomers.

 Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in leather
The Eames Lounge Chair has been in production since the ’50s and is made in Michigan.
Herman Miller

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

This was the dream chair before the cup-holder-equipped recliner decimated living rooms across America, and it will retain that title long after. It was designed to look and feel like sitting in a “well-used first baseman’s mitt.” It’s been a symbol of sophistication in TV shows like Mad Men and film’s like Iron Man. It simply can’t be beat.

Article leather Timber chair
Article’s Timber Chair is available in this “chocolat” leather or a lighter tan.

Article Timber Chair

The perfect marriage of the coveted mid-century modern aesthetic and the proliferation of cushions that has for some reason dominated suburban aesthetics in 2020. Want to keep the classic armchair shape? By all means leave it be. Want to adjust the feather-filled cushions to your liking? Adjust away.

Red Womb Chair from Finnish-American designer Eero Saarinen
Red is a bold choice, but the Womb Chair can be ordered in literally dozens of colors.
Design Within Reach

Womb Chair

Eero Saarinen is the Finnish-American designer you’ve loved for years, even if you don’t remember his name. He’s responsible for the TWA terminal (now a hotel), the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and a lounger worth of an evil villain known as the Womb Chair. Order it however you want, with leather or fabric; sit in it however you want, straight up or sideways; and settle in for the long winter.

Havana Leather Chair in suede from Anthropologie
While we prefer this suede, Anthropologie offers a darker top-grain leather option, too.

Havana Leather Chair

If you know exactly where you want to put your throne and you plan on leaving it there for the rest of your life, good for you. If you want something lighter, more versatile and that you won’t dread moving from house to house, the Havana is a good bet. Light on its feet with a brass-accented wood frame, it’s the spartan version of the oversized leather lounger.

The Burrow Nomad Velvet Armchair in green with metal legs
Burrow offers the option of adding an ottoman or a moveable chaise.

Burrow Nomad Velvet Chair

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Burrow’s new velvet line, after waxing poetic about the furniture when it was released last week. If you’re worried about upkeep for the notoriously finicky fabric, these chairs actually feature something the direct-to-consumer company is touting as “performance velvet,” meaning it’s more durable and easier to clean. 

Cisco Acacia Chair in brown leather
Sturdy, classic, made in America — what more could you want?
Cisco Home

Cisco Acacia Chair

Based in Los Angeles, Cisco has been in the business of heirloom-quality furniture since the ‘90s, and the low-profile leather Acacia Chair is the perfect encapsulation of their design philosophy. Detailed, but not ostentatious, and so comfortable that, unless you live alone, you might want to get a pair.

Design Within Reach Egg Chair with ottoman designed by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen
Not impressed by this black leather version? Try configuring it with the cowhide.
Design Within Reach

Egg Chair

Vying with the Womb Chair for Bond-villain supremacy is the Egg Chair, a 360-degree rotating piece that would be at home in a museum. Great for peering out from a high-rise or into a forested backyard, especially if you upgrade to the extravagant cowhide upholstery.

Cisco Dream Chair in white linen
The Dream Chair is part bed, part chair, part pillow, all comfort.
ABC Carpet & Home

Cisco Dream Chair

We’ll admit, this one is a little out there. But it is literally called the Dream Chair, and it’s also made by Cisco in California, so you can’t blame us. This linen cloud is not for working from home, nor is it for drinking or eating on, but more than any other chair on this list it is the epitome of relaxation. If that has been in short supply for you, this might just be the remedy.

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