The original Eames chair is a vintage lounge chair that wowed people with its supple, aniline leather, its sturdy, smooth veneers, its plush cushions, and the famous 15-degree tilt.
But if you can’t invest over $5000 in a lounge chair, there are plenty of good replicas out there.
Since this article is about the copy – the manufacturer quality is really important, so below models are the best manufacturers of Eames Chair reproductions. The Herman Miller company offers the largest range of wood veneers, widely considered one of the most significant designs of the 20th century.
I’ll tell you how you can choose the closest resembling model to the original and discuss four good replicas on the market.
In the end, you’ll find an alternative lounge chair that isn’t an Eames copy, but its modern design makes it a posh addition to your home.
5 Best Eames Chair Replica (List for 2021)
1. Mid Century Modern Lounge Chair with Ottoman – #1 Alternative for Eames Chair
When you look at the original Eames chair and then at this Mid Century Lounge Chair by 1 inch, you see no difference except a lack in shine.
As such, you can place this chair anywhere in your house, and it will be a stylish addition. The only precaution you need to take is to make sure you order and ship via FurgleUS. Otherwise, you might get a broken or lower-quality item. The original chair is the only one that’s made in America.
While this chair doesn’t have a 100% full-grain Italian aniline leather upholstery, it’s still full genuine leather.
This is lower quality leather, but it’s still resistant, as long as you don’t put this chair near a fireplace. The frame is high-density laminated wood, with the same pattern as the original Eames.
The thick sponge padding for the chair is comfortable, but the sponge wears out faster than the original Eames cushions.
I also like the 15-degree tilt, which mimics the original design so you can recline slightly. This recline increases your comfort because it takes the pressure off your spine.
Don’t raise your expectations, though. This chair is fairly stiff, so you can’t rock in it as you would in a real Eames.
The Mid Century Lounge Chair is a few inches bigger than the original Eames, but nothing too much. It’s still a compact high-quality chair and can support people up to 330 pounds.
The downside is that you need a knack for DIY because assembling this chair takes a lot of time, and the instructions aren’t that clear.
Summary: The Mid Century is a comfortable lounge that looks exactly like the original model, although it’s not as shiny.
2. Mid Century Classic Plywood Lounge Chair & Ottoman – #2 Authentic Eames Reproduction
This Eames replica is another stylish choice that looks like the original, including the four-foot base ottoman and similar dimensions.
Make sure you buy it from Urban Furnishing though, as they’re the only ones who can guarantee you’ll receive a quality chair.
The first thing I like about this model is its upholstery: 100% top grain Italian leather, just like the genuine. This top-grade leather is soft, smooth, and resistant, albeit expensive.
The base material differs from the genuine Eames, though. This base is manufactured with stainless steel, which, although resistant and modern, will let others know you don’t own a genuine Eames.
That said, the frame is manufactured with 7-ply cross-grained kiln-dried engineered wood. This frame looks similar to the original, but it lacks the same durability and shine. As such, this chair comes with a 1-year warranty instead of the five years you get for the Eames-Eames.
I like the swivel mechanism, though. Thanks to this mechanism, you’ll get the original, comfortable 15-degree tilt.
However, the rubber shock mounts are stiff so that you won’t get the same genuine rocking motion.
This chair is comfortable and plush. The biggest advantage is that it comes fully assembled except four bolts for the base.
Summary: TheMid Century Plywood Lounge Chair & Ottoman has a similar design to the original Eames, including the aniline Italian leather upholstery, though the base is stainless steel.
3. Manhattan Home Design Eames Lounge Chair Replica Style
Although not in the high price range for Eames reproductions, this chair is worth every penny thanks to its superior quality.
The materials are similar to the original, starting with its leather upholstery, 7-ply molded plywood, and three veneers in walnut, pallisander, and white oak.
The polyurethane-injected 6-inch foam is high-density, so it’s supportive. However, it’s not as cushiony as the original padding.
Another bonus for this price range is the decent array of color options, which similar Eames replicas lack.
An explanation for this low price is the Italian leather for the upholstery, which isn’t 100% top grain aniline leather, and therefore less expensive. That said, this chair has its positives.
Heavier customers aren’t disappointed because this is a resistant and stable chair. The cushions are interchangeable just like for the original model. The swivel mechanism features threaded glides, which makes it more resistant.
The armrests feature thin, but dense padding just like the genuine Eames, and this chair has a 15-degree tilted base.
The silicone shock mounts make this replica flexible so you can rock in it as smoothly as you would in the genuine model.
Summary: The Manhattan Home Design is the one that resembles the genuine model the most, thanks to its top-notch leather upholstery and same dimensions.
4. Modern Sources – Mid-Century Plywood Lounge Chair & Ottoman Eames Chair Replica For Sale
The Modern Sources Eames Replica is bigger than the original model, but this can be an advantage for heavier, taller people. Considering that it’s a good reproduction, you can easily place it anywhere in your home to impress your guests.
The craftsmanship is of good quality because both the chair and the ottoman are hand-assembled.
The materials used are similar to the genuine too. Although the upholstery isn’t 100% full-grain aniline leather, it’s made with premium material, including the buttons and the piping.
This leather looks like the original, but it’s lower quality than full-grain, so it might not age so well, and you can expect some cracks.
The soft foam padding is high-elastic, so it’s supportive and ergonomic. On the other hand, the padding isn’t as cushiony and resistant as the genuine Eames pillows because it seems to deflate when sitting in it.
The 7-ply laminated veneer is long-lasting, not prone to cracks, and looks good.
On the downside, the base is made with cast aluminum, which, although resistant, doesn’t look like the original. The backward tilt isn’t 15-degrees, though, but close to it. Besides, this tilt is fixed, so the Modern Sources Eames copy doesn’t rock like the genuine.
Another downside is the fixed chair height, so you can’t adjust it for different people or different positions.
5. Happybuy Barcelona Style Lounge Chair and Ottoman – Alternative Style (Barcelona)
If you’re looking for an alternative lounge chair, the Happybuy Barcelona Lounge Chair and Ottoman has a modern design that fits the living room.
This is a small, light chair, so it can only support up to 176 pounds. However, it’s stable and long-lasting thanks to its stainless steel frame.
The PU leather upholstery isn’t as good as full-grain leather, but the high-density 3.9-inch foam padding is supportive and comfortable.
The whole design is ergonomic, with its tufted beads and slightly reclined backrest, along with the thick-padded footrest and soft-edge seat.
Although this is a white chair, the material is easy to wipe clean, plus you can always choose a different color for the upholstery.
That said, some customers complain about minor, but different issues, from wobbling to difficulties with the assembly.
Summary: The Happybuy Barcelona Style Lounge Chair and Ottoman has a modern, compact design, but it can only support up to 176 pounds.
What to Look For When Buying An Eames Style Lounge Chair
It has a popular design, so it’s no wonder there are so many copycats. But not all replicas are created equal, which is why you need to take the issues below into account:
Final Words on Eames Lounge Chair
If you want to buy a good Eames Replica, it’s important to get one with quality materials and a similar design to the original.
Your best bet is to go with a reputable model with plenty of good reviews, to avoid being shipped a flimsy copy that looks too fake. That way, no one can tell the difference!
The Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman is the best reproduction I could find. This comfortable lounge resembles the original Eames, although it’s not as shiny, it’s resistant, comfortable and it reclines.
The other models in this review look good too, so make your choice and don’t forget to tell me what you picked and why!