Definitions

conversation chair

List of chairs

The following is a partial list of chair types, with internal or external cross references about most of the chairs.

0-9

The 10 Downing Street Guard Chairs are two antique chairs used by guards in the early 1800s.

A

The Aalto armchair 406 was designed by Alvar Aalto in 1938. IKEA sells a strangely similar design as the Poäng lounge chair.

An Adirondack chair is a non-adjustable wooden outdoor lounge chair. In Canada, it is often called a "Muskoka chair" after that recreational region in southern Ontario. The Adirondack style is sometimes referred to as 'twig furniture'.

An Aeron chair is an ergonomic trademarked chair.

An armchair has armrests for comfort. Couches, sofas, etc., often have armrests.

B

A bachelor's chair dates from the 1700s and converts into step stool, ladder or ironing board.

A Ball Chair designed by Finnish furniture designer Eero Aarnio in 1966.

A balance chair makes you sit with your back in straight position by providing support to your knees. See also kneeling chair below.

A barber's chair swivels and has easily adjusted heights to make it easy for the barber. It may also recline for washing hair. It typically has footrests as the height may be adjusted and raise the patron's feet off the floor. For children's barbershops, the chairs may come in fanciful shapes such as horses and cars to distract the children while their hair is cut.

A Barcelona chair is a proprietary chair designed in 1929 by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and widely copied since. It is characterized by leather upholstery, an angled seat and back without armrests, and X-shaped steel legs.

A barrel chair is a chair with a high round back like half a barrel. It is large and upholstered.

A bar stool is a tall, narrow stool designed for seating at a bar or counter.

A beach chair is a special chair designed to provide comfort and protection from sun, wind, rain, and sand on beaches frequented by tourists.

A bean bag chair can be composed of various materials including faux leather, cord, cotton or leather. While in the 80s they were filled with foam chips, they now use polystyrene bead. New styles of bean bags are always being developed - popular models today are bean bag chairs, sofas, poufs, teardrop, children's and even ones to suit your cat or dog.

A bench is a simple, often backless device, typically for more than one person to sit on. Benches often refer to simple, longer tables or similar longer flat surfaces to place things on or work on.

A Bergere is an upholstered chair, introduced in the Regence/Rococo period in France in the 17th century

A Brewster Chair is a style of upright, turned, wooden armchair made in the mid-17th century in New England. It was named after Pilgrim and colonial leader William Brewster of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

A Bubble Chair is designed by Eero Aarnio in 1968 in Finland. A modernist classic

A butterfly chair is composed of a single piece of fabric suspended from a light metal frame.

C

A cantilever chair has no back legs, relying for support on the tensile properties of the material from which it is made.

A captain's chair was originally a low-backed wooden armchair . Today it is often applied to adjustable individual seats in a car with arm rests.

A car chair, or, rather, a car seat, is a chair within an automobile in that either the pilot or passenger sits, customarily in the forward direction. Many car chairs are adorned in leather or synthetic material designed for comfort or relief from the noted stress of being seated. Variants include a toddler's or infant's carseat, which are often placed atop an existent chair and secured by way of extant seat belts or other such securant articles.

A Carver chair. very similar to a Brewster chair, and from the same region and period.

A chaise longue (French for "long chair") is a chair with a seat long enough to completely support its user's legs. In the U.S., it is often mistakenly referred to as a 'chaise lounge'. Similar, if not identical to a day bed, fainting couch, or récamier.

A club chair is a plush easy chair with a low back. The heavy sides form armrests that are usually as high as the back. The club chair evolved into its present-day form from the gentlemen's clubs that sprouted into existence in the fashionable urban areas of 1850s England.

A Cogswell chair was a brand of upholstered easy chairs. It has a sloping back and curved and ornamental front legs. The armrests are open underneath.

A corner chair was made to fit into a corner. It has a rectangular base with a high back on two adjacent sides. One sits with legs straddling a corner of the base. Some sources claim this design was to accommodate a man wearing a sword.

A Caquetoire also known as a conversation chair, used in the European Renaissance, was developed for woman because it was wider so women's fashions at the time could fit into it. You would notice this in the "U" shaped arms.

A curule chair was a folding cross-framed seat that developed hieratic significance in Republican Rome. The shape of its legs was revived in the Empire style.

A Chesterfield Chair is a low club style chair with a fully buttoned or tufted interior, typically made of leather such as this one

D

A Dante chair is a chair similar to the Savonarola chair with a more solid frame and a cushioned seat.

A deckchair is a chair with a fabric or vinyl back and seat that folds flat by a scissors action round a transversal axis. The fabric extends from the sitter's feet to head. It may have an extended seat that is meant to be used as a leg rest and may have armrests. It was originally designed for passenger lounging while aboard ocean liners or ships.

Dentist's chairs are deeply reclining chairs to allow the dentist easy access to the patient's mouth. The reclining position adjusts as well as the overall height of the chair. Associated with the chair are usually a variety of dental equipment, often including a small tap and sink for the patient to rinse his or her mouth.

A dining chair is a chair designed to be used at a dining table. Typically, dining chairs are part of a dining set, where the chairs and table feature similar or complementary designs.

A director's chair is a lightweight chair that folds side-to-side with a scissors action. The seat and back are made of canvas or a similar strong fabric which bears the user's full weight and can be folded; the frame is made of wood, or sometimes metal or plastic. The seat and scissors members work together to support and distribute the sitter's weight so that the seat is comfortably taut. The back is usually low and the chair usually has armrests. The stereotypical image of a movie director on location includes one of these chairs, hence the name. Victor Papanek describes this chair as an excellent design in his book Design for the Real World as it is simple and ideally suited to its function. The design goes back to coffer-makers' chairs of the 15th century and eventually to the Roman curule chair.

E

An easy chair is any large comfortable armchair. It is typically upholstered.

The Eames chair is a trademark for molded plywood chairs, contoured to fit the shape of a person.

An egg chair is a chair designed by Arne Jacobsen that resembles an egg or womb.

An electric chair is a device for capital punishment by electrocution. It is a high-backed chair with arms and restraints, and is usually made of oak.

F

A fauteuil is an open arm chair with considerable exposed wood, originating in 18th century France

A fiddleback chair is a wooden chair of the Empire period, usually with an uphostered seat, in which the splat resembles a violin.

A fighting chair is a chair on a boat used by anglers to catch large saltwater fish. The chair typically swivels and has a harness to keep the angler strapped in should the fish tug hard on the line.

A folding chair collapses in some way for easy storage and transport. Various folding chairs have their own names (e.g., deckchair, director's chair), but a chair described simply as a folding chair folds a rigid frame and seat around a transverse axis so that the seat becomes parallel to the back and the frame collapses with a scissors action. Some further collapse the feet up to the back. Folding chairs may be designed to stack on top of each other when folded and may come with special trolleys to move stacks of folded chairs.

A friendship bench is a special place in a school playground where a child can go when he or she wants someone to talk to.

G

Garden Egg chair designed by Peter Ghyczy is a modernist classic

A Glastonbury chair is a wooden folding chair

A glider offers the same motions as a rocking chair but without the dangers. A frame rests on the floor and the chair is supported by swing arms within the frame so that moving parts are less accessible. Also known as a platform rocker.

H

A high chair is a children's chair to raise them to the height of adults for feeding. They typically come with a detachable tray so that the child can sit apart from the main table. Booster chairs raise the height of children on regular chairs so they can eat at the main dining table. Some high chairs are clamped directly to the table and thus are more portable.

I

Plastic inflatable chairs are usually children's toys. Ikea briefly marketed them as serious furniture upholstered in fabric. Some are designed for use as floating lounge chairs in swimming pools.

J

A Jack and Jill chair is similar to the Adirondack chair, but consists of two of them joined in the middle by a table.

K

Kneeling chairs or knee-sit chairs are chairs that are meant to support someone kneeling. This is purportedly better for the back than sitting all day. The main seat is sloped forward at the about 30 degrees so that the person would normally slide off, but there is a knee rest to keep the person in place.

L

A ladderback chair is a wooden arm or side chair in which the horizontal elements of the back give the appearance of a ladder. They are typically described by the number of such elements; a 'five-back', a 'three-back'.

A Lambing chair, is a wood “box” form of winged arm chair rarely having upholstery. Storage under the seat is common as a drawer or compartment.

A lawn chair is usually a light, folding chair for outdoor use on soft surfaces. The left and right legs are joined along the ground into a single foot to make a broader contact area with the ground. Individual feet would otherwise dig into soft grass.

A LoveSac, is similar to a bean bag chair but is filled with shredded DuraFoam.

M

A mammy bench a 19th century American form, usually Windsor in design and on rockers, with a front rail to allow a swaddled infant, or sometimes a cradle, to be placed on one end without falling off.

A massage chair has electromechanical devices to massage the occupant. Another kind of massage chair is one used by a therapist on which the client sits in an inverted position with the back facing the massage therapist. There is a headrest like that of the common massage table for the face.

A Morris chair was a proprietary easy chair with adjustable back, cushions, and armrests.

A Muskoka chair is another name for an Adirondack chair.

N

A naughty chair or baby chair is not a particular type of chair, but any chair in which a child is made to sit as a punishment for naughty behaviour.

The No. 14 chair is the most famous bentwood sidechair originally made by the Thonet chair company of Germany in the 19th century, and widely copied and popular today.

A nursing chair is a low-seated partially-upholstered chair used in Victorian times, with emphasis on a woman breast-feeding an infant.

O

An office chair typically swivels, tilts, and rolls about on casters, or small wheels. It may be very plushly upholstered and in leather and thus characterized as an executive chair, or come with a low back and be called a steno chair. Office chairs often have a number of ergonomic adjustments: seat height, armrest height and width, and back reclining tension.

An ottoman is a thick cushion used as a seat or a low stool, or as a rest for the feet of a seated person.

P

A papasan chair is a large, rounded, bowl-shaped chair with an adjustable angle similar to that of a futon. The bowl rests in an upright frame made of sturdy wicker or wood.

A Planter's Chair is a type of wooden chair, with the stratchable arms to rest the legs.

A parsons chair is a type of curving wooden chair, named for the Parsons School of Design in Paris, where it was created. It is widely copied today.

A patio chair is any outdoor chair meant for use on a hard surface. (Contrast with lawn chairs.) They are designed so as to not collect water and dry quickly after rain.

A potty chair often abbreviated simply as "potty" is a training toilet for children. In pre-indoor plumbing times this was a chair beneath the seat of which a chamber pot was installed.

A pressback chair was a wooden chair of the Victorian period, usually of oak, into the crest rail and/or splat of which a pattern had been pressed with a steam press.

A pushchair or stroller is a chair with wheels, which usually folds, for transporting an infant. Some countries, including the U.S., use "stroller"; others, including the UK, "pushchair".

A Poofbag chair is similar to an over-sized bean-bag chair filled with urethane foam.

Q

R

A recliner is a chair with a reclining back. Most are armchairs and may come with a footrest that unfolds when the back is reclined.

A revolving chair is an older term for swivel chair.

A rocking chair, or rocker, typically is a wooden sidechair or armchair with legs mounted on curved rockers, so that the chair can sway back and forth. Sometimes the rocking chair is on springs or on a platform (a "platform rocker") to avoid crushing anything, particularly children's or pets' feet, that get under the rocker.

S

A Savonarola chair is a folding armchair dating from the Italian renaissance. Typically constructed of walnut, It is sometimes called an X-chair. The Savonarola chair was the first important folding armchair created during the Italian gothic renaissance period.

A sedan chair is an open or enclosed chair attached to twin poles for carrying. Using this form of transport, an occupant can be carried by two or more porters.

A Shaker rocker is one of several forms of rocking chair, including side chairs, made by the Shakers.

A shower chair is a chair which is not damaged by water, sometimes on wheels, used as a disability aid for using a shower.

A side chair is a chair with a seat and back but without armrests. It is often matched with a dining table or used as an occasional chair.

A sit-stand chair allows the person to lean against this device and be partially supported. It is better than standing all day.

A spinning chair is a chair that is commonly used with computers due its ability to move freely.

A Slumber chair is an easy chair manufactured by C. F. Streit Mfg. Co. in the first half of the 20th century that has a combination upholstered back and seat portion, the inclination of which is adjustable within a base frame. Later versions of this chair had a footstool with a removable top that could reveal a "slipper-compartment."

A sling chair is a suspended, free-swinging chair hanging from a ceiling.

Stacking chairs are designed to stack compactly on top of each other to minimise storage space required.

A steno chair is a simple office chair, usually without arms, meant for use by secretarial staff.

A stool is a chair without back and arm rests.

A sweetheart chair, as used in soda shops, is also known as a parlor chair and an ice cream chair (from use in ice cream parlors). The wire frame in the center of the back curls in a manner to suggest a heart design. However, the term "sweetheart chair" also has a more generic usage and refers to any chair with a heart-shaped design in the center of the back.

Swivel chairs swivel about a vertical axis. Commonly used in offices, they are often on casters as well.

A swing is a hanging device which allows the seated rider to swing back and forth.

T

A throne is a ceremonial chair for a monarch or similar dignitary of high rank.

A toilet chair is a disability aid attached to a normal toilet.

The Tulip chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1956. Considered a classic of industrial design.

U

V

A visitor's chair is any chair supplied mainly for the use of a visitor to an office.

A voyeuse chair is a chair designed for sitting astride back-to-front with the top of the back padded for the occupant to lean on.

W

A Watchman's chair is an unupholstered wooden chair with a forward slanted seat to prevent the watchman from falling asleep.

A Wassily Chair is a chair design by Marcel Breuer that is formed from steel tubing and leather.

A wheelchair is a chair on wheels for someone who cannot walk or has difficulty walking

A wheeled computer chair is a chair invented for use with a personal computer, invented by Nathan Zuidhof.

A wicker chair is a chair made of wicker and is thus ventilated and useful under hot or humid conditions. Likewise, a cane chair.

A Wiggle chair is a cardboard seating form designed by Frank Gehry in 1972.

A Windsor chair is a classic, informal chair usually constructed of wood turnings that form a high-spoked back, often topped by a shaped crest rail, outward-sloped legs, and stretchers that reinforce the legs. The seat is often saddled or sculpted for extra comfort, and some Windsors have shaped arms supported by short spindles.

A wing chair is an upholstered easy chair with large "wings" mounted to the armrests and enclosing the head or torso areas of the body. Such chairs originally were designed to provide comfortable protection from drafts. A variation is the Queen Anne wing chair.

The writing armchair is the most compact rendition of a school desk.

X

An X-chair is a chair with X-shaped frame.

Y

An Y-chair is a chair with Y-shaped frame.

Z

A Zaisu is a Japanese legless chair.

References

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