Eero Saarinen designed the Womb Chair in 1946 after a brief meeting with Florence Knoll at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. According to history, she told him that she wanted a chair that she could just “sit in sideways or any other way I want,” because she said tired of the uncomfortable lounge chairs that everybody had in their homes back then.
Saarinen then proceeded to create the first version taking a modern’s womb as inspiration for the piece. He apparently also said that he felt not many people had been truly comfortable in their lives since they left their mother’s womb. Hence, the chair and its iconic name.
Suggested Item: Womb Chair Replica
Is the Womb chair truly as comfortable as they say?
The Womb chair is loved by a lot of people around the world and highly praised for the sense of safety that it can convey. Paired with an ottoman, you might even fall asleep on it and your back but probably not be as affected (though it is still not recommended).
If you search the internet for clues, you’ll find that most people agree that the comfort the chair gives is not only real but desirable. A quick Google search will reveal that it appears mostly on lots of forums where people are seeking comfortable chairs that don’t mess up their backs and posture.
Suggested Item: Womb Chair Ottoman
Reviews from known furniture sites agree that the chair is something almost otherworldly, though we might not know for sure until we sit on one. Personally, I trust that not that many people can be wrong at the same time, and also that the chair has proven comfortable for taller people as well (something that appears a lot in reviews), which is a common problem for lounge chairs in general (even the Eames!)
Can the Womb chair actually be uncomfortable for some people?
An even deeper internet search will also reveal some detractors of the Womb chair. One commenter from a famous architecture site wrote that the chair had a sitting structure that he did not enjoy. There are many reasons for this, but we could argue that the first one is that he wasn’t using the chair right.
Suggested Item: Womb Chair & Ottoman
But how could this be? Very simple, the Womb chair is designed (as Florence Knoll wanted it) for R&R, that is, Rest & Relaxation. You’re not supposed to sit upright or try to get work done or heavy reading and studying in a Womb chair. You’re supposed to stretch your legs, extend your back on it, and close your eyes.
So, when you look at the big picture, the Womb chair seems as comfortable as advertised. As an added note, if you’re considering it for your house remember buying a replica that fulfills all of the specifications of the original Saarinen design in order to enjoy its real comfort.