Eames Lounge Chair Replica Review: Manhattan Home Design Version

Eames Lounge Chair Replica Review: Manhattan Home Design Version

First off, I own an original authentic 2018 Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman from Herman Miller, which I use to compare replicas to. I am attempting to find a replica that comes within 90% of the original for an office renovation.

At my own cost, I purchased the Manhattan Home Design version (https://www.manhattanhomedesign.com/white-lounge-chair-and-ottoman/) of this chair to see how close a $1400+ replica could come to the original. They even state in their product description ?little to no discernible difference? from the original. Coupled with pretty solid online reviews, I figured they would be worth a try.

Image for postThe replica chair as depicted by ManhattanHomeDesign.com ? Manhattan Home Design

The chair arrived well-packed, however there were some oddities like a few rusty bolts, and the base was not polished well, so there was some staining/discoloration on the legs that could not be cleaned off. There was also some small discoloration on the ottoman?s cushion piping (not a big deal), and some extraneous glue present on the arm cushions (again, not that big a deal). Not a good start, but I could probably have the egregious parts replaced. Once assembled, the chair matches the overall dimensions of the original chair, however a couple of key differences were present:

1) the angle of the seat measured around 13 degrees (instead of the original 15)

2) the height of the back was about 1.5 inches too high, indicating the angle of the back also potentially being off, in addition to the seat angle ? this was the first visibly discernible difference. Compared to the original Eames the Manhattan Home Design replica was more upright.

These two discrepancies lead to the seating angle being too far forward, and not leaned back enough. You can literally sit up straight in this chair with minimal effort, which is harder to do comfortably in the original.

While the (standard, non-aniline) leather was of good quality, it is much stiffer than Herman Miller?s leather, which in itself is not a problem, but it does contribute to the stiffness of the cushions ? which are the real deal-breaker here.

The ?PU-Injected memory foam cushion? is very stiff compared to an original Eames cushion. There simply is no comparison, and it ruins the seating experience. Between the angle of the chair, and the stiffness of the cushions, this chair is not comparable to an original Eames at all. You are sitting too far forward on cushions that don?t have much ?give?, so you cannot sink into the back of the chair to combat the already-off seating angle. The net result is you have to slouch down in the seat to have a feel that resembles the original, but the cushions are still too stiff, so you literally feel each section of the chair along your back.

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If I were to rate an original Eames Chair as being a perfect 10/10 in all categories, the Manhattan Home Design version scores accordingly:

Look (ignoring the rusty bolts and unpolished base): 8/10

On first glance it really looks like the real thing, minus the back and seat angles being slightly off visually (and certainly off once you measure them). The main discernible difference in terms of an authentic look will be in the leg and stem hardware. This version has much thinner legs than the original, is of different material, and has different feet, etc. Anybody who knows the real Eames will easily spot this as a replica. The chair itself though is very very close, and you?d only know by the bolts, or if your eye could catch the seating/back angle being off.

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Comfort/Feel: 2/10

The cushions are nowhere near as soft as the original, and the difference is jarring. It?s simply not a comfortable chair. Perhaps with considerable break-in it could be, but there is also the angle issue. It in no way feels like the original Eames. It only begins to be comfortable when you slouch down in it, and even then *you feel the cushions pushing back on you*. No chair cushion should do that unless it is an intentionally stiff design, which the original Eames Chair is definitely not.

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Construction (again, minus the rust/stains): 9/10

The actual construction of the chair is really well built, and close to the original in that regard. The veneer is good, but the finishing on the veneer is rough to the touch in some spots. I have no doubt the hardware, wood, and leather would last a long time. The construction of the cushions (with the velcro, and tabs, etc.) is really good (reminder: construction is not comfort), and very serviceable.

If you count the rust and stains against them, then this is more of a 6.8/10 (the rusty bolts aren?t visible from normal positions, but the legs themselves obviously are).

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Summary:

If you want the feel of a real Eames Chair, do not buy the Manhattan Home Design version. If you want the look of a real Eames chair, this is a reasonable option.

Please understand this is my personal experience. Perhaps other buyers get luckier and somehow have softer cushions and correct seating angles, but if this is the case then you really should never buy anything from these guys without sitting in it first (they have a showroom in NYC I think).

As it stands, I?m returning the chair, which (so far) has been a nightmare process which I won?t discuss because it isn?t pertinent to the quality of the chair itself.

If you have had a good experience with these guys, do let me know. Perhaps my chair was a fluke. I will report my other experiences with replica chairs as they come up, for the good of the community.

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