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Womb Chair
Iconic Designs

Womb Chair

About the Design

Shortly after Eero Saarinen (1910–61) joined Cranbrook Academy of Art alum Florence Knoll at the manufacturer she had established with her husband, Hans, she presented the Finnish-born designer with a serious request: to create for her the world’s most comfortable chair, something, Saarinen recalls, that felt like “a basket full of pillows.”


Presented with the challenge, Saarinen went primal. What, the designer figured, better signifies the very essence of comfort than the womb? "It was designed on the theory that a great number of people have never really felt comfortable and secure since they left the womb,” the designer said of his chair, which began production in 1948. “The chair is an attempt to rectify this maladjustment in our civilization.” 


The Womb chair, like many other masterpieces of modernist design, is genius in its simplicity. Comprised of few materials, the chair consists of a fabric-wrapped, molded fiberglass bucket set atop legs of tubular steel. The skeletal look of the frame keeps the chair from appearing bulky despite the seat’s oversized silhouette, which makes it inviting to people of all sizes.


"There seemed to be a need for a large and really comfortable chair to take the place of the old overstuffed chair,” Saarinen once said of his concept. Indeed, despite being indisputably comfortable, the Womb doesn’t require an abundance of padding and tufting — instead, its comfort owes to a perfectly shaped shell of fiberglass. This new approach to ergonomics both reflected Saarinen’s love of streamlined forms and echoed the kind of experimental work being done by American designers Charles and Ray Eames, who, like Florence Knoll, were friends he'd made at Cranbrook while he taught there.


It didn’t take long for the chair to become a cultural phenomenon; in the decade following its release, it appeared in a Coca-Cola commercial, a New Yorker cartoon and in a Norman Rockwell painting on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Today, Knoll offers the seat in some 15 upholstery options, and when Saarinen’s famous TWA terminal reopened as a hotel in 2019, Womb chairs featured prominently in the guest rooms, continuing the legacy of this classic design. 


Womb Chair

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Vitra Miniatures Womb Chair and Ottoman by Eero Saarinen, 1948
By Eero Saarinen, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
These items are only available in the United States. The Womb Chair is regarded as one of the icons of postwar American Modernism. Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1946 and manufactur...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Models and Miniatures

Materials

Steel

Eero Saarinen Original Midcentury Womb Chair and Ottoman Foot Stool for Knoll
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Studio City, CA
Iconic and Classic. This sculpturally designed, original Womb chair and accompanying ottoman is by famed Finnish/ American designer Eero Saarinen and produced by Knoll. The chair and...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Upholstery

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman, New Alpaca Fabric, Knoll, USA, 1950s-1960s
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in London, GB
Eero Saarinen womb chair and ottoman, made by Knoll, USA, 1950s-1960s. Early production with black enameled steel frame. Newly and expertly reupholstered in Alpaca. Fast shipping...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Eero Saarinen, Early "Womb" Chair, 1950s
By Eero Saarinen
Located in New York, NY
Early "Womb" chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll Associates, circa 1950s Original orange wool is in excellent condition, seat and back cushions have been reupholstered in Maharam dark ...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Iron

Iconic Mid-Century Modern Knoll Womb Chair and Ottoman
By Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll
Located in San Antonio, TX
Iconic Mid-Century Modern Knoll womb chair and ottoman. Fully refurbished and reupholstered in a feisty Bernard Velluti red velvet with back and seat cushions in a Carlucci black vel...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Bespoke Eero Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman in California Sheepskin
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in SAINT LOUIS, MO
A favourite of the Forsyth design team! We have an incredible collection of vintage chairs and design icons waiting for a new life. Our upcylced womb chairs are some of our most p...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Sheepskin

Mid-Century Modern Womb Chair and Ottoman by Eero Saarinen for Knoll in Leather
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
A nice early 1950s womb chair and ottoman designed by Eero Saarinen and produced by Knoll. The chair was redone in dark cognac colored leather in the early 2000s. Black frame origina...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll in Original Knoll Fabric, 1970s
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Santa Fe, NM
An original womb chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll in original Knoll blue or green wool, 1970s.
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Early Womb Chair Designed for Eero Saarinen
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Stamford, CT
A early production womb chair designed by Eero Saarinen. Produced by Knoll starting in 1946 this model was produced in 1952. It retains its original label. Newly reupholstered.
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Steel

Bespoke Eero Saarinen Womb Chair Without Ottoman in California Sheepskin
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in SAINT LOUIS, MO
Note: The listing is for womb chair only, no ottoman included. A favourite of the Forsyth design team! We have an incredible collection of vintage chairs and design icons waiti...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Sheepskin

Pair of Womb Chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Eero Saarinen for Knoll, 'Womb Chair', fabric, metal, United States, design 1946-1948. This shelled, cushioned armchair is designed between 1946 and 1948 by Eero Saarinen. The cha...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

"Womb" Chair and Ottoman by Eero Saarinen
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Mid-Century Modern Classic chair designed by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. Includes matching ottoman. Great form and design newly recovered in naugahyde. (Please confirm item location - ...
Category

Vintage 1960s Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Fabric

Womb Chair and Ottoman by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Boston, MA
Designed by Eero Saarinen for Knoll in 1948, the Womb Chair places a comfortable foam-covered fiberglass shell into a chromed steel rod frame. This Classic womb chair and its matchin...
Category

Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Eero Saarinen Knoll Womb Chair in Knoll Cato Wool Fabric
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Miami, FL
Eero Saarinen Knoll womb chair in original fabric Offered for sale is an early example of the "Womb" chair designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948 at the request of Florence Knoll. This...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Club Chairs

Materials

Metal

Knoll Medium Womb Chair in Orange Cato
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Berkeley, CA
Eero Saarinen for Knoll Medium Womb chair foam covered molded fiberglass upholstered in Knoll CATO orange wool on polished chrome legs.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric

Womb Chair with Footstool by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, 1959
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Berlin, Berlin
An early model womb chair, designed by Eero Saarinen and produced by Knoll International. The chair has been restored and newly upholstered. Super comfortable!
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Metal

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair in Loro Piana Alpaca Wool
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in SAINT LOUIS, MO
“Eero Saarinen designed the groundbreaking womb chair at Florence Knoll's request for ‘a chair that was like a basket full of pillows - something she could really curl up in.’ This m...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Wool, Alpaca

Vintage Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in New York, NY
A Womb chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll in Haze fabric in Persimmon, a red/orange, with chrome base. USA, circa 1990-2000. Signed. Measures: Seat height 16.5 inches.
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

Pair of Knoll Womb Chairs Designed by Eero Saarinen
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Dallas, TX
Very clean pair of womb chairs designed by Eero Saarinen and produced by Knoll. Retains paper label to underside. $3400 each. Original grey upholstery.
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Nickel

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair with Original Upholstery and Steel Frame
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Miami, FL
Eero Saarinen Womb Chair with Original Upholstery and Steel Frame Offered for sale is an early example of the "Womb" chair designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948 at the request of Floren...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Club Chairs

Materials

Steel

Early Production Eero Saarinen for Knoll Womb Chair with Ottoman
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Ferndale, MI
Eero Saarinen for Knoll. Shell has been re-foamed and correctly upholstered in period syle Maharam Kvadrat wool textile. Black frame powder coated new glides have been added. Measur...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Wrought Iron

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair with Ottoman by Knoll in Knoll Dynamic Fabric
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Berlin, DE
Newly upholstered Knoll womb chair in Knoll dynamic fabric, 1960s production.
Category

Vintage 1940s German Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal