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Womb Chair
Iconic Designs

Womb Chair

About the Design

Shortly after Eero Saarinen (1910–61) joined 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 Academy of Art 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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Vintage Eero Saarinen Womb Chair in Distressed Velvet, 1970s
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A 20th century classic, here we have a stunning womb chair with a unique patterned velvet--a la 1970s. This form is as comfortable as it is visually stunning, rendering an oft-celebr...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel, Chrome

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

Pair of Knoll Eero Saarinen Womb Chairs and Ottomans Mid Century
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Ft Lauderdale, FL
Pair of Saarinen knoll womb chairs and ottomans mid-century design, manufactured c. 2000's. Upholstered in Uni-Form KT collection basket-weave fabric. Color: Ochre. Original 40" widt...
Category

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

Materials

Steel

Womb Chair & Ottoman by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Dallas, TX
A womb chair and ottoman designed by Eero Saarinen for Knoll upholstered in baroque fabric.
Category

Vintage 1960s Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric

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

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

Materials

Sheepskin

Forsyth Bespoke Eero Saarinen Womb Chair in Australian Sheepskin
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in SAINT LOUIS, MO
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 popular designs. This womb chair will be mad...
Category

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

Materials

Sheepskin

Forsyth Bespoke Eero Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman in Australian 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 upcycled womb chairs are some of our most p...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Sheepskin

Forsyth Bespoke Eero Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman in Patagonia Shearling
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 upcycled womb chairs are some of our most p...
Category

2010s 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

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

Forsyth 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 pop...
Category

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

Materials

Sheepskin

Forsyth 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 waiting f...
Category

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

Materials

Sheepskin

Pair Saarinen Womb Chairs for Knoll in Red with Chrome Frames, Ready to Use
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Kansas City, MO
Two matching Womb chairs designed by Eero Saarinen, manufactured by Knoll. Price is for each. Completely original, only five years old. The chrome looks like new and the fabric has n...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair in Loro Piana Alpaca Wool
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
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 Knoll Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen in COM
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in New York, NY
A vintage Womb chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll with chrome base. Offered in COM. USA, circa 2000-2010. Signed. Measures: Seat height 16.5 inches.
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

Pair of Two-Tone Womb Chairs with Ottomans by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, USA, 1955
By Eero Saarinen
Located in New York, NY
A pair of the Classic womb chairs designed by Eero Saarinen with matching ottomans upholstered in bouclé and faux fur. These are early examples stamped 1955 and 1954 respectively. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Metal

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman in Dedar Boucle
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in SAINT LOUIS, MO
Available now. Ready to ship.     “Eero Saarinen designed the groundbreaking Womb chair at Florence Knoll's request for ‘a chair that was like a basket full of pillows - somet...
Category

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

Materials

Chrome

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