One of man’s essentials is his chair. He does much in this chair. He watches sports on his HDTV, he reads his Kindle, he browses Gear Patrol on his laptop, he reads books, he avoids annoying phone calls, he sips on his favorite beverage, he ponders, he thinks.
Stop relegating yourself to the tattered La-Z-Boy you inherited in college, as comfortable as it may be. Sure, you can reupholster it, but that won’t make it a leather bound throne of glorious manhood. I have a worn leather chair that I wouldn’t trade for anything except for one of the chairs below (possibly). It’s taken several years to fully break in, but now fits me like a two-season-worn baseball glove.
Below are ten chairs (thrones, armchairs, recliners, what have you), varying in price and subjective derriere satisfaction, but singular in function: to be a man’s home within a man’s home.
1. Malung Swivel Armchair (IKEA, $169)
Which Man: The man who wants to upgrade from the now ubiquitous POANG chair from IKEA. The Malung is a fantastic, if not a cost-effective upgrade. The seat adjusts as does the reclining angle and can be locked into any position. You’ll need to purchase the matching footstool for a perfect combo, but the Malung is also made of what IKEA calls “easy-care” leather (read: semi-fake). The best part of the Malung is it’s high back for head and neck comfort – something many forget about at the store when sit-testing. The low cost will keep your wallet just as comfortable.
2. Stressless Jazz (Plummers, $3495-$4495)
Which Man: A man who will accept nothing less than utter escape in his chair. Oh, and happens to live on the West Coast, as that’s the only place you’ll find Plummers. The man who buys the Stressless Jazz from Plummers wants contemporary design and he’ll get it with the Jazz (if not a paycheck burning receipt). The two piece construction is incredibly comfortable and though our in-store-only experience allowed for only one (or was it two?) hours of wheel time, it turned out have a high HQWITAN factor (how quickly will I take a nap), perhaps too much so.
3. Plaza Tufted Chair (Costco, $379)
Which Man: The man who wants warmth, without leather. The Plaza Tufted chair looks lifted directly from a Chicago 5 star hotel, but that’s not where you’ll find it. It’s available at Costco (online) and is debit card friendly. You’ll have to purchase the ottoman separately for $189 but it also serves as a spacious storage compartment for you organization fanatics. Best feature: the wide arms which make for good laptop support while you’re watching the latest episode of 30 Rock on Hulu while the game is on.
4. Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman (Design Within Reach, $3699-$4599)
Which Man: The post-modern man (read: the man who lives and breathes Mad Men). This man demands the paradigm to which all chairs are compared. Money is of no object – design, function, and utter satisfaction are. The Walnut & Black leather are the quintessential Eames Lounge Chair style, but it’s also available in a variety of combinations. Before you say “four f%*&ing thousand dollars!”, know that there are quality reproductions available for less than half the price, even if the quality isn’t up to par. Then again, this chair will outlast any style you decide to take on for your entire adult life.
5. Axis Chair (Crate & Barrel, $999)
Which Man: Axis is a near-1.5 width armchair for men who prefer a wider berth to their lounging. The simple design means the Axis will age well, and the microfiber is a great option for those men who never tick off the leather option when purchasing a car. The frame is bench made of kiln-dried hardwood and has a spring suspension beneath its cushion for lasting support. Crate & Barrel has also taken an extra measure by adding “downproof ticking” to give it more “ahhh” factor when you sit down. Two throw pillows are included (your significant other will be proud).
By the way, it’s also available in leather. Snap.
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6. Winston Chair (Pier 1 Imports, $399)
Which Man: For the man that doesn’t want to spend a lot, but does want to get a lot. I actually have an older Pier 1 leather chair that I purchased at a tremendous discount. It still ran nearly a grand, but it’s served me for five years, and I plan on being buried with (in) it. The Winston Armchair may not be of heirloom quality, but it’s stylish, surprisingly modern in design, and priced smartly enough for any man’s crib. It’s also made of bonded leather in an espresso dye – a good combination. More impressive when purchased in multiples of 2.
7. Manhattan Leather Armchair (Pottery Barn, $1399-$1995)
Which Man: The man who cares not where the chair comes from, but cares greatly that it be a chair amongst chairs. We’ve written about the Manhattan Armchair from Pottery Barn before here on Gear Patrol. The chair is worth a repeat spotlight. Yes, it’s from Pottery Barn, but before you relegate it to obsessive compulsive housewife territory, know that this chair is near peerless in its function. It’s a chair you’d be unashamed to have the Commander in Chief sit in, if he were visiting or simply to offer a friend you’ve invited over for a drink.
The Manhattan Armchair is designed after the furniture from 1930’s Manhattan nightclubs and translates to classic design. The full-grain leather is of the highest quality and available in a whiskey, espresso, or caramel dye for those that like their chair naturally aged. More adventurous men can choose Berry Red, Orange, Parsley, or Hazelnut, but Gear Patrol (I) does not endorse these pigments (or men that chose them).
8. Kensington Bi-Cast Leather Recliner (Target, $310)
Which Man: The value-conscious man. This very well-priced recliner is sleek, luxurious ,and widely available at Target. It’s constructed of faux-leather, but that’s what you’re going to get at this price point. The polyfoam padding is comfortable and, at this price, you can afford to pick up one for yourself and your guest(s). The Kensington will recline to three positions: talk to me, I’m relaxed, and leave me alone.
9. Drake Barrelback Chair (Restoration Hardware, $1495)
Which Man: For the man that flies first class for no other reason that he wants privacy… and free cocktails. The Drake Barrelback chair is modeled after traditional English fireside chairs and the curved back and deep wings will make for a degree of privacy found in few other chairs. The button-tufted seat cushion comes worn-in, and its rich leather hides modern kiln-dried hardwood construction. Pairs perfectly with a roaring hearth, chocolate Labrador retriever, and deep thought.
10. Ash Veneer Lounge Chair (Chairs 1000 ($595)
Which Man: For the man that listens to Coldplay. Sorry, had to say so. This chair, seemingly straight out of an ABC television show, is a fine example of how a lounge chair can take on modern design without sacrificing comfort. For under $600, this lounge chair features top grain leather, solid birch wood arms in ash veneer, and a modern design that works equally well in your den, living room, or home office.
There you have it. 10 recommendations for your next throne. Some of them pricey, some of them well-priced, some of them downright cheap. One might ask, “Why is there an absence of La-Z-Boys or beanbag chairs in this lineup?” To those men I have a simple retort… “Seriously?”
Know of a better chair? Make sure and leave us a comment or link below.