Are you on a quest for a truly comfortable lounge chair?

Are you on a quest for a truly comfortable lounge chair?

One that you can spend an evening in watching the TV without ending up with neck or backache; one that is not too hard or too doughy? It's a subjective business of course, but here are some chairs we think are a pleasure to sit in - and they're eco-friendly of course

By Kay Hill
Big Husk chair by Patricia Urquiola for B+B Italia, from Chaplins

The problem with a lot of chairs is that the backs are either too straight or too reclined and low, which don't make for the most relaxed position for watching TV or reading. The largely recyclable contemporary pillowy Big Husk chair by Patricia Urquiola for B+B Italia comes with a footstool and is perfect for a night in front of the box. 

It’s dark and cold outside, there are lots of comforting repeats on the telly, and you’re too full of mince pies to feel like moving. What do you need? The perfect lounge chair to cradle you in comfort while you disappear into the Sky Christmas channel. Here is a baker’s dozen plus one of the most eco-friendly on the market.
 
1. C1 Recliner by David Colwell at Sable & Ox
 
David Colwell started making eco-friendly furniture 30 years ago, long before the rest of the country had woken up to the issues. His aim was to create furniture that would move to suit the body and be made of the most sustainable materials available. His C1 Recliner is made from steam-bent ash, a process that uses young trees which are often thinned out and destroyed. The wood is used while green so it doesn’t have to be kiln dried since the steam-bending process seasons the wood at the same time, using much less energy. The upholstered pad, which is designed to be used on both sides and replaced when worn out is made from unbleached linen. The recliner has three positions so you're guaranteed to get comfortable, and it also folds flat should you want to clear the hearth for a game of Twister. C1 with foot stool around £1,500. Colwell also takes eco-friendly design commissions, contact him through Sable & Ox.
 
2. Husk armchair by Patricia Urquiola for B+B Italia
 
Urquiola had comfort and the environment in mind when working on this chair. Several versions are available, with standard, large or very large cushions, and a headrest for maximum snoozability. The whole chair swivels on its base and there’s even a footstool so you can put your feet up. B+B Italia wanted the chair to contain materials that could be recycled and components put together in a way that meant the materials could be easily disassembled. The moulded shell is made from Hirek resin, which has a large proportion of post-industrial waste plastic in it, and is also 100 per cent recyclable.The frame is steel, the legs are oak or lacquered wood, the padding is recyclable polyester and the cover comes in a huge range of choices, including wool felt, or naturally tanned leather. From £1,918, available at Chaplins.
C1 steam bent ash recliner and footstool by David Colwell, around £1,500 at www.sableandox.co.uk
Eco-friendly Coach chair by Jean-Marie Massoud for Saint Luc has a shell made from a flax composite material. www.saintluc.fr
Iconic Eames' Lounge chair and ottoman by Vitra is 65 per cent recyclable and uses 24 per cent recycled materials. www.vitra.com
The Bert chair by Higgs & Crick has a walnut frame hand-made in Cornwall and Bute wool upholstery. Around £3,500
Sumptous one and a half person Rosetti chair, made in UK by The Odd Chair Company, from £2,400. www.theoddchaircompany.com
The beautifully made George high-backed wing chair by Whitehead Designs of Long Eaton. www.whiteheaddesigns.com
3. Coach chair by Jean-Marie Massaud for Saint Luc
 
Most mid-century furniture with this kind of Eames' influenced curved shell was made from fibreglass, a material that doesn’t biodegrade and is difficult to recycle. But the new Coach lounge chair and foot stool by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud for French company Saint Luc has a bodyshell made from a bio-resin reinforced with filaments of Normandy-grown flax, giving it the same strengths as plastic reinforced with glass fibres but none of the drawbacks. The fully biodegradable shell was developed by a French automotive engineer who found that the bio alternative used just a tenth of the energy in its manufacture than fibreglass. The base is made from recyclable stainless steel and walnut wood and the upholstery is in materials made from natural fibres including flax. Price on application
 
4. Eames Lounge Chair from Vitra
 
Widely deemed to be one of the most comfortable pieces of seating ever made, the Eames Lounge chair and footstool from Vitra is, alas, too expensive for most of us at around £6,000 for the two. So start saving, or keep your eyes peeled for second-hand ones which do come up from time to time on Ebay or in vintage furniture shops. Chairs are made in the EU and use 24 per cent recycled materials and are 65 per cent recyclable - but the odds of anyone fortunate enough to own one taking it to the recycling centre are nil. Available at design stores including Vitra, Heal's and Conran Shop.
 
5. Bert chair Higgs & Crick
 
With a backrest made at the perfect angle for relaxing while watching TV, the Bert chair from newcomer luxury brand Higgs & Crick is definitely worth buying if you can fund it. Unveiled at this year's 100% Design show in London, it's ergonomically designed to be incredibly comfortable, with a back that's not too high nor too low, and not too upright or too slanted. And Deco editor Abby Trow has sampled it and vouches enthusiastically for its credentials. Bert is made to order by expert craftspeople: the walnut frame is hand-made in Cornwall and the upholstery is made in Dorset. Choose Bute wool fabric for a sumptuous eco comfort. Bert chair around £3,500. higgsandcrick.com. 
 
6. Rosetti chair by The Odd Chair Company
 
A wonderfully sumptous one and a half seater, the best-selling Rosetti by UK manufacturer The Odd Chair Company is made from sustainable wood, horse hair, coconut fibre and feather and down filling..no nasty polyeurethene foams in this. It can be made in dimensions to suit the user, so taller people can request a higher back for example, and customers can choose their fabric. It's great for snuggling up with a child or for sprawling in as you watch a film. From £2,400.
 
7. George chair by Whitehead Designs
 
The traditional wing chair design never goes out of date simply because it is so comfortable to sit in - especially if you decide to have 40 winks after dinner, when your head can loll comfortably against the wing. The George chair is made in Long Eaton in Notts by family-run Whitehead Designs using traditional upholstery skills, and its frame has a 25-year guarantee so you can bargain on it having a long lifespan. Even when it does start to wear out, the company offers a recover and/or rebuild service to bring it back to its former glory. So it could, in theory, take you from your Telly Tubby watching days right through to Last of the Summer Wine. Frames are made from sustainably-sourced beech and oak, stuffing is bio-degradable duck feather and down, and as customers can choose their own fabrics you can specify a sustainable textile such as wool, linen or hemp. George chair from £1,180 plus fabric. whiteheaddesigns.com
 
If you're on a budget, consider the fair trade J armchair by Trunk is made from reclaimed teak from Indonesia. Linen covered seat pads. www.trunkhome.co.uk
Vintage '60s Danish high backed lounge chair from London's Chase & Sorensen. £595, www.chaseandsorensen.com
Parker Knoll Statesman chair upcycled by Jay & Co, formerly Out Of The Dark, £600. www.jayand.co
Sink into this cocooning Odeon leather chair from Leather Chairs of Bath
Big Hug recyclable beanbag from Big Hug, £145. www.bighug.co.uk
8. Vintage Danish lounge chairs from Chase & Sorensen 
 
Perhaps the most eco-friendly decision is to buy second-hand, a choice that requires zero use of new resources. But you don’t have to scour the small ads or the deepest recesses of Ebay to find a piece that has real design style – Chase & Sorensen has done the work for you. The company specialises in original Scandinavian modern furniture from the 1940s to the '70s, which it sources directly from Denmark and sells from its two East London stores and via its website. You'll find a good selection of comfortable armchairs, including this gorgeous 1960s' Danish high-backed lounge chair, upholstered in black leather and with legs in polished steel, £595Chase & Sorensen
 
9. Upcycled Parker Knoll chair by Jay & Co (formerly Out Of The Dark)
 
Jay & Co is based in Wolverhampton and is run by Jay Blades. It's a social enterprise that trains young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to recycle, restore and revamp to very high standards salvaged furniture - the added boon being that unwanted furniture becomes hugely desirable again and doesn't end up in landfill. Product obviously changes frequently but you'll find on the charity’s website has a good stock of pieces with a nice '50s-'70s vibe - including this now smartly funky Parker Knoll Statesman Chair which was reupholstered with fabric donated by a local tailor. Vintage G-Plan furniture is also available. Parker Knoll chair £600. Jayand.co
 
10. Odeon chair from Leather Chairs of Bath
 
With a name like the Odeon, you just know this chair is going to be sumptuously comfortable to watch your favourite movies in. It has a great mid-century shape, reminiscent of the old cinema seats, while supporting the shoulders for extra relaxation. Each chair is hand-made, deep coiled spings set in sustainable beech wood frames, while the leather is dyed in the UK using only vegetable dyes. £1,795.
 
11. J Armchair from Trunk 
 
Trunk believes that good design, ethical business practices and reasonable prices should be part of the same package. The firm has a series of small workshops in rural villages in Indonesia and India where fair wages go directly into the local community, rather than gathering people to work large factories. Most of its furniture is made from reclaimed teak, which was commonly used for house building in Indonesia but becomes a waste product when buildings are demolished. Lots of smaller bits of teak are left after Trunk's tables and wardrobes have been built, so it came up with a comfortable armchair designed specifically to find a use for those smaller offcuts. The result is the J Armchair which has modern Scandinavian styling. The upholstery fabric is sustainable natural linen, although unfortunately cushions pads are foam - however as each piece is made to order there is always room to request a more eco material such as feather/down or latex (although these would make the product more expensive).
J Armchair, £385. www.trunkhome.co.uk
 
12. Big Hug beanbag
 
Environmentally-friendly and beanbag are not words you tend to see together, but as few things are more comfortable to throw yourself into for an evening of TV viewing (albeit getting out of them in a gainly fashion isn't always easy..) thankfully one company has put the two concepts together. Big Hug is a beanbag with a conscience – big enough to sprawl on like a feather bed or sit in as an armchair – its polystyrene beads are made in the UK from 100 per cent recycled materials, blown into beads using harmless pentane gas that doesn’t damage the ozone layer. The beads are also capable of being recycled again at the end of the beanbag’s life. The inner fabric is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles, while the outer fabric is made from a synthetic fabric containing 35 per cent content PET recycled bottles. The final bonus is that the whole Big Hug is completely recyclable, with the guarantee that when you are finished with one the company will collect and recycle it for you. Big Hug, £145.
 
 
T-Shirt chair by Maria Westerberg from www.e-side.co.uk is made from up cycled fabrics
Pacifica wing chair by Los Angeles-based Environment Furniture. www.environmentfurniture.com
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13. T-Shirt chair by Maria Westerberg at e-side
 
Not a squidgy chair you sink into, but the back has the right incline to make this a chair to relax on if you like to lie low with your feet out. And the award-winning T-Shirt chair is super eco as it comprises a thin recyclable powder-coated steel frame that is padded with fabric cast-offs - which could be old T shirts or curtains. The chair won a Green Furniture Award for its unusual and very comfortable design. Westerberg's original prototype used the T-shirts of 40 friends woven through the metal frame, but now it's in production by manufacturer Green Furniture Sweden which recycles the colourful fabric left-overs from sofa production. Alternatively, you can buy just the frame and use your own cast-off clothes to make the upholstery. Upholstered T-shirt chair £850, frame only £370, bespoke in colour you choose £1,200.
 
14. Pacifica wing chair from Environment Furniture
 
It may not be quite as profound as beating your swords into ploughshares, but there’s surely something deeply satisfying about turning old army tents into comfortable chairs. Los Angeles-based Environment Furniture’s Pacifica wing chair by Aldo Cibic is a stylish modern version of the old classic, with an elongated back to give you plenty of support if your eyelids start to droop during American Pickers. The recycled tent canvas is of course the toughest and most hard-wearing fabric you could imagine, and it comes in army green and various dark neutrals, but an equally eco-friendly alternative is the natural linen upholstery shown, or it can be specified in leather. The wooden parts are made from certified sustainable Alder wood. The company also produces a matching sofa and foot stool. POA.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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