Helpful Facts and Origins: What Is A Morris Chair?

What is a Morris chair, you ask? These are well-known for their detachable back, seat cushions, and padded armrests.

Morris chairs are mainly on the “easy” kind of retractable chair. With wood as the overall material for the structure, one may create their own Morris chair with very detailed plans.

To make the chair’s slanting mechanism, some may put hinges on the bottom part to adjust. Compared to modern recliners, Morris chairs do not need to have complex levers or buttons. These chairs have plenty of chair arm designs, from slant-arm, bow-arm, flat-arm, and cushion-arm.


History Of Morris Chair

William Morris adapted the Morris chair’s idea from a mid-1860s carpenter from England named Ephraim Colman’s chair version. From that idea, Morris and Co. produced chairs with a Victorian appearance, but not everyone liked the design.

Gustav Stickley, an admirer of William Morris, created his versions of Morris chairs in the early 1900s. His variations included well-known designs such as the flat arm, the bent arm, and the bow arm.

Carpenters greatly imitated Stickley’s designs in his days, and his brother Leopold created a chair that combined two elements from Stickley’s two plans. Gustav’s designs have subtle angles, which makes his chairs more appealing and refined. This detail makes his version of Morris chairs quite challenging to build.


Morris chair designs

One of the well-known designs of the Morris chair, created by William Price, was entirely built by craftsmen from a furniture shop outside of Philadelphia. His design required a considerate amount of knowledge and handwork of the cabinetmaker’s trade.

Price’s design had a different yet clever adjusting mechanism. The chair’s back met in the arms and backrest intersection instead of pivoting from one point. Instead of being fixed, the bottom seat rests on the chair frame, and when you pull it forward, it causes the back to recline.

Josef Hoffmann called his design the “Sitzmachine.” This plan is also the second well-known Morris chair variation. His design can be the perfect example that demonstrates how artisans can guide machinery into something beneficial.

The chair comprises machine-made parts produced to become decorative elements in his design. Hoffmann believed that people should not only use machines in making identical parts because they could also make decorative and functional parts.



Morris chairs are well-known for their comfortable backrest, which is also adjustable. The details in their construction adapt to any design vocabulary.

The cushioned chairs are a must in all variations of Morris chairs. Some remove these when taking pictures to give people like you a better angle and view of the designs of these chairs.


Benefits Of Having A Morris Chair


1. Eases motion

In general, recliner chairs have a high reputation for movement assistance to those who use it. The pivoting back gives you access to easier transition when sitting, laying down, or standing up. It can help you be comfortable while watching your favorite show or just an easier way to stand up when you want to go somewhere in your house.


2. No more back pains

People tend to have back pains even if they stay in a sitting position. The reason might be because you remain in a place that seems comfortable but strains your back. With Morris chairs, you may adjust the status of your backrest when you feel like your back starts to hurt.


3. Improves circulation

Sitting straight causes your blood to flow down to your legs and feet, making you feel dizzy when you stand up immediately. Morris chairs, just like a lot of reclining chairs, enable you to lay down with ease by slowly adjusting your backrest. Laying down gives your blood access to other parts of your body, making your circulation a lot better.


4. Relieves stress

Morris chairs give a sense of relaxation after a hard day’s work. As your body reclines, it makes your spine relaxed from all the bending that you did. Your legs are also supported while reclining, which relaxes your muscles and thus relieves stress throughout your body.


How Much Are Morris Chairs?

Morris chairs nowadays are mostly factory-made, which makes production much faster, but even if they are factory-made, they are still quite expensive. These chairs have no complex levers or buttons. You aren’t only paying for the comfortability and designs, but you are also paying for the materials used as these typically use wood as the overall frame.

Morris-style recliner chairs range from $500 to $700, depending on what wood they use and their designs. Some might be more expensive, especially when you think about having a custom-built chair. Overall, it is an excellent investment because you may pass this on to your family.



Today, woodworkers may have “building a Morris chair” a part of their bucket list, as these have very intricate designs and quite complex ways of building them. Now that you have a piece of common knowledge on what these are, you won’t have to ask other people “what is a morris chair” ever again.

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