We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Mamasan Chairs?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A mamasan chair is a wide, oval chair with a big cushion that is large enough for two people to sit on. It is also referred to as a double papasan chair, because it is the larger version of this type of bowl-shaped seating. The frame of a mamasan chair is usually made of rattan, wicker or bamboo, all of which have various benefits and colors. Most mamasan chairs' frames come with a cushion, and some even come with a matching ottoman, but both of these accessories can also be purchased separately. It is helpful to consider where a mamasan chair will go in the house before buying one, because the cushion and frame should match the décor of the room.

Many cushions meant for mamasan chairs are full of crushed poly fiber, which is typically made from recycled plastic. Thus, these types of chairs are usually considered environmentally friendly. The cushion's cover is often made of a combination of polyester and cotton, though chenille and microfiber may also be available. In addition, an all-weather cover is usually available so homeowners can lounge in the chair outside. In most cases, the cushion's cover cannot be thrown in the washing machine — it is often dry-clean only — though it is usually possible to spot-clean the cushion with a damp cloth.

Some mamasan chairs feature a bamboo frame, which is typically a light-colored material that provides a natural look. It is hollow inside, though, so it is not as strong as rattan, which is otherwise similar. Rattan frames tend to be more popular, because this type of vine is known for its strength and variety of colors. Some people prefer wicker furniture, which is woven out of rattan, bamboo or another material, providing a unique look. While the choice of frame is a personal preference, the highest quality mamasan chairs are typically made from rattan.

Mamasan chairs can be placed nearly anywhere in the home, even outdoors. Before buying a chair, however, consumers are advised to first take into consideration where they will place the chair, because both the frame and the cushion should match the rest of the room. Cushions often come in solid colors, but it is possible to buy covers that feature patterns. The sheer variety of cushion covers for mamasan chairs allows homeowners to either perfectly match their home's theme or frequently change the appearance of the chair. Homeowners should consider whether to get a matching ottoman for their chair, in which case they need to first make sure they have enough room for this comfortable combination.

Mamasan Chair Weight Limit

Homeowners who enjoy cuddling will delight in knowing that the mamasan chair can hold up to 500 pounds. That doubles the average weight limit of the papasan chair, which is only 250 pounds. Heavy individuals prefer the mamasan, as its design is more comfortable and can safely hold more weight.

Homeowners need to keep in mind that what materials are used and how the seat is manufactured are key factors in figuring out weight limits on a mamasan chair. Rattan and metal are the best options for weight-bearing and durability. While wood and bamboo are not bad choices either, they just do not hold as much and break easily with higher levels of pressure.

Mamasan chairs are some of the most comfortable seating options around. The cushion and snug feeling one will get from sitting in it cannot be beaten. While the chair does not have built-in lumbar support, pillows can be customized and personalized to the user's comfort level. Homeowners do need to consider that every manufacturer has different materials and quality of their products, so it does not hurt to check the product specifications for each chair's weight limit.

Difference Between Mamasan & Papasan Chair

Mamasan and papasan chairs are customarily built the same way, with the exception of size and shape. With the latter being smaller and designed for one, the former is bigger and more of an oval shape designed for two. Due to the shape and size of the frame of the mamasan, it is not as versatile as the papasan in terms of having a swivel base or rocking frame. Both chairs can be customized — from the materials of the base and cushion to the colors of the pillows. This allows the homeowner versatility and options for their home décor.

Since the papasan chair has a smaller base, it fits in tighter spaces and is easily moveable, which is perfect for a bedroom or dorm. Since the mamasan is larger, it does not have as much versatility in smaller areas. However, it looks great in an outdoor setting or bigger room such as a living room. The papasan chair can fit snuggly in a corner, while the oval shape of the mamasan makes it perfect to set against a wall or even in the middle of the room.

Why Is It Called a Mamasan Chair?

U.S. soldiers who were stationed in the Philippines during World War II had the honor of bestowing the terms papasan and mamasan to these furniture pieces. Soldiers brought them home to their families, making the chair's popularity skyrocket. Over time, the chairs were forgotten, and newer things came to be. They didn't make a reappearance until after the Vietnam War, when soldiers again brought the seats back into American homes.

While papasan is a Japanese honorific used for male elder or father and mamasan is for female elder or mother, the meaning is not the same when referencing these chairs. Papasan became slang for a pimp, and mamasan meant the madam of a brothel during the Vietnam War. These soldiers may have first encountered this type of chair in the country's red-light districts and thus dubbed them respectively.

While the origins of these chairs are not so lewd, they have been overshadowed by their newer history. Before the Americans brought this furniture home, the papasan chair was designed for the patriarch of the home, and families only had one per household. The Filipino people used this chair as a symbol of power in the home, which could also be why the soldiers dubbed it Papa-San.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for HomeQuestionsAnswered, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

Discussion Comments

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for HomeQuestionsAnswered, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
On this page
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.