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What Is a Hanging Chair?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 16, 2024
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A hanging chair is a type of chair with no legs that is instead mounted to a ceiling or support unit by a chain, rope, or other support. The chair is often freehanging, meaning it can swing or otherwise move freely. Indoor hanging chair models are often hung by a chain or rope that is attached to a hook. This hook must be secured to a stud or beam in the ceiling of the room to ensure the weight of the chair and anyone sitting in that chair can be supported without damaging the ceiling or the chair.

The designs of a hanging chair can vary significantly, as can the materials used to make the chair. Some outdoor hanging chair units are designed to hang from a tree branch or other solid support, so they often include ropes or webbing for this purpose. The chair itself is often made from a synthetic material that is durable and water-resistant or waterproof, and the chair is very often made to be packable for easy transport to more remote camping spots. Indoor hanging chair models and models made for patios or decks are usually heavier and larger than camp chairs.

Since a hanging chair requires a support above it in order to hang properly, many chairs come with a metal frame from which the chair can hang when there is no ceiling or support overhead. The chair can be mounted by a chain to the metal frame, which often features a stable base, an arm that reaches high enough to be above the chair itself, and a hook to which the ropes or chains can be secured. The vertical arm is usually bent to allow more space for freehanging, and the base usually extends below the chair for added stability.

Common materials used for construction of a hanging chair include wood, plastic, metal, and wicker. The material choice will have an impact on the aesthetics of the chair as well as the strength of the chair, though most materials are durable enough to support the weight of a fully grown adult in the chair. Many hanging chairs are egg-shaped and feature cushioning in the bottom for comfort. This shape lends itself to the common sitting position when a person is in the chair, though other shapes are available and are just as comfortable if designed correctly. It helps to test out the comfort of each chair before purchasing.

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