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The Papasan Chair has been a popular feature in many people’s first apartment experience. It is a bowl-shaped chair with a cushion that has a distinct 1970s feel to it. Although it seemed to have enjoyed a renaissance in the late mid to late ’90s, it has been around for much longer. The chair goes by many names, including bucket chair, saucer chair, bowl chair, moon chair, and others. The origin of the term “papasan” combines the English word for father (“papa”) with the Japanese honorific suffix (“-san”) to mean male elder or father. Some experts speculate that the chair might have been associated with sex culture due to its interchangeability with the term “pimp” during that era. However, it’s still unclear why the soldiers chose to bestow such a name on a circular chair. Regardless, the circular chair’s history predates its many names, and it is a product of Asian-Pacific culture that potentially popped up sometime in the 20th century, albeit in a simpler form.

Welcome to Pier 1 Imports

It is believed that Pier 1 is responsible for the papasan chair’s popularity in the US outside of military circles. The company started selling the chair, as well as other items like beanbag chairs, love beads, and incense, in the early 1960s. While the papasan’s popularity grew in the 1970s, it still remains a classic today. You can visit Pier 1’s papasan page by typing “” into your browser.

Although the original papasan chair has evolved into smaller forms made of rattan without the tufted cushion, the rattan material and the chair’s womb-like shape still inspire daydreams of an island vacation. Brands like Bend Goods and Baxter are experimenting with metal finishes, cords, smaller pillows, and different shapes to revamp the papasan chair. Today’s papasan chairs are modern, earthy, and comfortable, with endless re-styling opportunities.

If you’re thinking of incorporating a papasan chair into your home, interior designer, Kaitlyn Barnard, recommends using it in an outdoor or indoor/outdoor space. The chair’s lightweight and unique design make it perfect for stargazing and connecting with nature.

Papasan Chairs FAQ

What is a Papasan chair?

A Papasan chair is a cushioned, bowl-shaped chair that has a 70s vibe. These chairs are often made of rattan and come with unique pillows. They are incredibly lightweight and are perfect for indoor/outdoor spaces.

Where did the Papasan come from?

It is believed that U.S military men brought back the Papasan chair as a gift for their wives from South Asia after the Vietnam war.

Are double Papasan chairs comfortable?

Yes, Papasan chairs can be made for two people and are very comfortable. They are often made of wicker, rattan, or wood and come with a big cushion.


1. What is a Papasan chair?

A Papasan chair is a type of chair that features a large, round cushion and a sturdy base. The cushion is typically made of soft materials such as cotton or microfiber, while the base is usually made of rattan or other durable materials. The chair was first popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and has since become a staple of many home decor styles.

2. Where did the Papasan chair originate?

The Papasan chair was originally created in Southeast Asia, specifically in the Philippines. It was inspired by traditional Filipino furniture designs and was often used for informal seating in family homes. The chair was later introduced to the United States in the 1950s and quickly gained popularity for its unique style and comfort.

3. Why did the Papasan chair become so popular?

There are a few reasons why the Papasan chair became so popular. For one, it offered a comfortable and stylish seating option for a relatively low cost. Additionally, its unique design made it a standout piece in many living rooms or bedrooms. Finally, the chair’s popularity was also driven by its appearance in pop culture, with many TV shows and movies featuring the chair in their sets.

4. Is the Papasan chair still popular today?

While the heyday of the Papasan chair may have been in the 1970s and 1980s, the chair is still a popular seating option today. Its unique design and comfortable cushion make it a great addition to many different home decor styles. Additionally, many modern versions of the chair feature updated fabrics and colors, making it a versatile piece for any home.

5. How can I incorporate a Papasan chair into my home decor?

There are a few different ways to incorporate a Papasan chair into your home decor. You can use it as a statement piece in your living room or bedroom, pairing it with other furniture that complements its unique design. Alternatively, you can use it as a cozy reading nook by adding a few pillows and a blanket. Finally, you can use it in an outdoor space, such as a patio or deck, for a comfortable and stylish seating option.

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