Rocking chairs, or rockers, are chairs mounted on curved bands attached to the bottom of the legs. Earning the rocking name by allowing the user to move forwards and backwards along the two balanced rockers, rocking chairs naturally adjust to a person’s center of gravity and the body’s preferred ergonomic posture. Rocking chairs have long been associated with parenting and comfort because of their gentle and soothing motion that is similar to rocking a baby. Rocking chairs are commonly fabricated with carved, metal, or bentwood rockers and are available in both armed and armless variations. The design of rocking chairs has also influenced the design of bassinets and gliders.

Who invented the rocking chair?

Determining who invented the rocking chair is still debated today. Many credit Benjamin Franklin as inventing the rocking chair but these claims are often met with disagreement from historians citing that the chair was already existing and in use when Franklin was a child. Although Benjamin Franklin may not be the true inventor, America in general is considered as the origin of its invention.

How do you tell how old a rocking chair is?

The best approach in determining the relative age of a rocking chair, aside from looking at its style, is looking at its construction. There can be indicators of modern construction, such as screws and nuts, that place a rocking chair at less than 100 years old (or even less than 75 depending on the fastener). Older rocking chairs would have been glued together or fastened with wood joints. One can also analyze the material of the rocking chair itself as certain kinds were more prominent in certain decades, such as oak in the early 1900’s or rosewood in the late 1800’s.

How do you turn a chair into a rocking chair?

The first step is to purchase chair runners and make appropriate measurements to cut off the legs of the chair at the right height. Next, drill holes into the runners where the legs will attach and secure the legs to the runners with wood glue. If in need of extra assistance, conversion kits can often be bought to aid in this process.

Rocking Chairs

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Risom Rocker
Side elevation illustration of a man sitting in the Risom Rocker for scale

The Risom Rocker, with its nod to Danish design, is a highbacked, 9-buttoned tufted upholstered rocker with a wooden frame and arms. The Risom Rocker was designed by Jens Risom in 2009 when he invited Design Within Reach to collaborate on a comfortable, supportive rocking chair upholstered in a variety of fabrics.

The Risom Rocker has an overall height of 39” (99 cm), width of 29” (74 cm), and depth of 36” (91 cm). The seat height of the Risom Rocker is set at 18” (46 cm) with arms at 24.5” (62 cm).

Set of dimensioned plan and elevation drawings of the Risom Rocker measured for depth, width, and height
The Risom Rocker, with its nod to Danish design, is a highbacked, 9-buttoned tufted upholstered rocker with a wooden frame and arms. The Risom Rocker was designed by Jens Risom with Design Within Reach to collaborate on a comfortable, supportive rocking chair upholstered in a variety of fabrics.

The Risom Rocker has an overall height of 39” (99 cm), width of 29” (74 cm), and depth of 36” (91 cm). The seat height of the Risom Rocker is set at 18” (46 cm) with arms at 24.5” (62 cm).

Set of dimensioned plan and elevation drawings of the Risom Rocker measured for depth, width, and height
Risom Rocker
Height:
39” | 99 cm
Width:
29” | 74 cm
Length:
Depth:
36” | 91 cm
Seat Height
18” | 46 cm
Arm Height
24.5” | 62 cm
Weight:
Area:
Materials
Solid oak or walnut frame; plywood seat panel; seat cushion; fabric or leather upholstery
Designer
Jens Risom
Year
2009

Drawings include:
Risom Rocker front elevation, side, side (person), back, plan

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Eames Molded Plastic Rocker

The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is a solid, non-porous material, shell shaped chair designed to cocoon the user as they rock. Originally designed by Charles and Ray Eames and made out of metal to be entered as a prototype in MoMA’s low-cost furniture design competition, the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is now made out of recyclable polypropylene.

The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker has an overall height of 26.5” (67 cm), width of 25” (64 cm), and depth of 27.25” (69 cm). The seat height of the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is set at 13” (33 cm) with arms at a height of 23” (58 cm).

Set of dimensioned drawings of the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker labeled with heights, width, and depth in plan and elevation
The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is a solid, non-porous material, shell shaped chair designed to cocoon the user as they rock. Designed by Charles and Ray Eames as a prototype in MoMA’s low-cost furniture design competition, the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is now made out of recyclable polypropylene.

The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker has an overall height of 26.5” (67 cm), width of 25” (64 cm), and depth of 27.25” (69 cm). The seat height of the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker is set at 13” (33 cm) with arms at a height of 23” (58 cm).

Set of dimensioned drawings of the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker labeled with heights, width, and depth in plan and elevation
Eames Molded Plastic Rocker
Height:
26.5” | 67 cm
Width:
25” | 64 cm
Length:
Depth:
27.25” | 69 cm
Seat Height
13” | 33 cm
Arm Height
23” | 58 cm
Weight:
Area:
Materials
Injection-molded polypropylene shell; steel base; maple, walnut or white ash rockers
Designer
Charles & Ray Eames
Year
1948

Drawings include:
Eames Molded Plastic Rocker side elevation, front, back, plan

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Heritage Rocking Armchair

Based on the functionality, form, and practicality of aluminum naval chairs, the Heritage Rocking Chair is a durable, weather resistant, no-frills rocker. This low maintenance Heritage rocking chair was created through a partnership with the designer, Philippe Starck, and Emeco, a reputable maker of navy chairs, in 2001.

The Heritage Rocking Armchair has an overall height of 33” (84 cm), width of 22” (56 cm), and depth of 24” (61 cm). The seat height of the Heritage Rocking Armchair is set at 18” (46 cm) with arms at a height of 27.5” (70 cm).

Dimensioned elevation and plan drawings of the Heritage Rocking Armchair with heights, width and depth measurements
Based on the functionality, form, and practicality of aluminum naval chairs, the Heritage Rocking Chair is a durable, weather resistant, no-frills rocker. This low maintenance Heritage rocking chair was created through a partnership with the designer, Philippe Starck, and Emeco, in 2001

The Heritage Rocking Armchair has an overall height of 33” (84 cm), width of 22” (56 cm), and depth of 24” (61 cm). The seat height of the Heritage Rocking Armchair is set at 18” (46 cm) with arms at a height of 27.5” (70 cm).

Dimensioned elevation and plan drawings of the Heritage Rocking Armchair with heights, width and depth measurements
Heritage Rocking Armchair
Height:
33” | 84 cm
Width:
22” | 56 cm
Length:
Depth:
24” | 61 cm
Seat Height
18” | 46 cm
Arm Height
27.5” | 70 cm
Weight:
Area:
Materials
Aluminum
Designer
Philippe Starck
Year
2001

Drawings include:
Heritage Rocking Armchair side elevation, front, back, plan

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IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair

The IKEA Överallt rocking chair was designed in collaboration between IKEA and eight African designers based on the concept of furniture design that inspires lingering and mingling between users. The Överallt Rocking Chair is an oversized chair, made out of soft, woven materials and large enough to hold a user and a throw, for the ultimate comfortable rocking experience.

The IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair has an overall height of 33.5” (85 cm), width of 26.75” (68 cm), and depth of 35.5” (90 cm). The seat height of the IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair is set at 17.75” (45 cm).

Dimensioned elevation and plan drawings of the IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair with heights, width and depth measurements
The IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair was designed in collaboration between IKEA and eight African designers based on furniture that inspires lingering and mingling between users. The Överallt Rocking Chair is an oversized chair made of woven materials and large enough to hold a user and a throw.

The IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair has an overall height of 33.5” (85 cm), width of 26.75” (68 cm), and depth of 35.5” (90 cm). The seat height of the IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair is set at 17.75” (45 cm).

Dimensioned elevation and plan drawings of the IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair with heights, width and depth measurements
IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair
Height:
33.5” | 85 cm
Width:
26.75” | 68 cm
Length:
Depth:
35.5” | 90 cm
Seat Height
17.75” | 45 cm
Arm Height
Weight:
Area:
Materials
Steel frame; polyester plastic seat and back
Designer
Naeem Biviji & Bethan Rayner (IKEA)
Year
2019

Drawings include:
IKEA Överallt Rocking Chair side elevation, front, back, plan

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Nola Rocking Chair

The Nola Rocking Chair is an exemplar of midcentury modern design and comfort with its high upholstered back, solid armrests, and thick cushions. The Nola Rocking chair is a great addition to a nursery, living room, or den and will encourage anyone who uses it to relax and stay a while.

The Nola Rocking Chair has an overall height of 37.25” (95 cm), width of 26.125” (66 cm), and depth of 37.25” (95 cm). The seat height of the Nola Rocking Chair is set at 19.875” (50 cm) with arms at a height of 25.75” (65 cm).

Collection of elevation and plan drawings of the Nola Rocking Chair with heights, width, and depth dimensions
The Nola Rocking Chair is an exemplar of midcentury modern design and comfort with its high upholstered back, solid armrests, and thick cushions. The Nola Rocking chair is a great addition to a nursery, living room, or den and will encourage anyone who uses it to relax and stay a while.

The Nola Rocking Chair has an overall height of 37.25” (95 cm), width of 26.125” (66 cm), and depth of 37.25” (95 cm). The seat height of the Nola Rocking Chair is set at 19.875” (50 cm) with arms at a height of 25.75” (65 cm).

Collection of elevation and plan drawings of the Nola Rocking Chair with heights, width, and depth dimensions
Nola Rocking Chair
Height:
37.25” | 95 cm
Width:
26.125” | 66 cm
Length:
Depth:
37.25” | 95 cm
Seat Height
19.875” | 50 cm
Arm Height
25.75” | 65 cm
Weight:
Area:
Materials
Walnut base; MDF and plywood frame; upholstered polyester and foam seat
Designer
Mistana
Year

Drawings include:
Nola Rocking Chair side elevation, front, back, plan

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