Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

Everyone, no matter how adult you are, enjoys some good rocking out. To music? Sure, that’s great too. But I’m actually talking about some solid rocking chair action here. Go to a few airports (with the count rising) and you’ll notice the popularity of many a traveler easing into a big, wooden rocking chair. In our Top Ten list this week we look at the best rocking chairs on the market that speak to your modern request for style, quality sourcing, and sustainability.

1. Chesapeake Rocking Chair
PRICE: $349
Dimensions: 24″W x 32″D x 42″H (14.5”SH)

Although the Chesapeake Rocking Chair’s silhouette is not exactly modern – inspired by the simple style of blues jamming, story-telling sites that might be seen on wrap-around porches in the south – there is a certain charm about it. Take for instance the environmentally responsible, long-lasting eucalyptus wood sourced with FSC-certification and a teak oil stain finish. Top it off with a headrest and seat cushion perfect for outdoor use and you’ve got a clandestine place to relax as if you haven’t a care in the world.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

2. Eames Molded Plastic Rocking Chair
DESIGNER: Charles and Ray Eames
PRICE: $479
Dimensions: 24.5″W x 27.25″D x 26.5″H (13″SH)

What would this list be without the WWII-developed, mid-century modernist rocker known as the Eames Molded Plastic Rocking Chair? Even if your grandmother’s heirloom rocking chair sticks out more from your childhood, this 1948 redesign of the conventional lullaby station by Charles and Ray Eames has proved itself as more than just a single-piece molded seat with chrome legs and solid maple rockers, it was the beginning of a movement.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

3. Hudson Aluminum Rocking Chair
DESIGNER: Philippe Starck
PRICE: $730- 805
Dimensions: 31.5”H x 16.8”W x 23.5”D (18.8”SH)

Named after Ian Schrager’s Hudson Hotel in New York, the Hudson Aluminum Rocking Chair was created by Philippe Starck for Emeco. Shortly after it’s silver structure took the stage in 2000 it found the spotlight as a top 100 design from the Chicago Athenaeum and was also the recipient of the prestigious “Good Design Award”. Now it can also be found in the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art and in the homes of a many a contemporary rocking chair fan.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

4. Pastil Chair
DESIGNER: Eero Aarnio
PRICE: $2381
Dimensions: 36.6″dia x 20.5″H

Featured as a 3rings post that Jenny Rector wrote about a year ago now, the sphere-shaped rocking chair known as the Pastil Chair hasn’t lost steam since its 1967 prototype demanded its place in modern design. In fact, Finnish designer Eero Aarnio received the American Industrial Award for his use of plastic in the ergonomic and buoyant seat (not kidding, this pod actually floats like an inner tube!). Apparently, everyone found his use of materials and design ingenious. In the New York Times – Rector reflects in her write-up – the Pastil and Aarnio’s previous Ball Chair design were said to be “the most comfortable forms to hold up the human body.”

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

5. Flip Modern Rocking Chair
DESIGNER: Dondoli & Pocci
PRICE: $940
Dimensions: 35”D x 30”W x 35”H (25″SH)

Dondoli & Pocci decked out brilliant shades of solid polyethylene and bent them into a rocking armchair made for Bonaldo. Not the first funky addition to your child’s playroom we hope, but perhaps an unexpected addition to your studio or outdoor patio as the modern interpretation of a rocker can fit both inside and out. Opt for your Flip in white, orange, yellow, plum, or dark blue, knowing that all of Bonaldo’s goods are produced in Italy according to the highest of quality standards.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

6. Edo Rocker
DESIGNER: David Moser
PRICE: $2,700
Dimensions: 35″H x 24″D x 37″D

Pushing the traditional, Thos. Moser limits into the Edo Rocker was made possible by designer (and son of Tom) David Moser. After recently becoming a father for the very first time, he realized there was little luxury placed on a rocker that was both comfortable and unique. It was this thought that sparked the expansion of the Edo collection, making this Edo Rocking Chair what he calls an “entirely authentic, contemporary interpretation of the classic wooden rocking chair designed to fit in most any living environment.”

Davis Moser's Edo Rocker for Thos. Moser, Danish Modern

7. Leather Dream Rocker and Ottoman
MANUFACTURER: Pottery Barn Kids
PRICE: $499 – 1,399
Dimensions: 39”D × 33”W × 36″H (chair);  22”D × 22”W × 16.5″H (ottoman)

To get the best of both the soft leather armchair and wooden rocking chair motion, the Dream Rocker with matching ottoman has you covered. In a classic, curved silhouette, the Italian leather upholstery finished on your choice of thick alder runners or a swivel glider makes for effortless rocking. To add to the Dream Rocker’s ability to last, the kiln-dried alder frame is corner braced, double doweled, and padded with foam-wrapped cushions for the support you’ve, well, dreamed of.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

8. Windsorrondack Rocking Chair
DESIGNER: Brad Reed Nelson and Garner Lee Britt
MANUFACTURER: Board by Design
PRICE: $3100- 3600
Dimensions: 34″H x 40″L x 18″W

The Windsorrondack Rocking Chair is a skillful collaboration between designers Brad Reed Nelson and Garner Lee Britt that can be used indoors and outdoors. Made out of North Carolina walnut and powder-coated steel in multiple colors, the chair is a product of their Carbondale, Colorado studio that was founded by Nelson back in 2002. As their website states, “The Windsorrondack presents a twist on tradition and looks toward a new standard. Contemporary materials interpret the chair’s classic lines and add a surprising flash of color.”

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

9. Stingray
DESIGNER: Thomas Pedersen
PRICE: $2,435
Dimensions: 33.5″W x 43.3″D x 28.3″H

The rocking chair StingRay was my graduation project from Aarhus School of Architecture,” says designer Thomas Pedersen of his chair by Fredericia that was honored with the Bo Bedre Danish magazine’s Contemporary Classic of the Year 2009 award and a Red Dot Award in 2008. It is a “beautiful organic form, rough on the outside, still smooth and protective on the inside.” Choose between vacuum-suctioned black or white plastic material, veneer made from oak, walnut or makassar, or go as far as upholstering the veneer’s interior for a softer landing.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

10. Host Chair Rocker
MANUFACTURER: George Nakashima Woodworker, S.A.
PRICE: $4000
Dimensions: 21.5”D x 16”W x 38”H (15”SH)

The Host Chair Rocker comes in an American Black Walnut or Cherry wood, with a glued seat. It is backed with hand-shaved hickory spindles and is made as a larger version of the New Chair complete as the most comfortable rocking chair they offer. George Nakashima’s story and name alone are staples in lessons of perseverance and woodworking around the world that have been passed down and kept alive by his daughter Mira as she continues to drive the Nakashima legacy forward, giving us a natural way to finish our list of modern rocking chairs.

Top Ten: Modern Rocking Chairs

Hope you enjoyed our roundup of the Top Ten list of Modern Rocking Chairs!

Top Ten articles publish every Tuesday. Email if there’s a category you’d like to see.

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