Types of Inflatable Chairs

Inflatable furniture is a great alternative to more expensive options. Why spend a bunch of money on expensive furniture, when you can accomplish the same thing with an inflatable chair or couch? There are several types of inflatable chairs out there.

While many of us may think of inflatable mattresses and pool furniture, there are actually several different variations to choose from. Let's look at the different types of inflatable furniture and where this concept came from.

An Overview of Inflatable Chairs

Inflatable chairs are convenient pieces of furniture that can be instantly inflated with air to have a place to sit or relax on. They are formed from a material that has an airtight seal. They can be used indoors or outside.

Many people have used inflatable chairs in the pool because of their ability to support the user and float on the surface of the water. Others use this type of furniture when they are camping or going out for a day at the beach.

The best part about inflatable furniture is the price. These are cheaper alternatives to standard furniture, and quite comfortable as well. They also have a lot of versatility and come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

Let’s take a look at the different types of inflatable chairs out there.

The Types of Inflatable Chairs

With flexible materials and air, you can form furniture into just about any shape to suit your needs. This ability to mold itself into any shape is what makes air furniture so amazing. Let’s take a look at the different types you will encounter:

Inflatable Loungers

Inflatable loungers are excellent for outdoor use. They can be placed in a carrying bag and deployed at a moment’s notice. You can sit up or lean back, but in either case, you’ll have a comfortable place to sit on.

An image of a blue Mockins Inflatable Lounger. One of the types of inflatable chairs

Many people use them for hanging out at the beach, enjoying the outdoors while camping, or setting them up on grassy fields for outdoor concerts. The best inflatable loungers offer fast inflation without a pump.

Usually made from the same types of materials used in parachutes, these chairs can stay inflated for hours on end. Some of them even feature cup holders!

Multi-functional Chairs

The best kinds of furniture are the ones that accomplish multiple tasks for you. This is where multi-functional inflatable chairs enter the playing field. These chairs can fold into a standard sitting space, complete with armrests and a cup holder.

If you need to lay down, the cushions fold out to create a padded space and a headrest for you. This kind of versatility is unique only to these inflatable chairs. The only other kind of furniture that can be a chair or a bed is a fold out couch, and those are not as light as this inflatable alternative.

An image of Bestway Multi-Max Inflatable Chair in blue color
An image of Intex Inflatable Recliner in blue and white color

Inflatable Recliners

A recliner usually conjures up thoughts of a relaxed posture and a comfortable footrest. Inflatable recliners offer both of these things. A padded seat with a long backrest combines with a separate footrest.

It’s everything you love about recliners, condensed into a portable and inflatable piece of furniture. You’ll find variations of this model that have an attached footrest or others that have a detached ottoman.

Pool Furniture

These are the types of inflatable chairs that most people recognize. An extended and reclined backrest combines with an extended leg area that allows you to relax and lay back. Armrests come standard, complete with cup holders as well.

This is the classic pool furniture we know and love. There are a variety of designs, but many of them still include the relaxed backrest and cup holder for your afternoon cocktail.

An image of Intex Pool Lounge in blue color

Inflatable Sofas

An image of Big Blo 2 Inflatable Sofa in white color

While a chair only offers space for one person, inflatable sofas can accommodate two people without issue. They also make great beds for guests who come to stay for the night. They feature plenty of space and include a high backrest.

This type of inflatable furniture comfortably seats two adults and offers cup holders as well. With a reinforced bottom, you can also rest easy knowing it won’t pop on you.

Where Did Inflatable Chairs Come From?

The concept of inflatable chairs actually goes back a lot further than you would expect. There are photos of people using inflatable chairs going back as far as 1956. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that inflatable chairs came to the mainstream.

This was due to designs from a man named Quasar Khanh who took photos of his furniture in 1968. Two years later, his furniture was displayed at the MoMA in New York City. It was even featured in the Louvre as well.

Inflatable chairs that resembled bean bags were big during the late 60s. They came in a variety of bright colors, which appealed to the groovy fashion styles of the time. In 1969 another designer by the name of Gaetano Pesce created an entire line of furniture.

An image of a person using inflatable chair dated 1956

He designed the chair from vacuum-packed foam. When you took the chair out of the box, the vacuum would pull air into the chair and inflate it for you. Inflatable furniture soon made its way into popular culture as well, gracing the covers of albums.

The popularity of inflatable furniture continued to the 90's. There were even sets that included a chair, table, and ottoman—all made of plastic and were fully inflatable. Today, we still see inflatable furniture in outdoor settings and pools.

Air-Filled Furniture

The types of inflatable chairs out there serve a lot of different purposes. They can be used as a comfortable place to sit on, a spot to lounge out on the pool, or even a moment of comfort when you’re out camping.

While indoor types of inflatable furniture may not be as prevalent as they once were in the 60's and 90's, it’s still a cheap and fun way to add some sitting or sleeping space to your home or office. 

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  • Chair Institute
  • April 26, 2018
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