Buying Guides

Finding The Perfect Japanese Floor Chair

Japanese culture has a much different approach to sitting than European cultures. Unlike folks in Europe and the United States, people in Japan often sit on the floor when they eat and relax. Usually, they kneel, as is the custom in Japan. But on occasion, people will sit upright when kneeling becomes too painful.

For these occasions, Japanese designers developed chairs that sit flat on the floor. Many of these chairs resemble chairs that you’d find in the States or European countries. However, these chairs have no legs.

They come in a variety of different styles, but these chairs usually have no arms. This leaves room for the user to sit cross-legged. The seat of a Japanese chair is similar to a pillow, which provides a padded cushion for the user.

When to Use a Japanese Floor Chair

Japanese floor chairs are used in a number of different situations. Most often, they’re used to accompany short-legged tables, called Kotatsu tables. If you’d prefer to eat around a small coffee table instead of a traditional Western dining table, floor chairs give you some cushion to sit on.

They’re also great for small apartments because they’re space-efficient. The Japanese, of course, are the best at maximizing space. So, floor chairs are easy to pack up and hide in the closet when they’re not in use. Then, when you have guests over for dinner, you can take them out.

Or, if you have some extra room in your apartment, you may want to keep some floor chairs around simply because they look good. Furniture lovers everywhere dig them because of their slick, organic design.

The Best Japanese Tatami Chairs

One specific style of floor chair is called the “tatami”. The word comes from the Japanese verb, “tatamu” which means “to fold”. This makes sense, as the earliest tatami chairs were mats made from bamboo. These mats fold up like yoga mats and, thus, can be transported easily.

Traditionally, they were made from the same bamboo that was used to cover the floors of Japanese houses. The intention was to add a layer of cushion to the floor that made it more comfortable for sitting.

Today, tatami is used to refer to a number of different styles of chairs, not just mats (although many people still love tatami mats).

There are tatami chairs that have backs, much like a traditional Western chair, that fold up for easy storage.

Tatami materials have changed, too. While some are still made from bamboo, other modern tatami mats are made from wood, plastic, or woven linen. Below are three of our favorite tatami chairs.

Editor’s Choice for Best Tatami Chair on a Budget

Editor’s Choice for Best Tatami Chair 🌟

tatami chair, blue chair, floor chair

Plow & Hearth Multiangle Folding Chair Pad with $49.00

Comfortable and dark, this chair is an easy addition to your home and is easily folded and stored when not in use.

Tatami Chair, floor chair, Japanese furniture

Indigo Geisha Tatami Meditation Backrest Chair $150.00

Classical tatami design on this floor chair make it a functional and aesthetic addition to your home.

Editor’s Choice for Tatami Chair

Editor’s Choice for Tatami Chair 🌟

tatami chair, rosewood floor chair, wood floor chair

Veniall Japanese Legless Sitting Seat $240.00

Formal chair that will help with posture and also look great if you have a contemporary or traditional interior space. If you are looking for a traditional look, this is the perfect chair.

The Best Zaisu Japanese Floor Chairs

“Zaisu” is the term used to describe tatami chairs that have a back. Like other forms of tatami chairs, zaisu chairs in a wide variety of different styles. Some are thin. Others have quite a bit of cushion. Certain chairs are foldable while others are solid.

If you’re looking for the perfect zaisu chair, there are plenty of places to find it. AliExpress, for example, has a wide selection of chairs in different price ranges. They carry many individual seats as well as sets of 4, usually for less than $100. Below are 3 of our favorite zaisu chairs.

zaisu chair, tatami chair, padded floor chair

Bonvivo bonVIVO EASY II $45.00

Best Value Ziasu Chair

Best Value Ziasu Chair 🌟

padded floor chair, floor chair

Merax Folding Sofa Chair $33.00

Best Zaisu Chair

Best Zaisu Chair 🌟

padded floor chair, Zaisu chair, tatami chair

ZENDO Foldable Floor Chair $154.00

The Best Japanese Kneeling Chairs

Japanese kneeling chairs has become more and more popular in the west over the past few years. As we mentioned earlier, kneeling chairs are often used together with floor chairs in Japanese homes.

They’re not only elegantly beautiful like most Japanese design, but they also have immense benefits for the knees, spine, and other joints.

If you’re thinking about buying one for yourself, check out these amazing chairs.

japanese kneeling chair

Dharma Crafts Seiza Meditation Bench

This Japanese-style kneeling chair is about as simple as they come. Created from a deep-grained hardwood with expertly crafted joints, this chair has a sturdiness that’s built to last.

It comes in an unfinished wood color, so you can feel free to paint it if you’d like. You can also add a cushion if the hardness of the wood is uncomfortable on your backside.

japanese kneeling chair

Bluecony Ikuko Wooden Kneeling Chair

This Ikuko wooden bench from Bluecony is a traditional kneeling bench, with two elongated legs and a curved seat.

Designed with maximum ergonomics in mind, this chair could be great for anyone who has back problems due to sitting improperly. It’s perfect for eating, reading, working on a laptop or even playing games with the children.

Best Kneeling Chair

Best Kneeling Chair 🌟

japanese kneeling chair

Boss Kneeling Chair

This office-style kneeling chair is representative of an increasingly popular style of chair. Raised off the ground with an office chair mechanism, this one is complete with wheels for easy mobility.

Because it’s lifted off the ground, it’s better equipped for working at a desk, yet still allows for the comfortable, kneeling position of a traditional Japanese chair.

Best Floor Chairs

If you are intrigued by the Japanese design of tatami and zaisu chairs, but just want a western-style floor chair, look no further. These chairs can be used for gaming, reading, or basically doing anything a regular chair can. The only difference? They have no legs. See our 3 favorite below.

floor chair gaming chair

Ebern Designs Gaming Floor Chair

A zaisu-inspired recliner from Wayfair

This legless floor chair from Wayfair, for example, combines the simplicity of an Eastern chair with the luxurious comfort of an American recliner.

It’s called the “Gaming Floor Chair” because it’s the perfect recliner for anyone who loves spending a few hours in front of the TV.

Plus, it comes in a ton of great colors.

No matter what color your living room is, there’s sure to be a one that fits perfectly!

Editor’s Choice Best Legless Chair

Best Floor Chair 🌟

floor chair, legless chair

Lanren Floor Chair Portable Folding Chair

Perfect for your dorm room or man cave, this legless chair folds down in the tatami style so you can store it when not in use.

Best Gaming Chair

Best Gaming Chair 🌟

gaming chair, legless chair

Giantex Gaming Floor Chair $179.00

We had to include this massage floor chair in here. If you want to really relax when gaming, this is the perfect chair for you.