October 15, 2016
[sg_popup id=”3″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]One of IKEA’s consistently most popular products, the POÄNG series recently celebrated its 40th year, and it doesn’t look a day over 30!
According to IKEA, the chair was designed by designers Noboru Nakamura and Lars Engman and was introduced in 1977. Originally named POEM, it was renamed to “POÄNG” in the 90s – presumably because “Poäng” sounds like “boing”? We can only wonder.
Since it was launched, more than 30 million units have been sold worldwide. You probably know someone who has the chair in their home, or have one yourself.
While the Poäng has become iconic in its own right, we can’t help but think that it’s cast a shadow over it’s predecessor, Alvar Aalto’s Lounge Chair 406 which features the very same curving wooden frame. The Lounge Chair 406 doesn’t have a cushioned seat, but a sturdy linen webbing instead. Oh, and lets not forget the mind-boggling price tag of US$1264, which is more than 10 times the price of a the Poäng, (US$79-129).
The Poäng armchair starts with the frame. The basic model is simply the curved wood veneer frame, currently available in the chair or rocking chair style. Over the past few years, variations on the armchair frame, such as the swivel chair (circa 2010) were offered too. The main differences you’ll notice are the cushion styles:
- Attached neck cushion (Alme, Ransta)
- Stand-Alone neck cushion (Dala, Korndal, Eslov, Karlsro, Såganäs, Tuna, Stenli, Vislanda)
- Detached neck cushion (Lockarp, Robust, Bas, Glose, Isunda, Finnsta, Simmarp)
- Quilted cushion (Edum, Seglora, Sandbacka)
(The list above is not exhaustive as new covers are introduced and discontinued frequently)
The Poäng cushion dimensions are pretty much all the same and are interchangeable on the frames for the chair, rocker and swivel.
In conjunction with the Poäng’s 40th year, IKEA released a special cushion featuring quilted upholstery, available in full grain leather or fabric. Also released were variations in the typical blonde birch veneer – frames in brown, white and black to match the rest of your furniture.
2) Footstool (known as the Ottoman in USA)
Similar to the chair, the Poäng footstool starts with the frame first, and the cushion top varies. As of 2016, there are 4 variants:
- Quilted (Edum, Sandbacka, Glose
- Curved cushion (Finnsta, Dala, Korndal, Eslov, Karlsro, Såganäs, Tuna, Lockarp, Robust, Bas)
- Box cushion (Isunda, Vislanda, Stenli, Simmarp)
- Flat cushion with piping (Ransta, Alme)
3) Children’s Armchair
The same as the armchair, just smaller! There’s only one cushion type for the children’s armchair, which is similar to what we’re referring to as the attached neck cushion, but a few cheerful options for fabric covers.
4) Lounger (limited edition, circa 2009-2010)
The Poäng lounger was another short-lived product from 2010. This style features the stand-alone neck cushion.
5) Chair with Plaited Webbing (limited edition, circa 2009-2010)
According to the Poäng buying guide from 2010, this style was available in natural, black and green. A matching footstool was also offered.
Side note: IKEA also offers a very similar chair called the PELLO. Unless you’re scrutinising both chairs side by side, it’s very difficult to differentiate the Pello, but the main difference is that the Pello’s arms are almost perpendicular to the backrest, whereas the Poäng’s curve upwards to meet the backrest.
Status: Covers still available from IKEA.
Slipcover: Custom Poäng slipcovers for certain cushion types are available at Comfort Works.
- Chair: 68 x 82 x 100 cm
- Footstool: 68 x 82 x 39cm
- Children’s armchair: 47 x 60 x 69cm
Aesthetics: 7/10. When polling other people, there seem to be mixed opinions. The bare frame, composed of layer-glued wood veneer seems to give the chair a harsh, bare bones overall look, compared to many traditional armchairs.
Comfort: 5/10. The cushion itself is passable, definitely not something you’d want to sink into considering that it’s just about 6cm of padding between you and the wooden frame.
Longevity: 9/10. There’s a reason why every Ikea store has one of those plexiglas boxes, proudly displaying a 10 year warranty on the chair undergoing a pneumatic “stress test”. The test is supposed to simulate a lifetime use of an “average” adult repeatedly sitting and getting up. While we’ve never heard of anyone breaking the Poäng, before, I’ll say that structurally it’ll have a great lifespan. Stylistically though, you’re likely to get bored of looking at it within a few years.
Price: 9/10. Prices start from US$79 for the chair with a basic cushion and go up to US$249 in the quilted leather cushions. The starting price is still pretty tempting though!
Average score: 7.5/10
If you’re looking to revitalise your old Poäng armchair with new slipcovers in a wide variety of fabrics, we make slipcovers that would fit the versions with the attached neck cushion and stand alone neck cushions only, as well ask the footstool. If you aren’t sure which version you have, contact us!
Image credits: IKEA and Aalto.com