What is the Difference Between Papasan and Mamasan Chairs?

Jeff Quiñz
5 minute read

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Papasan and Mamasan chairs are both popular for their unique design and comfort. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences that cater to various needs and preferences. This article will explore these differences in detail, helping you decide which chair is the best fit for your home.

What is a Papasan Chair?

A Papasan chair, often referred to as a bowl chair, moon chair, or saucer chair, is a single-seater chair with a round, bowl-shaped cushion that sits atop a rattan or wicker frame. The design is characterized by its deep, circular seat and a short, wide cylindrical base.

This chair is designed to cradle the user in comfort, allowing them to sink into the thick, soft cushion. The Papasan chair became widely popular in the 1970s and remains a trendy piece of furniture due to its timeless appeal and comfort​.

What is a Mamasan Chair?

A Mamasan chair, sometimes called a double Papasan chair, is essentially a larger version of the Papasan chair designed to seat two people. It features an oblong, wider seating area with a similar rattan or wicker frame. The cushion is also larger, providing ample space for two people to sit comfortably.

Like the Papasan, the Mamasan offers a deep, cushioned seating experience but with added room for shared use. This chair is perfect for couples or for those who enjoy a bit more space while lounging.

Key Differences Between Papasan and Mamasan Chairs

Seating Capacity

The most significant difference between the two chairs is their seating capacity. The Papasan chair is designed for one person, offering a cozy and intimate seating experience. In contrast, the Mamasan chair can accommodate two people, making it ideal for couples or small families.

The larger size of the Mamasan also allows for more versatile use, such as as a small sofa alternative in compact living spaces.

Dimensions and Weight Support

Papasan chairs typically measure between 35 and 45 inches in diameter, making them suitable for one person. The weight limit for a standard Papasan chair is around 200–300 pounds, depending on the materials used.

On the other hand, Mamasan chairs are significantly larger, with dimensions ranging from 48 by 62 inches to 58 by 78 inches. They are designed to support more weight, usually up to 500 pounds, due to their larger and more robust frame.

Design and Aesthetics

Both chairs feature a rattan or wicker frame, but the shape of the seating area is what sets them apart. The Papasan chair has a round, bowl-shaped seat, while the Mamasan chair boasts an elongated, oval shape. This difference in design not only affects the seating capacity but also the visual impact each chair has in a room.

The Papasan’s round design makes it a great focal point, while the Mamasan’s oblong shape can complement longer furniture pieces like sofas or side tables.

Comfort and Versatility

Both chairs are known for their comfort, thanks to the thick, plush cushions that they come with. The deep, bowl-like design of the Papasan allows users to curl up and relax, providing excellent back and neck support.

The Mamasan offers similar comfort but with added space, making it perfect for lounging with a partner or spreading out with a book and a blanket. Additionally, both chairs can be used in various settings, from living rooms and bedrooms to outdoor patios and sunrooms.

Stability and Ease of Use

Papasan chairs are known for their stability issues. While the frame provides excellent support when positioned correctly, leaning too far to one side can cause the chair to tip. This issue is somewhat mitigated by the Mamasan due to its larger size and wider base. However, both chairs can be tricky to get out of, especially for those whose feet do not touch the ground when seated. Users often have to push off from the frame, which can destabilize the chair if not done carefully.

Which Chair is Right for you?

Choosing between a papasan and a mamasan chair depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a cozy, single-seater chair that offers excellent comfort and style, the Papasan is a great choice. It is perfect for small spaces and adds a unique touch to any room. On the other hand, if you need more seating capacity and prefer a chair that can accommodate two people, the Mamasan is the way to go. Its larger size and robust frame make it ideal for couples or anyone who enjoys extra lounging space. The Mamasan also serves well as a small sofa alternative, making it a versatile addition to your furniture collection.


Both Papasan and Mamasan chairs offer unique benefits and are beloved for their comfort and distinctive design. Whether you choose the intimate and cozy Papasan or the spacious and versatile Mamasan, you can’t go wrong with these iconic pieces of furniture. Consider your space, seating needs, and personal style to make the best choice for your home.

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