The history of the armchair: from a wooden chair to smart seating


We sit for most of our day. Adults spend on average 50 to 70 percent of their time sitting. We sit on sofas, chairs, benches, on the train, on the bicycle and at work. Comfort is very important to us and many people would like to find comfort in an armchair. But few people ever think about where the furniture actually comes from or how it has changed over the centuries.


Jörg Lehnen

Chairs and armchairs were the "seats" for powerful people for thousands of years. The first chairs were the royal, imperial and papal thrones. It was not until the 16th century that this symbol of power, the throne, became a chair for the dining room. In those days, however, it was only wealthy citizens who could afford this seating comfort. Until the 19th century, upholstered furniture was a way to show your guests that you were wealthy. But long before that, people were already thinking about how they could make seating more comfortable. As early as 1790, the American dentist Josiah Flagg added a movable headrest to a wooden chair to offer his patients more comfort during their appointments.

A lot has changed since then. Nowadays, adjustable or reclining armchairs with motorised back and foot sections are quite popular. OKIN knows exactly what is expected of modern, adjustable armchairs; that is why we offer many special functions that provide real added value for users and which complement our powerful drive technology.

Modern adjustable armchairs have an elegant design which leaves little space for the electrical components – so OKIN drives have a very compact construction. The Microdrive 3 features a small installation dimension of 105 mm plus stroke (+- 2 mm) along with a compression force of 4000 Newton. The armchair can be operated using our RF Topline high-end wireless hand-held transmitter. You can also control the adjustable armchair using your smartphone. The FurniMove app, with its intuitive user interface, offers a whole new way of controlling furniture. Users can save different positions and adjust for individual settings with just one click – this is the ultimate in comfort.