The Paulo Bent Ply Leather Chair by West Elm is an obvious take on the renowned Eames Lounge Chair at a fraction of the price. The Eames is known for its impeccable style and comfort across more than 60 years of quality & reliable construction. So how does the Paulo compare?

Well it certainly looks great. It’s easy to be attracted to the sleek design, the clean looking black leather and the curves of the bent plywood frame. Having a one piece back vs. the Eames 2 pieces does take away from that high design feel a bit, but it still has a similar vibe and would work well in any modern decor setting.

The Paulo is no Eames when it comes to comfort, but it’s no slouch either. It’s certainly comfy enough to hang out in, and the cushioning is nice and firm. The one big oddity is the arm rest placement. We couldn’t even figure out how a human would sit in the chair and use the armrests as they’re simply too forward. We’re not sure who designed this aspect but we doubt they ever sat in the chair to test it out, so as far as we’re concerned they’re just there for style and lack functionality which could have given this chair some bonus points in the comfort department and diminish the overall value.

The leather doesn’t seem to scratch too easily so worn in isn’t something this chair will do, and we think that suits it. The frame is sturdy and we’re not worried about the plywood peeling or buckling.

At $1,299 we almost like it, but the nonfunctional armrest issue really puts a dent in just how high of the value we think is fair for a chair in general. If you love the style we think it’s an ok deal when it’s on sale around $900-$1000, though there are plenty of truer Eames replicas in that price range such as this one from Manhattan Home Design which comes with a matching ottoman.

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Not sold on this product? Check out these similar products we’ve found!

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Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Herman Miller