A Cuddle Chair Walks a Very Fine Line
A good cuddle chair, in order for it to meet the demans of today’s busy and sophisticated cuddle-monkey, must thread the needle of comfort and support without falling into a regresssively infantile or escapist cocoon. This is a tightrope act that only a few furniture makers can pull off, much less well. The risk, when ascending to the highest levels of comfort, is losing your bearings in the clouds and finding yourself lost in the realm of the convalescent. And while there is much that comfy furniture can do to soothe us as we mend, a good cuddle chair is more of an alma mater than a claustrum – that is, to fit this bill, a good cuddly chair must be comfy without being a trap.
Which means the cuddle chair both offers respite from and yet continues to live squarely in the jungle. And so both bends and abides by the laws of order and meaning. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m about lay down the Fluff Daddy’s hierarchy of cuddly criteria. A chair must abide by these qualities in order to be considered a worthy seat in which to situate the bottoms of me and my boo. It seems only right after all, when walking the tightrope of cozy furniture styling, that there be a rulebook to find our way by (if the idea of needing direction when walking a wire troubles you, let me assure you I’m a bit bothered by that too. But no time for quibbling with semantics – we’ve got chairs to litigate!). Where was I…
First and foremost in this holy hierarchy of coziness, a cuddle chair must provide a wide-enough seating area to accomodate two (or more) bodies. This isn’t a tall order in itself, and you can find many chair styles to fit the bill – the chair and a half, by way of example, or the double chaise lounge. And lest I neglect the obvious, the fluff daddy chair is the ne plus ultra of cuddle chairs, if you want my highly biased opinion.
Now! (I’m using that “now” to pause while I push my glasses back up my nose as they’ve slid down in my didactic excitement) Second in the hierarchy of traits that makes or breaks a chair into or out of cuddle territory, it must be covered in a material that is dense and luxurious without passing into the cloying or clinging. There are, these days, so many fabrics and furs to choose from it’s no trouble at all to find one to hold us so softly and just right. But no matter how soft the skin, the chair’s build musn’t be too bony.
A cuddle chair should be soft, but not too soft
In respect to angles and cushions, it’s necessary that there be armrests – in cuddling there’s often the risk of falling off of one side or another if there’s not support on at least three sides. But! These armrests, in order to accomodate the many-splendored cuddling styles we humans are known for, it’s essential that these armrests be sufficiently cushioned that there are no hard edges to cramp styles or cut off circulation to waywardly extended limbs. In the case of the chair to the right, while the angle from seat to armrest is sharp, the cushioning is ample enough to make this dog hunt.
This brings me to the next important cuddle chair criterium: no acute angles! Cuddle chairs often have a round or curved shape to create a cozy and inviting environment, and this means transitions from the horizontal of the seat cusion and the vertical of the armrests and the back can’t be to abrupt. Make those angles easy on the bodies seeking comfort on and in them please thank you. One thing that may complicate this rules is if your cuddle chair happens to recline.
Can a cuddle chair recline?
Setting aside the question of whether a reclining cuddle chair stumbles over the edge of cuddly into the realm of the overly indulgent for a moment, let’s consider the reclining cuddler below. Note the narrowness of the seat. Note too the sharlpy angled armrests. Note lastly the apparent dearth of subcutaneous cushion that might undo some of that angularity. Alas, here is an example of a failure. This chair don’t cuddle.
Cuddle chairs are furniture for people who like to relax together. It’s intimate seating for people who enjoy closeness while reading, watching tv, talking, or just quietly being.
It’s important to note here, as a last word, that the one thing that makes a cuddle chair work is if the bodies inhabiting it know how to share. This small word is no small thing, and many of us would rather take a shortcut to tyranny or submission before trying to undertake the endlessly complex negotiation involved in speaking our needs and recognizing the difference of our partners’. Which makes a cuddle chair a bit of a paradox, in that we look to cuddles for comfort, but will often find that it requires the most strenuous effort. Good thing it’s so worth it ❤️