Kotatsu Question: please recommend floor chairs
September 24, 2014 10:57 AM   Subscribe

I need some floor chairs for a kotatsu. I've never used one before so I don't know what to look for. What is a good price for a floor chair that will last about 3 years? Are there particularly "ergonomic" floor chairs?
posted by rebent to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: note: I'm really hoping for first-hand experience, not "This website says this is an ergonomic chair" answers. Cheers!
posted by rebent at 10:57 AM on September 24, 2014

Is it valid to question your premise that you need floor chairs at all? I've always just used zabuton (large flat cushions) with kotatsu. If sitting for an extended period, I might lean up against a wall (not terribly ergonomic, I get that). The best and highest use of a kotatsu is to lie on your stomach with most of your body under the thing, watching tv and napping, in my opinion.
posted by chocotaco at 11:06 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

As long as the floor chair has adjustable positions you'll be OK with whatever you find, but my kotatsu experience always followed a similar progression:
1. Sitting cross-legged
2. Sitting with my feet straight out, propping myself up with my hands
3. Leaning against something (sofa, wall, other person)
4. Lying down, possibly propping myself up with my elbows to see what is on tv.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:18 PM on September 24, 2014

I usually just sit cross-legged on a zabuton. The only people in Japan I have seen using a "floor chair" are older folks, although I guess they are used at banquets or at onsen hotels or whatever.
posted by Nevin at 12:30 PM on September 24, 2014

I also like to lean up against the wall.
posted by Nevin at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2014

The "floor chair" I used with my kotatsu was a simple, cheap, padded one, similar to a meditation chair. It had been around for several years when I inherited it, so I assume most will last for at least that long. Googling around for similar chairs lead me to several in this style that are in the $100-$130 range.

If you're planning on using it often or for long periods of time, I'd go for padded on the back as well as the seat. I only used the chair for eating, studying, and working on the computer at my kotatsu, not watching television or playing video games, so I didn't bother with a reclining chair.
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2014

Search floor chair at smile.amazon.com and then sort by average customer reviews. You can read reviews from actual users (going to the smile site allows you choose a charity to which amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price).
posted by harrietthespy at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2014

Apologies if this is deeply the wrong thing to suggest, but I'm a floor-sitter and when I want a back rest somewhere non-wallish I'm a huge fan of Crazy Creek chairs. Very adjustable, you can sit cross-legged or legs-out or legs-bent while you lean back and rock in a rocking-chair-like way... For me it seems adjustable to be exactly comfortable how I want it at any given moment. Basic model starts around USD50, but there are wider/taller models and various other modifications that might appeal. Also they are very packable. Also good for swinging small children around in. Also insulates your butt from coldness and dampness. Also they last um a very long time.
posted by you must supply a verb at 2:27 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I was a child in Japan we had a kotatsu-well I thought it was a kotatsu- but it was an actual pit in the floor. A small pit in the very bottom held the charcoal and one's feet rested on a wooden shelf that ran around the perimeter of the hole 6 or 12 inches above the coals. The table and blanket went over the whole thing and people sat pretty much upright on zabutons. A tatami mat fit in to cover it when not in use.

Oh, here, like this! That's what you need.

I'm sorry, really, that I'm not being helpful. . I just never knew that you could do it without the pit.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:16 PM on September 24, 2014

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