Cocoon chairs, eggs chairs, hanging chairs – whatever you call them, the trend for suspended, partly-enclosed garden seating has taken off in the last few months. With most of us spending more time at home right now – and with spells of sunny weather keeping us in our gardens – they’re a must-have item.
But they can come with a hefty price tag, so you want to be sure it’s right for you before you invest. I bought a cocoon chair near the start of lockdown (this one!) after coveting one for ages, and it’s given me more joy than any other home purchase over the last few weeks and months.
Why I love my garden cocoon chair
While we’ve still been working (more than ever, in fact) during lockdown, we’ve also – of course – been home a lot more. This feels like the first summer that we’ve really spent time in our garden, which is a tad scruffy but slowly coming together. Until this buy, I didn’t have anywhere particularly comfy – certainly not cosy – to spend time out there. But a cocoon chair is perfect for curling up with a cup of coffee in the morning, breaking from work for 10 minutes with a book, or even whiling away an evening under the festoon lights. The gentle swinging is immensely peaceful. And if the weather’s not brilliant, you can simply pad them out with blankets and cushions, throw on a hoodie and snuggle up – I plan to use ours throughout crisp autumn days and well into winter mornings if we’re lucky enough for it to stay dry.
To help you decide if one of these are right for you, here’s a few questions I asked myself before I took the plunge…
How do cocoon chairs hang?
This depends which model you buy, but there are a few basic types. The cheapest are usually just chairs – or often more like hammocks – with some rope or chain attached to the top of the chair body. How it’s suspended is then up to you – you can buy an arm on its own (like this one), or hang it securely from a tough tree branch, a strong pergola beam or other strong fixing point.
The more expensive models are so because they usually come with an arced arm – this will also require more space as the arm has to counter balance the weight of the chair plus sitter, so it extends quite far above and beyond the seat itself. Some models (mine included) also come with a static stand if you don’t have space for the arm, or don’t want the seat to swing.
How do you wash hanging chair cushions?
First, make sure your cocoon chair is approved for outdoor use. If so, any upholstery should be rugged and shower-proof – mine has a tough canvas cover which zips on and off. It can be machine washed (but not tumble-dried). So far, I haven’t had to wash it – if it picks up marks I just give it a wipe down with a damp cloth.
Can egg chair cushions stay out in the rain?
Most can, yes. I’ve left mine out solidly since we bought it, and it’s had a good drench in that time! It hasn’t stained or got musty. We don’t have lots of storage or a good shed though – if you do, it would be worth bringing yours inside to keep it pristine. As it stands, I’ll likely bring ours in if we have a long run of bad weather in winter – then I’ll wash it before putting it back out for spring.
Of course, if you add to your chair with more cushions, blankets etc, you should keep these out of the rain unless they’re also specified for outdoor use.
Are hanging cocoon chairs difficult to assemble?
Mine wasn’t – it came in three parts: the chair body, the arm itself and the base. Some of the pieces are heavy (that counter-balancing again) so it’ll be a lot easier with two people. You’ll need some bolts to attach different parts, and check whether yours comes with a spanner or if you’ll need one for tightening.