Last updated: 16/10/2022

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The shell chair is a modern and comfortable piece of seating furniture. The seat has the shape of a shell and therefore quickly becomes an eye-catcher. The shell chair offers many colour combinations and features such as armrests and upholstery. It also offers a wide variety of materials such as imitation leather, plastic and eucalyptus wood. The large selection can make the purchase decision more difficult.

With our large shell chair test 2023 we want to help you find the right shell chair for your home. We have compared the types and materials of shell chairs and found the most suitable places to make your purchase decision easier.


  • The shell chair is a modern and aesthetic piece of seating furniture, whereby the seat has the shape of a shell.
  • The piece of furniture offers many different materials and features, such as plastic with armrests. Therefore, the shell chair is not only suitable for the dining room, but also outside for the garden.
  • The price of a shell chair can vary greatly. The factors of which materials were used and which features the shell chair has play a major role.

The Best Shell Chair: Our Picks

Shell chairs: buying and evaluation criteria

Here we list the most important criteria you should consider when buying a shell chair. This should help you to find a shell chair that suits your needs. The most important criteria for a shell chair include:

In the next paragraphs we will explain what you need to consider in the criteria mentioned.


A shell chair can be made of many different materials. Shell chairs offer a wide variety of materials. This means that there is something for every taste. Often the shells are made of plastic and the chair legs of wood.

Weatherproof plastic is suitable for outdoor chairs. Leather is suitable for the dining room.

Plastic shell chairs look simple and have a timeless design. They are very suitable for outdoor seating, such as on the terrace or in the garden. High-quality plastic is UV and weather resistant.

Chair legs made of eucalyptus wood or metal, for example, are very stable and will last for many years.

Leather is also a popular material for shell chairs. It is durable and easy to care for. Leather shell chairs are well suited for the dining room. They look elegant and are very comfortable. Besides other materials, leather is also much more robust.

It turns out that different materials are suitable for different places. So when buying, you need to consider whether you want to buy shell chairs for indoors or outdoors.


Shell chairs also offer many variations of colours. Besides the usual colours like black, white and grey, there are also special colours like anthracite and cognac. These colours offer a modern style for your home.

For leather shell chairs, the colours black, brown and white are good choices. A shell chair made of plastic offers even greater variety. There are also many chairs available in blue, green, orange and many other bright colours.

Plastic shell chairs offer a wider range of colours. If you want to have a colourful interior, this material is recommended.

When choosing a colour, you must also consider the décor of your home. If you want to add important accents with your shell chairs, you have to choose the right colour. If you want to bring more colour into your room, colourful shell chairs are a good choice.


The dimensions of the shell chair must also be taken into account. Before buying the chairs, you should first measure the dimensions of your home.

Before buying, make sure that the seat height matches the table. Measure your table and the chair with a tape measure.

If the seat height of the shell chair is too high for the table, you will sit in a bent position. If the seat height is too low, your arms will be in an uncomfortable position.

Also, if the shell chair has an armrest, you may not be able to slide the chair under the table.

You also need to measure the distance between the table and the wall. If the distance is too small for the shell chair you want, it will be difficult to get up from the chair.

Shell chairs: frequently asked questions and answers

When buying a shell chair, customers often ask themselves the same questions. We have presented and answered the most frequently asked questions in this section.

What is a shell chair?

A shell chair is a piece of seating furniture that is loved and bought by many. It consists of a base, a seat and a backrest. The name “shell chair” comes from the fact that the seat and backrest have the shape of a shell.

The appearance of a shell chair is very aesthetic and modern. It is available in many different materials and colour combinations. It is a compact and comfortable chair that you can place anywhere.


The shell chair is very comfortable with its shell-shaped seat. The combination with a white plastic seat is a popular choice.
(Image source: unsplash / Kara Eads)

The shell chair is suitable for many places in the house. A shell chair made of plastic is suitable for your own garden, while shell chairs made of leather are a popular choice for the dining room.

What types of shell chairs are there?

When buying a shell chair, you will come across different varieties. In the following overview, we describe the characteristics of the types of shell chairs.

Type Description
Shell chair with upholstery Upholstered shell chairs provide a comfortable seat because the upholstery softens the chairs. The upholstery is made of a wide variety of textiles or leather. The chair offers a good seating option that can be used in the home.
Shell chair without upholstery The shell of a shell chair is usually made of plastic. This makes the shell chair somewhat more flexible. Since there is no upholstery, the shell chair also does not get dirty so quickly. It is therefore well suited for your own garden and terrace.
Shell chair with armrest A shell chair with armrest offers further comfort. The armrest is on the left and right of the chair. It can be used to create a place for your own arms to rest. This helps to provide a better posture when sitting. You simply rest your forearms on the armrest to relax.
shell chair without armrest A shell chair without armrest offers a practical function. Many shell chairs without armrests can be easily stacked. They therefore offer a good function that is suitable for larger conferences, for example.

The types offer different functions that are suitable for several situations. Therefore, before you buy, you should consider under which circumstances you want to use a shell chair.

How much does a shell chair cost?

The price of a shell chair can vary greatly. One factor in the price is what material is used. A shell chair made of leather / imitation leather has a different price than one made of plastic. The type of chair is another factor. A shell chair made of upholstery has a different price than chairs without upholstery. The option of an armrest also offers a different price than the option without an armrest.

To illustrate the price differences, the prices are shown in the table below.

Type price range
Shell chair with leather / imitation leather circa 50 to 1000 euros
Shell chair with upholstery circa 40 to 550 euros
Shell chair without upholstery (plastic) circa 35 to 450 euros
Shell chair with armrest circa 50 to 550 euros
Shell chair without armrest circa 35 to 300 euros

The table clearly shows that all variants have approximately the same minimum price. However, the material of the shell chair means that the top price can vary considerably. Shell chairs with leather / imitation leather start a little higher than the other chairs at 50 euros. Here you have to keep in mind that the cheap ones are with imitation leather. If you want a shell chair with real leather, you will also have to pay more. The maximum price here is 1000 euros.

If you want the shell chair to have a leather look, buy one made of imitation leather. It is more environmentally friendly and you save money.

Shell chairs with upholstery made of other textiles start at 40 euros. You can spend up to 550 euros per shell chair. Shell chairs that have no upholstery and are finished with plastic start at the lowest price. The minimum price here is 35 euros. Designer shell chairs also cost up to 450 euros.


A shell chair with armrests makes sitting even more comfortable. Simply lean your arms against it and let yourself relax.
(Image source: unsplash / Andres Jasso)

If you want to buy a shell chair with an armrest, the price starts at 50 euros. The highest price here is 550 euros. The shell chair without armrests starts at 35 euros. This is the cheapest option. However, the price here can also be up to 300 euros.

What alternatives are there to a shell chair?

There are many other types of chairs to buy besides shell chairs. In the following section, we show you what alternatives there are and what the chairs are suitable for.

Type Description
Upholstered armchair The soft upholstered armchair usually offers armrests and is a comfortable alternative. The armchair is very suitable for your living room. It is recommended for watching television and relaxing.
Cantilever A cantilever chair is a chair that has no back legs. When you sit down, the chair sinks slightly backwards and springs slightly. This chair is a good alternative for your own dining room.
Wooden chair The wooden chair is a classic that is often used as a dining chair. It offers a natural style and is long lasting. As the chairs can be uncomfortable when sitting for long periods, seat cushions are often used.
Rattan chair The rattan chair also offers a natural look. A rattan chair stands out with its woven seat. This makes it very light and flexible. It is very suitable for the dining room.

The different alternatives show that you have a wide choice when buying a chair. Choose a chair that suits your needs.

How do I assemble a shell chair?

When assembling a shell chair, you have to go through a few steps. We show you which steps there are and explain them.

  1. Chair frame: Take the frame out of the packaging and prepare it for assembly.
  2. Tools: Check that all the screws and washers for assembly are present. You will also need a screwdriver.
  3. Seat shell: Use the screws and washers to screw the seat shell and the chair frame together. The screws must be tightened up to the washers.

With the help of these few steps you will assemble your shell chair. If the chair is still a bit wobbly, you only need to tighten the screws.

How do I re-upholster a shell chair?

If the cover of the shell chair is damaged or you simply want a new one, you can of course simply cover the chair yourself. The following section shows the steps for reupholstering.

  1. Take measurements: Before removing the old cover, measure the cover with a tape measure. Write down the height, length and width. Then choose a suitable fabric for the new cover.
  2. Remove the old cover: Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws from the upholstery and remove any staples. Then remove the old cover.
  3. Cut the cover: Using the measurements you have noted, cut your chosen fabric.
  4. Recover: Place the cut fabric on the shell chair to fit. Then pull the fabric tight and fasten it with staples. The fabric should be pulled straight. Start fastening on one side and only then fasten the other side.

If you follow these steps, reupholstering a shell chair should not be a problem. This way you can upholster your chair according to your taste.


The shell-shaped seat of a shell chair provides a modern look and comfortable seating. Thanks to the large selection of materials, the shell chair is suitable for many places. Plastic is recommended as a piece of seating furniture for your own garden or terrace. Leather / imitation leather, on the other hand, is more suitable for a dining room chair. Thanks to the large variety of colours, everyone can find a suitable shell chair for their own home.

Besides the materials and colours, the shell chair also offers other functions. A shell chair with upholstery makes the seat even more comfortable. An additional armrest helps your arms to relax as well.

Photo source: siraphol/