How to Buy a Ghost Chair

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue

This ghost chair guide was updated March 2019

I love modern chairs – I think they’re eye-catching, unusual, and add the perfect dose of personality and quirk to a space. The ghost chair is one of my favorites, which is why a version of it currently resides in my living room! I love everything about it – the classic shape rendered in a modern material, the fact that it takes up zero visual space, and the way it allows light to filter right through it. It’s also comfortable and the perfect seat for when guests come over.

When I decided to buy one I bounced back and forth for a while between the idea of buying the genuine Phillippe Starck for Kartell Ghost Chair for $410, or a replica. The price difference quickly made that decision for me, but not before I did a little research to figure out exactly what the differences were.

History of the Ghost Chair:

The classic Louis XVI (sixteenth) armchair which the Ghost Chair is based upon is an example of Neoclassical French style. Louis XVI (husband of Marie Antoinette) ruled from 1774-1791, and during this period Neoclassicism reigned as well. Designs were plainer than in the past, featuring straight lines, symmetry, and simple shapes like rectangles and ovals (the straight, tapered legs of the chair are an indicator that it is in the Neoclassical style). This was in contrast to the previous period of Rococo style where the furniture would feature curved legs, ornate guilding, scrolls, and asymmetry.

Phillippe Starck Ghost Chair

In 2002, French interior and product designer Phillippe Starck took the classic upholstered, wooden Louis XVI armchair design and turned it on its head by creating the Ghost chair. Starck came up with the idea of taking the classic shape in a completely modern direction by rendering it in clear polycarbonate (also available in tints and colors), and Italian furniture company Kartell used cutting edge technology to bring his innovative idea to life.

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue

Which to Buy: the Real or Replica Ghost Chair?

The main thing that I wanted to know when deciding whether to buy the genuine ghost chair or a replica was what the difference would be in quality and longevity – basically, would the replica look like a cheap piece of plastic junk, rendering it essential to spend $400 on the real one? I did a bit of investigating and discovered that the Kartell chair is made of polycarbonate, while the knockoffs are acrylic (lucite). Here are the big differences between the two materials:

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue: image of real ghost chair vs knockoff ghost chair

Looking at that info was enough to convince me that I didn’t need to pay $400 for the real thing, when the acrylic version sounded perfectly fine and even like it had some points in it’s favor. I searched Amazon for the chair option with the best reviews, which is this one. I’ve been extremely happy with my ghost chair! It’s lightweight, has great clarity, and so far it’s held up well. Here it is in my apartment:

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue

If you do decide to spring for the genuine article, here are a few sources:
Design Within Reach  |  Dwell (set of 2)  |  Kartell Store LA

Ghost Chair Variations

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue

Kids version (Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?)

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue

Victoria Ghost: armless version (like the regular version, it comes in clear or colors).


Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue

Tall barstool

Ghost Chair Measurements and Extra Info

This chart of dimensions for the regular Ghost Chair will come in handy if you’re trying to figure out whether or not the arms will fit under the table or desk that you plan to use it with.

Tips to Buy a Ghost Chair featured by top US interior design blog, York Avenue: image of ghost chair measurements

via Design Within Reach

A 16×16 pillow with a 15×15 pillow cover (the cover should always be a bit smaller, so the pillow will be properly stuffed), is the perfect size for the Louis Ghost Chair. That’s the size of my leopard pillow, as you can see in the first picture in this post.

What’s great about the ghost chair? It’s suitable for outdoor use, it’s stackable, and though it’s made of plastic, it’s actually recyclable. It’s stylish, modern, eye-catching, and unique. It is perfect for small spaces, which is why I absolutely love it and can’t believe I ever hesitated to buy one! It’s perfect as desk chair or an accent chair, as in my own apartment in the first picture. They’re also great for dining chairs in spaces both large and small!

What do you guys think about the Louis Ghost Chair? Let me know in a comment below!

PS: Loving this ghost chair guide? Take a look at how I style mine in my apartment,
and my studio apartment home tour

Leave a Comment

  1. I adore this post! These are absolutely fabulous chairs. XO

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
    • So happy that you like the post Hollis! I thought it might be helpful to pull all of the info together. I agree, the chairs are fab!

      Published 1.24.14 · Reply
      • Roberto Bellarmino Alvarez wrote:

        Thank you for all the information , you truly help me a lot to made my decision. I can’t spend $ 400 on a chair but l fall in love with the Gosht chair long time a go.!

        Published 10.8.20 · Reply
  2. Leslie wrote:

    Love your tips! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  3. So funny – I was just looking at the cheaper version on Amazon yesterday! I personally love the chairs, and it's good to know there's really not a huge difference between the real and knockoff, other than the price tag! Great post 🙂 Have a great Thursday!

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  4. HMC wrote:

    This is so helpful–you might have convinced me to add one to my shopping cart!

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  5. Bhreagh wrote:

    I'm ordering one when I move into my new apartment! Love this post so much.

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  6. Annie wrote:

    What perfect timing! I found your blog and this post just as I am debating my own ghost purchase.

    Cheers, Annie

    Published 2.5.14 · Reply
  7. I'm debating this myself. I want two, so the price seems astronomical. Are you still loving your knock off? How is it holding up? Thank you, Samantha

    Published 10.21.14 · Reply
    • Hey Samantha! Mine is holding up great, no issues so far that I can see. There might be a few scratches on it if you really examine it up close, but I can't really notice. I definitely love it and am glad that I got it!

      Published 10.22.14 · Reply
  8. Great post. There is also another difference between fake and genuine Ghost chairs. Turn the chair upside down and look for the embossed mark under the seat. The genuine ones have the designers signature.

    Published 10.27.14 · Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Great post. I've just ordered 6 replicas from a supplier in the UK. I've been pondering for weeks if its the right move. They are due to arrive next week, fingers crossed they live up to my expectations!
    Thanks again for the post, very insightful and useful.

    Published 12.12.14 · Reply
    • I'm so glad you found the post helpful. I hope you love the chairs!

      Published 12.13.14 · Reply
  10. Risha wrote:

    Love this post, I've been looking for a great ghost chair and your post helped a lot with the search. One question, do you know what the difference is between Modern Acrylic and Transparent Acrylic — is it a different color or material?

    Published 3.4.15 · Reply
    • That's a great question. Is there a specific retailer where you're seeing the "Modern Acrylic"? I'm curious because I can't seem to find it. I might guess that if they refer to the chair as modern acrylic that they're just referring to the fact that it's a modern chair…but I'm curious to know where you're seeing it referred to in that way!

      Published 3.5.15 · Reply
  11. REBEKAH wrote:

    So any recommendations on where to buy replicas? I want to use them for my dining room table and I am concerned with sturdiness and seat width. I have looked online and they are all starting to look alike. 🙂

    Published 4.16.15 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      The only recommendation I can speak to personally is the Amazon one I linked in the post. It’s the one I own and I’ve been really happy with it!

      Published 4.17.15 · Reply
  12. Brittany wrote:

    Loved this post! I just ordered 6 chairs from 2xhome on Amazon yesterday afternoon. I received an email today that they shipped already and I’m so excited to see how I like them! Just wanted to see what others thought of the quality of replicas since that was my main concern in purchasing them.

    Thanks and Happy Friday! 🙂

    Published 5.15.15 · Reply
  13. Lynda wrote:

    I have been thinking of getting ghost chairs for the dining table. Are they comfortable enough for dining chairs?

    Published 5.26.15 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I think they could be, especially if you add a few pillows! They’re definitely not lounge chairs but for dining I think they could work.

      Published 5.29.15 · Reply
  14. Helen wrote:

    Hi there,

    I really like your blog! It has helped me improve not only my rooms, but myself as well 🙂 I have already bought two chairs to make my lounge more modern and trendy. I actually spent a lot less money than intended! Found a very good deal on Didn’t have to wait long either as the delivery toke only 2 days!

    Published 6.22.15 · Reply
    • Amber wrote:

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your advice, I enjoyed my purchase and they are many lovely chairs and small price.

      Thank you again!

      Published 7.20.15 · Reply
  15. Frankie wrote:

    I am looking for a replica of the ghost chair but in a counter height (25.5″ seat height for a make-up table) and I can’t find where to get it.
    Can you help?
    Thank you very much!

    Published 9.3.15 · Reply
  16. Kathy wrote:

    FYI: I have four knock off ghost chairs, three of which now have a crack where an arm meets the back thanks to (large) guys stretching back hard. I want to attempt to repair them and found your blog while trying to find what material was used to make the chairs so I could get the right bonding material.
    Thanks to you I know they’re acrylic.

    Published 12.29.15 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I’m so glad to hear the post was helpful! But sad to hear about your chairs :(. Hope you can fix them!

      Published 12.30.15 · Reply
  17. Charlotte T. wrote:

    What is the weight capacity of the Acrylic Ghost Chair? Can the chair hold someone who weighs 200-300 pounds? I weigh 140 lbs, but some of my guests will be much heavier. Also where can I buy the fur pieces that go on the seat of the chair that I’ve seen in some pictures? I don’t want to use the small faux fur rugs like some people do because they still look like rugs! Lol. Could the fur possibly fur purchased at a fabric store. Your expertise will be highly appreciated!
    Thanks much!

    Published 1.6.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Good question – some quick searching led to this: the weight capacity for this one is 400 pounds, while for this one it is 265 pounds. They’re made of the same material so seems that it varies by manufacturer. I would check with the manufacturer before you buy, if the website does not list the weight capacity.

      As for the fur question, I’ve really only seen people use the rugs! Do you have a picture of what you’re thinking of?

      Thanks for your comment!

      Published 1.6.16 · Reply
      • Kathy wrote:

        The guys that broke my chairs were about 250. It happened when they pushed back and stressed the joint where the arm meets the back. I have three chairs that cracked in the same place. Only one arm broke on each chair. I ordered some acrylic solvent/cement and am going to try it today. I’ll post the results.

        Published 1.10.16 · Reply
      • Jmidatlantic wrote:

        The chair with the greater weight capacity is smaller — 16″ wide vs. 21″ in the armchair version.

        Published 6.9.16 · Reply
  18. Rachel wrote:

    Hi there, thank you for your post. I’m interested in the new side tables from the same range. My question is about hot drinks on the surfaces and if they can be placed directly on them or whether it would damage them? I appreciate you have a replica chair but in your opinion would you place a hot cup of tea on your chair? Many thanks

    Published 2.2.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Personally, I wouldn’t put anything hot on it since it’s plastic…I would just use a coaster.

      Published 2.2.16 · Reply
  19. Prab wrote:

    Hi there! I’ve been trying to make this decision myself for quite some time! How are the chairs holding up now regarding chips and impact? Massively useful post! Thanks!

    Published 2.8.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you, so glad to hear that! Mine doesn’t get much everyday use, only when guests come over does anyone sit on it. That being said, the chair has held up great. There might be some faint scratches but only if you looked really close, and definitely no chips. I’ve had it for a few years now and it’s still looking perfect to me!

      Published 2.8.16 · Reply
      • prab wrote:

        That’s brilliant! Thanks!!

        Published 2.8.16 · Reply
  20. Mary Bachman wrote:

    Can you recommend a good online source for the bar height chairs?

    Published 4.15.16 · Reply
  21. Emily wrote:

    your information is very helpful! I am ordering the arm chair off of Amazon now. I would also like to buy some of the ghost chair counter stools in clear as photographed on your site. I am wondering where else you suggested to purchase them as the ones from DWR are still pricey. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciate and helpful, many thanks!

    Published 8.20.16 · Reply
  22. Chiara wrote:

    I love these chairs and I ordered from Kartell. I Just received them and I noticed there are two simmetrical scratches close to the armrests.
    They look like manufacturing scratches, but they are visible and annoying, considering the price.

    I riturned two sets, all with the same problem. I just received the third set and it is the same. I am wondering whether they all have those scratches.

    How about yours? Anybody had the same problem? Did you notice anything wrong in yours?

    Thanks in advance.

    Published 8.26.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Mine have two symmetrical notches on the actual armrests, but I think they are meant to be there. I think they’re the part where the two pieces of the arm get joined together?

      Published 8.29.16 · Reply
  23. Drew wrote:

    I am considering the armless version for dining chairs, but the knock offs I’ve seen here have a violet tint to them. Do yours? Thanks!

    Published 8.27.16 · Reply
  24. Nice Post ! I liked that chair !

    Published 9.16.16 · Reply
  25. Barbara wrote:

    I am looking at 6 armless Chairs to be able to seat 8, using 2 with arms at a round table. I can only get 6 chairs with arms at my table. I have looked at Bizchairs and Amazon. Does anyone have experience with the side chairs. Any advice is appreciated.

    Published 10.3.16 · Reply
  26. Josie wrote:

    I have 6 of the replica chairs and 2 of them have snapped in the same place as mentioned above, where the arm meets the back. Has anyone found a way of fixing? I have tried an epoxy adhesive and it hasn’t fixed it 🙁
    I’m now thinking my money saving was not such a great idea!!
    We have had them for 2 years and we don’t weigh more than 150-200 pounds! They get used everyday But we do look after them. I love them but very sad to see them getting damaged.

    Published 10.17.16 · Reply
  27. Lisa Hall wrote:

    Do you have any feedback on ghost chair counter height by France and Son?

    Published 10.26.16 · Reply
  28. Totally brilliant post. I was just sat here wondering about real vs replica. You’ve made my decision for me!

    Published 2.26.17 · Reply
  29. Sarah-Joy wrote:


    I’m from Berlin and so so so upset that the version you got from would just not be shipped to Germany 🙁
    Even the replica is so much more expensive here..
    Such a shame! It’s an awesome chair, I love the timeless design and its lightness, perfect for small spaces!

    Your blog is beautiful, as well 🙂

    Published 3.2.17 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you!

      Published 3.3.17 · Reply
  30. Ann wrote:

    I’m also looking for feedback on the Ghost Barstool (counter stool) made by France and Son. anyone?

    Published 3.13.17 · Reply
  31. Jane wrote:

    We got a couple of great ghost chairs reproductions from shipped here in Germany for a good price. Love this style of chair, especially in smaller homes!

    Published 3.15.17 · Reply
  32. Toby Nemiroff wrote:

    Thanks so much for this informative post! I just ordered a pair of Louies.

    Published 3.29.17 · Reply
  33. Madeleine Crummer wrote:

    This is a beauftiful site and very helpful. A couple of questions: Is the Casper version assembled from parts or is it molded from one piece as the original? Also, they describe it both as acrylic and polycarbonate. And do you know if the colors are similar, as I want yellow.

    Published 8.16.17 · Reply
  34. Denise wrote:

    This is a very informative post. Answered all my questions. I am in market for Louis XVI chairs, but need a chair for living room.

    Published 10.29.17 · Reply
  35. Catherine Ross wrote:

    I just looked at the replica version from Amazon and it says they are made of polycarbonate. I’m in Australia … Amazon have just opened here. Do you think they would still be ok?

    Published 1.11.18 · Reply
  36. Gladys wrote:

    I would like armless chairs for my dining table but they seem too tiny – ate there larger versions of the armless chairs?

    Published 5.11.18 · Reply
  37. Sylvia Couch wrote:

    I’ve seen some clear ghost chairs that have a bluish color that shows in the crevices -I don’t want this!
    So which one do I buy; polycarbonate or other material?
    Thanks Sylvia

    Published 6.4.18 · Reply
  38. Love your post; informative now help me please with my search; I love the chair but the price of the original is out of my reach. I need just two in smoke which brand would you recommend?

    Published 7.4.18 · Reply
  39. Rosie Cornick wrote:

    I am looking to buy 4 of the armless versions for my dining table-LOVE them. I was wondering if you knew if and where I could find seat pads for them-as they are dining chairs I quite wanted a bit of permanent cushioning on the seat-nothing too bulky-but I’m struggling to find anything (thinking Blair waldorf’s dining room in gossip girl for a dated reference!). Would appreciate any thoughts!

    Published 10.12.18 · Reply
  40. CAROLYN wrote:

    I love it!! Classy intriguing look and style. And Thank you for all this well done valuable information. You have convinced me to definitely purchase them. My space is very small, although I love the look of the armchair best, my question is about the armless chairs. Are they good looking in person and are they stable enough?
    My other question is that I see many places sell this chair, what do I need to look for ? Are their rubbish knock offs I need to be aware of? Thank again!! 🙂

    Published 8.19.19 · Reply
    • kay wrote:

      just bought 4 ghost chairs at consignment store..I LOVE THEM..cannot tell if they are knock offs or not
      on the back where the plastic bends from the seat there is an oblong impression then the word kartell and stark
      what i have read is originals have kartell in red, these look authentic but i have googled everything i can think of and cannot get an image of what i should look for…
      even went into shop that definitely has the real thing and kartell was in red but all the rest is the same as what i have…any thoughts…the great thing about these chairs is because you can see thru them they can be in a room ‘full of stuff’ but do not take up any visual space
      love this information thank you

      Published 10.17.19 · Reply
  41. Jennifer Rynkiewicz wrote:

    I had no idea of the history these chairs contained. I bought 4 barstools for my new home, going from traditional/ transitional to more modern looks with little updates like this. With a Chesterfield-style sofa, it’s tough to do modern, but I’m trying. Thanks for the background on these chairs. I’m glad I found good replicas.

    Published 9.25.19 · Reply
  42. Trish Kruger wrote:

    Thank you for the great article. I was clueless which way to go and this told me everything I need to know. Will order them.

    Published 10.20.19 · Reply
  43. KRISTEN M HOY wrote:

    Love this. Can you help me figure out the best ways to make them more comfortable? What are the best covers, blankets, cushions, etc that work well with these? I’ve tried the sheepskin look but looking for something more refined.

    Published 10.21.19 · Reply
  44. Peter wrote:

    I am the proud owner of 8 genuine Kartell/Starck ghost chairs that I bought around 15 years ago for $240/each – expensive I thought at the time. 15 years on, they are in great shape (a few light scratches thanks to rivets on jeans and dog claws) and have been used everyday by a family of 6. Now that is a great deal when amortized over time and is only getting better.
    My now 20 year old daughter bought 3 acrylic knock-off chairs 2 months ago for $150 each and was thrilled with her purchase. They look identical in size and shape, have a little different ‘glossy’ appearance due to them being acrylic instead of polycarbonate but cool looking nevertheless, however, that is where the similarity ends.
    They feel heavier and yet have a brittle quality about them. If you look at the arm supports and the backrest supports you can see and feel the join where it was made in a two part die in the injection moulding process. This is a huge weak point in the manufacturing because the chair was designed to be made in one single injection mould die (which is very hard to achieve) to ensure there are no localized high stress points.
    Sure enough, within the first two weeks two out of the three chairs broke in exactly the same place – where the arm rest meets the back rest. I believe this was also described in a comment below.
    Based on results, I would suggest Buyer Beware of these knock-offs. If you want a chair to look at because of the cool design both will do the job, however, if you want a chair that can be used without risk of snapping (and possible personal injury), has longevity, is a tribute to the work and brilliance of the designer and manufacturer, will probably appreciate in value and gives YOU the knowledge that you have the real thing and you have supported the designer’s creative skill and efforts without which the lower quality knock-offs would never have existed then there is no decision to be made. Invest in the genuine article.
    The bottom line in this world is that you get what you pay for.

    Off to the hardware store now to pick up some acrylic glue…..

    Published 2.8.20 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Great points! The older I get the more I’m totally on board with what you’ve said, especially regarding the respect to the artist. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

      Published 2.8.20 · Reply
  45. Aarsun wrote:

    The blog is fantastic and the chairs too. Thanks for sharing.

    Published 4.8.20 · Reply
  46. Annette wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your infos with us! I bought 2 “knockoff” chairs about 5 yrs ago and I absolutely still ❤️ them in my sunroom! Now I’m trying to find 2 ghost 🪑 for a young single mom (abused & ♋️ survivor who’s rebuilding her life after losing EVERYTHING) and her 2 year old son. I can find the adult chair for a REASONABLE price, but the child’s…NOT so much! Would you know where I can find the best deal for 1 for her lil’ guy?

    Published 4.9.20 · Reply
  47. Sharon S. wrote:

    Thank you for the insight. I need new dining room chairs. You helped me to narrow down the one’s I will purchase.

    Published 4.24.20 · Reply
  48. Diana wrote:

    I have had my “knockoff” Ghost chairs for over five years with daily use, and they are impeccable!!!! Love them!

    Published 8.28.20 · Reply
  49. Kevin Thompson wrote:

    I bought two off ebay some years ago, absolutely love them, as do visitors. The combination of shape and the fact you can see through them, which is great in a small flat as they don’t ‘appear’ to take up as much room as a solid colour version would. I was drawn to your site when I curiously googled what the best manufactured version would be, but, a bit too expensive for me, so I’ll stick with what I’ve got, and see how long they last as I’m now using one more regularly to work from home. Suffice to say, I will bookmark your page for future reference.

    Published 1.3.21 · Reply
  50. Jennifer wrote:

    Hi! I can’t wait to order this chair for my daughter’s bedroom, thank you! Do you have a link for the white wood desk in top photo as well? The one under the Like Ever print?

    Published 2.11.21 · Reply
  51. Margot Gorske wrote:

    I have a very traditional french dining room; table, mahogany, crystal chandelier et al. These chairs keep it from being dated or stuffy and resonate with the huge ornate crystal chandelier. Love’em.

    Published 3.11.21 · Reply
  52. Wajid wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this blog to know about sofa repair visit

    Published 6.25.21 · Reply
  53. Awesome collection.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep posting great content.

    Published 7.1.21 · Reply
  54. Amazing chairs collection.
    Totally different and unique concept.
    Keep sharing great content.

    Published 7.5.21 · Reply
  55. Anupama wrote:

    Do you fine lines showing up on the arms and legs? Mine (originals) are 2 months old and these cracks are appearing

    Published 7.26.22 · Reply
  56. Lisi wrote:

    Thank you for the in-depth description! There are different brands of knock offs though…some seem to be very small from the unhappy comments. I need only 1 for a small dining table. I prefer Amazon when possible! Any guidance on a brand?
    I appreciate any help!!

    Published 8.26.22 · Reply
  57. Duchyll Joseph wrote:

    The history and benefit comparison was so helpful. Even the pictures have shown me that I need to go armless. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

    Published 1.3.24 · Reply
  58. Katie Blakley wrote:

    Can I get the name/link of your dining table?

    Published 1.8.24 · Reply
  59. Halo wrote:

    Now the Kartell ones are about 1000!

    Published 4.21.24 · Reply