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The Thonet 214/214 M, formerly known as chair no. 14 or simply Coffee House Chair, is the cornerstone of modern furniture design and arguably the most successful industrial product from industrialisations founding period. With the Coffee House Chair, Michael Thonet established both the bentwood production process and assembly on site furniture. The Thonet chair has sold successfully since 1859 and may be confidently called a classic. If not the classic.


Product type Multi-purpose chair

Colours Stained beech
Beech natural


Material Chair: bentwood, beech
214: Seat made of cane
214 M: moulded plywood seat
Variants Seat made of woven cane or plywood

Delivery includes With plastic glides
Wood surfaces Wickerwork

For detailed care instructions regarding the wooden parts of the product please click on the image (ca. 0,7 MB)

For detailed care instructions regarding the wickerwork of the product please click on the image (ca. 0,2 MB)

Awards & Museum German Sustainability Award Design 2021 "Icons"
Sustainability Wood from sustainably managed forests, FSC or PEFC certified

Thonet has declared sustainability to be a corporate principle. The manufacturer continuously optimizes all processes from production/technology, materials management and recyclability to transport routes and constantly pays attention to resource-saving energy and material consumption. Last but not least, social and ethical principles are among the top priorities. Thonet has been awarded the "Green Globe Certificate" for its measures of sustainable and environmentally friendly management - further information can be found here.
Warranty 24 months
Product family Thonet Coffeehouse chairs
Accessories Matching cushion available in different colours
Datasheet Please click on picture for detailed information (ca. 2,5 MB).
Product presentation

Popular versions

214, Without armrests, Mahogany stained beech, Cane-work (with supporting mesh underneath seat)
214, Without armrests, Walnut stained beech, Cane-work (with supporting mesh underneath seat)
214, Without armrests, Walnut stained beech, Moulded plywood seat
214, Without armrests, Black stained beech, Moulded plywood seat
214, Without armrests, Mahogany stained beech, Moulded plywood seat
214, Without armrests, Natural stained beech, Moulded plywood seat

Design Story

No chair in the history of furniture design has been sold so long and so successfully in its original form as the Thonet 214. The so-called Coffee House Chair influenced an entire era and brought the then Austrian, now German furniture manufacturer Thonet international fame. The company's founder, Michael Thonet, was himself the designer of the timeless classic whose emergence was made possible by the perfected technique of bending solid wood. Thonet experimented at that time until he could form wood by means of hot steam and thus produce the back and legs of the chair. The process remains unchanged today and is responsible for the characteristic appearance and the Thonet 214. The Thonet bentwood chair quickly became one of the most popular seating solutions in the Viennese coffee houses of the early 20th century - and beyond Vienna's noble walls: thanks to the reduced number of components and the fact the chairs could be dismantled 36 Thonet chairs could be stowed in a 1 square meter crate and thus dispatched globally. Which they were. In huge numbers. The final assembly took place locally, a novelty at the time and a concept which allowed the proliferation of the designer chair to almost every continent. Thus the Thonet 214 is still regarded as a genuine pioneer of industrial design. The classic version with its cane seat has now been joined by another - the Thonet 214 M which is equipped with a seat made of curved, smooth plywood. As the first bentwood chair in furniture history the Thonet chair exudes an unmistakable flair, yet at the same time perfectly compliments any contemporary room setting.

36 Thonet chairs in a crate - a brilliant idea.

More about '214' in our blog

smow blog Design Calendar: July 10th 1856 - Michael Thonet granted a patent for his solid wood bending process

"The essence of the Thonetschen invention is that when bending a steamed piece of wood the neutral layer is relocated to the upper, convex, surface of the curved wood. If any cylindrical or prismatic body is bent, the upper layers are extended, the lower,...

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat ... gift ideas from House Thonet

...Thonet 214 by Michael Thonet (Miniature) from Vitra The Thonet 214 is not only the chair that initiated commercial furniture production, nor is it only the chair that paved the way for Swedish gentlemen to open large warehouses next to every motorway in Europe, nor is it only the chair that almost broke Michael Thonet... The 214 is all of these things...

Vitra Design Museum: The Essence of Things. Design and the Art of Reduction

The (smow)blog team outing to the cardboard furniture workshop was coupled with a visit to the current Vitra Design Museum Exhibition: The Essence of Things. Design and the Art of Reduction. We must admit to finding it more than a little ironic that an...

Thonet: 150 years of tradition

In the next week or so we will be introducing here some of the new products from Thonet that are now available at But before we get that far, a small video below that explains something of the story of Thonet furniture and the production process...

(smow)offline: Thonet 214 x 214

...The rules are ridiculously simple; whoever submits the best photo of a Thonet 214 wins a 3 day trip to New York... For the second best there is a trip to Thonet in Frankenberg and the chance to build your own 214...

All '214' Posts


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