A butterfly chair is an inexpensive retro furniture chair that adorns many bedrooms, dens, dorms and basements. A butterfly chair is a furniture chair made with a simple wooden or metal frame, with a single piece of fabric draped as a seat. Butterfly chairs are often used as outdoor or beach chairs, though may be found in houses or businesses with a distinctly modern aesthetic. The butterfly furniture chair offers little to no support, forcing the person sitting in it to ‘slump’ down. The treatment of the sitter can best be described as an object placed in a sling, since that is essentially what the butterfly chair is. The center of the body and the legs jackknife towards one another, compressing the abdomen, and the neck is left free to swing about or to push forward further into a ball.
While the butterfly furniture chair may appeal to many people, it is not particularly appropriate for those who do not have at least moderate flexibility and limberness. The elderly and overweight may find it difficult to rise out of the butterfly chair, since all their weight is pushed in towards the center and there is no good point to push off of. Many of the original supporters of the butterfly chair as the herald of modernity in the 1960s have commented that at their current age they can no longer use them, for simple reasons of practicality.