Home » The Difference Between a Fainting Couch and a Chaise Lounge

The Difference Between a Fainting Couch and a Chaise Lounge

Published on

Few pieces of furniture have as dramatic a name as the fainting couch. The mere mention of it takes us back to a golden age of romanticized furniture style when the idle rich class had nothing to do all day except lounge around. Even the chaise lounge has its deep roots in the upper-class lifestyle.

Both the fainting couch and chaise lounge are good to sit and recline on. But, the fainting couch is more comfortable because of its plush cushions and armrests. The chaise lounge is more practical, portable, and versatile. And, despite their differences, people often confuse these two pieces of furniture. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to settle the dispute between a fainting couch and a chaise lounge once and for all. We’ll highlight the fundamental differences between them.

Is a Fainting Couch a Chaise?

Although both the fainting couch and chaise lounge offer a place to recline and be comfortable, there are huge differences between them.

It’s true that they’re both long, cushioned and can support your whole body. But, they both offer varying degrees of comfort depending on what you’re using them for. For example, a chaise lounge doesn’t have any armrests and doesn’t recline. So, it’s not ideal if you’re tired, bored, or just feel like keeping your body level to the ground.

A fainting couch is a more elaborate piece of furniture. It has armrests, can recline, and gives your body the comfort and support it needs. Also, the couch is more ornate.

What Does a Chaise Lounge Look Like Compared to a Fainting Couch?

You can think of the chaise lounge as a long chair or even a sofa, but without any arms. You can get onto the piece of furniture from any side you like. And, while it’s meant for sitting, if you have a flexible back, you could manage to achieve a degree of reclining. But, the awkward angle of the headboard of the chaise lounge keeps you relatively upright.

A fainting couch is all about comfort and elegance. It’s in a league of its own as far as style is concerned. It has an ornate design, cushions, and the name itself goes back to the 18th century. Back then, high-class women found it fashionable to faint a lot, and they needed a couch to crash on suddenly.

A chaise lounge isn’t meant for extreme levels of comfort. As long as you’re in a supine position and alert, the chaise is doing a good job.

But, the fainting couch has to support your whole body. It’s meant to keep you comfortable and totally relaxed until you wake up from your fainting spell.

Are Fainting Couches or Chaise Lounges More Popular?


Although fainting couches were the product of their time, they still persist in certain settings. But, nowadays, their main purpose isn’t for catching fainting women. Now, they’re meant as eye-catching pieces of furniture.

That leaves chaise lounges to reclaim their place as the top reclining piece you can have at home. They’re easy to use, take up less space, and they can come in neutral colors that will go with any decor.

This might explain why the chaise is more popular than the fainting couch. These days you can find a chaise lounge in many styles and designs— from the minimalist and modern styles, to the more elaborate and comfy pieces that hug your body.

A chaise lounge is also more versatile. You can recline, sit up, lie down, or just curl up and sleep. It’s comfortable enough to stretch your legs out, and doesn’t have armrests that get in the way.

Finally, you can use the chaise lounge in just about any setting. In the living room, the bedroom, and even in the study. Outdoors, it fits well next to the pool, under the porch, or inside the gazebo if you prefer some privacy. In short, a chaise lounge is a portable and versatile piece of furniture that can work in just about any space.

Are Chaise Lounges or Fainting Couches More Stylish?

When it comes to style, personal preferences play a major role. Also, you need to take into account that styles change all the time. So, what was considered stylish a couple of years ago could be collecting dust in an antique shop today.

For some people, a stylish piece of furniture is one that has elegant lines without being too flashy. But others would go for a showy piece that grabs your attention. If you belong to the first group, then a chaise lounge is your thing. A fainting couch will appeal to the latter group.

But just because the chaise lounge doesn’t have ornate elaborations doesn’t mean that it only comes in one style, or that it’s boring and bland. There’s a wide variety of styles that range from practical and functional with simple feet, to those that are highly decorative.

Your overall preference will depend on your style and the current decor in your home. An ornate fainting couch would stick out like a sore thumb in a modern house with functional furniture. A chaise lounge would be a more suitable choice since you can use it in different settings and locations.

On the other hand, a fainting couch will be right at home in large living rooms, foyers, and in elaborate settings.

What Are Some Popular Fainting Couch and Chaise Lounge Designs?

Most of the fainting couch designs you’ll find in the market today focus on the two distinguishing features of this piece of furniture— the cushions and the armrests.

Sometimes, the armrests take up the whole side of the fainting couch, making it look like a regular sofa or couch. Other times, the armrest will taper off and disappear halfway, leaving the bottom half of the couch bare. Regardless of the overall structure, fainting couches will always have ornate designs.

As for chaise lounge designs, they veer toward being practical and functional. They don’t have any armrests and they have a rather high headboard. In addition, the new designs are lighter and easier to move around.



Fainting couches and chaise lounges serve different functions in terms of decoration and seating. And, although fainting couches have mostly gone out of fashion with their ornate designs and armrests, they are often still used to decorate large homes and mansions.

The chaise lounge, on the other hand, remains very popular. It’s portable, versatile, and serves a purpose in any room. It works well in the living room and bedroom, and you can even put one outside as on the deck, porch, or beside the swimming pool.

So, if you’re deciding between a fainting couch or a chaise lounge, it all depends on if you’re looking for something practical or decorative. And, remember to always take into account your personal tastes and the current style of the room.

Leave a Comment