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The Cheap Seats

There are lots of handsome chairs out there, but sitting beauties that cost $250 or less are a rarer breed. Our picks run the gamut from traditional (the wooden, Shaker-inspired Salt or the Thonet-designed Era, the quintessential cafe chair) to the downright futuristic (we’re looking at you, oddly anthropomorphic Dr. Yes). We sat, swayed, shook, stacked; we hefted
them into the air; we typed, ate, and made grand conversational hand gestures. Here’s how they stood up in our sitting showdown.