What Is a Ghost Chair?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A ghost chair is any type of chair made from a transparent material. The see-through chair is known as a ghost chair because of its almost-there appearance, much like a ghost or apparition. The most common material to make such a chair is Lucite®, which is a thermoplastic that is durable, transparent, and generally inexpensive to produce. These chairs are often used for several applications, including use as patio furniture or even for living room furniture. The chairs are usually lightweight, and some are foldable to make storage and transport much easier.

The specific design of a ghost chair can vary according to the manufacturer's specifications. Since this thermoplastic can be molded fairly easily, many shapes and textures are possible, though many models feature broad surfaces with a smooth texture to enhance the transparency, and therefore the ghostly appearance. Most manufacturers want to enhance the transparent appearance, while others may accent the transparent Lucite® with tints that add color to the chair's appearance.

Glass is not used to make ghost chairs because glass tends to be brittle, which means it can crack, shatter, or otherwise break fairly easily. Lucite is shatter resistant, which means it is safe for bearing weight and enduring direct impacts that can occur, especially when the furniture is used outdoors. Lucite is also easy to clean and requires little maintenance beyond a wipe-down with a damp towel, or even a spray with the hose. It is resistant to water damage and will usually resist warping or cracking due to direct exposure from the sunlight. After time, the transparency of the material can fade, though with a good cleaning, the chair remains mostly transparent.

Some ghost chair manufacturers may make other similar types of furniture, such as a footstool, desk, or table. The plastic can be molded into many shapes, which means other types of furniture are possible. These pieces of furniture, like the ghost chair, can vary in style and design, and they may be tinted for color. More modern pieces of furniture will often feature curved surfaces and clean lines, as this is in keeping with the modern aesthetic. More traditional looking chairs and tables may feature more straight lines to preserve a less ostentatious style. Some more modern versions of the chair may also feature a colored plastic embedded in the Lucite® to simulate a spine in the chair.

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      Woman holding a book