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What Should I Look for in a Mission Rocking Chair?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Mission-style furniture is defined by its straight lines, beautiful wood with accentuated grains, and simple overall style. When choosing a mission rocking chair, be sure to choose one that sticks to the notion of the mission style by eschewing ornate carvings and designs in favor of simplicity. If you want to buy the best mission rocking chair, be sure to dedicate enough money to purchasing one made from a good hardwood, such as oak, and one that has a beautiful grain worth showing off, as this is where the true attraction of the chair will be noted. Above all considerations, be sure to choose a mission rocking chair that is comfortable and well built.

The mission style of furniture building focuses on establishing straight lines and broad surfaces for both comfort and aesthetics. Armrests and the chair back should be simply designed and wide. The back and sides of the chair may feature slats of wood for support with gaps in between; this is a fairly common mission style, and your mission rocking chair will undoubtedly feature such a design. Remember that elaborate designs are not necessarily better designs when it comes to mission style furniture; choose simplicity, function, and comfort instead.

Straight lines are a defining feature of mission rocking chairs.
Straight lines are a defining feature of mission rocking chairs.

Be sure to check the mission rocking chair for quality craftsmanship. All joints should be solidly fixed to each other with glue, screws, nails, or other methods of joining wood together. The joints should be smooth, with little or no gaps, and the overall look of the chair should be smooth and strong. Test the chair out for comfort and strength; take note of any noises such as squeaks or creaks when rocking back and forth. This could be indicative of a loose joint. If you are purchasing a used mission rocking chair, joints are likely to be somewhat loose, and this may add character but also cause problems down the road.

The rocking chair may or may not feature cushions, either removable ones or cushions that are a permanent fixture on the chair. If cushions are present, be sure to note how they are affixed to the chair. If they are permanent fixtures, check to make sure they are affixed solidly with tacks, nails, or staples, and that no tears exist in the fabric. Remember that upholstery may need to be cleaned periodically, so be sure you will have an easy method for cleaning the cushions.

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    • Straight lines are a defining feature of mission rocking chairs.
      Straight lines are a defining feature of mission rocking chairs.