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Stressless® Eric (M) Cross recliner and Stressless® Ella sofa
Stressless® Eric (M) Cross recliner and Stressless® Ella sofa

Press release -

Celebrating 50 Years of Norwegian Design

For 50 years, the Stressless®chair has been an institution in comfort. From the beginning in 1971, the “form follows function” principle has been a trademark of the chair with the visible functionality in the construction of the design. As a celebration of their history, the Norwegian company relaunches a distinctive design element from the first model, the Stressless®Original.

Comfort is king

“In today’s world, we’re accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We gladly take the time to charge our phone’s battery, but disregard recharging our own. The second boredom strikes, we pick up our phones and scroll through social media or turn on the TV. Doing nothing has become a thing of the past,” Hilde Angelfoss, Brand & Category Manager at Stressless®, explains.

Creating the ultimate seating comfort experience has taken decades to perfect. Since 1971, the employees in the company's product development department have accumulated more than 400 years of knowledge and insights in making the Stressless® chair which might help explain the level of comfort you feel even before taking a seat.

Design Manager, Jeanette Løining, explains that every Stressless® product has been designed from the inside and out.

“With our patented systems, we have developed the best resting positions for every part of the body. The Stressless Glide®, makes it possible to shift seating positions using body weight alone. The Plus® system adjusts to the correct head, neck and lumbar positions. In this way, it is your body and the movements of your body that determine the position of the chair and not the other way around,” she explains.

Norwegian design and craftsmanship

Stressless® is strongly rooted in the Scandinavian furniture tradition with an honest and open design language according to the principle of “form follows function”. In 1971, that was a first, as the market was dominated by American recliner chairs with a much more voluminous design.

“Our design process is a human centred and iterative process, where we understand, define, ideate, make and test solutions to a problem. Design is nothing in itself and, therefore, all the parts of the company are involved to secure the overall brand philosophy in every product we design,” Jeanette Løining explains.

Each day, 1,150 recliner chairs, 250 sofas and 300 dining chairs leave the Stressless® factory in the small village of Ikornnes near Aalesund on the Norwegian west coast. The factory is one of the most technologically advanced in the furniture business with more than 160 specially programmed robots.

“When we design new products, we always have industrialised production in mind to manufacture in a standardised and repetitive way to ensure efficiency and the right quality. The robots are programmed and developed by our own highly skilled automation technicians. Our machinery is even more advanced and specialised than the robots, but human hands are the most important to ensure the right quality of our products,” Jeanette Løining says.

During the new millennium, the company has expanded their portfolio of products to include sofas, home office chairs and dining chairs with the same attention to comfort as the recliner chairs. Recently, Stressless® has designed powered recliner chairs with extra built-in functions such as massage and heating.

Sustainability as a mindset

Sustainability is a value which is deeply rooted in the company’s DNA. Their highly robotized production line for wood treatment uses environmentally friendly techniques such as water-based stains and varnish. Wooden offcuts from this production are used to heat the factories, the local outdoor pool and a neighbourhood close to the factory.

Their closed loop system for degreasing their steel tubes for production ensures that there are no discharges from the production.

Stressless® produces polyurethane foam at their own factories. The foam is produced without any flame retardants. The factory is designed to reuse the residual foam generated from trimming in the production in order to make rebonded foam. The rebonded foam is pressed together to make the foam which is used for smaller components, such as the ottoman. In this way, the excess foam is utilized to make new products.

The 1970s paired with modern comfort

In this 50th anniversary year, Stressless® pairs the base from the first chair from 1971, Stressless® Original, with the modern models Metro, London, Paris and Tokyo. The base is a light and elegantly curved steel base in a matte black or chrome finish, thereby giving the design a distinctive retro look.


Ekornes designs and manufactures furniture products that are marketed under the brand names Stressless®, Svane® and IMG. Stressless® is one of the world’s most well-known furniture brands, while the brands Ekornes® and Svane® are most famous in Norway. IMG is marketed mainly in the USA and Australia.

Welcome to Ekornes AS!

Ekornes is the Nordic region’s largest furniture producer. It is headquartered in Sykkylven, on the west coast of Norway. Ekornes has 19 sales offices in 13 countries and more than 4,000 retail outlets serving 48 markets worldwide.

Ekornes AS
Ekornes AS, Industrivegen 1
6222 Ikornnes
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