If you are looking for a new Koken barber chair, well-done. These models are some of the best and the most popular on the globe, due to a simple reason. They were designed and made to be the best, so even today, their appearance makes people happy and barbers proud. Another reason why these barber chairs are well-known is the fact this company was the first to add hydraulic pump to be used for lifting the entire chair. Maybe today this doesn’t sound impressive, but back in the 1900s, this was a groundbreaking innovation. In order to understand how important this upgrade was, you should know that before it, barbers had to spin a chair in order to lift or lower it. It was an annoying and boring process that has upset a lot of clients, probably.

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Sadly, Koken’s company ended its life in the 50s, and they were acquired by their rival. It was a sad story, but there are a few plus sides. Nowadays, these chairs are expensive and they have design that is still 100% original. However, these barber chairs are far more complicated than you may believe, so there are a lot of additional things you should know. Luckily, we are here, and we already know what you may need.

antique Koken barber chair

Increased demand for Koken barber chairs: But why?

If you read carefully, you noticed that we mentioned that these chairs are more popular than ever. A Koken barber chair for sale is something that cannot every person find and even less of them can afford it. Recently, an antique Koken barber chair was sold for $6.500. Of course, it was completely restored and it looked amazing. As the result of this many other examples of the same kind, there are three types of people, who adore Koken’s barber chairs. They can be divided into:

  • Collectors: People who really like these chairs and they want to have them, no matter how expensive they are, but they don’t want to use them.
  • “Antique barbers”: Of course, this is a name we used for barbers who actually want to have and use these chairs in their salons. Don’t think that there aren’t a lot of people like that. In fact, many professional and classy barbers like chairs of this kind.
  • Sellers: Those who want to find, restore and sell these chairs in order to make a profit.

We will pay attention only to the first two types of people, so if you are one of them, you will feel like at home. Before giving you advice on how to find a great chair that will be able to meet all of your expectations, we should need a moment for explaining why these barber chairs are trending right now. According to a researched, we discovered that there are several reasons why. All of them are equally important and all of them have to be mentioned. In any case, they are:

  • Maybe this fact sounds well-known, and it probably is, but it is still the main reason why these chairs are so popular right now and this is the main reason why they will be even more popular in the near future. Let’s face it. There are no a lot of barber chairs with this look and with the effect they can transcend to clients and barbers.
  • Only these chairs can be used in classic barbershops. Maybe there are new models that look similar to old vintage chairs, but the real goal can be achieved only with a vintage Koken barber chair. Only a chair like that will fit perfectly into a barber shop and only it will make your clients perfectly happy.
  • Increase the value of the entire barber shop. Maybe it sounds strange, but our research found out that some people like and use these chairs in order to increase the value of their barbershops. There are two types of them as well. Those who want to increase the actual value of a barber shop and those who want to add a sentimental value to their workplace.
  • They are an investment. Yes, this is closely related to the third types of people who like these chairs, to those who want to make a profit, but we discovered that some people like keeping Koken antique chairs simply because in the near future, they will be more expensive than ever.
  • The difference of materials. You should know that even today, the best barber chairs manufacturers cannot match the quality of the original Koken chairs. They are simply impressive when it comes to the quality and the types of materials they have used. Modern barber chairs are simply poor, compared to these original masterpieces.
  • The first hydraulic lift barber chair. The fact these chairs were the first to come with the hydraulic lift pump made them better than all other models. It is a nice thing being able to have something that changed the way these chairs were made and used.

What makes Koken barber chairs different

Yes, Koken barber chairs are different than all other types of chairs designed for uses in barber shops. In fact, there are a lot of differences, and some of them are actually spectacular. We must add that a Koken barber chair’s value is also one of the main differences. These models are more expensive, due to the fact their owners believe that they are better made and they have better features than any other barber chair ever made. Anyway, we should be focused on the main differences.

Simpler restoration

If you find an antique Koken barber chair that requires restoration, and there are high chances it will, this procedure is much simpler than with other chairs of this kind. There are a lot of spare parts and  professionals who can help you with this process. Chairs made by other manufacturers are more difficult to restore and there are no a lot of spare parts for them.

No low-rated models

Of course, these chairs were invented before rating was, but nowadays, most of them have reviews and ratings.  According to them, every single model, ever made by Koken’s company was a successful marketing move and a great chair. In simpler words, there are no models that are treated as fail or mistake. While this may sound impressive, it is one of the main characteristics of barber chairs made by the manufacturer in question. It is a known fact that every other manufacturer had/has models that were reviewed as fails.

More comfortable

When it comes to the old and vintage barber chairs, comfort is the most important fact. Only the best and the most expensive models were ever used in barber shops, so they are unique. This is another difference that makes Koken’s barber chairs stand out from the crowd. Comfort they provide is simply better than any other manufacturer was able to provide. Experienced people know this, so they usually target these barber chairs.

What to look for

Now the time has come to help you fully understand which features and characteristics your new chair must have. Keep in mind that it will be difficult to find a model with all the feature mentioned below, but finding one that has several or most of them is definitely a highly recommended. After all, you will definitely be able to find a barber chair from any period that has at least 3-4 features. Now, the real secret is to look for a chair that has the features you are going to need and the ones you believe they are the most important.

Year of production

If you are going to buy an antique Koken barber chair, make sure you get one that was made in year you want. You will be able to find 1920 Koken barber chair and newer, made up to 50s (when the company went out of business). In general, older models are more desirable, but they are more difficult to find and they will probably need restoration. They are more expensive as well.


There is no point in buying an old barber chair that hasn’t been made out of leather (seats and headrests is a must). By doing this, you will make sure you get a top of the range model and you will be able to use it for a long period of time, without having to restore/repair it. The type of leather is less important, simply because the company in question used only the best materials back then.

Hydraulic pump

You have noticed that we mentioned the hydraulic pump several times. It is a must, simply because this feature is something that makes the entire barber chair better and of course, more original. As the end result, you will get a chair of this kind that was among the first models who were equipped with the hydraulic pump. In addition, these models are more desirable as well and they can be sold for more money.

Headrest and footrest

Maybe nowadays these two features are so important that every manufacturer offers them, but back in a day, they were rare, so only the best models have them. This also means that buying a barber chair that has both of them, is the main deal. A quite interesting fact is that there are more models with headrests and footrests that those without them, so you will be able to find the ones that will meet this expectation. Don’t forget about armrests, but the situation is the same with them, and almost any barber chair from that time has them.

360 degree rotation capability

Beside the pump that has been introduced by this manufacturer, 360 degree rotation was another feature that made Koken’s barber chair a masterpiece. Even now, their mechanisms for this feature are appreciated and they are treated as some of the best ever made. You will definitely want a chair with this great addition and you will definitely want to avoid those without it. Note: Models without this feature are not very popular and they are usually low rated.

Steel base

A great barber chair must have a steel base. There is no other way it can withstand all that load and heavy-duty applications. That’s why we will recommend you to get a model with a base made from steel. It will probably be in a great condition (the base) simply because those chairs had bases made from 4 times thicker steel than new models, so they are literally indestructible. A useful tip would be to pay attention to the rubber element, located below the steel base. They usually have to be replaced, when they are worn out, but this is a simple investment that means a lot.

Type of wood

If you are reading this, you already know that antique models are made from wood, rather than newer materials. This brings two questions. One is, is the wood in great condition and what type of wood it is. In both cases, you will have to pay attention to the type of wood first. The best models were made from hardwood and they have smaller, but important pieces of metal, used as supporting construction in order to be able to withstand a higher weight load. In general, they are the best thing. Tip: Make sure the wood has no cracks nor it has damages, or you will have to repair it. This type of restoration may cost you more than the entire chair.


Yes, we know, dimensions are already a well-known fact about these chairs and we all know how important they are. However, we must mention (we will be short) that bigger models were treated as more advanced models, in the past, so they are more expensive and they have more features. They also look better!


This is another, a basic feature / characteristic of barber chairs that is rarely taken into account. Most individuals are so happy, when they find a great model so they forget about the color. After all, there are no a lot of models out there, so any you can find is a great one.  However, make sure brown and green leather is a piece of the art and you should target these two colors. They are more luxurious as well and they are probably something that will blend-in in your barbershop.

Esthetic patterns

Now if you want to have an antique barber chair that looks like no other, esthetic patterns are mandatory. You will need a few minutes to understand what this actually means, or you can look at one of the most expensive chairs of this type and you will realize instantly. In essence, these are small additions that should make a chair look better and more interesting. If you know something about 15th century styles that were used in construction and in architecture you will know what does this means. Despite the fact this addition has no effect on the comfort nor on the practicality of a chair, it makes it look much better and more elegant. As the end result, your chair will definitely look better than any other.

Available spare parts

Eventually, you will have to replace a part or two on your chair. After all, they were made 90 years ago, so even the thickest steel may crumble and crack after so many years. This brings us to additional factor that should be included. You should make sure there are a lot of spare parts for a model you prefer. By choosing the one you can restore and repair anytime you want or need, you make a safe buy. A useful sub-addition is to pay attention to the prices of spare parts. Some of them may cost a fortune, usually those that are very rare or complicated, but some can be found as a bargain. All of this means that spare parts are more important that you may imagine and they definitely should be taken into account.

The bottom line

If you are still looking for a barber chair of this type, make sure you know something about Koken barber chair restoration before you buy your new model. After all, this procedure is expensive and there is no point in buying a model that is severely damaged and requires an expensive restoration. On the other side if you wind a preserved chair that looks as good as possible, buy it as soon as possible. It is a great investment and it will be a great addition to your barbershop, but you already know that. The thing you don’t know is that you can find a chair of this type for $400, but sell it for $7.000. It may be difficult, but it is possible.

If you prefer making safe choices, there are chairs of this type that are restored and that look completely perfect. They would be a great addition to your salon or your collection and even if you use them every day, their value will continue to rise forever.