Definition of a Fainting Couch

Jun 23rd

A fainting couch is a piece of furniture that was popular in the homes of the Victorian era and was in the classroom and was primarily intended for ladies. The Victorian era lasted the duration of the reign of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom from 1837-1901.

Antique Victorian Fainting Couch
Antique Victorian Fainting Couch


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The fainting couch has legs, an arm, allowing easy access and a full or partial back. The hallmark of the furniture is that one side is tilted up, which allows a woman lying down.

Contemporary sofa fainting

The modern fainting couch is none other than a lounge chair, which should not be confused with a couch, having two arms.

Victorian Function

During the Victorian era, the ladies wore corsets a corset pulling tightly around torsos to shape the figure. The use of these could make a woman gasping for air; a Victorian lady would use to compose the fainting couch.

Modern Function

Like the chair, the fainting couch is used in modern homes, often placed in the living room, bedroom or even outdoors.

Famous Connections

Versions of these units have been used since ancient times and by a number of well-known historical figures. Cleopatra and the Greeks used their versions to lie on their sides. Freud’s patients reclined on a fainting couch during psychoanalysis.