A nice comfy armchair is hard to beat, a place to sit with a good book, enjoy a movie from or just to chill out in.
But there are so many great armchairs to choose from, so many different styles, fabrics, not to mention prices.
You want the comfort and the style, but how do you know if you’re spending your money on the wrong chair?
It’s not possible to try them all so narrowing down the choice can be a bit of a guessing game.
Not to worry, we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular types of armchair, so you can take the guesswork out of your decision-making.
We examine five of the most popular styles of armchair and what makes them a good investment for you.
So pull up a chair and let us do the legwork for you. But don’t get too comfy you may be changing seats very soon.
Leather armchairs are a timeless classic, they will never go out of style.
The undeniable quality of the material with the craftsmanship that it demands ensures that there will always be a market for leather armchairs.
The range of designs available means that there is one for everyone.
Comfortable club chairs and mid-century wing backs for traditionalists and contemporary swivel, recliners or accent chairs for 21st century functionality.
The elegance and quality of a leather armchair will never lose its appeal.
One of the great things about it is that it can completely hold its own in a room. It doesn’t need a matching sofa or coffee table to complete it.
As a material leather is unmatched. While most chair coverings can start to look tired or worn over time a leather armchair will grow even more beautiful as it gets older.
Any marks or signs of age will add to its character and never diminish its standalone elegance.
If you are in the market for a new armchair you should seriously consider a leather armchair.
Look for one that is made from full grain leather which is a premium grade of leather and ages incredibly well.
Not only will you own a high quality piece of furniture, but chances are it may last long enough for you to pass it on to future generations for them to enjoy.
Most people think of sofas when considering new furniture, but an accent chair can give your living room a new sense of style. They deliver comfort but with an edge.
Not only there to provide a place to sit, the accent chair demands attention in your living room.
As a statement piece you can choose an accent chair to either complement or contrast your decor.
They can also act as a focal point in the room with patterns and styles that are intended to disrupt rather than conform.
A chair with arms is an armchair, unsurprisingly but a chair with or without arms is an accent chair.
So an accent armchair could almost be a contradiction of itself. This is part of its non-conformist nature.
The accent chair’s reason for being is to draw the eye to it, to its style, design, pattern and uniqueness.
If a chair blends into its surroundings and matches the furniture around it, it is most definitely not an accent chair. If it instantly catches your attention it probably is.
Accent chairs are some of the most stylish armchairs you can put in your living room, and they are guaranteed to be the topic of conversation whenever you have guests.
If you want to spice up your seating arrangements take our advice and buy yourself an accent armchair.
The swivel chair has quite an amazing history. It was invented by Thomas Jefferson and was allegedly the chair on which he sat to draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Apparently he heavily modified a Windsor chair, connecting the top and bottom parts with an iron spindle which allowed the seat to swivel on the type of casters used in sash windows. Who knew?!
History aside, the swivel armchair is a great invention and very versatile.
You can have a swivel armchair as part of your conversation corner in the living room and then spin around when you want to watch TV.
No need to switch seats or move the furniture around. They’re also a great addition to a home office or bedroom.
Styles of swivel armchairs can range from modern chic velvet to cozy bouclé or serious suede. Some look just like regular armchairs while others are very obviously swivel chairs.
The style had its heyday in the seventies, and it absolutely has that retro feel to it.
Swivel armchairs come in many shapes and sizes, rounded, curved or square.
Designs can be understated and neutral or bold and strong, whatever your decor you will certainly find a swivel armchair to suit.
From its origins at the founding of a nation to the retro trend that it has become today the swivel chair looks like it is here to stay.
Who doesn’t love a reclining armchair? Nobody, that’s who. We dare you to sit in an armchair that reclines and not be overwhelmingly tempted to tip it back and relax.
And of course, that is what their function is, to help you relax and take it easy.
There are around eight different types of reclining armchair each with their own merits and intended occupiers.
Manual and power recliners simply allow the back to recline either through a manual lever or a power button which tilts the armchair back.
Glider and rocker reclining armchairs are great for nursing mothers and have additional planes of movement.
These armchairs are very soothing and excellent for getting babies and young children to sleep as you rock or glide back and forth with them in your arms.
Push back reclining armchairs have no visible mechanism and simply recline as you exert pressure on the back of the chair.
Due to this design they have a sleek and modern look making them very popular for minimalist decor.
A lift recliner is wonderful for those who struggle to get up from a regular armchair.
The recliner gently moves the occupier to a standing position by tipping forward slowly.
Finally a wall hugging reclining armchair sits flat against the wall for areas with less space.
Reclining armchairs can be covered in leather, suede, or chenille among other materials and many can be used with slipcovers for protection.
A lounge chair and ottoman set can come in all shapes and sizes, so you will have no trouble finding one that you like or that matches your decor.
The fundamental design intent for the set is and always has been for comfort and practicality.
A set can be made from the highest quality Italian top grain leather, or it can be a velvet accent piece in vibrant colors.
There really is no limit to the style, design and material that can be used in a lounge chair and ottoman set.
Even the name evokes the purpose of this furniture combination, to lounge and relax in comfort and style.
It is destined to be a focal point in your living room and is the perfect place to unwind after a long day or to start the day with your morning coffee.
If you want to be able to rearrange your living space frequently you can buy lightweight models made from plywood and polyester.
Or if you’re making it a permanent feature you can have something like a walnut wood and leather combination
Styles can be modern or traditional, quirky or understated. Whether it's a classic club or faux leather recliner we guarantee that once you have tried a lounge chair and ottoman set in your living room you won’t ever want to leave it.
Now that we have given you some idea of the type of armchair that you can have in your home there are some things to give thought to before you rush out to buy one.
Think About The Space
We’ve all seen that gorgeous armchair in the store or online that you just want to sink into with a good book and glass of wine, it looks so inviting and comfortable. But it’s big, and you’re not sure if it will fit in your living room.
Tempted as you might be to knock down a wall to fit the armchair of your dreams into your living room or den that’s just not practical.
So put down the demolition tools and pick up a measuring tape. The size of your chair will depend on where you are going to put it.
If you have a small apartment you won’t want a large heavy armchair that takes up a lot of space.
Instead go for something slimline and lightweight that can be easily moved around if necessary. An accent chair works well in smaller spaces and creates a focal point.
For bigger homes an armchair in a living room will probably stay in place unless you decide on a room rearrange, so it can be a bit more substantial.
But make sure that it is in proportion to the size of the room and that you don’t have to squeeze past it all the time.
Larger armchairs work well in basements or entertainment rooms if you are lucky enough to have the space.
Frequency Of Use
You may have fallen in love with a beautiful armchair and have the perfect spot picked out for it, but you need to consider how often you will use the chair.
This will help you decide on the type of armchair to buy and also how much money to invest in it.
If it is going to be your favorite reading or TV chair then you will most likely be spending a lot of time in it.
So it is worth getting one that will suit your comfort level and your specific needs.
On the other hand if it is an accent chair that is more part of the look of your room and will only be used occasionally then you may favor style over comfort.
All chairs are designed for sitting in of course, but some favor form over function so bear that in mind.
You might choose a large chair for your entertainment room and although you may only use it occasionally it should be comfortable.
No one wants to be uncomfortable while watching a movie or playing video games so make sure the armchair is fit for purpose.
Deciding the purpose of your new armchair will help you decide how often you are likely to use it and this in turn will help you choose the most appropriate one for your home.
Choosing The Right Material
Now that you have worked through where your armchair is going to go and what purpose it will serve you need to think about the material that it is made from.
Top grain Italian leather is amazing but if you have cats in your house you might want to think twice about that.
Those claws are lethal for leather! For those without kitty claws to worry about leather is an excellent choice.
It is very durable and good quality leather ages beautifully and gains tons of character with use.
A well cared for high quality leather armchair can last ten to fifteen years. Although leather is typically restricted in color to shades of brown and black.
Faux leather is a less expensive option but will not be as durable. It is also prone to cracking and fading in UV light.
However it is much easier to keep clean and can be wiped down to remove dirt and stains and is available in many more colors than real leather.
Upholstered chairs offer a large range of fabric choices, colors and patterns. The choice seems almost limitless.
They’re also available in stain resistant materials to protect them from accidental spills or sticky little fingers.
Picking the right armchair material will keep your furniture in the best possible condition for its intended purpose, so it is worth taking the time to consider it carefully.
Comfort Or Style
Whether you are buying an armchair for comfort or style will determine the type of chair that you purchase. Most will offer both, the style of the chair will attract you and the comfort will invite you in.
An accent chair is usually more about style and design while a reclining armchair will be favored for relaxing.
Swivel chairs are versatile and look good in a living room or home office and a leather armchair is a statement all by itself.
Decide what is important to you in an armchair, what its primary purpose will be and what material suits that purpose best.
Finding an armchair that combines style and comfort is not that difficult and with a bit of research you will find the perfect one for your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is The Best Place For An Armchair?
The best position for your new armchair will depend on its primary purpose.
If it is a TV chair then it will go opposite your TV, if it is part of a conversation grouping of seats then optimum positioning for this will determine its place.
For reading in your armchair you can place it near a window so that you have plenty of natural light.
And for nighttime reading position a good lamp behind the chair at height or beside you. Make sure it is bright enough so that you don’t suffer from eyestrain.
Choose a quiet corner for a reading chair away from the bustle of the household, near a fireplace is great for cozy comfort on a chilly day or winter’s evening.
How Do I Choose A Comfortable Armchair?
A comfortable armchair should have a firm enough seat so that it is not difficult to get out of, your arms should be able to rest comfortably on the chair arms and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Try before you buy for the best test of how comfortable an armchair is and whether it is a good fit for you.
The best armchair for you is the one that suits your lifestyle, decor and fulfills the purpose for which it is purchased. It should be comfortable and functional in addition to fitting into the space it occupies well.
You can invest in a high quality armchair that will last several years or choose one that is bang on trend.
Take into consideration the furniture around it and how it will blend in or with an accent chair how it will draw attention to itself and become the focal point of the room.
We hope our guide to the best armchairs has given you something to think about and has provided you with some inspiration for purchasing your next armchair.