10 things to look for when choosing an armchair

When it comes to home furnishings, few pieces are as inviting and personal as an armchair. It’s that cozy spot where you can unwind and showcase your unique style.

But with so many options out there, choosing the right armchair can feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to worry!

In this article we will shed the light on the key factors to consider so you can navigate the labyrinth of armchair choices with greater confidence and precision, ultimately discovering the perfect armchair that harmonizes comfort, durability, style, and personal preferences.

1. Comfort

10 things to look for when choosing an armchair

In the pursuit of an armchair that embraces the contours of our body, comfort takes center stage. where you can ensure optimal comfort and support, and consequently improving your overall well-being.

Here’s what to consider when selecting a comfortable armchair:

  • How comfortable is the seat: when you choose an armchair, the first thing you should look for is a comfortable seat to sit on for a long time. Make sure that the seat is well-cushioned, with a thickness that promotes a comfortable sitting experience. The padding should feel sturdy yet offer enough flexibility to entice you to sit on it.

  • The seat’s depth: A depth that aligns with the user’s leg length allows for proper weight distribution, reducing strain on the lower back. Additionally, an adjustable backrest can accommodate varying degrees of reclining, allowing individuals to find their ideal posture for relaxation or productivity. An armchair that is too narrow for your body can quickly become painful.

  • The seat’s height: To achieve optimal comfort while seated, it’s important that your thighs are in a flat and perpendicular position to the floor. Avoid having your knees pointing upward or downward, as this can lead to discomfort. Additionally, ensure that your feet can rest comfortably on the ground. However, if you have a seating area with a low coffee table and a lower couch, it’s advisable to select an armchair that matches the height of these other pieces. Sitting in a chair that is significantly taller than a coffee table can feel quite awkward. Therefore, it’sa good idea to measure the height of your coffee table and sofa seat before embarking on your armchair shopping expedition.

  • The back: If you intend to spend a long time sitting in the armchair for activities such as reading or watching TV, you should choose a chair with a supportive backrest that is sufficiently tall to provide neck support. This will help prevent neck pain or strain, ensuring a higher level of comfort. On the other hand, if you are specifically looking for an armchair to furnish a room where the primary use will be sitting and engaging in conversations with guests or household members, a chair with a smaller backrest might be ideal for this purpose.

2. Material and durability


Beyond comfort, an armchair should stand the test of time, both in terms of quality and aesthetics. Some chairs may initially appear impressive, but after a few uses, they reveal signs of wear and tear, such as a dented seat or loose arms. Even if their appearance holds up, their level of comfort may diminish with time.

Keep in mind that the quality of an armchair corresponds to its price. If something seems like an exceptionally good deal, it’s likely too good to be true.

Aim to find the best chair that fits within your budget. For instance, if your budget is $200, try to find a chair in that price range.

If you need to make compromises due to cost constraints, prioritize the quality of the frame, filling, and seat support above everything else. Investing in these areas will ensure that your chair maintains its comfort and durability in the long run.

Evaluating the materials and construction techniques employed is imperative to gauge durability and longevity. High-quality hardwood frames, such as oak or maple, offer exceptional strength, while joints reinforced with dowels or screws provide stability.

Examining the upholstery fabric, leather, or synthetic materials is vital to discern their resistance to wear, tear, and fading.

Considerations should also be given to stain resistance and ease of cleaning, ensuring the armchair remains an elegant centerpiece in the face of everyday challenges.

Understanding the distinctions between various materials used in chair construction can assist you in evaluating the quality of a specific chair. Here are some common chair materials are made out of:

  • Solid wood
  • Particleboard
  • MDF (medium-density fiberboard)

3. Aesthetics


While comfort and durability form the foundation, the aesthetic allure of an armchair cannot be overlooked. The design of the armchair plays a pivotal role in establishing the desired ambiance within a room.

Therefore, when choosing an armchair, one of the key factors to consider is the fabric covering it, ensuring it provides a comfortable feel.

If you choose a chair with fabric that feels itchy or uncomfortable, chances are you won’t utilize the chair as much as you would like.

It’s also a good idea to consider the composition of different fabrics. Some individuals have allergies to specific materials like cotton or wool, so it’s important to avoid getting a chair that could trigger an allergic reaction.

From classic to contemporary, a plethora of styles cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Carefully selecting the armchair’s silhouette, color palette,

and detailing ensures a seamless integration into the existing decor, allowing it to become a statement piece or a complementary element that elevates the overall aesthetic appeal.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that different fabrics have varying tendencies to hold dust, dirt, and pet hair. If you have pets at home, it might be more practical to opt for an armchair made of leather or another material that is resistant to pet hair accumulation.

Similarly, if you have children, investing in a stain-resistant fabric can be beneficial since spills are likely to occur frequently.

Another thing you need to look for when choosing a chair is the style of legs that you want. While the material of the legs may not significantly affect the comfort of your armchair, it does play a crucial role in the overall aesthetic of the room. It is generally preferable to have legs that match the other furniture in the space.

For example, if you have a wooden coffee table, it would be ideal to choose a chair with wooden legs. Similarly, if your coffee table is made of metal, choosing a chair with metal legs (in the same color) would provide the best visual harmony.

If you aim for a modern style, straight legs would be more appropriate, while curved legs would better complement an antique look.

4. Functionality and adaptability

armchair - recliner

Beyond providing a seat, armchairs can be multifunctional and adaptable to the evolving needs of individuals and spaces.

Functionality ensures that the chair serves its intended purpose effectively which means that you evaluate whether the chair meets your specific needs and requirements.

For instance, if you plan to use the armchair for reading, you may want to consider one with a built-in reading light or a side pocket for storing books.

If you prioritize relaxation, features like reclining or an adjustable footrest may be desirable and hence assessing the functionality of the armchair ensures that it aligns with how you intend to use it.

Additionally, adaptability is significant because it allows the armchair to be versatile and accommodate different situations or settings.

That’s to say, an adaptable chair can be easily moved or rearranged within a room to suit different activities or accommodate guests.

Look for armchairs that are lightweight, have removable cushions or covers for easy cleaning, or can be folded or disassembled if you require storage or transportation flexibility.

Features such as built-in storage compartments, adjustable armrests, or built-in power outlets enhance convenience and practicality.

Moreover, considering the armchair’s size and mobility is essential, particularly for those living in compact environments. Compact, lightweight designs or armchairs with swivel bases enable ease of movement and facilitate efficient space utilization.

5. Quality and affordability


While the allure of luxury armchairs is undeniable, it is crucial to strike a balance between quality and affordability.

Establishing a budget and researching available options within that range allows you to navigate the wide range of offerings without compromising on essential aspects.

Quality guarantees that the armchair is well-constructed, durable, and built to last. That is investing in a high-quality armchair means you’ll have a comfortable and reliable seating option for years to come.

A well-made chair will withstand regular use and maintain its aesthetic appeal without showing signs of wear and tear and by prioritizing quality,

you can avoid the inconvenience and expense of having to replace a poorly constructed armchair in the near future.

Affordability, on the other hand, relates to finding a chair that fits within your budget. It’s important to strike a balance between the price and the value you receive from the armchair.

While you want to avoid compromising on quality, it’s also essential to find an armchair that is reasonably priced and offers good value for your money. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-made chair without overspending.

Prioritizing quality construction, comfort, and durability over fleeting trends ensures that the armchair remains a cherished investment rather than a temporary fashion statement.

Considering both quality and affordability allows you to make a wise investment in an armchair that meets your needs, lasts long, and provides excellent value for your hard-earned money.

6. Size

10 things to look for when choosing an armchair

Size matters when choosing an armchair, for both practicality and style! Make sure it fits just right in your space, so you have room to move and relax.

Measure wisely and consider doorways and other furniture. But it’s not just about fit – it’s about looking good too! A chair that’s too big or too small can throw off the whole room’s vibe.

Find the perfect size that brings comfort and charm, making your space feel just right!

When selecting an armchair, it is essential to consider the size of the piece in relation to the available space and existing furniture.

Oversized armchairs may dominate a room and create a sense of clutter, while undersized ones may appear insignificant and uncomfortable.

Careful measurements and consideration of scale ensure that the armchair complements the room’s layout, creating a balanced and visually appealing environment.

7. Armrests and Arm Style

10 things to look for when choosing an armchair

Whether you like a chair with armrests, it entirely depends on your personal preference. Some people like having a place to rest their arms, while others prefer the open look without armrests.

The armrests are not only a design feature but also contribute to the functionality and comfort of an armchair.

The style and height of the armrests can significantly affect how one relaxes and uses the chair. Armrests generally help you relax more comfortably.

So, consider how much time you’ll spend relaxing in the chair versus engaging in other activities like chatting with guests. If you only plan to use an armchair occasionally, having or not having arms may not make much of a difference.

When deciding on armrests, also think about the material you’d like them to be made of. They can be made of wood, metal, or upholstered to match the chair. Keep in mind that metal armrests may look nice but might not be the most comfortable for resting your arms when you’re tired.

Check the thickness of the armrests too, so your arms don’t keep slipping off while you’re trying to relax. Wide, padded armrests offer additional support for the arms, while sleek, narrow ones provide a minimalist look.

The best way to determine if you like the armrests on a chair is to sit in it. If you’re buying online and can’t try it out, it’sa good idea to see the chair in person before making a purchase.

8. Cushioning and Padding

The cushioning and padding of an armchair contribute to its overall comfort and longevity. The type of cushioning, whether it’s foam, down, or a combination, can affect the firmness and durability of the seat.

High-quality foam with a high density provides excellent support, while down-filled cushions offer a plush and luxurious feel. Consider the desired level of softness or firmness and the maintenance requirements of the chosen cushioning material.

A well-cushioned armchair ensures that you can relax and sit for extended periods without discomfort. Look for chairs with thick and plush cushions that provide a cozy and inviting feel.

The padding should strike a balance between being firm enough to offer support and soft enough to provide a comfortable seating experience.

Consider your personal preferences and how you plan to use the chair. If you enjoy sinking into a cloud-like seat, opt for generous cushioning. If you prefer a firmer feel for better back support, choose a chair with denser padding.

Finding the right balance of cushioning and padding ensures that your armchair becomes a cozy haven for relaxation and enjoyment. So, take a seat, test the cushioning, and make sure it’s just right. Your armchair should be a comfortable retreat where you can unwind and indulge in relaxation.

9. Cleaning and Maintenance

Armchairs, like any piece of furniture, require regular cleaning and maintenance to preserve their beauty and hygiene. Different upholstery materials have varying cleaning requirements.

Some fabrics may be machine washable, while others may require professional cleaning or spot treatment.

Consider the practicality of cleaning and maintenance, especially in households with children or pets, to ensure the armchair remains in pristine condition over time.

Maintenance is also important to warrant the longevity of your armchair. Look for chairs with sturdy construction and quality materials that can withstand regular use.

Consider features like removable and washable covers, which can make maintenance and cleaning more convenient.

Additionally, following proper care instructions, such as avoiding harsh chemicals or excessive exposure to sunlight, can help preserve the chair’s appearance and structural integrity over time.

This guaranteesthat the armchair remains in excellent condition and continues to be a comfortable and attractive piece in your home for years to come.

10. Reviews from Others

Reviews and recommendations can provide valuable insights into the armchair’s performance and durability. They can help you gauge the reliability and trustworthiness of the product.

If an armchair consistently receives positive reviews and recommendations, it indicates that it is likely to meet your expectations and deliver a satisfactory experience.

They can also highlight any potential issues or drawbacks with the armchair. By reading about others’ experiences, you can identify any common problems or concerns that may help you make an informed decision.

Researching customer reviews and seeking recommendations from trusted sources or furniture experts can help uncover potential issues or hidden gems.

Feedback from individuals who have already experienced the armchair can shed light on aspects that may not be evident during a brief showroom visit, aiding in making an informed decision.

Laura from Couchtips
Laura from Couchtips
We are passionate about furniture and love to share everything that has to do with the furniture industry. We are your ultimate resource for learning everything about furniture, and your guide to choose the ideal home decor.

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