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Are Chesterfield Couches Comfortable? They May Look Good But Does Anyone Want to Sit in them?

Chesterfield sofa is a large sofa with rolled arms. Chesterfield couch has a specific design that sets it apart from other sofas, here are some of its features.

Woman on chesterfield sofa

I personally do not find any couch to be comfortable, so this is a hard sell. As a definitely-not-a-couch-potato type of person, the reason that Chesterfields are so uncomfortable is the style. Let me explain to you why I would not buy a Chesterfield couch if I had a million dollars.

Ok, maybe then, but only if it were tufted using a fabric printed with a fabulously creative work of art. The comfort level of a Chesterfield couch is what I am trying to focus on here, though, and whether I can say this sofa is soft. I cannot, and here’s why.

What is a Chesterfield Sofa?

Classic brown chesterfield sofa

This has to be mentioned first and foremost. A Chesterfield couch has a specific design and looks that sets this piece of furniture apart from other sofas. Accordingly, “A true Chesterfield sofa is a large-sized sofa with rolled arms. The arms and the back of the sofa are the same height. It is typically a dark leather sofa that is upholstered. It has nailhead trim and deep button tufting.”

As you can clearly see, this couch is not screaming soft and fluffy. Nailhead trim, deep button tufting, and dark leather on a large sofa…and those rolled arms…here is what I think about the reason why Chesterfields should be put on the back burner and may be taken out completely. OK, maybe that’s a little harsh.

The truth is, if I had the money to invest in a spare dressing room with a parlor style, then yes, I too might buy into the Chesterfield look. But I doubt it, and here’s why.

It is Made of Leather

If you are a vegan, then you are going to avoid most Chesterfields simply because the cowhide makes you feel uncomfortable before you even attempt to sit on the thing, which you won’t do anyway. The majority of these couches use leather, though, and that’s an issue for people who support animal rights and veganism. What if you are not a vegan and have no problem with using leather? That’s OK for you, but what if you host a dinner party or have house guests?

Considering other people and their personal comfort will always win you over when trying to set up your home environment. At the end of the evening, if those around you are comfortable, then so are you, and providing comfy seating using a couch is one way to do this. It just can’t contain animal hide when half of the people at your place are vegan.

By the way, even faux leather is likely to freak out someone who is vegan, since you are still trying to pretend to use dead animal skin for fabric.

Faux Leather Chesterfield by WayfairSource: Wayfair

This is where you could get by with a Chesterfield made using velvet or suede for a completely different vibe. An exception to the rule, the velvet fabrics can be more forgiven on the comfort scale. It really depends on how much padding is used in a Chesterfield. The more padding, the more comfort you can expect to get out of this type of sofa. You could also add couch cushions and blankets made of fur to make for a cozier couch setting.

Chesterfield Couches Have Stiff Upper Backs

Give a Chesterfield couch a glance and you will see what I see–a stiff upper back. How is this supposed to be comfortable? Beats the heck out of me. Sofas, couches, settees…all of these are expected to hold a person up and help them find comfort on soft, plush surfaces. There is a complete lack of plush in Chesterfields, dare I say, even with the velvet versions. I know they are trying to soften the edge of these couches, but the reality is the sofa has a stiff upper back.

Tufted Chesterfield Velvet Sofa by HayneedleSource: Hayneedle

Arms Are Too High and Hard

As with the backside of a Chesterfield, the arms are too high to do anyone any good. Unless you are a giant, there is little chance for you to rest your arms comfortably on one of these couch arms. They are the same height as the back of the couch, which, again, I know is part of the signature style. Yet why? They need to be lowered to accommodate the natural sitting posture of a person. Design fails, for sure. I would go for a college dorm-style futon before I chose a Chesterfield simply due to the ill placement of the tall arm rests.

They Have Too Many Buttons

Brown chesterfield sofa button

There are so many buttons on the tufting of a Chesterfield, that it simply is impossible to relax on these things. Talk about fidget spinning! The original fidget spinners, right here. Sure, the buttons you see on the back and arms of a Chesterfield are the signature look of the sofa. That does not make this couch more comfortable simply by way of removing any fluff in order to add yet another riveting adornment.

Then you have to worry about loose and missing buttons on your Chesterfield. Having to replace and fix buttons on your couch is just going to be another stressful task you are thinking about in the back of your mind–especially if you have kids or pets. The smaller kids and puppies are the two biggest threats to the buttons on a Chesterfield.

Parents will never find this style of couch comfortable because they will be worried their child will pop off a button and swallow it. It’s more of a health and safety issue at this stage in a family, but that also means, for most young parents, they are not going to be investing in a Chesterfield as their family’s first couch.

It’s a Stuffy Styled Sofa

This brings up the last issue that ruins the comfort factor for a Chesterfield–the way it looks. This is a stately sofa, and it looks stuffy for a modern and contemporary space. The feet that raise this sofa from the carpeting also work to improve the style. By elevate, I mean making it lofty, aka something that is slightly snobby. If you are, again, someone who is investing in furniture for a sitting room or parlor in a large residence, then this sofa could fit the space. But would you feel comfortable lying around on this sofa? No, simply because it screams “Presidential.”

Exceptions to the Rule

Worn-In Vintage Chesterfields

worn out chesterfield

A worn-in and most definitely vintage Chesterfield sofa is a whole new ballgame–someone else’s ball game where you were not even in the ballpark. This is something to consider; do you want to share the seat with someone who has long sweated and slept on the sofa before you? If you are willing to bite that bacterial bullet, then a repurposed and slightly worn out Chesterfield may actually be comfortable. Then again, you might also find a broken spring or two poking you in your backside, so be warned.

You Suffer From Back Pain

If you are someone who suffers from poor posture, then a Chesterfield couch might be the perfect solution. For you, comfort is a backseat to the need to sit up tall and straight. This is when the size and shape, and firm cushioning, will best suit your physical needs.