I’m a big fan of chairs. While I love a comfortable sofa, especially sectionals, my first choice is a large, deep-seated chair that I sink into.
However, just like most furniture options, we all have our one chair preferences, which has resulted in over the decades a great many types of chairs, all different design-wise and in some cases function.
In order to get a solid understanding of your chair options, we decided to put together this massive chair buying guide which sets out many different styles of chairs you can get for your home.
Table of Contents
- I. Chairs Around the Home
- A. Types of Living Room Chairs
- B. Dining Chairs
- C. Office Chairs
- D. Outdoor Chairs
- E. Children’s and Baby Chairs
- F. Gaming Chairs
- II. 26 Chair Back Styles
- III. Chair Materials
- IV. Unique Features
I. Chairs Around the Home
Our home should be a space where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy life. That’s why it’s essential to have comfortable chairs throughout the house on which you can sit. No matter which room you’re shopping for, you have plenty of options available.
A. Types of Living Room Chairs
Of all the rooms in your home, it’s most important to have comfortable, stylish chairs in your living area. This room is where the family gathers, you enjoy company, and you binge watch your favorite show. Make sure the chairs you choose are up to the task.
You are not limited to cozy couches for your living space. You can choose from all kinds of seating, such as armchairs, recliners, ottomans, round chairs, loveseats, and club chairs. Whatever your style, you have options for your living room seating.
Evan Davis once said, “A chair’s function is not just to provide a place to sit; it is to provide a medium for self-expression.” An armchair is one of the best ways to express your personal style in your living room, as Davis suggests.
These accent chairs provide an outlet for creativity while also giving you additional comfortable seating. Armchairs seat just one person, unlike their couch and loveseat cousins. They come in all sorts of styles – from contemporary to traditional and everything in between.
When it’s time to buy an armchair, budget for at least $200. Most of these seating selections start at this price and go up from there. Some can cost over $1,000.
The recliner feels like a modern luxury, and in some respects, it is. However, some historians believe that Napoleon Bonaparte owned the first version of this relaxing chair. Luckily, designers have made great strides in the recliner since Napoleon’s time.
Now, recliners are the epitome of comfort in the home. They come in leather and cloth upholsteries, manual and electronic, and plenty of styles. You can also find these chairs in all kinds of colors, even camouflage.
Certain recliners are great for people who struggle to get out of chairs from time to time. These lift-assist recliners make it easier for people with certain disabilities to be more independent in the home.
- Check out these large recliners
- Check out these theater seating recliners
- Check out more recliner chairs here.
3. Contemporary Round Chair
Feeling boxed-in by traditional chair choices? If so, the contemporary round chair might be perfect for you. These oversized seats often have a width around 58 inches and cushion depths around 30 inches. Those dimensions make for a perfect snuggling or relaxing chair.
The shape of these chairs make them great accent pieces. They come in all sorts of fabric coverings, but most often are suede or leather. Most contemporary round chairs are a neutral color, although some add a little pop of something brighter. These seats will set you back about $350 to $700.
Many chairs are only designed to accommodate one person at a time. However, loveseats up the cuddle-factor by allowing just enough room for two people to sit together. Some loveseats are big enough for two people to sit without touching, but many are designed to facilitate closeness.
Like a lot of living room chairs, loveseats come in all styles. Whether you want a modern look or something more classic, you can find a loveseat to fit your living room. Likewise, these chairs come in a wide range of colors and come upholstered in all kinds of fabrics. You can find a great loveseat for about $225 to $600, depending on variables like retailer, style, and size.
5. Accent Chairs
Accent chair is an umbrella term for a variety of living room chairs including club chair, wingback, English rolled arm, Bergère, barrel and Lawson chairs. We list all of these independently below. FYI, be sure to also check out our illustrated guide to sofa and chair arm styles here.
Below we list out the various types of accent chairs you can buy.
a. Club Chair
American singer Tiny Tim once said, “If the club was empty, I sang to the chairs.” This quippy quote can help you picture what makes a club chair. It is a type of armchair that is typically covered in leather, but it’s much more than that.
A club chair sets the mood of comfort and relaxation as if being serenaded. This type of chair was first invented in France, where it was called “fauteuil confortable,” or comfortable chair. The distinction is that a club chair wraps you in comfort and has more rounded edges.
Elements of a club chair include:
- Deep seat;
- Often leather;
- Lower back.
Club chairs can add a certain je ne sais quoi to your living room for a reasonable price. You can grab a basic one for around $100 or spend approximately $500 for a premium club chair.
b. Wingback Chair
One type of accent chair that can add flair and fashion to your space is a wingback chair. This kind of seat is characterized by its high sides that surround the sitter. These chairs make excellent spots for reading and relaxing.
The signature design element of a wingback chair is are the forward side panels extending from the chair back. Another common feature is a high back.
You can find wingback chairs to fit in every style of home. Whether you are a fine of contemporary, traditional, eclectic, or some other style, you can find a wingback chair for your space. Like other accent chairs, you can expect to pay between $150 and $300 for a beautiful wingback chair.
c. Bergère Chair
For fans of traditional French style, there’s hardly a better accent piece than the bergère chair. This type of chair allows you to bring a touch of royalty to your home. Royalty such as Louis XV and his family turned these armchairs into mainstays of the French style.
- Deep, wide seat;
- Exposed wood; and
- Loose seat cushion (sometimes).
These pieces are intricate works of art that also serve as seating. As such, you can expect to pay a little more for a bergère chair. On the lower end, you can find a new bergere chair for about $500. However, these can run up to $1,300 and more. It costs a pretty penny to live like royalty.
d. Lawson Chair
The lawson style chair is defined by:
- Straight lines;
- Firm cushioning;
- Rounded or square arms; and
- Arms lower than the back.
e. Barrel Chair
Barrel chair design elements include:
- Solid, rounded back;
- One piece with arms; and
- Often fairly large.
f. English Rolled Arm
Key design elements of an English Rolled Arm chair include:
- Rounded, low arms;
- Soft cushioning; and
- Deep seat.
g. Slipper Chair
The slipper chair is an accent chair with no arms.
h. Ottoman / Lounge Chairs
Sit back, relax, and kick your feet up with a comfortable ottoman. As you may expect, the origins of this type of furniture date back to the Ottoman Empire of the 1700s. Since then, these footstools have become multi-functional, cost-effective mainstays in living rooms around the world.
Many ottomans serve as not only a resting place for tired feet but also as extra storage and coffee tables. Sometimes, the top comes off to reveal that the other side is wood or plastic – perfect for a coffee table. It may also be hollowed out in the middle for blanket and pillow storage.
Best of all is that the ottoman can serve as additional seating when you have guests over. Because ottomans range from $20 to $100+, this makes them one of the best ways to add seating to your home.
See our huge collection of accent chairs with matching ottoman here.
i. Chesterfield Chair
Most people think “sofa” when chesterfield style comes up, but there are chesterfield style chairs too. They look just like the sofa, except it’s a chair. The key ingredient for a chesterfield design is the tufted upholstery. In fact, the tufted upholstery is the defining element because you can have chesterfield styles that in fact fall under other styles such as a wingback… in which case would be a wingback chair with tufted upholstery.
B. Dining Chairs
While we cover the main dining chair styles here, if you wish to get a better understanding of many types, check out our detailed article setting out the many different types of dining room chairs.
The dining area in your home can be a great place for your family to connect. As you enjoy meals, you should sit in comfort so that you can focus on the people who surround you. That’s why it’s important to find the perfect dining room chairs.
Whether you need seating for your kitchen island, places for guests to gather around your dining room table, or both, there are plenty of options for you. These dining chairs come in all sorts of styles, so take a look and see what may be right for you.
1. Bar Stool
There are many types of bar stools to choose from.
If you have a high-top table or an island with an overhang, you need bar stools to fit your space. Bar stools can come in all different heights, so it’s crucial for you to measure your table or counter before purchasing your barstools.
Some bar stools have adjustable heights while others stay in place. Some rotate, and others do not. Some bar stools are true stools that have no back, and others have varying levels of back support. Consider all these options before making your decision.
Online, you can find bar stools from about $50 to $100. Whether you prefer something ultra-modern or with farmhouse charm, there is a perfect barstool for you.
2. Wishbone Chair
For a mid-century look at your dining room table, you can choose wishbone chairs. These chairs are often made of wood with a cushioned or wicker seat. The defining characteristic is the support up the middle of the back that splits like a wishbone.
These chairs also curve around the back to add extra support. They typically come in neutral colors, but you can find wishbone chairs in bright colors as well. There are also wishbone-style bar stools to match.
A well-made wishbone chair can cost between $150 and $350. These chairs are usually no more than 20 inches wide, which make them perfect for dining room tables everywhere.
3. Ghost Chair
Don’t be fooled by the name of this style of chair. A ghost chair isn’t haunted, just made of clear plastic. Ghost chars are the perfect dining room accessories for any ultra-modern home. You can get these chairs with or without arms, in sets of two and four, and in varying heights.
Some ghost chairs have metal or wood accents on the legs, which can add dimension and interest to your dining room table. Looking to bring this style to other parts of the home? Some ghost chairs make great accent chairs in the living room or office.
The prices on ghost chairs aren’t too spooky either. They usually cost between $75 and $125.
4. Side Chair
The side chair is probably the most common dining room chair option.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fit armed chairs around a typical dining table. While the end chair may have room for that, the middle of the table doesn’t have enough space. That’s where side chairs come in. These seating solutions are dining chairs without the arms.
You can find these chairs made of metal, wood, and even plastic. They come in all kinds of colors and styles. The prices reflect the variety of styles. You can buy a side chair for anywhere from $70 to $300.
C. Office Chairs
If you do any work from home or use your office regularly, it’s vital to have a comfortable office chair. You don’t have to sacrifice your style to get comfort, however. You can find reading and desk chairs that fit your look and feel great.
1. Reading Chair
“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading,” Logan Pearsall Smith once said. If you’re the type of person who loves to read, you know how vital a good reading chair is to your office. Reading chair can be armchairs, recliners, or a chair with an ottoman. An essential feature of a great reading chair is its comfort.
These chairs should invite you in and envelope you. Like the books you read, you should never want to leave your favorite reading chair. A wonderful reading chair can cost between $150 and $300, depending on the features you want. No matter the style of your office, you can find a reading chair that fits perfectly.
Learn more from our extensive “types of reading chairs article“.
2. Desk Chair
A desk chair provides comfort while you work at your home desk. There are several different types of desk chair from which you can choose.
- Executive Office Chairs: provide premium comfort
- Ergonomic Desk Chairs: designed to fit your body
- Drafting Chairs: Basic office chairs with improved movement
- Banker’s Chairs: usually wood with arms
- Office Stools: No arms or back
- Alternative: Stability ball, etc.
The type of chair you need will depend on how you use your desk. If you only use it to pay bills occasionally, you may just want an ergonomic chair, which cost less. However, if you work for several hours a day at your desk, you may prefer an executive chair. Low on space? A stool can store under the desk when you aren’t using it.
See our types of desk chairs here.
D. Outdoor Chairs
Creating a perfect outdoor space for entertaining means setting a relaxing atmosphere and getting the right seating for everyone on your list. There are several types of outdoors chair to choose from, or you can mix and match.
1. Folding Chair
Source: The Home Depot
If you host backyard parties and barbeques, you need plenty of seating for all your guests. Folding chairs can be a cost-effective solution for your next party. As the name suggests, these chairs fold up for easy storage.
Folding chairs are usually made of plastic, metal, or some combination of the two. You can purchase them for as little as $14 each. It’s a great way to accommodate all your guests at once.
2. Chaise Lounge Chairs
While your outdoor space can be great for entertaining guests, it’s also perfect for relaxing alone. A chaise lounge chair can be the perfect place to soak in the sun and spend time outdoors. These chairs extend outward so that your legs are propped up. The backs lean to put you in the perfect peaceful position.
Some chaise lounges are equipped with unique outdoor cushions that can withstand the elements. The bases are made of wood, metal, or plastic. You can choose from chaise lounges that adjust to several different positions. Some even lay all the way down.
Hang out by the pool, get a tan, or read a great book with one of these. Please note that not all chaise lounges are meant to go outdoors. Some designers have adapted the classic chaise for indoor use only.
3. Wicker Chairs
Source: The Home Depot
If you want an outdoor chair that makes a statement, a wicker chair set is precisely what you need. The wicker in these chairs can withstand all kinds of outdoor elements. Plus, these chairs also come with specialized cushions that are weatherized.
Most often, wicker chairs come in neutral colors like white, brown, and black. These chairs are usually sold as part of a set. You can expect to pay between $150 and $300 per chair. Remember that these chairs are built to last much longer than some other outdoor furniture.
4. Camping Chairs
Chairs don’t have to stay at home. If you’re going camping or tailgating, you may wish to buy camping chairs. These polyester chairs fold up small, so they fit in your vehicle. Then, when you’re ready, they quickly fold out to give you a comfortable place to sit.
Camping chairs come in all kinds of colors and patterns. You can even grab a camping chair with your favorite team’s logo – perfect for tailgating. You can often find these chairs for as little as $10 a piece, making this one of the cheapest sitting solutions around.
Are you not sure if you want a hammock or a chair outside? Get the best of both worlds with a hammock chair. These comfortable chairs sway like hammocks, but they are easier to get in and out of.
Most hammock chairs come with weather-proofed cushions that make your outdoor time particularly relaxing. You can choose from all kinds of bright colors and patterns.
These relaxing chairs can cost between $30 and $50. They provide plenty of comfort and style for such a price.
E. Children’s and Baby Chairs
If you have little ones in the home or one on the way, you may need to make some adjustments to your sitting situation. A rocking chair or kid-sized seats can be a welcome addition for any family.
1. Rocking Chair
They don’t sing “Rock-a-bye baby” for nothing. Babies and toddlers love for their parents to rock them, especially when it’s time to close their little eyes. That’s why every nursery needs a rocking chair. It’s a game-changer for kids and parents alike.
The most unique feature about rocking chairs is their ability to rock back and forth in a soothing motion. This motion can calm fussy babies, though scientists aren’t sure why just yet. Rocking chairs can be plush and have arms, or they can be more minimalist. Many have cloth coverings, but some are leather. Still, some are pure wood and more traditional.
The two most important factors are that you would feel comfortable in it and that it fits in your space. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for one of these nursery must-haves.
2. Glider Chair
The glider chair is like a rocking chair but the motion is more even in that your head doesn’t tilt down and up while gliding. It’s more a back and forth motion rather than a rocking motion.
This makes it easier to feed/nurse babies yet still provide a rocking motion.
Another cool feature is the ottoman glides as well so your entire body glides with baby effortlessly and very, very smoothly (which is important when trying to get a baby to sleep… been there done that many, many times).
3. Chairs for Kids
Does your child like to do everything you do? Do they crave things that are only theirs? Children love to do things that their parents do independently. That’s why kid-sized chairs are essential. Create a room that’s just the right size for your child with these cool seats.
Almost every type of chair that comes in adult size comes in child size too. Kid’s rocking chair? Sure! Child-size arm chair? Why not? You can even get a desk chair for the little boss in your life.
Get something just like your favorite chair to make your child feel like a big shot. These chairs run from approximately $30 to upwards of $100. It all depends on your style and needs.
F. Gaming Chairs
Do you live for video games or know someone who does? Gaming chairs are perfect for avid video gamers. For console players, there are chairs like the one pictured above that position you in front of the television perfectly. Some even have built-in speakers to enhance your experience.
Are you more of a PC player? No problem. Some desk chairs come equipped with special features for gamers. These seats are ergonomic, high-tech, and downright comfortable. No matter your game, you can find the right seat for between $50 and $150.
II. 26 Chair Back Styles
You just might be surprised by how many chair leg styles there are. Here’s a terrific infographic setting out all the different styles of chair legs:
Furniture makers can use all kinds of materials to create your perfect chair. Some are upholstered in leather, cotton, or polyester. Others are made of metal, wood, or plastic. Often, chairs combine these materials for a textured look.
Upholstered chairs use either leather, cotton, or polyester to cover cushions that make the chair comfortable. Check out the features and benefits of each type of upholstery.
There’s a reason that leather is synonymous with luxury. You can find genuine and faux leather on all kinds of chairs – from rocking chairs to loveseats and more.
- Easy to clean
- More expensive
- Must use special cleaner to maintain
- Can get hot in the summer
If you want to add a classic, comfortable look to your home, consider a leather chair.
Cotton is the fabric that everyone knows and loves. People use it in clothes, towels, and more. So, why not use it on chairs as well?
- Feels good on the skin
- Comes in many colors and patterns
- Easy to care for
- Can fade in sunlight
- Must be treated or it will be flammable
If you love cotton in your everyday life, consider this type of upholstered chair. Whether you need side chairs, seats for little ones, or an accent piece, there is probably a cotton version just for you.
If you want an upholstered chair for your outdoor space, you will probably need a polyester chair. This tough fabric can stand up against the climate and look great doing it. Many cushions on wicker chairs are covered in polyester, as are many hammock chairs. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and styles.
If you love the industrial look, you need a few metal chairs in your home. These durable seats look great and come in plenty of shapes, colors, and sizes. Most often, you find metal chairs in the dining area or at the kitchen island. Best of all, you can grab a metal chair for as little as $40 or as much as $90.
Are you building your farmhouse dream home? Maybe you love the traditional look. Both of these styles, and many others, work well with wood chairs. Whether you want wood in your kitchen, dining room, office, or all of the above, there are chairs to fit you needs.
- Come in many styles
- Require special cleaners
- Can fade in the sun
- Can be difficult to remove stains
Plastic is a standard material in outdoor, dining, children’s, and corporate chairs. Because plastic is so cheap to produce, these chairs often cost less than their counterparts. Plus, plastic chairs are simple to clean and maintain. All you have to do is wipe away the mess.
There are some downsides to buying plastic chairs. First of all, they tend to be less comfortable than wood and upholstered versions. Secondly, many can look cheap. However, some plastic chair can be high-end. For example, ghost chair is a significant trend, and they are made of clear plastic.
Finally, some plastic chairs can be flimsy. It’s important to look for pieces that are made to withstand whatever you will throw at them.
IV. Unique Features
Sometimes, you just need to shop based on what a chair can do. Believe it or not, some chairs are made for more than just sitting in and relaxing. Some can offer storage. Meanwhile, others can convert to a bed and some can swivel.
What if Your chair could put an end to clutter around your home? Certain chairs and ottomans have secret storage compartments that allow you to cut down on clutter and keep things nice and tidy.
The most common type of storage seating is the ottoman. These function as extra seating, a place to rest your feet, additional storage, and sometimes a coffee table. If you prefer functional furniture, this is the type of seating for you.
However, ottomans don’t get all the glory. Some arm chairs have storage too. Keep your favorite blankets out of sight until it’s time to break them out.
B. Convertible Chair
If you don’t have the room for a guest bed and don’t want a full sleeper sofa, you can invest in a convertible chair for your occasional guests. These comfortable chairs look great upright and then fold into a bed when needed.
Forget what you think you know about futons and convertible chairs. These pieces of furniture have come a long way in recent years. Now, they can be relaxing as both chairs and beds. It’s truly a functional piece of furniture that also looks great.
You can sometimes find convertible chairs for around $170 and they run to about $350. When you think about it, that’s a great price for two pieces.
C. Swivel Chair
You likely know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and was the third President of the United States. However, did you know that this founding father was also an inventor? That’s right, Mr. Jefferson invented the swivel chair in 1775, in the middle of the American Revolution.
The swivel chair has come quite a long way since the Revolutionary War. These days, even comfortable, cushioned arm chairs can swivel. These fun additions to your living room come in many shapes, colors, and fabrics. Typically, a swivel chair is only meat to hold on person.
Some swivel chairs are more suited for offices, which would be desk chairs. Others are great for outdoor use.