I’m a big fan of chairs. While I love a comfortable sofa, especially a sectional sofa, my first choice for seating in any room is a large, deep-seated chair that I sink into, deep and comfortable.
However, just like with most other furniture options, we all have our own chair preferences. These various preferences have resulted over the decades in a great many types of chairs, all different in design, and in some cases, function.
In order to get a solid understanding of all your chair options, we decided to put together this massive chair buying guide, which sets out many different styles of chairs you can purchase for your home.
I. Chairs Around the Home
Your 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 of chair types available to you.
A. Types of Living Room Chairs
Of all the rooms in a home, it’s most important to have comfortable, stylish chairs in the living area. The living room is where the family gathers, where you enjoy company, and you binge-watch your favorite show. Make sure the living room chairs you choose are up to these tasks.
You are not limited only to using cozy couches in 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 many different 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 and easiest ways to express your personal style in your living room, just as Davis suggested.
Armchairs can be wonderful accent chairs, that can provide an outlet for expressing creativity while also providing additional and comfortable seating. Armchairs seat just one person at a time, unlike their couch and loveseat cousins. They come in all sorts of styles – from contemporary, to traditional, and every style in between.
When it’s time to buy an arm chair, budget to spend at least $200. Many of these seating chair types start at this price and often go up from there. Some armchairs even cost over $1,000.
The recliner feels like a modern innovation, and in some respects, it is. However, some historians believe that Napoleon Bonaparte owned the first version of this relaxing chair type. Luckily, designers have made great strides in the design of the recliner since Napoleon’s time.
Recliners are the epitome of comfort in a home. These chair types can come in leather or cloth upholstery, with manual or electronic mechanisms, and plenty of different styles. You can also find these chairs in all kinds of colors, even patterns, like camouflage.
Certain recliners are a perfect option 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 their homes.
- 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 a perfect chair type 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, perfect for curling up in with a good book and a blanket!
The shape of these chairs make them great accent pieces, as well. Round chairs come in all sorts of fabric coverings, but most often use suede or leather upholstery. Most contemporary round chairs also come in neutral colors, although some add a little pop of brighter shades and hues. One of the more expensive chair types, 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 on together without touching, but many are designed to facilitate closeness.
Like many other types of living room chairs, loveseats come in all styles. Whether you desire 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 the retailer, style, and size.
5. Accent Chairs
Accent chair is an umbrella term for a variety of living room chairs, including the club chair, wingback chair, English rolled arm chair, Bergère chair, barrel chair, and Lawson chair. 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 unique. A club chair is a type of armchair that is typically upholstered using leather, but it’s also so much more than just that.
A club chair sets a mood of comfort and relaxation in a space, as if the people in it are being serenaded. This type of chair was first invented in France, where it was called “fauteuil confortable,” or comfortable chair. The original name shows how a club chair wraps you in comfort and has more rounded edges than other chair types.
Club chairs are characterized by deep seats, leather chair upholstery, a lower back, and a general roominess.
These chairs can add a certain je ne sais quoi to a living room, and usually for a reasonable price. You can grab a basic one for around $100 or spend up to around $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, or wing chair. This kind of living room chair is characterized by the high sides that surround the sitter, or the “wings” of the chair. Wingback chairs make excellent options for reading, relaxing, and visiting, and they’re generally a classic and timeless design that can weather any number of home decor changes.
The signature design element of a wingback chair is the forward side panels extending from the chair back. Another common feature is a high chair back.
You can find wingback chairs to fit in every style of home decor. Whether you are a fan of contemporary, traditional, eclectic, or some other style, you can find a wingback chair that will fit in 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 opulence to your home to make you feel like royalty. Royalty, like French King Louis XV and his family, turned the bergere chair into a mainstay of French home decor style.
Bergère chairs are characterized by elements like a deep, wide seat with a (sometimes) loose seat cushion, and exposed wood. The exposed wood on a bergère chair is typically located on the arms of the chair between the upholstered armrests and the chair back, the legs of the chair, and the outer edges of the chair back.
A bergère chair is an intricate work of art that also serves as seating. As such, you can expect to pay a little more for a bergere chair than you might for other chair types. On the lower end, you can find a new bergere chair that costs about $500. However, these chair types can cost up to $1,300, and sometimes even more. It costs a pretty penny to live like royalty, after all!
d. Lawson Chair
A Lawson chair is a chair style that lies somewhere between traditional chair design and mid-century modern design. This type of chair, with its armrests at the ideal height for most adults to rest their elbows upon, makes for a perfect reading chair.
The Lawson chair style is characterized by the straight lines used in its design with rounded or square arms that are lower than the chair back, and its firm cushioning. Lawson chairs are a perfect addition to a library, or a reading nook in a living room.
e. Barrel Chair
Another living room chair option is the barrel chair. A barrel chair resembles the top of part of its name, a barrel, and there is evidence that early barrel chairs were in fact made using actual barrels. These chairs can feel almost like a hug from behind, due to their shape.
A barrel chair’s design is characterized by its solid, rounded back, large size, and the fact that it is most often designed as one piece with arms. Barrel chairs often appear more masculine overall, but their rounded shape also suggests a femininity, making this chair design incredibly versatile.
f. English Rolled Arm Chair
A very traditional design, the English rolled arm chair just oozes coziness with its soft, deep cushioning and rounded edges. It’s an incredibly comfortable armchair option, due mostly to the cushioning and angled chair back of this type of chair.
English rolled arm chairs have a few key designs that distinguish them from other chair types. These include their low, rounded arms and deep seat with soft cushioning, as well as the angled chair back.
g. Slipper Chair
The slipper chair is an armless accent chair with a seat that is low to the ground. This armless chair, with its high chair back, rose to popularity in the Victorian era. Slipper chairs got their name during this time, as these chairs were used to make it easy for upper-class ladies to sit and put on their shoes or slippers.
A slipper chair is unique from the other living room chairs listed here because it is an armless chair with a high chair back and low seat. Many slipper chairs truly embrace their identity as an “accent chair,” coming in a plethora of colors, patterns, and styles, from the neutral to the outlandish. Because the slipper chair is an armless chair, it can be a wonderful choice for those with small living spaces, because their lack of arms means that these chairs tend to take up less space than chairs with arms do.
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 not only as a resting place for tired feet, but also as extra storage and a coffee table. Sometimes, the top of an ottoman can come off to reveal that the other side is wood or plastic – perfect for use as a coffee table. An ottoman may also be hollowed out in the middle for blanket, pillow, and other item storage.
Best of all, an ottoman can serve as additional seating when guests are visiting and seating is limited. Because ottomans range from $20 to over $100 in price, this makes an ottoman 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 in existence, too. Chesterfield chairs look just like the sofa with which they share a name, except that they are smaller, seating only one person at a time. The key element in a Chesterfield design is its tufted upholstery. In fact, the tufted upholstery of a Chesterfield chair is its defining element. This is due to the fact that there are Chesterfield styles that fall under other styles such as a wingback chair – in which case, the chair would be considered 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 more dining chair types, check out our detailed article setting out the many different types of dining room chairs.
The dining area in a home can be a great place for a family to connect. As you enjoy meals together, 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, both in terms of style and comfort.
Whether you need seating for a kitchen island, places for guests to gather around the dining room table, or both, there are plenty of options for you available. These dining chairs come in all sorts of styles, so take a look and see what may be right for you and your needs.
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 most likely need bar stools to fit in this space. Bar stools can come in many different heights, so it’s crucial for you to measure your table or counter before purchasing barstools.
Some barstools have adjustable heights, while others stay at one height. Some rotate, and others do not. Some barstools are true stools with no back, and others have varying back heights, from low and minimal to high and supportive. It’s important to consider all these options before making a decision.
Online, you can find bar stools that cost anywhere from about $50 to $100. Whether you prefer bar stools that are ultra-modern or with farmhouse charm, there is a perfect barstool for you on the market.
2. Wishbone Chair
For a mid-century look at your dining room table, you can choose chairs in the wishbone style. Wishbone chairs are often made from wood, with a cushioned or wicker seat. Their defining characteristic is the support up the middle of the back that splits like a wishbone shape.
These chair styles also curve around the back to add extra support for the seated person. Wishbones chairs typically come in neutral colors, but you can find them in bright colors as well. Wishbone style bar stools that match wishbone dining chairs are also available from many retailers.
A well-made wishbone chair can cost anywhere between $150 and $350. These chairs are usually no more than 20 inches wide, which make them perfect for dining room tables everywhere, but especially for smaller dining spaces.
3. Ghost Chair
Don’t be fooled by the name of this chair style. A ghost chair isn’t haunted; it’s just made from clear plastic. Ghost chairs are the perfect dining room accessories for any ultra-modern home. You can purchase 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 their legs. These accents can add dimension and interest to a dining room set. Looking to bring this chair style to other parts of the home? Some ghost chairs make great accent chairs in a living room or an office.
A ghost chair can be a perfect addition to a small room and/or a room that receives limited natural light. Because they seem to disappear before the eye, they don’t block natural light or create too much visual clutter.
The prices on ghost chairs aren’t too spooky, either. They usually cost between $75 and $125 each.
4. Side Chair
The side chair is probably the most common dining room chair option purchased and used in most home dining room sets.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fit armed chairs around a typical dining table. While an end chair may have room for to have armrests, the middle of the table often doesn’t have enough space for chairs with arms. That’s where side chairs come in. These seating solutions are armless dining chairs. A side chair’s lack of arms mean that it takes up less space, so more can be fit around a table.
You can find sides chairs made from metal, wood, or even plastic. They come in any number of colors and styles. The prices of side chairs reflect the variety of styles in which they are available. You can buy a side chair for a price that is anywhere from $70 to $300.
C. Office Chairs
If you do any work from home or use your home office regularly, it’s vital to have a comfortable office chair in which to sit. You don’t have to sacrifice style to achieve comfort, however. You can find task chairs, like reading, desk, or gaming chairs, that fit your decor and are comfortable to use.
1. Reading Chair
Logan Pearsall Smith once said, “People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” If you’re the type of person who loves to read, you know how vital a good reading chair is to an office. Reading chairs can be armchairs, recliners, or even a lounge chair with an ottoman. An essential feature of a great reading chair is its comfort.
Reading chairs should invite you in and envelope you once you’re sitting in them. Like the books you read, you should never want to leave your favorite reading chair. A stylish and inviting reading chair can cost between $150 and $300, depending on the features you desire. No matter the style of your office, you can find a reading chair that fits it perfectly.
2. Desk Chair
A desk chair is a type of task chair that provides comfort while you work at a home desk. There are several different types of desk chair from which you can choose. Here is a list of a few desk chair types:
- Executive Office Chairs: These desk chairs provide premium comfort.
- Ergonomic Desk Chairs: These desk chairs are designed to fit your body for maximum, personalized comfort.
- Drafting Chairs: These are basic office chairs with improved movement abilities.
- Banker’s Chairs: These desk chairs are usually made from wood, and have arms and armrests.
- Office Stools: These desk seating options have no arms or back.
- Alternative: One desk chair alternative is a stability ball, though there are others, as well.
The type of task chair you need will depend on how you use your desk. If you only use your home desk to pay bills occasionally, you may want just an ergonomic chair, which is typically quite affordable. However, if you work for several hours a day at your desk, you may prefer an executive chair. If you’re short on space, a stool that can be stored under the desk when you aren’t using it can be an ideal solution.
See our types of desk chairs here.
D. Outdoor Chairs
Creating a perfect outdoor space for entertaining family and other loved ones means setting a relaxing atmosphere and providing the correct seating for everyone on your guest list. There are several types of outdoor chairs to choose from, or you can even mix and match outdoor chair styles.
1. Folding Chair
Source: The Home Depot
If you host backyard parties and barbeques, you need plenty of seating for all the guests that attend. Folding chairs can be a cost-effective solution for your next party. As the name suggests, these chairs fold up for easy and space-saving storage.
A folding chair is usually made of plastic, metal, or some combination of the two. You can purchase folding chairs for as little as $14 each. Using folding chairs is a great way to accommodate all your guests at once, without taking up too much space when they are not being used.
2. Chaise Lounge Chairs
While your outdoor space can be wonderful for entertaining guests, it’s also perfect for relaxing alone or in small, intimate groups. A chaise lounge can be the perfect place to soak in the sun and spend time relaxing outdoors. These chairs extend outward, so that the legs of the person sitting in it are propped up on it. The backs of these chairs lean, to hold you in the perfect, most peaceful position.
Some chaise lounges are equipped with outdoor cushions that can withstand the elements. The base of a chaise lounge is often made from wood, metal, or plastic. You can choose chaise lounges that adjust to several different positions; some even extend so that you can lie all the way down.
Hang out by the pool, get a tan, or read a great book with a chaise lounge. Please note that not all chaise lounges are meant to remain outdoors, as 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 used in these chairs can withstand all kinds of outdoor conditions. Plus, wicker chairs also often come with specialized cushions that are treated to withstand different weather conditions.
Most often, wicker chairs come in neutral colors like white, brown, and black. These chairs are also usually sold as part of a set. You can expect to pay between $150 and $300 per chair. But, remember that wicker chairs are built to last much longer than some other outdoor furniture pieces are, making them ultimately worth the up-front investment.
4. Camping Chairs
Chairs don’t have to stay at home! If you’re going camping or tailgating, you may wish to buy and bring camping chairs with you. These polyester chairs fold up into smaller packages, so they fit in your vehicle quite easily. Then, when you’re ready, camping chairs quickly fold out into 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 camping chairs for as little as $10 apiece, making them one of the cheapest and most portable sitting solutions around.
Are you not sure if you want a hammock or a chair in your outdoor space? Get the best of both worlds with a hammock chair, also called a hanging chair. These comfortable chairs sway like hammocks, but they are easier to get in and out of than a hammock typically is.
Most hammock chairs come with weather-proofed cushions that make outdoor time particularly relaxing. You can choose cushions in all kinds of bright colors and patterns.
These relaxing hanging chairs can cost anywhere between $30 and $50. They provide plenty of comfort and style considering their low price.
E. Children’s and Baby Chairs
If you have little ones in your home or one (or even two!) 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, whether children have been around or are about to arrive.
1. Rocking Chair
“Rock-a-bye baby” isn’t a common and well-loved lullaby for no reason. Babies and toddlers love it when their parents rock them, especially when it’s time to close their little eyes and sleep. 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, creating a soothing motion. This motion can calm fussy babies, though scientists aren’t exactly sure why yet. Rocking chairs can be plush with armrests, or they can be more minimalist. Many have cloth coverings, but some are leather. Still others are made from wood and are more traditional in style.
The two most important factors to remember when purchasing a rocking chair is that you should feel comfortable in it, and that the rocking chair must fit 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 similar to a rocking chair, but the motion it allows is more even than that of a rocking chair, in that the seated person;s head doesn’t tilt down and up and back again. Instead, the motion generated while in a glider chair is more of a back and forth motion, rather than a rocking motion. The gliding motion makes it easier to feed and/or nurse babies, yet still provide a subtle rocking motion to soothe tired little ones.
Another interesting feature when it comes to glider chairs is that their ottoman glides as well, allowing the entire body to glide with baby effortlessly and incredibly 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, and they love to feel that they have something that is wholly their own. That’s why kid-sized chairs are essential. Create a space that’s just the right size for your child using these cool seats.
Almost every type of chair that comes in adult sizes comes in smaller, child-friendly sizes too. Kids’ rocking chair? Sure! Child-size arm chair? Why not? You can even get a desk chair for the little boss in your life, so they can sit at a tiny desk and draw or paint. Get something just like your favorite chair to make your child feel like a big shot.
Child-sized chairs can cost anywhere from approximately $30 to upwards of $100. The price of a kids’ chair depends on the style and needs it supports.
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, chairs like the one pictured above can position you in front of a television perfectly. Some gaming chairs even have built-in speakers to enhance the gamer’s experience.
Are you more of a PC player? No problem. Some desk chairs come equipped with special features for gamers. These gamer chairs are ergonomic, high-tech, and completely comfortable. No matter your game, you can usually find the right gamer chair for between $50 and $150.
II. 26 Chair Back Styles
You just might be surprised by how many chair back styles there are. Here’s a terrific infographic setting out all the different styles of chair backs:
III. Chair Materials
Furniture makers can use all kinds of materials to create a beautiful chair. Some chairs are upholstered in leather, cotton, or polyester, while others are made from metal, wood, or plastic. Often, chairs combine these materials for more a textured and interesting look.
A. Upholstered Chairs
Upholstered chairs use either leather, cotton, or polyester to cover the 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.
Pros of Leather Upholstery:
- Easy to clean
Cons of Leather Upholstery:
- Typically more expensive
- Must use special cleaner to maintain it
- Can get hot in the summer
If you want to add a classic, comfortable look to your home, consider adding 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?
Pros of Cotton Upholstery:
- Feels pleasant to the touch and against skin
- Comes in many colors and patterns
- Easy to care for
Cons of Cotton Upholstery:
- Colors and patterns can fade in sunlight
- Must be treated, or it will be flammable
If you love using and wearing cotton in your everyday life, consider this type of upholstered chair. Whether you need side chairs, seats for little ones, or an accent chair, there is probably a cotton version of whatever chair style you need that is perfect for you.
If you want an upholstered chair for your outdoor space, you will probably need to choose a polyester chair. This tough fabric can stand up against almost any weather and look great doing it. Many cushions on wicker chairs are covered in polyester, as are the cushions on many hammock chairs. Polyester chairs come in a variety of colors, shapes, and styles, so it should be wasy to find one you love.
If you love a more industrial look, you may need to add a few metal chairs in your home. These durable seats look great and come in plenty of shapes, colors, and sizes. Most often, you can find metal chairs used in a dining area or at a kitchen island. Best of all, you can buy a metal chair for as little as $40 or as much as $90, making them a truly affordable seating option.
Are you building your farmhouse dream home? Maybe you love the traditional decor style. Both of these decor styles, and many others, incorporate wood chairs. Whether you want wood in your kitchen, dining room, office, or all of the above, there is most likely a wood chair to fit whatever need you have.
- Come in many styles and finishes
- Require special cleaners to maintain
- Can fade over time in the sun
- Can be difficult to remove stains from
Plastic is a standard material in outdoor, dining, children’s, and corporate chairs. Because plastic is so cheap to produce, chairs made using this material often cost less than their wood or metal counterparts. Plastic chairs are simple and easy to clean and maintain – often, all you have to do is wipe away the mess.
There are some downsides to buying and using plastic chairs. First of all, they tend to be less comfortable than wood and upholstered versions. Secondly, many can look cheap. However, some plastic chairs can be more high-end. For example, the use of the ghost chair is a significant and current trend, and these chair types are made from clear plastic.
The last downside to plastic chairs is that some can be flimsy. When searching for a plastic chair or chairs, it’s important to look for pieces that are made to withstand use.
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, while others can convert to a bed, and some can even swivel.
What if your chair could help put an end to clutter around your home? Certain chairs and ottomans have secret storage compartments that allow you to cut down on visual clutter and keep things looking nice and tidy.
The most common type of storage seating is the ottoman. Ottomans can function as extra seating, a place to rest tired feet, additional storage, and sometimes also coffee tables. If you prefer functional furniture, this might be the type of seating for you.
However, ottomans don’t keep all the glory. Some arm chairs have storage, too! Keep your favorite blankets out of sight until it’s time to break them out, or store pillows in these chairs when their space is needed.
B. Convertible Chair
If you don’t have the room for a guest bed and don’t want a heavy sleeper sofa, you can invest in a convertible chair for your occasional guests. These comfortable chairs look attractive when upright, and can 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. Nowadays, futons and convertible chairs can be relaxing as traditional chairs and beds! These are truly functional pieces of furniture that also look great.
You can sometimes find convertible chairs for around $170, and they typically cost up to about $350. When you think about it, that’s a great price for what is essentially two pieces of furniture!
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, smack in the middle of the American Revolution.
The swivel chair has come quite a long way since the American Revolutionary War. These days, even comfortable, cushioned arm chairs can swivel. These chairs can be fun additions to a living room, and can come in many shapes, colors, and fabrics. Typically, a swivel chair is only meant to hold one person.
Some swivel chairs are more suited for use in offices, making them a type of desk or task chair. Other types of swivel chairs are great for outdoor use.