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Updated March 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best living room chairs

Living room chairs are often considered an afterthought to create extra seating in your room, but the right armchair or accent chair can add something special to your space. With so many options available, choosing a living room chair can feel overwhelming, especially if you don't have a flair for interior design or you want to make sure you choose a versatile piece that will stay current through changes in trends. 

First of all, consider the types of living room chairs available and what type of decorative style you like, whether it’s traditional, mid-century modern, farmhouse, contemporary, or any other style of your choice.

Next, consider the colors, patterns, and materials that will best work with your existing décor. You might find a great set of modern living room chairs for your home, or you might find something in a classic style you prefer. You might decide you want a living room chair with an ottoman — many choices exist — or something with armrests for lounging comfort.

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Try not to worry too much about interior design trends. Just pick an armchair you like that works in your space. 

Key considerations

Type

A living room chair is any chair that's located in your living room, so there isn't just one type available. You can find a wide range of living room chairs, though these are some popular options: 

Armchair: The term "armchair" is a general one, because any chair with arms is technically an armchair, from plushly upholstered easy chairs to wooden mid-century modern chairs. That said, more traditional options are what most people picture when they think of armchairs. Most living room chairs have arms, but some don't, so deciding on an armchair will narrow down your options slightly. 

Recliner: For the ultimate in comfort and relaxation, you need a recliner. These can range from the classic large upholstered chair with a reclining back and an extendable footrest to more compact and contemporary options. While recliner styles differ, they should lean back to a comfortable angle and have a footrest that extends from the front. 

Accent: These living room chairs are called “accent” chairs because they're more decorative than standard seating and serve to complement your other living room furniture. Accent chairs generally have bolder colors or prints than your average living room chair and may have an unusual shape or style. 

Loveseat: This chair is designed to seat two people. While some people consider a loveseat a small sofa, it can also be described as a chair. If you have a larger spot to fill in your room or want to squeeze in a bit more seating, a loveseat is an excellent choice. 

Style

You can find living room chairs in a huge range of styles. Mid-century modern has had a resurgence in recent years, but it has been consistently popular since its inception, so it's a good choice if you want a piece that won't go out of fashion any time soon. Traditional living room chairs are also a great option that will stand the test of time. They’re an especially solid pick for anyone who simply prefers traditional décor. 

Of course, there's nothing wrong with choosing a chair that fits in with a current interior design trend as long as you like the style and will be happy with the chair even when the trend has passed. 

Ultimately, you need to choose a style that works with the rest of your living room furniture. It doesn't have to match — contrast can be an effective interior design strategy — but the chair shouldn't look like it belongs in a different room. 

Size 

Living room chairs range in size from about the dimensions of a large dining room chair to a loveseat fit for two. If you have a large living room, space probably isn't much of a concern, so you can go as big as you like with your chair. Conversely, in a compact living room, space is at a premium, so anything too bulky isn’t going to work. When space is extremely tight, it always pays to measure the room and the chairs first. 

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Staff Tip
If your living room is relatively small, you might want to measure the space you've reserved for a chair and compare it to the chair's measurements before buying. 
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Features

Colors and prints

If you look hard enough, you can find chairs in practically any shade or print. 

Colors: Starting with solid colors, you might choose a chair that matches or complements your sofa and other living room furniture or one that stands out. It depends on your personal preference, of course, but a boldly colored chair, such as mustard, teal, or emerald green, can really pop in a room with a muted couch of gray or black. 

Prints: If you want a chair that stands out even more, a print is a great choice. You have your standard prints like stripes and florals, more elaborate prints like rainforest scenes complete with leopards and tropical birds, Ankara fabric, or rich damask. If you can think of it, you can probably find a print of it. 

Materials

Although there are some exceptions, most living room chairs have some upholstered elements. Some are fully upholstered. Others have upholstered seats, backs, and arms with wooden or metal legs or a wood or metal frame with upholstered seat and back cushions. 

Fabrics like cotton and linen are versatile and low maintenance, while velvet, which is common right now, can look worn over time.

Some living room chairs have a removable, washable cover. While these are harder to come by and can be more expensive, they're a great choice in homes with kids and pets. 

Leather and faux leather options are available, but they're not always the most comfortable to sit on and require some upkeep to maintain their condition, not to mention the ethical implications of real leather. 

Most living room chairs come ready to use, but some might require some assembly, such as attaching the legs to the seat.

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Pricing

Inexpensive: Affordable living room chairs cost roughly $100 to $300. In this price range, you'll find simple accent chairs and compact upholstered armchairs and recliners. 

Mid-range: These living room chairs cost around $300 to $800 and include large plush armchairs and recliners and more elaborate accent chairs. 

Expensive: High-end living room chairs cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000 and more. These are usually designer chairs from prestigious brands. 

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Staff Tip
Armchairs and accent chairs aren't just for living rooms. They can work well in bedrooms, offices, kitchens with a seating nook, and even large bathrooms.
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Tips

  • Consider both form and function. A living room chair should look good with your current living room furniture, but it should also be comfortable to sit on. There's not much point in having a beautiful chair that's too uncomfortable or impractical to use.
  • Choose a chair with longer legs for cleaning convenience. It’s easier to clean the floor under a living room chair with longer legs, and they will accommodate a robotic vacuum underneath them too. 
  • Choose a light color carefully. Light-colored fabric is all well and good until you spill coffee on the arm or your muddy dog jumps on the chair. Darker colors are more practical and will stay looking newer longer. 
  • Choose a timeless design. If you're someone who likes to change your home décor fairly often, it's best to choose a timeless armchair that will work with various decorative styles rather than something that fits the latest design trend but might go out of fashion in a few years. 
     
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If you like to put your feet up, some living room chairs come with a matching footstool or have a matching footstool that is sold separately. 

FAQ

Q. What are living room chairs called? 

A. By definition, a living room chair is any chair that you use in your living room. Living room chairs come in a range of styles and can be referred to by many names, some of which are general terms while others are names for particular types of chairs. Living room chairs can also be called lounge chairs, armchairs, accent chairs, comfy chairs, recliners, and easy chairs, to name just a few popular terms. 

Q. What is a Lawson chair? 

A. A Lawson chair is a particular type of armchair characterized by straight lines and a design somewhere between traditional and mid-century modern. Its arms are a little higher than standard and are at a perfect height for reading, making it an excellent choice of chair for a living room reading nook. 

Q. What's the difference between an accent chair and an armchair? 

A. An armchair is any chair with arms, but the term is often used to describe a comfy chair or plush upholstered armchair that may come as part of a matching set with a sofa, though you can also buy this type of chair separately if you prefer a mismatched look. 

An accent chair is designed to be more than just functional. It might be particularly decorative or have a bold color or style that serves to accent the rest of your living room furniture rather than match it. An accent chair may or may not have arms, so it can also be but isn't necessarily an armchair.

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