11 Types of Living Room Chairs and How to Choose One

Cozy velvet barrel chair by a fireplace

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Chairs for the living room are an important piece of furniture, as they offer style, comfort, and an inviting place to sit and relax. Chairs are often only big enough for one person to sit in and are highly customizable in their feel and style. A well-chosen chair is both comfortable and complementary to the room.

When it comes to living room chairs, there is a large array of styles to choose from. From chairs that recline to chairs that envelop you in cushions, there is a chair available to suit anyone’s needs. In this guide, we will take a closer look at 11 types of living room chairs and how you can decide which is best for your space. 

  • 01 of 11

    Chesterfield Chair

    Ivory Chesterfield chair with pink pillow

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    Best for: Areas in need of a unique statement piece as well as a comfortable sitting spot. 

    Chesterfield chairs, much like their Chesterfield sofa cousins, are famous for their traditional design, tufted upholstery, rolled arms, and nailhead trimming. These chairs offer a sophisticated, masculine air to any space while still offering plenty of comfort and relaxation. They are often upholstered in leather but can be found in fabric as well.  

  • 02 of 11

    Wingback Chair

    Wingback chair in minimalist room

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    Best for: Areas used for reading or relaxing alone, as the wings can block out noise and a portion of your view. 

    A wingback chair is easily identified by its iconic, tall back that features wings on each side, enveloping the person sitting in it. The wings create a private area for the sitter and are perfect for reading or for situations where you would like to block out your surroundings. On the other hand, this does not make them ideal for areas of conversation or gathering. Wingback chairs are extremely versatile in style and can be found in traditional, contemporary, and modern styles.

  • 03 of 11

    Chaise Lounge

    Modern chaise lounge in open room

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    Best for: Areas you wish to put your feet up or nap. Larger living rooms are better suited to accommodate the chaise lounge’s size. 

    A chaise lounge is an elongated chair designed to allow the user to put their feet up and lounge. The back of a chaise lounge is often reclined, putting the body in a relaxed, half-lying-down position. These chairs are best when used in larger spaces, as their large dimensions can look crowded or awkward in small living rooms

  • 04 of 11

    Club Chair

    Club chairs in living room

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    Best for: Open areas in need of classic style and ample comfort. 

    Originating in social clubs, club chairs are spacious, rounded chairs often upholstered in leather and designed to maximize comfort. Club chairs feature rounded edges and arms, creating an inviting sitting spot. Sometimes club chairs have caster wheels for easier mobility within the space.

    Club chairs may be a bit bigger than other chairs and are therefore best used in areas with plenty of space to avoid a cramped look. You’ll typically see club chairs as part of a set, perhaps for home entertaining areas or game rooms.

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  • 05 of 11

    Slipper Chair

    Pink slipper chair in bedroom

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    Best for: Small corners or areas where a larger chair would not fit.

    Slipper chairs are petite chairs that lack arms and rest closer to the ground. This makes them ideal for putting on shoes or slippers, hence the name. Their compact size also makes them perfect for additional seating when space is limited. 

  • 06 of 11

    Recliner Chair

    Recliner in a living room

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    Best for: Situations where comfort is most important.

    Recliner chairs offer users the ability to sit upright as well as recline back. A footrest usually raises out of the front of the chair when reclined, then tucks away when the chair is upright. Recliners are available with electric or manual options. They are ideal for watching television or for those who prefer to elevate their feet.

  • 07 of 11

    Rocking Chair

    Rocking chair in sun room

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    Best for: Open spaces or spacious corners, and areas designed for relaxation and family.

    Rocking chairs feature a gently curved base that allows the user to rock back and forth while sitting. Styles of rocking chairs differ greatly, from fully upholstered designs that hide the rocking elements to simpler designs with exposed wooden legs.

    Because of their mobile nature, it is important to ensure that the chair has plenty of space to rock without hitting anything. Rocking chairs offer a sense of comfort and are great for family rooms or households with children.  

  • 08 of 11


    Blue chair and a half in living room

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    Best for: Small living rooms where a larger sofa may not fit, or for larger spaces where a smaller chair is not big enough.

    A chair-and-a-half is exactly what it sounds like—a chair that is slightly larger than a seat for one, but smaller than a loveseat designed to seat two. A chair-and-a-half is the perfect solution for adding extra seating room in very small spaces where larger seating options would not fit.

    On the flip side, this furniture piece is also ideal for large areas where a small chair would not be enough in terms of seating capacity or filling the floor space. This unique seating option is perfect for curling up or sharing your seat with a child or furry friend. A chair-and-a-half can be found in a wide array of styles and upholstery options.  

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  • 09 of 11

    Barrel Chair

    White barrel chair in corner of living room

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    Best for: Individuals who enjoy curling up or sitting sideways.

    A barrel chair is usually made up of one continuous piece, with the back curving to create the two arms. This uniquely rounded shape gives the chair its name, as it resembles a barrel. This curved shape cradles its user, making it easy to curl up or sit sideways since the same support is given throughout the whole chair. 

  • 10 of 11

    Lawson Chair

    Green velvet lawson chair in living room

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    Best for: Spaces that require a structured chair design and sleek style.

    Lawson chairs are characterized by their sleek lines and their straight arms, which rest lower than the chair back. These chairs offer firm structure and cushioning, and a look that is somewhat traditional and mid-century modern. These are great for areas that need a good reading chair which also adds to the clean-cut feeling of a space.  

  • 11 of 11

    English Rolled Arm Chair

    English rolled arm chair in pink

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    Best for: Adding a touch of traditional design and incorporating a deeply cushioned, comforting spot to rest.

    English rolled arm chairs are iconically traditional and known for their rolled arms, deep, soft cushioning, and slightly angled back. Their deep seating and extra plush cushioning make them perfect for sinking in and relaxing with a good book. They are a perfect addition to any space looking for extra comfort and a familiar, traditional design style.  

Choosing a Living Room Chair

The type of chair you choose to include in your living room will greatly impact the feeling and comfort level of the space. With so many options, it is important to keep in mind what you want the chair to accomplish. Consider how the chair will be used and who you would like it to accommodate. 

For example, if you are looking for a small chair to act as an extra seating option or to fill a small corner, a slipper chair may be best. However, if you are looking for a roomy chair to act as your daily lounging spot, a chair-and-a-half or a barrel chair would be a better option. And if you are looking for optimal comfort or the ability to accommodate someone who likes to put their feet up, a recliner would best suit your needs. By considering its use and what you would like it to accomplish in your space, you can choose a chair that best suits your situation.