Last updated: August 6, 2021

Our method

7Products analysed

21Hours spent

6Evaluated articles

30User reviews

You have probably noticed that armchairs can be used not only in the living room and as armchairs. Such a chair also looks great at the dining table. Buying a chair is not only a matter of taste. There are many things you can do wrong when choosing one. You also have to ask yourself certain questions in order to place the perfect armchair in your room.

In our detailed armchair guide, you will find the answers to all your questions, so that you will soon be sitting on a chair with armrests that is ideal for you. In this article, we show you the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of armchairs. You will also learn how to clean the different upholstery materials and what you can do to remove acute stains.




Summary

  • There are armchairs that give you more legroom, while others limit the width of the thighs. And if you like to sit cross-legged on the chair, there are chairs with armrests that only close half the seat.
  • Your armchair in the dining room must match your dining table, only then can you enjoy your meals to the full. There are two / three points to consider. Your height, the seat height and the seat width play a major role. The space around the table is also an issue.
  • Each upholstery material requires a different kind of care. However, they all have one thing in common: if a stain suddenly appears, it must be removed as quickly as possible. There are various tips for this with everyday products that you are sure to have at home.

The Best Armchair: Our Picks

Armchairs: buying and evaluation criteria

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many possible armchairs. When buying an armchair for your home, you should pay attention to the following points, which will help you to make a choice:

In addition to colour and appearance, the following criteria are decisive for the decision.

Upholstery material

Armchairs with different upholstery materials are available on the market. However, not all materials are equally easy to maintain and clean.

Every piece of upholstered furniture has its own charm. Often the choice of fabrics is a matter of taste. Whether your style is modern, industrial, classic, Scandinavian or retro, you can combine styles with a little sensitivity.

Pet owners will be aware that upholstered furniture needs to be more robust in a household with animals. A very popular material when you have animals at home is leather. Leather offers many advantages, is very robust and does not retain odours.

Leather or rattan armchairs are the easiest to care for with pets.

Smooth leather is not safe against scratches. But there are certain types of leather that only really come into their own when slightly scratched. When buying your chair, make sure that the fabric is dark or coloured. This way you can hide stains.

Blankets or covers can also keep your armchair looking nice for longer. Rattan (natural product) or polyrattan (artificial) is also very popular with animal lovers. It is very easy to clean and depilate.

Frame material

Stylistically, the frame of your new armchair set should match the rest of your interior. Although many people think that wood always fits, too many different materials in one room can look restless and uncomfortable.

Some frames, like sled frames, can scratch the floor, so be aware of that before you fall in love with sleds.

It would be a shame if you had to give up a chair just because you were worried about your floor. Glue or nail felt glides to the legs.

The combination between the armchair and the floor should definitely match. A dark stone floor goes well with a cold material such as iron or stainless steel. Cold wood tones also go well with such a floor.

Furniture styles at a glance

As briefly mentioned in the previous section on the frame material of an armchair, style breaks should be chosen deliberately. Rooms quickly look thrown together with too much style mix. Here is an overview of the different styles of furniture.

Those who like it older:

  • Antique: is not the same as antique. Antique simply means old. Here you have to clarify whether the armchair is old, restored, i.e. an antique, or made old and therefore new.
  • Gothic: (1140 - 1500) successor style of Romanticism, often upward protruding, pointed details on the backrest, carvings, arched lines of wood
  • Renaissance: (after Gothic) classical, clear, calm, ornate details on backrest and armrest
  • Baroque: (1570) sweeping lines, noble look, gilding, carvings, magnificent
  • Rococo: (late Baroque) Biedermeier, gilded details and carvings, asymmetry, legs with S and C lines, massive elegance
  • Gründerzeit: (1860-1895) Neo-Gothic / Neo-Baroque, combined styles, much wood, ornamentation, no gilded details, successor style to the Baroque
  • Art Nouveau: (from the end of the 19th century) curved lines, asymmetrical ornaments often flowers, ornate furniture, much wood

Those who like it more modern:

  • Country house style: simplified style of the Renaissance, cosy, warm, often white combined with beige, reminiscent of farmhouse furniture
  • Biedermeier: modern, stylish, clear forms, high-quality wood, elegant features, ornate simplicity
  • Industrial design style: (period of industrialisation) matching unplastered walls (concrete / brick), metal frame, untreated and solid wood, rough, solid, dark colours, glass, ambience from factory buildings, dark leather
  • Vintage / retro: (1920 - 1980) currently very popular, styles from past eras, romantic, light colours, soft, vintage old, retro new, used look
  • modern: minimalist, simple, no frills, timeless design, glass, light colours, fresh, simple shapes, stainless steel or stone details, leather & fabric

Simple designs of chairs with armrests can be combined with striking styles of other furniture. However, if you choose hard, rough or showy armchairs, make sure you have a matching side table, sofa or other furniture.

Seat height

The seat height of your armchair depends on what you need it for. Should the chair be in the living room, in the kitchen, at the workplace or in the dining room? You should also think about the seat width, because the width of a chair with armrests is limited. This is an important point, especially for people with a wide build.

In the dining room chair, the height of the armrest chair should be between 40 and 50 centimetres. The seat height depends on the height of the person and the height of the dining table. You know if your chair fits the table when the armrest fits under the table.

You can find out the perfect measurements for you when you try it out.

There should be a distance of 20 to 30 centimetres between the seat of the armrest chair and the underside of the table so that you sit neither too low nor too high.

You should also find out about the depth before you buy. Your thighs are a guide. Your knees should be at a right angle and your feet should be on the floor.

Covers

Whether it is an armrest chair cover, armrest chair cover or armrest chair cover, it is important that your chair is not naked.

Protect your armchair from scratches or dirt caused by your pet.

It is equally important that you protect it from dirt. A cover in a new colour will bring a whole new image to your room, as you can change the colour of the upholstery to your liking in no time at all.

The choice of covers is almost endless. You can choose between stretch covers and fabric covers. You can find covers for the whole chair or just for the seat cushion. But why use a cover when the armchair already has a cushion? There are several reasons why you could put a cover over your chair:

  • the armchair is old and should look like new
  • the colour of the armchair no longer fits into the picture
  • the armchair should be protected from animals

It is easier to stretch a cover over the whole chair than to cover only the seat cushion, because you don't need any tools.

Armchairs: Frequently asked questions and answers

Now that you have a lot of background knowledge about armchairs, one or two questions may still be unanswered. In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions about armchairs.

Who is an armchair suitable for?

Do you like it cosy? Is time at the dining table important to you? You enjoy sitting on a comfortable armchair and reading a book? Then you should definitely replace your wooden chair with an armchair.

Armchairs make sense if you have a lot of space around your dining table. Allow 60 centimetres per seat. There should also be enough space behind the chair so that you can comfortably push the chair backwards to stand up.

Armlehnenstuhl-01

If you combine a really cosy armchair with a matching stool, you can turn it into a comfortable reading chair.
(Image source: Engin Akyurt / pixabay)

Armchairs also fit into a home decorated with style and love, because they are not only extremely comfortable, but also totally trendy. If you want to give a high table chair the ultimate kick, for example, we recommend a swivel armchair. You can see into the kitchen and, with a twist, also into the dining room.

You will definitely need chairs with armrests and castors at the workplace so that you can rest your arms on the sides while you work.

What types of armchair are there?

One armchair differs from another in its colour, function, the room it belongs to or even its frame.

Types advantages disadvantages
Swivel armchair can be turned in any direction without moving the chair, wide field of vision not suitable for children
4-legged armchair particularly stable, timeless design everyday
Armchair with sled base Classic among chairs can leave scratches in the floor
Armchair with swinging frame timeless design weight limit
Armchair with castors suitable for workplaces, offices, at desks, as freedom of movement higher risk of accidents

Of course, reclining chairs with armrests should not be forgotten. Furthermore, armchairs in combination with a stool are a very practical substitute for an armchair.

There are special armchairs for senior citizens, for overweight people or for children. Rocking chairs also have armrests, which give you pure relaxation and are ideal in the bedroom, living room or as an armchair for breastfeeding in the baby room.

What alternatives are there to an armchair?

Seating furniture comes in many different variations. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. As we all know, people's tastes are different, so your choice is individual. However, we will help you to make your choice.

Armlehnenstuhl-02

Armchairs are not only found in the dining room. You can put the comfortable chair in a corner and read books, listen to music or just relax.
(Image source: Kunle Atekoja / unsplash)

In the following table, we give you an overview of the alternatives to armchairs.

Type Description
In Between chair A particularly stylish half-arm chair is the Scandinavian In Between chair. It offers ergonomics and stability. In addition, it is robust and offers legroom when sitting.
Cover Chair The backrest consists of a curved piece of wood and extends to the armrest. The legs are attached to the armrest, which provides additional support.
Chair without armrest Alternative to the armrest chair is the chair without armrest. It offers the most legroom and is simple in design.

Armchairs are very versatile. So you need to know what room you want your chair in. It should be comfortable at the dining table, so an armchair at the dining table is very suitable. The armchair seems to be superior to other models in many criteria.

How do I clean the upholstery of my armchair?

Every material is different. Some are harder, some are softer, some have a smooth surface and some armchairs have a rough surface. In this table you will learn more about the different materials:

material easy to clean justification
felt more difficult use re-greasing stain remover/chemical cleaning
leather (real or imitation leather) easy varies depending on the leather, care for it weekly, clean it properly annually
rattan / polyrattan / woven wicker easy natural fibres must not dry out (place humidifier next to it from time to time), clean with mild detergent and warm water
fabric / woven fabric medium if removable: put it in the washing machine, otherwise there are various products to buy.
Velvet / velour fabrics time-consuming always brush over it in the direction of the line, vacuum regularly, brush out stains or treat with shampoo, rub regularly with a damp cloth, fresh stains: absorbent cloth

If you need to get a stain out quickly before it dries, these tricks will definitely help.

How much does an armchair cost?

The price depends on the material of the armchair. The higher the quality of the upholstery and frame material, the higher the price.

Type price range in EUR
Felt circa 30 to 500
Leather circa 70 to 200
Rattan circa 60 to 450
Fabric / woven fabric circa 20 to 600
Velvet circa 80 to 700

The cheapest armchair is made of fabric, followed directly by a chair made of felt. Velvet upholstered furniture is available in various luxurious variations, which cost accordingly. Perhaps it will be an antique, a gilded chair from the time of Louis the Fourteenth from the Baroque era.

Conclusion

To make sure your armchair fits your dining table, you need to know the width, height and depth of the chair. It should fit under the tabletop. In order to find the perfect dimensions for your chair with armrests, you should not only look at the chair, but also try it out before you buy it.

If you are thinking of buying a set of armchairs that are easy to clean, we recommend choosing leather or rattan. These materials are easy to clean. Velvet chairs are also relatively easy to clean. Felt chairs require more care and affection.

Photo source: Białasiewicz/ 123rf

Reviews