The perfect armchair is hard to come by, but when you do it’s an absolute delight to sit in. Big, comfy, worn out in all the right ways, and a staple of your home for years. While I can’t help you with wearing out a chair over time to make it fit you exactly, I can recommend some good chairs to start that journey with. Cozy up in your living room with an armchair that meets these standards and you may find yourself a new best friend when it comes time to relax and unwind.
When talking about a perfect, relaxing armchair, style should not play a part. The most aesthetically pleasing chair isn’t necessarily going to be the most comfortable (in fact, often quite the opposite). It’s not difficult to find a chair that fits in the ballpark of your living room furniture palette if you’re sticking with neutrals, so worry less about the stylistic “fit” of your armchair than how it fits you.
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As for what does matter when picking a chair, start with the back. You need to be able to lean back and relax in your armchair, so this is the most important aspect when choosing a new chair for your living room. A backless chair is a no-go here; leave those for dining room and porch sitting. A plain metal, wood, or plastic backing is almost as bad. Instead, a good armchair’s back should be padded and upholstered, and follow the natural curve of your body to provide posture relief. Look for plushness near your lower back and neck areas to hold them forward so they aren’t slacking into a straight line with the rest of your spine.
Don’t feel obligated to choose the same material the rest of your living room furniture is made out of if you’re seeking true coziness, so long as you stay within the room’s overall color palette. If you’re seeking supreme softness, a lighter fabric like velvet may be your choice. If you have pets, you should consider a more durable material like leather or microfiber to avoid puncturing and tearing from claws and paws.
There’s no point in buying a lounging chair that can’t handle a fair bit of lounging. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell from the outside whether a chair is made of sturdy materials on the inside. One good way to get around having to learn a lot about furniture construction (and still getting a quality armchair) is to ask friends what their trusted brands are for long-lasting furniture; you’ll likely find a solid armchair in their catalogs. With recliners, you also want to make sure the reclining element is stable, opens and latches smoothly, and doesn’t drop too hard when you pull the lever.
Don’t Forget About Size
Other metrics you should look out for are chair width, arm height, and overall size. These are obvious measurements to check out to make sure that your armchair fits you and isn’t too small or large for your living room. Too large a presence is easy to understand; you don’t want one chair to take up the room or outshine your larger ticket item the couch. But too small a presence is also a harm to your living room because it can make your room feel too small as well.
Finding the “perfect” or “best” armchair is honestly a little subjective. But doing your research and taking your time in choosing a good chair can help ensure a better fit for your relaxing now and for many years.