May 31, 2023


Creative living

10 best armchairs

9 min read
If you're investing look for a wooden frame, a sprung seat and foam cushions that can hold their shape over frequent use (Loaf)
If you’re investing look for a wooden frame, a sprung seat and foam cushions that can hold their shape over frequent use (Loaf)

Everyone has a favourite chair that’s just right for relaxing in. The best are comfortable, well-made, supportive, and feel great to touch.

If matching it to existing décor is a concern, look for designs with plenty of upholstery choices, or removable cushions which you could change over time.

Also look for a wooden frame, a sprung seat and foam cushions that can hold their shape over frequent use.

If you’re looking to make a statement with your armchair, look for strong shapes, colours and profiles that can provide an accent among more ordinary furniture.

Guarantees, as ever, are a good reassurance that your chosen chair is robust. Chairs and sofas are one category of furniture where a lot of the making is still done by hand, and the price reflects this.

With most in the £500-£1000 range, a good armchair should be seen as an investment.

As with most large furniture pieces, there can be long lead times as certain products are made to order. Check delivery options carefully if you want to get your chair by a certain date.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

John Lewis Mario Armchair: From £849, John Lewis & Partners

The strong silhouette of the Mario armchair is its stand-out feature – its flared arms and high back look particularly striking upholstered in an inky blue. The chair’s hardwood frame is robust and man-made (John Lewis & Partners guarantee it for 10 years) and the comfortable cushions are a mix of foam and fibre. Dark wood legs and a coil-sprung seat raise the level of this chair’s quality too.

Buy now

Oliver Bonas 1958 Armchair: £585, Oliver Bonas

Oliver Bonas’s 1958 armchair is a fresh and light-hearted take on mid-century style and icons from this popular era can demand some eye-watering prices. The cushions stay in shape thanks to a foam core, and deliver on comfort with an inner layer of duck feathers. The covers are made from quality Designers Guild fabric in a rainbow of seven bright colours – from hot pink to cobalt blue.

Buy now

Laura Ashley Burlington Leather Chair: From £750, Laura Ashley

The granddaddy of armchairs on our list has to be the Burlington by Laura Ashley. Designed to “resemble a family heirloom” it has generous dimensions and comes in eight types of leather that will age naturally over time. To keep it affordable, the cushions have been filled with polyester fibre which requires regular plumping and turning. The sprung seat adds an extra level comfort.

Buy now

Neptune George Armchair: From £1,045, Neptune

Neptune’s George armchair has a balance of tradition and modernity that should make it at home in most interiors. Its boxy profile, mid-height back and low sunken arms are all contemporary updates to the familiar style. Upholstery fabric ranges from lightweight linens to tartan wools. The legs come in a choice of dark or pale oak.

Buy now

Swoon Editions Merano Armchair: £594, Swoon Editions

The exacting right angles of this contemporary armchair by Swoon Editions are softened up by three cushions for back and sides. It has a sturdy birch frame and wooden legs, and has cushion covers that can be removed. With 32 fabrics including on-trend velvet and more traditional brushed cotton, there’s plenty of scope for making it your own. Delivery is free and takes 10-12 weeks.

Buy now

Ikea Ekenäset Armchair: £170, Ikea

Just as we got used to Ikea’s incredible prices, the Swedish furniture giant surprised us all with the stunningly bargainous Ekenäset armchair. A revamp of an original 1950s Ikea design, the chair has a laid-back style with birch frame and fixed cushions upholstered in grey fabric. It’s not the kind of chair you can sink into for hours, but a great compact piece for guests, bedrooms or those kitting out their first home.

Buy now

Loaf Swagamuffin Armchair: £945, Loaf

As with all of Loaf’s sofas and armchairs, the Swagamuffin has exaggerated dimensions that give it a cosy and overly plump appearance. Everything has been designed for comfort, including a deep seat and foam cushions wrapped in feathers. Curved arms and a buttoned back keep things refined. This chair has a wooden frame with a 10-year guarantee and it’s made in the UK.

Buy now Peggy Armchair: From £455,

One of’s most popular products is the Peggy armchair – which reminds us more of a cocktail or club chair with its retro style. Its curved arms, slim cylindrical wood legs, shallow seat and slanted back combine for a petite but elegant chair that can be customised in a huge range of prints, patterns and textures. The frame has a lifetime guarantee and delivery takes four to six weeks.

Buy now

Arlo & Jacob Wallis Armchair: From £755, Arlo & Jacob

The name “Wallis” hints at the glamorous 1930s figure who could have influenced the design of this armchair. The high, fluted back is a nod to American member’s clubs of the era, but soft modern styling keeps the armchair from looking like an antique. All Arlo and Jacob products have a hardwood frame with a lifetime guarantee and are made by hand in Derbyshire.

Buy now

West Elm Sebastian Chair: £399, West Elm

A decent buy for under £500, although the stitching and finish lack the quality of more expensive choices. It’s comfortable, with a supportive back and curving arms, but probably not one you can spend hours in. The solid wood legs are removable, and come with a warm pecan-colour finish. This version is upholstered in a blush pink linen weave, but there are teal and grey options in twill wool that are harder wearing.

Buy now

Graham and Green Hamilton Armchair: From £835, Graham and Green

The Hamilton armchair scores well on comfort. At 87cm-wide, it’s ideal for those that like to curl up with a blanket and book. And the springy foam-filled seat and back cushions are great at taking the weight off. The hand-turned oak legs are a nice modern twist on this classic style of chair. There’s a good range of upholstery options including velvet, linen and caleido (a cotton-linen mix). There’s a two-year guarantee for frame and fabric.

Buy now

The Verdict: Armchairs

For an armchair you can really relax in, the high-backed Mario armchair from John Lewis & Partners is top for comfort. In a neutral colour, its timeless style should see you through even as your interior tastes change. As smart additional seating, or as an accent chair in the bedroom, the Peggy armchair from is rated highly by customers for its reasonable price and good quality.

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Mack + Milo Afelia armchair

With its elegant shaping and angled wooden legs, this is a substantial armchair but one that boasts a slender silhouette, making it ideal for smaller living spaces. That said, the affordable Afelia offers big impact, especially in vibrant turquoise (it’s also available in a soft light grey).

Mixing mid-century styling with a decidedly Scandi feel, the armchair is upholstered in a durable woven polyester blend, while its tapered legs are crafted from a pale blond rubberwood. With its firm seat, supportive winged back, and relaxed recessed arms, this one’s perfect for curling up in.

Buy now £229.99, Wayfair

Habitat Celine armchair

The stylish Celine is all about understated glamour. In a rich velvet and with slimline brass legs, the armchair boasts a luxurious mix of materials whilst staying true to its clean, contemporary form. This is a compact furniture piece, making it a great space saver – and one that’s ideal as an occasional chair in the bedroom, too. We found it to be comfy and enveloping with good lower back support, thanks to its ergonomic shaping, including pleasingly curved arm rests. Choose from five Vienna velvet shades: grey, pink, teal, navy blue and green.

Buy now £175.00, Habitat Remy armchair

As with all of’s seating, this one comes in a huge range of fabrics, from the laid-back brushed linen cotton to the classic house herringbone weave – and the fashion-forward Biba-branded navy palm. The Remy brags an imposing, boxy shape (save for its curvy arm rests), with a deep and comfy seat that’s impossible not to relax in. Despite its heft, it’s elevated with elegant turned wooden legs, choose English oak or mahogany. We loved its simple double button detailing, too.

Buy now £510.00,

Sofas & Stuff Rye armchair

This is a wholly inviting armchair that cocoons the sitter with its wonderfully deep seat and solid frame. If you’re petite you’ll have no choice but to curl your legs in. We loved its chic, contemporary form – a design-led statement piece that means business. The Rye’s sloped arm rests and upright back cushion make for a pleasing combination of comfort and support, while its substantial seat cushion offers a firm but relaxing spot you won’t want to move out of in a hurry. Whether you go for the essential or signature range of fabrics – and the choice is comprehensive this one’s all about the stylish shaping.

Buy now £939.00, Sofas & Stuff

Cox & Cox buttoned leather armchair, tan

Our priciest pick is, rightfully, one with serious wow-factor. Crafted from eucalyptus wood and upholstered in a soft, buttery tan leather, this is a statement armchair that demands pride of place in the living room. We loved its interplay of masculine and feminine elements: its sharp-angled, boxy frame is met with elegant, tapered brass legs – and the look is gravity-defying. Of course, this mid-century inspired piece offers optimum support with its high back, generous seat cushion and sturdy arm rests. A super stylish investment piece you’ll be fighting family members over.

Buy now £1250.00, Cox & Cox

Williston Forge Arica club chair

If you prefer a faux leather furniture piece – and one that’s easier on the wallet – this vintage-inspired club chair is an impressive imposter. Belying its aged and battered leather look, it’s upholstered in a polyester microfibre that’s tough and durable. And just like the skin it imitates, it has a mottled texture that further adds to the chair’s cosy appeal. With its deep seat and huge curved armrests, this one’s made for movie night.

Buy now £343.99, Wayfair

366 Concept 366 armchair, Loft collection

Designed by Józef Chierowski in 1962, this is an icon of Polish mid-century modern, and it forms part of the brand’s covetable Loft collection – 366 Concept have the exclusive license to reproduce these stylish furniture pieces, so you know you’re getting the real deal here. With its deep angled seat and its chic, scissor-shaped legs, this is a compact armchair but it’s pleasingly ergonomic. There’s no slumping to be done in this one, just good posture, even when fully relaxed. Choose from a range of textured woven fabrics and a natural or dark wood finish.

Buy now £643.50, Lime Lace

Atkin and Thyme Calvin armchair

Marrying mid-century angular elements with those of a glamorous cocktail chair is this inviting number from Atkin and Thyme. We loved its joyous mix of materials and styles. Plush velvet is met with natural linen, while mid-toned wooden legs and arm rests offer a rustic charm. This is another armchair that boasts a substantial and cosy seat but has a compact frame, making it a great buy for smaller spaces and a perfect occasional chair in the bedroom. The Calvin comes in a range of colourful velvets from the pale and muted to the vibrant and jewel-hued.

Buy now £399.00, Atkin and Thyme

Dwell Monaco armchair

Dwell’s chunky, square shaped Monaco is one cosy affair with its generous deep seat and its pleasingly low sit. The armchair is elevated slightly with black wooden block legs but it still feels grounded. We loved its simple, striking, contemporary form.

Inside the chair’s boxy frame are super comfy back and seat cushions, thanks to their foam and feather make-up. Adding texture and interest to the sharp angles, the armchair is upholstered in a woven cotton-polyester fabric that’s soft on the eye but reassuringly hard-wearing. Choose from charcoal, sand, ivory or grey.

Buy now £599.00, Dwell

Swoon Petherwin armchair, green velvet

Offering a contemporary twist on the classic wingback is Swoon’s new Petherwin chair – and it proves to be one imposing statement piece. Lines have been straightened and angles tightened to take it away from the granny look and instead, give it a modern, masculine silhouette.

The armchair is upholstered in a rich polyester velvet, which brings a softness to the hard-edged shaping while tapered walnut legs strike a decidedly mid-century chord. With its impressive height and its stately presence, this one feels like a plush velvety throne.

Buy now £499.00, Swoon