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Best armchair 2023: Add the perfect finishing touch to your living room

An armchair adds a touch of style to any living room. Our pick of the best armchairs on the market will enhance any home

The sofa is often the first item that pops into mind when thinking of living room furniture, but armchairs should also be at the top of the list. The best armchairs are incredibly versatile pieces of furniture that are easy to fit into smaller spaces and can add a touch of colour or texture to a room without overwhelming it. Armchairs are made for being curled up in with a good book and a cup of tea (or glass of wine) and can add the finishing touches to your living room. 

Our hand-selected choice of armchairs includes a range of styles and prices with something to suit every budget. Many are available in a range of colours and fabrics, so you can choose the right look for your home. Not sure about where to start looking or what sort of armchair you want? Our buying guide will answer all your questions and help steer you in the right direction. Already know what you’re looking for? Scroll down for our recommendations on the best armchairs available. 

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Best armchair: At a glance

How to choose the best armchair for you

Choosing the right armchair requires a bit of thought; you want something that fits in with your home and through the front door. So, what factors should you consider when looking for an armchair?

What key factors should you consider?

Room space and your front door

The first thing you need to consider is space, and space starts at the front door. Will your chosen armchair fit through the door frame? Check that it’s not too wide to get into your house. You may have an alternative point of entry, such as large French windows,  or you might want to consider something smaller. Likewise, if you live in a flat, will the armchair have to be carried up stairs and round corners? Make sure you can get your new armchair where it needs to go. 

It can be tricky visualising whether an armchair will make your living room too crowded or even where you’ll place it. To help with this, we recommend making a cutout on the floor of the armchair with masking tape. This simple trick can help you envisage where an armchair will fit in and if you have room to leave plenty of space around it. 

Upholstery fabrics

When choosing fabric for your armchair, you should consider wear and tear. Will the armchair be sat on every day, or will it just be an occasional piece for visitors? Some fabrics are more hardwearing than others.

Leather armchairs are particularly durable, but some people find leather cold and unwelcoming. Traditional jacquard weaves and wools are still popular choices alongside velvet, which is becoming one of the most commonly seen fabrics in living rooms. You will also see more unusual fabrics, such as damask and silk. 

We recommend ordering swatches to see the fabrics in the flesh. Swatches should also have their capabilities, composition, and rub tests noted.

For example, upholstery fabrics for domestic use must have a minimum of 10,000 rubs, but most will come with at least 20,000 rubs. An upholstered item must also have a ticket that displays its fire resistance.

Caring for your armchair

Simple maintenance will help extend the life of your armchair and keep it looking its best for longer. Follow these simple tips to keep your armchair in tip-top shape:

  • Turn cushions regularly to distribute wear and tear.
  • Plump cushions up at the end of each day.
  • Vacuum the fabric regularly to remove dust.
  • Brush cushions weekly to stimulate the pile and help prevent pressure marks.
  • Wash any loose covers in the washing machine, but fixed covers should be dry cleaned every year to 18 months, depending on use.
  • Don’t vacuum leather armchairs. Instead, use a soft cloth or brush to remove dust.

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The best armchairs you can buy in 2023

1. Betsy Velvet Armchair: Best armchair for those on a budget

Price: £185 | Buy now from Homescapes

If you’re on a budget but still want to add a touch of glamour to your living room, the Betsy Velvet Armchair is for you. Available in powder blue, cream, dark grey, dark green, and fuchsia, the chair makes a bold statement in any room. The simple and sleek design has a retro feel with its velvet fabric and angled legs.

Measuring 61 x 75 x 82cm, the Betsy is a smaller armchair that could work very well in smaller spaces. Because it doesn’t have arms, it doesn’t take up nearly as much floor space, meaning it can slot into a corner or be stored out of the way (even under a table) when it’s not in use. We love the deep, padded seat on this chair – it may be smaller, but it’s very comfortable to sit on. And the choice of colours means it can blend into most living spaces with ease. 

Key details – Size (cm): 82 x 75 x 61; Material: Velvet (chair), birch (legs); Options: Ready-made, choice of 5 colours

Buy now from Homescapes

2. Kids Rocking Armchair with Footstool: Best armchair for kids

Price: £169 | Buy now from La Redoute

Children will love this mini armchair; it’s designed specifically for the younger generation. The scaled-down size means it’s easy to fit into their bedroom or even in your living room to keep them happy alongside the grown-ups.

The chair is available in blue or pink stripes and comes with a matching footstool. Made from sustainable pine, the armchair also rocks with a simple back-and-forth movement. We love the little button detail on the backrest and the simple overall design of the piece. It’s well-made enough to last throughout childhood but not so expensive that you’ll be terrified of your kids actually sitting on it.

With a traditional design, solid arms, and a deep comfy seat, this armchair will complement any bedroom colour scheme. The colours are muted enough to sit happily in a communal space without the armchair looking out of place. 

Key details – Size (cm): 60 x 52 x 47; Material: Fabric (chair), sustainable wood (legs); Options: Ready-made, blue or pink striped

Buy now from La Redoute

3. Dalston Vintage Camel Armchair: Best armchair for minimalists

Price: £200 | Buy now from Zurleys

Not everyone wants a traditional armchair, and this handsome option is an excellent choice for the more minimalistic amongst us. With clean lines and gorgeous camel brown colouring, the Dalston armchair is ideal for those looking for something a little different. 

The armchair is made with a metal powder-coated frame, an upholstered leather seat and a backrest with wooden pieces added to the arms to create a little stacking. Despite its streamlined look, the chair has a decent amount of padding on both the seat and back, meaning it’s comfortable to sit in. In our experience, minimalistic chairs aren’t always designed with comfort in mind.

We think this is an attractive chair that will sit well in any room, and its clean lines mean it could be used as an office chair and an armchair. It’s a versatile piece. 

Key details – Size (cm): 81 x 59 x 60; Material: Leather (seat and backrest), metal and wood (frame); Options: Ready-made

Buy now from La Redoute

4. The Snuggler Chair: Best armchair for stretching out

Price: £395 | Buy now from Homebase

Snuggler chairs, also known as Love Seats, are great for stretching out on, with enough space to pop your feet up. However, they’re usually pretty expensive, which is why the Snuggler Chair from Homebase is such a good find. 

The armchair comes in three colours – blue, orange, and white with a velvet finish. We particularly liked the blue, which gives the chair an elegant finish. The chair sits on a metal frame which we’re guessing helps to keep the price down. We would have preferred a wooden frame from an aesthetic point of view, but this is a minor niggle compared to the extremely reasonable price. The Snuggler Chair has a plush seat, but we also love the padded arms and back, making this a wonderful chair to relax in. 

Key details – Size (cm): 71.5 x 130 x 86; Material: Velvet polyester (chair), metal (legs); Options: Ready-made, choice of 3 colours

Buy now from Homebase

5. Emmeline Velvet Armchair: Best modern armchair

Price: £549 | Buy now from Atkin And Thyme

The Emmeline armchair is a real statement piece, and its unusual looks will make it a great feature in any room. We think the chair has a contemporary feel, although the cane arms also add a touch of Art Deco.  

The chair is available in three colours, blue teal, olive green, and pink, with a soft velvet finish to the cushions. There’s a generous amount of padding on both the seat and the backrest, making the armchair an inviting place to sit. The matching curved arms and headrest make this a softer-shaped chair than traditional armchairs, and we think it will appeal to a wide range of people.

The Emmeline is ideal for bringing a splash of colour to any room and adding something a little different to your home.

Key details – Size (cm): 84 x 80 x 63; Material: Velvet (chair), cane (frame); Options: Ready-made, choice of 3 colours

Buy now from Atkin And Thyme

6. Sienna Armchair: Best French-style armchair

Price: £1,499 | Buy now from Feather and Black

Fancy adding a touch of French style to your home? The Sienna armchair takes its inspiration from the famous “Louis XV” period of furniture design and wouldn’t look out of place in a French château. This generously wide chair is made from weathered oak with a linen back and seat, which both come in a natural-coloured fabric.

We love the cabriole legs and the coordinating cushioned arms, which make this a particularly elegant chair. A unique piece, the weathered oak finish is handcrafted, meaning no two chairs are the same. 

The Sienna has a wider seat than many armchairs, giving you lots of room to spread out. The neutral colour also means it will fit in with any colour scheme and create a statement with its elegant looks. 

Key details – Size (cm): 90 x 101 x 87; Material: Linen (chair), weathered oak (frame); Options: Handcrafted

Buy now from Feather and Black

7. George and Sophie Armchairs: Best armchair for storage

Price: From £1,595 | Buy now from Fur

Most of us can probably emphasise with having too much stuff and nowhere to put it. Enter the George and Sophie armchairs from Furl. Not only are these comfy armchairs, but they also have hidden storage under the seat and behind the backrest.

The space under the seat is big enough to fit cabin luggage, although you will probably find it more useful for oversized coffee table books or kids’ toys. The backrest storage is customisable with different boxes for storing everything from wine bottles to magazines. You can also tweak the size of the chair by altering the style of the arms or removing them altogether.

The armchair arrives in sections that are easy to put together. As mentioned, there are two slightly different styles: George has straight arms and a slightly lower back, while Sophie has curvy arms and a higher back. Just be aware that you will need a decent amount of space for the armchairs as they are quite imposing.

Key details – Size (cm): Bespoke; Material: Velvet, fabrics, leather; Options: Made to order, multiple colour choices

Buy now from Fur

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