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18 Types of Chairs to Decorate Your Space

Find out how this furniture staple has evolved over time, and the styles you can choose from.

Choosing a chair might seem like an easy task until you realize just how many different types of chairs there are. First, you'll have to decide on the material—would you like a wooden chair, or are you looking for leather upholstery? Then, you might need to narrow down which style you want: Should you get a swivel chair, a folding chair, or maybe even a rocking chair? Not only that, but you also have to consider where you're putting it. Is it going to be a desk chair, or are you planning to use it at your dining table? It's almost too much to think about. If you need a little help narrowing things down, we're created an expert-based guide that will offer a complete picture of what's available. Read on to learn more about the different types of chairs you can use to decorate your space.

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What Are the Most Popular Types of Chairs?

Young beautiful woman choosing the right chair furniture for her house at showroom. Female looking and thinking near lot of armchair at furniture store hall. Buying various item for new house

With so many seating choices out there, it's hard to know where you should even start looking. How about the most popular types of chairs?

Ryan Norman, founder of the construction company Norman Builders, tells Best Life that in his work, he's been able to pinpoint two styles that consumers commonly gravitate toward: Eames lounge chairs and Barcelona chairs.

"Popular types of chairs that consistently resonate with clients include the Eames lounge chair for its timeless design and the Barcelona chair for its sleek modern look," Norman shares.

Some more of the "most common and versatile types of chairs" include dining chairs, armchairs, club chairs, folding chairs, and desk chairs, according to Kamil Kozorys, interior designer and co-founder of Unique Tiles.

"I have seen gaming chairs gaining popularity in recent years as well, with their ergonomic designs and adjustable features," he adds.

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How Have Chair Styles Evolved?

Closeup of hands removing old paint layer sanding surface of antique chair with special sandpaper in home workshop. Sustainable practices. Reuse of old things. Recycle.

Chairs are obviously far from a new concept. In 2016, architect Witold Rybczynski sat down with NPR to talk about his book Now I Sit Me Down, which covers the history of the chair. According to Rybcynski, the oldest type of chair was likely a folding chair used by nomadic tribes in ancient China.

But the earliest records of chairs come from Egyptian tomb paintings and ancient Greek art, with the oldest representation Rybczynski found being a Greek sculpture from 3,000 B.C. At that time, pictures showed that the chair "clearly was a tool used by many people," Rybczynski told NPR.

Many centuries later, chairs became less widely used—acting more as a status symbol in Europe during the Middle Ages.

"You had to be really rich to afford something like a chair," the architect explained. "If they were lucky they sat on a bench—that was about the height of sitting."

Since then, our relationship to chairs has continued to evolve, and now they're a ubiquitous presence just about everywhere.

"As I have seen, chair styles have evolved greatly over the years. From the ornate and intricate designs of the Victorian era to the sleek and minimalistic styles of modern furniture, chairs have come a long way in design and functionality," Raf Michalowski, interior designer and founder of Meble Furniture, tells Best Life.

"Chairs were seen more as a status symbol than a functional piece of furniture. The materials used for making chairs—such as wood, metal, or even precious materials like ivory and gold—reflected the wealth and social status of the owner," Michalowski continues. "However, with the rise of industrialization and mass production, chairs became more accessible to the general public and their designs focused more on functionality rather than lavishness."

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18 Types Of Chairs You Should Know About

With centuries worth of history throughout many different cultures, it's easy to understand why there are seemingly endless varieties of chairs to choose from. Now you may feel even more stressed out about your choices than when you started. But don't worry—we're here to break down which styles and designs are best for you to focus on. Keep reading for a list of the 18 types of chairs you should know about.

1. Dining Chair

Real photo of wooden table and four chairs standing in light grey dining room interior with modern art poster and cupboard with decor

One of the most popular styles of chairs throughout time has been the dining chair, which is traditionally designed to have a backrest and four legs. But even this type of chair can come in many different forms.

"The ever-popular dining chair is a staple in homes, and they come in various styles, from traditional wooden designs to sleek modern shapes, making them perfect for any dining room aesthetic," Alyssa Huff, home expert and owner of Sell House As Is, says.

2. Armchair

Full length side view of thoughtful mature man relaxing on armchair at home

If you're looking for something a bit more comfortable, you might opt for an armchair instead. At its core, the armchair is simply a chair that has "sidepieces or arms to support a person's forearms or elbows."

3. Club Chair

chair on stage under spotlight

Sometimes the terms armchair and club chair are used interchangeably, but really, a club chair is a specific type of armchair. As modern furniture company Kardiel explains on its website, "a club chair is a comfortable armchair with a wide, sometimes oversized design profile."

"It's upholstered either in leather or fabric for the most comfort," the experts at Kardiel say. "The traditional club chair design has arms, but you can also find armless club chairs, and often, the arms are a single piece with the chair back."

4. Folding Chair

Outdoor cafe with yellow tables and chairs after the rain

While armchairs and club chairs tend to have large, immovable presence, the folding chair is quite different. This is a type of chair that "can be collapsed flat for easy storage or transport."

5. Eames Chair

eames chair in store

The Eames chair might not have as instantly recognizable a name as dining chairs or folding chairs, but its midcentury-modern design is certainly well-known. This chair was created by design husband-wife duo Charles Eames and Ray Eames in 1956, and was made to resemble a worn first baseman's mitt, according to Architectural Digest.

"The Eameses really changed the way that people considered what a chair is supposed to look like," Amy Auscherman, the head of archives for Herman Miller (which is the company who debuted the original Eames lounge chair back in the '50s), told the magazine.

6. Womb Chair

Large bedroom with womb chair

The Womb chair is another iconic chair design that was born out of the midcentury. Created by designer Eero Saarinen in 1948, this chair was originally called the Series 70 before it took on its more iconic moniker in 1949, after Saarinen explained that he had created the Womb chair because "a great number of people have never really felt comfortable and secure since they left the womb," according to Architectural Digest.

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7. Desk Chair

Serious home distance employee doing paperwork at table, reviewing financial paper reports at desktop computer, working at comfortable safe workplace with ergonomic office chair. Full length shot

Much like the dining chair, the desk chair ​​really stays true to its name: It's a chair that is intended to be used at a desk, designed with the proper support and comfort to aid any activities you may be doing.

"These chairs usually have adjustable height, backrest, and armrests to accommodate different users and promote good posture during prolonged sitting," the experts at Office4U explain.

8. Bistro Chair

Round empty wooden table and chairs for meeting up in room, vintage style

The bistro chair is often associated with Parisian cafes and restaurants, but it was originally designed by German-Austrian furniture maker Michael Thonet, according to the Bienenstock Furniture Library (BFL). Officially named the No. 14 chair, the bistro chair is recognizable by its simple design and sleek curves.

9. Bergère Chair

Royal classical style Armchair sofa couch in vintage room

The bergère chair is considered another type of armchair that is known for its upholstery and exposed wooden frame. This chair also has French associations, as it first appeared at the beginning of the 18th century, during Louis XV's reign in France, according to the Decorative Collective.

"The chair's creation is attributed to the growing demand for comfortable seating solutions that showcased the opulence and grandeur of the time," they explain on their website.

10. Office Chair

View of office chairs in business meeting room

The terms desk chair and office chair are often used interchangeably as well, but as the experts at Office4u explain, an office chair is a broader concept. It can be used to refer to a wide range of chairs created for use in different office settings, whether they are for "a desk, conference room, reception area, or other workstations."

11. Lounge Chair

Modern Living Room Detail with lounge chair

If you're looking for one of the most comfortable types of chairs available, you'll likely be directed to the lounge chair. At their core, lounge chairs are designed with comfort and aesthetic appeal in mind, as they usually feature a relaxed, reclined posture, and may be cushioned, upholstered, or made out of woven materials for added comfortability, according to Dimensions.

12. Tall Chair

Brown and beige office design boasts dark wood table with turned legs facing linen wingback chairs atop fluffy gray rug. Northwest, USA

If you're looking for something with a little more height, a tall chair, or a wingback chair, can have your back—and we mean that literally. This may be a style you find among antique chairs, as this tall chair's history dates back to the 1600s, according to The English Sofa Company.

Known for its tall back and winged sides, the wingback chair was originally created to provide a seat that shielded people from drafts or from the heat of open fireplaces that were popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.

13. Tub Chair

Light room interior, living room interior mockup, empty white wall, 3d rendering

Tub chairs are also often thought of as one variation of an armchair, known for their "large rounded upholstered" look that typically features a "semicircular back and no separate arms."

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14. Barcelona Chair

Pair of white modernist Barcelona design chairs and a modern lamp in front of a grey background. The Barcelona chair was deisgned by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich for the German pavillion for the International Exposition of 1929 in Barcelona.

The Barcelona chair was originally designed by Mies van der Rohe for his German Pavilion at the Barcelona Exposition of 1929, according to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This type of chair "is supported on each side by two chrome-plated, flat steel bars" that cross in a single curve to form the its back and front legs.

Only two Barcelona chairs were created for the German Pavilion, but Rohe's design was put into production, and it has since become a popular choice for those looking for simple, but elegant chairs to decorate their space.

15. Gaming Chair

Computer chair. Professional series. Orthopedic chair.

As its name would suggest, gaming chairs are specifically designed with gamers in mind. They are sometimes confused for office chairs, but they're made with different considerations in mind.

In particular, the design of gaming chairs is usually centered around "style, sleek aesthetics, and ergonomic support," in order to provide "enhanced comfort during prolonged gaming sessions," Time magazine explains.

16. Chaise Lounge Chair

A dormer window inset perfect for a sitting area with a chaise lounge chair to read books or nap.

While the name is similar to that of a lounge chair, the chaise lounge chair is much closer to a sofa than an actual chair. As a French term that translates to "long chair," the chaise lounge comes with an elongated seat that makes it easier to stretch out or lay down on compared to a typical chair, according to Wayfair.

17. Egg Chair

Harmonious and elegant living room decor, with a renovated modernist bookcase and a green egg chair

The iconic Egg chair was designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen, who was commissioned to create it for the SAS Royal Copenhagen Hotel in Denmark, Elle Decor reports. And while its curves from certain angles mimic the curves of an egg, this chair is also known for its similarities to the wingback chair.

18. Fluff Daddy Chair

still from a TikTok showing off the viral fluff daddy chair

If you want to get really trendy, you should consider one type of chair that has recently made quite a splash on TikTok: the Fluff Daddy chair. Being called the "comfiest chair in the universe," the viral Fluff Daddy is a swivel chair that reclines.

It also comes with removable pillows and a USB port so you can charge your electronics while you lounge in it.

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What Are the Best Types of Chairs for Your Living Room?

Scandinavian style living room interior.

OK, so now you know more about the many different types of chairs that exist. But you should also be aware that certain chairs will work better in certain spaces.

Looking for something to go in your living room? Chris Langley, interior designer and director of Just Value Doors Ltd, says there's a reason lounge chairs and chaise lounges are often seen as two staples in these spaces.

"They offer comfort and style, providing a welcoming vibe," he shares.

Langley also calls out the newer Fluff Daddy chair, adding that this type of seating has become a "recent favorite for adding a cozy, plush element to modern living spaces."

Kozorys says that he prefers to keep the living room limited to "only a few statement chairs," rather than overcrowding it with a plethora of different seating options.

"For instance, the classic bergère chair pairs well with a more modern sofa and will add a touch of elegance to the space," he notes.

What Types of Chairs Go Best in the Bedroom?

Modern mid Century and vintage interior of bedroom ,blue lounge chair with wood bedside table and white bed on white wall and wood floor in front of a window ,empty room ,3d rendering

But what about when it comes to your bedroom?

Jonathan Faccone, real estate expert and founder of Halo Homebuyers, says he is a big fan of using armchairs (including specific variations like club chairs) in this space. According to Faccone, you can use these types of chairs to create a cozy reading nook, or just a separate place from your actual bed to wind down comfortably.

"An armchair is perfect for providing extra seating in the bedroom," he says. "Its compact size allows it to fit in small corners or empty spaces without occupying too much room."

The various styles and materials that armchairs can come in—such as modern, traditional, or vintage, and leather, fabric, or velvet—also make it that much easier for you to match any of your existing bedroom decor, Faccone adds.

What Are the Best Chair Styles for Events?

A group of chairs and tables under a white tent. Taken at a wedding before guests arrive.

When it comes to planning an event, Malak Bellajdel, in-house interior design expert at Pet Portraits, says that folding chairs and bistro chairs often make for the most "fuss-free, portable picks."

But if elegance is more important to you than ease for your event, Kozorys says opting to use tall chairs or even chaise lounge chairs for seating can help "add a touch of glamor" to the environment.

What Chair Types Are Best for Outdoor Seating?

Chaise Lounge in a backyard with green grass and white wooden picket fence

In terms of outdoor seating, you need to consider the durability of the seating you choose. That means the materials used are equally as important as the chair's design, according to Langley.

"Rattan or teak furniture offers resilience and timeless appeal, with pieces like tall chairs or lounge chairs enhancing any patio or garden area," he says.

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With all that covered, you might still have questions about the different types of chairs available. If that's the case, check out the following answers to some frequently asked questions to see if they can help make things clearer.

1. What are the movable chairs called?

black office chair in the interior of the white office

Movable chairs are otherwise known as swivel chairs, Seamus Nally, real estate expert and CEO of TurboTenant, says. You'll come across this type of chair most often when looking for office or desk chairs, according to Nally.

"They move in two ways: They are on wheels (so they can move in all directions along the floor), and the body of the chair can spin in a complete circle while the base of the chair doesn't move," he explains.

Movable chairs are usually designed for a more functional purpose rather than for lounging reasons. As a result, you won't typically find them—with the exception of a few swivel chairs, like the Fluff Daddy—used in a casual seating arrangement, Nally says.

"Instead, they are meant to be used with a table or desk," he notes.

2. What do you call a chair with no back?

Modern open plan office interior with kitchen. Bar stools, kitchen counter, kitchen cabinet, chairs and desk. Template for copy space. Render.

Chairs without a back are typically referred to as stools, according to Norman. This type of chair "brings a minimalist and flexible seating solution to spaces that require an unobtrusive design element," he says.

3. What is the most common chair in the world?

Empy white plastic garden chair standing on a green lawn in front of a cornfield in evening light. Seen in Bavaria, Germany in August.

With so many different types of chairs out there, is there any one that is notably used more often than the others? In fact, there is! According to Langley, the title of the most common chair in the world belongs to the Monobloc plastic chair.

"This is is arguably the most ubiquitous, recognized for its affordability and stack-ability," he shares.

The Vitra Design Museum confirms that this white plastic chair is the "most widely used piece of furniture in the world," dubbing the Monobloc as "A Chair for the World."

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Wrapping Up

That's it for our expert-backed guide on the many types of chairs out there, and which ones will work best in every space. But be sure to check back with us soon for more home tips that can help make all the difference whenever you're looking to redecorate.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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