If you are in the market for a new sofa or upholstered chairs, please remember to pay attention to their arm styles, since that detail can dramatically affect your comfort.
Anyone who already has a sofa with high, or straight and narrow arms can tell you that you can’t really rest your head on those when you want to take a nap. Sofas with no arms are not inviting either, unless you place a throw pillow or two under your head when you stretch out. Ultimately, the most comfy sofas have low arms where you can lay your noggin, effortlessly.
Now, the ideal sofa arm differs from the ideal chair arm. Armless chairs are always desirable because they are unobtrusive and, therefore, save space. Slipper chairs, the armless chairs made famous by legendary designer Billy Baldwin, look elegant and are comfortable – a good choice for any room where additional seating is needed. Like sofa arms, a small, neat chair arm works well in most rooms.
Conversely, chairs with oversized arms can limit the flow of traffic, and make a room feel crowded, especially in a small place.
The best combination that offers the most flexibility, if you have limited space or might be moving to a smaller home in the future, is a pair of armless slipper chairs, in any style you like, and a sofa with low arms, of any shape that appeals to you.
One last consideration: If you have seating pieces that are not right for your room, check with your local upholsterer who can, probably, modify, remove or add different arms to your existing sofa or chairs.