There are several different types of chairs on the current market that come in several sizes, styles, and price points that we’d need dozens of pages to properly list and explain them all. Instead, we narrowed the list down to the most popular 28 types of chairs for all interior design styles that are unique and trendy. We’ll list both well-known options and ones you may not have heard of.
Some chairs get picked out specifically to give your room a focal point or a touch of contrast, and other chairs can match everything you have in your room. There are small and large chairs that are sculptural in nature that can add a touch of drama to your room too. No matter which type of chairs you want, we’re going to describe different ones in detail to give you a good idea on whether or not they’d fit in your home.
1. Acapulco Chair
This unique chair has mysterious origins as no one is sure who designed it originally. It saw a spike in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s due to celebrity associations with everyone from President Kennedy to Liz Taylor. It features vinyl cord that you wind around a durable metal frame. It has a deep pear-shape with roots that trace back to Mayan hammocks.
Today, this type of chair has expanded to include leather versions and loveseats. You can also find it in several colors ranging from bright and bold to earthy tones. These chairs are perfect for anyone who wants to spruce up their patio because they have a very festive look and feel to them.
2. Adirondack Chair
This type of chair’s original design came from Thomas Lee, and he was a Massachusetts native that spent summers in the middle of this mountainous area in Westport, New York. He dropped out of Harvard Law School to work on creating a chair that suited the rugged terrain of this area and focus on nature. Lee came from a wealthy family that could support him, and he took upwards of three years to complete the high back silhouette, armrests, shape, and the slanted seat.
The final form of this type of chair was one that was balanced, sturdy, and comfortable. Since these chairs can fit beautifully on hilly terrain, sandy beaches, and flat surfaces, shoppers flocked to them once they hit the market. It has survived throughout the years to become one of the most popular outdoor types of chairs, and you can find it made out of plastic, wood, or molded materials.
An armchair is defined as a very comfortable chair that has dual resting spaces for your arms. As you can see, this is a very simple and straightforward definition. Artisans crafted the original armchairs in ancient China, Egypt, Rome, and Greece centuries before anyone added layers of upholstery to make them comfortable enough to sit in for an extended time.
This type of chair mimics the look of a throne, and you originally only found them in very wealthy homes. However, carpenters mimicked the style and you found different class distinctions. You can choose from a broad range of materials, shapes, trim,and upholstery when you shop, and this allows you to put it in virtually every room of the house, including your sunroom.
4. Bar Stool
You can choose from several different types of chairs in this category. If you have an island with an overhang or a high-top table, you’ll need bar stools to fit neatly into your space. You can choose from a range of different heights, so it’s important that you take steps to measure the height of the counter or table before you purchase them. Some of these chairs stay at one height while others move, and some rotate while some stay stationary. You can also choose from varying back heights or backless designs.
You have to keep all of these things in mind when you shop. If you look online, this type of chair typically goes for $50.00 to $100 per chair. No matter if you’re looking for a bar stool with more rustic farmhouse charm or in an ultra-modern feel, you’ll find one that fits perfectly.
5. Barrel Chair
This is a living room chair that has a unique look. The chair comes designed to look like a barrel, hence the name. Early designs of this type of chair were made using barrels, and the shape makes them feel like you’re getting a hug from behind when you sit in them.
You get a very rounded, solid back with a bigger size that fits nicely in living rooms or bedrooms, and it usually comes designed to be a single piece with arms on it. These chairs usually have a much more masculine look overall, but the rounded shape is also more feminine. So, you get a highly versatile piece.
6. Bergère Chair
If you’re someone who loves decorating with a European flair, you should consider adding this type of chair to your decorating scheme. It’s a French-inspired chair that was originally introduced to French nobility in the 17th century. They challenged furniture makers to create a chair that was comfortable, elegant, and very unique to what was currently available. You can identify this type of chair because it has an exposed wooden frame, with seat cushions that aren’t always attached and an upholstered seat and back.
This chair style fits wonderfully into living rooms, but they work very well for bedrooms when you pair them with ottomans to match. If you’re looking to add a rich and luxurious flair to your home, this chair is a great one to consider.
7. Chaise Lounge Chair
Chaise lounge chairs are a type of chair that has been around since 3100 to 2890 BC in ancient Egypt. The earliest style chair featured cords woven with palm fronds or rawhide. Over time, this transitioned to ebony and ivory, and it made the chair very popular with the Greeks, Romans, and French. They were throne-like recliners for royalty or relaxation benches for pregnant women.
This type of chair had a massive surge of popularity in Victorian England when virtually every woman wanted one for their boudoir. The more contemporary lifestyle pushed the use of these chairs out of the house and to outside spaces. They’re very popular to have around pools, and you can choose from a huge range of prices and styles.
8. Chesterfield Chair
This type of chair is a direct adaptation of the Chesterfield sofa, but no one is really sure of the chair’s origins. The Earl of Chesterfield could have been the inspiration for the name. However, popular theory suggests that Lord Philip Stanhope of Chesterfield commissioned this chair during his lifetime. Either theory makes a great story to tell your guests.
If you’re looking for a true Chesterfield type of chair, look for one that has lower club-styling to it that mimics the look of the sofa. It also has larger scroll arms that are the same height of your chair’s back. It’s usually tufted or studded with buttons, and they’re very commonly made out of leather. However, it is possible to find them made out of traditional textiles or velvet.
9. Club Chair
While you won’t have to pay any membership dues to buy this type of chair, you do want to know that it was originally meant to be a shortened version of the popular Chesterfield sofa that everyone had to have in the 17th century. England loved this chair style, and it slowly spread around the world.
By the time the 19th century came around, gentleman’s clubs had adopted this type of chair because they had wide seats, were padded, and were very comfortable. Leather has always been popular for the slip cover for the classic-style club chair. They also have larger button embellishments that mimic the Chesterfield couch. It makes an excellent complement to your office plants by your desk.
10. Contemporary Round Chair
If you’re feeling like you’re boxed in with your traditional types of chairs, a more contemporary round chair could be a great pick. This is an oversized chair that typically comes with a 58-inch width with depths up to 30-inches. These bigger dimensions make it the perfect choice for relaxing or snuggling in with a blanket and a good book.
Since this chair has a nice rounded shape to it, they make wonderful accent pieces in your room. You can choose from a broad range of fabric coverings, but you’ll typically find them in leather or suede. They also usually feature a more neutral color tone to them, but you can find brighter hues and shades. This is one of the more expensive types of chairs on the list, and a single chair can easily set you back $350 to $700.
11. Deck Chair
If you’re looking for the difference between a deck chair and a chaise lounge, you won’t find any huge ones. However, deck chairs were originally designed to be seating options on boat decks, including everything from huge cruise ships to small cruisers. It was based on an Egyptian type of chair that was the first fold chair design, they saw a huge popularity surge during the 17th century when having huge crowds of spectators to watch public executions was an event.
The deck chair design got a makeover when John Thomas Moore filed a patent on it in 1886 to market this type of chair to boat owners or anyone who needed portable seating to watch tennis matches. No matter if they’re made out of canvas, webbing, or textiles, this chair is a very popular choice for anyone who needs collapsible chairs that they can store between uses.
12. Dining Chair
The Old Testament states that chairs were originally reserved for kings and Pharaohs to serve as thrones instead of seating. Commoners ate on floor mats until people realized that eating on the floor was a good way to get dirt into your food. Stools were the original precursor to dining chairs. However, once they added backs, space started to be a huge design factor.
Trying to fit 6 to 12 chairs under a tabletop took a huge amount of planning. For centuries, these types of chairs were made out of wood, and this is still a very popular material today. Plastic and metal are also popular. You can choose from virtually any furnishing style you can think of, and they don’t even have to necessarily match. It’s easy to switch things up too.
13. English Rolled Arm Chair
This type of chair features a very traditional design to it, and it has rounded edges with deep, soft cushioning that invites you to come and sit down. This is an extremely comfortable chair choice, and the comfort level is due to the angled back and the deep layer of cushioning.
There are a few important design elements that help to distinguish this type of chair from others. The biggest ones include rounded arms with a low profile, an angled back, and a deep seat with very soft cushions.
14. Fauteuil Chair
This is another French-inspired type of chair that is a cousin of the Bergère chair we touched on earlier. This is an upholstered chair that has a very ornate design to it that usually features textile upholstery. The easiest way to pick out this chair is to look at the open sides it has. The back, arm pads, and seat potions might or might not be attached in the design.
This type of chair is usually made out of wood, and the chair’s frame is always exposed. So, if you find a chair that claims to be a Fauteuil but doesn’t have this look, it’s most likely not real. However, if you see a cabriole instead of straight legs, there’s a very good chance you’ve found an authentic one.
15. Folding Chair
If you routinely host barbeques or backyard parties, you’ll want to have a lot of seating for your guests. Folding chairs are a type of chair that ensure you have ample seating without breaking your budget. As a bonus, the chairs fold up between uses to make storage quick and easy. These chairs usually feature a metal or plastic design, and you can buy them for under $15.00 each. It’s a great way to expand your seating without worrying about eating into all of your storage space in your garage or attic.
16. Ghost Chair
This chair isn’t actually haunted, but the name comes from the fact that this type of chair is made out of 100% clear plastic. Ghost chairs work wonderfully as dining room accessories for any home that has an ultra-modern vibe. You can buy these chairs without or with arms in varying heights, and they come in sets of two and four. Some of these chairs do come with wood or metal accents on them, and they can add interest and dimension to the whole set.
If you want to bring this type of chair to other areas of your home, they also work as accent pieces for the office or living room. It’s a great addition to many small rooms in your home or a room that gets a low amount of natural light. They seem to vanish while keeping the visual clutter to a minimum and not blocking natural light.
17. Lawson Chair
If you’re someone who adores a mystery, take a look at Lawson chairs. The point is that these chairs slowly evolved over time, and they started out as a sofa before furniture companies adapted the same silhouette to this type of chair. This original version of this chair is overstuffed, custom-built, and packed with pillows on the direct orders of an author and businessman named Thomas Lawson.
This chair slowly gained in popularity over the years in various rooms, but the stuffing quantity slowly went down as tastes changed. Today, you can find this type of chair as something upholstered, but you won’t have nearly as many pillows in the design as the original had when it was custom-ordered.
The loveseat first got very popular in the 17th century, and the size falls between a couch and a chair. This type of chair was first introduced to help accommodate any woman that was dressed in layers of voluminous skirts and hoops. As the fashion styles slowly got slimmer, the loveseat remained a very popular seating choice for people who were living in smaller apartments or houses and didn’t have enough room for full-sized couches or sofas. Today, it’s a popular practice to pair the loveseat with a couch to give you a very coordinated look while expanding your seating area. This is why they’re commonly sold as sets.
19. Office Chair
The office chair was a mid-19th century invention, and Charles Darwin was an explorer who put wheels on the feet of one of his chairs in 1840 to allow him to move around without getting up. As the workplace evolved, it became clear that the workers needed a place to sit to process their paperwork
Just like fashion, office furnishings took a top spot with designers who wanted to match the chair to the hot decorating schemes of the time. In 1976, manufacturers introduced the ergonomic office chair. Today, this style stays extremely diverse due to the popularity of home offices.
If you did a generic Google search for “ottoman,” you’ll find links to the Ottoman Empire as it was one of the longest-lasting and most powerful dynasties in history. However, if you’re looking for information on this type of chair, it’s readily available too. This style of furniture started out as a fashionable floor cushion in the 18th century, and it was very popular in Turkish homes.
Eventually, arms got added and the cushion size shrunk. By the time the 20th century came around, furniture markers took the arms away to create the upholstered footstools that are still very popular to date. You can get them with or without legs, and they come in varying heights to match your chairs.
21. Reading Chair
If you’re someone who loves to read, you know how important it is to have a good reading chair in your sunroom. You can easily use this versatile type of chair as a recliner, armchair, or a lounge chair when you pair it with an ottoman. The comfort level is the single most important aspect of this chair.
You want this chair to be very inviting, and it should envelope you once you sit down. It should make it so you really don’t want to get up and leave it. Depending on the material and style, this chair can run between $150 and $300 each. No matter what your personal style is, you can find a reading chair that fits nicely into your decor.
The history of a recliner dates way back to a medical device company who took the original antiquated operating chairs and transformed them into household furnishings. In 1830, the Morris Chair became the first recliner invented. By the early 1900s, recliners got newly minted as the must-have for relaxation, and they started to come in different sizes, materials, and shapes.
La-Z-Boy was the first company to invest in the recliner movement in 1928. Recliners then got streamlined in regards to shape in size over the next few decades, and you can now get one to fit your space relatively easily, even if a lot of them are on the larger side. There are also specialized recliners available today for seniors or people who have mobility problems that allow you to push a button and have them stand up.
Recliners by Rachel Wray / CC BY-NC 2.0
23. Rocking Chair
America gets credit for this type of chair. Many people believe that the design for the cradle or rocking horse inspired this chair. Benjamin Franklin gets full credit for this chair’s invention in 1710. Simple and functional, it was a nice touch to add to your front porch, baby’s nursery, and more. The style also evolved from a one-size-fits-all to variations that include Boston, Adirondack, Windsor, and Bentwood.
You can identify the various styles on this type of chair by looking at the shape of any embellishments, curves, or slats. It is widely credited with helping parents gets babies to sleep, and the rocking motion can also provide comfort to anyone seeking the therapeutic, calming tempo that rocking entails.
Thonet bentwood rocker by The Living Room / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
24. Side Chair
This type of chair is one of the most common designs for dining room chairs, and it’s what you get when you buy a dining room set. It’s very difficult to fit chairs with arms around your dining room table because the middle area doesn’t have the space that the ends of the table do. This is an armless chair design, and it takes up less space so you can easily fit more around the table.
You can find this type of chair made from plastic, wood, or metal. They also come in a huge range of styles and colors. The price tags on the chair reflect the styles that are available, so it’s no surprise that they usually range from $70.00 to $300.
Chair Detail – Side View by Will Scott / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
25. Slipper Chair
The 18th century saw the rise of the slipper chair when wealthy women started putting them in their boudoirs. There were no arms on this chair to get in the way of common grooming tasks, and this made them very popular to pair with vanity tables. Royalty used these chairs because it was easy for any maids that attended the royal family to kneel beside them and help them put their slippers, stockings, and shoes on. They were originally 100% satin for the material, but this changed to a huge range of textiles that can fit virtually anywhere in your home from dens and living rooms to bedrooms.
Slipper_chair by John M. / CC BY-SA 2.0
26. Wicker Chair
A long time before sustainability became a buzzword, wicker furnishings were very popular with Scandinavians. The word “wika” means “to bend ” and there were several places that favored this furniture style. You could find it around the globe, including tucked into the tomb of Tutankhamen.
The late 1800s saw a rise in the popularity of Victorian wicker. At this time, the most famous wicker chair designer was Cyrus Wakefield. All-natural materials were the pillar of the wicker industry until synthetic, commercial-grade wicker came about in the mid-2000s. This type of synthetic wicker is still a popular alternative for homeowners who want materials that will withstand exposure to bad weather.
The wicker chair by Martin Brigden / CC BY 2.0
27. Wing Chair
Even people who have trouble telling one type of chair from another usually have no issues picking out wing or wingback chairs. They have a very lofty, distinct backrest with side pieces that stick out like wings. You can ask virtually any furniture salesperson to show you a grandfather, easy, or wing chair and get the same chair.
This chair has a history that dates back to the 17th century when companies made them to go right beside the fires. The winged design with the taller backs protected anyone who sat in them from drafts. Today, the chippendale wingback is one of the most recognizable types of chairs in this category.
Classic Wing Chair Set by lacasvictoria / CC BY 2.0
28. Wishbone Chair
The final type of chair on the list is the wishbone chair, and they allow you to get a mid-century look in your dining room. They usually get made out of wood with a wicker or cushioned seat. The biggest design characteristic that sets them apart is the support that runs up the back before splitting like a wishbone. The chairs also curve around the back, and this can give anyone who sits in it more support.
This chair type usually comes in a very neutral color palette, but you can find them in bold colors too. Many retailers also offer wishbone-style bar stools that match the dining chairs. This chair can easily cost between $150 to $350 a chair. They’re usually 20-inches wide or less, and this makes them a nice fit for smaller areas.
CH_24 by Peter Guthrie / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
We’ve outlined 28 types of chairs that you can mix and match and feature in your home. They come in a huge range of sizes, shapes, styles, and textiles that makes it easy to get functional but comfortable and eye-catching seating throughout your home. We invite you to take a look and find the few pieces that will pull your room together.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.