10 best armchairs

Curl up and enjoy one of these stylish seats

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The Independent Online

If your tired armchair just won’t cut it another year, get settled in with these ten options for great comfort and style in the living room. 

With most in the £500-1000 range, a good armchair should be seen as an investment. If matching your existing décor is a concern, go for a chair that comes with plenty of upholstery choices, or removable cushions you could change over time. Also look for a wood frame, a sprung seat and foam cushions that can hold shape over time. Guarantees, as ever, are a good reassurance that your chosen chair is robust. 

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

1. John Lewis Mario Armchair: £889, John Lewis


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 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. 

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2. 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.

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3. George Home Natalie Armchair: £395, Asda


The typical style of this armchair is one you’ll see in many versions – George Home’s Natalie chair makes a good stab of it for the price. It delivers on traditional charm with a wide seat, high back, pleated details on the arms and wooden feet with brass castors. The chair has a wood frame and is handmade in the UK. Its soft upholstery fabric comes in six neutral colours.

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4. 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.

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5. Neptune George Armchair: From £910, 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. 

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6. Swoon Editions Merano Armchair: £579, 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.

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7. Ikea Ekenäset Armchair: £150, 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.

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8. Loaf Swagamuffin Armchair: £945, Loaf


As with all 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.

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9. Sofa.com Peggy Armchair: £540, Sofa.com


One of Sofa.com’s most popular products is the Peggy armchair – which reminds us more of a cocktail or club chair with its retro looks. Its curved arms, 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. 

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10. Arlo & Jacob Wallis Armchair: From £685, 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. 

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The Verdict: Armchairs

For an armchair you can really relax in, the high-backed Mario armchair from John Lewis 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 Sofa.com is rated highly by customers for its reasonable price and good quality.

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