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Large or Small Upholstered Chair: What Size Chair Should I Choose?

04 Jun 2023


  1. Assessing Space Requirements
  2. Exploring Large Chairs
  3. Considering Smaller Chairs
  4. Upholstery Options
  5. Variety of Styles
  6. Budget Considerations

Choosing the right size of upholstered chairs is one of the most important decisions when furnishing a home. Large chairs that swallow you up or small chairs that leave little room for comfort can be uncomfortable. The size of the chair you choose should support your body properly while fitting in the available space. Various factors influence which size upholstered chair is best for you, including the dimensions and configuration of the room, the height and weight of primary occupants, and the intended use of the chair. Large chairs offer more surface area for stretching out but can be bulky, while small chairs conserve space but may insufficiently support taller individuals. Properly sized upholstered chairs provide years of comfort and relaxation.

Greeen Small Upholstered Chair - Way2Furn

Assessing Space Requirements

Assessing the available space should be the first step in choosing between large or small upholstered chairs. Measure the dimensions of the room where the chair will go to determine how much floor area a chair can occupy without becoming too dominant or cramped. Determine if additional furniture like end tables, bookcases, or television stands will be near the chair and account for that space. A larger chair that helps define the seating area may work well for open floor plans with minimal existing furniture. In smaller, more confined spaces like studio apartments, a petite chair will maximize usable floor area and not overwhelm the room. Aim for around 2 feet of clearance on all sides of the chair to allow easy access and maneuverability.

Exploring Large Chairs

Coffee Lounge Chair - Way2Furn

Large upholstered chairs offer supreme comfort and support for those with available floor space. These chair options generally range from 36 to 42 inches wide and deep, including overstuffed cushions, high backs, and substantial armrests. Taller individuals typically find large chairs best for fully supporting their height while seated. Large chairs are ideal for designated reading nooks, living rooms for lounging, and entertaining areas where guests will occupy the chair for extended periods. However, their sizable footprint can make them unfeasible for cramped quarters. Extra-large chairs exceeding normal dimensions are also available but will maximize space consumption. While offering the most plush seating experience, choose a large chair only if it will fit harmoniously within the room's design.

Considering Smaller Chairs

White Vintage Accent Chair - Way2Furn

If floor space is limited or large chairs seem disproportionate, petite upholstered chairs between 25 to 34 inches wide provide a more space-saving option. Small chairs conserve valuable square footage while still providing comfort. They work well in homes with open floor plans where multiple seating arrangements are needed or in apartments with minimal room to spare. However, choosing too small of a chair can result in insufficient support, especially for taller individuals. Ideally, small chairs should allow the occupant's knees to bend at a right angle with feet fully touching the floor. Armrests and cushion depth should also adequately support the back and sides. While small chairs may lack the enveloping comfort of larger models, carefully selected petite options can still offer quality seating that maximizes space efficiency.

Upholstery Options

Upholstery for Chair

Beyond size, the upholstery type and material choices significantly impact the overall feel and comfort levels of any chair, large or small. For long-term durability, leather and microfiber are often best due to their resistance to wear and tear. However, traditional fabrics like chenille and cotton blends provide a softer, more plush feel. Look for upholstery with elastic in the webbing to allow the chair to contour to your body shape. Carefully consider the level of padding and fillings like foam, down feathers, or wool to achieve the firmness or softness preferred. For large chairs meant for lounging, extra padding and generous cushion depth typically provide the cushiest and most comfortable seating experience. While small chairs may have less padding due to space constraints, quality fillings and properly contoured cushions can still deliver comfort. Upholstery choices significantly impact how pleasurable any size chair is to sit within.

Variety of Styles

Large and small upholstered chairs come in various styles to complement decor themes. Modern styles typically feature clean lines, minimalistic designs, and angular shapes in compact sizes. Transitional chairs blend classic and modern elements with traditional details in medium to large proportions. Classic styles like Chesterfield and Cottage offer traditional rolled arms and deep button tufting predominantly in larger-cushioned designs. Mid-century modern chairs from the 1950s and 60s are known for curved forms, walnut trim, and angled legs, predominantly in medium to large sizes. Regardless of style, carefully consider how the chair's proportions, details, and materials will harmonize with the existing aesthetics of the room. Large chairs are suited for traditional rooms, while petite chairs often integrate better within modern interiors. Proper styling maximizes the functionality and visual impact of any sized upholstered chair.

Budget Considerations

Budget is an important factor when choosing between large or small upholstered chairs. In general, larger chairs with more cushioning, padding, and fabric usually cost more due to the extra materials required. Expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,500 or more for a high-quality large upholstered chair depending on the brand, style, and features. However, petite chairs typically cost less, between $150 to $800, depending on materials and craftsmanship. The cost difference stems primarily from the reduced fabric requirements for building small chairs. However, both size options exist at all price points, with large, luxurious recliners exceeding $3,000 and petite accent chairs for under $150. When shopping on a budget, consider value sizes in both large and small categories. Compare features, padding, and durability closely to identify the best-valued option for the intended space and comfort needs.

Small Industrial Office Chair - Swivel - Way2Furn

In conclusion, large and small upholstered chairs offer pros and cons depending on the available space, intended use, and individual preferences. Choosing a properly sized chair that adequately supports the body while harmonizing with the room's aesthetic is key to maximum comfort and functionality. Assess dimensions, height, style, material, and cost to determine the optimal chair for specific needs. With careful consideration of size requirements, intended comfort levels, and budget, any individual can find the perfect upholstered chair to relax and unwind in - large or small. Ultimately, the right-sized chair is the one that provides the most enjoyable seating experience within the given constraints of a unique space and lifestyle.

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