If you’re like me and you also live in a small space like a tiny house or a micro apartment..
Then you probably are looking for comfortable arm chairs that won’t make your place seem cluttered or too small.
That’s why I gathered 10 outstanding arm chair designs that will work for almost any small home or office.
How to Choose the Right Arm Chair for a Tiny House
For each chair to make the list it had to meet a few simple requirements:
- It must have longer than normal legs
Why long legs? Because in a tiny homes, these things matter. The long legs allow you to see through the area underneath the chair. This creates the perception that there’s more space. Last but not least:
- It must be comfortable to sit and read in
- It must look good to the eye
- It should be affordable and durable
Let’s move on to the top 6 arm chairs we found for small spaces:
Top 6 Arm Chair Designs for Small Spaces
6. IKEA Poang Armchair with Cushion
- 27″D x 32″W x 39″H
- Seat width: 22″
- Removable, washable cover
- Bentwood birch frame
- Great neck support
- Withstands up to 375 lbs
- Also available in white, red, black/black, black/cherry, red/black, black/white,
Ikea Poang Armchair with Washable Cushion in Black
5. White Leather Executive/Reception Arm Chair
- 26.5″W x 23″D x 35.5″H
- Mahogany finish on long legs
- Weighs approximately 32 lbs
- White leather-like upholstery
- Modern and contemporary
- Really small for an armchair
- Also available in black and burgundy
White Leather Executive/Reception Chair
4. Handy Living Belmont Transitional Arm Chair
- 27.5″L x 28.5″W x 35.5″H
- Available in 3 different fabrics
- Retro, sleek and stylish
- Comfortable and modern
- Polyester fabric
- Espresso color wooden legs
Handy Living Belmont Transitional Arm Chair
I decided to leave you with a few more bonus arm chairs that might not be as comfy as the ones above, but they’ll take up even less space in your house. And they’re a little bit cheaper. Enjoy!
3. Baxton Studio Letterio White Cradle Chair
- 24″W x 23″D x 27″H
- Very compact so fits anywhere
- Modern and simple
- Ash wood base
- Steel support
- Rocks quietly and built sturdy
Baxton Studio White Cradle Rocking Arm Chair
2. Baxton Studio Fiorenza White Plastic Armchair Set
- 24″W x 24″D x 30.5″H
- Great value for the money
- Simple and modern
- Contemporary and relaxed
- Solid wood legs with steel support
Baxton Studio Fiorenza White Plastic Armchair Set
Just my opinion but It seems to me that an upholstered chair is a extravagant waste of real estate in a tiny home. My thoughts are that a love seat can seat two in less space than two chairs. Or a couch can seat three ETC.
Having a few of the director style chairs or other quality folding chairs is a good idea for guests. I was just doing some research on this subject last night. For my tiny home the main seating will be a futon that could double as guest sleeping, a Franklin chair / library chair for my desk that doubles as loft ladder and two folding bar stools. Just my thoughts.
Good Thoughts… My Tiny House seating will consist of several “cubes” that have cushions on them and storage in them. They will be able to “connect” to one another to form a surround couch or separate chairs. This will allow me to have seating for my entire family in a living room/dining room setting, or to be able to move some of the seating to the patio for visiting. Also, at night, my cubes will be able to be moved together where my murphy style bed will fold down over them to make this same room into my bedroom.
Hey, Lady! I really like your thought process on multi-purposing the seating and having it modular.
I like the cube idea…storage is at such a premium in small living that you can never have enough. Would love to see drawings/sketches of your idea for my tiny trailer remodel!
I can do better than that… In a couple weeks I will be posting a YouTube Video of my SketchUp Design for this whole project… I will post the link here once I have it up there…. ;O)
I dislike couches. I do like these chairs. It is going to be a matter of taste.
My favorite chair is a small recliner in a floral print up on nice tall legs that I purchased several years ago because it was comfortable and scaled properly for ME. I’m a rather short woman and I do not need a huge chair.
My other favorite chairs are those director style chairs you can get for camping. They are light, can be hung up or leaned against a wall in a closet, but I find them VERY comfortable and worthy of regular use. I also can stick them in the trunk or belly of the behemoth (RV) to serve anywhere I happen to be.
Comfortable wood chairs are another good option. If the design is right they serve well and are easily moved around to do double duty. Downside is they are heavy.
You make a great point Marty. I plan on doing another one of these where we focus on love seats, futons, etc instead of just arm chairs. So stay tuned! 🙂
You need something with adequate cushioning. You will be spending a lot of time in that ONE chair. I wouldn’t want anything that would be too hard on one’s ass.
Also, I like the tiny house designs that have somewhat of a luxurious look to them. I wouldn’t like feeling like I am living in a sterile wooden box with nothing but a milk crate and a bare light bulb with a string. Just one item with upholstery can really help make a place feel homey. Especially if one is living in a Fencl, say, with that cute little bay window.
” I wouldn’t like feeling like I am living in a sterile wooden box with nothing but a milk crate and a bare light bulb with a string.” Right you are, Linda, but the “light bulb” would have to be replaced with a “single candle & milk crate” since so many tiny houser’s want “off the grid”.
I can’t remember if it was Alex or another writer who had an intriguing topic based around the topic of “WHY do so many people think TinyHouse folks are nutters?” <(my phrasing, NOT theirs!). And it's the whole uber-austerity that freaks most people out. The preponderance of youtube videos showing owners with a thin foam cushion on a board and proudly showing off their ONE plate, fork, spoon and knife that gets in people's craw. I get that some people have limited incomes or crappy jobs but what if you DON'T???? What if you make $100,000 or more per year? Don't those people have the right to enjoy what they work for? And as long as you're not pressed into Indentured Servitude and are forced to dust their "junk" or mow their yard, who cares what they do with their money? I can just see Bill Gates or Beyonce living in a shipping crate with a 5 gallon bucket to crap into! Like that's every gonna happen!
I have seen some absolutely stunning tiny houses that I've written glowing comments to the owers on their youtube pages and their return comments are appreciative. They may have downsized their square footage but they didn't downsize comfort or beauty to the point of sensory deprivation. Yeah, Nature is gorgeous and beautiful but when you live Up North and have endless snowy or rainy days, I don't want to be sitting on a milk crate, contemplating my navel by candlelight for entertainment. LOL
I’m going to build in 6’3″ long bench with storage under and use good quality foam rubber as thick as possible for the cushions so it will be a comfortable place to sit and can double as a twin bed on the main floor when family comes to visit. Slide in a table and it becomes a diningroom too.
Excellent idea Rhonda!
Instead of a really thick matt for the bench, I would stack two thinner ones. Then you would have the bench for a bed and also the other one on the floor.
I know that the word “tiny” is relative and much discussed. Our “tiny” home of 800 sq.ft. (down from 3,000) uses #7 as double duty. Our 15’x15′ Living Room/Dining Room has my Gran’s antique table that expands to seat 12 with ease. For every day use, we actually have the #7 chair. When our family comes over (ranging from 2 to 12) we just turn the dining room chair around and we’re all part of the conversation. When it’s Thanksgiving and the entire clan is here, we haul out the folding bistro table chairs that are used on our deck, for additional seating. So those chairs, too, do Double Duty…seating outside and seating inside when pressed into duty. I’m a HUGE fan of cushy arm chairs and it’s my #1 choice to sit with my laptop on a laptable and do my computer work. In our Living Room area, we have the aforementioned 2-seater Love Seat, a matching arm chair and ottoman (additional seating in a pinch) and a rocking chair, which was my Granpa’s. It all flows together beautifully and when we have our dinner parties each Saturday for local friends, everyone gets to choose the chair/seat that gives them ease. 🙂
REALLY nice article; thoroughly enjoyed the research and the attached photos.
Thanks glad you enjoyed it 🙂
In a tiny home none of these except the folding directors chairs are worth the space.
I expect great comfort, storage and flexiblity. By making the ‘chair’ not just sit, but recline to flat with storage takes up the same space as the examples.
How about an article on such seat, recliner, bed with storage designs?
By not doing the above just means you have to build a bigger small house for no good reason other than a little thought.
Even better is a reclining 6.5′ couch/double bed pull out that can sit 4 close friends with of course storage under and for bedding, etc storage behind the seat back too. In an 8′ wide this with the E center, chairs, desk, etc combo of choice on the opposite side gives the most bang for the comfortable buck/sq’.
I like 2, each facing each other which can sit 8 and sleep 4.
It’s really hard to beat built in furniture in a tiny house as it allows you a 30-50% smaller unit with the same utility but less cost to build, run, tow, etc.
Great idea Jerry, I plan on doing more posts like this on seating. Built in furniture really does save a lot of space most of the time. And you can include built in storage.
Not just built in but built thinner and possibly movable on rollers, etc so they can be used .
I have a compact car. In order to get more stuff in it, I took the bolts out of the passenger seat, that held it to the floor, and removed it. With the back seat folded down and thus opening up to the trunk, I can get much more in my car.
Well, as I finished my Tiny house, I needed a chair in my living room. I could easily accomodate a couch, but I like to keep the room open for yoga.
That car seat is currently my living room recliner.
Anyone wanting to recycle, stop at a junkyard and grab some reclining bucket seats in good condition and the color you need. They are small proportioned so they don’t take up a lot of room.
LOL thanks for sharing Erik. I like arm chairs and such for the same reason… you can move them out of the way and use the open space. Can’t do that with built ins.
The “Built In” cubes I am building, are also stackable. I can easily move them to be out of the way for cleaning, and just having more floor space available. The cushions are ones I am making. I am using a nice thick/dense foam covered with an aesthetically pleasing fabric. There are back cushions as well as seat cushions. The back cushions can be laid on top of the seat cushions to provide a cushier bed for guests as well. The cushions being removable makes it so these cubes can actually be stacked in a way as to create steps or a nice storage/shelving unit. The versatility is why I designed them this way. The table sold by “Resource Furniture” called the “Goliath” is my inspiration for the table I am building. My table is going to cost me about $500 as a beautiful Mahogany stained, real wood, table whereas the Goliath table was nearly 10 times that cost and would not fit in my space the way I needed it to. (My table is just a few inches narrower to allow for the table to fit within the surround cube couch to become a dining room with seating for 10)… I LOVE TINY!!!
Thank you all for having a way for people like me to share thoughts, ideas, and concerns in a safe, productive manner.
Hammocks for sofas, hammock chairs for arm chairs. Hang them off hooks in the wall, drape them on the wall when not used.
Lighter and cheaper than anything else. Extremely comfortable.
Get brazilian or mayan or sling style hammocks without the wooden spreaders. Lie lengthwise, sit crosswise.
I was thinking about using hammocks a hammock chairs in this same way! I think it would be a great use of space and hammocks are extremely comfortable to sleep in and even have back pain relief benefits…
I do love the chairs you picked, Alex! Especially #7.
Thanks for the article!
Not to mention light weight…When building on wheels, weight is always a factor.
Excellent point! I have a few ideas to help reduce the weight of my tiny house and this would be a big one.
I prefer the look and function of built-ins. If I were to exclude built-ins, I would look for armless chairs/sofas. When you’re trying to make room, those rolled arms take up too much space no matter how pretty they are.
I either have a leg draped over one of the rolled, cushioned arms or I’m leaning heavily into it, at an angle. When you’re old, cushioning those ancient bones helps! LOL
I’m going with a small sofa bed that expands at each end, but for chairs don’t overlook the Ikea chair that Jay featured in many of his Tumbleweed homes http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/products/fencl/#ad-image-7 I tried it out at Ikea and it was surprisingly comfortable at $99! http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60100879/#/40038303
Tumbleweed shows armchairs in their houses all the time. Here’s an example… http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/products/walden/#ad-image-25 And an example with two armchairs… http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/products/epu/#ad-image-7
Different people have different priorities for their homes – and for some a good comfortable armchair is high on the list!
“Different people have different priorities for their homes – and for some a good comfortable armchair is high on the list!”<<<Word!
Just look at Diana's Innermost house: the only two pieces of furniture they own are two arm chairs!
If you look at very old vintage photos of room interiors from the 1900's, they didn't have sofas but just bunches of chairs in the parlor. I've rarely met an arm chair I didn't love. 🙂
Diana’s Innermost House is almost an art project rather than a ‘real’ house. She rents office space to use the internet and keep up with her blog and there’s something preternaturally weird about the whole place; supposedly she created the three-swoop coal/fire enclosure with months’ of heaped up coals but it’s so clean it’s impossible that that’s what it is. Am I the only one that thinks there’s something strange about that house, even though it’s gorgeous?
As far as the armchair design goes, anything except those awful wooden folding chairs pulled up against a minimalist-board desk; I couldn’t last for more than 10 minutes on one of those. Armchairs are comfortable, armless chairs feel exposed and won’t let you relax. Gimme an alcove near a window with cushions and a backrest…
“Am I the only one that thinks there’s something strange about that house, even though it’s gorgeous?”
No, signalfire, you’re not alone. I share your viewpoint. But, if I were to elaborate, someone would send a drone to my house because I disagree with their austerity paradigm.
I’ll have a built-in couch/bed at one end of my tiny house but I’m seriously on the lookout for a very comfortable office type chair to use at my sewing/computer desk that is good enough to use for general seating as well. I have an old folding chair with a small table from some school’s music department that can lurk in the closet. That will be it for inside seating, though I also have 2 folding bistro chairs on the deck that can come inside if needed. There are some pretty fancy tufted leather sort of Victorian looking executive chairs on wheels out there, hopefully a used one will turn up one day.
I love that you included directors chairs, Alex. We have a set of 4. We moved two of them into the tiny house and removed the arms (and by extension the back) to make directors “stools.” We use these at our wall mounted folding table (from Ikea) and they are very comfortable. This table is not only used for dining but it also functions as my tiny home office so I’m in these chairs much of the day.
The other two chairs, still with their arms and back in tact, are at our 700 square foot city/winter house and I still use one for my desk chair I find it so comfortable.
I can’t wait to read more about tiny seating. We used a small dorm style futon which we built a custom base for in the tiny house. It is very nice.
I like the idea of the open chairs, but it seems to me that it’s just wasted space in an environment that doesn’t have any to waste. I think it may be better to put in the storage benches (or storage chairs) mentioned by previous posters.
Storage space in a tiny home is already at a premium, and it doesn’t make sense to me to sacrifice any more space for the sake of aesthetics. I would rather have a storage bench and more windows.
I think those zero -gravity deck chairs would be great. I love recliners and they fit the bill. And you can get them for less than $100.
Consider a traditional continuous arm Windsor chair. Open and airy looking, very comfortable, durable.
The LaFuma chair is my favorite. It’s great for sitting and reading and awesome for reclining. The lock-in feature allows anyone to pick their most comfortable position. The zero gravity feature allows me to recline and fall asleep using the built-in pillow. Storage is a breeze because it completely folds up and can be hung on a wall. It comes in handy for outdoor use as well.
There are some “knock offs” but I prefer the LaFuma brand. The ones I own were made in France.
These are cute chairs. My fav is the linon zebra – i’m not crazy about the pattern but love the oval backrest and overall look. but for me personally, i’d rather have a chair that does double duty – has storage space, folds out into a child’s bed, etc.
Nice food for thought and feast for eyes. Thanks for doing this Alex. I think seating is very individual. I do think weight and storability are factors. I want to have a sofa that flips up so I can do yoga in the open space. So I look forward to your other seating article.
Two things I use that work for me are 1. The good old standby folding director chair that can be used indoors or out. Seats and back can be changed eith different colored or patterned material and 2. Super cumfy standard office desk chairs, they roll up to the dining table when you need them or lock into place for living
room seating. They can be as cheap as 30 bucks or as high as you want to spend. I have a homereserve lovesest
i have been looking for plans for a Swedish “Maid’s Bench”. Storage underneath and the cushions can be changed to change color scheme. Doesn’t hurt that the trundle underneath can be pulled out to make a bed for my grandson when he visits. Any idea where i can find plans? i’m pretty handy with wood and tools.
I’m still in the planning stage for my tiny house and really enjoyed this discussion! Liked the chairs you picked out, Alex. Lots of great ideas from bucket seats to hammocks! Thanks, all! It’s hard to beat director’s chairs small footprint when stowed away and comfort when in use!
#6 is my favorite. So comfy yet sleek looking! Then #5 for dining/formal spaces. 🙂
Great article & reply discussion!
Personally for me as someone coming from the marine live-aboard world; storage & multiple functions is everything!
Some really good ideas I’d not considered for myself.
I’m building my tiny house this April -May & will be going with a rocket stove heated sitting bench ( for those cold winter nights ) !http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTAgKBSbjygcyW58m6vlRWx81pUO-FY_l2NHyZzLehNofJBcRBx
Having but an 8ft wide house I’ll be creating a pull out system in my storage/desk in front of my seat and be able to create a secondary sleeping area.
Merry Tiny Happy Living To All !!!
Is your small home on wheels? I too want to build the butt warmer but cannot figure out what to use for the radiating area that is not heavy! My small home is on wheels.
I’m in a 725 sq ft 2 bdrm house, and I NEVER use a desk or a table, LOL! Don’t even own one. I sit in my comfortable arm chair with 19″ round patio metal table that adjusts in height, in front of me with my laptop on it, and a very small end table beside it. Then I only need a bed, kitchen & bathroom and a small closet. Sofas, loveseats, tables and desks take up too much room. I keep my Coca-Cola folding chairs for extra seating, like what you’d use at a lawn concert. A fold-down bed would suit me fine. Smiles, Annie in KC.
I’m in the saving/planning stage for my 64square! 🙂 It’s only me and this will allow me to travel and stay..anywhere! I’ve become a fan of several space savers provided by http://www.homeatfive.com. They have a Rollaway Bed/Chair that has 5 settings, has arms and can be folded up and put away for storage. The chair is 195. but worth it! 🙂 They have great products that can be used but remains out of the way. Exactly what I need in a 64 square home. (On wheels)
In owning and living in a tiny house it’s been the chair that’s been a huge part of my dream – I will finally be able to indulge myself as there’ll only be room for one and any other seating will be built in bench style for sleeping and storage too. It will have gorgeous legs with turnings, seat and back cushions (feathers added for extra luxury and softness), and upholstered in beautiful fabric. Wood painted white and fabric of pale pinks or blues in watercolour like florals. Hurry up little house so I can get my chair! My only problem is – who will sit in it when I have visitors – them or me 🙂
For Sleeping options check out the Ottoman that gives new meaning to Hide-a-bed. Its a little on the pricey side at $599 but worth the space saved. Its at HSN . Heres a Link to check out: http://www.hsn.com/products/castro-convertible-ottoman-with-mattress-gray/1030800
Jim: where would you like me to send the “Thank You” bouquet of flowers to you????? I’m a massive fan of HSN and between them and amazon, I do 90% of my hardgoods shopping online. YOU, my friend, have just solved a HUGE problem for us by that HSN link! Watched the video and ordered 4 of the ottoman for our new 3-Seasons Room that we’re building as soon as the snow melts. We’re taking out the window in the 8’x10′ bunkbed guest room (two bunkbeds, sleeps four) and turning the window into a sliding glass door that will enter the 3 Seasons room. Radiant heating in the floor, ceiling fan and footprint of 12′ deep by 20′ long, it will be the MOST used room come Summertime! We thought long and hard about this: Gazebo? Guest shed? or attached 3 Seasons and it made the most sense to do the 3-seasons. Michigan can have so Cray-Cray weather in Summer: rainy, cold, and buggy to the max! Makes being outside a challenge. With the 4 ottoman, we can now sleep 10 people in our 800 sq.ft. home, which is an army of kids and grandkids! Also installing a Jacuzzi in there so hubby and I can use it all year long; guests too, of course. MANY MANY THANKS, Jim!!!! I have never heard or seen anything like this!
Keeping in the spirit of sharing, HSN also has these Origami shelves I ordered and a collapsible wagon. I like that everything goes down to a much smaller footprint, making more room for …..whatever your heart desires!
Coming from living on a boat a upholstered corner couch and some pillows make for great comfort and livability.
I stayed with my grandson for a week in a hospital room and to accommodate my over night stays the room had armchairs that converted from chair to lounger to bed that was surprisingly comfortable!! It is on my defiant list for my tiny house of the very near future.
I am somewhat with the other Rebecca for more storage benches and windows but, I really love the IKEA chairs just because out of all of them they are more affordable and they look great. Sometimes ya just need your own chair to either face that window or even to face away from other people and with a storage bench not really an option sometimes. Plus the whole idea of a tiny house is to get rid of as much stuff as you can and forget the rest.
I have to admit something to most people preparing to build.
My personal plans, keep changing & my budget is sprawling farther than my 1st idea, however I chose a deadline for the start of the build & that is when my personal ideas will halt & shall be carried through for my next project.
Personally I vote for more of the home made items than a fancy chair I can find for free along the way; I guess it boils down to urgency.
If you don’t plan built-in seating, you’ll have to spend more for free moving coziness in the end.
As Craig mentioned a few blankets & pillows will always allow a guest or so; to enjoy their stay over for a few nights in paradise.
Merry Tiny Happy Living To All !!!
Dear Alex,not only would I love to have a tiny home but I went to the Will-Grundy center for Independent living and shoulded the director your website.She was blown away. I own the tinyhouse book I got it a yr.ago I told her you can build for 2.000 to 12.000 but it said 34,000 what happened this is a center for people disabled to be independent.Debbie
Just had to share this cool chair/bed I saw on Shark Tank tonight.
Cordaroy chairs are like bean bags but make of a foam. When you open the cover it makes into a bed and comes in several sizes. It could double as a chair or sofa in a small house and be turned into a bed with ease.
The owner has one store located at The Mall of America in Minneapolis. He was able to make a deal with Lori so I’m sure we will be hearing a lot more about the Cordaroy chair soon!
Well, I love a swivel recliner, with wider arms. Wider arms support pets, and a mouse for online game playing etc. I have a flatscreen sitting on a swivel shelf to the right of me.
I can turn the shelf out to the front of me, and use it for anything. I often us it for painting, food, whatever. Works for me.
There are plans online for building expandable bench seats. Very easy to use (pull out/push in) . They are a slat design. I have the url someplace. In the example they pull them out to make a queensize bed.
Forgot to add, I sometimes sleep in my recliner when my back hurts a bit too much. It forces me to stay on my back, knees up etc, and i feel great in the am.
It’s hard to come by well-informed people on this subject,
however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
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