Choosing Comfortable Chairs for Small Spaces

Whether you live in an apartment, a dorm room, or just a home that's short on space, you have to clearly think out furniture purchases to ensure you find comfortable chairs for small spaces that fit with what you've got to work with. Before you head to the store or start browsing online, there are few things you should consider. For starters, where do you need new or more seating, and how do you intend to use it? In the master bedroom, you may need a place to sit while getting dressed or talking on the phone. In the living room, you might be looking for something to use in lieu of bulky sofas. Whatever your needs and style preferences, you can find accent chairs, dining room table chairs, and more that will fit in with your aesthetic and fulfill your needs.

Chairs 101: A Crash Course on Chair Styles



Common Types of ChairsGeneral Description
ArmchairThese pieces have arms and are generally cushioned. Their looks vary drastically: some may rather simple in design and color, while other might be highly decorated, either in color or detail.
Accent ChairAlso called occasional chairs, these modern chairs for small spaces often resemble armchairs. They may come with or without armrests.
Bar StoolBar stools are tall and narrow. They may or may not have backs, and some have armrests. Some swivel while others are stationary. Most have footrests.
Chaise LoungeChaises are long, reclining chairs. They're heavily cushioned and usually covered in soft materials, though leather is also an option.
Dining Table ChairThese versatile chairs can be made of a variety of materials, including wood and metal, and generally come without armrests.
ReclinerWhereas chaise lounges are stationary, recliners may be used in the upright or reclined position. They are usually heavily cushioned for long-time sitting.

Chairs for the Bedroom


As you probably don't have a lot of space in the master bedroom for elaborate seating options, choose a chair for this space that can serve multiple purposes. For example, if you're looking for somewhere to sit while getting dressed or putting on shoes but also want a place where you can relax after work, consider a recliner. Plush and usable in the upright or reclining position, this versatile piece is both functional and comfortable, making it one of the best chairs for small spaces. If you're looking for seating that's suitable for applying makeup, getting dressed or sitting to take a call, look into an accent chair or even an office chair. Sturdy yet attractive, they're easily placed next to a bed or in front of a desk or vanity.


The master bedroom isn't the only bedroom where you might need a place to sit down: if you have children, you no doubt spend lots of time in their rooms, too. As these areas are typically cramped with toys, bedding, and other items, you'll need to think carefully about what type of chair you might place here. Depending on the age of your child, a small recliner might be an appropriate choice. It will give you a comfortable place to sit while watching your little one play, but it can also serve as a cozy spot for your child to cuddle up and read -- with or without you. If you're short on storage in your kid's bedroom, a better seating option might be a padded bench. This type of chair for small spaces gives you a place to sit, but it also opens up so that you and your child can store toys, clothes, and other belongings.



Chairs for the Living Room


As the living room is probably your most versatile and lived-in space, you can choose practically any kind of chair for this area, depending on your needs.


A heavily cushioned armchair or accent chair is a good type of living room chair to use in conjunction with -- or even in place of -- a sofa. As the chair has heavy padding, it will be comfortable to sit in for longer periods of time. However, as these types of chairs are designed for one, you'll save lots of space compared to a couch. If you're really short on space, shop for chairs for small spaces that have narrow armrests; they offer support while taking up less space. If you are only looking for a chair to use occasionally, perhaps when checking the mail or putting on shoes, opt for a basic one with minimal padding and no armrests to save the most space.


If you're single and looking for comfortable chairs for small spaces where you can watch TV, read, talk on the phone, or even nap, invest in a chaise lounge. These long sofa-like chairs offer lots of room without unnecessary bulk. Plus, they are large enough to accommodate two people in the upright position, making it perfect is you occasionally have guests over.


One last and unique seating idea is the ottoman. Why are they among the best chairs for small spaces? Traditionally used alongside armchairs or rockers, these furniture pieces are designed for storage, but they can easily work for seating. Many offer lots of plush cushioning, and they're available in lots of different sizes. The fact that they have built-in storage is just another added benefit that is sure to come in handy in a small space. On top of this, ottomans are relatively lightweight, so they can be moved around the room easily, and when placed along a wall and paired with pillows, they can transform into seating that can be just as comfortable as a sofa.


Chairs for the Dining Room


Dining areas in small spaces tend to be extra small, so if you're looking for seating that is convenient to group around a table, turn to armless dining chairs. These modern chairs for small spaces are narrow and available in a variety of materials, including comfortable wood chairs and metal options, and with and without padding. If you're dealing with a space that is smaller-than-small, shop for chairs that disappear when not in use. Folding chairs, which you can fold up and store in a closet, are one option in chairs for small spaces, while chairs that scoot and hide under a table are another.


If you have a bar off your kitchen, you can eliminate the need for a separate dining room table by purchasing bar stools. Available with or without arms, as well as with or without backs, these narrow chairs offer you a comfortable place to rest when eating breakfast, enjoying a drink, or gathering with friends. Due to their size and the construction of a bar, most can be tucked away underneath to free up space.


If you're a social butterfly who likes to have people over, it may be necessary to invest in a full-size dining room table. When going this route, considering picking up extra plush dining chairs. In addition to ensuring that you and your loved ones are comfortable while eating, these chairs can be brought into the living room after dinner to double as lounge seating.


When shopping for comfortable chairs for small spaces, you need to think about where you'll put your new furniture and how it will be used -- the answers to these questions will be a driving force in deciding what style of chair to purchase. In those areas where there will be lots of movement, such as a dining or living room, consider armless chairs. In those places where comfort is important, choose pieces that are cushioned but not overly elaborate. If lack of storage space is an issue, try to find pieces that can multitask, such as a bench or ottoman. Armed with a bit of knowledge, you can find a comfortable chair for small spaces and other small spaces furniture that will work for you.