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How Do I Choose the Best Wingback Armchair?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Before choosing any wingback armchair, it is important to measure the space in which you intend to place the chair. This is especially important if you intend to purchase a reclining wingback armchair, and you will need to measure the area to find out how much space is available for the chair when it is both in the upright position and in the reclining position. Once you have taken accurate measurements, determine your budget for purchasing the chair, and research which chairs fit into your price range. This will cut down the available models, sometimes significantly.

A wingback armchair can feature straight or curved wings, so you will need to decide which style suits your preferences the best. The original purpose of the wingback was to help capture heat from a stove or fireplace when the chair was oriented in that direction, though today the wings are more ornamental than anything else. In either case, make sure the wings are secured to the seat back properly. Decide if you want the wingback armchair to feature wood wings or if you want the wings themselves to be upholstered; upholstered wings can offer added sitting position options, and they may also buffer some sound.

Woman posing
Woman posing

The feet of a wingback chair are usually made of wood, and the feet can be highly ornate or quite simple. Choose feet that are made from high quality woods with an attractive grain and design. If you are considering purchasing an armchair that reclines, the chair may feature a base instead of individual feet. Most chairs that recline feature a skirt around the perimeter of the chair to hide the base, which is often an unattractive metal or wood. Be sure the base is hidden if you choose a reclining wingback armchair.

Comfort is, of course, one of the most important considerations when buying any type of chair. Be sure to take note of the comfort of the chair, and if possible, sit in the chair for several minutes to gauge how comfortable the sitting position is. If the chair reclines, be sure to test out this feature as well for comfortable sitting positions. The materials used to upholster the chair can have an effect on the comfort level, so carefully consider this as well when choosing among the variety of materials available. Synthetics can sometimes feel rough or grainy, and natural fibers are often softer, though this is not always the case.

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