15 Sofa Arm Styles (Design Guide)

Sofas are something that most people keep in their living rooms. It offers a comfortable place to sit and offers plenty of seating for multiple occupants.

Living room with sofa and faux wood beams on ceiling

There are plenty of different sofa types, though, and you need to consider these different armrest options carefully to find a choice that suits your personal style. [toc]

Types of Sofa Arms

Panel arm chair stylePanel

When you look at a sofa from a front view, sometimes you’ll notice that the arm has a smaller, similar design in the center. This is what is often referred to as a panel. These open up the opportunity for additional embellishment around the panel.

Ruched arm styleRuched

Ruched sofa arms are a type of rolled sofa armrest with the design itself coming up and rolling over while the ruched style is in the fabric fold itself.

Ruched patterns create almost ruffles in the arm. These can be fairly uniform or rather uneven depending on the design.

Sock arm chair styleSock

Rolled couch arms have plenty of different style options. You can purchase them with pleats, ruches, panels, and more.

However, you don’t have to choose extra details. If you want a simple rolled armrest with no extra folds or features, opt for a simple sock arm style.

Pleated arm chair stylePleated

Pleated arms are another type of rolled sofa armrest. As such, the design comes up and rolls out. The pleated definition refers to the design of the fold of the fabric as it does so. When you look at the front of the sofa, the arms have folds or pleats.

Pad sofa arm stylePad

Essentially, a pad arm is a doubled version of a rolled armrest. From the front, you’ll notice that these arms look like the rolled style, but with an added panel in the center.

This exaggerated design offers additional padding to add comfort to the sofa.

Saddle sofa arm styleSaddle

Saddle arms get their name because they have an appearance similar to a saddle on a riding animal like a horse.

Rather than coming away from the sofa, these arms only slightly protrude, usually thanks to extra padding in the armrest. They’re very comfortable, especially if you’re a fan of couch naps.

Track sofa arm styleTrack

A track arm (or straight arm) is a low, flat armrest on a couch. This blends the traditional presence of an arm on the couch with a modern twist.

It’s also sought-after in smaller homes and apartments because it reduces the space that the couch takes up, opening the space up.

Modern english sofa arm chair styleModern English

Modern English sofa arms take inspiration from track armrests but soften the design a bit.

Rather than low, sharp angles, they tend to come up a little higher and curve a little more. This condenses the space that they take up without reducing the inviting atmosphere they provide.

Key sofa arm chair styleKey

Key sofa arms are a very modern design choice with sleek lines and minimalist as far as the amount of space they occupy. They come directly up and out of the sofa.

However, they rely on sharp angles rather than a gentle bend like a rolled arm design provides.

Shelter sofa arm chair styleShelter

Shelter arms are praised for their comfort since they tend to cradle the person sitting. They come up and out of the sofa at a gentle angle.

As such, they offer a softer look than a track or key designs but they take up less space than a traditional rolled arm.

Modern Tuxedo sofa arm styleModern Tuxedo

Modern tuxedo sofas offer a contemporary and singular design. Oftentimes, sofas are in visually separated pieces like the backrest, arms, and cushions.

The modern tuxedo design puts all the arms and back of the couch into one for one clean piece, either angled or gently sloped.

Modern scroll sofa arm styleModern Scroll

A modern scroll arm is close to a track design. The difference lies in the edge when the armrest turns down.

Whereas a track arm has a sharp curve, a modern scroll design curves downward. This is inviting and warm but doesn’t take up excessive space.

Modern Slope

Many sofa arm styles come directly out of the couch at an angle. You often see a clear distinction between the parts of the couch such as the armrests and the back. Modern slope arms extend from the back, sloping down from the couch’s full height and into a comfortable arm.

Track with nails arm chair styleTrack with Nails

We’ve previously mentioned the track arm style. This has the addition of nails near the edges of the arm and gives it a tailored look.

A track arm with nails gives the design a traditional feel.

Paris club arm chair styleParis Club

Paris club sofa arms are common in leather couches and their faux cousins but they can be found on any couch material type.

These arms come up but don’t roll out or angle to the side at all. They may have a panel or they might feature just the shape without additional designs.

Sofa Arm Styles Infographic

Sofa Arm Styles

For more related ideas check out our couch colors design gallery.


Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. When you stated that modern scroll sofas invite warm feelings without taking up much space, I thought of my current living room and how it’s currently just a mish-mash of different furniture that was handed down to me by my parents. While it does function as a place to sit and relax in, a lot of space could have been used better since the furniture is quite bulky. With the hopes of making my living room more inviting to stay in, I’ll definitely look for Sofas with this style from any furniture stores I can find.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *