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What Is an Easy Chair?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

An easy chair is a type of chair designed primarily for comfort, and it is usually upholstered. Some easy chair models have a reclining feature that allows a user to either sit up in a sitting position or recline down for sleeping or otherwise resting. The recliner will feature an expandable footrest that will protrude from the base of the chair when it is in the reclined position. The specific design, shape, color, and upholstery of the chair will vary significantly by model; there are no set definitions of what may or may not be included in the chair's construction, as long as the final product is suitable for lounging in comfort.

The materials used to construct an easy chair range from natural fibers such as cotton to higher-end materials such as leather, or even synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester. The materials will have a significant impact on the chair's comfort and durability, as well as its overall aesthetic appeal. Softer materials are usually preferred, though leather is also a popular choice because of its high-end aesthetic and durability. The cost of a leather easy chair will tend to be higher than other types of chairs, however.

Leather easy chairs are typically more expensive than other models.
Leather easy chairs are typically more expensive than other models.

The construction of the chair will also have an impact on the comfort level. Designs seem to change constantly, and while traditional styles such as the wingback chair remain popular, more modern styles have evolved to include sweeping curves, visually stunning angles and lines, and other design features that can make the easy chair just as much of a conversation piece as it is a comfortable piece of furniture. Many homeowners consider the easy chair to be the most comfortable chair in a room, so it tends to get a fair amount of use, especially if it is a reclining version; it is therefore important to choose one that is durable and visually appealing.

Some easy chairs are also considered swivel chairs.
Some easy chairs are also considered swivel chairs.

An easy chair may also feature a swivel or rocking base for added comfort and functionality. A swivel base allows the user to face the chair in multiple directions, while a rocker allows for a gentle forward and backward rocking motion. An easy chair may be a reclining rocker, combining the convenience of the rocker with the comfort of the recliner. These chairs usually feature a pivoting arm on the side of the chair by which the reclining function can be operated quickly and easily.

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Discussion Comments


@croydon - Well, partly that might be respect and partly it might be because your father cared enough about having a great easy chair that he bought it. It's hard to tell sometimes as a child what dynamics are at work in a house. My parents each had a special chair that was only really for them and we were supposed to share the couch.

I think my mother's was a new easy chair and my father's was a sofa chair from his own parents' house.


@Mor - In our house when I was growing up my father had a particular easy chair that was completely his domain and we were not allowed to be on it if he was around to claim it. It was an expensive one with all kinds of features and it was placed squarely in the best spot for watching the television in the living room.

It's actually been weird thinking about this as an adult, because I can't imagine having that dynamic in my home now. My living room operates on a "first come, first serve" basis with regards to the chairs and no one would expect even the youngest people to give up their seat for someone else (unless there were no more comfortable seats or there was a guest, then it's a matter of politeness).

But I think if my father was still alive and he claimed a particular chair I would still get up so he could have it every time.


I always find it funny how attached people get to their easy chairs. I guess it's a good thing that in this one particular item they will ignore all taste and just go for what feels the best at the end of the day.

Although there isn't really a need to compromise if you get the right kind of chair. There are plenty of them around that look good and feel good as well.

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    • Leather easy chairs are typically more expensive than other models.
      By: Tatty
      Leather easy chairs are typically more expensive than other models.
    • Some easy chairs are also considered swivel chairs.
      By: Kruwt
      Some easy chairs are also considered swivel chairs.