Choosing the perfect sofa is not an easy task. These pieces often act as the most important and most used furnishings in our homes. Whether you are outfitting a living room, sitting room, or TV room, this choice is not a simple one.
To make the choice easier, it is helpful to know the many different types of sofa arm styles currently on the market. Different arm styles change the usability of the sofa and impact the sofa’s look.
Here we cover 21 of the primary sofa arm styles. For each style, we provide a pictorial example and a brief description of the sofa arm type and any pros and cons. In general, sofa arm types can be split into rolled arms, square arms, modern arms, and other styles of arms.
The rolled arm sofa is perhaps the most quintessential sofa type. Importantly, these styles combine both the comfort of a well-padded and horizontal sofa arm with a classic look that has the power to match almost any decor.
1. Panel Rolled Arm
The panel-style sofa arm features a central roll of material covered by a padded exterior roll. These features combine to form a very solidly built and solid-looking sofa arm.
This example has the added touch of metal fabric tack accents along the seam between the two arm components. These tacks are a common touch that almost any type of sofa arm can have. In most cases, these tacks add stateliness to the overall sofa look.
2. Ruched Roll Arm
Ruched sofa arms are similar to panel arms, but the pleats are purposefully run all the way down the arm side. This provides a slightly bolder look that draws the eye to the fabric work on the sofa arm. Ruched sofas are the most common in leather but can be found with all materials.
3. Pleated Rolled Arm
The pleated arm sofa features a rolled arm with no center panel. As you can see in the example above, this design incorporates several pleats of fabric in the rolled portion of the arm. Compared to many other rolled arm sofas, this style is relatively subtle and allows other features of the sofa to stand out.
4. Sock Arm
A more diminutive pad typifies the style of the rolled arm sofa on top of the main arm construction. As shown here, the sock arm provides a look that is both comfortable and sleeker than many of the other rolled arm sofas.
5. English Roll Arm
The English roll style of arm is typified by a horizontal part of the arm that sweeps down and then back up again with an exterior roll. Overall, as shown here, the English roll is a classical look that would match a home rich in antiques and timeless architecture.
6. Scroll Arm
The scroll arm sofa takes the roll of the arm top and continues this curve to the ground. This sensuous look also smacks of the victorian era. Commonly, the center of the scroll is wooden with padding on top. This look is exquisite and eye-catching.
As shown below, ‘square’ arm sofas come in a wide variety. However, they all share the quality of being made of sharp angles. These arm types are generally more simplistic and starker than many other sofa arm configurations.
7. Track Arm
The track arm sofa is perhaps the most common sofa arm on the market today. The arms are square and straight and sit perpendicular to the floor.
However, there is still a wide variety within this category. Namely, the thickness, height, and padding thickness on the arms. If the track arm is right for you, be sure to test a few styles out to ensure you purchase one that suits your taste and preferences.
8. Key Arm
The key arm sofa is essentially a mix of the track and rolled arm styles. Instead of a curving roll, the protrusion is made of additional right angles. This produces a blocky look that matches modern architecture and home decor styles.
9. Angled Track Arm
The angled track sofa arm is very similar to the track arm, but the couch side of the arm angles into the seating area. This provides a more modern-looking sofa and additional comfort should someone lean into the sofa arm or use that part of the sofa as a backrest.
10. Padded Angled Track Arm
The padded angled track arm sofas incorporate pads to the top of the angled track arms. This padding adds additional comfort and makes the entire sofa look more luxurious. There are several different designs within this sofa arm style that change the width of the arm and the type of padding.
11. Sloped Arm
The sloped arm sofa differs from the angled track arm because the inside and outside of the arms slope towards the sofa’s center. This style provides additional space under the sofa arms for storage and draws the eye towards the center of the piece of furniture.
The modern style of sofa arms is typified by creative approaches to the classic sofa arm question. Often, curves are added in unique places, or additional features are included in the arm design.
12. Swept Angled Track
A slight modification to the angled track look is those sofas that have inside arm angles which curve seamlessly into the sitting area. These are bold, and modern-looking takes on the square arm sofa style.
13. Modern Tuxedo
The modern tuxedo-style arm is a very common modern sofa arm. It is identifiable by the sweeping arm that starts high on the sofa’s back. This provides a more ergonomic arm that matches the shape of our bodies. Further, the curving look is modern, matching the newer-looking home decor.
14. Modern Slope
The modern slope style of sofa arm is similar in general look to the tuxedo sofa arm. However, instead of a curved and sweeping arm, the arm slopes down at a straight angle. This look is much more Avant-garde compared to many of the other styles of sofas.
15. Folded Arm
The folded arm is one of the newest sofa arm styles. As displayed here, the arm appears to be a pillow that is folded over onto itself. These arms are certain to draw the eye due to their unusual look. Further, the added layer of cushioning adds to the arm’s comfort.
This section discusses the many sofa arm styles that do not neatly fit into the rolled, square, or modern categories of sofa arms considered in the above sections.
16. Shelter Arm
The shelter-style sofa arm is similar to the slope arm style discussed in the above square arm section. However, instead of arms that angle out consistently, the shelter style slowly angles away from the sofa center.
This curving arm produces a more organic and natural look. Overall, the shelter style of arms is a mix between a subtle sofa arm and a look that fits an inviting home atmosphere.
17. Wood Arm
Wood-armed sofas vary in their exact style over a wide range of designs. Many of the other sofa arm styles listed in this post can be made with wood. No matter the exact configuration, wood arm sofas look distinguished and match a home rich in wood trim and wood furniture.
18. English Arm
The English-style arm, as mentioned above, is typified by an arm that curves down and then back up. This style is intended to match the natural curve of a resting arm. Overall, the English arm makes for a stately sofa appropriate for more expensive home interior design styles.
19. Pillow Arms
Pillow arm sofas do not have conventional arms built with internal structure. Instead, these sofas have attached pillows that act like arms. These arms offer less support than many other sofa arm types and are more appropriate as pillows for your head. Further, the size of these arms helps these sofas blend into a room’s decor.
While the lack of arms is not necessarily an “arm-style,” this type of sofa is essential to consider when shopping for your furniture. Advantages include ease of access on the sides of the sofa and an overall lower profile.
21. Adjustable Arms
The adjustable arm style of sofa allows the user to change the arm angle. The look of these sofas is a bit beachy and modern without being over the top. Further, the adjustability adds versatility and comfort to any sofa and decoration scheme.
To learn more about sofas and couches, read these great Home Decor Bliss articles:
- 11 Living Room Ideas With Teal Sofa
- What Goes With A Chesterfield Sofa?
- Does A Carpet Cleaner Work On Couches?
In this post, we covered 21 unique sofa arm styles. We provided examples of each of these types of sofas and offered a brief discussion on each. This post provides a thorough introduction to the many types of sofa arm styles and their variations. Happy shopping!