When you think of an armchair, particularly the leather variety, an image of a straight-backed seat occupied by a cigar-smoking whiskey drinker might come to mind. Don't get us wrong—we love a good club chair. But we're here to tell you there are many other styles to choose from.
We're talking wingbacks, recliners, armchair-ottoman sets, swivels, straps chairs, sculptural silhouettes, mid-century-inspired numbers, bold upholstery colors, classic neutrals, extra-wide chairs-and-a-half, and compact accents that'll fit in even the smallest spaces. What's more, a leather armchair is stately enough to be a standalone piece—no matching sofa needed.
In addition to its timeless, sophisticated aesthetic, one of the best things about low-maintenance leather upholstery is that it holds up beautifully under wear and tear. "Even if there are marks or stains, it all adds to the natural feeling of the leather," says Nicole Fisher, principal designer and owner of BNR Interiors. "Plus, it adds character."
Ahead, the best leather armchairs out there today.
Interior Define Marlow Leather Accent Chair
Dimensions: 37 x 37 x 28 inches | Upholstery: Pigment-dyed leather | Fill: Foam with down blend or down alternative | Seat Depth: 25 inches
While there are lots of stunning armchairs on the market, Interior Define's Marlow Chair shines above the rest. It's handsomely understated and endlessly versatile with an oh-so-subtle mid-century flare, including a super cozy 25-inch-deep seat.
It comes in an impressive assortment of colors, including eight pigment-dyed leathers ranging from ink black to warm pecan to neutral taupe. Additionally, you can choose from 18 different leg styles and the option of down or down alternative fill to elevate the foam base. Finally, you can add on a 2, 3, or 5 year protection plan to make the most of your investment.
Wade Logan Jordynn Wide Tufted Armchair
Dimensions: 34 x 37 x 32.5 inches | Upholstery: Faux leather | Fill: Foam, polyester | Seat Depth: 23 inches
If you're on a budget, faux leather is the way to go. Our recommendation is the Wade Logan Jordynn Chair, a no-nonsense seat from Wayfair with plenty of mid-century modern appeal. You can choose from black or camel brown upholstery—both options come with a slightly slanted back, wide arms, and flared legs in a dark wood finish. Compact yet totally cozy, this chair is perfect for an empty corner in your living room, bedroom, or office.
Arhaus Engles Leather Chair
Dimensions: 35 x 35 x 34 inches | Upholstery: Leather | Fill: Foam, polyfiber | Seat Depth: Not listed
Although it's on the pricier side, this leather armchair is luxurious in both comfort and aesthetic. It has plush, generously padded cushions and is upholstered in premium leather with golden brown saddle coloring. Its sleek black metal frame creates an industrial vibe, while the artisan finish of the leather adds a rustic touch. It is definitely worth splurging on as it is sure to make a bold statement in any room you place it in.
Blu Dot About Face Leather Swivel Lounge Chair
Dimensions: 28 x 32 x 31 inches | Upholstery: Aniline leather or polyester/cotton blend | Fill: Foam | Seat Depth: 18 inches
Blu Dot's About Face Chair is simple yet undeniably sophisticated. It boasts a solid wood frame and 360-degree steel swivel base, as well as an 18-inch seat that's perfect for hanging out in at the end of the day. Available in gorgeous matte black or smooth camel-colored leather upholstery that hugs every inch of the curvy silhouette, this modish armchair walks the line between high-end and inviting with ease. (And if you decide leather isn't for you, this chair also comes in fabric and velvet options!)
AllModern Teasley Faux Leather Manual Recliner
Dimensions: 30 x 34 x 42.5 inches | Upholstery: Faux leather | Fill: Foam | Seat Depth: 20.9 inches
Looking for something you can really lounge in? Check out this reasonably-priced vegan leather recliner from AllModern. The Teasley is upholstered in a gorgeous faux leather upholstery in four different colors, plus has three manual recline positions and an ejectable footrest. Featuring traditional contoured wood arms and mid-century-style tapered legs, it's everything we love about transitional interior design—and is way more attractive than your average recliner.
Pottery Barn Champlain Wingback Leather Armchair
Dimensions: 31 x 37.5 x 40 inches | Upholstery: Top-grain leather | Fill: Polyester-wrapped foam | Seat Depth: 23.5 inches
The handsome Champlain Wingback Armchair from Pottery Barn is a great pick for traditionalists. Along with a solid kiln-dried wood frame and a classic wingback design, this chair is upholstered with top-grain leather that's either aniline or semi-aniline dyed depending on the color—which, by the way, there are 30 of. With rolled arms and a high, sheltering backrest, this accent chair nods to traditional, early American style that is guaranteed to add an air of sophistication to your space.
Urban Outfitters Arlo Leather Chair
Dimensions: 34.5 x 29 x 27 inches | Upholstery: Leather | Fill: Not listed | Seat Depth: 23 inches
For those drawn to statement furnishings, we recommend the Arlo Chair from Urban Outfitters. It has an exposed, brushed-iron tubular frame and plush cushioning wrapped in black leather upholstery, making it a very different choice from your average leather armchair. Featuring a low silhouette and a rounded wraparound back the same height as the armrests (27 inches), it embraces mid-century design with an industrial-modern edge.
Best Mixed Materials
Anthropologie Havana Leather Chair
Dimensions: 29.25 x 31 x 31.25 inches | Upholstery: Top-grain leather | Fill: Feather blend | Seat Depth: 19.5 inches
Love the mixed material look? You need to check out Anthropologie's Havana Leather Chair, which has an exposed beech wood frame paired with top-grain leather for a truly one-of-a-kind look. To top it off, the arm rests are buckled to the sides for extra flair, and the legs are finished with brass ends to truly elevate the entire look. This heirloom-quality chair is one piece that's guaranteed to be a conversation starter in any room of your home.
Best for Small Spaces
The Citizenry San Rafael Safari Chair
Dimensions: 25.5 x 26 x 33 inches | Upholstery: Natural leather | Fill: None | Seat Depth: 26 inches
Short on space? Go with The Citizenry's San Rafael Safari Chair, a modern version of the 1933 original by Kaare Klint. Measuring 25.5 inches wide, 26 inches deep, and 33 inches tall, it's conveniently compact without sacrificing comfort or style. This armchair features a solid haya wood frame that's complete with extra thick, ethically-sourced leather that's vegetable-tanned and sun-dried to perfection. While the chair will arrive with light leather upholstery, take note that it'll darken over time.
Edloe Finch Park Vegan Leather Armchair
Dimensions: 45 x 35 x 35 inches | Upholstery: Vegan leather | Fill: Foam, feathers | Seat Depth: Not listed
Sometimes, a regular armchair just doesn't cut it. If you're serious about lounging and want something extra cozy, look for an oversized armchair like this option from Edloe Finch. Since it's made from vegan leather, this chair is a lot less expensive than similar options, although you definitely don't sacrifice on quality—the frame is made from sturdy kiln-dried hardwood, and the seat has a foam and feather fill that will be comfortable for hours. You also get to choose between two leg styles—gold gives the chair a refreshed, more contemporary look, while black gives it a more modern-meets-industrial vibe.
Best with Ottoman
Burrow Block Nomad Club Chair with Ottoman
Dimensions: 34 x 35 x 33 inches | Upholstery: Top-grain leather | Fill: Foam, fiber | Seat Depth: 22 inches
If you've got the space, consider Burrow's iconic Nomad chair-ottoman combo. The chair has a depth of 22 inches, while the ottoman provides an extra 26 inches of leg space to really stretch out and relax. Both pieces flaunt solid birchwood frames and your choice of natural camel, chestnut, or slate leather upholstery. Not only that, but you can choose from six leg finishes and three arm styles—extra points for the built-in USB charger.
The best leather armchair overall is the Interior Define Marlow Accent Chair (view at Interior Define), a handsomely understated seat available in eight pigment-dyed upholstery colors and 18 leg styles. If you're looking for a more affordable option, we recommend the Wade Logan Jordynn Armchair (view at Wayfair), which features vegan leather upholstery and a a solid wood frame.
What to Look for in a Leather Armchair
If you're not familiar with leather, you might be surprised at how many different types of leather there are. The most common types of genuine leather are top-grain and full-grain—top-grain leather goes through a buffing process to make it softer, while full-grain leather receives no treatment. Full-grain leather is typically the most expensive variety, and although it's a bit tough at first, it'll get softer with age.
You'll also see reference to "aniline", which refers to the type of dye used. Aniline leather retains the leather's natural texture, so it'll have a more weathered look to it, while semi-aniline leather has been dyed with a small amount of pigment to give it a more uniform look. Semi-aniline is a bit more durable, while aniline is more authentic.
When shopping for a leather armchair, the first thing you'll want to consider is the style. From recliners, wingbacks, and strap chairs to club chairs, swivels, and sculptural seats, there are virtually endless options. Consider the aesthetic of your existing furnishings (such as mid-century, industrial, or traditional) and look for a model that either directly aligns with the theme or complements it.
Color also plays a big role in a chair's overall appearance and how well it fits with your existing décor. Leather armchairs come in myriad hues—in addition to everyday neutrals like brown, camel, and black, there's olive, navy, maroon, statement white, and everything in between.
Bear in mind that the patina of natural leather can fade or otherwise change over time. This is to be expected, and as Fisher notes, gives furniture character. "I love going vintage with leather chairs because they're already worn in and aged the way leather should be," she tells MyDomaine.
Lastly, you'll want to consider the size. Before buying an armchair, measure your space carefully and check the dimensions on the product description to ensure it'll fit with plenty of room to walk around it.
Also, bear in mind that the overall width and depth of a chair are different from the width and depth of the seat. A seat depth of at least 20 inches is ideal, and wider is generally better, as long as it fits in your home. If you're getting an armchair-ottoman set, make sure you can accommodate about a foot of space between the two.
How do you style a leather armchair?
There are many ways to style a leather armchair. "I like to style it with a cozy cashmere wrap on the arm to warm it up on a cold day," offers Fisher. "Leather chairs are [often] oversized, so it's a great spot to curl up with a book."
As we mentioned, an armchair works well as a standalone piece to accent a sofa, sectional, or loveseat. Smaller chairs can be squared off with the rest of your furniture arrangement or placed at a slight angle to offset the straight lines.
How do you clean a leather armchair?
Leather furniture is not only low-maintenance but also long-lasting. In addition to vacuuming underneath the cushions and dry-dusting periodically, you can wipe down your armchair using a clean cloth, warm water, and mild soap. Next, go over it with a dry cloth, and when it's completely dry, finish it with a leather conditioner. For water-based spills, blotting with a slightly damp cloth should suffice.
Can you have a leather armchair if you have kids or pets?
"There's nothing you can do to leather to ruin it—marks, stains, and fading welcome," says Fisher. "So, yes! It's perfect for kids and pets. Plus, it's so easy to wash up a spill with a sponge."
Why Trust MyDomaine?
Theresa Holland is a décor connoisseur and freelance copywriter specializing in commerce and home design. For this story, she interviewed a professional designer for styling insight, then considered dozens of armchairs from myriad brands and retailers. Her final selections bore multiple favorable qualities, such as customization options, a durable frame, a high weight capacity, and an attractive, versatile design. Having recently moved into a new house more than double the size of her previous home, Theresa has had her finger on the pulse of the furniture industry while furnishing each room. You can find more of her bylines on Byrdie and The Spruce.