Should Dining Chairs Have Arms? Types, Pros, and Cons

Should Dining Chairs Have Arms? Types, Pros, and Cons

Getting the right dining chair is important to your design goals. When choosing dining chairs there’s always so much to consider.

How many do I need? What type of chair packs a real style statement with my dining table and should dining chairs have arms? 

As furniture style gurus here at Buena Vida Furniture Design, we are here to give you the definitive answer! 

First, let’s start with the mini takeaway before we head into more details.

Dining chairs can be available with arms and without. It’s a question of personal choice as to which you choose. Dining chairs without arms can sit seamlessly around any shaped table to maximize the number of diners seated and give a sleek modern silhouette. 

Ok so with the short answer nailed, so we can understand a little more easily if dining chairs should have arms, let’s start by discovering exactly what a dining chair without arms is! 

What is a dining chair without arms? 

So it may seem quite obvious what a dining chair without arms is. Well, it is exactly that! A chair you can use in your dining area to complement your dining tables that don’t have arms. 

When we look back in history, most traditional dining chairs were usually designed with arms. 

Many of these were what we might call ‘carver’ types, made of solid wood, and were a useful if not a little hefty dining chair solution. 

Ok so now we understand exactly what a chair without arms is, you might be wondering about the pros and cons of choosing dining chairs without arms vs dining chairs.

So let's discover more.

MoMé's KA’AN Dining Table in Oak/Walnut Paired With Armless Chairs

Craftsman Handmade MoMé's KA’AN Dining Table in Oak/Walnut Paired with Armless Chairs

What are the pros and cons of armless dining chairs?

There are both pros and cons to having armless dining chairs.

Some of the advantages include that they tend to be more comfortable for people of all sizes since there is no restriction on the arms, and they also take up less space which can be ideal for smaller dining spaces. 

On the downside, armless chairs may not provide as much support and stability as chairs with arms, and they can also be more difficult to get in and out of if you have mobility issues.

There are a few pros and cons to consider when it comes to armless dining chairs before you make your decision. 

On the plus side, these chairs are often more comfortable in one respect as those with arms, because there is no hard surface pressing into your sides.

However, although chairs with arms may be better for people with some mobility issues, conversely chairs without arms are easier to slide in and out of, so it does depend on your individual needs.

Here are a few other pros of chairs without arms:

  • They can be easier to clean since there are no nooks and crannies for dust and dirt to collect.
  • A chair without arms might be more comfortable for people with certain disabilities who have difficulty lifting their arms
  • Armless chairs may bring more comfort in hot weather since there is less fabric to trap heat
  • They can sometimes be cheaper than chairs with arms due to less design, and materials required although this will depend on the style you choose

Some potential cons of armless dining chairs include:

  • Chairs without arms may not be as comfortable as their counterparts with arms. This is generally because there is nothing to lean on or rest your arms.
  • They can sometimes look less formal than chairs with arms, although they do make up for this in terms of their sleeker  more modern style
  • Usually, they won't offer as much support for your back or shoulders.

How do I choose between armless chairs vs arms with chairs?

It depends on your personal preference. Some people prefer the comfort and support that arms provide, while others find armless chairs to be more sleek and elegant.

If you have a smaller dining room or kitchen, armless chairs may also be a good option since they tend to take up less space, which is most possibly an armless chair's most important USP.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what type of chair is right for your home, your dining requirements, and any mobility factors those using the chairs may need to take into consideration.

So let’s now take a look at some types of armless dining chairs 

Side chairs

Side chairs have become a classic but still fresh and  modern dining room staple and are simply dining chairs without arms.

GFurn Sienna Executive side chair in red Fabric and walnut legs

Their namesake comes from their design which simply means they perfectly sit along the side of a dining room table.

This popular addition to contemporary and classically styled dining rooms are possibly one of the most common styles of dining chairs. 

This is for the most part due to their minimal silhouette, which conserves space perfectly for smaller dining rooms and kitchens. 

A wonderful example of this type of elegant but functional chair without arms is our on-trend Sienna executive side chair with red fabric  and a quality walnut finish on the legs.

Side chairs, when paired with a dining table like our exquisite glass-topped solid walnut trestle table, offer lots of seating space while still looking beautiful.

Mobital's Trestle Dining Table with Clear Glass and Solid American Walnut

Mobital's Trestle Dining Table Clear Glass With Solid American Walnut

Although they would look great with round tables, side chairs provide enough area for guests when used with a rectangular table too. 

This is because they help to make the most of the table size by maximizing  the number of diners comfortably seated. 

Side chairs are excellent long-term investments for dining areas since they are fairly simple to clean or reupholster if they become soiled or you've had them for a while.

GFurn Maisie Round Dining Table in Walnut, White Oak, or Ash Top

Maisie Dining Table - Round - Walnut/White Oak/Ash Top

Parson chairs 

The Parsons chair was originally designed as an armless dining chair by The Parson's School of Design in the 1930s.

It has clearly stood the test of time, nearly a century later.

The Parsons chairs' uncluttered look means it mixes well with other furniture styles.

Mobital's Harris Grey Dining Chair Set Of 2 with Full Leatherette Wrap and White Stitching

Also, its classic sleek contemporary shape design means it also works well with an on-trend glass dining table.

If you're looking for something more formal for dinner parties, a fully upholstered Parsons chair without arms is a good choice. 

For a modern take on this classic design combining uber stylish and easy-to-clean leatherette check out our Harris Dining chair, which would work perfectly around many different styles of dining table, from glass to traditional wood finishes.

Wingback chairs

First introduced in England during the 1600s, wingback chairs eventually became a popular furniture style. Wingback chairs have a straight back with panels (or wings) on each side.

Historically, wingback chairs were designed to capture the heat emanating from a fireplace. 

Today, however, these 'wings' are primarily used for decoration. 

Many modern wingback chairs are upholstered and have wooden legs. 

These armless dining chairs make a beautiful addition to any dining room, but can also be used as accent seating elsewhere in the home.

A modern twist on the wing-back chair is our stylish Hug dining chair in a vintage nubuck look and feel fabric. The black steel legs add extra elegance combined with comfort and a nod to this enduring and ever-popular classic design.

Add product image 

Windsor chairs

The first Windsor chair was created in the town of High Wycombe, England during the late 17th century. 

The chairs were designed using wood that was easily bent and shaped, making them both comfortable and stylish. 

Today, these classic armless chairs are still made using traditional methods and construction techniques.

While the original Windsor chairs were designed for use in formal dining rooms, today they can be found in a variety of settings, from country cottages to modern apartments. 

Created in solid wood the modern versions use a variety of materials including plastic and metal.

To hit your style goals with a sleek modern version of the Windsor chairs, head over to check out our minimal version of this timeless classic.

The beautiful, modern tweek on an armless Windsor-style chair has a solid ash wood frame construction and comfortable tweed upholstered seat. 

The stainless steel frame gives the chair an on-trend minimal Japanese feel.

And to finish on…

So there you have it! Everything you wanted to understand didn’t know about armless chairs! 

The perfect solution to a smaller dining area creating more seating around your table and high on style! 

To discover more chairs without arms plus our whole range of classic and contemporary dining solutions, head over to our store

Based in Canada we offer our customers not only a memorable, high-quality, shopping experience but also boast a first-class customer service team. 

Do get in touch with one of our dedicated and knowledgeable team members to find out more.