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Some items are notoriously difficult to buy online — especially when you know they’re going to take a big chunk out of your bank account balance. You’ve likely found yourself swiping online through the same four photos of a sofa, armchair, or bed, hesitating to hit “add to cart” because of a lack of reviews or product details, or a general unwillingness to commit to something that could show up looking and feeling completely different from what you imagined. And that’s totally fair. Our goal at AT is to help simplify the online furniture shopping process with our Personal Shopper series, in which we visit the showrooms of all your favorite home retailers and then give you the scoop on which sleeper, rug, or dining table is best for your space.
Most recently, I visited Raymour & Flanigan in New York City to check out their living room chairs. (I also viewed their sofas — you can read about them here.) In total, I looked at close to 40 armchairs, accent chairs, and power recliners. Because of the sheer number of furnishings, I won’t list out every single piece I looked at. Instead, I’ve narrowed down the total number to 15. This condensed rundown consists of our favorite chair picks that’ll fit best into a variety of spaces, whether you want a modern accent piece or your next napping recliner.
Raymour & Flanigan carries furnishings that are high in quantity and quality. When I walked into the NYC showroom, I was greeted by a number of trendy seating pieces on the lower level, but I found the true breadth of their selection upstairs. There’s certainly a lot to sort through on the second level, but the living room seating displays are conveniently broken up into specific style categories (transitional, coastal, rustic, etc.) and model types, including chairs and power recliners. Although it’s great to have so many options, the idea of picking just one out of all of them can be daunting. So, consider this your guide to Raymour & Flanigan’s best chair picks based on in-person testing.
We judged every Raymour & Flanigan chair and recliner in-store based on the following five criteria, giving each category an average rating between 1 and 5. These scores helped us determine who the chair or recliner suits best, from the decorating enthusiast to the studio apartment dweller.
Seat firmness: How soft or firm are the seat cushions? How do they contribute to overall posture and comfort?
Seat depth: How far do you have to scoot to meet the backrest? And when you do, are you in an upright or reclined position?
Loungability: Can you spend hours on this chair or recliner? And would you want to?
Durability: Is the fabric easy to care for and able to withstand everyday use? Does it require frequent upkeep and spot cleaning?
Appearance: What style does it suit best? Does it lean more traditional (i.e., rounded lines, tufted cushions, classic silhouettes) or more contemporary (i.e., clean lines, slim legs, simple silhouettes)?
Every Editor-Tested Chair and Recliner at Raymour & Flanigan
What Impressed Us: The cozy tufted back cushion and sloping arms.
When you live in a small apartment, you might feel limited in terms of viable furniture options. The Carmine chair, however, proves that you don’t have to choose between style and size. You can easily tuck this upholstered number in between your couch and side table (and likely have floor space to spare). Available in 29 colors online, the chair exhibits plenty of charm with its tufted seat back and downward-sloping arms. Overall, its design is versatile enough to blend in with both modern and traditional furniture, plus its upholstery is made of performance fabric. You’ll find the chair to be soft, easy to clean, and long-lasting.
What Impressed Us: The smooth Italian leather and distinct track arms.
If you’re trying to give your living space a modern refresh, look no further than the Salerno chair. It comes in either a rich medium brown or a stunning deep blue that you might initially mistake for black. No matter which hue you go with, the seat is bound to give any room a sophisticated, grown-up feel. I love its silky-smooth top-grain leather, which is actually just present on the chair’s body and arms. Everything else is upholstered in a matching vinyl that looks pretty much exactly like the real thing. The chair’s tapered legs further add contemporary appeal, while high-density foam and a heavy-duty spring system ensure stability and prevent sagging.
What Impressed Us: The impressive seat width.
Much of the coastal style’s appeal comes from its casual, relaxed nature. That often entails oversized silhouettes, which the aptly named McKinley chair-and-a-half clearly exhibits. Indeed, this navy piece is almost the size of two armchairs, meaning you can lounge any which way and easily achieve a comfortable position. Rolled arms and round piping help instill a homey vibe, plus the chair’s deep blue upholstery is great for hiding stains (but also a breeze to spot-clean). These features, along with its durable frame, make the McKinley a terrific pick for families. Many of Raymour & Flanigan’s living room seating pieces arrive with their own accent pillows, and this chair comes with a reversible throw pillow that matches the nautical theme.
What Impressed Us: The chenille fabric and tufted backrest.
A mid-century modern masterpiece, the Milo model revamps the traditional armchair with its clean lines, track arms, and classy chenille upholstery. No matter which fabric color you opt for — timeless beige or eye-catching teal — this medium-sized pick is sure to subtly elevate your living space. Like many of Raymour & Flanigan’s sofas and chairs, the Milo chair is deceptively firm, but I think you’ll appreciate the support — especially if you work from home on occasion. Of course, you can’t overlook the seat back’s charming tufting and those signature out-turned legs, which are so emblematic of the mid-century modern aesthetic.
What Impressed Us: The busy (but beautiful) print and reversible cushions.
If you’re a fan of coastal design, the farmhouse aesthetic, or something in between, there’s no reason not to love the Kristoff chair. It makes the perfect living room accent piece, thanks to its striking medallion motif, and having a couple of these situated near the sofa will make your home all the better for entertaining. The chair isn’t upholstered in one of Raymour & Flanigan’s trademark performance fabrics, but its bold print will help hide any stains, plus all of the cushions are reversible. Because there’s a lot going on upholstery-wise, I appreciate that the Kristoff accent chair’s silhouette is pared-back.
What Impressed Us: The striking tufted arms and backrest.
Whether you classify its appearance as gothic, film noir, or Chesterfield-inspired, one thing’s for certain: The Hutchinson chair is impossible to ignore. I was taken aback by its larger-than-life size and then by the luxurious leather that’s present on the arms and body. Everywhere else, you’ll find matching vinyl in either the same brown or gray tone. Also of note are the chair’s ornate tufting, high rolled arms, and nailhead trim, which are all even more breathtaking in real life. You’ll want to vacuum or dust the Hutchinson frequently to maintain its luxe appearance, but that’s a small price to pay for such a statement-making showpiece.
What Impressed Us: The eye-catching color and plush cushions.
There’s no shortage of color options for the comfy Mirasol chair, including a sunny (and slightly retro) gold, a soothing seafoam, and an earthy pine shade. If you prefer to keep your larger living room seating neutral in color, this accent piece is a great way to add some vibrance while maintaining a simpler backdrop. Tufting on the back and seat cushions further adds interest to this mid-century modern chair, while dark, straight feet provide a nice contrast. You’ll find that you’re able to both relax and work from the Mirasol model, if needed. Additionally, like many of Raymour & Flanigan’s seating options, this one is also upholstered in a durable, stain-resistant fabric.
What Impressed Us: The overfilled design and ultra-soft microfiber.
If the Artemis II chair’s beyond-plush cushions aren’t inviting enough, then its softer-than-soft microfiber fabric will surely make you want to sink in and stay for good. The chair comes in a bunch of versatile colors — 22, to be exact — which make it all the more fun to customize and style. And if, like me, you love wide arms for balancing your phone, book, TV remote, and other lounging essentials, well, the Artemis II also doesn’t disappoint on that front. To make matters even better, the chair arrives with a matching accent pillow, which is nice for both back support and decor. Simply drape your favorite throw over the top, and your new hangout spot is complete.
What Impressed Us: The linen fabric and raised legs.
What sets the Gemma chair apart from others in its category is, among many features, its luxurious linen-like upholstery. Look closely, and you’ll actually see that the fabric boasts an intriguing cross-hatch texture, regardless of whether you get the chair in navy or off-white. Although its backrest looks like a loose pillow, it’s actually attached, which is great for keeping things orderly if you live with pets or small children. Also of note are the Gemma model’s rolled arms and single-patterned accent pillow, which help give it that cozy farmhouse appeal. Finally, I simply adore the high legs, which are a refreshing departure from a lot of the trendy low-profile furniture I commonly see.
What Impressed Us: The curved design and bouclé-like fabric.
I saw numerous swivel chairs on display in the showroom, but the Farrah chair stood out because of its rounded lines, on-trend fabric, and oversized frame. One reason to love swivel chairs is that they make sense for both the living room and the bedroom. I could just as easily envision this seat in a cozy corner by your bed as I could next to the coffee table. Of course, another bonus is that you don’t have to get up to grab a beverage or book off of an out-of-reach surface — simply swivel to the side. The Farrah model’s curved silhouette hugs you in, and its generous seat depth offers plenty of space for your legs should you want to curl up.
What Impressed Us: The curved design and bouclé-like fabric.
In each Raymour & Flanigan seating collection, you’ll typically find both an armchair and accent chair, or sometimes even a few different ones. The interesting thing about the Hazelton collection is that its only chair actually comes in three different styles. To achieve a more traditional look, you’ll want to go with the rolled-arm model. It’s so quaint and adorable without looking outdated. No matter which model you decide on, the adaptable gray upholstery keeps the chair looking fresh and makes it easy to style, even if the rest of your furniture isn’t all that traditional-looking. The two other silhouettes are very similar, but sport high track arms instead. Simply put, I see the appeal in all of them.
What Impressed Us: The elevated base and round silhouette.
Although it’s definitely more of an accent piece as opposed to a lounge or WFH spot, the Blair swivel chair is still plenty practical — especially for the bedroom. After all, who says you need to keep a lousy little vanity stool around when you could put this gorgeous, glam seat in its place? Measuring much narrower than many of the other chairs in this roundup, the Blair model is compact enough for small rooms but doesn’t blend into the background. That would be impossible to do with its textured light gray upholstery, curved design, and circular, elevated base. Specifically, if you love eclectic or mismatched interiors, this piece will help you achieve that look.
What Impressed Us: The built-in lumbar support and rocker.
By far, the best part of the showroom visit was trying out all of the power recliners. Seriously — these things are high-tech! The Halenbeck recliner has a conveniently placed control panel on one side that allows you to adjust the headrest, lower backrest, and leg rest. As a result, you can create infinite sitting and resting positions. Better still, the Halenbeck is also a rocker. Whether you’re using its power controls or rocking yourself into a sleepy state, the recliner performs smooth motions, so you’ll never feel like you’re being jolted around. That, combined with its body-conforming cushions and built-in lumbar support, makes this model a must-have for those who like to do everything from their favorite chair.
What Impressed Us: The built-in USB port and petite frame.
It’s no surprise that most power recliners are wide — often too wide for a lot of apartments. The Yardley recliner is an exception. At 33 inches wide, it doesn’t take up more space than your average armchair. As long as you’re able to place it far-enough away from the wall to use its reclining feature, you’re set! This chair, too, features endless easily adjustable resting positions, not to mention a built-in USB port. Charge your phone as you unwind without having to leave your comfy spot. And if you find yourself in the recliner past bedtime, don’t worry: This seat lies completely flat, so you don’t even have to change surfaces.
What Impressed Us: The fact that it doesn’t look like a recliner.
As technologically advanced as many power recliners are, the ultimate innovation has to be reclining capabilities that are visually undetectable. It’s kind of the same deal with sleepers — you know you have a well-designed pull-out bed if no one would ever guess that it’s not a regular sofa. All of this is to say that the Dillon power recliner resembles any stylish leather armchair, except it’s way more accommodating. Just use its subtle control panel to extend the leg rest and recline the backrest, and sink into the chair’s cool leather frame. For those trying to avoid the look of a traditional, puffed-up recliner, the Dillon model is the best choice from this retailer (and many others).