Parts of a Chair Explained (Armchair, Desk and Dining)

Generally, a simple "seat" will have four legs supported by a flat raised surface that seats only one person.

Everybody wants chairs that offer the best possible comfort regardless of the lifestyle of the person with whom they live, and that might mean somewhat of a different shape is required.

Chairs often contain additional parts to ensure occupant comfort. Some chairs are adjustable desk chair designs, highly comfortable for people working for hours at work. Others are luxurious chairs often located within cinemas. In short, the components of chairs vary according to their function.

Every chair has the same parts, regardless of whether it's an armchair, dining, or desk chair. Although they may differ in style, size, and materials used to build them, they all have the same essential functions and use the same basic parts to make up their structure.

In this article, we'll look at the most popular types of chairs (armchair, desk, and dining), what their parts are and how they work together to make up each chair type.


An armchair is an upholstered chair with a backrest and arms built for one person to sit in. Armchairs are also referred to as accent chairs because they are upholstered. They are often extremely comfortable and are perfect for relaxing in. Armchairs are often placed in living rooms, bedrooms, and occasionally in offices.

Parts of an Armchair

  • The backrest: The backrest is what you lean against when sitting in an armchair. It can be made from many different materials, including wood, fabric, or leather. It might not be comfortable sitting on for long periods if it's too hard. If it's too soft, then your back may ache after prolonged use.
  • Back stretcher post: The back stretcher post is part of what makes up an armchair’s frame. It's what gives it its shape. The back stretcher post supports most of an armchair's weight, making it very important to have a strong one if you want your chair to last for years to come.
  • Frame: The frame is what makes up an armchair’s structure. It is usually made out of wood or metal. The main purpose of an armchair's frame is to hold together all parts of an armchair so that it can be used as intended.
  • Front rail: The front rail is what connects the seat to an armchair's legs, helping support it. This can be made from wood or metal. You will often find that metal is used for outdoor chairs, and wooden ones are used for indoor chairs.
  • Legs: The legs are often seen as separate pieces of furniture on their own, but they're just part of an armchair. They attach to other chair parts such as cushions or backrests to make up each individual chair type.
  • Seat cushion: Arguably one of the most important components of an armchair, yet it is frequently overlooked, the seat cushion is typically filled with foam or sponge-like material to provide comfort while seated. It also serves as a base for other parts, such as back cushions and armrests. This part can be made from many different materials, including cloth, leather, plastic, or even metal, depending on what type of chair you have.
  • Top arm rail: Arm rails are one of those parts that only exist on armchairs. The arm rail is what your armrests on while you sit. They can be made of various materials, including wood, leather, or metal. When choosing an arm chair, it's important to ensure it has enough padding so as not to dig into your arms during long periods of sitting.
  • Top back rail: The top back rail is frequently used to rest your head against. It's usually raised up to be more comfortable for your neck. Some armchairs have two or three rails that you can use to lean on. If you don't want to lean on any part of an armchair, you can place pillows or cushions behind your back instead.
  • Side rail: The side rail is an upright part of a chair that runs down both sides of it, connecting the arms to the seat. It helps support the user's thighs when sitting on the chair. Side rails can be made from many different materials, including wood or metal. Some armchairs have decorative side rails with carved designs or inlays to make them more attractive.

Desk or Task Chairs

A desk chair, also known as a task chair, is a type of chair designed for use at a desk. Desk chairs are usually adjustable so that they can be made comfortable for people of different sizes. They also have wheels so that they can be easily moved around.

Parts of a Desk Chair

The Base

There are many different desk chairs, but they all have one thing in common: all desk chairs have a heavy base to ensure they stay in place while you're sitting. The base combines several parts that make up a desk or task chair. These parts work together to provide stability and keep you comfortable while sitting.

The base often contains casters that allow you to roll around your chair when needed. Other possible parts in these chairs are footrests, which can help relieve pressure on your legs and lower back by giving your feet something to rest against.

  • Base arm: The base arm is usually one of two types: fixed or adjustable. Fixed-arm chairs come with both arms at an equal distance from each other and their respective seat halves. With these models, there's no way to adjust them. Adjustable bases have one arm that can be moved closer to or farther away from you depending on your needs.
  • Pneumatic cylinder: The pneumatic cylinder is an essential part of most office chairs. It allows you to adjust both the seat's height and its tilt (or angle) simultaneously. Air pressure builds up inside a sealed cylinder when you push down on one part, moving and keeping it in the correct position.
  • Spindle: The spindle is what holds everything together; it's usually made out of metal but can also be plastic or wood. It connects to all of your chair parts and keeps them in place. If you notice that your chair is wobbly, you might want to tighten up your spindles by tightening their screws with an Allen wrench.
  • Swivel: The swivel is a very important part of most desk chairs. The swivel allows you to easily turn around to face other people in your office or workspace. It also makes it easier for you to switch between sitting at your desk and standing up. In addition, some swivels can be locked into place so that they do not move while you are working on something at your desk.

The Seat

The seat portion is generally where you will spend most of your time when using a desk or task chair. It's important to note that there are different types of seats for each type of chair, but they all serve similar purposes. For example, an armchair has an armrest that doubles as a seat portion, and a stool has no arms at all.

  • Arm: The arm is one of the most important parts of any chair. It is what you rest your arms on when sitting in a chair. There are different types of arms depending on what type of chair you're looking at. For example, an armchair will have soft padded arms, while a dining room chair will have more of an ornate design.
  • Armrest cushion: The armrest cushion provides extra comfort for your arms when you're sitting at your desk or workstation. The cushions are typically made from a soft foam that conforms to your body shape over time.
  • Backrest: The backrest is an important part of any desk or task chair. It helps to support your lower back as you sit. Without it, your lower back will likely sag over time and put pressure on your spine. A good backrest should be padded and adjustable so that you can find a comfortable position for your body.
  • Casters: The casters on your desk chair allow you to swivel.They allow for easy movement from one location to another without having to pick up your entire desk chair and move it. Casters come in many different sizes and materials, depending on how big or small they need to be based on their purpose.
  • Headrest: The headrest is perhaps one of those parts that you've taken for granted until it was removed from your desk chair. However, once you start to use chairs without them, you realize how important they are to supporting your neck while sitting at a desk or table.
  • Seat: The seat is designed to support your back, thighs, and buttocks during extended periods of sitting. If you're in front of a computer all day, it's important that you choose a chair with an ergonomic design that supports these areas.
  • Seat tilt adjuster: The seat tilt adjuster is used to tilt your seat forwards or backwards. Some people like to sit with their seat tilted slightly forward to get them into an ergonomic working position. In contrast, others prefer it in a more upright position.
  • Seat tilt tension control: The seat tilt tension control regulates how much effort is required to lean back in your chair. If you're working at a desk or performing office work, it's important that you find a setting that allows you to move easily between sitting upright and leaning back slightly.

Dining Chairs

A dining chair is built to accommodate you for up to three hours of eating at a time. The design is meant to support your back for comfort over long periods. A dining chair has four main parts: legs, seat, back, and arms. They're often made of hardwood or wicker—and padded with soft fabric cushions.

Dining chairs are usually upholstered and have a high back so that you can sit comfortably while eating. They are often placed in a set of four or six around a dining table. Specialty chairs are available with wheels that let you rotate around your table, so you can engage in conversation without getting up from your dining chair.

Parts of a Dining Chair

  • Apron: The apron is what connects all of a dining chair’s different parts together. It gives all of those parts something to attach to while supporting their own weight as well.
  • Cross rail: Used for leg support, it's one of two rails that run parallel to each other to hold up part of a chair. These can be made from several materials, such as solid wood or metal tubing.
  • Ear: The ear supports part of an armchair's weight and works with other chair parts to allow it to tilt back. A dining chair usually has padding for more comfort.
  • Legs: The legs of your dining chair are what keep it upright. The legs can vary in size and shape depending on the design. Some chairs have four legs, while others may have three or even five.
  • Seat: The seat is arguably one of the most important parts of any chair. Without it, you wouldn't be able to sit in your chair! The seat is typically wide enough for comfort and to support your backside.
  • Spindle: A spindle is a long vertical rod that connects one end of a chair to another. They're most commonly found on dining chairs or those chairs with tall backs. Spindles are made from strong materials such as steel or aluminum.
  • Stile: The stiles are the support beams that connect the chair legs to the wall and typically reach all the way to the ground. They're what keeps your back from moving too far forward or backward in your seat.
  • Top rail: The top rail is perhaps one of the most important parts of any dining chair, as it's often what people look at first. It's also one of the more expensive parts to replace, so it needs to be durable enough to withstand years of use.
Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.