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39 of Our Favorite Armchairs Under $500 (+ Some Rules to Know)

Photo by: Tessa Neustadt | From: Our Modern English Tudor Living Room

Picking out a great accent chair is easy. Picking out a great accent chair that you will love for a respectable amount of time that’s under $500? Uh, turns out that’s actually pretty easy, too. I was skeptical at first, but the more I searched “Accent Chairs → Filter → Price: Low to High” (which is the greatest of all the filters), I was suddenly like “where does it end?” and “how do I choose just one?” and then I was like “oh wait, I’m picking out 40ish” and then I was like “THAT’S STILL NOT ENOUGH, THERE ARE SO MANY.” Granted, I was searching with basically zero restrictions besides that $500 price limit, while the general population will have a few boundaries to adhere to.

A note on the $500 budget here. Yes, you can absolutely find a TON of accent armchairs in the $150-$300 range—17 of the 39 chairs we’re going to show you in just a bit are under $300—which is awesome, but we wanted to amp this up a little to give some more stylistic and material options. In those lower price tags, you tend to get a lot of repeat silhouettes and a serious case of “didn’t I see this chair 124 times already” déjà vu.

Emily Henderson Accent Chairs Under 500 Pic 4
Photo by: Tessa Neustadt | From: Griffith Park Sunroom Reveal 

Also of note, the idea was to find larger club-like or wingchair-esque sized chairs, not dinky little dining chairs that could maybe pass for an armchair in a small room. FYI, there’s nothing wrong with using a smaller chair as an accent, but at this budget, the goal was to find something more substantial.

Emily Henderson Accent Chairs Under 500 Pic 9
Photo by: David Tsay | From: Rustic and Modern House Tour From Styled the Book

Okay, so as someone who scrolled through literally thousands of armchairs on the internet to put this guide together, I had some time to think about the “rules” of buying an armchair.

First and foremost is form and function, a.k.a., do you like how it looks and do you like how it sits (or at the very least, can you GUESS that it’ll sit nice based on reviews and material specifications you found online)? If your selection passes this test, you will move onto, arguably, the most important step here: Scale.

Scale is like seeing an outfit that looks great on your tall friend, but when you put it on your average-height body, is a complete disaster. The same is true for interiors. Example: if you find a gorgeous, totally cozy, overstuffed armchair, and then squeeze it into your 250-square-foot apartment that already has a sofa in it (by the way, how did you get it in the door? Please DM me with instructions) it won’t matter how cute or how cozy that thing started out as, because now it’s just full-time devouring your home and intimidating your existing loveseat-sized couch.

Emily Henderson Accent Chairs Under 500 Pic 6
Photo by: Zeke Ruelas | From: Ginny’s Living Room Reveal

Looking to avoid an overstuffed disaster? Below are a few hard and fast rules on getting the right scale:

1. Pick a chair with similar arm height to the surrounding chairs and/or sofa in the room. Seat heights are allowed to vary a bit, and back heights will definitely vary, but keeping the arm height in line will do magic for the eye.

2. The size of the room will determine the size of the chair. Consider the room you are shopping for and ask yourself how would you describe its size: Sort of small? Pretty big? Comfortable, but not too roomy? Whatever your description, you want similar words to come to mind when you’re selecting the chair(s) for it. Granted, this isn’t a scientific approach, but it works (plus, all science ever got me was a C+). Another thing to keep in mind: are you using just one chair or a pair? If you’re going the pair route, you’ll want to be sure two of the chairs won’t totally consume your floor plan. When in doubt, look online for the dimensions and tape it out with painter’s tape (which is super easy to remove) before you buy.

3. If all else fails, just try before you buy! Either shop small and locally where you can literally take the product home and test it before you buy it (most local shops will be a-ok with you taking home a chair for 24-48 hours at no charge…though they’ll likely ask for some kind of deposit). Or, just shop online at places with stellar return policies. This way, you may test it out with the assurance that you can return it if you totally hate it. There are also a ton of bigger box retailers that have come out with augmented reality functionality. This means you can see a piece of furniture in your home via your mobile phone. The tough part about this is understanding an item’s dimensions in comparison to what you’re superimposing it against in your “virtual” home. Emily recently did a story on Target’s new See It In Your Space feature, which looks pretty snazzy and helpful. Check it out!

Emily Henderson Accent Chairs Under 500 Pic 3
Photo by: Tessa Neustadt | From: New Spring Target Collection 

Now, let’s talk about some of the specific chairs we are recommending from some of our go-to retailers to get you pumped about them.

While researching this post, I ran into SO MANY rattan chairs, and you know what? I liked it. In fact, I liked it so much that at a certain point it became difficult to not re-title this post “A Bunch of Rattan Chairs That You Should Probably Buy.” Eventually, though, I did pare things down and selected just a few favorites. The Bella Rattan Armchair by Opalhouse (#29) quickly became number one, not only because it showcases a high back (hello, comfort!) but at about $150, it leaves plenty of room in my pocketbook to purchase a throw and accent pillow to dress it up with. If you have a little more of a budget and looking for something a bit more sculptural, the World Market option one for $270 (#38) is super fun, as is #15 from Serena & Lily. Oh, and of course, #34 is basically an IKEA classic at this point but still so, so good.

Caning also made a strong appearance in this roundup. You can’t see it in the photo here, but the back of the Target chair at #1 is caned, which elevates the entire design of this piece if you ask me. Chair #3 from Urban Outfitters is an awesome mix of rattan and caning, so…win win in our book. For a more subtle “natural touch,” the low-slung lounge chair from Candelabra at #11 is cool and edgy in that black finish. CB2 also has a fresh, modern option in a bleach blonde wood (#24).

For those into their buffalo check, check out #23 (which is a bit smaller and could frankly probably double as a dining chair) and #36, a smooshy, cozy wingback perfect for a quiet reading nook or kids room to read to your little ones in.

#18 from Structube was used in the staging of the Portland project and in person, looks far more luscious than it’s $199 price tag would suggest. Same goes with Target’s chair at #13. Emily uses this chair as often as she can and has them in her own home. Everyone is always stunned that it’s a budget option under $250 when they see it in person, she says.

For the traditional lover, the roll arm chair on casters from World Market is an awesome price for such a substantial chair. The super structured chair from Article at #33 is definitely more traditional, but with that tight body and streamlined frame and legs, it’s super fresh. If you’re more into shaking up your look or something more modern, the leather option at #4, the rounded pick at #8, the super cool art-piece that is #9 and the looks-like-a-cool-military-jacket chair at #16 are worth looking at.

And finally, this wouldn’t be an accent chair roundup without some velvet right? Who doesn’t need a hit of glam in their life/room every now and then? #10 is super sexy and channel tufting is SUPER hot right now (we’re still all super jealous of Brady’s DIY bed). Though I wish the frame wasn’t polished brass (an antique or brushed brass would have been more subtle), it’s still quite the looker. Black velvet is more than just a killer Alannah Myles song…it also makes for a gorgeous statement piece. If you agree, check out #19. For anyone who’s like “wait, where’s all my beloved millennial pink?!?”. Don’t worry, we gotcha…scroll down to #20. The clamshell vibe of the Anthro chair at #30 is so fun and would add a really nice feminine touch to a room that has more streamlined, angular furniture, for sure.

Emily Henderson Accent Chairs Under 500 Roundup

1. Lincoln Cane Chair | 2. SoMa Jaxson Upholstered Swivel Armchair | 3. Marte Lounge Chair | 4. Slope Leather Lounge Chair | 5. Sauder Boulevard Café Metal Lounge Chair | 6. Oatmeal English Roll Arm Shelton Chair | 7. Modern Wire Chair | 8. Modern Curved Slipper Chair | 9. OGK Safari Chair | 10. Seafoam Green Tufted Garnett Chair | 11. Dovetail Emo Chair | 12. Ulla Accent Chair | 13. Esters Wood Arm Chair | 14. Benny Armchair | 15. Venice Rattan Chair | 16. Howell Canvas Arm Chair | 17. Rustic Wood Chair | 18. Klein Armchair | 19. Black Samara Chair | 20. Jute Triangle Chair | 21. Rodovre Arm Chair | 22. Bianca Chair | 23. Buffalo Check Elowen Chair | 24. Makan White Wood and Wicker Lounge Chair | 25. Phoebe Chair | 26. Tilton Square Tufted Arm Chair | 27. Colonnade Spindle Armchair | 28. Spanst Armchair | 29. Bella Rattan Arm Chair | 30. Fluted Accent Chair | 31. Happy Chair | 32. Gray Flecked Xander Rocking Chair | 33. Nord Chair | 34. Storsele Armchair | 35. Olivia Armchair | 36. Louna Fabric Armchair | 37. Sebastian Chair | 38. Natural Rattan Willis Wingback Chair | 39. Polo Armchair

And there you have it. Call out some of your favorites in the comments so we know what you guys are loving, or if you have any links to share of chairs we didn’t include that you love/have at home.

***A big thanks to one of our new market researchers and contributors Lauren Taylor, a Portland-based decorator and writer, for helping us pull this roundup and post together. 

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45 thoughts on “39 of Our Favorite Armchairs Under $500 (+ Some Rules to Know)

  1. But so many of them are just knockoffs of famous midcentury designs :/ and you can definitely find an original with some scouting on ebay or classifieds. Isn’t it much nicer to get the original with a history and patina? Like the black leather chair ne t to the olive tree is Kaare Klint safari chair and it is not that expensive, but truly stunning. I bought a vintage Charlotte Perriand Les Arcs chair for 150 usd and it’s just stunning. I often think of the parties it has seen 🙂

    1. I found 5 disassembled Kaare Klint chairs in a pile on the floor of the Waste Management recycle center. I had no idea what they were but I bought the heap for $15.00 After a little research, and several hours trying to figure out how they fit together, I was thrilled with my lucky discovery. I used to find lots of Midcentury gems in thrift stores but it’s getting much more difficult and the prices are often too expensive. It’s good to have options.

      1. I’ve definitely found gems – a mid century lounge chair, a pair of paoli rocking chairs, and a plycraft eames lounger with the ottoman. But I also spent a ridiculous amount of time searching listing and then had to be able to pick up and haul myself.

        It’s great to have moderately affordable options you can get shipped to your door stress free.

    1. Omg YES! Especially comfortable desk chairs that my husband won’t hate and will let me replace his hideous rolling executive chair.

      1. Yesssss…I need something stylish that won’t kill my back that also rolls. My current desk chair is awful.

  2. I own #18 from Structube and YES it is surprisingly very very comfortable, it hugs the body very well. I have sat to read in that chair, you wouldn’t think with the wood arms but it is shaped perfectly for so many body sizes (both me and my 6’+ hubby)

    Granted, it is a knock off of a classic design, but honestly sometimes you don’t want the slightly stinky banged up vintage chair…sometimes its nice to have a classic silhouette in brand new fabric and upholstery that is yours to use and abuse…. 🙂


  3. Aw man, I was really praying for some husband friendly chairs but I am starting to suspect there aren’t many budget friendly stylish yet insanely comfortable arm/club chairs out there. He literally asked if we could just have one ugly comfortable chair like Frasier’s dad had. We have a traditional roll arm greige sectional and a super blue side chair with low arms, apparently neither is the Ultimate in comfort. I bought a leather English roll arm chair ($40 thrift store steal) for him and when we finally got it in the space he said it wasn’t that great, plus the scale is just slightly too large for our sofa and other armchair. So, thanks for the tips about scale etc. Aaarrggghh!!! It’s ok for now but I need a magic wand to create an aesthetic chair under $300 that a six foot tall man could relax in.

  4. I love number 29, but I am worried it’s going to hurt me and not comfort when I sit on it because it’s made from rattan.

  5. Why haven’t I seen #3 before?!?!? That’s the kind of design I could see becoming a cult favorite. The design is so well balanced and graphic— too bad the one review panned it’s construction…

    1. i’m in love with that one too. but i don’t trust the quality of urban outfitters. plus their labor practices i’ve heard are pretty bad (sweat shops). sigh. but it’s sooooooo beautiful. 🙁

  6. I just can’t fugure out how #13 works so well in so many homes (as seen on Instagram). I love its style, color, and price but it looked like a toddler height chair in my home. My 3 year old literally said it was kid sized and cried when I returned it ?? my sofa is a low chesterfield so that wasn’t the issue- it slopes so low in the back that it’s literally inches from the floor. So sad because I’m in love with its style, comfort, and price.

  7. If anyone is interested in another inexpensive rattan option, the Pari Rattan chair from Anthropologie is only 98.00 with free shipping. I have it in our master bedroom and it looks great!

  8. I thought I was going WAAAAY out on a limb when I bought a pair of low, swiveling, vintage mid-century chairs for $400 apiece on eBay. Come to find out they were a budget purchase!

    I can’t wait to inform my husband that but they were actually a bargain. Hahaha. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Emily 🙂

  9. Quick question — what about the armless chairs you have here… if one has a sofa with higher arms, will an armless accent chair work? Point #1 says to pick chairs with arm heights that are similar to the surrounding furniture…

  10. I’m ready to get a decent armchair that might last through my lifetime / reupholstering. I love this roundup, but would also like a review of mid-level / splurge furniture. Thanks!

  11. You know what I bet would also be highly helpful and well received is roundups of decent-looking recliners, gliders, and swivel chairs. People sometimes need those specific features in chairs but don’t want to sacrifice on the look, and as y’all know, that whole category is notoriously uglier than regular accent chairs.

  12. I bought #18 (Structube) from Home Goods two years ago!!! I have been searching for a second chair ever since. Finally, I know where I can buy it. Ahhhhhh this is huge. Thank you!!

  13. I need a pair of chairs in front of my fireplace. I’m drawn to rattan but I wonder if that’s weird in front of fire. Like, it just seems wrong. Is it just me?

    Also, my husband is afraid of symmetry and wants two different chairs. That’s crazy, right? The only other furniture in the room is a desk, a church pew and shelving for our records. I think it needs something to bring it all together.

    Any advice?

  14. I really like the cb2 #24 armchair. It has an easy going vibe that could be a good fit just about everywhere but I’m not sure if it’s comfortable enough…

  15. I just bought the Structube armchair (#18) and I love it! Perfect accent chair for my small-ish sitting room!

  16. Are these recommendations based just on style? Or have you tested them out? I can find cheap chairs I like the look of online, but I don’t know if they will be comfortable or if they will last.

  17. I purchased #37 West Elm chair and it’s very comfortable – it’s become the chair the family fights over.

  18. My issue is this: I have a giant living room with a huge circular “bay” in one corner with windows. I have a pair of vintage cane-back bergeres in the bay and it’s a lovely spot for a cup of coffee in the morning with the light streaming in. But in the main section of the living room (the rectangular part) there’s a nice vintage sofa on one side and I can’t help but think that a pair of arm chairs would be nice across from the sofa, but then would it feel like that room is just full of chairs? I don’t know. Maybe I’m over thinking it and the more chairs the better? Emily help!

    (I know my life is so hard that I have to deal with a big ole’ room with a beautiful bay of windows…”

    1. Honestly, some of the most lovely, welcoming rooms, designed by pros, have an insane amount of chairs in them, so don’t overthink it! They sound like two pretty separate spaces, with different purposes, so the chair party is likely totally fine. Or, you can always consider putting something else in the bay, maybe like a banquette or low day bed, and moving your Bergeres over to the area with the sofa…play around. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes…you can always swap things back!

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