12 Sofa Arm Styles | You Probably Didn’t Even Know These Existed

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Ever stared blankly at the furniture aisle, overwhelmed by sofa arm styles? You’re not alone.

Aside from rolled and track sofa arm styles- there are so many other types of couches. From the sophisticated set-back arm to the space-saving wedge, leave your comfort zone and transform the look of your living room.

In the world of interior design, the sofa isn’t just a piece of furniture; it’s a statement, a cozy haven, and a reflection of personal style. When it comes to choosing the perfect sofa there are so many parts to consider. You need to decide the size, color, style, arms, legs, fill, and all the details.

In this post, we will discuss some of the many sofa arm styles. Unless you worked in a furniture store before you’ve probably never heard of half of these. Popular arm styles include rolled, saddle, slope, panel, and track.

There’s a resource for each of the sofa arm types so you have a visual. I love a modern track arm but if that’s not your jam there are so many other sofa arm styles to choose from.

Check them out and let me know which is your favorite!

This post is all about sofa arm styles and types of couches.

READ MORE>>> Sofa Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk

sofa arm styles navy couch with pink velvet pillow and fur pillow

What are the different sofa arm styles?

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The most popular sofa arms are the Sock arm, English arm, and Track arm. Each one can be ordered in the Straight Cushion arm style or the T-cushion.

straight cushion sock arm couch
Straight Cushion Sock Arm Style
t cushion track arm couch
T-Cushion Track Arm Style

As you can see from the types of sofa arms above the Straight Cushion is in line with the seat while the T-Cushion is set back.


SOFA ARM STYLES


  • Curved Arm
  • Sock Arm
  • Panel Arm
  • Pleated Key Arm
  • Small (Thin) Track Arm
  • Large (Wide) Track Arm
  • Charles of London Arm
  • English Rolled Arm
  • Set Back Arm
  • Wedge Arm
  • Slope Arm
  • Slopped Roll Arm

How do I pick a sofa arm?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the sofa arm for your couch. You’ll want to think about the look and feel of your living space.

The best way to figure out your style is to look on Pinterest and choose three images that have the vibe you are after. I say three because for most more than that will overwhelm you.

If you are after a modern contemporary look the track arm sofa will be a good option. The velvet panel arm with nails is a great sofa arm for glam spaces white the Charles of London is perfect for the transitional home.

Choosing the perfect sofa arm can feel like a daunting task, but it’s all about prioritizing your needs and preferences!

Things to consider are:

1. Style:

  • Consider your overall home décor: Traditional rolled arms or tufted panels complement classic styles, while track arms and slope arms suit modern spaces.
  • Think about aesthetics: Do you prefer the timeless elegance of curves or the clean lines of minimalism?

2. Comfort:

  • Pick an armrest height: Higher arms offer back support, while lower ones allow for lounging.
  • Cushioning matters: Thicker cushions feel more plush, while thinner ones provide firmer support.
  • Think about arm angle: Set-back or curved arms offer cuddle corners, while straight arms allow for more space.

3. Experiment and try before you buy:

  • Visit furniture stores and test out different arm styles to find what feels best.
  • Consider online retailers with good return policies so you can try the sofa at home.

Types Of Sofa Arms

sofa arm styles collage

SHOP THE LOOK

Here you will find all the details you need to know when shopping for sofa arm styles and types of couches.

1. Curved Arm Couch

curved arm sofa with metal legs


A curved arm couch features arms that have a gentle curve or curvature along their length. This design element softens the overall look of the sofa, providing a more relaxed and inviting feel.

Curved arm couches can be found in various styles, from traditional to contemporary, and they often add a touch of elegance to the furniture piece.

Why you’ll LOVE the Curved Arm Sofa

  • The curved arms create a graceful and stylish appearance.
  • The natural contour is great for resting arms and provides a comfortable seating experience.
  • Great for smaller spaces since it doesn’t have sharp lines that make a room feel cramped.
  • Softens the overall look of the sofa.
  • Often seen in more eclectic or vintage designs.

There are several versions of the curved arm sofa. It can be as shown above where it has a curve at the top edge of the sofa arm. Others are more exaggerated and fully curved from the back of the sofa to the front.

More Curved Sofa Arm Types

We purchased our curved arm sofa in 2019 from Interior Define. We compared many styles but loved the elevated look of the Caitlin Velvet Sofa.

living room with pink roses and blue velvet sofa gold sconce

Our sofa has held up extremely well. It comes with two side lumbar pillows but I removed those and added the pink velvet and faux fur pillows for contrast.

The curved arms are super comfortable for everyday use and relaxing. They add a touch of sophistication to the modern glam living room design.

2. Sock Arm Sofa

pink sock arm sofa

One of the most common sofa arm styles is the sock arm. It’s especially popular in traditional and transitional homes. The fabric and style of the sock arm sofa can also create a more modern vibe.

Sock arm sofa styles have a rolled couch arm that can have pleats, ruches, panels, and more. If you prefer a more simple design as above you can get the sock arm sofa small or large without the extra folds.

Why you’ll LOVE a Sock Arm Sofa!

  • Smooth, rounded appearance, resembling the shape of a sock or sleeve.
  • Adds a touch of elegance to a sofa.
  • Proves a comfortable place for resting arms while sitting.
  • Classic and timeless appeal.
  • Takes up more room in the width than a track arm sofa.

The Anthropologie pink couch features classic lines with hints of modern styling in the velvet fabric, plush cushions, and caster maple legs. Add a vintage vibe to your home with the addition of this sock arm couch.

3. Panel Arm With Nails

green panel sock arm sofa

As mentioned above the panel arm sofa is a version of the sock arm style but it has a panel in the center. From the front, these arms look like the sock arm but with a panel in the middle.

You can add nailheads to the panel as shown above or get the arm without them. This tufted sofa has ruched detailing with gathers at the seam. As a result, the sofa has a sophisticated but elevated look and feel.

Why you’ll LOVE a Panel Arm Sofa!

  • Panel arms: The arms of the sofa have flat, rectangular panels on the sides, providing a sleek and sophisticated look.
  • Rolled armrests: The top edges of the panels are rolled, adding a touch of softness and comfort to the sofa.
  • Variety of styles: Rolled panel-arm sofas can be found in a variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary, making them a versatile choice for any home.
  • Comfortable seating: The rolled armrests and plush cushions make rolled panel-arm sofas a great choice for relaxing and entertaining.

The above panel arm sofa will look fabulous in a parlor, sitting room, bedroom, and more! Add a luxe sophisticated look with the deep tufted back, bench seat cushion, Chesterfield silhouette, and nailhead detail.

Perfect for my fashionistas looking to add a touch of glam to their living space.

This tufted rolled arm sofa would look stunning in a cloffice design as well. Just saying!

4. Pleated Key Arm

pleated key arm couch

You probably had no idea this style was called a pleated key sofa. I mean till now I didn’t either. HA!!

Details that make this sofa special are the pleated design, covered button, and tufted cushion.

The key arm sofa is one of the sleekest types available. It features clean lines and squared edges. Designed to look like the edge of a key, this sofa arm type is super stylish.

Why you’ll LOVE a Pleated Key Arm Sofa

  • Comfortable surface to rest your arm.
  • Clean lines and square edges.
  • Modern update to the classic pleated rolled arm sofa.

The velvet sofa above reminds me of a beautifully tailored dress. There are just so many details to appreciate and love!

If you’re looking to add a luxurious glam vibe to your space look no further! The button tufts and modern wide arms will make a statement in your living space.

5. Small Track Sofa Arms

olive small thin track arm couch

For a modern look consider the track sofa arms. They come in a variety of sizes from thin (shown above) to wide (see below). The clean tailored lines give this sofa a modern contemporary vibe.

Why you’ll LOVE a Thin Track Arm Couch

  • Thin straight and squared-off arms.
  • Modern and clean lines.
  • Well-suited for contemporary and minimalist styles.
  • Takes up less space than a wide or sock arm sofa.

The Lulu and Georgia sofa features classic materials, polished details, and a wooden frame. The mix-and-match design will make a statement in your living room design.

If you’re looking to create that California eclectic style this sofa is perfect!

Enter the code INSPIREDDESIGNTALK15 for 15% off your Lulu and Georgia order! Happy shopping!

6. Large Track Arm Sofa

beige large track arm sofa

Here is another version of the track arm couch. This large track arm sofa is awesome for the modern home. Its stylish silhouette and low profile are great for making a space appear larger.

Track-arm couches are perfect for smaller spaces because the arm does not extend past the sofa landscape as the rolled-arm sofa does. Track arms can be dressed up or down and have a timeless vibe that’ll last for years to come.

The design may be simple but track arm sofas create a focal point and will make a bold statement in your interior design.

Why you’ll LOVE a Large Track Arm Sofa

  • The low, sleek profile of track arms allows you to lean back and truly relax without feeling boxed in.
  • Unlike rolled or rounded arms, track arms hug the sofa frame, minimizing their footprint and making the sofa ideal for smaller living spaces.
  • The low profile and lack of bulky arms contribute to an open and airy feel in the room, even with a large sofa present.
  • The wide track arms can be used as a surface for drinks, books, or laptops, expanding the functionality of your sofa.

If you’re looking for a comfortable sofa arm style the above silhouette is meant for you! It’s awesome for Netflix to binge-watch parties and relax after a hard day of work.

The clean lines and modern silhouette give off a cool vibe perfect for the urban loft to the trendy suburb home.

Save 15% off at Lulu and Georgia with the discount code INSPIREDDESIGNTALK15. Sharing is caring, my friends!

black and white pillows on grey chaise sofa with faux fur thro and modern abstract artwork

The Charly chaise sectional we have in our living room has track arms and a modern silhouette. It’s also from Interior Define and we’ve had it since 2019.

This sofa has a modern contemporary vibe while the curved arms on Caitlin are more sophisticated and formal. The size of the track arms will change the look and feel of your living room.

Wide track arms feel more modern and laid back while thin arms will have a more formal elevated look. Either is a great choice it just depends on the vibe you’re going for.

7. Charles of London Sofa Arms

charles of london arm couch

The Charles of London Arm or saddle sofa will level up your interior design. This arm style will slightly protrude out due to the extra padding in the arm. The arms are very comfortable and perfect for afternoon naps.

A saddle arm sofa is similar to the saddle on a horse. The saddle area can be lightly padded or super plush. This couch is popular in traditional and transitional living room designs.

Why you’ll LOVE the Charles Of London Arm Sofa!

  • Classic and popular choice in traditional and transitional furniture designs
  • Rolled arms that curve outward in a gentle and elegant manner.
  • Has a low profile that adds to the relaxed and comfortable appearance.
  • Works well in both traditional and transitional interior design styles.
  • Pleated details on the arms add an extra layer of sophistication.

Features of the above Serena & Lily sofa include saddle arms, a bench seat, and turned legs. If you are worried about it being a white sofa… DON’T BE!! I promise this one will have you entertaining with confidence.

The Charles of London arm white performance fabric sofa will resist wear and tear, staining, mold, and UV radiation. Those features make it the perfect couch for the active homeowner.

8. Rolled English Arm Sofa

rolled english arm sofa

This rolled English arm sofa design is perfect to add a luxurious glam touch to your interior space. Another version of the sock arm sofa the above design features ruching around a self-covered button at the center.

Ruched arm sofa styles create ruffles in the arm which range from uniform to uneven depending on the design.

This style is very popular for modern glam or traditional living room designs.

Why you’ll LOVE the Rolled English Arm Sofa

  • Also known as a “club arm.”
  • Straight and low-profile arms that are set back from the front of the seat.
  • Often found in traditional or classic designs.
  • The arms are set back from the front of the seat, creating a slightly recessed look.
  • Have a tailored and sophisticated appearance, with attention to details such as piping or nailhead trim.

This trendy chartreuse sofa color is definitely for the bold at heart. It features a yellow hue with a green undertone that adds to the rich beauty. This style is sure to be a fan favorite!

What style is an English arm sofa?

An English arm sofa style is associated with traditional and classic furniture design. It has a deep seat, a tight back, and rolled arms. Typically the arm is low and set back from the front edge of the seat.

It’s the type of couch you will find in traditional or transitional homes. Depending on the fabric used it can be found in contemporary homes as well.

Are rolled arm sofas out of style?

The simple answer is no the rolled-arm sofa is not out of style. Now let me be clear if you prefer modern contemporary furniture you may feel differently.

That’s because the English roll-arm sofa is a classic that’s often found in traditional and transitional spaces. It’s a comfortable arm style that’ll make a statement in any space it’s in.

When I worked as a design consultant in a furniture store I was very surprised to learn how popular the roll arm sofas are. Many clients requested and purchased this arm style and were not interested in a different style of sofa.

As I always say to each his (or her) own!

9. Set Back Arm

set back arm sofa

The set-back arm sofa comes in a variety of design styles. Rather than being even at the front of the sofa, the arm is “set back”.

A track arm set-back style will have a modern feel whereas a sock arm set-back style will be more transitional. The fabric selection will also determine the design style of the sofa as well.

Why you’ll LOVE the Set Back Arm Sofa

  • Arms of the sofa are positioned back from the front edge of the seat.
  • Provides a slightly recessed or relaxed appearance to the sofa.
  • Softer, more traditional look.
  • Low profile, curved lines, and a traditional silhouette.

The above sofa features a low profile, curved lines, and a traditional silhouette. The English rolled set-back arms are perfect for small spaces where you are looking to maximize the seating area.

No matter your design style this sofa will add that sophisticated touch you are after in your home.

10. Wedge Arm Sofa

grey wedge arm sofa


A wedge arm sofa is another fabulous option to elevate the modern contemporary home. Available in one-piece and modular styles it is a look that will modernize your interior design.

Why you’ll LOVE the Wedge Arm Sofa

  • Wedge shaped arms that gracefully slope outwards, creating a distinctive silhouette.
  • Arm shape takes up less space than traditional arm styles.
  • Curved design creates a “cuddle zone”.
  • Associated with contemporary and modern design styles.

The shape of the wedge arm sofa can vary from narrow to wide but both feature an angular design. This style sofa is fabulous for relaxing while leaning back on the wedge arm.

The above modern sofa also features a bonus pull-out bed and deep seat. It’s especially comfortable for entertaining guests or watching your favorite Netflix show.

11. Slope Arm Couch

white slope arm sofa

Slope arm sofas are often associated with contemporary and modern design styles. The characteristics of the sloping arms, clean lines, and streamlined silhouette contribute to a sleek and up-to-date aesthetic that aligns well with these design preferences.

The slope arm sofa extends from the couch’s full height into a comfortable arm. The result is a sleek-looking sofa that has an elevated vibe.

Why you’ll LOVE the Slope Arm Sofa

  • Contemporary twist on traditional sofas.
  • Angled arms minimize their footprint compared to straight or bulky arms.
  • Have a gradual slope, angling downward from the backrest toward the front of the sofa.
  • Associated with contemporary and modern design styles.
  • Works well with other modern or mid-century modern furniture pieces.
  • Features sleek lines that add a sense of sophistication to the overall design.

Be sure to check out all the customization options of the above slope arm sofa from Pottery Barn. Available in four different widths there is a size perfect no matter your space.

This sofa can be designed with a bench seat, two cushions, or three. The fewer seat cushions the more modern the design. Other features include two or three back cushions and multiple fabrics.

12. Sloped Roll Arm

pink sloped roll arm couch

Above is a roll arm version of the sloped-arm sofa. This has a more glam vibe than the track arm silhouette.

Why you’ll LOVE the Sloped Roll Arm Sofa

  • The sloped roll arm marries the classic sophistication of rolled arms with the modern flair of sloping lines. 
  • Blends seamlessly with a modern setting, complementing traditional décor with a touch of modernity, or even adding a whimsical element to a minimalist space.
  •  The distinctive design is sure to spark conversation and add a touch of personality to your space.

If you’re a girlie girl look no further! Available in two widths this sloped arm sofa will fit whether your space is small or large. If pink is not your jam choose from one of the many other fabric and color options.

You’ll create a focal point with the beautiful curved lines and silhouette of this stylish sofa. She features a deep, down-wrapped bench seat cushion, and two down-filled lumbar pillows. 

Conclusion

You probably had no idea there were so many choices in sofa arm styles but there are! No matter the look you are after there is a silhouette that will complement your design style perfectly.

Do you have a favorite? Mine is the track arm style because I love the simple clean lines and modern vibe.

Whether you’re drawn to the timeless elegance of rolled arms, the laid-back charm of English arms, or the sleek vibes of slope arms, there’s a style for everyone. Think of your sofa not just as furniture but as a canvas to express your unique taste and create a space that feels like you.

Remember, it’s not just about what looks good – it’s about what feels right for you and your family. So, here’s to finding that perfect sofa arm style that turns your house into a true home. Happy decorating!

I hope this post was inspiring and helpful as you design your modern home!

This post is all about sofa arm styles and types of couches.

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Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Nicole DelaCruz

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