What Is a Slipper Chair?

Written by amy swanton mills
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What Is a Slipper Chair?
(All photos by Glamour Goes Green)

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a slipper chair is "an armless upholstered chair with short legs." Slipper chairs were originally used in the bedroom, but are now used as accent seating in living rooms, family rooms and even offices. They can be bought at furniture stores and come in many fabrics and finishes. Slipper chairs are also referred to as "armless chairs."


Slipper chairs were historically used in a lady's bedroom to assist her in getting dressed. They are smaller in scale than a traditional armchair and sit lower than a dining chair. They are no longer used in exclusively in the bedroom, and are an excellent choice for a room that needs seating on a smaller scale. They are not a substitute for an armchair or dining chair, but an alternative form of seating that is useful in many situations.


Slipper chairs are built in different styles, from very ornate and traditional to very simple and modern. They usually feature either an upholstered seat or an upholstered seat and back. The upholstered portions of a slipper chair use a tight back or tight seat application of fabric. This means there are no loose seat or back cushions as you might see on a sofa or armchair. Slipper chairs are made from a sturdy hardwood that is then stained or upholstered.

What Is a Slipper Chair?
A slipper chair designed in a modern style.


Slipper chairs are useful seating options for bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms, especially when space is at a premium. Slipper chairs work well in the bedroom as a place to drape clothes or to sit on to put on stockings or shoes. They are often placed in a corner. Slipper chairs are used in living and family rooms, usually as supplemental seating to a sofa. They are often used floating in a room or in front of a window because their low height does not block views and their backs are often well designed and attractive.

What Is a Slipper Chair?
Slipper chairs are often used in living rooms.


Although small in scale, slipper chairs are heavy. They should not be used in situations where they need to be moved around frequently. Slipper chairs' lack of arms can be uncomfortable when trying to read a book or when sitting for long periods of time. Very tall people may find slipper chairs uncomfortable because their low seat height causes long legs to be folded at a very steep angle. However, for decorative and short-term seating, slipper chairs are an excellent option.


Slipper chairs are often confused with dining or desk chairs because they are also small in scale and are made in similar styles. However, slipper chairs always sit lower than a traditional dining or desk chair and are not suitable at a dining table or desk. Measure the seat height of a chair you want to use to sit at a table or desk. The difference between the seat height of your chair and the tabletop should be no more than 10 to 12 inches.

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