There are almost as many sofa arms as there are sofas, but this primer on the four basic types of sofa arms will help you narrow down styles when sofa browsing. There are many variations on these four, but you'll be able to see the bones of each in whatever you see.
This style is called a roll arm for obvious reasons. The arm literally rolls out from the body of the sofa. It is a very traditional arm and appears not only on most sofas, but also on different shapes like the Chesterfield, seen in the second photo below (I previously wrote an entire post about the Chesterfield sofa here).
English Roll Arm
A hallmark of the English roll arm is that it is typically much lower than the back, and much closer to the seat deck.
Scoop or Slope Arm
This arm features a gentle curve or slope downward to the seat deck, lending a sensuous, curvaceous appeal to a piece of furniture. In the first photo, the beautiful scoop arm sofa in a living room by Redmond Aldrich Design boasts extra elegance with chrome nailheads.
A track arm's linear quality is contemporary and can lend a Mid-Century Modern feeling, as seen in this sleek room below.
Despite being contemporary in nature, a track arm is neutral enough to exist alongside traditional elements like antique furnishings and a coffered ceiling.
A track arm does not have to slim, either. Often times, especially in Italian design, track arms can be wide and substantial.
Even though we have seen a track arm in a variety of settings, some sofa arms go better with certain room styles than others. In the market for a new sofa but overwhelmed by choices? Give me a call!