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Furniture Glossary: Sofa Arm Types

There are many sofa arm types to choose from, but when it comes to describing them, it can be a little difficult! We have compiled some of the most popular sofa arm shapes with pictures to help enhance your furniture vocabulary as you are shopping for a new couch.

Sofa Arm Types

Track Arm

A track arm has clean lines and a modern feel. It is square shaped and is one of the most simple sofa arm types. The tufted mid-century style Mod Sofa that is shown below is one of our favorite track arm sofas.


Modern Scroll Arm

A modern scroll arm (or scooped arm) is very similar to the track arm, but has rounded edges and a swooping curve. The Aries Sofa (below) has a low-profile scooped arm for an inviting aesthetic.


Track Arm with Nails

Featuring super stylish nailhead trim, the track arm with nails takes one of the most classic sofa arm types and gives it a decorative edge. We love the following Social Sofa with large metallic details along the arm and base.


Modern English

The modern english arm takes the track arm and makes it a little less rigid but softening the edges to be more curved. Sometimes this style can also be slightly splayed outwards, such as with the Fremont Sofa photoed below.


Pleated Arm

This is one of the rolled sofa arm types, and features gathered upholstery to create a puckered look with the folded fabric. Below, the Southport Sectional boasts large, oversized pleated arms.


Ruched Arm

This sofa arm shape starts with a traditional rolled panel arm and adds a decorative element by trimming it with pleated fabric to create little ruffles. These pleats can be small with nonuniform ruching, or can be larger with more uniform ruching such as the Dallas Sofa, below.


Pad Arm

The pad arm is pretty much a double rolled arm. This shape layers a decorative panel arm over another arm to create visual appeal. Below you will find a variation of the padded arm with the Big Sky Sofa.


Key Arm

This is one of the sleekest sofa arm types, and like the track arm, features clean lines and squared edges. Designed to look like the edge of a key, this sofa arm type is very stylish. The Denver Sofa (below) has an elegant key sofa arm.


Shelter Arm

A shelter arm bends outward from the sofa and has a gentle sloping curve to it. This is one of the most comfortable sofa arm types, as the padding cradles you while you are seated. Below, the contemporary City View Sectional has a shelter style arm.


Saddle Arm

Reminiscent of a saddle on a horse, the saddle arm has padding all around the framing, and appears to stand alone as a separate piece of the couch. Sometimes called saddle bag arms, this variety of sofa arm types can be lightly padded, or super plus like the Nimbus Sofa, shown below.


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