Skip to main content

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.

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.  

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 plush.

If you enjoyed learning more about sofa arms in this post, then be sure to check out our Sofa Buying Guide series on the blog! Happy shopping!