Popular Office Reception Chair Styles

seat-255206_640Waiting is a part of life, however, no one likes to be left awkwardly standing around or relegated to an uncomfortable chair for long periods of time. Whether you run a medical clinic or corporate business, your reception area plays a major role in providing a good first impression and comfy wait for your clients. Especially if you often have visitors, reception area seating that looks appealing and provides adequate sitting space is extremely important.

Most chairs can be customized in terms of color or material, so keep that in mind as you consider some of these popular styles of office reception chairs.

Bariatric or Bench Chairs

Often quite large and with a sturdy base of wood similar to a bench, bariatric chairs are heavy duty furniture. Designed to last, this type of reception seating’s key feature is its impressive weight capacity. Depending on their construction, some bariatric chairs are rated to handle up to 500 lbs. or more. They are especially useful in medical clinics as they comfortably accommodate heavier set guests as well as multiple sitters, such as a parent and child.

Club Chairs

As the name indicates, club chairs are a type of high quality armchair that originated from the gentlemen’s clubs of France and England. Known for their refined appearance and high comfort, club chairs are usually well cushioned, covered in plush leather, and come in a contemporary style. Since they tend to be more on the expensive side, club chairs are best suited for more sophisticated reception areas that don’t see constant visitor traffic.

Sled Base Chairs

With curved metal beam legs that look similar to the shape of a sled, sled base chairs are known for being quite ideal for reception spaces. Thanks to their design, they are usually quite stable and comfortable. Most also have a very distinctive style and come with looped chair arms. Sled base chairs are quite customizable in terms of color and upholstery, so whether leather, mesh, or fabric is your preference, they usually match the feel of your reception area well.

Mesh Chairs

While most people perceive mesh chairs as the typical type of ergonomic seating for desk employees, they are also manufactured in a style that suits reception areas. Mesh chairs tend to be more streamlined and simple in design; however, their major advantage is the amount of air flow they give to the sitter. As a result of better ventilation, guests that have to wait for long periods of time are better able to stay cool and not feel stuck to the back of their seat.

Tandem or Beam Seating

A common sight in airport terminals, beam seating is ideal for places that often have to sit a large number of visitors at any given time. Designed so two or more seats are linked together in a line by a sturdy beam, this style of seating can be moveable or bolted down. Beam seating especially works well in office reception areas that experience high guest traffic since they tend to take up less space than other types.

How to Choose Reception Area Furniture

doctor-73117_640From the minute a client or customer steps into your reception area, they begin formulating their first impression of your business. As a result, your choice of furniture can really impact their judgment of your company’s professionalism and reputation. Organizing your reception area to help your visitors relax, wait comfortably, and feel secure about doing business with you is key no matter what field you work in.

Here are some tips about how to choose furniture that suits your reception area.


Most offices have a reception desk and sitting area, the basic function of which gives the receptionist a place to work and the guests a place to wait. However, random configurations of chairs, tables, and desks usually aren’t ideal. The furnishings you choose determine the functionality of your reception area, and often depend on the circumstances of your business.

Analyze the traffic flow in your office as well as how your reception area is used. For example, if you’re a business that has customers wait for longer periods of time, such as in a medical office setting, you might prioritize more comfortable sofa seating. If your reception area doubles as an employee work space, then the furniture should be organized to allow for collaboration and meeting with guests.

Appropriate to Room Size

While your furniture should be functional to the needs of your office, it should also suit the size of the room. Don’t fill a small space with large couches, as it will make the reception area feel cramped. Similarly, even if your business regularly has high traffic, don’t make your waiting area so sparse that there are not enough seats for all your visitors.

Having enough guest and reception seating (with seats to spare) is a good idea as most people avoid sitting elbow-to-elbow with strangers unless there’s no other choice, and you never know when a large group might come in.

Style and Tone

Whether modern and trendy or traditional and dignified, every business should brand itself to customers. The style of your reception furniture should definitely match the tone of your business, as the waiting area is where many visitors make first impressions.

For instance, a lawyer’s office might choose furniture with more wood, leather, and stone elements to match the gravity of their profession, while a cutting-edge electronics company might lean more towards hard plastic or metal, brighter colors, and contemporary furniture.


Most businesses want their furniture to look good and last for a long time. Determine how durable your reception decor needs to be by examining how frequently the desks, chairs, and other furnishings will be used. The type of guests that are usually accommodated should be considered as well.

While this depends on various factors, in general, reception areas that often host children should have more durable materials than those that only see grown professionals. Waiting rooms that expect heavy usage would be wise to choose more resilient and sturdy furniture, while places like doctors’ offices should ensure their upholstery does not trap germs and is easily cleaned.