Quicklist: Different Types of Sofas and Couches
- Sectional Sofa
- Lawson-style Sofa
- Mid-Century Modern
- Contemporary Mid-Century Modern Sofa
- English Roll-Arm
- Chaise Lounge
- Sleeper Sofas
- Pull-Out Sofa Bed
- Convertible Sofa
- Bunk Bed Sleeper
- Loveseat Sofa
- Settee Sofa
- Recliner Sofa
- Tuxedo Sofa
- Low-Seated Sofas
- Pallet couches
- Sofa Lounger
True story: my wife and I spent the lion’s share of one of our first dates browsing and chatting in a furniture store. I can’t remember how we ended up there, but we did, and before we knew it we had spent over two hours chatting on comfy sofas throughout the store. All that was missing in the place was a coffee bar.
I love sofas. I love trying them, shopping for them and, of course, sitting in them.
I doubt the store staff liked it all that much, but they were polite. Our furniture store date led to more dates and ultimately to getting married. We still laugh at how we actually spent much of a date in a furniture store.
Since then we’ve spent many hours browsing furniture stores checking out the different types of sofas with respect to sofa design, comfort and style (along with all other types of furniture). If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. It can be a lot of fun.
There many kinds of sofas out there — where do you start?
I’m a big fan of mid-century modern and sectional sofas. A mid-century modern sectional is my favorite couch. You may be cringing at the thought of a sectional in your living room — many people don’t like them, but I do.
Fortunately, there are many sofas styles to choose from.
The full list with all the details…
1. Sectional Sofa
The sectional sofa is a multi-piece sofa. Common number of pieces are three and five. It can be arranged in a number of configurations. The more pieces, the more configurations. Ideally, any sectional you purchase will include fixtures that connect the pieces to keep them from separating.
Due to the massive and growing popularity of sectionals, there are many, many styles, designs and materials to choose from. Some are huge and can span large rooms while others are much smaller.
Two common configurations are L-shape and U-shape.
History of the Sectional
While you probably know the sectional sofa became popular and evolved into its present form in the 1950’s with the advent of mid-century furniture design, sectionals were build in the Victoria era. The early Victorian-era sectionals were primitive as they were two or more sofas that were pushed together to form a larger sofa.
Oh yeah, sectionals are great because they’re easy to move… I learned that the hard way — read my first sofa buying experience at the end of this post. Learn more — read our 38 Types of Sectional Sofas article and discover 10 sectionals under $500 here.
The chesterfield sofa is known for its “quilted” or “tufted” style. It’s more of a fancy couch compared to other couch designs featured in this article.
Some have the tufted design on only the back and arms (see our illustrated guide to different sofa arm styles here) while others include it on the seating bench section as well.
It continues to be a popular style with current sofa trends.
Origin of the Chesterfield
The birth of the chesterfield sofa is believed to be a sofa commissioned by Lord Philip Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield in the 18th century. The Earl desired a piece of furniture on which a “gentleman to sit upright in the utmost of comfort allowing sitting without wrinkling the garment” [source: LondonGallery.net].
3. Lawson-style Sofa
This sofa style is designed for comfort. Its signature design element is a back comprised of pillows separate from the frame.
The reason for this design is to create a softer, more cushioned sofa with large cushions that aren’t taut within the frame of the sofa.
It continues to be a popular sofa design today. You can buy a Lawson-style sofa in many sizes, colors and materials. In addition to being uber-comfortable, you can move the large pillows around for ultimate comfort.
History of the Lawson Sofa
The Lawson sofa is a relatively new design, the first one was created for financier Thomas W. Lawson in the early 20th century. He desired a sofa that was modern in design and comfortable. Apparently, it’s a derivative design of the tuxedo sofa (see below).
4. Mid-Century Modern
From the 1930’s to the 1970’s mid-century modern furniture reigned supreme, but don’t count it down and out yet. It’s making a comeback and looks like it will continue on as it has now passed the test of time.
This style of sofa is all about minimalist design and clean lines. There are many varieties. It’s designed to look good and be comfortable — they got it half right — it’s not the most comfortable furniture, but coupled with the right home design, it can look fabulous.
Popular from the mid-l930s to roughly the mid-1970s, the Mid-Century Modern design movement was characterized by elegance, practicality and simplicity. In her 1984 book, “Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s,” Cara Greenberg became the first to officially name the style.
The Mid-Century Modern style in America can be traced to previous popular European styles, such as Bauhaus from Germany, which also influenced the American International style. As German designers immigrated to the United States during and after World War II, they brought their Bauhaus style with them.
In addition, the booming postwar economy created a class of prosperous Americans who began to escape the inner cities and develop a unique suburban lifestyle. Their newly built homes called for coordinating furniture. Advances in technology also allowed for the creation of new materials, such as plastics, Plexiglas and Lucite.
Mid-Century Modern sofas and other furniture featured sleek, clean lines and both traditional and non-traditional materials, sometimes utilized in the same piece. It wasn’t unusual to see the same basic style of Mid-Century Modern sofa in a choice of vinyl, wool or velvet fabric.
Contrasting blacks and whites, along with colors ranging from neutral to bold, formed the simple geometric designs found in Mid-Century Modern furniture. In addition, the newer materials made for easier upkeep and care.
5. Contemporary Mid-Century Modern Sofa
I’m including a section for modern sofas because it’s a commonly used term when referring to contemporary mid-century modern furniture.
Strictly speaking, what’s commonly referred to as modern furniture is really a mid-century modern design.
Moreover, mid-century modern should not be confused with contemporary furniture — it’s different. Contemporary is a term used for current furniture… but it’s always based on a particular design style such as a contemporary chesterfield or contemporary camelback.
6. English Roll-Arm
The English sofa (aka English roll-arm) is known for low arms in relation to a high back.
Upholstery is tight throughout, yet decently cushioned all over, including the arms.
While similar to the bridgewater, it’s distinguished by the tautness of the upholstery and low arms. In fact, some English rolled-arm sofas have arms so low as to appear to be armless (not the case with the version featured to here.
Characterized by tight back and large, plush, loose seat cushions and distinctive rolled arms slightly lower than the back, the English roll-arm sofa is a timeless piece that’s perfect for a formal living room or parlor, but also coordinates well with any modern furniture.
One trick is to customize the legs to fit with your particular choice of furniture style. For example, you can use a straight leg for a modern décor or a turned leg for a traditional setting. If you want to blend the traditional with the contemporary, a geometric or stripe pattern works well on this type of sofa.
First appearing in the early 20th century in British country manors, the neatly tailored English roll-arm sofa is one of the most comfortable couches you can find anywhere.
In fact, it’s actually been described as the furniture equivalent of a “meatloaf”. This sofa is ideal if you choose to use slipcovers on your furniture. This way, you can either remove or replace a soiled or worn cover while preserving your sofa’s beauty for years to come.
Casual and comfortable define a bridgewater sofa design. The arms are slightly rolled to the side and are lower than the sofa back.
While the bridgewater design fits in most room designs, it’s seldom going to be the stand-out feature of the room.
If you want traditional and reasonably comfortable in a sofa, consider the bridgewater style. It’s still a staple sofa style today… but it’s not nearly as popular as it once was.
Also known as a birch-arm or English three-seater, the Bridgewater sofa is characterized by a softly rolled back, low, slightly-rolled, low set-back arms, soft, padded loose cushions and a distinctive tailored skirt that hides the legs. Some contemporary pieces, however, feature exposed legs.
The Bridgewater is a traditional casual and subtle sofa that doesn’t overpower the rest of the furniture in the room. As did the English roll-arm sofa, the Bridgewater also originated in Great Britain; and like the English roll-arm, the Bridgewater is a good choice for those who want to use a slipcover to preserve their furniture. Typically, Bridgewater sofas can easily sit three.
Although most popular as a casual piece, this extremely comfortable sofa is versatile enough to blend in with any décor. A neutral fabric will allow bold artwork or other major piece to remain dominant. Velvet or rayon fabric can complement a more traditional setting. Nail-head trim can also add a formal touch to a Bridgewater sofa.
A well-constructed Bridgewater sofa features high-quality interior springs that will guarantee its comfort.
The camelback sofa’s main design feature is a higher back in the center which descends in a continuous line into the arms of the sofa. There are also designs with two arches on the back.
This type of sofa is also recognized for exposed wood legs as well as frequently exposed wood on top of the back and arms (although not always).
While a classic design, you can buy contemporary camelback sofa designs (that are a more comfortable than the antique featured here).
Featuring a distinctive arched back that peaks at the center and sides, the Camelback sofa is a late-1700s product of the Thomas Chippendale furniture design studios in Great Britain. Chippendale was the first furniture style to be named for its designer instead of for a ruling monarch.
During the era, English aristocracy heavily favored the Camelback sofa for their homes, largely because of the expert craftsmanship for which Chippendale was known. Chippendale’s furniture was crafted in a modified Rococo style. Characteristics of this style included elegance, lightness and an emphasis on natural curving and ornamentation.
The elegant Camelback sofa, named for its resembling a camel’s humps, is also characterized by tight upholstery, a shaped bench seat, high, scrolled arms that provide support and exposed legs.
Authentic English Camelback sofas feature Queen Anne-style claw-and-ball feet. There are no separate back cushions. The Camelback’s traditional design makes it an ideal choice for placement between windows in a formal living room.
Modern types of Camelback sofas often feature one or two, rather than three, humps. Many contemporary Camelback sofas are upholstered in bold, graphic prints, bringing an updated look to a traditional sofa style.
The cabriole sofa’s trademark design element is continuous, equal-height back and arms. Often the arms curve inward creating a long line from arm to arm.
Some designs include ornate elements to them such as the sofa featured here; however, more often (and especially contemporary cabriole sofas) substitute ornate for more comfortable features such as more cushion throughout (especially the seated portion of the sofa).
Also, cabriole sofas are known for an exposed wood trim along the top of the back and arms. However, you can find contemporary cabriole sofas in the classic cabriole design without the wood trim.
See our second featured cabriole sofa for an example of one without the wood trim.
10. Chaise Lounge
Chaise lounges are still popular, especially in today’s massive primary bedroom suites.
Some chaise lounges have an arm while others have no arms. Also, the chaise lounge is extremely popular as a patio furniture item typically found poolside.
However, for this article setting out the various sofa designs, our featured chaise lounge is one you’d find inside.
Many believe the first type of chaise lounge was of Egyptian origin and was a combination of chair and daybed features. Dating back to approximately 3000 B.C., the Egyptians constructed their primitive lounges of palm stalks that they secured with pieces of rawhide or cord. Later, affluent Egyptians reclined on lounges constructed of wood.
In ancient Greece, it became popular to recline on daybeds, rather than to sit at a table, for drinking or reading. This furniture featured layers of draped fabric and cushions for headrests.
The ancient Romans also used a type of chaise lounge, known as a “lectus,” for reclining during meals and banquets. The chairs were constructed of wood and featured comfortable cushions.
The words “chaise lounge” are taken form the French words “chaise longe,” meaning “long chair.” A chaise lounge is simply a sofa shaped like a long chair that can support itself structurally. The French chaise lounge became popular in the 1500s. By the time of the French Rococo period, the lounge was a social status symbol and was constructed of rare, costly materials.
Modern chaise lounge sofas are considered more of a decorative addition than a necessary piece of furniture in the home and are usually found in a bedroom or other room where relaxation dominates.
11. Types of Sofa Beds
There are many sleeper-style sofas ranging from pull-outs to futons to daybeds to even bunk-bed sofa combos. We feature all styles here. See them below.
a. Pull-Out Sofa Bed
Probably the most popular form of sleeper sofa is the pull-out sofa bed. They’re mightily improved from 20 years ago (I know because growing up we had an old wire job that offered an uneven, creaky bed).
These days sleeper beds are well-designed and offer a great sleeping solution for guests.
A pull-out sofa bed is distinguished from a futon in that the sofa back remains upright while the sleeping surface folds under the belly of the sofa from where it is stored and pulled out.
b. Convertible Sofa
A convertible sofa differs from a pull-out bed in that it doesn’t have a mattress.
The bed “mattress” results from the couch pillows as show in the image on the left.
This can be more or less comfortable than a pull-out bed depending on the quality of a mattress with the pull-out bed (the quality range is substantial).
The futon is a sofa/bed combo. Generally, the back of the sofa folds or releases downward to create a large, flat, cushioned sleeping surface.
Similar to the futon is the convertible sleeper couch, which is couch made up of pieces that rearrange into a large flat sleeping surface. The mattress is comprised of the sofa’s cushions. The convertible style sleeper is often a feature of sectional sofas.
The history of the futon dates back to 17th-century Japan; the word “futon” having been derived from the Japanese word for “bedding.” The Japanese stuffed cotton and wool and spread their “bedclothes” on flooring made of rice straw or “tatami.”
Because the flooring was so lightweight, the mattresses needed to be lightweight, as well, and were thus constructed of long staple cotton. The mattresses were even portable and could be rolled up and stored when not in use.
At first, only the wealthy and nobility could afford the futon. However, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and cotton manufacturing in the 1700s, all social classes gained access to bedclothes.
American GIs who returned home from the Far East following World War II described the comfort they experienced when sleeping on the Japanese floor mattress. To accommodate the increasing interest in such an exotic type of bed, American furniture manufacturers created a piece of furniture that combined both a bed frame and mattress to suit particular Western tastes and preferences.
For Americans who prefer an authentic Japanese-style futon without the frame, there’s the option of stacking several mattresses to achieve the experience while sleeping higher above the floor.
While it wouldn’t be cool to ask guests to sleep on a daybed, it can be a great place to kick your feet up for a nap.
The daybed looks similar to a chaise lounge except the daybed has ends or backs on each side.
The problem with many daybeds is they don’t accommodate tall people very well unless you don’t mind resting your legs elevated.
e. Bunk Bed Sleeper
The bunk bed sleeper is not a common sofa design. It’s akin to a concept sofa, but they are available.
Without question kids love them because kids love heights as well as anything that transforms.
The bunk bed sleeper is a great solution for cabins and vacation homes or any residence where extra sleeping accommodations are needed for kids.
13. Loveseat Sofas
The loveseat sofa is an umbrella term for a sofa made for two people. They’re often part of a living room set.
Like sofas, loveseats come in many styles and designs such as camelback, cabriole, etc.
My favorite use of a loveseat is to create a small sitting area and bench at the foot of a bed. Otherwise, I’m not too keen on them because you can’t fully stretch out.
How long are loveseats? In other words, at what length does a loveseat become a sofa?
This was one bit of info I wasn’t familiar with, but after a bit of research discovered there are four loveseat categorizations, each depending on size measured arm-to-arm. The categories are:
- compact: one person up to 51 inches long,
- small: 52 inches long,
- medium: 58 inches long,
- full: up to 64 inches long, and
- loveseat sofas: up to 71 inches long.
A divan is a sofa without a back. Therefore, they require being placed against a bare wall against which you can arrange pillows for a cushioned back.
While not the most practical because you’re restricted to where you can place them, they offer some versatility with respect to pillow placement. You might like the look of a backless sofa (i.e. cushioned bench) against your wall.
The red sofa featured here isn’t 100% divan because it has some back support, but it’s ideally designed for placement against a wall for proper support.
15. Settee Sofa
A settee is a wide chair. Today’s closest version is the loveseat, but historically settees were narrower than loveseats.
They’re also much less comfortable since they’re designed like a wide dining room chair with arms.
You can hardly sit two people on these seats and I doubt anyone would want to sit there fore long… but they have an old world charm. In fact, they make for nice foyer pieces.
16. Recliner Sofa
The reclining sofa is a fairly new type of couch, but has grown in popularity given they’re great for watching television and reading.
While not the best pick for a formal living room, they’re terrific for family rooms and media rooms. In fact, with a little carpentry work building a platform in a TV room and getting two reclining sofas, you can make a fine home-media space.
17. Tuxedo Sofa
A tuxedo sofa has high arms level with the sofa back that cuts straight across.
While not the most comfortable due to lack of reclining angle, it’s a classy looking sofa with the straight lines.
The tuxedo design is applied to loveseats and chairs as well.
Brief Origin of the Tuxedo Sofa
Interestingly, the tuxedo sofa isn’t that old, first seen in the 1920’s in Tuxedo Park, a wealthy New York State enclave. Also of note, it’s Tuxedo Park is also widely consider the birthplace of the tuxedo suit, but that’s not quite true. The tuxedo suit dates back to 1865 first worn by Edward VII, then Prince of Wales).
18. Low-Seated Sofas
Another particular kind of sofa is a low-seated sofa, which spans multiple styles and can be used in different rooms such as a living room, family room, bedroom and pretty much any type of room for lounging.
The typical height of a sofa seat is 17″ to 18″. A low-seated sofa is one where the seat is lower than 17″.
19. Pallet couches
Pallet furniture is popular. Most people build it themselves, but you can actually buy pallet furniture such as pallet sofas.
A pallet sofa is often built against the wall where the back is the wall with cushions placed against. However, you can also create a pallet couch with its own back so it has a slight recline to it so that it’s more comfortable than against the wall.
20. Sofa Lounger
What is a sofa lounger?
It’s a sofa with a chaise lounge design to it. It’s been around for a while but now has its own term. Basically it’s a sofa with an extension for putting your feet up. It comes in three styles. They are:
a. Full-sofa lounger
The full-sofa lounger is a sleeper sofa but while in bed mode you can still sit up. Here’s an example:
b. Multi-sofa lounger
The multi-lounger is a sofa with more than one lounging extension. Here’s an example.
c. Single-sofa lounger
This is very common and often referred to as a sectional sofa. In reality, it’s a sofa with a single chaise lounge extension. Check it out:
Types of Sofa Sets
When buying a sofa, you can buy a single sofa or couch or buy a set. A set is two or more couch-style seating options. In some cases, a set may include an armchair. Here are the main sofa set configurations:
- Sofa and loveseat (two-piece)
- Sofa, loveseat and armchair (three-piece)
- Two sofas (two-piece)
- Three sofas (three-piece)
- Sofa, loveseat and armchair (three-piece)
Sofa Sizes Chart
Here’s a set of diagrams setting out sofa dimensions according to the number of people it accommodates.
Related: Living Rooms with White Couches | Living Rooms with Gray Couches | Alternatives to Couches | Types of Low-Seated Sofas | Basset Sofa Reviews | West Elm Sofa Reviews | Ikea Sofa Reviews | Ethan Allen Sofa Reviews | List of 101 Sofa Brands | What’s the Typical Profit Margin on Sofas?
Couch Design Overview Diagram
More details: See our full parts of a couch illustration and write-up here.
Top Quality Sofa Brands / Where to Buy
Here’s our expert-suggested list of the best sofa brands (broken down by price-range).
IKEA has widespread name recognition as a company that sells acceptable quality household goods, including furniture like sofas. The pricing and convenience of IKEA is a powerful combination, but there are an increasing number of strong competitors carving out their own footholds.
Some assembly is required once the sofa shows up at your home, but that is now par for the course with many furniture retailers offering home delivery.
2. Maiden Home
Source: Maiden Home
Maiden Home’s furniture exudes a stately and refined air. The luxurious attention to detail is matched by luxury prices, like the Muir sectional that has a five-figure price tag. The large variety of finishes and materials ensure the available designs can match any home décor aesthetic while making it easy to pick through the models.
Lovesac offers a little old place where everybody can cuddle together. The company focuses on three key products: its customizable “sactional” sofas, pillow chairs called “sacs,” and a Stealthtech line of sofas that hides speakers and charging devices in the cushions.
Every bit of upholstery that Lovesac sells is comfortable and durable, but the pricing starts several times higher than more affordable sofa options. Lovesac also has a number of showrooms across the United States for in-person shopping.
4. Rove Concepts
Source: Rove Concepts
Rove Concepts is an online-only furniture vendor that has a healthy dose of modern style, but they break the mold on several models. For example, the Porter has the same build as many modern sofas, but the Diane has a uniquely curved backrest.
5. West Elm
Source: West Elm
West Elm falls under the same corporate ownership as Pottery Barn, so you may be able to test models at the storefront. While the store’s prices can quickly become expensive, West Elm’s sofas and sectionals are affordably priced.
The couch designs are mostly modern with straight-edge frames, thin legs and puffy cushions. There are a few exceptions amidst the dozens of options, like the Thierry armless sofa.
This American company focuses entirely on selling seating like chairs, loveseats, sofas and sectionals. Allform strongly advertises its customizable furniture, but the actual number of options are limited to the fabric, finish on the legs, and minor rearrangement of chaise lounges on certain models.
Burrow sells home décor to create the perfect hobbit hole. Its sofas and sectionals sit at a mid-tier price, and the overall variety of their sofas feels limited. Still, if you like a modern sofa with small wooden legs and a rectangular frame, all of their sofas and sectionals are made from good quality materials at a reasonable price.
Floyd markets its furniture as “Made to Last” and credits the rise of cheap furniture as a call to produce quality goods. The Sofa, which is its model name, withstands rigorous use thanks to a steel frame and birch plywood.
There aren’t many options on the site, and the pricing reflects the combination of luxury and durability. Keeping an eye on the FloorFound section of their online can net some great discounts on refurbished furniture, though.
APT2B has a staggeringly large collection of furniture models with over 70 varieties of sofas available for home delivery. The quality and pricing start in the mid-tier before escalating into the luxury realm on larger models. Even the sofa beds have four-figure price tags, but financing options are available through the company.
10. Albany Park
Source: Albany Park
Albany Park embraces the concept of keeping things simple. When you go to the site, you start by selecting one of the core designs: Albany, Park or Kova. Then, you get a list of all their upholstery using that design.
Having the pillow density listed on the style page and free shipping make shopping for an Albany Park sofa even easier. The cheapest models start at the low end of luxury pricing, but the company does provide free shipping.
11. Inside Weather
Source: Inside Weather
Inside Weather’s customizable sofas offer one of the most versatile sofa shopping experiences, short of ordering hand-made furniture. In the customization menu, you can change the sofa’s arm style, upholstery, cushion shape, pillow detail, leg style and general configuration.
The optional memory foam blend cushions add even more comfort and customization. With high quality and customizability, the sofas from Inside Weather are understandably priced at luxury levels.
12. Home Reserve
Source: Home Reserve
Home Reserve deftly aims its furniture at families that have a lived-in living room. While not the cheapest sofas, they’re still affordably priced. More importantly, the fabrics used are all machine washable, and a slight upcharge adds stain resistance to protect against rambunctious puppies or kids spilling a never-ending variety of substances on the couch.
13. Oliver Space
Source: Oliver Space
In addition to a decent selection of furniture, Oliver Park takes back old furniture and refurbishes it for resale. Opting for one of the refurbished models can cut the price by a significant amount.
A short return period adds a bit more risk, but the Oliver Flex plan lets you rent-to-own while swapping out furniture over time — and it even includes delivery and assembly. Between the discounts and rental plan, Oliver Space makes it easy to decorate all of your space.
Sabai features recycled and upcycled products to reduce waste while still delivering a luxury sitting experience. They offer replacement parts for all of their furniture to keep it functional and out of landfills.
A buyback program called Sabai Revive partners with FloorFound and occasionally results in much cheaper refurbished options with a decent 30-day guarantee, but the total refurbished inventory is smaller than Oliver Space’s.
15. Old Hickory Tannery
Source: Old Hickory Tannery
For furniture pieces that would fit a manor or an executive office, Old Hickory Tannery displays truly inspired sofa designs. The sizable selection of double sofas with seating on two sides are perfect for a lobby or sitting room.
The variety of models and quality in the construction results in prices that rocket well into five figures on the larger sectionals like the Brazos.
There are thousands of more sofa and couch options at:
Best Type of Sofa for Various Uses
Sunroom – Cotton Polyester Sofa
A sunroom is a perfect spot for solitary relaxation, so comfort is the essential factor even when choosing furniture. However, you also need to be careful with the material, especially since some fabrics don’t do so well with direct exposure to the sun. Therefore, a cotton polyester sofa would be your best bet. Polyester is engineered in such a way that it can resist fading in the sun.
Combining cotton with polyester improves your sofa’s durability and makes it more wrinkle-resistant. It would help if you also considered the humidity levels of your sunroom. If you don’t have climate control, consider using a dehumidifier to protect the upholstery from mold and mildew.
Sofa Bed – Futon
The first sleeper sofa can be traced to Japan. However, this type of sofa has been quite popular in western culture for several decades. Unlike a sleeper bed, the mattress for a futon serves as both the seat cushion and the mattress. They are incredibly popular with young adults who have embraced the van lifestyle.
You might be wondering if you can sleep on a futon every night. There is no evidence suggesting regular sleeping on a futon is detrimental to your health. Furthermore, you can always add another layer of cushioning if you like.
Pet Hair – Leather Sofa
As a loving pet owner, you know that your sofa bears the brunt of your furry friend. Although you can train your pet not to jump on or scratch the sofa, there is not much you can do about the hair — except buy a good sofa. A leather sofa would be the best investment.
You can easily wipe the hair right off the couch. It’s also a good idea if someone in the family suffers from allergies since it’s hypoallergenic. It is also relatively easy to get stains off the leather. Besides, leather furniture gives your home a sleek appearance.
Everyday Use – Pocket Spring Sofa
A typical sofa lasts anywhere between seven and 15 years. With such a lifespan, you want your everyday-use sofa to be practical and appealing to you. A pocket spring sofa would easily pass for the best everyday-use sofa. Such sofas feature high-quality springs — the fabric acts as pockets for the springs.
Another propelling reason to get a pocket spring sofa for everyday use is that they tend to maintain its shape and support better than most other types. It is also a good choice for partners with varying weights since the pocket springs are free.
Narrow Room/ Small Space – Thin, Low-Arm Sofa
When you have a narrow or generally small space, you should strive to reduce the bulkiness of the furniture as much as possible. That doesn’t mean giving up arms on your sofa altogether. However, it would help if you go with a thin, low-arm sofa. That way, the eyes will glide right past. You might also consider getting a low-back sofa, so it doesn’t dominate the room.
Office – Velvet Armchair Sofa
A sofa is an essential requirement for any office. Sofas serve different purposes, such as the waiting area, the reception, and inside the main office. Therefore, the sofa you choose depends on the intended purpose. However, you can never go wrong with velvet armchair sofas.
There is something about velvet upholstery that you can’t possibly resist. Velvet is so luxurious — a good message for any business to send. Besides, velvet has so much creative versatility. You can choose a theme that aligns with the rest of your office décor.
Back Support (Posture) – Recliner Sofa
So many people across America have posture problems — which poses serious health risks. Some problems linked with poor posture include incontinence, constipation and heartburn. Among the things, you can do to get better back support is invest in a good sofa.
The answer? A recliner sofa. Here, you can lean back when you want to relax without putting additional stress on your back. Some recliner sofas even have extra storage compartments so you can store books and snacks.
Outdoors (Patio) – Synthetic Resin Sofa
Choosing outdoor furniture is not the easiest job in the world — the most significant challenge being environmental factors. Will there be too much direct sunlight during the summer? Or do you experience heavy rains each year? To be safe, go with an engineered fabric with aluminum or steel frames, such as synthetic resins.
You can be rest assured that the synthetic resin sofa won’t absorb any water come the rainy season. Neither will it damage in direct sunlight. Most importantly, a synthetic resin sofa requires minimal care — you can easily clean it by hosing it off with your garden hose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to common questions about sofas.
Are Sofas a Standard Size? If so, What are the Dimensions (Length, Depth and Height)?
Sofas are available in a broad range of sizes. Most sofas will have a standard length of somewhere between six and eight feet. The standard depth is 28 to 30 inches from the back of the sofa to the front of the arm.
The seat-height usually measures 15 to 20 inches. As far as the height of the back of the sofa, you’ll find that its height matches the other furniture in the room for overall uniformity, typically ranging from 30 to 36 inches.
The seat depth and the height are the most important aspects to consider, both for their comfort and ease-of-use. Lower seat heights and shorter depths will be more comfortable for smaller people. And taller seat heights with more depth would work better for taller people.
Are Sofas and Couches the Same?
We tend to use both terms when we are referring to couches and sofas. But historically speaking, there is a little difference between the two.
The word “couch” stems from the French word, “coucher,” which translates to “lie down.” The term, “sofa,” is an Arabic derivative of the word, “suffah,” which describes a wood bench with some type of cushioning.
Early couches were smaller than sofas, and were usually without arms. Couches were also a little smaller in size than sofas, in all dimensions. Now, sofa tends to refer to a comfortable seating area with soft arms that’s large enough for a few people to sit on. And couches would refer to more casual seating.
Can Sofas Get Bed Bugs?
Unfortunately, their living habitat is not exclusive to bedding and mattresses. Your sofa also has the perfect living conditions that they need to survive. All they need is warmth, carbon dioxide, and something to eat, which is your blood.
Bed bug infestations on sofas can go unnoticed for a short time, making it difficult to figure out how they got there in the first place. They can actually live for a few months without feeding and may take their time getting comfortable before they strike. But once they start biting, you’ll notice the red spots on your skin and will see red blood stains on your clothing and your sofa.
They are also very difficult to get rid of. Repeatedly cleaning and vacuuming is the best approach to try to get rid of them. You can also use the services of a professional exterminator. Regrettably though, because of the different layers that a sofa has, eradicating them isn’t always possible.
What Materials are Sofas Made From?
The frame is usually made out of wood, although steel, plastic, and other manufactured boards can be used. Its padding can be as supple as down or feathers or made out of a durable foam material. It can also be padded with a combination of any of the three.
Sofa coverings are available in a huge variety of styles, textures and colors. Leather, faux leather and corduroy are commonly used on sofas. Natural fabrics like cotton or linen are also popular. And synthetic materials like microfiber and nylon are often seen.
How are Sofas Measured?
Sofas are measured for a few different reasons. Will it fit through the doorways leading into the room? Will it be the right size for the room? And will it be comfortable? There are a few different ways to measure it.
The length or width of the sofa could be measured arm to arm, at whichever point they are the farthest from each other. Sometimes the arms will fan out. Then, you would want to measure from the front ends of the arms.
It’s best to measure the height of the back with and without the legs, if they are removable. The measurement with the legs will give you a good idea of you much space it will take up in the room. The measurement without the legs will let you know how much space you have to get it through openings. And if the back of the sofa is not a flat, even surface, always measure it at its highest point.
The seating height would be the distance from the floor to the top of the seat cushions.
The depth is best measured from the side of the sofa. It would be a horizontal measurement from the back of the sofa to the most-forward protruding part on the front which is usually the arms, but can be the seat if it is curved outwards.
You’d want to get a diagonal measurement of the depth of the sofa in case it needs to be turned sideways to get it through a doorway. To get its diagonal depth, using one side of the sofa, measure the diagonal length between the bottom, back corner and the top, front edge.
Can Sofa Cushions be Washed?
Some sofa cushions have zippers, allowing the covers to be removed for washing. They should be washed on a gentle cycle and air-dried to prevent them from shrinking.
For sofas where the cushions either don’t have zippers or aren’t removable, and for the arms, back, and sides, they can be cleaned with soap and water. You wouldn’t want to soak the fabric. But you could use a little elbow grease and give everything a good scrub, rinsing well and air drying.
Can Sofas be Dyed?
Just about all sofa-covering materials can be dyed, including leather. It’s a great way to get a little more life out of a good piece of furniture that is showing some wear. There are plenty of DIY tutorials that you can find to walk you through the process. And you can always find a local professional to dye a sofa.
Can Sofas be Recycled?
While the entire sofa is not recyclable, many different parts of it are. If you have recycling picked up at your home, check with the company that handles it and see if they are able to pick up and recycle sofas. Or you can call other recycling centers in your area to see if they have options.
You could also take the old sofa apart yourself and recycle the parts that are reusable. Any untreated wood can be recycled, as well as most of the metal parts inside of the frame. Cushions and padding will most likely need to be sent to the landfill.
Can Sofas be Refurbished or Reupholstered?
Sofas can almost always be reupholstered as long as the frame is in good shape. You’ll want to find someone with experience dealing with both the type of sofa that you have and the upholstery that you are looking for.
Refurbishing a sofa really depends on what kind of repairs it needs. Minor repairs, even to damaged frames, can sometimes be successful. But sometimes the damage is too severe for refurbishing.
Can Used Sofas be Sold?
Used sofas can be sold, sometimes even if they aren’t in the best condition. Most used furniture buyers will be looking for pieces that have been taken care of and look like new. But if someone is looking for an inexpensive sofa to use for a short period of time, it might not matter how pretty it is as long as it’s sturdy.
Can Sofa Cushions be Replaced?
Cushions that are sagging, crooked or ruined because of repeated accidents or simply from wear and tear can be replaced. If you do a quick search, you’ll find several resources where you can order both pre-made and custom-sized replacements that are available in various materials. Or, with a little finesse, finding and cutting them to size on your own could be a great DIY project.
Can Sofa Cushions be Restuffed?
Any of the materials that are used to fill sofa cushions can be replaced. Feathers, down, and even synthetic products can be easily found and used if older sofa cushions need a little more padding.
Can Sofa Cushions be Dry Cleaned?
Some sofas will actually have labels instructing you to only dry-clean them. If that’s the case, it’s always advisable to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Trying to clean them by washing them or getting them overly wet could cause them to fail altogether, either shrinking or pulling apart at the seams.
Professional upholstery cleaners can clean your sofa for a nominal cost. There are also a few different methods that you can research on how to clean them safely yourself.
How long do sofas last?
A sofa usually can last between seven to 15 years. However, it depends on how you care for it and the type of fabric it is. A survey done by ROWE found that the average American’s sofa lasts for six years. This could be that sofas aren’t being made to last longer or people are changing out their sofas earlier.
How much does a sofa weigh?
On average, a sofa’s weight is between 54 and 240 pounds, depending on style, size, extra features and material. For example, a loveseat could weigh as little as 54 pounds while a sectional could go up to 240 pounds.
Where can I donate a sofa?
You can donate your sofa to Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Salvation Army, AmVets National Foundation, or any thrift store in your area. You could also personally donate to a local church or to a family in need.
How are sofas made?
Sofas are made from wood and upholstery. Usually, the frame is wood, but laminated board, plastic, or steel are also great options. The arms, back, and legs of the sofa are made from maple wood.
Primarily, the padding is made from horsehair. However, for mass-produced sofas, the ideal options are polyester fiberfill wrap and foam. The cushions are made from latex, polyurethane foam, cotton, or polyester fiber.
Tempered steel is used to incorporate the springs. A standard sofa uses 15 yards of burlap as well as 10 yards of muslin to construct the interior. About 1,000 tacks, hundreds of yards of sewing thread, and more than 200 yards of twine are used to fasten the materials together.
Can you dye a sofa?
Yes, you can. However, it depends on the material. For example, it would be more challenging to dye a leather sofa, but you can spray paint your fabric sofa as long the paint matches the original color.
My first sofa purchase
I’ll end this post with another brief anecdote. When I landed my first job after university, I decided to buy my first couch. I knew nothing about furniture, but I did know I wanted a long sofa so I could fully stretch out.
I found a long red couch that was super comfortable. I liked red because it would brighten up my place. The day it was delivered, I was excited. My dad and I hoisted it up and carried it to my new apartment. Lo and behold, that behemoth of a sofa didn’t fit in the stairwell. No matter how we maneuvered it, there was no getting that couch into my apartment.
That wasn’t cool. I had to return it and decided to get a sectional because it was in pieces and was a long couch. While the sectional has served me and my wife well, I still would have preferred that red couch.
Related: What Color Sofas Go with Dark Walls?