How to Choose the Right Sofa, Couch or Loveseat for Any Room
Buying a sofa is a big deal. A sofa is usually the biggest piece of furniture in the room and where you spend a big chunk of your time in the living room. As you browse our selection, think about how you plan to use the sofa and what works best in your home.
What's the difference between a sofa, a loveseat, and a sleeper sofa?
The difference between a sofa and a loveseat is the size. A standard three-seat living room sofa is 84 inches long and usually has three cushions to seat three or four people. A standard loveseat is 60 inches long and has two cushions, so it usually sits two people. The term sleeper sofa, or sometimes called pull out couch, refers to a specific type of sofa or loveseat that has a mattress folded inside the piece of furniture and can be converted into bed.
If you have a large family, a sofa can provide enough seating for everyone to relax. However, a loveseat can also be a great addition to your living room. It increases the seating without requiring you to add another larger sofa, which can help your furniture arrangement feel more in proportion. Loveseats are also great alternatives to sofas in smaller rooms where you don't have the space for something bulky. If you're looking for a convenient way to add sleeping space for guests who come over often, a sleeper sofa or loveseat helps you create a cozy spot for them to spend the night.
Related: Learn more about our top rated sofa beds.
How can I tell the quality of a sofa?
It's easy to get sidetracked by styles and colors. If you're looking for quality, though, you have to check the frame. Most sofas or couches have a wood frame, and those made from hard wood are more durable than pieces made from particle board. The best sofas have dowels and corner blocks supporting the joints so they withstand the pressure of daily use.
What features are best to have in a sofa?
Sofas, couches and loveseats have a variety of features designed to maximize your comfort. The way you use your living room sofa will help you decide which features are best for you.
- Arms: Sofa arm designs range from the gentle slope of an English roll arm to sleek, straight arms. If you like stretching out for a nap, look for arms with a low profile and some extra padding that double as a pillow. Tall sofa arms provide extra support on the ends and let you curl up in the corner of the sofa while watching a movie.
- Back: To add a touch of drama to the room, consider a camelback sofa with a curved back, or opt for the sleek, straight lines of a Lawson sofa for a more contemporary look. Traditional sofa backs are stationary, but couches with reclining backs are gaining popularity because they provide extra space for families to fully lounge.
Related: Discover more sofa designs with this sofas style guide.
- Cushions: Sofa cushions should be comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. Cushions made from high density foam tend to provide firmer support than those made from lower density foam. Individual cushions are easier to remove for cleaning.
- Upholstery: Choose upholstery that feels and looks good but is easy to clean. Floral print sofas and other patterns can disguise stains better than solid colors in busy households with pets or kids. However, solid colors like beige and gray are more versatile when decorating and allow you to add a pop of color with throw pillows. Leather and faux leather sofas and loveseats are easy to wipe clean, but fabrics like cotton and microfiber can feel softer against your skin when your taking an afternoon nap!
Extra Advice: How to Clean a Sofa
Your sofa, couch or loveseat may be a big purchase, but the right one makes a statement in the room and keeps you comfortable. Consider the number of people you typically plan to seat in the space and think about the stylistic features you prefer as you begin your shopping journey.
More: Find extra information to help you choose the perfect sofa with our Sofa Buying Guide.