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Couches are often used as the focal point of indoor living spaces, as they give you somewhere to sit, lounge, and socialize. They also come in a wide range of options, which means "buying a sofa is almost like buying a mattress," explains Jessie Neuman of Numi Interior Design.
With that in mind, we tested and evaluated products on their construction, upholstery options, aesthetic, special features, and overall value. Our top pick, the Burrow Nomad Sofa, can be customized in numerous ways, allowing you to select your preferred fabric, arm style, leg finish, and even cushion design, and its stain-resistant fabric offers easy care.
Here are the best couches to complete your living space.
Best Overall: Burrow Nomad Sofa
Several customization options
Built-in USB charger
Easy to assemble
Limited upholstery colors
Who else recommends it? Insider, Gear Patrol, and Good Housekeeping all picked the Burrow Nomad Sofa.
What do buyers say? 1,100+ Burrow reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
If you’re looking for a well-made sofa that you can easily customize to fit your home, the Burrow Nomad Sofa is the way to go. It comes in five different stain-resistant upholstery colors, and you can personalize a variety of other features, including the leg finish, arm shape, and cushion style. You can also add on a moveable chaise, matching ottoman, or lumbar pillows to complete the setup.
This sofa has a sturdy birch frame and triple-layer foam and fiber cushions that deliver a plush yet supportive feel. It has a USB charger integrated into one of the arms—one of our tester’s favorite features—and thanks to its modular design, you can expand or shorten the sofa if needed.
Burrow makes its furniture in America, and the brand uses sustainably sourced wood and fabric from upcycled materials. It ships to your door in compact, easy-to-lift boxes, though you must assemble the sofa yourself. However, the good news is that it doesn’t require any tools thanks to the brand’s unique latching system. (It also comes apart just as easily in case you need to move it somewhere else.)
Best Budget: Winston Porter Bennith Round Arm Loveseat
Easy to assemble
Only one color available
The Winston Porter Bennith Loveseat is a classic and budget-friendly option that’s ideal for smaller spaces. The two-person sofa has rolled arms with nailhead accents, and it comes in a dark grey microfiber upholstery that’s easy to clean. The whole sofa is just under 58 inches long—less than 5 feet—allowing you to tuck it into smaller rooms, but chances are you won’t be able to comfortably sprawl out or sleep on it.
The frame is solid wood with dark brown plastic legs, and its cushions are filled with high-density foam. You have to put the furniture together upon delivery, but it’s an easy task, even for one person, thanks to the pre-installed brackets, which simply slide together. The sofa has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds, and you really can’t beat the value considering the stylish and comfortable design.
Best Leather: Pottery Barn Turner Square Arm Leather Sofa
Multiple sizes available
Dozens of leather colors
Comfortable down-blend cushions
Long lead time for select materials
Leather furniture is prized for its high-end appearance and easy-to-clean fabric, and the Pottery Barn Turner Leather Sofa is a well-made piece that could be in your family for years to come. This leather sofa has a modern yet timeless design with square arms and block legs, and there are four sizes to choose from, ranging from 64.5 to 103.5 inches wide. Plus, there are several dozen top-grain leather colors, allowing you to find the perfect match for your decor.
This high-end sofa has deep seats that are ideal for curling up in, and its down-blend cushions offer cloud-like comfort at the end of a long day. It has a kiln-dried hardwood frame for extreme durability, and the adjustable levelers on the legs prevent it from wobbling on uneven floors. The high-quality leather used on these sofas will develop a burnished patina over time, but keep in mind that certain leather finishes are made-to-order and take longer for delivery—sometimes 17 weeks or more.
Best Velvet: West Elm Harmony Sofa
Multiple sizes and seat depths
Wide range of upholstery options
Extra plush cushions
Includes several throw pillows
Fabric colors poorly depicted online
Potentially long delivery wait time
The West Elm Harmony Sofa has a sleek modern silhouette, and it comes in a wide selection of upholstery fabrics, including 48 different colors of soft velvet. It comes in four sizes ranging from 76 to 104 inches wide, and you also have your choice of three seat depths: 36, 41, or 47 inches. For additional comfort, the Harmony Sofa includes four throw pillows.
The Harmony Sofa is plush and cozy thanks to its fiber and feather cushions, but the kiln-dried hardwood frame provides durability. The cushions are all reversible with zip-off covers, and this sofa is spacious enough for napping, especially if you opt for deeper seats. However, based on our testing, we recommend getting fabric swatches from West Elm before committing to upholstery, as some of the colors aren’t entirely accurate to their product photos.
Best Slipcovered: Sixpenny Neva Sofa
Casual chic appearance
Natural upholstery options
Two cushion fill options
Long lead time for made-to-order pieces
Natural fabrics may require dry cleaning
If you love the casual look of slipcovered couches, the Neva Sofa is luxurious yet comfortable. It comes in 72- or 84-inch lengths and the design features narrow armrests and a single bench cushion. The loose slipcover comes in a variety of natural fabrics, including cotton canvas, linen, and velvet, and it has oversized French seams along the edges for added flair. Several upholstery options are ready to ship and will arrive in just a few weeks, but if you want a made-to-order piece, the production time could be between 14 to 16 weeks.
In addition to its chic aesthetic, the Neva Sofa is exceptionally well-made. It has a kiln-dried hardwood frame with both webbing and sinuous spring suspension, and you can choose from feather down or poly fill cushions, both of which have high-density foam in the middle for support. The sofa qualifies for free home delivery and comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Best Traditional: Sand & Sable Warrington Rolled Arm Sofa
Dozens of upholstery options
Made in America
Long lead time for made-to-order pieces
Back cushions aren't removable
The Sand & Sable Warrington Sofa has a classic design. With rolled arms and a straight back, it will fit in with just about any decor style, and you can simply adjust its styling to accommodate your home’s ever-changing aesthetic. The sofa is available in more than 50 fabric options, including cotton, polyester, and Sunbrella performance fabrics, and the design is crafted right here in America. Certain upholstery options are ready to ship in a month or two, but other specialty options can take 12 to 14 weeks to make.
A laminated kiln-dried hardwood frame supports the Warrington Sofa, and it has foam cushions you can remove for easy cleaning. It comes with two complementary throw pillows for styling, and despite being made-to-order, this sofa is more affordable than other options, making it a well-priced piece for your home.
Best Modular: Article Beta Modular Sofa
Modern yet versatile appearance
Comfortable deep seats
Dry clean only
If you want a sofa you can expand as your household grows, the Article Beta Sofa has a convenient modular design. The low-profile couch comes with three modular sections, and you can buy additional modules to extend it if needed. You can even add on matching ottomans and chaises. The cotton-linen blend cover comes in two neutral colors, and the contemporary style has a minimalistic silhouette that offers elegance to the living room.
The Beta Sofa has extremely deep seats covered with cushy fiber-and-feather cushions, making it ideal for curling up and relaxing. Both the seat and back pillows are loose and reversible, and you can remove the covers for cleaning as needed. However, the brand recommends having the fabric dry cleaned, so it may not be the most practical option for those with children or pets.
Best Sleeper: Lark Manor Rasberry Rolled Arm Sofa Bed
Good selection of leather colors
Firm but comfortable seat cushions
Supportive queen-sized mattress
350-pound maximum limit for bed
For a comfortable sofa that doubles as a sleeping spot for out-of-town guests, you can’t go wrong with the Lark Manor Rasberry Sofa Bed. It has a traditional silhouette with rolled arms and three seat cushions, and it’s finished in genuine leather that's available in more than a dozen colors. Plus, when you need an extra bed, the sofa pulls out into a queen-size innerspring mattress, which our tester described as comfortable and supportive. However, our tester noted that the 350-pound weight limit for the bed could cause your guests to feel the structure of the frame. (You can always add a mattress topper to give it a more plush feel.)
Because it houses a mattress, this sofa is heavier than many similarly sized options, and you’ll likely need two people to move it. Our tester liked that the back is covered with leather, allowing it to be styled in the middle of the room if needed, and it has a seated weight capacity of 750 pounds, which should be more than enough to comfortably seat two adults. Certain leather finishes may take a month or two to ship to your home, but overall, it’s a well-priced, versatile sofa that could make a useful addition to your living space.
Best for Small Spaces: Apt2B Westley Loveseat
Welded steel frame
High-density foam cushions
Limited color options
Fixed back and seat cushions
The Apt2B Westley Loveseat is just 66 inches long, making it a compact yet comfortable option for small spaces. Whether you're putting it in a tight living room or a home office, this little loveseat offers comfortable all-around cushions filled with supportive high-density foam. The sofa is available in two neutral shades of grey that are versatile for many design schemes.
A welded steel frame supports the loveseat, and the exposed metal base offers a contemporary feel to the design, while its polyester upholstery is hypoallergenic and easy to clean. Though the back and seat cushions are attached and aren't unadjustable, this fixed positioning prevents them from slipping and sliding all over the place as you shift around. Apt2B also offers free entryway delivery for the sofa, and it also has a 100-day return window, which is significantly longer than many other brands.
Best Sectional: Albany Park Park Sectional Sofa
Wide range of upholstery options
Left- or right-facing chaise
Multiple leg finishes
This sleek and sophisticated Albany Park Sectional Sofa could make an elegant addition to any living space. It has a two-piece chaise design, and you’re able to choose between a left- or right-hand configuration. This sectional comes with eight different upholstery options in a wide range of colors, including a distressed vegan leather, several bold velvets, and even a textured boucle for a trendy appearance. You also get to choose between gold or black metal legs.
The cushions on the Park Sectional Sofa are made from high-resiliency foam wrapped in feathers, offering both comfort and support, and it has a sturdy kiln-dried hardwood frame. The sofa ships quickly in easy-to-move boxes, making it easy to carry up stairs or through doorways, but you will need to assemble all the pieces yourself. The brand also backs its products with a lifetime warranty. While you can return the sofa within 30 days if you’re not satisfied, there is a 10 percent return fee.
Best Reclining: Raymour & Flannigan Stanton Chenille Wallaway Reclining Sofa
Soft chenille upholstery
Can be placed against wall
Two recline positions
Can’t be returned
Limited color options
You can kick up your feet—literally—in the cozy Raymour & Flannigan Stanton Wallaway Reclining Sofa. It seats up to three people, and the two end seats have two-position manual recliners that allow you to lean back and relax. Plus, unlike many recliners that bump into objects behind them, this sofa has a wall-hugging design that only needs 4 inches of clearance to lean back.
This reclining sofa is available in three colors, including a soft chenille. It has classic rolled arms and edge piping for a defined appearance, and it even comes with two throw pillows for styling. Pull-cups on either end allow you to engage the recliner, and the hardwood frame can support up to 250 pounds in each seat. Just be sure you really love this sofa before you buy it, as you can't return it.
If you're looking for a couch that's stylish, comfortable, and versatile, go with the Burrow Nomad Sofa. It has a unique modular design and allows you to customize its fabric, legs, armrest shape, and more. For those on a budget, the Winston Porter Bennith Round Arm Loveseat is compact and inexpensive, yet it only comes in one color.
What to Look For in a Couch
Before you start shopping, it’s important to measure the space where you want your couch to go. There’s nothing more frustrating than falling in love with a piece of furniture, only to discover it won’t fit in the room.
"Size really matters when it comes to buying a sofa, something too big or too small for your room can really affect the flow of your space," says Neuman. "It should fill the room nicely and feel inviting, but it should never feel like it's overwhelming your space. I like to always do the blue tape test. Buy yourself some blue painter's tape at any hardware store and tape out the dimensions of the sofa on the floor so you get a good idea of how it will feel in the space."
Also, be sure to measure the doorways and any stairs leading to the room. You’ll want to make sure there’s clearance to fit every piece of the couch into the room.
There are a few common types of couches and sofas that you’ll encounter when shopping. We’ll go into more details about each kind below, but here are the basics you should know.
First, there are standard sofas, which are one straight line and typically between 72- and 84-inches long. These can generally seat three or four people, and they come in a wide range of styles, materials, and price points. Similarly, you’ll find loveseats, which are essentially small couches, measuring 48- to 72-inches long. Loveseats can comfortably seat two people—hence their name—and are a great solution for smaller spaces. Some people like to have a matching sofa and loveseat for a cohesive look in their living room.
Today, sectionals are an incredibly popular style of couch. These modular couches are made up of more than one piece, and they’re commonly L- or U-shaped. Sectionals provide more seating, making them a good solution for large families or big rooms.
There are also sleeper sofas, which transform into a temporary bed, as well as reclining sofas. Your style options may be more limited if you choose one of these specialty couches, but there are still an impressive range of options available at numerous price points.
One of the most challenging parts of buying a couch can be finding a style you like. There are hundreds of styles available today, but here's a rundown of the most popular styles you may want to consider.
- Mid-century: features clean lines, simple legs, and a low profile
- Chesterfield: features rolled arms, tufted back, and often made of leather
- Lawson: features a boxy shape and detached cushions, and prioritizes comfort
- Bridgewater (also called English roll arm): has low arms that lean outward and is very cushy
- Tuxedo: features a boxy shape and its arms are the same height as its back
- Contemporary: modern, unique, and often unconventional
- Camelback: features a curved back with a “hump” in the middle, as well as high arms
- Scandinavian: popularized by IKEA, has clean lines and is minimalistic
- Settee: a specialty loveseat with a high back and shallow depth
- Chaise: an asymmetrical design with just one arm
These are some of the most common couch and sofa styles, but there are many variations of each. As you shop, you’ll want to take note of which features you like and which styles will look best with your existing decor.
What your couch is made from will not only dictate its appearance, but its durability, ease of cleaning, and more. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the frame material, as a sturdy frame will ensure your sofa lasts for years. Avoid materials like particleboard and plastic, which can warp or break easily. Pine is a low-cost option for frames, but it won’t last as long as a hardwood such as oak, ash, or beech. To test the frame of a sofa, lift one corner up 6 inches off the ground—the other leg should lift up, as well. If it doesn’t, the frame is likely too flexible and prone to warping or breaking.
You’ll also want to consider the filling of a sofa’s cushions. Perhaps the most comfortable, long-lasting option is high-resilient foam, but this can be quite expensive. Polyurethane foam is a popular option thanks to its low cost and ease of care, but you’ll want to make sure it’s a higher density; otherwise, it may deteriorate over time. Polyester fiber is another inexpensive option, but it flattens quickly, so only choose this option if you're looking for a short-term furniture solution. There’s also high-end goose down fill, which is incredibly comfortable, but extremely expensive and requires a lot of maintenance.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the upholstery material, and be sure to weigh both appearance and functionality. If your couch will be getting a lot of use, you’ll need a tough, durable fabric to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are some of the most popular fabric options and their benefits:
- Leather: durable and easy to clean, but expensive and can fade over time
- Faux leather: durable and easy to clean, but not as long-lasting as real leather
- Cotton: soft and somewhat durable, but stains and wrinkles easily
- Linen: beautiful and upscale, but hard to care for and soils easily
- Microfiber/polyester: soft, durable, easy to clean, and inexpensive
- Chenille: soft and luxe, but hard to clean
- Velvet: soft and stylish, but also trendy
Another key consideration when purchasing a sofa is whether it’s comfortable! It’s hard to gauge whether a couch will be comfortable if you’re buying online, so if you’re able to see the piece in person, you should always do so.
"Depending on how much you will be using it, its comfort is both important and subjective to each person," says Neuman. "Some clients love the loose fluffy feeling of down feathers on a sofa, while others prefer for the structure of foam fill. "
When testing a couch for comfort, you should sit and lie down on it. Evaluate whether it’s supportive enough for your needs and easy to get up. You’ll also want to see if your feet can touch the floor when you’re sitting upright—if not, you may want to look for a sofa that has a shorter depth.
You can find couches with several special features. For example, some models have either manual or automatic recliners built into the sofa. You can also find couches with built-in drink holders, USB ports, hidden consoles, and more.
As mentioned above, you’ll want to consider how much maintenance you’re willing to put into keeping your sofa looking nice. Certain materials are easy to care for, while others require professional cleaning. This is an especially important consideration if you have pets, kids, or both.
If you want a low-maintenance sofa, look into leather, faux leather, or polyester options. Most of these models resist spills and stains and can simply be wiped down to clean. There are also treated cotton fabrics that resist stains. If you have pets, you’ll want to ensure whatever fabric you choose won’t get caught on their nails and is easy to vacuum.
What is the difference between a couch and a sofa?
"There really isn't one—the terms are used interchangeably," explains Neuman. "Historically, there was a difference in the furniture's arms, but today they mean the same thing." If anything, some people use the term couch to refer to more casual pieces designed for comfort, which sofas are more formal and stylish.
How do you clean a leather couch?
For regular cleaning, you can vacuum loose dirt and crumbs and wipe the leather down with a damp cloth and mild hand soap (test in a small area first). Then buff it with a dry cloth—no need to rinse the soap, it acts as a conditioner to the leather. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to get out grease stains and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before brushing away with a soft-bristle brush. For more specific spot cleaning techniques, check out our guide to cleaning leather furniture.
How do you clean an upholstered couch?
Check the label of your upholstered couch: “W” means you can use a water-based cleaner, “S” designates a solvent-based cleaner is safe, “WS” means you can use either, and an “X” means it should be professionally cleaned. To clean with soap and water, combine a half teaspoon of clear dish soap with warm water and gently spread over the fabric without soaking, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth. For more specific spot treatments of upholstery, check out our guide to washing upholstery fabric.
There are several types of couches and sofas you’ll encounter as you shop, each of which has its own pros and cons.
As mentioned above, standard sofas are typically between 72- and 84-inches long and can fit three or four people. Beyond these measurements, standard sofas can vary significantly in their depth, style, and cost. You can find a budget sofa for as little as $200 or opt for a custom option that may run $4,000 or more.
As their name implies, sectionals are typically made up of two or more sections, and the most common configurations are L- and U-shaped. Depending on the size sectional you choose, you’ll be able to sit four or more people on the sofa at a time.
L-shaped sections can be right-arm- or left-arm-facing, and this refers to which direction the “L” is meant to face. If you’re planning to purchase an L-shaped sectional, make sure to figure out which side the arm needs to be on before you shop. U-shaped sectionals offer even more seating, and they’re a good option for large rooms. Many people place an ottoman or coffee table in the middle of the U, so you may want to take note of how much space is in the center of the configuration if you already have a table to use.
When shopping for a sectional, make sure the various pieces can be firmly connected. Fabric strips typically aren’t strong enough to hold pieces of a sectional together and may tear over time, leading to awkward gaps between the sitting areas.
Sectionals are typically more expensive than standard sofas. Low-end sectionals start around $400 and range up into the thousands for oversized, luxurious models.
Loveseats are smaller sofas designed to seat just two people. Loveseats are generally between 48- and 72-inches long, making them a popular option for apartments and other small spaces. If you’re looking for a fancier loveseat, you may want to consider a settee, which features a high back and shallow—designed more for aesthetics than comfort.
You can purchase loveseats individually, and they typically start at around $150. However, you'll also come across living room sets that include a matching sofa and loveseat.
Sleeper sofas, also called pull-out sofas, look like standard couches, but they contain a hidden mattress that folds out, transforming the sofa into a temporary bed. While not the most comfortable surface to sleep on, pull-out sofas are a great option if you frequently have houseguests and don’t have space for a guest bedroom.
When purchasing a sleeper sofa, you’ll want to consider how comfortable the unit is both as a sofa and as a bed. It’s also important to choose the proper size for your space, and if possible, test how easy it is to pull out and pack up the mattress. You can find twin-sized sleeper sofas for around $400, while larger options are more expensive.
Similar to reclining chairs, reclining sofas will simultaneously lower you backward and support your feet with a footrest, putting you in a reclined position. Many people find reclining sofas to be more comfortable for watching movies and even sleeping.
Typically, reclining sofas just have one or two seats that can recline, and they’re either manual, meaning you have to pull a lever, or power reclining, meaning it uses electricity to adjust the seat. Power reclining sofas must be plugged into an outlet to work, so keep this in mind as you lay out your decor.
Budget reclining sofas start at around $400, but a high-end model can cost well over $1,000.
Futons are a type of specialty sofa that, frankly, are hard to explain if you’ve never seen one. They look more like a bench than a sofa, as most models don’t have armrests, and they can be folded out into a sleeping surface.
Futons are typically less expensive—and therefore less comfortable—than sleeper sofas, and they’re a popular option for college dorms, small apartments, and anyone on a budget. You can find a small futon for as little as $50, and even high-end products won’t cost more than $400 or so.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer who’s an expert on all things home. She’s taken several courses on interior design and furniture, and she has firsthand experience testing sofas, including the West Elm Harmony Sofa. While researching couches for this list, she considered each product size, style, material, and comfort, as well as additional features and any customization options.
For more insights on how to find the right couch for your space, she spoke with interior designer Jessie Neuman of Numi Interior Design, who explained her process for selecting couches for clients.