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Buying furniture is a tough decision—but buying a couch may be the hardest decision of all! In addition to choosing a couch for looks and size, you want to know that it will be comfortable and durable enough for daily use (by yourself, the kids and pets) for years. And while the old model used to be to go to a showroom and sit on every couch, these days shopping online for a couch is just as common, and we rely on buyer reviews, responsive customer service and flexible return policies to feel comfortable making a sight-unseen purchase. If it is time to replace your couch, here are the places to buy a couch, in stores and online.
With literally thousands of sofa options from various manufacturers, including their own proprietary brands, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for on Wayfair. The site boasts a clean, easy-to-navigate interface with helpful filters to make sure you’re seeing all your options as quickly as possible. They have a very engaged reviewer community, which means you can often get quick and honest feedback on styles other people have bought and many reviewers even take pictures of the item in their home so you can get a better sense of what it looks like in the "real world".
Shipping is free, as are returns within 30 days and customer service receives high marks. If you’re in an area with limited access to furniture stores or are looking for a sofa for a small space, Wayfair makes it easy to find exactly what you want and get it to your doorstep.
With stores all over the U.S., Ashley Furniture offers a wide variety of sofas styles, from apartment-scaled sofas to big suburban sectionals, all at an affordable price. While you can’t shop online, buyers can pre-shop on its website to get a sense of pricing in their area (it can vary a little by retail location) and narrow their in-store search.
The retailer consistently gets high marks for good-value furniture and excellent customer service. In stores, you’ll find a traditional furniture store layout: Tons of inventory, grouped by style or category, and encouragement from the sales team to literally put your feet up and test out the product.
La-Z-Boy offers custom sofas at a ready-made price. The name is synonymous with its signature deep, comfortable recliners, but as much thought is put into making the sofas comfortable as the easy chairs. With stores all over the U.S., this mid-priced brand has styles that appeal to a traditional shopper, with both large-scale and apartment-sized sofas in its offerings. Dozens of silhouettes can be upholstered in a number of fabrics, including leather and stain-resistant materials, in a huge range of colors and patterns. The brand also gets consistently high marks for its actually-comfortable sleeper sofas, a tricky piece for many a guest room or small home.
For affordable sofas and couches within a unique range of styles, consider World Market. While some of the silhouettes are inspired by traditional styles and Mid-Century Modern trends, you’ll also find offbeat, globally-inspired items liked carved wood and creatively-tufted pieces. Most items are both in-store and online (with extra furniture options online), and with brick-and-mortar stores all over the United States, it’s easy to access a location.
Most styles are offered just a few colors, with some of their most popular sofas in a bigger range of fabrics. In-stock items ship right away and made-to-order items leave the warehouse within 1-2 weeks. For online orders, shipping is charged based on how much you spend, and a $50 surcharge may be added to larger purchases like upholstery. Reviewers find the furniture to be good value and frequently interact with the site to add their recommendations (or complaints) so you know just what you’re getting.
A newer brand on the furniture market (it was launched in 2014 under the name Bryght), this online-only company has developed a devoted customer base for its affordable, stylish sofas. A favorite of millennial shoppers, this retailer keeps its prices low by reducing the steps between making the sofa and getting it to your doorstep. Most of the styles are available in a limited number of colorways, and you’ll find various lengths of each style sofa to work for different-sized rooms. Each sofa has detailed descriptions and free swatches to feel comfortable buying online, with a generous return policy (return it for free within 30 days for a full refund, “no questions asked”) and shipping of only $49 for any piece on its site.
While IKEA has a reputation for being a source of starter furniture, many people hold onto those first pieces quite a bit longer than expected — and are just as likely turn to the brand as they start families, furnish larger homes or work with designers to create a budget-friendly mix in a bigger decorating project. This retailer has 40 plus stores in the United States and many all over the world and a growing online selection that ships flat for affordable delivery but prices vary by state and product.
While IKEA often introduces new silhouettes, its most popular frames are available year after year, and you can update an older version with a new slipcover to give your sofa a new look or place the fabric if it gets totally stained after a few years (the practice is so popular that there’s a whole company, Bemz, that only make slipcovers for IKEA sofas and chairs!). The only thing with IKEA: You assemble the furniture yourself.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
A favorite of interior designers, this furniture store offers a wide range of sofa shapes, from traditional to modern, sectionals, and feminine to sleep. Within each silhouette, you can typically choose the sofa length as well as between stocked upholstery choices, which ship within four weeks, and custom options, which can take up to an additional four weeks.
Their furniture is made in the U.S.A., and the company has more than 30 stand-alone storefronts and is stocked in many more interior design stores, in addition to having an assortment online. Buyers and designers commend the brand for good customer service. For online orders, shipping costs max out at $199 for upholstery.
Both in-store and online, Pottery Barn offers a broad but curated of updated classic sofa silhouettes. From comfy slipcovered styles to sturdy leather sofas, there are frames to suit every taste. The prices are in the middle/high-end, and each frame is customizable by size, material, cushion fill and other options.
The in-store experience is friendly and helpful, with a well-informed staff. Online, the descriptions are plentiful and curated shopping guides and inspirational images in their Tips & Ideas sections can help you figure out how to design your own space. For online orders, shipping is determined by how close you are to a warehouse but can get up to $399 for bigger-ticket items. But you can expect white-glove delivery service, which includes assembling any furniture inside your home and cleaning up the packaging afterward.
If mid-century vibes are your thing, a Burrow couch will probably suit your style. This direct-to-consumer brand offers variations on a basic, mid-century style couch, so while the overall design is the same across the entire brand, you can select different sizes, choose from a few colors, and even upgrade to leather.
Burrow couches come with some assembly required, but it also makes it easy to customize your couch with the arms and legs in the styles you prefer, or add a chaise to any selection. And since each seat comes unattached, you can put the chaise wherever you want when the couch arrives, and even move later on if you need to rearrange furniture or if you change your mind. Shipping is free on all orders, and Burrow has a 30-day return policy, but you'll want to keep your boxes to avoid a 20 percent fee.
If you like variety and want to make a design statement with your couch, take a look at Joybird. Another direct-to-consumer brand, Joybird has over 40 upholstery options and plenty of styles to choose from, mostly between $1,000 and $3,000 dollars each. The website makes it easy to find your perfect fit—couch length, how firm the seats are, and general style era filters will all help you narrow down what you want.
Joybird offers a 90-day delivery window, though there is a 10% restocking fee and you'll have to pay to ship your couch back. There's a flat $49 shipping charge if you're comfortable with curbside delivery, but getting your items delivered into your home will cost more, depending on where you live.