Sofa shopping for small spaces can have you feeling like Goldilocks: You need something you can squeeze into a room, but you don't want to sacrifice comfort (and leg room!) in the process.
Luckily, there are many options out there for apartment dwellers and small home buyers, even reversible sectionals and modular pieces that can shift according to your evolving needs (such as when you're hosting overnight guests). For this roundup of the best small sofas, we considered flexibility and utility in addition to comfort, durability, and style. That's right—small sofas can still make a big statement.
If your small sofa takes up a lot of real estate, interior designer Tori Jones of Tori Jones Studio recommends making it extra special. "Go for a beautiful, richly colored upholstery fabric, layer it with a patterned throw, and load it up with a mix of pillows," she says.
However you choose to style your small sofa, we're here to make things a little easier. Read on for our top options.
Best Overall: Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa
Latch assembly (no hardware necessary)
Integrated charging system
Many color, fabric, arm, and leg options
If you prioritize flexibility, choice, and convenience, the Burrow Nomad Sofa is for you. Like all modular sofas, this piece can be rearranged at your discretion or whim—and, even better, it can be done easily.
The Nomad sofa comes equipped with an easy latch assembly, so no tools, no problem. Our tester loved how simple it was to customize the size of the sofa using the latch mechanism: “As a military family member, I am always considering how versatile a piece of furniture will be in another home,” she said. “I assembled the Nomad using all three seats, but I could easily shorten it to a loveseat configuration if needed.” You can also purchase additional add-ons like a chaise or an ottoman, which allow you to create a sectional-style setup.
Burrow offers many colors and fabrics to choose from, as well as different style options for arms and legs. We also appreciate the scratch- and stain-resistant fabric as well as the reversible cushions; though this model is pricier than others, you're sure to get extended life out of it.
The feature our reviewer most loved about the Nomad, however, is the built-in phone charger, which ensures your phone is always good to go, even on your laziest days.
Price at time of publish: $1,595
Best Budget: Corrigan Studio Ellaria Sofa
Limited color choices
If you want to cover all the bases without breaking the bank, the Ellaria sofa from Corrigan Studio is a great bet. It's comfortable and affordable, and it doesn't scrimp on style. Unlike other budget options that provide the same amount of comfort as a covered bench, this sofa comprises thick foam cushions and soft velvet upholstery. At 74 inches wide, it's a good fit for most small spaces but still conducive to serious lounging, napping, and TV binging. There are two color choices available: a neutral gray that will suit most environments and an emerald green if you're looking for a statement piece that pops.
Price at time of publish: $866
Best Sectional: Mercury Row Merwin Reversible Sectional
11 microfiber or microsuede fabric color options
Versatile arrangement options
If you're short on space but longing to kick your feet up, consider a small sectional. We especially like the Morpheus Reversible Sectional from Mercury Row. The floating ottoman allows you to complete the L-shape sofa at either end, giving you more flexibility with design and greater guest accommodation.
It has a nice, simple shape and sophisticated linen-like upholstery—not to mention 11 color options—so it coheres with most décor styles. But most importantly, it's absurdly comfortable. The cushions provide the perfect balance of firmness and plushness, and the wide, flat armrests can function as a makeshift side table for, say, a laptop or a snack bowl. “I've had this sofa for several weeks now and it’s become my new favorite place to sit,” our tester said. “There is just enough give to the cushions, while also retaining their shape and support.”
Price at time of publish: $1,050
Best Splurge: Crate & Barrel Gather Deep Leather Apartment Sofa
High quality leather
Compact and luxurious, the Gather Deep Leather Apartment Sofa from Crate & Barrel is the perfect choice for those looking to splurge but are short on space. Made of high-quality, aniline-dyed Italian Lynx leather, this stylish sofa is comfortable, soft, and cozy—even though it's a shorter width, the 43-inch extra deep seating provides plenty of room to curl up to read or watch movies. Although it has a modern look, you can add your own pillows or throw blanket, and it will fit into almost any decor. There are longer lengths available if you have the space, as well as three leather color choices—Toffee, Gun Metal, and Smoke—and a matching ottoman.
Price at time of publish: $3,999
Best Velvet: Article Sven Sofa
Sturdy, corner-blocked frame
Loose bolsters and cushions for easy cleaning
Just because you're hunting for a small sofa doesn't mean you can't choose one that makes a big statement. Nothing screams "luxury" quite like a velvet sofa, especially a velvet sofa in a shade of vibrant green, rich navy, pacific blue, or yarrow gold. The Sven velvet sofa is 72 inches wide, so it's at the longer end of small sofas—perfect if your primary concern isn't squeezing into a small space.
This sofa is a splurge. However, its durability also makes it a great investment. With a sturdy, corner-blocked wooden frame made of kiln-dried solid wood and heavy-duty upholstery, it'll offer comfort for years to come. Plus, the velvet is rated 40,000 rubs, meaning it could even withstand the heavy use of a commercial environment, so bring on the children and pets.
Price at time of publish: $1,299
Best Modern: Carson Carrington Klaipeda Mid-century Modern Sofa
Sleek midcentury aesthetic
Easy to clean
Might be too firm for some
The Klaipeda sofa from Carson Carrington evokes the seductive interiors of the 1960s, yet its clean lines offer timeless appeal. What's more, the tufted back and tapered wooden legs create a high-end feel. The Klaipeda is 65 inches wide—considerably cozy but not too small for two. Durable and easy to clean, this couch packs style and substance. It comes in five color options, so you're sure to find one that suits your space.
Price at time of publish: $1,035
Best Slipcovered: Pottery Barn Buchanan Roll Arm Slipcovered Sofa
Wide range of color and upholstery choices
Some fabric choices are not machine washable
The Buchanan Slipcovered Sofa is a great addition to a small living room that gets a lot of use. Durably constructed, it has a corner-blocked frame and sinuous springs, so it can handle endless hours of lounging and energetic game watching. And since it comes in a wide variety of upholstery and color options, it can be customized to fit into any room or decor. The solid rubberwood legs are removable when needed and have adjustable levers to provide stability on uneven floors.
Price at time of publish: $1,499
Best Leather: AllModern Jenkin 79'' Chesterfield Sofa
Can appear orange in certain light
Original chesterfield sofas came upholstered in dark leather, fit for gentlemen to sit without wrinkling their suits; thankfully, designers no longer exclusively cater to the needs of such stately clients. Contemporary iterations of this classic sofa now come in many bold and bright colors like the Jenkin chesterfield, upholstered in bright honey leather. However, if your goal is to evoke the original aesthetic, the couch also comes upholstered in a darker vintage gray.
We love how the tuxedo arms have been updated for a more contemporary aesthetic. Though they maintain the classic button tufting and high arms (which are level with the back of the couch), they've been squared off to achieve crisper lines than the rounded arms of the original.
Admittedly, this couch might not provide enough comfort to be an everyday go-to (such as for the nap or TV-binging couch). But it is a stellar pick for social occasions and guest seating. At 79 inches wide, you'll be able to comfortably seat three.
Price at time of publish: $1,140
The Burrow Nomad tops our list of small sofas because it’s comfortable and highly customizable, allowing you to select a sofa that caters to your individual tastes and evolves with your changing needs. If you're specifically looking for a sectional, the Mercury Row Morpheus Reversible Sectional is worth checking out. It has a sleek, modern design and comes in a variety of colors—all at a great price.
What to Look for in a Sofa for a Small Space
While the width of a standard sofa ranges from 84 to 88 inches, a standard loveseat measures about 52 inches wide. In between these poles are small sofas, ranging from 68 to 80 inches wide. Either of these options can work well in a small space, according to Jones. "If the room is tiny and the sofa takes up most of the real estate, go for comfort," she says. "Don't do anything spindly or leggy. A classic Bridgewater sofa—inviting, fully upholstered—is what I'd suggest."
Alternatively, she recommends choosing a shallow sectional or banquette wrapping a corner (or corners) of a room to maximize seating. "With this, you can add an occasional table and a single accent chair and call it a day," she notes.
You want to choose something that's comfortable and durable and also consider how much use your piece will get and how much maintenance you're willing to put into your investment. If kids and pets aren't clambering onto your couch, you might be able to get away with a linen option. With pets or children, you're going to want a more stain-resistant option like microfiber. Its tight weave makes liquids bead up on the surface, giving you more time to tackle a spill before it sinks in.
Velvet is also, perhaps surprisingly, easier to clean than many alternatives. When choosing a velvet couch, just be sure to select one with a minimum rub count of 15,000+. (This rating is a testament to the number of abrasions the fabric can withstand before showing signs of wear.) With velvet, you'll also have to consider ways to reduce exposure to sunlight to avoid premature fading.
Unlike most other upholstery materials, leather and faux leather can get better with age as they develop a nice patina. However, these materials are more susceptible to scratches and puncturing and might not be the best option for those with pets or kids.
Style and shape
Sofas come in myriad styles and shapes, from the buttoned-up chesterfield (no back cushions) to the laid-back Lawson style with detached back cushions. Your preferences will depend on your taste, but you'll also want to consider the intended use and anticipated traffic. A small chesterfield may go great in a foyer, bar area, or sitting room that receives occasional guests, but you may not want to rely on it for relaxation.
It's also good to note that today's market supplies plenty of small sectionals or modular pieces that can approximate the generous seating of sectionals through add-ons like ottomans or chaises.
How should you measure a sofa?
To measure a sofa, determine its width, height, and depth. For moving or delivery purposes, you also might need to determine the diagonal depth, which can tell you whether the sofa can pass through an entryway when positioned on its end. The width can be determined by measuring the widest part of the sofa, typically from arm to arm.
To determine the height, measure the back at the highest point; if you're trying to determine whether the sofa will pass through an entryway, you can discount the height added by legs as long as they screw on.
Measure the depth from the outside edge of the seat to the back of the couch. Diagonal depth can be calculated by placing a straight edge from the top of the back of the frame to the front of the arm; you'll then measure from the bottom back corner up to the point where it intersects the line created by the original straight edge.
What's the difference between a sofa and a loveseat?
A loveseat can accommodate up to two people, while a sofa typically supports between two and four. Given the slight overlap of a loveseat and a two-seater sofa, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, though a standard loveseat measures about 52 inches wide while the standard small sofa is somewhere between 68 and 80 inches wide.
While loveseats are often paired with a larger sofa to maximize seating capacity in a space, they can be used as a primary sofa in small spaces.
How can you maximize space in your living room?
When trying to maximize the space in your living room, consider positioning your sofa a few inches off the wall, according to Carlie Rice, social media manager at Havenly. “It sounds counterintuitive and people may laugh at you but just do it,” she says. “It will guarantee that your space looks bigger and creates a more intimate setting.” In addition, Rice recommends choosing vertical shelving for your decor and furniture pieces that double as storage space.
Why Trust The Spruce?
For this roundup, Jessica Joblin consulted reports from our product testers as well as outside customer reviews. She considered criteria such as size, comfort, style, ease of assembly, and durability (of the structural materials as well as the upholstery itself). With the exception of the sleeper sofa, all of the featured sofas are 79 inches wide or smaller.
Jessica also spoke with interior designer Tori Jones for additional decorating and styling insight. Having worn multiple hats—from editor to art director and decorator to creative lead—over the course of her decade-long career, Jones knows the ins and outs of designing small spaces.
Bianca Pineda contributed additional research and reporting. She spoke with Carlie Rice of Havenly for tips and tricks on how to maximize your small living space. Bianca covers bedding, bath, and home decor for The Spruce.