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Best Couches 2024 for Comfort and Style in Every Space, According to Industry Pros

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Updated May 30, 2024

The perfect couch completes just about any living room. It enhances the space, offering a comfy spot to relax, curl up with a good book, or entertain friends and family. Let’s be real with each other: Other than your bed, it’s where you spend the most time in your home. But with so many options—leather, slipcovered, modular, sleeper sofas—the search can quickly become overwhelming.

To help you navigate the plush world of couches, we consulted Patricia Bowling, Vice President of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA); Darrell Gardner, Director of Product Development for Cort; Tessa Kluetz Pernell, Seattle-based interior designer of TKP Design; and Kendra Nash, principal designer at Nash Design Group. They talked about the latest trends, the timeless classics, and the perfect pick for your unique needs. So, whether you like the buttery softness of leather or the cozy comfort of a slipcovered iteration, we've got you covered (literally) in our guide to the best couches for every style and situation.

What to look for when buying a couch

There are three primary considerations when selecting upholstered furniture, says Bowling. “Fabric, frame, and foundation—which includes cushion materials.”

Fabric

“The best fabric depends on how you're going to use the furniture,” says Bowling. For instance, consider the room’s average traffic. For high-traffic areas, like a family living room or den, opt for tightly woven or “performance” fabrics. A tight weave is less likely to allow dirt or dust (or, gasp!, liquid) to penetrate the fabric, and should stand up to lots of traffic. Leather is also a durable choice for high-use areas, according to Bowling — but bear in mind that leather might have different cleaning and stain-removal requirements, depending on how it’s treated.

When it comes to feel, cotton, linen, or velvet are good options, especially in a more formal setting. Note: Cotton and linen must be tightly woven to be considered durable, otherwise they might pill.

Before making any fabric decision, Bowling suggests ordering swatches to help you decide if you like the feel and color. “If you’re not ordering black, you’re going to have variability in whatever hue you choose, even if it’s ‘navy’ or ‘white,’” she warns.

Frame

Comfort, style, and price might be the first criteria that come to mind when you’re searching for a couch, but sturdy frames are equally important. No one wants to plop down on a comfy couch at the end of a long workday only to find it loose, wobbly, or creaky. The most durable frames are constructed from dried hardwood—oak, alder, birch, or maple—or engineered wood, like hardwood plywood, according to the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

Dried wood ensures that the frame won’t warp, and the hardwood types hold the construction hardware—pegs, screws, staples, and nails—in place over a long period of time. Other materials may also perform well, like strand board (an engineered wood similar to particle board) or softwood plywood. Motion upholstery, like reclining sectionals, often have a steel base that incorporates the motion mechanisms.

The AHFA also recommends finding out if the underside corners are braced with “corner blocks”—reinforcements glued and screwed into place at critical joints and stress points, since this adds strength and stability.

Online listings should include a construction or materials section. If the site is vague, or materials aren’t easily findable, it’s probably best to move on. Also, read the customer reviews (often at the bottom of each listing with personal photos) to make sure the couch feels sturdy to those who’ve purchased it.

Foundation

The frame style and the amount of support determine the foundation. “Eight-way, hand-tied, coil spring construction” is considered by some to be the hallmark of quality upholstery, according to the AHFA. In this type of foundation, each coil spring is placed in the seat by hand and tied into place with twine in interlocking knots. Although that style indicates fine craftsmanship, other construction techniques, including steel sinuous springs, offer equal comfort and durability, reports theAHFA. The number of springs and how they are reinforced usually determines cost and quality. Check the construction details for information about the foundation. Resilient items will contain steel spring construction in a coil, zigzag, or some other configuration.

Comfort

Depending on the couch’s design, the back and seat cushions may include a combination of springs, cotton or polyester fiber, foam, or down. Most upholstery cushions are made from polyurethane foam.

Density is used to gauge the durability of foam, and, generally, the higher the density the more durable (and more expensive) the cushion will be. According to the AHFA, higher quality furniture uses foam with a density rating of 1.8 to 2.5. Use this information in your web searches.

For the eco-minded buyer, look for companies that have replaced foams containing polyurethane with a soy-based product and may use recycled fibers for padding.

Cover

Options for the color, pattern, and texture of your upholstery are pretty much unlimited, but cover components fall into just two basic categories: natural and synthetic. Natural components include cotton, linen, silk, wool, and leather. Synthetics include polyester, acetate, acrylic, nylon, rayon, and polypropylene. Many are constructed with a combination of natural and synthetic fibers.

When you’re searching, look for things like high percentages of durable fiber for strong wearability. Always review cleaning instructions to guide you on maintenance, which can provide insight into durability.

Size

To find the right size for the couch, Bowling says measure twice. “Then measure again. Measure the space where you intend to place your new upholstery and measure the doorways and stairwells it has to fit through.” A good rule of thumb is to allow 30 inches of space around furniture as clearance for walking and roughly 14 to 18 inches between the coffee table and the couch. Bowling also recommends reviewing the dimensions of the piece you intend to buy and comparing them to pieces you already own. This will give you a clearer picture of how the new piece will look in your home.

The best couches for comfort and style in every space

Best budget couch: VanAcc Sleeper Sofa Sofa Bed

For $399, you can’t go wrong with this wallet-friendly sofa bed. Ideal for small spaces or large ones, it comes in a U-shape, an L-shape and an oversize U-shape to customize the best fit for your home. It offers easy conversion to switch it to a sofa bed—you simply lift the bed up and out in one smooth motion without squeaking, so you can turn any room into a bedroom or guest room easily and quickly. There’s also built-in storage underneath the couch cushions.

Specifications:

  • Material: Linen or boucle
  • Dimensions: L Shape: 59 inches x 84 inches x 39 inches, U-Shape: 59 inches x 110 inches x 39 inches, Oversize U-Shape: 87 inches x 112 inches x 35 inches
  • Colors: Linen Gray, Linen Blue, Boucle White
  • Seat fill: Foam
  • Price on publish: $399.99

What we like:

  • Easy conversion
  • Built-in storage
  • Inexpensive

What we don’t like:

  • Only comes in three colors
  • One reviewer said to buy some poly fill as it becomes flat

The bottom line:

A solid sleeper sofa at a fantastic price, complete with storage and available in three cool colorways.


Best leather couch: Grandin Road Collins Sofa

A leather couch is a classic—and it’s also easy to clean. Says Nash, “the best part about a leather sofa is that it requires very little upkeep and the more it wears, the cooler it looks. But I would say that mild soap and a soft towel will do the trick.” Grandin Road’s Collins sofa is our top leather pick because of its luxe material in a rich cognac shade and its stunning gently sloping arms. It boasts stitched and piped details.

Specifications:

  • Material: Leather
  • Dimensions: 35 x 80 x 72 inches
  • Colors: Cognac
  • Seat fill: Foam and fiberfill cushioning
  • Price on publish: $2,249.25

What we like:

  • Nailhead trim applied by hand
  • Beautiful top grain leather
  • Rich-looking cognac leather color
  • Plastic glides help protect floors
  • Fully assembled and ready to use

What we don’t like:

  • Available in only one color

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a leather sofa, this mid-priced option gives you a lot of bang for your buck — plus it’ll look great for years to come.


Best sectional couch: Homebody Four-Piece Configuration

Fully customizable and comfortable to boot, this is our pick for best sectional because of its durability, details, and options—like extra arms, recliners, and ottomans. The eiderdown feathers make it super comfortable and if you change your space, you can change the shape. It boasts child- and pet-friendly fabric, another plus. It comes in seven shade and fabric choices.

Specifications:

  • Material: Linen, velvet, and pet-friendly fabric
  • Dimensions: 37 inches x 39.7 inches x 45.5 inches
  • Colors: Seven
  • Seat fill: Eiderdown fill
  • Price on publish: Starts at $7270

What we like:

  • Super customizable
  • Seven colorways and three fabric options
  • Real down fill
  • You can add more pieces as your needs change

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

While it’s not wallet-friendly, this luxe couch from Homebody suits all types of spaces from small to gigantic and it does it with a real down fill and three fabric options, one that’s ideal for children and/or pets.


Best sleeper couch: Alexent Sleeper Sofa

The Alexent Sleeper Sofa is a phenomenal choice for a sleeper sofa when you want your living room or guest room to be able to be double-duty. It features a beautiful design, comfortable construction for sitting and sleeping, plus three different color options. Assembly tools are included and it even boasts storage space—a win-win.

Specifications:

  • Material: Polyester blend
  • Dimensions: 81.5 inches x 34.5 inches x 29.8 inches
  • Colors: 3 color options
  • Seat fill: Foam
  • Price on publish: $400

What we like:

  • The price is great
  • Seats three to four people comfortably
  • Underseat storage
  • Easy to clean

What we don’t like:

  • Limited color range compared to others on this list
  • One reviewer said she expected it to be thicker.

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a solid, well-priced, comfortable sleeper sofa that doesn’t look like one, look no further than the Alexent Sofa from Wayfair.


Best reclining couch: West Elm Harmony Modular Motion Sofa

West Elm Harmony Modular Motion Sofa is what you want to get if you’d like a plush sofa that’s customizable with a chaise on the right or left, depending on your space—but you also want one or two recliners. This modular option features plush down-filled cushions for the ultimate in coziness. Plus, it comes in various colors and fabrics to suit your tastes.

Specifications:

  • Material: Seven fabric options
  • Dimensions: 117 inches x 65.5 inches x 40 inches
  • Colors: 38 color options and seven fabric options
  • Seat fill: Down
  • Price on publish: $3646-$3696

What we like:

  • Large array of fabric and colorway options
  • It reclines!
  • Customizable modular sofa

What we don’t like:

  • Down fill won’t work for those who have allergies

The bottom line:

This beautiful and comfortable couch offers recliner and chaise options, plus a wide variety of colorways and fabrics to suit an array of tastes, styles and home layouts.


Best modular sofa: Room & Board York

I own this particular sofa, having purchased it in 2013 and it’s still going strong. This customizable modular boasts tons of options in terms of configuration, sleeper pieces, and lots of fabrics and shades to choose from. As someone who’s worked from home for a decade and a half—and on this sofa—I can attest that it’s super comfortable and functional, especially if you opt for a chaise and sleeper sofa component for guests. It worked just as well in a small New York City apartment as it does currently in my house in the suburbs. In fact, I’m planning on adding to it to further outfit for the larger space. If you’re looking for a comfortable, durable modular, look no further than Room & Board’s York.

Specifications:

  • Material: Six options, including leather, boucle, and weave
  • Dimensions: 24 options
  • Colors: 221 options and 4 leg finish options
  • Seat fill: N/A
  • Price on publish: Starts at $3000

What we like:

  • So many options for customization
  • Comfy, yet supportive
  • Sleeper option available

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive, but lasts for years and years

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a unique sofa you can pretty much design yourself, look no further than the super-comfortable, yet supportive York sectional from Room & Board.


Best slipcovered couch: Pottery Barn Buchanan Roll Arm Slipcovered Sofa

Slipcovered sofas are often associated with a “farmhouse” or “shabby chic” look, but this one from Pottery Barn has a timeless look that fits into any decor. It’s a popular choice for its clean lines, comfortable cushions, and variety of customization options. The Pottery Barn Buchanan Roll Arm Slipcovered Sofa comes in numerous colors, fabrics, and sizes to fit your needs and style inclinations. Refresh your current sofa to fit your decor with a new slipcover or replace a worn one.

Specifications:

  • Material: 50+ fabrics
  • Dimensions: 79 inches x 39 inches x 37 inches
  • Colors: 50+ colors
  • Seat fill: Polyester-wrapped cushions
  • Price on publish: $1599

What we like:

  • Adjustable levelers provide stability on uneven floors.
  • Your sofa will never look worn, you can simply buy a new slipcover o
  • Comfortable
  • Multiple color and fabric options

What we don’t like:

  • On the pricier end

The bottom line:

This well-fitting slipcover makes Pottery Barn’s version a winner, plus its plush seats and durability ensure it’ll stand out from the competition.


Best couch for small spaces: Mellow Adair Square Arm Sofa

Loveseats can be tough to shop for, as I find so many just aren’t that comfortable and can make sitting with more than one person feel cramped. But Mellow’s sleek and modern square-arm Adair sofa is slightly larger than some loveseats, yet still works for most smaller spaces. The upholstered back gives it a polished look that’s also modern.

Specifications:

  • Materials: Linen blend fabric
  • Dimensions: 73 inches x 29 inches x 30 inches
  • Colors: Four colors are available
  • Seat fill: Foam
  • Price on publish: $418.88

What we like:

  • Customers report easy assembly
  • Feels larger than it is
  • Lots of color options

What we don’t like:

  • Only four colors

The bottom line:

The smaller size means this couch is a great choice for offices, dorms, or smaller apartments with a matching chair and ottoman available.


Best splurge sofa: Float Sofa by Sarah Ellison

Want a couch that screams my interior designer picked this one out? Look no further, because for a high-design sofa, this one by Sarah Ellison is a luxe must. Though modern in style, it has a timeless simplicity that will not look dated and is also sink-in comfortable. The Float Sofa comes in two luxurious fabrics and three neutral colorways to suit a wide range of styles and tastes.

Specifications:

  • Material: Choose from two fabrics, boucle or velvet
  • Dimensions: 28 x 131 x 50 inches
  • Colors: 3
  • Seat fill: Not specified
  • Price on publish: $8495

What we like:

  • Comes in two fabrics — velvet and boucle
  • Puffy, horizontal channel tufting
  • Beautiful, high-end design

What we don’t like:

  • Pricey
  • Only three color options

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a well-constructed, stunning, yet comfortable sofa that also will be the centerpiece of any room, this one from Sarah Ellison is your best bet.


Best velvet couch: Burrow Nomad Velvet Sofa

While traditional velvet couches can be difficult to clean, this option comes in a performance velvet that easily eliminates that issue. Choose from an arrangement of two, three, or four seats for a couch that perfectly suits your space. I love that this sofa is packed with features like a built-in USB charger, and an included velvet brush to keep the texture looking clean. Durable enough for kids and pets, it resists stains and is easy to clean (just use some water and mild soap).

Specifications:

  • Material: Velvet
  • Dimensions: Two configuration: 60 inches x 35 inches x 33 inches, three configuration: 85 inches x 35 inches x 33 inches, four configuration: 111 inches x 35 inches x 33 inches
  • Colors: Six options for colors and six leg finishes in various metals and woods
  • Seat fill: Foam
  • Price on publish: $1189-$1929 for a two, three or four configuration

What we like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Built-in charger
  • Beautiful
  • Customizable fabric, color, and leg options
  • You can purchase a sleep kit to turn it into a sleeper sofa for an additional $349

What we don’t like:

  • The additional sleep kit is a little pricey

The bottom line:

For a gorgeous, cushy and comfy sofa that’s reasonably priced and can be converted to a sleeper in a pinch, the velvet Nomad is the way to go.


Most durable couch: Ashley Furniture Belvoir Performance Fabric Sofa

Ashley Furniture couches get high marks for durability at a reasonable price point, per many reviews. This one’s performance fabric repels spills and stains while looking attractive and suiting a range of decors in two neutral colors. Accent pillows are included and the colorblocked frame looks chic. The durable fabric is even UV-resistant, so you can put this sofa in your sunniest spot in your home with little possibility of damage.

Specifications:

  • Material: Next-Gen Nuvella™, a solution-dyed performance fabric that offers high UV resistance and durability for high-traffic areas
  • Dimensions: 96 x 37 x 40 inches
  • Colors: Two
  • Seat fill: High-resiliency foam cushion wrapped in thick poly fiber
  • Price on publish: $799

What we like:

  • The price is nice
  • Stands up to stains
  • Fabric is UV-resistant
  • Reversible cushions

What we don’t like:

  • Only comes in two colorways

The bottom line:

This best-selling couch is a well-priced option that will last—two things that rarely go together.


Best couch for large families: Pottery Barn Chesterfield Roll Arm 4-Piece Grand Sofa

If you have a large family, it can be challenging to find a large enough sofa that’s comfortable—and that fits in your space. Enter the Pottery Barn Grand Sofa, which provides a classic design with a generous size to seat the whole family.

Specifications:

  • Material: 50+ options
  • Dimensions: 144 inches x 97 inches x 41 inches x 31 inches
  • Colors: 50+ colors and 50+ fabric options
  • Seat fill: Foam with polyester wrapping for a firmer feel
  • Price on publish: $6046-$8946

What we like:

  • Tight tufted back and loose seat cushions.
  • Large, comfy style
  • White glove delivery service is available

What we don’t like:

  • Price

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a large sofa to seat all of your family members, this one boasts a classic design with modern comfort.


Best couch for kids and pet owners: IKEA UPPLAND Sofa

Whether it’s for a playroom, a living room, or a basement lair, a couch intended for kids needs to be durable, in addition to comfortable. It also needs to be easy to clean. This one from IKEA is a great choice. If you’re looking for a decent-quality couch on a tighter budget, the Ikea UPPLAND sofa fits the bill. Though the construction includes particleboard, it’s a blend with solid wood and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Specifications:

  • Material: Polyester fibers
  • Dimensions: 88 ¼ inches, 36 ¼ inches, 36 ¼ inches,
  • Colors: This couch offers several washable and swappable covers
  • Seat fill: Foam
  • Price on publish: $849

What we like:

  • Price
  • Durable
  • Washable and swappable covers

What we don’t like:

  • One reviewer complained of pilling

The bottom line:

For under $1000, this is a great option for kids, thanks to its washable slipcovers that come in a wide variety of colorways for a range of spaces and families.


Best classic couch: Ballard Designs Maggie Apartment Sofa

The tailored look and quality construction of this two-seat sofa make it a solid choice for any room. Plus, it’s made in North Carolina with durable, sturdy materials. Customizable options, including 350 fabrics and five finishes for the hardwood feet, mean customers can make it work with any design style.

Specifications:

  • Materials: 350 fabrics and five finishes; ​​The certified sustainable engineered hardwood frame is kiln-dried to resist warping and cracking. Reinforced joinery is glued, doweled, and screwed for added strength, and corner-blocking adds stability. Hardwood feet come in a variety of finishes.
  • Dimensions: 71 inches x 39 ¼ inches x 35 inches
  • Colors: Dozens of patterns, solids, and florals.
  • Seat fill: Polyurethane foam wrapped in hypoallergenic down blend and fiber.
  • Price on publish: $2174.25 to $3385.50

What we like:

  • A beautifully classic mid-priced option
  • Tons of fabric and shade options for all sorts of decor
  • Tufted for an elevated feel

What we don’t like:

  • Pricey for a two-seater

The bottom line:

A mid-sized classic couch with over 300 fabrics choice makes this a classic two-seater option that allows you to get creative


Most comfortable couch: Serena & Lily Parkwood Sofa

In terms of comfort contenders, it doesn’t get better than this seven-foot wide sofa from Serena & Lily. This upholstered sofa features plush cushions and a supportive frame, making it a great choice for those who want both comfort and relaxation.

Specifications:

  • Material: Varies - 192 plus options
  • Dimensions: Available in 84 inches and 96 inches widths
  • Colors: 192 fabric and color options with four leg color options
  • Seat fill: Seat cushion made of regenerated fiber-wrapped, soy-based foam core with downproof ticking.
  • Price on publish: $4538

What we like:

  • Extremely plush
  • Huge array of colors and fabrics to suit a range of decors
  • Clean lines
  • Custom made

What we don’t like:

  • Price
  • You have to wait 4-8 weeks for the sofa to be custom-made (not a long time, but important to note for your own schedule)

The bottom line:

While it’s not a budget option, Serena & Lily’s super comfortable couch allows you to custom design it in a large variety of fabrics and shades.


Best couch on Amazon: Honbay Convertible Sectional Sofa

This is an Amazon best seller for a reason. It’s a great sectional that seats three people, fits into small spaces, and is as cute as it is comfortable. Assembly is super simple, with no tools needed and easy-to-follow instructions that will have your sofa ready to go in just 20 minutes.

Specifications:

  • Material: Polyester
  • Dimensions: 78.5 inches x 30.3 inches x 35 inches
  • Colors: Four
  • Seat fill: Foam
  • Price on publish: $319.99

What we like:

  • Square armrests and sturdy legs
  • An amazing price for a sectional
  • Comfortable
  • Four neutral colors to choose from

What we don’t like:

  • One fabric option

The bottom line:

It’s hard to find a comfy, inexpensive sectional for city living (or for a smaller guestroom or perhaps a basement) but this one ticks all the boxes — at under $350.

Best couch on Amazon
HONBAY Convertible Sectional Sofa, L Shaped Couch with Reversible Chaise for Small Space, Dark Grey

HONBAY Convertible Sectional Sofa, L Shaped Couch with Reversible Chaise for Small Space, Dark Grey


Best value couch: Cole 6-pc. Power Sectional in Gray by High Line Smart Home

I was impressed by this sectional sofa, which offers power reclining functionality and USB ports at a more affordable price point than you’d expect for a sofa with so many features. Soft upholstery and thick cushioning separate this affordable large sectional from others on the market. Enjoy a beverage while you binge your favorite show, thanks to convenient cupholders.

Specifications:

  • Material: Microfiber
  • Dimensions: 40 inches x 128 inches x 112 inches x 39 inches
  • Colors: Gray
  • Seat fill: Polyfill
  • Price on publish: $1999.95

What we like:

  • Well priced
  • Power reclining
  • USB ports
  • Cup holders

What we don’t like:

  • Only one colorway/fabric option

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a solid sofa with a lot of features — recliner, power for your phone, cup holders and more — and need something on the larger side, this well-priced sofa is a great pick.


Best high-tech couch: Mcombo Power Reclining Sofa with Massage USB Ports

This sofa offers power reclining, massage functionality with full-body vibration and lumbar heat, and two USB ports for a focus on ultimate comfort and relaxation. Through buttons on the armrests, you can control the backrest and footrest of the seats, plus you have side pockets and cup holders for the ideal movie night.

Specifications:

  • Material: Polyester blend
  • Dimensions: 41 inches X 92 inches X 36.2 inches
  • Colors: Four colorways
  • Seat fill: Not specified
  • Price on publish: $1299.68

What we like:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Wallet-friendly price
  • Lots of additional features, like USB ports, massage options, and cup holders

What we don’t like:

  • Only one fabric option

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a high-tech couch option, look no further than this one, which offers charging, reclining, massaging, cup holders, and more for a nice price.


How to choose a couch style

Kluetz Pernell says that when choosing the right type of sofa for your space, first consider the functionality. How many people does it need to seat comfortably on a regular basis? Is it the only sofa in the home? Does it need to function as a bed for guests?

“In a smaller, flex space like an office/ guest room a sleeper sofa/ futon works great,” she says. “This can be something as simple as a foldable mattress-style futon that stacks into a sofa or lays flat as a bed to a sofa that looks and functions as a standard or sectional sofa but has a hidden sleeper component.”

Kluetz Pernell also loves incorporating murphy/wall beds in flexible spaces. There are affordable pre-made options or if budget allows, custom will get you the perfect size and the most storage possible, she notes.

In media and family rooms, Kluetz Pernell generally sources sectionals to allow plenty of room for movie nights and lounging together. “They provide a cozy vibe and can help create zones within a larger space,” she says.

She likes to use loveseats and settees in larger primary bedrooms at the end of the bed or in a living space within the primary.

“A standard sofa is best in a smaller or formal living space if there is another living or family room that has a sectional or additional seating such as armchairs or a lounger. If space allows, I recommend two sofas facing each other with a coffee table in between—framing a fireplace or other focal point,” Kluetz Pernell notes.

Next you want to choose the right size. The length as well as the height and depth are important to measure out in your space before heading out to purchase a sofa. “If possible, allow space on either side of the sofa for a side table or floor lamp. If a sofa takes up an entire wall (especially in a main living room) it tends to feel cramped and the space lacks visual interest, balance and functionality,” she says.

Deep seats are great for media/family rooms as they are perfect for lounging. In a sitting room or formal living, standard depth is best, she adds. “Choosing the sofa material and color depend on the space. In high-traffic areas, easy-to-clean, performance materials are a must. Patterns can be especially forgiving,” Kluetz Pernell advises.

“In multi-media and theater rooms, vibrant colors and soft textures set the tone for a cozy, comfortable vibe,” she says. “In a formal living space, choose from high end velvet, linen, leather or silk for a luxe look and feel. I often opt for light, neutral colored sofas in a formal living space.”

How I selected the best couches

I personally tested out a couple of these couches and also talked to experts, friends and family members about their favorites for various categories. I researched online reviews for each and compared everything from performance to quality, making notes on what I liked and disliked. I looked into couches in every price bracket to see if price is actually a driving factor to getting an excellent couch.

Here’s how we evaluated each couch to find the winning picks:

Comfort

This is the most important. Do you want something plush to sink into, or something with more back support for long stretches of reading or working?

Durability

A couch is a significant investment, so you want it to last. I looked for high-quality materials like:

  • Solid hardwood frame: Avoid particle board or plywood frames, as these are more prone to warping and breaking down over time.
  • Durable upholstery: Leather is a classic choice for durability, but high-quality fabric options are also available. Consider stain resistance if you have kids or pets.

Features

Depending on your needs, some features you might consider include:

  • Reclining: Perfect for relaxing and watching movies.
  • Sleeping: Great for guest rooms or small apartments.
  • Storage: Ottomans with built-in storage or couches with hidden compartments can be helpful for organization.
  • Cup holders and USB ports: These can be convenient additions, but may not be essential for everyone.

Budget

Couches range considerably in price depending on factors like material, brand, and features.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a couch and a sofa?

Gardner says the terms are often used interchangeably, but some industry experts say there are some subtle differences between them. “A couch can refer to a more casual, informal piece of furniture with a laid-back design, such as a sofa with plush cushions,” he explains. “A sofa typically has a more formal and structured appearance, often with arms and a back.” In modern usage, and at Cort, he says, the difference between the two has become less clear, and both terms are commonly used to describe the same piece of furniture.

Nash has a different view on this question. “We don’t use the word couch in the industry,” she says. “So I would say that a sofa is what you sit on with multiple people. And I don’t know what a couch is.”

How do you clean a leather couch?

Always check the care tag before cleaning. Gardner says leather is durable but often requires additional care when cleaning. After vacuuming thoroughly, wipe it down using a microfiber cloth and a specialized leather cleaner,” he says. “To avoid spreading any dirt, use a different patch of your microfiber towel every few strokes.” Afterward, use a dry rag to absorb any excess moisture. If you’d like to leave your leather couch as good as new, use a leather conditioner after cleaning it, he adds.

How do you clean an upholstered couch?

Again, always check the care tag before cleaning. Most furniture comes with cleaning codes: Check under the sofa, on the platform, or look for tags on the cushions to locate yours.

Then, decode your upholstery cleaning tags using this guide, Gardner says:

  • WS: Use a mild detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry-cleaning detergent
  • S: Use a dry cleaner detergent only.
  • X: Use a vacuum only. No water.
  • W: You can use water to clean it.

“If you have a fabric couch, try giving it a good steam. While you could go the extra mile and purchase a brand-new steamer, using the steam button on your iron is just as effective. Steaming your sofa will loosen up any stains and make them easier to remove,” he explains.

When do couches go on sale?

It’s tempting to look for the best bargain, but quality sofas don’t come cheap, Gardner says. “That doesn’t mean you can’t try to find one on sale, but two similar sofas that vary dramatically in price probably aren’t the same quality. The market is filled with bargain-priced replicas of superior furniture. You can look for sales during major holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, and Presidents' Day, as well as during seasonal clearance sales,” he says. Furniture stores may also have promotions during specific times of the year or to make room for new inventory.

What kind of upholstery material is the most durable?

Tightly woven fabrics with durable fibers, like nylon and polyester, are among the most durable upholstery material for couches. Leather is also a popular choice. Says Nash, “We use indoor/outdoor fabric that has a soft hand. It is perfect for kids, pets, and day-to-day wear and tear. Plus, it can be cleaned and won’t change due to sunlight,” she says.

How long should a couch last?

A sofa should last forever if it is made well, Nash says. “Look beyond the glam, and you can see differences that determine whether a sofa is good for the long term or won’t last longer than a few years,” Gardner says. It pays — literally — to know how to identify the best quality furniture that is worth your investment. The lifespan of a couch can vary depending on the quality of construction, materials used, and how well it is maintained. “On average, a well-made couch can last anywhere from seven to 15 years or even longer with proper care,” Gardner explains. “Maintaining your couch’s cosmetic appeal isn’t difficult, but supporting its structural integrity can be a little more complicated, especially if you purchased it from a thrift store or online marketplace.”

How do you determine the best size couch for your space?

Here are a few things to consider when determining the best size couch for your space.

Measure your space. Start with the room dimensions where the couch will be placed. Measure the length, width, and height of the space. This will give you a general idea of how much space you have to work with.

Consider traffic flow, and how people will move around the room with the couch in place. Leave enough space for comfortable walking paths between the couch and other furniture, coffee tables, and walls. It’s good to leave at least 30-36 inches of clearance for walkways.

A massive couch in a small living room will overwhelm the space, while a tiny loveseat in a large room might look out of place. Aim for a balance between the size of the couch and the size of the room.

Think about how many people you typically need to seat and choose a couch that can comfortably accommodate your needs. If you entertain often, you might prioritize a larger size. How do you plan to use the couch? If you want to sprawl out and relax, consider the depth and cushion comfort of the couch.

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