Are you looking to change your living room sofa but want something other than the traditional couch? There are several different types of sofas and couches. Find out the best one that will suit your living room.
Sofa and couch types
1. Armless sofa
Armless sofas are just like regular sofas except that they don’t come with arms. Some of them have exposed legs while others sit a bit lower. They are best for houses with modern or contemporary styles.
2. Bamboo sofa
Bamboo sofas are sofas where the main frame is made out of bamboo. Some of them feature a cushion while the others are just plain bamboo. They are often used outdoors or in homes that have an exotic, tropical feel.
Two words that describe the Bridgewater sofa would be casual and comfortable. They are also known as the birch-arm or the English three-seater and have a softly-rolled back and low arms. They come with a tailored skirt that hides the legs, though more modern versions now expose the legs.
A cabriole sofa is known for having arms that curve inward and a back and arms that are of equal height and curve into the arms in a continuous line. The older versions have an exposed wooden trim on the top of the back and arms, but more modern ones come without the wooden trim.
Camelback sofas are often associated with 18th-century interiors, nevertheless, they have not really gone out of style. They are distinct in terms of features, with the center having a higher back and then sloping downwards into the arms of the sofa. They often have exposed wooden legs, back, and arms. The contemporary versions of this classic design are more comfortable.
6. Chaise lounge
Chaise lounges are pretty popular, especially in huge bedroom suites. Some of them come with an arm while some have none at all. Chaise lounges were often used in the old days as a piece of furniture to recline on, rather than to sit on. In modern days, they are often used as decorative pieces rather than functional ones.
Chesterfield sofas have a unique style that features rolled arms that are the same height as the back, tufts in the upholstery, and a low seat with exposed legs. They are often made with leather and don’t have back cushions. Chesterfields are often luxurious and impressive-looking.
8. Contemporary mid-century modern sofa
Contemporary mid-century modern sofas are sofas that feature the most current designs. Nevertheless, these design styles are often based on a particular style of some of the more popular couches, such as a contemporary camelback or chaise lounge.
9. Curved back sofa
A curved back sofa is somewhat like a tuxedo sofa (see below) but featuring corners that slope elegantly and curve downwards to the armrests. They often come with a back cushion for comfortable seating.
10. Deep seat couch
In recent years, deep seat couches have become more and more popular in homes. They usually sit low on the ground and are perfect for reading a book, watching a movie, or cuddling with a family or a pet.
Divans are similar to benches as they have no back and sides, but you will find that some of them have arms. They are cushioned and you will usually find them up against a wall with pillows so people can lean on them comfortably.
12. English rolled arm sofa
The English rolled arm sofa is similar to the Bridgewater sofa. Nevertheless, it has distinct features of its own, such as taut upholstery (as compared to the Bridgewater) and low upholstered arms that can serve as a pillow. It is often dubbed as “the forever style” because it is both casual and stylish and looks very accommodating and comfortable.
13. Knole sofa
The Knole sofa has an iconic design with its built-in back, enclosed sides, and depth of the cushion. Instead of a back that flows in one continuous line to the arms, the Knole sofa features hinged sides that are tied to finials by fabric cords. In the old days, this sofa served as a double throne chair where the king and queen could sit beside each other while entertaining guests.
14. Lawson-style sofa
The Lawson-style sofa is similar to the English roll arm sofa. It has loose or detached back cushions and the depth of the seat is often to the height of the sofa back above the seat. The arms are low, cushioned, and can serve as pillows.
Loveseats are the perfect sofas for couples. The main difference between a loveseat and a regular couch has to do with the size as the loveseat is just a smaller version and can usually seat just two people. It is sometimes called the two-seater sofa.
16. Low back sofa
Low back sofas are sophisticated and modern and can make your ceiling look higher. Nevertheless, they aren’t very comfortable to lounge or sit in as the back doesn’t completely support you when you lean on it.
17. Low-seated sofa
Low-seated sofas are lower than the standard 17-18 inches of typical sofas. They are often used in living rooms, family rooms, or other rooms where you can lounge and read or scroll through your phone or watch a movie.
18. Mid-century modern sofa
Mid-century modern sofas have clean curved lines, a rectangular shape, a tufted back, and tapered legs. They work well for living rooms that feature modern and contemporary design or even minimalist spaces.
19. Modular sofa
Modular sofas are made up of individual pieces and are therefore versatile and adjustable. Each moveable part can be arranged in a different shape to suit your needs or your taste. You can set them into L- or U-shaped layouts or even use each section as a stand-alone.
20. Pallet couch
You can buy pallet sofas or build them on your own. They are often assembled against a wall and the cushions are placed on top of it, also leaning on the wall. Some pallet couches have their own back with a slight recline so they are more comfortable to sit and lean on.
21. Pillow arm sofa
Pillow arm sofas look similar to the English rolled arm sofa and the Lawson-type sofa. They have cushioned backs and sides, but instead of a cushioned arm, they often feature pillows as the arms of the sofa.
22. Pillow back sofa
A pillow back sofa has pillows instead of cushions along the back. Usually, they aren’t attached to the back of the sofa and can be arranged however you want them to look. While sofas with cushions usually have 2-3 pillows, pillow back sofas often come with 5-7 fluffy pillows.
23. Rattan sofa
Rattan sofas are often seen in backyards or patios. They are known for their sturdiness and durability and often come with cushions to make them comfy. You can easily rest on them while reading a book or enjoying the outdoor breeze.
24. Recliner sofa
Recliner sofas are fairly new but they are popular for those who like spending their time relaxing by watching movies or reading. They are often seen in home media rooms and come with a mechanism that, when triggered, lowers the back and extends a footrest, allowing you to sit in a reclined position.
Sectional sofas are great for large rooms especially if you have a big family or love to entertain guests. They usually come in 3-5 pieces that can be arranged in various ways. Some people use it as a divider between the living room and kitchen or dining room. They are usually modern and boxy when it comes to style, but some manufacturers make round pieces so you have a curved sectional.
Settees are often antique-looking sofas that are meant for only two people. They’re not very comfortable as they are more upright and slimmer than modern couches. Some settees are fully upholstered while others have wooden edges that are left bare. The upside to settees is that they can fit in various places where bigger sofas can’t.
27. Sleeper sofas
A sleeper sofa is a bed that is inside a sofa. They usually house a bed frame that can be unfolded to form a bed when the cushions are removed. Here are some of the different kinds:
- Bunk bed sleeper – One of the most unique kinds where the sofa rises on a sturdy frame to become the top bunk and the lower bunk is made up of a hidden cushion underneath. This is a great solution for cabins and vacation homes.
- Convertible sofa – It doesn’t have a unique mattress separate from the couch mattress. Thus, it can be a bit less comfortable, depending on the quality of the mattress.
- Daybed – Similar to a chaise lounge except that it has ends or backs on each side. It’s a great place to take a nap, except that it doesn’t really accommodate tall people.
- Futon – Similar to the convertible couch where the sofa folds or releases downward to create a sleeping space. There’s no separate mattress either and the sleeper has to use the same mattress as that of the couch.
- Pull out sofa bed – One of the most popular sleeper sofas where the back remains upright and the sleeping area folds under the belly of the sofa, where the mattress and frame are stored and pulled out.
- Trundle sleeper sofa – A new concept of sleeper sofas where a trundle mattress is disguised as the sofa’s front rail. Once you pull it out, it pops into place next to the sofa to create a queen-sized sleeper.
28. Slope arm sofa
Slope arm sofas are sofas where the arms slope down from the back, giving it an elegant look and feel. Sofas like this are usually cushioned on all sides and provide a modern silhouette. They are also very comfy to sit or lie down on.
29. Sofa loungers
Sofa loungers are sofas with a bit of the chaise lounge element in them. In short, they work like sofas, but they come with an extension for you to put your feet up. They also come in various styles:
- Full sofa lounger – This is a sleeper sofa but you can still sit up even if it is in bed mode as the arms and sides are still in an upright position.
- Multi-sofa lounger – This comes with more than one lounging extension (usually at both ends of the sofa).
- Single sofa lounger – This is the most common kind where a single section has a lounging extension.
30. Tight back sofa
Tight back sofas do not have a loose cushion on the back as the back of the sofa is upholstered. The effect is a sofa with a cleaner, sleeker look and feel. They are often used for modern, contemporary, or minimalist homes.
31. Track arm sofa
A track arm sofa comes with clean, straight lines that capture your attention the moment you walk into the room. They have arms that are the shape of a square and from the front, they resemble an upside-down L.
32. Traditional sofa
Traditional sofas often give off a luxurious, classy vibe by using a sophisticated shape for the frame and including an intricate detail or two. They are often upholstered and accented with tufting or decorative nailheads.
33. Tuxedo sofa
Tuxedo sofas are called so because of their classy, tailored look. They have high arms that are the same level as the back, creating a clean-lined, geometric style. Because the back doesn’t recline the way other sofas do, they may not seem very comfortable, nevertheless, they look very elegant and classy.
Sofa and couch upholstery styles
Not only do you have to consider how you want your sofa to look, but you might have a preference where the material is concerned. There are three major upholstery styles when it comes to sofas and couches: Fabrics, leathers, and slipcovered sofas.
1. Fabric sofas
Most of the time, the type of fabric you choose for your sofa depends on the lifestyle you have. If you want a low-maintenance sofa, look for one with synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, or acrylic. Blended fabrics that are stain-resistant and tightly woven will work too. Outdoor fabrics will also work in high-traffic areas while cotton and linen give off a soft look.
2. Leather sofas
Nothing shouts sophistication like leather does. If you want a classy look for your living room, go with a sofa that is upholstered in leather. Full-grain leather makes a sofa more durable while top-grain leather gives off a more uniform appearance, greater stain resistance, and is altogether more affordable.
3. Slipcovered sofas
Slipcovered sofas are sofas that come with a cover that you can easily remove and wash. They are often more common in traditional-looking sofas and one benefit of having them is that you can always get various covers with different styles, colors, and designs so you can change the slipcover any time you want.
In our fabric sofas vs. leather sofas comparison we go in-depth with the most popular sofa types. Make sure you read the article if you want to know the pros and cons of each.
Sofa and couch cushion types
Sofas and couches also have different kinds of cushions that you need to take into consideration when you select the next sofa for your living room.
Springs or coils have been around for a long time, but in modern sofas, they are usually accompanied by other cushion types. They provide your sofa stability so it can last for a longer time.
2. Feathers and down
Feathers and down are often preferred by traditionalists and if you thought this was a thing of the past, you’ll be surprised to find out how popular they are again. They make your sofa soft and comfortable and it’s easy to maintain the shape by plumping and shaking the cushion to disburse the lumps.
3. Hollow fill
Hollow fill cushions make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. They are so soft that they require a little plumping and fluffing up from time to time so they maintain their shape.
4. Molded foam
If you’re looking for something firmer, get cushions with molded foam as they don’t require much fluffing or turning to keep their shape. If you like tidy appearances and neat lines, a molded foam is the right cushion for you.
Sofa and couch sizes chart
|No. of persons
|Average length of sofa needed