Whether you’re curled up for a catnap, glued to the latest Netflix series or hosting this month’s game night, the couch is where you’ll be spending your days.
It’s the centrepiece of any living room and the most used piece of furniture that will (hopefully) be around for many years to come.
Needless to say, it’s a commitment.
But picking a sofa that will practically grow up with you is a terrifying thought.
What if it isn’t what you thought you wanted?
After all, sofas are some of the priciest pieces of furniture and are costly (not to mention tedious) to replace. Which means they are a choice you do not want to get wrong.
We get that! And we’re here to help you pick your dream sofa.
Stick around and learn:
Sofa consideration factors
More than just a computer or phone that we purchase to get us through the next few years, sofas last a lot longer and are much more expensive.
Before we jump into our top sofa picks of the year, you’ll want to spend some quality alone time thinking about what your needs are and how that sofa is going to factor in.
“Best” varies from person to person after all so here’s a list of not so obvious things that you might want to think about:
Do you really need a new sofa or is everything a lie?
Obvious question (that’s why you’re reading this post). Or is it?
You’ve clung on to your beloved sofa for a long time but it’s wearing, it’s tearing and it quite frankly looks sad :(. Sometimes, an old thing has got to go no matter how much you love it.
But here’s a secret… did you know there’s an easy way to turn ye’ old faithful into a look new, feel new version of itself?
The solution: Sofa Slipcovers. You can get them for most branded sofas (or even custom sofas) and are essentially only buying the fabric part of the sofa. Here’s how they can renew your couch:
Just replace the zippered cushion covers and slip the frame cover over and voila! Good as new. It can also be used on most upholstered sofas too.
In short, as long as the frame and the cushions are holding up, a slipcover will erase all signs that your sofa was ever more than a few days old. Save your money, keep your beloved sofa and do away with the hassle of shopping for a new one.
So you’ve ordered your sofa and are waiting for it to arrive. But wait, do you have a plan to bring it in?
Unfortunately not all furniture comes flatpacked (think IKEA), which means you may be looking at maneuvering a full sized sofa minus the legs through a whole menagerie of obstacles.
Anyone who’s familiar with the Friends TV series will appreciate how difficult that can be.
Of course, it can be angled and turned accordingly while moving it around, but if it can’t get through an obstacle on it’s shortest side then you may be in trouble.
Through stairways, doorways, elevators, hanging light fixtures and furniture, think of every step of the way that your new sofa will need to pass through.
And all of that comes after you figure out how to get the old sofa out.
Farmhouse, mid-century modern, scandinavian – decorating styles come and go and all designs lasts through the ages.
Ask yourself if your living room settled in it’s identity, which then you’ll want a sofa with a shape and color that suits it, or if not you need a more versatile looking sofa to change up as you discover your tastes.
To future proof your home, consider choosing flexible designs and more importantly, flexible sofas. No, they don’t literally flex but they are versatile enough to change up when you need something different.
In particular, we’re a big fan of modular sectional sofas (in fact, we have another blogpost dedicated just to sectionals).
They give the option to build upon your sofa in so many ways. From extra seating, storage, lounges and even beds, sectionals have them all. You just have to pick the right one.
Best part is that you don’t even have to make the choice immediately. Just get the basic sectional and grow it how you want when the time comes and your needs change.
Somehow over the years, the common sofa has evolved to accommodate a host of secondary functionality.
Whether you’ll need any of it is another story but you just might find a coupe of nifty features you didn’t know you wanted.
Sofa beds for example are a thing. They are particularly useful for homes that accommodate lots of guests.
Storage sofas are also gaining some popularity for those who want to save space.
Our favourite feature of all though are slipcovers. Slipcovered sofas give you the option to renew and change the color pallete of your sofa from time to time.
Of course upholstery is an option as well, though the extreme price and effort involved is a big turn off.
Oh and did I mention some slipcovers are even machine washable to make your cleaning life easy breezy?
Just unzip the cushions and throw them into the wash. Parents with messy kids (or furbabies) will wonder how they ever lived without them.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying a sofa from an unknown manufacturer.
It just doesn’t give you that sense of reassurance that you’re getting a product that you know you can trust.
But it goes so much deeper than that.
From return policies, to customer service to logistics and even status symbolism; the brand does matter. And some are definitely better than others.
So which brand and which sofa is for you then? Let’s find out right now!
Best Large Couch (Also Best Deep Couch) : Crate & Barrel Lounge II
Let’s begin by saying that the Lounge II is very appropriately named. It’s your go to choice if you’re looking for “oversized modern seating” (in Crate & Barrel’s own words).
Made famous for its exaggerated seating depth, one doesn’t simply sit on the Lounge II – you lounge on it.
So it’s not so great for those who like upright seating, because at a seat depth of 29”, you won’t be getting much of that.
Only the tallest of the tall will have the privilege of having their feet touch the floor while seated against the backrest.
But if you’re the type who enjoys living on the sofa, the Lounge II is perfect for you.
It’s supremely comfy with thick fabric covers and massive, soft cushions that you sink into. The ability to expand it to any size you want (if it’s the sectional version) is also a big plus for anyone looking to future proof their living room or create their own sofa island.
In the looks department, the Lounge II is reasonably versatile with it’s modern aesthetic. Fabric color choices are numerous with most colors you could want.
Yes, even royal purple velvet if that’s your thing.
A price of roughly $2000 for the standard 3 seater in fabric puts the Lounge II firmly in the mid-priced range but we feel that the splurge is worth it.
Crate & Barrel is no new face and have been in the sofa business for years. Their sofas are made in America from kiln dried hardwood which is quality stuff that should last a long time.
But don’t take our word for it, CB has numerous showrooms for you to pop in and determine for yourself if this is your couch.
Best Customizable Couch : Interior Define Maxwell
Those fans of more classical looking sofas will get along with the Interior Define Maxwell just fine.
Born from a collab between Interior Define and Apartment Therapy’s Maxwell Ryan, the Maxwell is styled after a timeless classic – the English roll arm sofa.
The design has been around for a long time and was popularized over 200 years ago which probably means it won’t be going out of style anytime soon.
A huge reason why the English roll arm is so popular is because it is extremely versatile and can be changed up to complement traditional and modern spaces alike.
The Maxwell of course, brings this to the next level. It offers a sheer amount of customizability on top of its already flexible design. That makes the sofa well-suited for just about any living room.
From color, fabric material, leg style, sofa length, and cushion type – you choose exactly what you want.
You can even choose to go upholstered or slipcovered or even give it a skirt!
That means it’s perfect for those looking for an incredibly specific sofa like say an apartment-sized, metal legged, bench cushioned yellow velvet monstrosity (let’s not go there).
Truly a dream come true for those who are obsessed with designing their own space.
Plus the quality is there too. Kiln dried hardwood and a mix of foam combined with goose down cushions for $1900 is a good deal. They even offer a $50 white glove and a 60 day return policy.
So how does it feel? Well, that would depend on how you like to sit.
Following the traditional English roll arm style, this is a deep couch. After all, the style is nicknamed the English sleeper sofa.
While not as exaggerated as the Lounge II, the sofa still has a 27” depth of loungy goodness (or badness if you hate it) and will easily lift most of their feet.
Almost bedlike, it’s suuuper comfy… but is obviously not the best for straight sitters, whose knees won’t bend at the edge of the sofa to sit comfortably.
While the included lumbar pillows and short height somewhat help in the struggle to touch the ground, it’s very apparent that this sofa was made for deep seating. Perfect for lazy Netflix days and cuddles.
And if that’s your thing then consider walking into one of the showrooms scattered around America to try it out.
Unfortunately for you if you do end up falling in love with it though, the couches are made-to-order and can take 8-10+ weeks to arrive. But that’s a sacrifice you’ll have to make if you want something large, deep and customizable that doesn’t look like a huge monstrosity of a sofa.
Best Budget Couch : IKEA Ektorp
Exaggerations aside, the Ektorp may be the most popular sofa in the world – given how it’s the most popular sofa from IKEA and IKEA is well… IKEA.
And if you’re looking for an affordable couch that doesn’t skimp on the good stuff, then look no further!
Unlike some of the other deeper sofas on this list, the Ektorp is a throwback to an actual sofa as opposed to a mattress turned sofa half a bed with a backrest… thing.
Tried and tested by tens of thousands around the globe, the Ektorp is guaranteed to be one of the safest sofa choices out there.
Priced humbly at $399 in its most affordable incarnation, this is definitely a budget couch, though by no means near the cheapest sofa you will find. But it’s worth every penny, and then some.
What’s great about the Ektorp is that it’s a comfortable, well rounded sofa. And no, that’s not just because of the rolled arms which by the way give the Ektorp a very classical look (the long skirt makes it particularly suitable for the iconic farmhouse aesthetic).
Fellow humans of average height will find the seating position of the Ektorp to be comfortably upright. There’s some lounge but not too much, it’s just what you’d imagine a “typical” sofa would be like to sit on.
That’s a good thing for those who want an all-rounder.
The cushions for the Ektorp are also in between. Both back and seat cushions are made from plush foam as opposed to down-filling. Squishing them will tell you that they are slightly on the firmer side. You don’t sink into them but they do give nicely.
And more than being comfortable, it’s also a very convenient sofa to purchase and maintain. You can try it out for yourself in the numerous IKEA showrooms and order it flat packed if it tickles your fancy, which will save a ton of headache for those who would fight to get larger sofas into their home.
Plus, it comes with machine washable slipcovers for easy cleaning, making it the most easy to maintain sofa listed here.
All in all, sure it may not be the most prestigious couch but we love it and most likely you will too.
As proof of that, we keep an Ektorp in our office which has seen many years of use. All the while maintaining its original shape.
Best Leather Sofa : Article Timber
Perhaps the classiest sofa in this list, the Article Timber sofa is the choice for those of you who want to splurge, but not too much.
Sleek, modern, and classic mid century. It’s difficult to find a couch that is this effortlessly comfortable to plop on while oozing sophistication. Part of this charm comes from the angular wooden legs and wooden panel at the bottom which is the spice in the soup.
Somewhat deep seating paired with a low back strike an unusual balance between lounging and upright sitting. Though that’s not to say it is uncomfortable, because it is.
In fact, it quite literally sucks you in.
Part of the secret why the Timber is so comfortable is due to it’s slightly firm but plenty giving seat cushions. Not giving enough to make it sag though, which is great.
Pair this with some extremely soft down-filled back pillows and you get a couch that wraps around and hugs you – which makes it a favourite for napping on.
It’s even long enough for those over 6ft to sprawl out on and have plenty of room to spare.
But for all that’s said, the best feature of the Timber is it’s leather.
It’s upholstered in full grain aniline leather tanned in Italy. Holy! That’s basically the most expensive leather used in sofas – the kind that wears in beautifully over time and develops a vintage patina.
To those who haven’t had the luxury of sitting on quality leather before, know that it is very different from faux and is much more breathable. Plus it also smells nice 🙂
You can get all of that for just $1800. Now that’s a bargain!
This from a quality sofa maker like Article who are known for their reasonably-priced leather sofas sure is impressive. What’s even better is their extraordinary return policy and decent shipping fees ($50 in the US).
So for those looking for a leather couch and don’t mind dealing with the small effort involved in maintaining leather and regular fluffing of the down-filled pillows (lest they look frumpy and depressed), then this is the sofa for you!
And even if you don’t want it in leather, it’s still a great couch but we feel that that would be a kind of waste.
Best Firm Sofa : Room & Board Andre
Room and Board’s Andre sofa is firm. Like firm firm.
While definitely not a sofa for everyone, it is quite a breath of fresh air compared to many of the so soft it will eat you sofas that are on this list.
In fact, it’s Room & Boards most popular sofa and has been selling for over 10 years.
Gorgeous clean lines paired with a mid century design make it a wonderful edition to more modern looking homes, and those with little space to work with would particularly appreciate the slim and narrow design of the Andre.
That also scores it points for the ease in which it can be brought into the room.
Perhaps the most defining feature of the Andre is how “structured” it sits. It’s by far the most upright and firm sofa on the list.
That’s not a bad thing. I mean, it’s not exactly easy to have a face-to-face conversation while everyone is sinking into the sofa like quicksand.
Aside from those who enjoy the feel of strong support against their back and butt, having a firm sofa does come with some pretty useful benefits as well.
Other than being great to nap on for your aching back, the combination of a resilient foam core and softer padding foam make the Andre a long laster – and a delight for those who don’t want to deal with the maintenance of fluffing down-filled cushions.
Speaking of long lasting, that’s what you can expect to get when ordering from Room & Board. They are a well established and wildly popular brand that give you the good stuff. From thick fabric to kiln dried hardwood, they know how to deliver quality.
And their customers know it too, so much so that some of them sound like members of a tiny furniture cult – they absolutely swear by R&B. Just one look at the zombie horde-like crowds that gather for one of their rare sales is proof enough of that.
But that’s what you get when you offer quality products at a reasonable price (the Andre is $1800 for the default). Plus the customer support is top-notch as well.
If you know what you’re in for, there’s no real downside to the Andre except that it doesn’t come slipcovered. It’s upholstered, which is a pity if your beloved fur baby coughs up it’s dinner onto the sofa, though the cushions can be flipped to hide these kinds of disasters.
How to get the sofa of your dreams
Found a sofa on this list that has made you fall in love all over again? It’s the perfect height off the ground and the cushions are just how you like them – only that it doesn’t quite jive with the rest of your home.
If only it would’ve come in your favourite fabric and color too.
What if I told you you can get all that, and more!
Custom slipcovers will let you design your sofa the way you want it, all in an unobtrusive way. They just slip onto your sofa. Oh, they are also made-to-measure and will fit your couch to a tee. No need to worry about losing those lovely clean lines.
Some brands like IKEA even give you the option of buying the sofa without fabric so you can design it yourself!
This way you can triple your selection, and not just to materials and color, but to styles as well.
Turn a would be would be modern sofa shabby chic to go with your farmhouse look. Like this IKEA Soderhamn for example:
Best part is that they are machine washable(except for the leather ones). After all, you can’t live in peace with your new sofa while worrying that the latest in the series of crayon on sofa artwork will destroy it.
So who said we can’t have good things? Check us out to learn more!