When it comes to living room furniture, a sofa is almost always styled in the room. Whether it’s one sofa with several accent chairs, a love seat paired with a couch, or an L-shaped sectional, every living room sees at least one type of sofa.
Is your living room in need of a furniture reset? In the market for a new sofa? There are various types of sofas with different seating arrangements and styles to note to best match your furniture with your preferences. Here are 7 types of sofas to know before you go shopping so you can choose your new favorite piece with confidence.
How to Find The Right Type of Sofa
Before we get into the different types of sofas, it’s important to consider what your living room needs and what you want in a sofa so you can choose the best option. Each sofa type is made differently with different sizes, characteristics, designs, and intentions that should be kept in mind when shopping for a new sofa.
Here are some things to consider when shopping for a new sofa to lead you to the right fit… literally.
Size & Measurements
Before shopping for your new sofa, some prep work is required to determine how big of a sofa your room can hold and your acquired layout. Do you want two sofas flanking each other? A sofa and two accent chairs? Just one big sectional for you and your family to enjoy? Having an idea on your preferred sofa orientation and other furniture in the room (coffee table, end tables, etc.) will help you in the long run in terms of space available.
As you start to measure your living room for your new sofa, there are a few things to keep in mind as you start to gather your measurements. First, think about movement and how you’re going to be able to move around in the room. Make sure there is still a clear pathway that leads in and out of the room with at least 3ft of space for your main pathway and 2ft of space between your furniture.
Second, if you’re going to put your new sofa against the living room wall, keep it a few inches off the wall to protect your furniture and paint from scratches.
Think of your day-to-day lifestyle and what it is you need out of your sofa. Do you have a large family that likes to lounge? Is it just you or you with one other person? Do you entertain? Knowing your lifestyle and what an average day for your home is like will determine how big of a sofa you need to accommodate all house members or guests.
If your house is on the busier side or you do have children and pets, a sofa with performance fabric is your best bet at keeping it clean. Performance fabrics are made with special materials, such as Sunbrella, for strength and durability that’s also easy to clean.
Curious to see sofas with performance fabrics? Check out our collection at Blake Interiors. We carry a variety of Crypton, Inside Out, Wearproof, and Sunbrella to fit your family’s needs and keep your sofa in excellent condition.
Upholstery & Color
Two of the finer details – upholstery fabric and color – are also important to make the right decision for your living room sofa. Think about the leather or fabric choice you would like your living room sofa to have, along with the color, to choose a piece that complements your room’s design and aesthetic. Also think of a color that fits your room’s color scheme but also has the least chance of damaging due to the dirt. This is especially important if you have children or pets in the house.
One of our favorite furniture brands is Rowe Furniture for upholstered pieces. If you see a furniture style you like with one of their sofas, we are able to assist you in selecting your upholstery fabric and color options in store as well as order it and have it shipped for pickup.
Along with Rowe Furniture, we carry slipcover and upholstered fabric options in our store to modernize your home furnishing and provide ease with maintenance. Slipcover fabrics can be fully removed from your sofa to wash and clean up from any spills or stains. These fabrics have a casual look that creates a relaxing aesthethic in your home, while upholstered cushions have slightly more restrictions in terms of removal.
Upholstered sofas have fabric that follows it’s frame tightly for a tapered, all-inclusive look. Sometimes the cushions on upholstered sofas can be removed to wash and clean, but the fabric along the frame stays intact.
7 Different Types of Sofas
Here are the 7 main types of sofas on the market you’ll notice once you begin to shop. Each sofa type is different in terms of makeup, seating arrangements, and design. These types of sofas come in a variety of different sizes, which is something to note when taking your measurements into consideration.
A standard sofa is the most common type of sofa found in most homes. The standard sofa is meant for at least three people to sit comfortably on one cushion. Traditional standard sofas have three separate cushions, while modern sofas incorporate bench style seating. These sofas can range in size from 80” to 100” and make beautiful focal points in living rooms. We carry a lot of standard sofas at Blake Interiors with bench style seating to provide a modern approach to home design (that’s still super comfortable!).
Sectionals are large sofas that can be arranged in a variety of ways. They are larger than the standard sofa and offer a generous amount of seating come in a variety of shapes such as L-shaped, U-shaped, and modular. Some sectionals even have chaise seating for additional leg support. These types of sofas are great to float in a middle of the room, tuck in a corner, or place against a wall.
Ready to get up close and personal? A loveseat is a condensed version of a standard sofa that offers enough room for up to two people. Loveseats can match a sofa if they are included in a set or are great for smaller living rooms where space is limited. If you live in a small apartment or don’t have much room in your home, a loveseat is a great compromise for a sofa to still provide the room with comfortable sofa-like seating.
As the name suggests, a sleeper sofa is a sofa that’s able to convert into a pull-out bed that’s perfect for overnight guests or studio apartments. Sleeper sofas, before they’re pulled out into a bed, look just like a normal sofa or loveseat. There’s padded cushions on the bottom and backing for a comfortable seating position before pulling out into a full-length bed.
Settees are the perfect middle option between a sofa and loveseat in the sense that settees are smaller than sofas, but larger than a loveseat. These seating arrangements date back to the 17th century in Europe and still feature intricate designs with their curved backing and arms. Unlike sofas and loveseats, some settees do not have individual cushions, but instead one bottom cushion and backing that’s the length of the entire sofa. These are truly elegant staple pieces for living room furniture!
Instead of needing a matching ottoman, opt for a built-in ottoman with a sofa chaise. These types of sofas provide the ultimate comfort room for your legs with their extended cushion that matches the color and fabric of the rest of the sofa. With this type of sofa, the chaise can be customized to go on whichever side you prefer. The terminology used to determine which side the chaise is on is typically referred to as RAF (right-arm facing) or LAF (left-arm facing). Rowe Furniture is different and uses different terms such as RSC (right-seated chaise) and LSC (left-seated chaise); where the chaise in when sitting on the sofa.
For a truly modern-vintage vibe, tuxedo sofas have all the elegance and design you’re after. These sofas have a shorter back than most sofas with arms that are the same height. Most tuxedo sofas have tufted backing for a pop in the sofa’s design, and they come in a variety of leather or fabric options. Some tuxedo sofas have individual cushions on the bottom with a one-length backing, though some sofas have one bottom cushion that’s the length of the sofa.
Find Your New Favorite Sofa Today
Ready to freshen up your living room furniture with one of these types of sofas? Find what you’re looking for at Blake Interiors. We take comfort and style to the next level with our gorgeous pieces that are sure to make a statement in your living room. Browse from our selection of high-quality sofas to fit your preferences, or have one of our designers assist you in determining the right sofa for your home. Don’t forget to pair your new sofa with one of our coffee tables and accent pieces for an entire new design!