The 12 Best Couches and Sofas Chosen by Livingetc's Editors for Their Perfect Style Points

The 12 best couches and sofas answer all the problems of modern life - they're comfortable, durable and, best of all, look good

three of the best sofas
(Image credit: 25 Home, DWR, Article)

The sofa plays a pivotal role in a living room design scheme. It's a practical piece yet its design, color, and size will affect what else accompanies it, such as rugs, floor lamps, and upholstered chairs. 

Finding the best sofa for your interior will depend on a range of factors. Firstly, the size of the room, your style preferences, and, of course, your lifestyle.

Curved couches in ivory bouclé are a huge trend with a variety of sinuous shapes on offer, while models with rounded edges and sumptuous upholstery are current yet less likely to date. For a timeless look, low-profile Italian-style sofas and sectionals, button-tufted Chesterfield influences, or chunky modular designs are a good bet.

Size and scale are obviously the most important aspects to consider. A couch that's too small can impact family life, while opting for a model that's too large can overwhelm a room. 

So measure up and peruse our selection of the best couches and sofas from some of the best home decor stores.  

Most on-trend sofa

Most joy-making sofa

Most minimalist sofa

The perfect couch for family life

The perfect couch for entertaining

The smartest small sofa

The best-looking large sofa

The most comfortable sofa

The most timeless sofa

The most long-lasting sofa

The most covetable sofa

The chicest affordable sofa

Which type of sofa is best?

When choosing a style, the sofa legs can have a big impact on its overall appearance. 

Low-to-the-ground sofas with no visible legs are a good option for open-plan rooms where the boxy design will add gravitas to the room and ground a scheme. 

Smaller rooms will benefit from a leggy design, where the sofa base is lifted off the floor. This allows the eye to travel under the sofa and creates a feeling of spaciousness. 

In an open-plan layout, a sectional sofa is a good zoning tool. Sectional models allow flexible U or L-shaped seating configurations. Group seating around a large rug to ground the 'chill out' area and create a more intimate 'zone' within a larger space. 

Unless you're buying a ready-made model, there is usually a huge selection of fabrics on offer. Each will subtly alter the way a sofa looks and feels. Fabrics with more drape create a softer, more squishy sofa seat, whereas thicker less flexible materials offer more resistance and a firmer feel. 

Velvets add a smart, luxe feel; slubby linens provide a relaxed vibe, and hardwearing synthetic mixes can be a practical solution in a busy family home. Sofas with loose covers also allow the flexibility to wash or update upholstery, ensuring your sofa has longevity.

How do I choose the right couch?

A useful approach is to utilise the 'two-thirds rule'; opting for a sofa width that is no more than two-thirds the width of the wall behind it. If you have enough space for a sofa that's half the width of the wall behind, this will increase the feeling of spaciousness further. It also allows for end tables or floor lamps at either end.

As well as the width and depth, take into account the sofa's height, especially if it needs to fit under any existing architectural details like a windowsill or picture rail. Marking out the dimensions with tape is a useful way to get a sense of scale. 

Consider access dimensions, too. A narrow entranceway, awkwardly shaped hallway, or staircase will need to be measured to ensure the sofa will fit through doorways and tricky access points. Check whether your chosen sofa has removable legs or needs self-assembly if space is tight.  

Which sofa is most comfortable?

Finding a supportive backrest is important for upright sitters. Look for models where the sofa frame has a high backrest, rather than just relying on a high back cushion for support.

If you like to curl up or lay down, opt for a lower profile design with a more generous seat depth. Consider arm height too, and choose a lower arm that can double as a headrest when sprawled out.

Sofa cushion construction can affect comfort levels and will be a consideration for vegan shoppers. A pure foam cushion generally offers a fairly firm sitting experience but has the benefit of springing back into shape after being sat on.

Feather and down cushions provide a more squishy seat but tend to settle over time, so require regular plumping.

To combine the best of both worlds, many sofa manufacturers now offer foam cushion cores that are wrapped in a layer of soft feathers – providing comfort whilst retaining the sofa shape.

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.