brown sofa in contemporary living room

25 Types of Couches & Sofas – Buying Guide With Pictures

There are so many different styles and types of sofas that it can become a little confusing sometimes. From mid century to contemporary the patterns will vary. From a utility point of view you could be looking for a sofa for entertaining, to use as an accent and even as a make shift bed.

Tufted, tightbacked, skirted, storage – the possibilities seem endless. The first thing is to decide what type and style you’re looking for. Here we have put together a list of some of the popular choices when shopping for a sofa. Whatever your taste, we’re sure there is a style for you.

1. Lawson Style Sofa

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The main feature of the Lawson Style sofa is the simple silhouette. That, accompanied with the low arms and heartily padded cushions, makes the Lawson the most popular kind of sofa. It is a relatively modern design that became popular in the 20th century.

The signature element of this sofa is that the cushions are separate from the frame. This creates a softer looking sofa that is very comfortable. The Lawson usually comes upholstered in toile or chintz. It fits right into a traditional living room. Depending on the decor, it can be seemingly transitional, the life of the party or somewhere that you can relax easily.

2. Contemporary Abstract Sofa

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An abstract sofa is a great way to add depth and shape to your room. Since they don’t look like a traditional sofa, it might be a little jarring at first but that is what makes it unique too. Even though clean lines can be visually appealing, the curved design of abstract sofas make it a popular choice for a contemporary home. Also, they can be a variety of shapes which make for interesting additions to your decor.

Consider the size of your room if you’re planning to add an abstract sofa there. Modern design favours minimalism so this type of sofa would be suitable in a room that isn’t crowded with furniture. In a neutral setting, this type of sofa could help balance out the monotony.

3. Chesterfield Style Sofa

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Known for it’s tufting design, the Chesterfield Style sofa is one of the most popular sofa choices today. This is the sofa that evokes a vintage vibe while being modern and beautiful at the same time. They are often placed near furnishings that you want to attract attention to as they become the focal point of the room.

Chesterfields can come with arms that are the same height as the back. They often have rolled arms and nailhead trimmings too.this adds a lot of visual appeal to the sofa. Chesterfields are usually upholstered in leather although modern designs come in velvet and polyester fabric as well.

4. Contemporary Mid Century Sofa

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A lot of times we use the term modern and contemporary interchangeably. However there are a few differences when it comes to contemporary and modern furniture. Contemporary mid century sofas refer to the style of mid century sofas that are popular today.

In that sense, we are talking about design styles that are adapted the trends of the present moment. The piece featured is a good example. It has the clean lines and simplicity of modern styles. At the same time, it includes the aspects of art deco adding flairs to a minimal design.

5. Cabriole Style Sofa

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The Cabriole has a unique and distinctive style. It has the trademark element of continuous equal arm and back height. If you wanted to describe this sofa with one word it would be curves.The legs have a distinctive S curve and the back forms a pleasing curvaceous line as well.

Cabriole sofas are used for softening out a room that is made up of lines and sharp angles. These sofa types come with both orante and contemporary elements depending on the design. Although they traditionally come with exposed wood trimming along the back, modern versions can be found without these as well.

6. Love Seat Sofa

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This one is a fancy way of saying a sofa that seats two people. Most often, they come as part of a living room set. Since it is compact, it is an ideal option for smaller rooms and cozy homespaces.

Love seats come in a variety of popular styles like the Chesterfield and Lawson. They are sturdy and can withstand a good amount of rough use – granted that it is made of lasting materials. Hence they can be used in different situations easily.

7. Scallop Sofa

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The Scallop style furniture was extremely popular in the past and is definitely making a comeback. Elegant like waves and a lot more interesting than geometric patterns, this one is visually appealing and stunning.

The softness of the lines in this type of sofa break up the harshness of angles that are present in your room. They go really well with modern minimal decors. Given the decor style, they can be dressed up or down with their upholstery and colours.

8. Armless Couch

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Although we usually think of chaise lounges when we talk about armless sofas, there are other varieties as well. The modern armless sofa is great for lounging and styling the room. A lot of people choose this style as it seats more people than a regular sofa would.

They have a slimmer look so they blend well into a room. They can easily be placed in any room to give it a hint of sophistication without being too obvious. If you choose a neutral colour, this sofa can give the illusion of a bigger space as well..

9. Divan

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These are sofas that don’t have a back. So they serve as benches well. They can be placed against a bare wall. You can stack additional cushions for comfort as well.

Granted they are not practical in all situations because of their design, they offer some versatility. You can switch up the look of divans more easily with pillow placements and accessories. Also, they can be more space saving since there is no back to worry about.

10. Modern Mid Century Sofa

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Mid century style furniture has been populous for decades. Usually featuring a minimalistic design, it has clean lines and simple visual appeal. This type of furniture was very popular from the 1930s to the 1970s. Recently, it has been making a comeback as it seems to have passed the test of time.

Mid century modern sofas are clean and comfortable. They can be coupled with a variety of home style designs. The style also uses a variety of textures and colours to play on the senses and create an inviting look.

11. Camelback Sofa

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If you’re looking for the more formal cousin of the Cabriole Style sofa, then the Camelback will be perfect for you. It has a slightly more vintage appeal and can fit well with traditional decors. The sofa is so named because it resembles a camel’s hump. There are no separate back cushions, although you can certainly add them for more comfort.

Another feature that distinguishes the Camelback is the exposed wood legs. Their design is classic, although there are plenty of modern versions available nowadays. They are a good fit if you want to break up the straight line decor while still maintaining the elegance of the room.

12. Asymmetrical Sofa

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Sometimes, adding asymmetrical elements to your living space can create a visual balance. The asymmetrical sofa cuts through the monotony of mirror images. Use an asymmetric element that is in the same colour as another piece of furniture to form a more cohesive picture.

Asymmetrical sofas usually feature a mixture of modern and traditional elements together. Especially if you have a specific style in mind, adding such visual and spatial abstraction is a good way to balance out the decor of your room.

13. English Rolled Arm Sofa

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The English sofa is a classic style that is known for it’s low arm and high back design. It has a tight compact construction yet is very well cushioned. Another defining feature is the curved turned legs on casters.

These sofas are a delight to lounge in thanks to the generous padding. A lot of times, the back or seat might include tufting which adds to the visual appeal of the sofa. English sofas will comfortably complement most decor styles well.

14. Storage Sofa

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Like the name suggests, these are sofas that have storage space available for you to keep things. These sofas are usually made with wood but could easily be metal as well. The storage sofas are a great space saving solution.

An important thing to consider is how much space you want your sofa to occupy. Placement will also matter depending on where the storage space is located. Durable upholstery and colours will help to blend your storage sofas more easily while complementing your decor.

15. Adjustable Sofa

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An adjustable sofa has features to change it’s size according to your needs. Many times, you might want to have a sofa serve multiple purposes. These sofas can be made longer or shorter. The one featured here can lower it’s armrests to provide more room.

Multifunctionalilty has become a core function of furniture in modern times. With adjustable furniture, you can get more value out of your pieces. They can be fitted according to the room’s requirements as well as the occasion’s demand.

16. Pullout Sofa

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This is the most popular type of sleeper sofa. Over time, they have improved a lot in form and function. The pull out couch comes with a metal frame and thin mattress that can be opened up to make a bed.

They are different from futons as the back stays up even when you convert the sofa to a bed. However, it is common to have futon mattresses in sofa beds too. These are great options for small rooms and studio apartments. When not being used as a bed, the pull out couch could be used in lounge room settings as well as dens.

17. Convertible Sofa

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A convertible sofa is one that can be used for sleeping as well. This is a little different from your standard sofa bed or pull out couch because a convertible sofa doesn’t have a mattress. The convertible sofa uses the couch pillows as the mattress. In such, depending on the quality of the couch cushion, it could be either more or less comfortable than a regular pullout bed.

Convertible sofas are great for studio apartments and in home offices to give a cozy decor. They can also be handy in case you don’t have a proper guest room.

18. Compact Corner Sofa

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For a space saving solution and small rooms, the compact corner sofa is the way to go. With these, you can maximize your living area. When placed in the corner, you can pair them with matching rugs. This is a great way to make your lounge area the focal point of your home.

Compact corner sofas are modular. So they can be moved around easily and positioned in different ways. That’s a great way to change the look of your living room. Also, they can be more economical for a smaller living room so that’s a bonus.

19. Settee

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Sometimes used interchangeably with the term love seat, settes are straight backed sofas. When you look at it, sometimes it might look like a really wide chair. Either way, they are like mini sofas that are used to seat at most two people

They can be used as a sofa for a small living room. Usually, they come in as many styles as sofas do. Sometimes, they can be placed at the foot of a bed or in an entryway since they are compact. With their old world charm, they make really nice foyer pieces.

20. Sectional Sofa

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When you think of a sectional sofa, you mostly imagine an L-shaped specimen. Usually they look like they’re taking up a good chunk of space as well. However, sectionals are a lot more than that. Sectional sofas are a very practical piece of furniture.

They usually come upholstered and are great for both large and small living rooms. You can choose the number of pieces that fit the size and layout of your room.The pieces of a sectional can range from armrests to single chairs as well as sleeper sofa units.

21. Reclining Sofa Lounger

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The reclining sofa lounger is a relatively new type of sofa. However, it has gained a lot of popularity thanks to it’s comfortable features. They are handy stress relievers since they provide a comfortable angle for your back. They also support your legs which improves blood circulation in them.

Recliners can be both supportive and comfortable when it comes to relief and safety. They adapt to your needs easily. To top it off, they often come with a range of accessories and compartments.

22. Futon

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With a history that dates back to 17th century Japan, the futon is a sofa cum bed combo. While it is somewhat similar to the convertible sleeper couch, the mattress is the futon’s own cushions. The back usually folds or can be pushed down to create a flat cushioned sleeping area.

Western style futons usually feature a wood or metal support. They usually do not have armrests and are not upholstered with fabric. However, there can be a futon slipcover which can be used to personalize your furniture.

23. Tuxedo Sofa

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The tuxedo sofa is distinguishable from it’s characteristic clean lines and boxy shape. The geometric symmetry of this sofa is really pleasing and attractive. It was made famous by the interior designer Billy Baldwin.

A product of the Art Deco era, the Tuxedo sofa has arms that are the same height as the back. Usually, the back and arms are higher than with other sofa styles. This makes it a great addition to formal living rooms. This style of sofa is usually upholstered completely which gives it a very chic look.

24. Day Bed

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Day beds are a great option if you like to unwind with a little nap. It’s the ultimate sofa-that-looks-like-a-bed. In the past they had the reputation of being neither and cast off. Recently however, people are starting to really appreciate the charm of the humble daybed.

The daybed is a lot more useful and chic than we give it credit for. You can use one as a place for friends to crash on. It could easily be your main bed/couch in a studio apartment – hence the utility. You could also use it as your hybrid sofa bed in your home office.

Daybeds come in a wide range of varieties. With the right styling and accessories, you could make it a very inviting space to relax. And this way it can convert to a handy sleeping spot at night.

25. Low Seated Sofa

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The height of the usual sofa is around 17 to 18 inches. The low seated sofa commonly comes with a height of less than 17 inches. These types of sofas offer a very minimal look and feel to your room. When buying a low sofa, keep in mind the type of mood you’re trying to create.

A good quality low sofa will be a great investment and lasts a pretty long time. They come in a variety of patterns, sizes and fabrics so you can choose one according to the needs of your home. Since this type of sofa feels very inviting, you’re guests will really appreciate it.

FAQs about sofa and couches

1. Are Sofas and Couches the Same?

Although they have similar functions, there is some difference between a sofa and a couch. Sofas are more formal and have a defined back with armrests. Couches are less formal and usually meant for lounging or lying down.

2. How long do couches last?

Typically, a well made couch or sofa should last you at least 7 -10 years. Around this time, the seats may begin to sag and the fabric looks worn out.

3. How to clean a sofa?

For crumbs, use a stiff brush to get out all the small pieces, debris and dust. If your upholstery is fabric you can use a vacuum to clean it. Sofas with slipcovers can be removed and washed easily. You can add baking soda and dry carpet clean to the sofa for a deep clean.

4. What is a sleeper sofa?

A sleeper sofa is one that has a frame underneath the cushion that can be unfolded to make a bed. The term also encompasses a futon and daybed sometimes although they are made differently.

5. What is the standard size of a sofa?

A standard 3 seater is around 90 inches wide , 40 inches deep and at least 30 inches high. It can differ from brand to brand and depend on the style though.

6. How to measure a sofa?

You must measure the length, width and height of the space you want to place your sofa in. Measure the sofa from the widest points – these are the arms and the back. For height, measure from the floor to the point of the sofa cushion where you’re sitting.

7. How much does a sofa weigh?

Most sofas typically weigh around 50 pounds to 250 pounds depending on the style and size. A loveseat can weigh as low as 54 while a sectional will weigh around 220+ pounds.

8. How to deodorize a sofa?

Baking soda works well. Apply enough to leave a residue and leave for at least 20 minutes. Leave overnight to treat a strong odour. Vacuum the residue once the baking soda has absorbed the smell.

9. How to decorate a sofa with pillows?

As a general practice, an odd number of pillows will create a more pleasing visual effect. The colour does not need to match as long as it complements the colour scheme so that it looks like it belongs together.

10. What are some common mistakes while buying a sofa?

Not considering the layout of your room. Compromising on the quality of your sofa. Selecting the wrong style and layout for your room. Selecting the wrong material or colour. Buying without considering all your options and without research.

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