A couch is one of the largest pieces of furniture in your home, and perhaps one of the most used: It’s destined to be the setting for sleepovers, movie nights, deep conversations, and even work meetings. And while it’s tempting to opt for the trendy couch that’s making its way around social media, it’s important to remember to choose a piece that will be a lasting investment.
“Sofas are like cars in that so much of what determines the quality is ‘under the hood’ and not immediately noticeable to the customer,” says Stephen Bowen, senior furniture designer at Burrow. “If you invest in one with high-quality materials and take care of it, it should last you for a long time.”
To find the best couches, we scoured the market for high-quality frame materials, seat filling, and upholstery fabrics. We also considered style and price while narrowing down the options. In addition to Bowen, we also consulted interior designers Jade McNeil and Audrey Scheck for expert advice.
Our top pick is the AllModern Miller Upholstered Sofa. This versatile couch comes in multiple colors and fabrics, and it has a sleek design that will look good in nearly any space.
Best Overall Couch
AllModern Miller Upholstered Sofa
Who it’s for: People looking for a comfortable and versatile couch at a reasonable price point.
Who it isn’t for: People who’d prefer a deeper seat or performance upholstery.
With three wide seats and high angular arms, AllModern’s Miller Upholstered Sofa is ideal for those who want sleek lines without compromising comfort. The polyester-blend upholstery is available in multiple colors and textures, including velvet and boucle. It’s cozy enough to nap on without worrying about sagging cushions or having to fluff after each sitting session—just keep in mind that the arms are a bit too high to comfortably rest your head on.
The fabric wears well, but it does pick up dust and fuzz from throw blankets quite easily—nothing a quick brush or vacuum can’t fix. Assembly consists of screwing on the four wooden legs and placing the cushions. When the back cushions are removed, the couch is roughly the width of a twin bed—perfect for guests to crash on overnight. We also love the open bottom, which is great for small apartments that need extra storage space.
Price at time of publish: $1,599
- Upholstery: Polyester blend
- Frame: Manufactured wood
- Seat Fill: Foam and synthetic fiber
- Dimensions: 31 x 84 x 35 inches
Best Budget Couch
Mellow Hana Sofa
Who it’s for: People looking for a budget-friendly couch that can arrive quickly.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a sectional or larger sofa.
What we love most about Mellow’s Hana Sofa are its clean, modern lines, and handy storage pockets on the armrests. Because of its reasonable price, this couch is ideal for those moving into their first home and anyone who is simply looking for a cost-effective couch that doesn’t skimp on comfort or style. It has plush seat cushions and soft, linen-blend upholstery that comes in multiple shades of gray and blue.
While this couch is smaller than others on this list (only 73.5 inches wide), it’s great for apartments and smaller living rooms. But because of its bite-size frame, it may not be the most comfortable for taller people or those looking to stretch out across its length. This couch is still a three-seater though, so we appreciate its space-saving nature while still being able to comfortably seat more than just two people. Plus, both Wayfair and Amazon offer fast and free shipping, so this couch could arrive at your doorstep in less than a week.
Price at time of publish: $467
- Upholstery: Linen blend
- Frame: Solid wood
- Seat Fill: Foam
- Dimensions: 32 x 73.5 x 29 inches
Best Splurge Couch
Arhaus Marina Sofa
Who it’s for: People looking for a high-quality couch with performance upholstery.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a more modern design.
The Arhaus Marina Sofa is one of the most expensive options on our list, but for good reason. Handcrafted in North Carolina, this couch is made with cross-directional hardwood and no-sag steel suspension for an extra-durable construction. The cushions, which are covered in a performance weave fabric (available in six neutral shades), are filled with plant-based foam and a mix of down and feathers. It also comes in two widths: 84 and 96 inches.
This couch features a slightly tilted back for maximum comfort, and the curved frame is ideal for lounging for a lengthy period of time. We especially love the sleek, single bench seat cushion and the piped edge detail. To care for this investment piece, Arhaus recommends spot-cleaning with distilled water, or a mix of mild detergent and water if the stain persists.
Price at time of publish: $4,299
- Upholstery: Performance
- Frame: Hardwood laminate and recycled steel
- Seat Fill: Partially plant-based foam and down feathers
- Dimensions: 31 x 84 x 36 inches and 31 x 96 x 36 inches
Best Kid- & Pet-Friendly Couch
Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa
Who it’s for: People who want a couch that’s equally durable and comfortable.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a more cloud-like design.
Our favorite kid- and pet-friendly couch, the Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa is durable enough to handle it all. The couch’s olefin upholstery ensures stains roll right off and claw scratches won’t leave a dent. The performance fabric is available in five colors (white, red, navy, light gray, and dark gray) and you can order a free swatch set to see and feel them at home.
We appreciate that the Nomad is modular, so you can adjust the shape and size to fit new homes, new rooms, and even new family members. But Burrow’s customizations go further than configuration: The couch is available with six different leg finishes and three arm styles, and you can even add on a matching chaise or ottoman. The cushions are reversible, too—tufted on one side, smooth on the other. But perhaps the best part about this couch is that there’s a USB charger built into the frame.
Price at time of publish: $1,595
- Upholstery: Performance weave
- Frame: Baltic birch
- Seat Fill: 3 layers of foam and fiber
- Dimensions: 33 x 85 x 35 inches
Best Modular Couch
Floyd Two-Piece Form Sectional
Who it’s for: People looking for a flexible and versatile couch that can grow with you.
Who it isn’t for: People who’d prefer a smaller couch or higher seat.
Known for its platform bed that grows with you, it’s no surprise that Floyd’s flexible philosophy also applies to its couches. The brand’s modular sectional can be purchased in pre-made configurations or individual pieces so you can create your dream couch. The most popular configuration is the two-piece unit with the double chaise. We love that you’re never locked into a certain shape—you can add additional seats whenever the mood strikes. This is ideal for those who are constantly on the move and those who simply like to switch things up from time to time.
The modular couch comes in a wide range of colors and upholstery options, including boucle, performance, and two different wool blends. The couch’s deep seat is great for those who like to curl up to watch their favorite shows, and the supportive backrest ensures aches and pains are kept to a minimum. Keep in mind that the couch sits very low on the ground, which can be a bonus for anyone who doesn’t want their pets hiding underneath, but a downside for those who want easy access to the floor for cleaning purposes.
Price at time of publish: From $1,590
- Upholstery: Performance fabric
- Frame: OSB wood frame
- Seat Fill: Double-layer foam
- Dimensions: 27 x 90 x 36.5 inches for two seats
Best Sectional Couch
Albany Park Park Sectional Sofa
Who it’s for: People who want a modern and sleek sectional that’s easy to clean.
Who it isn’t for: People who’d prefer a sectional with a reversible chaise.
With its high-resiliency foam and kiln-dried hardwood frame, Albany Park’s Park Sectional Sofa takes the cake as our favorite sectional sofa thanks to its durability. Sleek brass legs give it an elevated feel, while the vegan leather (or velvet or boucle!) upholstery is soft and luxurious. We especially love the elongated arm that runs down the chaise side that ensures your pets, little ones, or even your legs won’t roll off the side.
Available in eight colors and two leg options (gold or black), the Park sectional fits into any decor style. You can choose either right- or left-facing orientations, though we wish the chaise was reversible.
Price at time of publish: $2,199
- Upholstery: Vegan leather, velvet, boucle
- Frame: Kiln-dried hardwood
- Seat Fill: High-resiliency foam wrapped in feather
- Dimensions: 35 x 114 x 63 inches
Best Loveseat Couch
Sabai The Essential Loveseat
Who it’s for: People looking for a simple, sustainably made couch.
Who it isn’t for: People who are looking for a full-size couch.
Whether you’re living in a small city apartment or looking for a companion piece to your full-sized couch, Sabai’s Essential Loveseat is just that: essential. We appreciate that the upholstery is crafted from recycled fabrics, while the pillows are filled with recycled fibers and the wood for the frame is sustainably sourced.
This loveseat is available in five velvet colors and five polyester-blend colors, as well as three leg stain options to coordinate with any existing decor you may have. Plus, its sleek lines and elevated seats are subtle and modern.
Price at time of publish: $1,095
- Upholstery: Recycled velvet, upcycled polyester
- Frame: FSC-certified wood
- Seat Fill: High-resiliency foam and recycled fiber
- Dimensions: 32 x 62 x 34 inches
Best Sleeper Couch
Apt2B Avalon Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa
Who it’s for: People looking for a chic and comfortable sleeper sofa.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a sleeper sofa with additional storage.
Gone are the days of chunky, uncomfortable sleeper sofas. Apt2B’s Avalon sleeper negates everything you think you knew about the category thanks to its sleek frame, high-density foam cushions, and queen-sized mattress. This couch is well-made and durable, and the setup will likely be a breeze.
The queen mattress unfolds without difficulty, so your overnight guests won’t have a complaint over their quality of sleep. But what really makes this sleeper sofa stand out is that you can choose between a memory foam mattress and a deluxe innerspring mattress. Not only that, but there are also three leg options and over 50 upholstery colors. The only thing that could make this sleeper sofa better is built-in storage to hold extra pillows and blankets for your guests.
Price at time of publish: $3,398
- Upholstery: Polyester blend
- Frame: Solid wood
- Seat Fill: High-density foam
- Dimensions: 36 x 79 x 37 inches
Best Chesterfield Couch
Poly & Bark Lyon Sofa
Who it’s for: People who want a traditional design and deep seat.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a sofa with fabric upholstery.
A Chesterfield sofa, grand and tufted, is a staple in period dramas and traditional decor alike. Poly & Bark’s take on the age-old silhouette is its Lyon sofa. With rolled arms, two high-density foam cushions, and intricately tufted, Italian leather, this couch is designed to make a statement without sacrificing quality. In fact, a solid wood frame and screw-on legs ensure that the couch is made to last.
We especially love that the full-grain leather only gets better with age—but it will show some discoloration and scratches over time. The brand offers an additional protection plan to ensure that if anything happens to break or go wrong, repairs and replacement pieces can be sent directly to you with ease.
Price at time of publish: $2,304
- Upholstery: Leather
- Frame: Wood
- Seat Fill: High-density foam with polyester filling
- Dimensions: 31 x 87 x 34 inches
Best Low-Profile Couch
Maiden Home The Warren
Who it’s for: People who are looking for a lower seat and clean lines.
Who it isn’t for: People who’d prefer a larger seat or higher legs.
While hard, clean lines are usually a sign of discomfort, Maiden Home’s Warren couch is proof that opposites attract. The modern frame is juxtaposed with high-density microfiber seat cushions that sink as you sit—but it feels cloud-like, not as if you’re being swallowed.
While the fully upholstered frame may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the wrapped fabric offers a seamless and sophisticated look. Plus, the upholstery, which comes in a variety of performance fabrics (including tweed and velvet), ensures that wine spills and muddy paws are nothing to worry about after an easy spot-clean. You can also choose the size that best fits your space since there are 12 options ranging from 60 to 120 inches wide. If you’d rather not wait for a custom piece, there are a few ready-to-ship color, fabric, and size options.
Price at time of publish: $2,750
- Upholstery: Customizable
- Frame: Kiln-dried hardwood
- Seat Fill: High-resilience foam
- Dimensions: 31 x 60–120 x 39 inches
Best Reclining Couch
Pottery Barn Ultra Lounge Square Arm Upholstered Reclining Sofa
Who it’s for: People looking for an ultra-comfortable and subtle reclining couch.
Who it isn’t for: People who aren’t willing to splurge on a couch.
What may look like your average traditional sofa is actually a chic reclining three-seater. That’s right, Pottery Barn has cracked the code on making aesthetically pleasing recliners that don’t look like they belong in a 1990s basement.
The Pottery Barn Ultra Lounge Square Arm Upholstered Reclining Sofa is available in 33 upholstery options, ranging from performance velvet to heathered tweed. Each piece is made to order, so you can expect yours to ship in 12+ weeks. We appreciate that each seat and its elements—headrest, footrest, and arms—can move independently. And since the reclining motion moves the seat forward, you don’t have to worry about the back bumping into the wall behind you. Plus, there are remote buttons located inside the arms.
Price at time of publish: From $4,297
- Upholstery: Customizable
- Frame: Pine and engineered wood
- Seat Fill: Foam padding
- Dimensions: 31 x 110 x 43 inches
Best Extra-Long Couch
Castlery Jonathan Extended Sofa
Who it’s for: People who are looking for a larger couch to seat more people.
Who it isn’t for: People who live in apartments or are looking for a budget-friendly option.
Whether it’s for group game nights or large family gatherings, an extra-long sofa is ideal for sitting all of your favorite people in one place. At 124 inches wide, Castlery’s Jonathan Extended Sofa does just that. It has an extra-deep seat to ensure that even the tallest of your friends will have plenty of legroom. With a low-profile and modern look, this couch’s boxy appearance is great for modern spaces.
It’s available in four fabric options (white, light blue, yellow, and graphite) and two leather tones (caramel or taupe). This couch isn’t the most customizable one we’ve seen, but what it lacks in choices, it makes up for with easy assembly—the three pieces simply slot together.
Price at time of publish: From $2,399
- Upholstery: Polyester and cotton blend
- Frame: LVL and plywood
- Seat Fill: Foam-, fiber-, and pocket-filled seat; foam- and fiber-filled back
- Dimensions: 27 x 124 x 39 inches
Best Slipcovered Couch
Crate & Barrel Ever Slipcovered Sofa by Leanne Ford
Who it’s for: People looking for a cozy and comfortable couch that’s easy to clean.
Who it isn’t for: People who’d prefer a firmer seat.
Designed by interior designer Leanne Ford, the Ever Slipcovered Sofa is cloud-like in all its aspects: dreamy white upholstery, plush cushions, and an easy-going slipcovered frame. While there are 17 other upholstery choices to choose from, by far the most popular is white cotton. The feather-down cushions do need plumping after a movie night or long nap, but they should perk right back up to normal with a little help.
If you’re not sure if you’d like these cloud-like down pillows, you may want to choose a firmer option from our list (or check it out in person before buying). But our favorite part is the removable slipcover—it’s machine-washable for easy cleaning and sold separately in case you need an extra.
Price at time of publish: $2,299
- Upholstery: Cotton
- Frame: Hardwood
- Seat Fill: Feather down
- Dimensions: 32 x 89 x 42 inches
Best Contemporary Couch
Article Sven Sofa
Who it’s for: People looking for a modern sofa with clean lines.
Who it isn’t for: People who’d prefer a sectional configuration.
The Article Sven Sofa’s modern design makes it our favorite contemporary couch. We like the mid-century feel of the tufted, bench seat cushion and smooth backrests. Plus, two lumbar pillows offer your elbows the perfect resting place. Available in four leather colors (light brown, dark brown, black, and teal), two fabric choices (gray and navy), and four velvet options (navy, emerald, mustard, and turquoise), this silhouette is designed to fold seamlessly into any decor style. And since it comes in 2.5- and 3-seat versions, you can choose the size that best fits your space.
While the leather version can start out quite stiff, it breaks in within a few days of use. It’s also resistant to pet scratches. Article’s furniture is known for easy assembly (just screw on the legs) and quick shipping, so this piece is great if you need a couch in a pinch.
Price at time of publish: $1,899
- Upholstery: Leather, velvet, fabric
- Frame: Wood
- Seat Fill: High-density foam with polyester filling
- Dimensions: 34 x 88 x 38 inches
The AllModern Miller Upholstered Sofa is our best overall choice thanks to its high-quality materials, comfortable seat, and reasonable price point. We especially love the sofa’s velvet-like upholstery and sleek design. For an even more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Mellow Hana Sofa—it has a smaller footprint with plush cushions and soft, linen-blend upholstery.
How to Shop for a Couch Like a Pro
One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a couch is its upholstery. And according to McNeil, performance upholstery is almost always the way to go. “Most of us don’t want all of the living we do on our furniture to show up over time,” she says. “Performance fabrics are great because they have a protective coating built into the fibers of the fabric to make maintenance easy.”
However, for those not concerned with everyday messes, leather and traditional fabrics are perfectly suitable upholstery options. Just pay attention to the care instructions before buying and you’ll be good to go (stain removal charts and upholstery cleaners can help you out when spills happen).
Frame & Fill Materials
The consensus from interior designers and furniture makers alike is that the quality of the couch is all in the frame. Solid hardwoods or kiln-dried hardwoods are longer lasting and more durable than manufactured wood or plywood frames. The best couches will be heavy and sturdy, and they won’t sag or creak when you sit on them.
For the seat, Scheck suggests unzipping the seat cushions if you’re shopping in person to manually evaluate the filling. “Higher-quality sofas have down or foam covered in batting enclosed in a softer, muslin-like material,” she explains. “I also look for reversible cushions, which will extend the longevity of the sofa.”
The size of the couch you choose is highly personal and dependent on where you plan on placing the piece. Standard three-seater couches are the most common. However, for living rooms and dens, a larger sectional or an extra-long couch is ideal for comfortably seating the maximum number of people while hanging out or lounging. When furnishing studio apartments, home offices, and occasionally used rooms, opt for a smaller loveseat that won’t take up too much space.
Like size, couch style is a personal choice. If you gravitate toward modern design like McNeil, she suggests looking for a couch with squared-off arms and minimal leg details. For rooms where you’re simply trying to make a design statement, a less comfortable but avant-garde curved design could be just what you’re looking for. But for movie nights and lounging around the family room, a deep and cozy leather sofa may be your best bet.
Questions You Might Ask
How can you tell if a sofa is high-quality?
A high-quality sofa has less to do with the upholstery, and everything to do with the frame, according to Scheck. “Solid, heavy hardwood frames are higher quality than lighter frames made of particleboard or plastic,” she says. “Make sure the legs are screwed on and not glued on, and lean on the arms to ensure that they don’t give or wobble.”
How many years should a good couch last?
According to Scheck, couches tend to max out around the 15-year mark. However, most of her clients begin to look for a new couch after around seven years. “If the cushions have gone flat or if you’re hearing creaks, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement,” she explains. While sagging pillows is mainly a cosmetic concern, creaks or squeaks can be a sign of structural wear that can be dangerous over time.
How much should you expect to spend on a good couch?
While prices vary greatly between retailers and brands—our list has couches ranging from around $400 to over $4,000—the price of a couch is often a pretty good indicator of quality. For Scheck, her picks of high-quality sofas are priced around the $2,000 mark, while McNeil says $3,000 is her base price depending on size and project. These prices may seem high, and they are, but it’s important to remember that sofas are a big investment purchase that will last more than a decade if cared for properly.
Take Our Word for It
Kate McGregor is a design and market editor who has written about the best in home goods and furniture for publications such as ELLE Decor, Architectural Digest, The Expert, and Domino. To write this article, she researched a wide range of couches, keeping in mind materials, upholstery options, durability, and price point. She also consulted Stephen Bowen, senior furniture designer at Burrow, as well as Audrey Scheck and Jade McNeil, whose eponymous firms specialize in functional residential design.