Sectional sofas and couches differ from conventional models in one key way. Traditional sofas are single, connected pieces of furniture, while sectional sofas are two or more independent sections. Although their sizes, colors, and designs vary from model to model, pretty much every modern sectional sofa will be upholstered, have an armrest on the two end pieces, and have a 90-degree connected footrest on one end to form an L-shape. Many people appreciate having access to this latter feature because it ensures that their couch has a built-in footrest. If you want to enjoy the versatility and comfort of a sectional sofa in your living room or den, here are a few that we recommend.
Why buy a sectional sofa?
Sectionals offer more versatility than conventional joined couches, as they can be rearranged into multiple different positions as needed. You can detach parts of the sectional and place them around the room as extra seats or make more efficient use of your space. Some models can be expanded or extended to serve as spare beds for overnight guests. In others, the built-in L-shaped footrest is removable and doubles as an extra chair or a storage ottoman to provide a bonus compact storage space. They’re great for filling corners or open space in your living room or den.
Besides being more versatile, sectional sofas are easier to store away or pack when moving between homes. The detachable parts are ideal for moving, so you only have to carry individual pieces of the sofa out the door instead of having to maneuver, finagle, pivot, and lug an entire couch.
What should you consider in a sectional sofa?
Here are a few things to think about before buying a sectional sofa:
- Seats: Before you buy a sectional sofa, you’ll want to think about how many independent pieces it comes with and thus, the number of seat cushions it will provide your living space. Like with more traditional couches, most sectional sofas come with three or four seat cushions. Most of these are made up of two or three separate pieces. But some larger models can seat five to seven people, or even as many as 12 if you have an extra-large living room.
- Functionality: Depending on the design, sectional sofas can serve as more than just a place for you and your guests to sit and relax. As previously mentioned, many of the built-in footrests double as storage ottomans so that you can keep blankets, pillows, remotes, and other similar items inside of them to save space in your living room or den. Other models come with matching furniture pieces, like a chaise lounge or a coffee table bench for even more storage or seating space. Some can even pull out into a sleeper bed or futon so that you can use them as beds for overnight guests. Not all sectional sofas come with these functions, so be sure to keep an eye out for them if you want any of these extra benefits.
- Upholstery: The material, weave, and color of your new sectional’s upholstery are all factors worth considering before you buy. The more durable the upholstery, the better, as it will last you longer. If the sofa has fabric upholstery, look for a tighter weave, since it’s not only stronger but easier to clean. Microfibers are a better choice over fabrics like cotton or linen if you have kids or pets because they’re resistant to tearing and don’t require much care. If you opt for a leather or faux leather sectional sofa, look for top-grain or corrected leather for a more uniform look and higher-quality material. Faux leathers might be preferable, as they tend to be less expensive, more durable, and easily wiped clean. Also, consider that fabric upholstery tends to offer a greater range of colors than leather or faux leather, which are usually only available in blacks or browns. Note that sectionals are rarely patterned or multicolored.
Are all sectional sofas L-shaped?
Nope! An L-shaped or sectional sofa with a chaise on one end is the most common type of sectional sofa, but it’s not the only option on the market. Some U-shaped and circular sectional sofas are available, and they’re great for large families or bigger living rooms, as they provide extra seats and more room to spread out. They also allow people to sit facing each other, which is a boon for parties and other social gatherings. The other most common option is a curved sectional sofa. These are also large and great for entertaining. Since these models can’t be pushed up against walls, they’re better for open-concept and extra-large living rooms. However, keep in mind that these models don’t always come with the built-in footrest, ottoman, or pullout bed options that L-shaped models tend to have.
HONBAY L-Shaped Sectional Couch
A firm three-seater sectional sofa that won't cost an arm and a leg.
Pros: Furniture tends to be expensive, and couches and sofas are even more so than most. But this three-seater sectional sofa is much less expensive than most, making it an ideal starter sofa for a first apartment or condo. The thick seat cushions and fluffy, overstuffed back cushions are designed to be firm and supportive so that you won’t have to worry about sinking in when you sit. Each cushion has recyclable, strong, serpentine steel coils wrapped in a special foam shell that increase their firmness and make them more stable and springy than regular foam interiors. And you can move the ottoman to either end of the couch to create a chaise on either side, depending on your home interior, your available space, and the placement of your other furniture.
Cons: If you live in a home with more than three or four people, this sectional probably isn’t going to be big enough for your needs, at least as a main, central couch. Not only is it incapable of seating more than three people at once, but the cushions are also so thick that they offer a shallower seating space. The color options are limited to three neutral shades with no patterns or designs.
Bottom Line: Big pieces of furniture, sofas included, are known for being expensive. This can make it tricky to upgrade your living room if you’re on a budget. Fortunately, this sectional sofa is much more affordable than many similar models, and you won’t have to sacrifice quality or support for cost efficiency. And as a three-seater with a weight capacity of 660 pounds, it’s a great choice for a smaller living space. It’s big enough to support several people but still compact enough to fit into lofts and smaller apartments. But if you have a lot of space to fill, a large family, or a lot of roommates, or you require some extra room on your couch, you’ll want to opt for a bigger sectional.
Pamapic Outdoor Wicker Patio Sectional Sofa
An extra-long sectional sofa designed specifically for outdoor use.
Pros: Since this sectional was designed for outdoor use, it’s more durable than most so that it can brave the elements. The rattan body is UV- and weather-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about it fading in the sun or falling apart after getting wet. The included coffee table has a tempered glass top to prevent common wear and tear. And as a bonus, the couch cushion covers are zippered on to take on and off with ease. This also allows you to wash them in the washing machine for convenient and easy cleaning. Since this sectional comes in seven pieces, it’s very easy to change the configuration of the sofa in multiple ways, depending on your needs or style preferences. And the corner chair backs recline.
Cons: While you can seat a good number of people on this sectional, the flip side of that benefit is that it will take up a whole lot of room. Since it’s longer and made of more pieces than most sectionals, it will require more space than most. If you have a small balcony or backyard, this sectional sofa will probably be too big for you. And a larger sectional also means that it will take that much longer to assemble and put together. Also, keep in mind that this model is delivered in three different boxes due to the extra pieces, which might not arrive together. Therefore, there’s a chance that you’ll have to wait a while to receive all the parts and start assembling your sectional, so this model isn’t a great choice if you have a party coming up very soon or are otherwise on a tight schedule.
Bottom Line: As long as you have the outdoor space to spare, you’ll love this sectional sofa. It’s perfect for just about any outdoor space, from poolside to patio, from balcony to backyard. You’ll get plenty of use out of it, from backyard parties to those days when you just want to recline in the sun. But if you have limited outdoor space, want a quick and easy sofa to set up, or seek an indoor sectional sofa, this isn’t the model for you.
HONBAY Reversible Sectional Sofa Couch for Living Room
A large, four-cushioned sectional sofa with a reversible storage chaise and a complimentary storage side bag.
Pros: This sectional offers more seating space than its two- and three-seater cousins. The mid-century fabric is breathable, soft, and strong and won’t pile or bunch, and it has a nailhead trim for a classic, stylish look. The frame is solid wood, and the seat cushions are filled with pocket coils and serpentine springs for better, firmer support. This sectional sofa comes not only with a reversible chaise that doubles as a storage ottoman, but also with a storage bag that drapes over the armrest to hold items like magazines and remote controls. The price is pretty reasonable for its size, too.
Cons: Since this sectional is quite firm and supportive, anyone who prefers to sit or recline on softer, fluffier couch cushions probably won’t find it as appealing. The seats are also rather low, so anyone on the taller side might find it awkward to sit on. This also means that it’s not a great choice for elderly people or anyone else who has trouble standing up or getting in and out of chairs. And while the extra seating space can be nice, this sectional will be too large to stick in most lofts or smaller apartments and condos.
Bottom Line: Sometimes, a more standard two- or three-cushion couch just won’t cut it. If you have a lot of living room space to fill or four or more people in your household, or you throw big parties and need the extra seating space, this sectional sofa is the optimal choice. And thanks to the extra storage space included, you’ll get your money’s worth even when you’re not entertaining guests. But anyone with issues standing or getting out of low seats or those who have smaller living areas should look elsewhere for a sectional that better suits their space or needs.
Best Choice Products Faux Leather Sectional Sofa Set
A contemporary sectional sofa upholstered with faux leather and equipped with a matching ottoman.
Pros: Besides the sectional and its chaise, you also receive an ottoman that you can use as a large footrest, matching coffee table, or separate seat. Or, you can push it up against the sofa to create a large chaise lounger. The entire set is upholstered with durable brown faux leather for a classic yet contemporary look that’s smooth and supple to the touch, easy to wipe clean, and resistant to daily wear and tear. The soft foam cushioning is comfortable for lounging, and each cushion is secured by hook and loop fasteners to keep it secure without hindering your ability to move it.
Cons: Even with the extra pieces and their versatility, this sectional sofa can’t be used as a sleeper. The ottoman can’t be connected to the couch or chaise, so it’s not secure enough to sleep on. It might shift out from under your guests at night as they sleep. Some users also reported that while this sectional is resistant to most everyday wear and tear, the faux leather doesn’t hold up well against the nails of certain pets that are allowed on furniture. They ended up investing in a cover for the sectional. And it’s worth noting that the price varies considerably depending on which of the three colors you pick. Some colors are much more expensive than others.
Bottom Line: This highly modern and customizable sectional sofa set will look great in just about any living space. It’s comfortable, versatile, and easy for senior citizens to get in and out of, and with its three-person/600-pound weight capacity, it’s the perfect size for most living rooms. Unless you’re looking for a sleeper model, this quintessential sectional sofa should suit most consumers.
FDW Sectional Sofa Bed for Living Room
A high-capacity leather sectional sofa that converts into an extra-large pullout sleeper.
Pros: This sectional sofa can’t just be converted into a bed, but also into an especially large one that’s able to sleep multiple people at once. This can save you the need to buy a guest bed, as it can support a couple instead of just one person. It provides an extra bed for events like the holidays when you have family staying over at your place. And it can seat six people at once when in sofa form. It’s also more space-efficient than most larger sectionals since it’s a corner couch, and both the bed and the pullout footrest are easy to tuck away. The headrest is also adjustable, and it’s available in an L or R shape.
Cons: Due to its size, versatility, and ability to sleep multiple people, this sectional sofa is very expensive. Whether you choose the R- or L-shaped model, it’s going to cost more than the average sectional, even compared to other, larger ones. And you don’t have any alternate color options, so if the black one doesn’t suit your home, you’re out of luck in that field. The faux leather is easy to wipe clean, but it’s spot clean only. You won’t be able to wash any part of it in a washing machine.
Bottom Line: Pullout couches that can turn into beds have withstood the test of time. Even if you have a guest room for visitors, it can be handy to have a spare, makeshift bed around, whether for extra guests around the holidays or days when you’re tossing and turning in bed and a change of scenery can help you fall back asleep. Its price tag means that it’s not going to appeal to anyone on a tight budget. But this sectional’s ability to sleep more than one person makes it a great option for anyone who doesn’t have a guest room in their home.
A sectional sofa can be a great addition to your home, either in or out of doors. Whether you entertain a lot, want an easily adjustable couch, or simply desire a multifunctional piece of furniture, a sectional sofa can serve all of these purposes and more.