We've all been here before: you move into a new place and you're ready to furnish your new living room. However, once you go about finding a sofa, you're faced with what feels like a myriad of options, and you quickly start to feel overwhelmed. And it's no surprise either—there are plenty of sofa styles out there, and wading through all of them to figure out what works in your space is time-consuming.
But take a deep breath—we've done the legwork for you. Keep reading to learn about the most common sofa styles, their features, and what spaces they look best in.
Bridgewater sofas are a popular sofa style that seats three comfortably. One of their distinguishing features is their high back and low arms, giving the item a more laid-back look. Bridgewater sofas are also usually heavily padded and feature a floor skirt.
The daybed is a sofa/bed combo that's the ideal pick for guest bedrooms, nurseries, or flex space. Also called a divan, daybeds can be back-less and set against a wall, or they can also come with a frame that makes them look more like beds rather than benches.
Modular sofas are another great flex-space pick. They get their name from their ability to mix and match pieces and easily reorganize according to a room's needs, and they often come in an L or U shape. Many modular sofas are often low to the ground and includes lots of plush cushioning.
Looking for a sofa fit for two? Try a loveseat. These pint-sized sofas work well in smaller spaces, or as additional seating in a room that already has a larger statement sofa. Loveseats are the perfect pick for bedrooms or offices too, as their smaller size makes them easy to fit in nearly anywhere.
This funky sofa style finds its beginnings in the reign of Louis XV in the early 18th century. The distinguishing feature of a cabriole sofa is its dramatic and curved back. Most cabriole sofas are often quite ornate too, featuring wood detailing or intricate fabrics. But many cabriole sofas you'll find today though have dialed this back, opting for a more minimalist look.
Looking to lounge in the open air, not just your living room? Try an outdoor sofa. Outdoor sofas often come in more contemporary styles, like track arm or deep-seated sofas. A key component of outdoor sofas is their durability, so look for sofas that feature weather-proof and water-resistant materials.
English Roll Arm
English roll arm sofas are another classic sofa option. These versatile sofas got their start in early 20th century England and they work with nearly any style. Their distinguishing trait is their curved arm, giving them their name. English roll arm sofas also typically have deep seats, a short back and statement sofa legs.
After peaking in popularity in the mid-century, mid-mod sofas are back and they are quickly becoming a new living room favorite. This pared-down seating offers a low profile, strong lines and lots of angles. Mid-century modern sofas are often low to the ground too, and typically come in leather or more neutral colors .
Another modern sofa classic is the sectional. Similar to modular sofas, sectional sofas also come in different parts and are traditionally L or U shaped. However, they're not as flexible as modular sofas and may only come with one other option for a layout. But many times, this permanence can lend itself to a more formal or put-together look.
Tuxedo sofas scream "Art Deco" like nothing else. These elegant, high-back-but-low-profiles sofas got their start in the early 20th century, and they've stuck around ever since. Tuxedo sofas' arms sit level with their backs, and many of these sofas also feature velvet and tufted buttons.
The track arm sofa is a subtly modern pick that walks the line between casual and formal. Its defining feature is its straight and narrow arms. Track arm sofas also share many similarities with mid-century contemporary sofas, like their long-and-low profile and angled look.
Looking for a sofa to fall (asleep) into? Try a deep-seated one. Deep-seated sofas feature seats that are plus, luxurious, and of course, deep. Many have an overstuffed look, and they're a great pick for more casual living spaces like family rooms or play rooms.
Another sofa that is defined by its seat is the low-seated sofa. These short sofas have no legs and instead rest directly upon the ground. They provide a uniquely modern and structural look that works well in luxe, minimalist spaces. These sofas typically feature off-white or white hues.
A pared-down cousin of the cabriole sofa, the camelback sofa also features a curved back, but it's often a more subtle, barely-there curve. Camelback sofas have curved arms and a skirt that reaches the floor. These sofas work well in homes with an upscale coastal vibe, or in living rooms and libraries.
A universal library classic, chesterfield sofas combine the elegance of tuxedo sofas with the comfort of English roll arm ones. Like the tuxedo sofa, chesterfields comprise of high arms level with the sofa back, but rather than being angular and rigid, chesterfield arms are curved and softer. Chesterfield sofas are often upholstered in leather and also feature tufted buttons.
The settee is like the loveseat, but a little bit more formal. Settees typically only fit two people, and they're built more for sitting than lounging, as they are not as plush as a loveseat. They're a good sofa pick for offices, waiting rooms, entryways and other places where you need a quick place to sit.
The sofa bed is exactly what its name suggests—part sofa, part bed. The bed part of a sofa bed often sits inside the sofa and is pulled out once the top cushions are removed. Some sofa beds are more futon-style, and fold down to create a level sleeping surface.