Looking for different types of couches? Before you buy one, know that there are 18 different types you can use to style your living room! Buying a new couch is no small investment.
So finding a couch that fits your needs is a must. If you believe that all couches are essentially the same, think again!
In reality, there are nearly countless combinations of frame, size, upholstery, and cushion material to choose from.
- English Roll Arm
- Track Arm
Couch vs. Sofa: Is There a Difference?
In contemporary furniture design, no. There are no hard and fast distinctions between what is a couch and what is a sofa.
We have two terms for this piece of furniture largely because couches and sofas emerged from different cultures.
While a couch from centuries ago may have looked very different from a sofa from the same era, the two have adopted the same general function and style.
Today, some people prefer to use “sofa” to refer to more formal seating. Meanwhile, “couch” refers to a casual piece of furniture you’d find in a relaxed family room.
Most importantly, though, there’s no point in narrowing your furniture search to one term or the other. As long as the piece fits your needs, either will do!
18 Different Types Of Couches to Style Your Living Room
No matter what you call this furniture piece, there’s no shortage of styles to choose from.
And knowing the difference between each type of couch can help streamline your furniture shopping process (and eliminate much of the stress involved!).
Living room seating isn’t just defined by the type of frame. Finding the ideal seating solution for your home also means narrowing down your top choices by the overall design and aesthetic.
Here are the 18 types of couches and sofas to know before furnishing your own living room:
A loveseat is the perfect addition to a studio apartment or already furnished living room. Also known as a two-seater sofa, a loveseat is built to seat two people.
The only difference between a loveseat and any other type of couch is the length. Loveseats come in all different styles and materials — matching furniture sets featuring a loveseat and full-sized sofa is incredibly common.
Sectionals are one of the most popular types of couches in contemporary homes. A sectional is a couch made up of at least two different sections.
Not only does a sectional offer much more seating space than a traditional couch. This type of sofa can also help divide an open floor plan without the use of walls.
A sleeper sofa, or pull-out couch, is a convertible piece of furniture that can be easily transformed into a functional bed.
Since the sleeping surface folds up underneath the cushions, a sleeper sofa looks no different than any other type of couch when stowed away.
This couch is ideal for anyone who frequently hosts friends and family but doesn’t have enough guest beds to accommodate everyone.
A daybed is a great alternative to a sleeper sofa, especially if you don’t have the space for a full pull-out mattress. A daybed is essentially a bench seat with a twin (or, sometimes, larger) mattress placed on top as a cushion.
This type of couch can have a back and arms or be completely flat (the latter is called a divan). Daybeds can be used as a sleep surface with little more than a change in pillows and blankets.
A modular couch is made up of many different pieces that can be added, removed, and rearranged to create a wide variety of seating layouts.
Modular couches are incredibly popular right now because they give homeowners and renters the ability to customize a sofa to fit their exact needs.
If you’re looking to invest in a couch that can be altered to fit your changing lifestyle, a modular sofa is probably the best choice!
The hardest part of selecting a new couch is often choosing between form and function. A recliner sofa lets you have the best of both worlds by combining just the right amount of style and comfort.
While recliner couches tend to be plush and contemporary in appearance, more profiles are becoming available to meet growing demand.
A chaise lounge is any piece of furniture that is styled after a chair with enough room to stretch out one’s legs. Unsurprisingly, chaise originates from “long chair” in French.
Chaise lounges are designed to accommodate just one person. But, at least in terms of interior design, the overall size and shape are more similar to a traditional couch.
A chaise lounge can also be included as part of a modular or sectional sofa.
If you think settee sounds slightly antiquated, you’re not wrong. While classic settees were more akin to wooden benches than cushioned sofas, today the two terms are practically interchangeable.
So if you hear a piece of furniture being called a settee, there’s a very good chance the word is being used as a synonym for couch!
A futon is yet another type of couch that can be converted into a multi-purpose sleep surface. Futons vary from daybeds and sleeper sofas because the back folds down to create a larger sleeping area.
Like a daybed, the built-in mattress is the same cushion used for day-to-day seating.
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A recamier is a cushioned bench seat with two arms but no back. This piece of furniture is identical on either side, making it ideal for placing in the middle of a large, open-concept living space.
Mid-century modern design is inspired by home decor from the 1950s and surrounding decades.
Mid-century sofas tend to feature clean lines — tufted cushions and rolled arms are extremely rare — and simple upholstery. This style of couch is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into nearly any living room.
The main defining feature of a Chesterfield sofa is a pair of rolled arms that are the same height as the connected back. Tufted upholstery is another common feature of Chesterfield.
Contemporary interpretations of this 18th-century style may include updated upholstery, different arm shapes, and streamlined legs.
Despite the somewhat inelegant name, you can’t get more luxurious than a camelback sofa. A camelback couch boasts a back with at least one arch (or hump) that slopes down to the arms at each end.
Camelback sofas have an innately vintage aesthetic that can be amplified with carved wood legs and tufted velvet upholstery.
Inspired by the Art Deco movement, tuxedo couches combine the traits of both mid-century and Chesterfield designs. A tuxedo couch has arms that are equal in height to the back.
Unlike traditional Chesterfields, though, this style is sleek and geometric with minimal ornamentation.
While the Lawson sofa was innovative at the start of the 20th century, this profile is seen in countless couches sold today. A Lawson sofa is defined by back cushions that are separate from the couch frame.
Many Lawson sofas feature seat cushions that are just as large as the back cushions. This creates a plush, comfortable couch that was much different than the Victorian styles predating it.
A Cabriole couch features an arched back typically made of exposed, carved wood. These pieces are often finished with extremely ornate upholstery and other luxury finishes.
The Cabriole couch design is synonymous with 18th and 19th century France. But there are many examples of this style being updated for the modern age.
17. English Roll Arm
An English roll arm sofa is a great option for anyone in the market for classic yet understated seating. English roll arm sofas feature simple silhouettes characterized by an upright back and short arms.
This type of couch can be mixed and matched with literally all styles of decor.
18. Track Arm
A track arm sofa is any piece with straight, squared-off arms. Track arms are a common trait of mid-century and tuxedo couches but may be seen in a wide range of designs.
While track arms offer a clean and contemporary appearance, they are far less comfortable than rolled arms (even with additional throw pillows).
The sheer number of couch styles can feel extremely overwhelming. But equipping yourself with knowledge about the different types of couches available to choose from is the best way to ensure your next furniture purchase is a perfect fit.
If you’re struggling to find a specific type of couch that suits your needs, don’t worry. Many couches combine traits from several different types to create a one-of-a-kind look and appearance.
Of course, the most effective method for selecting a new piece of furniture is to experience it for yourself. Don’t base your decision off of a description alone — seeing truly is believing!