The Best Sofas for Every Kind of Living Room – And Lifestyle

The Best Sofas for Every Kind of Living Room – And Lifestyle

Home Edit

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a growing family, the sofa you buy should fit in with the look of your living room, your lifestyle needs and, of course, your budget.


But if trying to tick all those boxes puts you on a fast-track to bewilder-ville, don’t worry: We’ve got the ultimate lowdown on the best sofas to buy for every kind of living room, lifestyle and design look.


The Best First Sofa


WESTBRIDGE Bronte Large Sofa


A first-time homeowner should invest in a good sofa from the get-go. Because as you take time to fully furnish your new pad, the living room will likely become the sociable heart of the home.


This is where families and friends will be entertained, where food might be eaten in lieu of a kitchen table and where several nights of Netflix binging is sure to take place.


With that in mind selecting a strong and sturdy sofa should be one of the first items on the furniture shopping list.


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Importance of a Good Sofa Frame


According to furniture designers, the most important aspect of any sofa is the frame. A solid, hardwood frame, preferably made from denser woods such as teak, alder, poplar and walnut will be longer-lasting than softwoods such as pine or Douglas fir. One of the reasons for this is that harder woods keep nails, staples and joint connections in place for longer.


HAY Mags Soft 3 Seater, Combination 3


  • Get to Grips with Sofa Springs

Similarly, it’s important for anyone looking for a sofa that will be frequently used to check out the spring suspension.


Sofas in the low-to-mid price range typically boast drop-in or pocket coils, though these aren’t necessarily the best for distributing weight evenly over time.


Sofas with a sinuous spring system, which is basically flat zig-zagging steel springs in rows several inches apart, can stop cushions from sagging uncomfortably. While those with more money to spend can opt for what is considered the crème de la crème of sofa suspension - the eight-way hand-tied springs, which are hourglass-shaped coils stretching across the seat’s frame.


A good sofa should last up to 15 years – so even if you spend a lot right now, you’ll be saving your cents and euros in the long run!


Budget-Friendly Vs. Luxe-Living Sofa Beds


This Scandi-inspired three-seater sofa is pleasant on the eye – and the pocket.


Stockholm Three-Seater Sofa With Mustard/Grey Scatters Fawn



Strong wooden frame with tight back and seat cushions – This is a sofa you’ll have for years and years – and still never need to change!


B634 Tommaso Large Leather Sofa



The Best Family-Friendly Sofa


Family–friendly sofas need to be durable but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch style and comfort in exchange. What it does mean is that sofa upholstery will be one of the main considerations when you buy.


But there are several family-friendly sofa materials on the market that are both resilient and beautiful.


For example, cheaper microfibre and polyester upholstered sofas are soft-to-the-touch as well as being water-resistant and stain-repellent. The weave on these fabrics is pretty tight too, which means they’re tough against splits and tears.


  • Surprisingly Durable Upholstered Sofas

NATUZZI EDITIONS B988 Piacere Large Leather Sofa 20JE


On the pricier side, velvet sofas that are elegant and look luxurious are much easier to keep clean than you might have thought. Velvet fabric such as mohair velvet is perfect for furniture that gets frequent usage because it’s thick enough that if you wipe it down with a damp cloth as soon as the spill occurs you’ll likely prevent the stain from sinking through to the base.


All types of velvet have a flat pile with no raised weaves, making it difficult to rip and easier to brush down (think kids’ crumbs and family dog hairs). And to keep the shimmer of your velvet sofa shining brightly, always remember to place the couch out of direct sunlight.


Leather upholstery is another fabulous option for a family-friendly sofa as it’s super easy to wipe clean and withstands daily wear and tear. And like George Clooney, the older and more weathered it gets, the more handsome it looks!


  • Modular Sofas

TINE K HOME Joplin Large Sofa


If your family is growing, a modular sofa could be a great choice. The various sections help you to create space for adults and kids to stretch out or even have an afternoon nap without getting in the way of others enjoying the comfort of the couch.


Modular sofas also give you the flexibility to configure the sofa in the way that works best for your living room space and sense of style. 


Budget-Friendly Vs. Luxe-Living Modular Sofas


A modular sofa with a clean, modern design and plenty of room for a growing family.


Luca Corner Chaise Sofa



This spacious, stunningly-designed three-seater velvet sofa is a great size for families and sure to impress everyone who sees it.

Aston Deluxe Three Seater Sofa



The Best Sofa for Minimalist Living


HIMOLLA Chester Three-Seater Round Sofa With Cumuly Function Cognac


On the opposite end to family-friendly designs, a much-loved décor choice of the last couple of decades has been minimalism. This clean and uncomplicated design style is based on the idea of a decluttered living space boasting only the bare necessities, and works well for couples and single-occupancy households.


When it comes to sofas, clean, simple designs are favoured, though the best sofa for minimalist living really is the sofa-bed.   


  • Multi-Purpose Sofa-Beds

Sofa-beds are no longer cramped, uncomfortable pull-outs leaving you with a bad back and a worse mood. Nowadays they come in all shapes and sizes as well-built, dual- or multi-purpose pieces of furniture. 


Many come with hidden storage, which allows you to stow away additional bedding or further fabrics that help you free up essential space in other cupboards and presses. 


As minimalist living typically goes hand-in-hand with smaller living spaces, sofa-beds are the best bet for studio apartments and smaller homes that don’t have a guest bedroom.


Modern versions are usually discretely designed too, ensuring guests don’t even know that there’s a sleeping mattress within the couch they’re sitting on.


Budget-Friendly Vs. Luxe-Living Sofa Beds


Looking for the right sofa-bed for your apartment? This reasonably-priced cubed sofa bed is perfect for smaller spaces.


Cubed Sofa Bed



Roomy, practical and with extra storage space, this gorgeous sofa-bed has all you need.


Salla Sofa Bed



Best Sofas for Popular Living Room Looks


Of course, the sofa you buy doesn’t just reflect your lifestyle or relationship status. Whether you’re single, in a couple or part of a family, you’ll want a sofa that works with your sense of style too.


The vision for your home and living room could be sleek contemporary or shabby chic and whichever it is, we’ve suggested the best kind of sofa to help you pull off the look. 


  • Country-House Style

ALSTONS The Sustainable Edit Lowry Chair G


A country-house style look should ensure the living is easy, so opt for sofas with slipcovers that can be quickly removed and washed.


A slipcovered sofa is particularly attractive to people who love the look of a fresh white settee but fret about keeping it clean with kids and pets around.


Of course, sofas patterned with stripes or florals are also in step with the country-house style, especially if it's finished off with a box-pleat or gathered valance.


Complete the look with lambs-wool throws and cushions made with soft, natural fabrics.


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  • Shabby Chic

ALSTONS The Sustainable Edit Memphis Grand Sofa Pillow Back


The shabby chic style remains a popular look and can work well no matter whether you’re living it up as a single householder or part of a large family unit.


It’s a style of interior design that presents a pleasantly lived-in but at the same time elegantly antique appearance. Furniture is often vintage or rustic and there are also feminine overtones, particularly obvious in the white or pastel distressed design features of tables and chairs.


Soft furnishings are warm with a well-aged look and include cosy throws and pillows, mismatched accessories, and picture layers on neutral walls.


Shabby chic sofas are similar to the country-house style above. White and rumpled cotton, slipcovered sofas with faded floral or pastel patterns are popular as are comfy, oversized sofas. You’ll find pleats and valences on shabby chic sofas, deep seats as well as plump rolled and curved arms.


But if you want to go more “chic” than “shabby’, camelback sofas and even curvy, romantic French cabriole sofas may suit your look.


Introduced by Thomas Chippendale during the 18th century, the camelback sofa with its scrolled arms and exposed legs will bring vintage style to your living room, while the often distressed wood and elegant feet of the French cabriole settee will add a definite dollop of old-world sophistication.


  • Cottagecore

Dixie Sofa Jersey Flannel


Cottagecore is one of the more recent lifestyle design trends to be embraced by lovers all that’s cosy, comforting and traditional.


It rose out of the cottagecore movement that escalated during the pandemic lockdowns and encourages a return to traditional crafts and skills such as home-baking, flower arranging and gardening.


As a design style, it is similar to both the country-house and shabby chic looks. But at the same time, it boasts its own unique elements which together conjure up images of fairy-tale cottages, romantic woodlands, and so much chintz your granny would be proud.


The style is wildly whimsical and feminine, with bold patterns of florals, foliage and other rustic influences. Natural wood and wicker feature largely in the look and cottagecore sofas are often based on these elements.


Wicker sofas painted in a crisp bright white can bring country charm to the centre of your living room. And while wood-woven sofas of cane or rattan are more usually seen outdoors, these sofas, plumped up with chintz or floral patterned cushions can infuse the room with cottagecore’s simple, down-to-earth feeling.


  • Contemporary Style

ROM Levana S Sofa, Montana Angora, with Relax Function


There is often confusion between contemporary and modern design styles. But while modern design is more minimal and can be a little cold, contemporary design tends to be more calming and light.


Defined by clean lines and simplicity, contemporary boasts an effortless sophistication with furniture that is sleek, subtle and free of intricate design elements.


Sofas with this look tend to draw your eye to their lines and sense of space. Square arms, straight lines along the sofa back and overall boxy shapes with only the occasional sensuous contours is what you need to be aiming for.


While colours in this look are typically fresh neutrals with complementary tones, your sofa can become a statement piece by boasting a bolder colour. Similarly, there is a great focus on texture within the contemporary style, so think of upholstered sofas with comfortable natural materials such as wool, cotton, linen, silk or jute.


  • Mid-Century Modern



As the name suggests, mid-century modern refers to the design style from the 1940s of post-WW2 s to the swinging sixties. But with its clean lines and combination of natural and manmade materials, it’s a look with a timeless appeal.


Classic and understated, functionality is important with this style, and you’ll find several mid-century sofas that are actually fold-down or sectional sofa beds.


The sofas of this style also tend to have sleek, simple curves and tapered legs with colours erring on the side of neutral or earthy. Golden yellow, as well as autumnal shades of orange and brown, were popular during this period and continue to be used as the primary palette for many mid-century sofas and overall room designs today.


  • Traditional and Luxurious

NATUZZI EDITIONS C005 Romantico Large Sofa


The traditional and luxurious style exudes elegance and comfort simultaneously. A room designed in this manner is warm and welcoming while also boasting perfect balance and symmetry.


The style is typically based on the classical 18th and 19th-century European ideas of how a home should be presented.


So, when it comes to the best sofas to pull off this look the Chesterfield sofa, characterised by its high rolled arms and diamond-tufted back, or a strong English roll arm sofa with its deep seat and tight back, are great choices. Really though, any sofa that has a vintage look and which you could envision in a Georgian townhouse would work well.


 ALSTONS The Sustainable Edit Lowry Grand Sofa G


Leather upholstered and luxurious-looking velvet sofas will bring a sense of sumptuous style. Or if these are out of your price range, decorate your sofa with an equal number of silk brocade or plush velvet throw pillows.


For more gorgeous home decor inspiration, be sure to check out our Home Edit section.



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