If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Robb Report may receive an affiliate commission.
For many city-dwellers, including yours truly, there is one home decor dream that looms large in our collective minds: to have a living area spacious enough for a sectional sofa. And for that sectional sofa to be so inviting and so big that any nap you take upon it rivals the best night of sleep you ever had. When your friends come over for a cocktail, there’s room for each and every one of them to sit comfortably. And when you settle in to binge your next prestige drama, you can stretch out in total bliss for hours on end. The best sectional sofas do it all, but not all are created equal.
Let’s begin by answering a pertinent question: What is a sectional sofa? Well, it’s essentially two to three joined pieces of upholstered furniture meant for sitting, lounging, napping, what have you. Another—more complex—query: How should you go about selecting a sectional sofa? Firstly, measure your space. Fantasies are a powerful thing but they can’t move walls. Once you know what dimensions will work, you can zero in on the brand, shape, material and style that’s right for you. Does that sound, erm, exhausting? We thought it might. So we’ve done the heavy lifting for you (just not that kind of heavy lifting). Read on for our thorough guide to the best sectional sofas for small spaces, big families, velvet enthusiasts and more.
This is one of those couches that makes you feel more relaxed just looking at it. One reviewer says it’s “like sitting in butter in the best way.” It’s a low-profile sofa that mixes soft, modern lines with high-quality down-filled cushions for the ultimate comfy retreat. Additionally, it comes in dozens of finishes, including performance linen, velvet, mohair, chenille and leather. Our favorite detail is the seamed, pillow-like arms that practically beckons to take a nap. Many customers also note that they considered a similar Minotti sectional but found that the Maiden Home version delivered the look and comfort they desired for a third of the price.
Material: Merino wool, performance fabrics and leather.
Dimensions: 84 x 40 x 32.5 inches.
Design: Relaxed Modern.
A relatively new furniture-maker on our list, Vancouver-based Sundays has a healthy selection of sectionals to choose from, including its Movie Night collection, which has been compared to the iconic RH Cloud couch. However, we’re opting for the versatility and timeless look of the Get Together modular sectional. Stain-resistant fabric ensures it will withstand even your most festive cocktail parties, and the five-piece design allows you to customize the configuration. Bonus: Sundays offers free in-home delivery and assembly.
Material: Linen LiveLife performance fabric.
Dimensions: 129.25 x 136.5 x 37 inches.
This three-piece sectional from Burrow is our top pick for small spaces for a few reasons. The first is that it ships in pieces, so you don’t need white-glove service for delivery. True, you assemble it yourself at home, but shipping is free and Burrow makes things easy with their modular design. Plus, the pieces can be arranged in a number of ways to accommodate your space—from moving the chaise to the left or right, or detaching it as an ottoman. Also, you can buy additional modules later on, in case you move to a larger space. It’s essentially a sectional that will adapt to your lifestyle.
Material: Stain-resistant, contract-grade polyester.
Dimensions: 62 x 60.5 x 33 inches.
Castlery’s Jonathan Chaise sectional delivers on a lot of levers. This low-to-the-ground sofa has that modern, slightly overstuffed look we love right now—and it has enough classic angles not to feel too trendy. Among the many five-star reviews, customers say this couch is “cozy” and “hearty” and “the best couch I’ve ever owned.” Pet-owners also note that the minimal legs keep furry friends from scratching up the underside.
Dimensions: 116.5 x 39.4/71.7 x 27.6 inches.
When it comes to selecting a sectional that will work for your outdoor space, weather-resistant materials and size should of course be top of mind—and Article’s Lubek sectional hits those points with easy-to-maintain cushions and an Acadia wood base. But our top marks go to this particular sectional for its deep seats and extended chaises for optimal sun enjoyment. This sectional is designed for true lounging. And while it’s also available without a chaise, we love that this comes with a matching Acadia wood coffee table to easily set the scene for breakfast alfresco or sunset drinks. Plus, it ships for free and requires minimal (about 15 minutes) assembly.
Dimensions: 22 x 100.5 x 98.5 inches.
In search of leather but want to avoid the look of a traditional clubhouse or den? This cool, contemporary chaise from West Elm (available in both a left and right-aligned configuration) is our top pick. The cushions are a cushy, inviting mix of feathers, down and fiber fill—and there’s a lot of them, too. West Elm rates the softness of their couches from 1 to 5, and the Harmony Sectional comes in at a 1, the softest. If you want a leather—or even vegan leather— that develops a beautiful patina over time and only gets more comfortable, this is the one.
Material: Leather or vegan leather.
Dimensions: 117 x 66 x 36 inches.
A quick browse of the online sectional sofa landscape will show you that velvet is everywhere at the moment. With a soft, luxurious surface and a sophisticated sheen, a velvet sectional couch can add some serious polish to your space. The Harper Reversible Velvet Chaise is our top pick mostly because of the features that make it so easy to care for. All the cushions are reversible and flippable (to mitigate signs of wear), and the covers are easy to remove and clean. This is not the softest couch on our list, but the low-profile look and long-lasting fabrication receive high marks from us.
Material: Washable velvet.
Dimensions: 86 x 63 x 37 inches.
There’s a difference between a custom-made sectional and a sectional that is customizable. Benchmade Modern offers their super-comfortable, well-reviewed sectionals in leather, velvet or performance fabrics (and many colors of each), as well as multiple leg options. What’s more, if your needs change or you move to a larger space, you can easily shop for additional modules, including ottomans, armless sections and left, right, and corner sections. Want a sectional sofa shaped like a Tetris piece? Benchmade Modern makes it possible.
Material: Various options.
Dimensions: 106 x 106 x 38 inches.
We could have easily included RH’s famous Cloud couch as our most luxurious pick overall. Instead, to make things interesting, we’re highlighted something more unique: the Cloud Curve sectional. A rounded design won’t work for all spaces, but if you’re in the market for a statement piece that anchors your whole living room, this is it. It is also customizable, with a slew of materials and dimensions on offer, which can get costly. But when you’re investing in “the world’s most comfortable couch,” what’s a few extra thousand dollars? Each cushion features down and feather fill around a foam core for support.
Material: Various options.
Dimensions: Varies based on configuration.
This cloud-like modular U-shape sectional is relaxed, sophisticated and large enough to fit mom, dad, kids and the family dog, too. Deep seats, extra-large pillows and optional down fill make this one an oasis for movie nights, storytime and rainy Sunday afternoons. And did we mention many of the cushion cover fabrications are removable and machine washable?
Material: Various options.
Dimensions: 164 x 84 x 33 inches.
Design: Relaxed Modern.
Material: Needs and wants can often come into conflict when deciding on the fabric for your sectional. If you love the luxurious look of velvet but your small children tend to spill on every surface, you may opt for something stain-resistant or with machine-washable cushion covers. A leather couch may look great, but is it the most practical for frequent cat naps? This is why it’s crucial to pick an option that reflects your lifestyle.
Dimensions: As we mentioned above, measuring your space is the first and most important step in your search for a sectional sofa. From there, determine if you want two, three or four seats in length, shallow seats or deep seats, armrests or no armrests—and how all of those specs will impact the room.
Shape: Many furnishing companies offer fully customizable sectional shapes. Indeed, there are many formations we’d call a sectional—including right-facing or left-facing chaise, an L-shape bumper, a wedge and a U-shape sofa. Depending on the size and shape of your room, you also need to consider if the couch you want can be maneuvered through any hallways and doors, or if it can be assembled on the spot with white-glove service.
Design: Interior design trends will come and go much faster than your sofa-purchasing budget can keep up with. So, when considering a design aesthetic, you’ll probably be happier in the long run with a piece that can evolve with your style—a blank canvas of sorts. Traditional, mid-century modern and contemporary designs will be the most flexible.
© 2023 PMC. All rights reserved.