How to Select the Best Sofa for Your Lifestyle

Everyone’s home is different. Some homes are quiet, with only a few plants and no pets or kids. Other homes have a few kids running around and maybe an energetic dog as well. Whatever your lifestyle may be, it will determine the design of your home and specifically which sofa you choose within that design. As you start this journey of choosing the perfect sofa for your lifestyle, here are a few questions and answers to consider first.

What's your comfort style?

When thinking about comfort style, it’s important to consider three things: cushion composition, upholstery, and sofa dimensions. Most brands provide information on the cushion filling they use. The most common fillings are feathers, foam, polyester, hollow-fill fiber and batting. Brands who focus on sustainability may also use alternative recycled materials. Brands specializing in customization may offer options that allow you to choose between soft or firm cushions. If you plan on sleeping or taking frequent naps on your sofa, look for seat cushions with feathers or memory foam. The more padding, pillows and cushions, the easier it is to move around in many positions and still be comfortable in each place. For a more firm seat, choose cushions with dense, high-resistance foam. And of course, soft upholstery such as velvet or suede can be more comfortable for your midday nap than weave or leather.   

Next, consider which sofa dimensions are most comfortable for you. If you like to sit upright, then typically a 20-22″ seat depth coupled with a more firm back cushion is ideal. For sleeping or taking naps, a seat depth of 38 inches or wider is preferred. Think of it this way - a twin bed is 38 inches wide. If the space from the front of the seat cushion to the back cushion is 38 inches or more, it will be very comfortable as a sleeper sofa. If you like to sit with your legs stretched out, look for sofa sectionals, free standing ottomans or high padded arms. High padded arms allow you to stretch out your legs while maintaining comfortable back support. And finally, if you need extra support for your lower back, look for sofas with lumbar pillows included in the design.

For more information, check out our blog about the Top 5 Comfortable Sofas.

Who will be using the sofa?

Before buying a sofa, consider who and how many people you wish to accommodate, whether it be for a big party or just for the family on a daily basis. This will help you narrow down the size and configuration you need. Opt for a 2-Seater or “loveseat” if you just need seating for 1-2. Choose something on the larger side like a 4-Seater or a U-Sectional if you want to accomodate 3 or more people with some extra room. 

If you have kids or pets, look for pet-friendly, performance grade or commercial grade upholstery fabrics. These fabrics tend to be easier to clean and are ideally stain and liquid resistant, prolonging the life of your sofa. We’d also suggest choosing a sofa with removable cushion covers so they’re easy to wash.

Does your space change often?

Modular sofas are one of the best inventions of our time. Have you ever purchased the perfect sofa- and the shape or size did not work for you a few years later? A modular sofa can solve that problem without you needing to buy a whole new sofa. They can be reconfigured into different shapes and styles depending on your needs. Modularity is definitely on a sliding scale. Some are 100% modular with every part able to be changed and rearranged. Others are only partially modular. So keep in mind how modular you would like your sofa to be while shopping. Changing your space often may also require a little extra storage. Many sofas offer a chaise that doubles as a storage unit. The Shelter Sectional by West Elm is a great example and you can check it out below.

Also check out our Top 5 picks for Modular Sofas here.

Want to be sure it’s right before committing?

If high risk investments aren’t your style, you’re not alone! Fortunately, most furniture brands offer some safety nets that will help your shoulders relax when you hit that checkout button. Look for companies that offer low percentage return fees, warranties, home trials, and/or protection plans. And keep in mind that almost every furniture brand offers a financing plan that allows you to break up the cost month to month. Here are a few of the best return policies and protection plans we’ve seen:

  • Inside Weather - Up to 365 days
  • Joybird - Up to 90 days
  • Interior Define - Up to 60 days
  • Love Sac - Up to 60 days
Protection Plans available for purchase:
  • Joybird - 5-year protection plan
  • Poly and Bark - up to 24 months by Mulberry Protection Plan
  • Ethan Allen - 5-year Guardsman® Protection Plan
  • Interior Define - 2, 3 and 5 year by Mulberry Protection Plan

Here are a few trending sofa collections we love:

The Anton Collection by Joybird

Trending design with pet-friendly fabrics

Configurations: The Anton Collection offers a Daybed, loveseat, armchair, ottoman and several sectionals.

Dimensions: 28 inch depth, 17 inch height, 34 inch width

Fabrics: 18 fabric options that are pet-friendly, safeguard and sustainable

Cushions: Made of high-density polyurethane foam core containing no flame retardants or harmful chemicals

Design: The loose back and seat cushions give an extra soft feel.

Sustainability: The glue and stains used are water-based and low-VOC.

Lead Times: 3 weeks

The Custom Bondi Sofa by Inside Weather

Sustainable sofa that is fully customizable

Fabrics: Inside Weather offers over 100 fabric options, which are pet-friendly, commercial grade, performance grade or liquid-resistant.

Cushion Comfort options: 

The Classic Plush Blend: high resilience medium and low density foams, wrapped in 100% recycled down alternative

The Deluxe Memory Foam Blend: a layer of temperature-regulating memory foam sits atop medium density, high resiliency foam; then wrapped in a lush layer of recycled down alternative

Modular:  Fully modular, each unit and be moved around and placed where you want

Wood finishes: 3 eco-solvent finishes, latte, espresso & black


  • 100% recycled down alternative
  • Eco-solvent wood finishes
  • Blue-Sign Certified fabrics
  • Oeko-Tex® Certified fabrics 
  • FSC Certified Wood

Lead times: 4-8 weeks

The Shelter Collection by West Elm

Extra plush sofa with storage chaise

Configurations: The Shelter Collection offers a Daybed, loveseat, armchair and sectionals.

Fabrics: It comes in one main color. Choosing from their other 150+ upholsteries extends the shop out date. 

Storage: The sleeper sectional comes with a storage chaise. 

Cushions: The back cushions are filled with poly-fiber and the seat cushions are filled with high-resilience polyurethane foam.

Cleanability: The cushions are reversible and have removable covers.

Frame: The frame is made of Kiln dried solid oak.

Comfort: West Elm rates it as softer than average. 

Lead Times: 8-10 weeks

The Marlow Collection by Castlery

Contemporary modular sofa with a curved silhouette.

Design: Castlery recently launched this contemporary sofa with a curved silhouette and no loose back or arm pillows. 

Comfort: The seats are filled with foam, fiber and pocket springs. The back is filled with foam and fiber. 

Fabric: They offer only one type of fabric right now which is a 100% polyester and spill-resistant Bouclé.

Frame: The frame is LVL and plywood with a Natural Oak Veneer.

Modularity: The collection offers 3 large sectionals that can be extended with extra modular pieces. Or you can build your own with 3 smaller seat units. And each piece is held together with an alligator clamp.

Lead Times: Due to the sofa's popularity you will have to wait 20 weeks for it to ship. But from looking at the reviews it’s worth the wait for this unique collection.

The Divan Collection by Article

A modern and highly adaptable sofa 

Configurations: The Divan Collection is sold in 4 different preset configurations. The 2 sectionals are somewhat modular in that you can place them beside each other in whichever way you like.

Back Cushions: There are 4 backrests and 4 reversible back pillows. All of them can be placed however you wish on the sofa seat.

Design: Adjustable backrests and pillows allow you to redesign the sofa within minutes.

Cushions: The seat cushions and back pillows are filled with high resiliency foam, with polyester fibers and duck feathers.

Fabrics: They offer this sofa in 4 different fabric options which all have a high rub count of 50,000. It is, however, dry clean only.

Frame: Kiln dried pine wood frame

Lead Times: 2-4 weeks

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