Looking for the best sofas? Choosing a sofa is an important decision to get right, after all, it’s a significant investment and will be the focal point of your living room for years to come, so, of course, this key piece of furniture needs to be comfortable, practical and stylish.
But with so many different designs, sizes and materials on offer the choice can easily become a little overwhelming. That’s why our best sofas round-up is here to help. We’ve highlighted the key factors to consider before making this big purchase and have pulled together the best sofas on the Ideal Homes radar.
So whether you want a spacious corner sofa with room for all the family, a chaise sofa to kick back and relax on in style, a classic three-seater sofa, or a contemporary two-seater, our round-up will help you to narrow down your search.
Oh, and if you want your sofa to work a little harder and offer sleeping space for overnight guests too, make sure to check out our guide to the best sofa beds!
How to choose the best sofa for your room:
Size Choose a sofa that isn’t going to make a room feel cramped or look lost in a larger space. Measure out where the sofa will go in your room – including the sofa depth – to make sure there is plenty of space to walk around it. Check heights to make sure it fits under windowsills or existing wall furniture. And if it isn’t flat pack then measure doors and awkward hallway angles carefully to ensure you will be able to get it into the room!
Layout A sofa can be a really useful zoning tool in an open-plan layout, helping to create designated areas for dining or relaxing within a larger space. In this case, it’s important to pay attention to the back of the sofa as well as the front, as if it’s not pushed back against a wall then all angles of your sofa will be on display. This can be particularly relevant on budget sofa models where manufacturers sometimes cut costs on backing fabric.
How to choose the most comfortable sofa:
Space Think about how many people you want to seat and how you like to relax; if you enjoy putting your feet up then a corner sofa or chaise sofa offers two or more people plenty of room to spread out and kickback.
Cushioning Most sofas either have foam-filled or feather cushions; foam cushions will bounce back into shape more quickly but generally provide a firmer seat, whilst feather cushions create a deeper cushion to sink into but will likely need plumping regularly. Some manufacturers have now combined the best of both worlds by wrapping resilient foam cushions in plumptious feather outers.
How to choose a sofa style you’ll love:
Upholstery Once you’ve chosen your favourite sofa shape, then it’s time to choose colour and fabric! Most sofa retailers offer models in a range of fabrics, generally including affordable, hardwearing cotton or cotton mixes, and more expensive linens, velvets, and leathers. Take advantage of fabric samples to view colours and textures in your own home, as lighting can often look very different to that in showrooms or online representations.
Legs A sofa with tall legs, which lifts the bulk of the sofa away from the floor, can be a good option for smaller rooms as being able to see more of the floor gives a feeling of spaciousness. A sofa that sits directly onto the floor may feel bulkier so is best for larger rooms – and has the bonus of stopping dust-balls and toys from rolling under it! Shapely, curved legs add a classic touch, whereas straighter clean-lined legs give a more modern feel.
And one more thing to consider when shopping for the best sofas:
Lead time If you’re choosing from made-to-order upholstery options then there’s likely to be a lead time whilst your sofa is built – usually anywhere from 6 – 14 weeks. This can differ by retailer and the time of year you’re ordering, with October and November generally when sofa demand is at its highest ahead of Christmas entertaining.
Often retailers also offer a smaller selection of ready-made sofas. These will have limited fabric options available, but are in-stock and ready to be delivered straight away if time is of the essence. Or of course, there is also the new generation of ‘sofa’s in a box’, many of which state your sofa can be delivered in as little as 1 – 2 days! Read our review of the Swyft Model 03 sofa in a box to get the lowdown.
Now, armed with some knowledge of what type of sofa will suit you best, it’s time to discover the best sofas for putting your feet up!
The best sofas of 2021:
Best sofa for stress-free family time
We love the relaxed look of Sofa.com’s Isaac sofa; available in two, two-and-a-half and three-seater options, plus a roomy corner sofa design, it makes for a brilliant family-friendly lounging spot.
Even better the covers are completely removable - making washing or replacing the upholstery when necessary super simple.
The sofa’s minimal yet comfortably understated laidback look makes it ideal for contemporary or country-style interiors. We particularly like the off-white washed linen loose covers which have us dreaming of summer beachside living.
Isaac Sofa, from £1010, Sofa.com
Best sofa for timeless design
A contemporary take on the classic Chesterfield design the Stanford sofa from Raft will bring timeless elegance to the room.
Built in Britain, the Stanford is available upholstered in cotton and linen mixes or sophisticated velvets, all with hand pleating and deeply studded covered-button back and sides.
Stanford sofa, from £2237, Raft Furniture
Best two-seater sofa for compact spaces
We love the summery striped upholstery on Cox & Cox’s compact two-seater Biscay sofa. Ideal for perching on in a hallway or bedroom, the easy-breezy French Blue ticking has a slightly nautical feel, and paired with simple pale birch wood legs, has us dreaming of the coast.
The high back and sides lend a classic period elegance to this design, whilst generous back and side cushions add contemporary comfort. Simple piped upholstery detail lends the finishing touch.
Biscay sofa, £1450, Cox & Cox
Most comfortable sofa for relaxed evenings in
Loaf’s already vast selection of upholstery fabrics now has five new vintage linen fabrics and two brushed cottons joining the mix for 2021. Think warm dusty pinks, sunny yellows and uplifting sky blues to add summer colour to our sofas.
We love the super sumptuous Squishmeister in the new Burnt Sienna colour option. Handmade in Britain from Scandinavian birch and feather-wrapped foam cushion seats, it’s ideal for snuggling up with your favourite boxset.
Squishmeister sofa, from £1295, Loaf
Best sofa for mix and match configurations
Clean-lined and contemporary with a huge 196 fabric options available, the Bailey sofa from John Lewis is a brilliant option if you're looking for a versatile sofa to work with existing decor.
It also comes in a wide selection of different sizes and shapes, including grand four-seater, corner sofa, compact snuggler and a sofa bed version for if you want the option to put up overnight guests. There is also a coordinating armchair to complete your living room set.
Bailey sofa, from £949, John Lewis
Most affordable sofa for contemporary spaces
With a slightly industrial vibe the minimalist Tom sofa is brilliantly affordable.
It's available in a whole range of leather and fabric finishes we particularly love this of-the-moment soft linen look fabric.
Foam-filled seat cushions offer a beautiful look that bounces back so no plumping involved to preserve the look. Complete with black metal feet this simple sofa is a real showstopper.
Tom 3 Seater Sofa, £549, DFS
Best corner sofa, for plenty of stretching room
If you have the space you can’t go wrong with an oversized L-shaped sofa, that will see you through for many years to come. In a neutral upholstery it will go with every decor and the sheer size can accommodate a growing family.
The almost doughy appearance of this Cassie sofa is somewhat irresistible, with plump generous cushions and gently rounded back. The solid hardwood frame is swathed in soft cushions, plump arms and a deep well-padded seat to ensure total relaxation.
The comfortable design offers a casual yet sophisticated look to strike the ideal balance between style and substance.
Covered in a linen-look upholstery the back cushions are detachable for easy cleaning and care – perfect for busy family life.
Cassie Linen Fabric L-shape Corner Sofa, £899.99, Furniture Choice
Best modular sofa
A modular sofa can be a great investment, allowing you to extend, reconfigure or separate the individual sofa sections as the mood takes you - especially useful if you know you're likely to be moving house in the near future, as you can just rejig the units to fit a new layout.
The Model 03 from Swyft offers just that adaptability, with modern sectional units providing a good way to zone a contemporary space - although the low back may not be for everyone.
A part of the new generation of 'sofas in a box' this settee prioritises convenience, with some of the quickest delivery times on the market.
Model 03 modular sofa, from £2160, Swyft