Choosing the Perfect Living Room Sofa

Your living room is where your family comes together to catch up on the day or to binge watch your favorite TV show. It’s where you entertain company. A lot of everyday life happens in this one space, which means selecting the right seating is key to creating the comfortable, inviting room you’re looking for. 

Feeling overwhelmed selecting the right sofa? That’s understandable. Between sofa shapes, arm styles, cushion sizes, and fabric options, you have no shortage of choices. Let’s break it down to a few guidelines to simplify the process.


Although finding the perfect size sofa for your space can start to feel like a Goldilocks experiment, sticking to a minimum guideline will narrow down the choices for you. Select a sofa with a seat height of at least 17 inches. This will ease sitting and standing, as well as put less strain on your knees and back. In the same vein, look for a sofa with a maximum depth of 18 inches. If you fall in love with a sofa deeper than that, adding throw pillows will shorten it, as well as add a pop of accent color and flair. 


Undoubtedly you’ve stood in the showroom of a furniture store, admiring the sofa of your dreams and picturing it nestled perfectly into the available space in your living room. You’d not be alone, however, if you got that sofa home and found it was either too big or too small for the room. It can be hard to eyeball what’s going to be the right fit. Before you hit the store, measure the available space. Remember to leave 12 to 18 inches between the sofa and the coffee table. This allows sufficient room for slipping in and out, while keeping the table close enough for comfortable use. Also take into account the other furniture pieces you’d like in your room. Will you include a chair and end tables? How much clearance will you need between the sofa and entry way? The most gorgeous, lush sofa will lose its luster if it’s out of balance with the available space.


Certainly aesthetics are important, but don’t overlook functionality. Will your sofa be a central spot for movie night, complete with popcorn and drinks? Look for durable fabrics. Real life is happening on these cushions, and you’re going to want material that can handle it. Likewise, do you like to stretch out to watch TV on your sofa? Do you find yourself falling asleep cuddled up into the corner of the sectional? Look for the arm style and couch shape that is most comfortable for the way you use your sofa.

by Anjie Cho