These days it would seem safe to say that we are all accumulating endless amounts of hours sitting, working, lounging, binge-watching & let’s admit it probably eating most of our meals on our sofas. So we figured that now is the best time to share all the tips and tricks of what to look for in finding your most comfortable sofa for your lifestyle (if you need one). If there is one person that has been on the hunt for the sofa that is both stylish and comfortable it’s Emily. She has finally found ‘the one’ and fingers crossed can hand out her metaphorical final rose. Hey Bachelor fans, did I use that correctly? It’s been a sofa saga. I am personally so excited for it to arrive since I’ve seen the floor model in the store with her 3 times now but have yet to see her’s in the pretty powdered blue Crypton Fabric. So now that Emily and I have acquired all the comfy sofa secrets from our extensive research, I am giving them to you today (and yes that means dimensions!). We have also included EHD’s tried and true favorites that we keep coming back to and talking about what makes them special to the people who own them. Let’s just say we have a lot of nappers on our hands:) But if all those don’t hit your style spot, we have a bunch more options at end for you. Hope you are as excited to read this post as I am to write it. 🙂
But before we get into our recommendations, let’s take the time to figure out what type of sofa will work best for your lifestyle and the way you like to lounge…
Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Shop:
- What kind of sitter are you? A-sit-straight-upper, a-feet-tucker, or just a-good-ole-lie-downer?
- Do you like to feel your feet on the floor or wave them in the air like you just don’t care?
- Is this somewhere you’d like to take your mid-day naps or curl up with a good book for a couple of hours?
- What is the average height & number of people who will use it on a daily basis?
- How big of a room will the sofa be in? Should it / can it be a sofa or sectional? Do you need an extra-long sofa to lay down?
- Are you prone to spills aka need more cushions & second chances?
- Do you have pets/children and would benefit from having a slipcover that you can throw into the wash? or maybe just a performance fabric to prevent stains?
The Dimensions to Consider:
The dimensions you choose for your sofa will not only play a factor in the style but also the level of comfort it will offer. One with a higher seat / back height and shallow seat depth tend to lean on the more traditional side. Making them a better fit for a formal setting. On the flip side. A really low to the ground, deep-seated sofa will feel more relaxed, casual, and looking like it’s straight out of the 60s/70s era. In the middle of those two lies the more modern, contemporary style and is one most of us are on the search for… sophisticated yet cozy. So what exactly are those dimensions you should be looking for you ask?
Sofa Length: This is the one dimension that will be determined more so by the amount of space you have rather than your preference for comfort. Standard sofas will come in sizes anywhere from 72″ – 96″ while love seats are more in the 48″ – 72″ range. Emily believes that if you have the space for it an 84″ long sofa is ideal because even someone that is 6’4″ will be able to comfortably fall asleep to their next binge-worthy show.
Seat Depth: In my opinion, this is the most crucial dimension of a sofa, too shallow and you feel like you can’t relax but too deep and you’re a little kid again with your feet dangling in the air. The average seat depth is between 21-24″. If you like to sit upright then 20-22″ is ideal for you. Those of you who like to lounge/lay down then 23″ to max 26″ is what your searching for. Any more and you might as well just buy a daybed.
Don't confuse your seat depth with the sofa's overall depth. The seat depth is the space in which you occupy when seated, it measures from the front of the seat cushion to the back cushion rather than to the back of the sofa.
Seat Height: Most sofas, accent chairs, and dining chairs have a standard seat height of 18 inches. A sofa can be anywhere from 15″ to 20″. The main factor you should consider is how much is your seat depth? If you have a deep and low to the ground sofa it will make it very difficult to get out of it. So if you like your sofa to be 24″-26″ deep try adding an inch or two to make it easier unless this isn’t an issue and you like the style over everything else.
Back Height: The worst feeling is to sit down on a comfortable sofa only to lean back and feel it stop too short with little to no support. That’s why a good rule of thumb is to find a sofa with a back height of 30″ – 36″. The deeper the sofa the lower it can be in that range since you will naturally want to sit in a more relaxed position and need less height.
Arm Height: Last but not least the place where we lean and lay our heads upon, the armrest. Look for a sofa with an arm height between 7″ – 9″, this is measured from the top of the seat cushion to the top of the armrest.
How Many Cushions Do You Want? 1, 2, or 3…
- Single Cushion: Or a ‘bench seat’ is a great option to be able to fit as many people as possible on a sofa with no one stuck in the crack. With the one cushion, it has a more clean & modern look but that also means that you only have ONE chance to hide that red wine stain.
- Two Cushions: This means a roomy seat with two people but an awkward third seat for someone in the middle. It is both a modern and traditional style.
- Three Cushions: Ideal for those who are looking for an upright sitting sofa for three people.
Once a two cushion fan Emily has now opted for a single topstitch cushion cover with a 5″ soft foam density wrapped in a down feather filler on her Moreno Sofa from Lawson-Fenning.
The softer your foams density is the more it will compress and lower when you sit down so take this in consideration when choosing your cushion construction and preferred seat height.
Let’s finally take a peek at this dreamboat!
Moreno Sofa by Lawson-Fenning
After the first time I went to Lawson-Fenning Emily asked if I saw her dream sofa (the one above but coming in a different fabric:)). The Moreno Sofa is sleek, modern, and yet with a traditional touch thanks to those curved arms. With a little help from the LF team, Emily was able to tweak it to the ideal dimensions for her: 96″ Length, Seat Height 17.5″, Seat Depth: 23″ – 24″, Arm Height 26″ (about 8.5″ above the seat cushion) and a Back Height of 31″ just enough for support but low enough to lounge. She’s perfect and I think Emily is very excited to finally see her in person.
And now let’s revisit our other favorites…
Henderson Sofa by Cisco Brothers
This sofa has been in an on-and-off-again relationship (currently: on) with Emily’s LA living room for over three years now but there is a reason it keeps finding it’s way to one another. It’s pretty cozy just ask my boyfriend who is napping on it as I write this, for real.
Maxwell Sofa by Interior Define
From Arlyn: “I love a deep sofa because if I had my pick of positions to be in for life, it would be horizontal on a pile of pillows. But it’s not so deep that you feel like the sofa is eating you. It’s squishy and fluffy but just firm enough to support you and the arms are at the perfect height to lay my head on during day naps.“
We also used this beauty’s neutral friend in the media room of the Portland Project. Our very own, Sara, slept on it when the whole team took over the house for our reader event. I can confirm that she got a very restful sleep cause it was very hard to wake her up the next day then again that lady loves her slumber.
Caitlin Sofa by Interior Define
From Jess: “Let’s just say I have fallen asleep on my sofa more times than I would like to admit. It’s the perfect amount of plush to curl up on but not too plush that you sink in and have a hard time getting off of. Plus it’s held its shape so nicely (and I am on it A LOT). Let me also say, that I am now and probably forever a pro single cushion-er. I love that there isn’t an uncomfortable dip in the middle of my sofa when I lay down. Now I have a hard time getting comfortable on a multi cushion sofa. One and done 🙂“
Burrard Sectional by Article
From a first glance, you might think this sectional doesn’t look squishy enough but then I would be glad to say you are wrong my friends. It’s one of those deceivingly comfortable sofas, there is just that right amount of ‘cush’ on the seat and a little extra on the back so when you fall back onto it, it gives you a slight hug. I mean Emily has used it in three different houses now for a reason.
Sven Sofa by Article
From Sara: “I love this sofa so much I got it for our first living room (which now lives in my brother’s apartment), then I got one for my mom’s living room, and then we got the velvet one for our TV room. If that’s not a solid recommendation, I literally do not know what is. The leather is so nice and gets really soft and wonderful with time. And the velvet one we have in our TV room right now is the perfect size for Mac and I to cuddle up on and watch TV.“
Texada Taos Sofa by Article
From Ryann: “When I chose this sofa for my living room, I was willing to sacrifice comfort if need be because it was so beautiful. My boyfriend and I joke that it’s like having a piece of art as furniture so when the decision was made, in the back of my mind I thought “if it’s not the most comfortable sofa in the world it’s still worth it. I’ll love it just as much.” But luckily this love story has a happy ending. This sofa is SO comfortable you guys. The depth of the cushion is deeper than normal sofas (or at least the ones I’ve come across) so when you sit on it it’s like sitting on a day bed, plus the back cushion is shorter in height so if you want to lean back and slouch a little, the top of the cushion supports your neck perfectly. The leather was extremely soft when we first got it, but it’s only getting softer as the days go on. My boyfriend slept on it the night it arrived because he believes it’s more comfortable than our bed. True story.“
Neva Sofa & Sectional by SixPenny
From Brady: “After 2+ years of having this sofa (and getting lots of love via TV show binging and movie marathoning), I have to admit that it is still just as comfortable as the day that I got it. The single-seat cushion has been a game-changer for us as it means that no one has to sit in a cushion crack and the down back pillows give you all the comfort and support that you need to really relax while being able to fluff them up over and over again. Beyond comfort, the lines are timeless and tailored which means that it works with so many different styles. I’d buy this sofa over and over again if I could.“
As if this sofa couldn’t get any better there is a sectional version. Disclaimer: This is a big kid coming in at a minimum of 120″ (remember the average is 72″ – 96″). But if you have the room for it than the more the merrier!
Selma Sofa by Clad Home
Years ago, Emily had the opportunity to design a sofa with the help from Rosa and the Clad Home team. Inspired by her favorite elements of a traditional style sofa, the end result was this custom low and deep sofa. The perfect spot to curl up with a good book for the night. Plus the soft velvet fabric isn’t too bad either.
Cole Sofa by Clad Home
From Sara: “This is the sofa we got for our living room, and to be 100% honest I wasn’t sure how comfortable it was going to be. When we were sofa shopping I was looking for stunning pieces and was definitely in the mindset of form over function. I figured we’d be hanging out in the TV room most of the time anyways. Fast forward to now, and this couch is my favorite place to take an afternoon nap. I didn’t even opt for the pricer cushion inserts, and just went with their “premium foam.” It is SO comfortable, that when I told Em it wasn’t down filling she was surprised. We got the smallest size of this sofa (70″ wide, 38″ deep), but still something about the curved shape of the sofa and the depth make it the most comfortable place to sit/nap for my 5’2″ height. Though I will point out that we’ve had two different people stay overnight with that couch as there bed, and we didn’t get any complaints. That’s a pretty good endorsement.“
Now that we have gone over our favorites we hope to help you find yours…
If any of the above sofas aren’t quite what you’re looking for we have rounded up a few other options that fall within Emily’s go-to dimensions (we also checked the reviews).
But as a general friendly reminder, be sure to always read the helpful reviews from others on a retailer’s site when purchasing any sofa (or furniture for that matter) as we have not personally sat in all of these. 🙂
1. Mirren Reversible Chaise Sectional | 2. Shelter Sofa | 3. Ever Slipcovered Sofa | 4. Jake Leather Sofa | 5. Leonelle Sofa | 6. Bolinas Slipcovered Sofa | 7. Lewis Sofa | 8. Nixie Grey 2-Piece Sectional Sofa | 9. Jake Leather Sofa | 10. Claire Modern Sofa | 11. Harmony Sofa | 12. Noah Sofa | 13. Hoxton Black Leather Sofa |14. Denver Indoor/Outdoor Sectional | 15. Lounge II Sofa
I hope this post was as helpful for you as it was for me since I am starting my search for that stylish yet cozy sofa of my dreams. As of now, I don’t own any living room or dining room furniture since moving back to Los Angeles so I am ready if you are to continue this comfy series. What would you want to talk about next? An accent chair to pair with that sofa? Or shall we move onto the dining room and we can all have matching cute yet cozy chairs? Let’s chat about it in the comments below! xx
Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: My Friend’s Kid and Pet-Friendly Family Room Reveal