The best sofas of 2022: comfortable, stylish and on budget

The best sofas for your living room; we've rounded up the most comfortable seating options out there, including the best chaise sofas, corner sofas, and the comfiest 2 and 3 seater settees

A teal blue velvet sofa with patterned scatter cushions and an orange throw draped over the arm in panelled living room with a metal side table and teal blue lamp
(Image credit: Sofa.com)

Looking for the best sofas? As one of the key pieces of furniture in our living rooms we know choosing a new sofa can be a difficult decision. After all, a sofa needs to fulfil a lot of criteria, including suiting your decor, your budget, and, most importantly, being a place to relax and get comfortable. And with most options proving a fairly hefty investment, it's a purchase we all want to get right.

Once you start the sofa search, you'll soon discover there are a whole lot of options to choose from, including the classic two and three-seater sofa, chaise sofas for putting your feet up, modular sofas that come in sections you can configure into your own seating layouts, and spacious corner sofas that have room for the whole family. Plus, of course, the multifunctional sofa bed that allows you to offer guests an overnight sleeping space (find more of those in our guide to the best sofa beds).

To help you decide which is the best sofa for you, we've tried and tested the latest designs, read multiple reviews, and grilled the Real Homes team for their expert opinions. For more in-depth buying advice just scroll to the end of this page, but if you're ready to start shopping now then you'll find our edit of the best sofas available – in terms of style, price, and budget – listed directly below.  


Best sofas 2022: a buying guide

A teal blue velvet sofa with wooden legs in a living room with blue painted panelled wallsReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Sofa.com)
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1. Sofa.com Holly Sofa

Best sofa overall: a stylish and reasonably priced sofa with just the right amount of squish and support

Specifications

RRP: From £850
Sizes available: 2, 2.5, 3, and 4-seater, plus chaise and corner sofa
Seat height: 50cm
Seat depth: 54cm
Seat cushions: feather-wrapped foam
Back cushions: feather
Upholstery options: 70+
Average lead time: 8-12 weeks
Matching furniture: Armchair & footstool
Does it come in grey?: Yes! Over 20 different shades

Reasons to buy

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Good value
+
Comfortable seating with just the right mix of squish and support
+
Four sofa width options
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High legs can make a small room feel more spacious
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Good range of upholstery options
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

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Armrests may be a little high and thin for some
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The feathers will rule it out for some

What's it like to sit on?
In our opinion, the Holly sofa, a velvet sofa, has just the right mix of squish and support thanks to its deep feather-wrapped foam seat cushions, feather back cushions, plus a high-backed frame. 

The seat is comfy enough to curl up on and the tall soft-but-firm back cushions mean you have great back support if you prefer to sit – with the back cushions coming above the shoulders on most people. For once it's not just the back cushions doing all the work of supporting your back either, the frame itself comes nice and high meaning you can lean back securely without the cushions gradually deflating backwards.

The seat depth is fairly shallow at 54cm, so it's easy to maintain a comfortable sitting posture rather than being tipped backwards into a recline, and we found the 50cm seat height to be a good middle ground - not too high and not too low. It does make this more of an upright sofa than a curling up sofa though - although we still found there was room to do both.

We like the high armrests as it means you have something to support your back if you like to sit sideways and put your feet up, but some might not like the thin tapered design and height.

Will it suit my interior?
This design suits a wide range of interiors, with the high-legged design working well in a period property but also looking right at home in a contemporary living room. 

Those legs – available in English Oak or Mahogany – also make it a good option for either a large or a small living room, as being able to see underneath the sofa to the back wall of a room will increase feelings of spaciousness within a compact room (although legs do also mean a hiding place for dust bunnies!).

This design also comes in a great range of sizes that make it easy to fit into a whole host of room sizes. The straight-backed designs come in 2, 2.5, 3 and 4 seater, and there's also a chaise and corner sofa version available. And, if you prefer to have a matching living room suite, then you'll be pleased to hear there is also a Holly armchair and footstool available.

Over 70 upholstery options – including 20 grey options! – also make finding a colour and fabric to suit your decor easy, and all fabrics we handled felt good quality and came in nice hues and textures. There is a great range of velvets, family-friendly cotton and polyester mixes, linens, wools and some great statement fabrics like on-trend textured boucles. There is only one leather option if that's what you're looking for, but it's a nice and versatile tan, which will suit a lot of homes.

Overall, this is a good looking and great value sofa that we'd be more than happy to give floor space to.


A tan leather sofa with chaise section in a modern living roomReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: MADE)
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2. Luciano Chaise Sofa

Best chaise sofa: a contemporary leather or fabric sofa that offers plenty of bounce

Specifications

RRP: From £1250
Sizes available: Chaise: H86 x W278 x D154cm
Seat height: 46cm
Seat depth: 60cm
Chaise seat depth: 116cm
Seat cushions: Foam
Back cushions: Foam
Upholstery options: 7
Average lead time: 6-14 weeks
Matching furniture: No
Does it come in grey: Yes! Fabric or leather (kind of)

Reasons to buy

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Contemporary leather or fabric options
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Comfortable seat with a good amount of bounce

Reasons to avoid

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MADE delivery estimates can sometimes be hit and miss in our experience
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There's only a chaise option
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Limited upholstery options
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No matching furniture

What's it like to sit on?
This may not be a super squishy sofa, but both the seat and back cushions are soft and comfortable and we found them to give good support. The seat also has a surprising amount of bounce which made sitting even more comfortable, and the chaise section is a good length for putting your feet up.

The armrests are nice and wide, and the slanted angle of the internal arm makes it comfortable for lying down and resting your head on the armrest when you're ready to activate full lounge mode.

Will it suit my interior?
This sofa only comes as a chaise option, which is a bit of a shame in our opinion, as we would have liked to see some alternatives on offer. That being said, if you have the space then a chaise is always a good option in our books, allowing two people to get comfortable with their feet up at the same time. 

As well as a fairly hefty depth due to the chaise, this sofa is also pretty wide, so just make sure you double-check your measurements before you buy - including access dimensions.

Colour-wise the leather options include a soft and desaturated tan (a refreshing change from a lot of overly bright tan leather sofas we've come across), grey (which in our opinion is much more of a sable brown - but a nice colour nonetheless) and a paler tan option. The leather is also nice and soft with a matt velvety texture that felt nice to the touch and doesn't cause bare skin to stick to it in hot weather, or get too cold in cool weather as shinier leathers can. And if leather isn't for you, there are also two velvet options - navy blue and duck egg blue - and three polyester weaves including a great mid-grey option that will suit a lot of homes. 

The only downside is you might need to be prepared for a bit of a wait. MADE usually has fairly long lead times, and it's not uncommon for those waits to get a little lengthier after you've ordered if stocks are low. Something to consider if you need somewhere to sit pronto.


A pale grey sofa in a modern living room with contemporary art on the wallReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Swyft)
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3. Swyft Model 02 Sofa

Best sofa with quick delivery: quick, easy and convenient, a smart and stylish sofa-in-a-box

Specifications

RRP: From £1245
Sizes available: 2 and 3-seater
Seat height: 43cm
Seat depth: 60cm
Seat cushions: Foam, feather and fibre
Back cushions: Foam, feather and fibre
Upholstery options: 8
Average lead time: Under a week
Matching furniture: No
Does it come in grey?: Yes! A linen and velvet option

Reasons to buy

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Versatile style will work in a contemporary or period property
+
Sofa-in-a-box flatpack design useful for rooms with tricky access
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Can be easily dismantled to rebuild if you move home
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Very short average lead time
+
Stain-resistant upholstery

Reasons to avoid

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Firm seats and fairly firm and low backrest
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Limited upholstery options
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No matching furniture
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A lot of packaging to dispose of
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The feathers will rule it out for some

If time is of the essence and you're looking for a sofa with quick delivery, then Swyft's Model 02 sofa-in-a-box arrives in under 7 days and can be delivered in just 24 hour hours if you buy direct from the Swyft website (opens in new tab) with next-day delivery. 

As both the 2 seater and 3 seater options are delivered flat-packed, that makes getting your new sofa to its final destination a stress-free experience, with each box far more likely to fit through narrow doorways, tight hallways and up multiple flights of stairs than a fully-built sofa. Phew.

It does mean there will be some self-assembly once the sofa arrives (and a lot of packaging to dispose of), but Swyft's 'Swyft-lok' system means no tools are needed and it's a quick job to get your seating set up. This is also a handy feature if you're renting or planning to move house in the foreseeable future, as it makes dismantling and rebuilding an easy task.

What's it like to sit on?
This is an upright sofa, so it's designed for those of us who prefer to sit than lounge. The seat and back cushions – with their foam, feather and fibre fillings – are on the firmer side, so it's not soft and squishy seating, but the cushions offer good support, and the fairly narrow seat depth creates a comfortable sitting position. Find all the details in our Swyft Model 02 sofa review

Will it suit my interior?
An angular frame, piped detailing and two smart bolster cushions make the 2 or 3 seater sofa a great addition to either a period property or a contemporary home, and those high tapered legs are perfect for creating a more spacious feel in a compact room. 

The versatile design also works well in all fabrics that are on offer, which although limited to 5 velvets and 3 linens are all great shades. We particularly like the dark Vine green velvet which is a nice earthy shade, but the neutrals work well too, with a Shadow grey linen and Light Grey or darker Elephant mid-grey velvet on offer. The pale Pumice is also a nice option for lightening a room, and with Swyft's approach to stain-resistance – fibres are coated before the fabric is woven rather than protection being applied on top – you can have a little more confidence in opting for a less forgiving colour (it certainly held up well in our red wine stain testing!).

We're pleasantly surprised by the price of this sofa considering its stylish good looks and fast and easy delivery options. Whether you opt for linen or velvet, the price of the sofa also remains the same which eliminates nasty surprises, and if you need a sofa in a hurry, then that 24-hour delivery option could well prove priceless. 


A grey high back sofa with wooden legsReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: John Lewis)
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4. John Lewis & Partners Draper Sofa

Best sofa with support: a high-backed sofa that has just the right mix of firmness and cushioning

Specifications

RRP: From £1449
Sizes available: 2, 3 and 4-seater, plus chaise sofa
Seat height: 43cm
Seat depth: 59cm
Seat cushions: Foam and fibre
Back cushions: Fibre
Upholstery options: 90+
Average lead time: 1-13 weeks dependent on upholstery choice
Matching furniture: Armchair
Does it come in grey?: Yes! Over 30 different shades

Reasons to buy

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High back
+
Pleasantly firm and supportive to sit on
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One long seat cushion means no-one gets the gap
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Three sofa width options
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High legs can make a small room feel more spacious
+
Option to have built-in footrest mechanism
+
Good range of upholstery options
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

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Blends in easily with a range of decor but perhaps not the most exciting style statement
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Good range of colours, but not as many fabric choices – velvet options are thin on the ground and no leathers

What's it like to sit on?
Alongside the Holly sofa at the top of this list, we found the Draper to offer the best sitting experience in terms of back support. The back frame itself comes pretty high on this model and the slightly taller fibre-filled back cushions felt pleasantly soft but firm enough to offer a supportive surface that reached up to nearly the top of our shoulders for taller testers and to the base of the head on shorter sitters.

Again, this isn't a squishy sofa, but the foam and fibre seat cushions are supportive whilst having enough softness to yield and offer some squash. The softness of the sofa will also depend on your fabric choices – thicker fabrics with a tighter weave offering more firmness and fabrics with more drape allowing more give.

The seat depth is 59cm – a little deeper than the Holly's 54cm seat depth – and the straight back enabled a good upright sitting posture. That little bit of extra seat depth meant it still felt there was enough room to curl up with your feet up if you prefer, plus the one long continuous seat cushion means no-one gets left with the gap when three are seated at once.

We also like the fact that even on the 3 and 4-seater sofas the seat cushion is one long section rather than separate cushions, meaning no-one gets stuck sitting on the gap between the cushions, and you don't end up gradually tipping sideways on the edge of a seat cushion which keeps your back in better alignment.

Will it suit my interior?
High-back sofas can be a bit like marmite. If you prefer contemporary design then you might tend to gravitate towards low profile shapes, but a more supportive design can be a lot better for your back - especially when you're likely to spend a good few hours on a couch. 

The Draper design aims to offer a high-backed sofa solution for modern homes. Its squared frame adds a contemporary feel, and its tufted cushions offer a modern twist on the classic Chesterfield sofa, whilst 90+ upholstery fabrics offer plenty of colour choice.


A pale grey contemporary modular sofa in a high-ceilinged living roomReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Swyft)
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5. Swyft Model 03 Sofa

Best modular sofa: a contemporary sectional sofa-in-a-box with a super short lead time

Specifications

RRP: From £705 per modular section
Sizes available: unlimited modular configurations
Seat height: 54cm
Seat depth: 69cm
Seat cushions: High-density foam
Back cushions: High-density foam
Upholstery options: 5
Average lead time: Under a week
Matching furniture: Footstool
Does it come in grey: Yes! A linen and velvet option

Reasons to buy

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Modular units mean unlimited configuration options
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Sofa-in-a-box flatpack design useful for rooms with tricky access
+
Low-to-the-ground design works well in a large open-plan room
+
Can be easily dismantled to rebuild if you move home
+
Very short average lead time
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Stain-resistant upholstery

Reasons to avoid

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Low back won't be for everyone
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Fairly bulky with deep seats so not for small rooms
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Will only really work in a contemporary interior
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Limited upholstery options
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Limited matching furniture
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A lot of packaging to dispose of

A modular sofa makes for a really versatile seating solution. Individual seating sections allow you to configure the sofa layout to best suit your room, and enables you to add, subtract or rearrange the seating units if you want to transfer your sofa to a different room or move home. They are also a great option for open plan layouts, helping to zone a room and create a more intimate seating area within a larger space. 

Swyft's Model 03 modular sofa-in-a box also subverts the usual long lead times that come with most sofa purchases by offering delivery in under a week – often even within 24 hours. The modular units don't come cheap, with a single seat costing from £705, however, the adaptability this sofa offers means if you're a renter, or planning on upping sticks in the foreseeable future, then you'll likely save money on the frustrating expense of investing in a sofa that perfectly fits one home, but isn't quite right for the next.

What's it like to sit on?
This is definitely a sofa designed for those who prefer to lounge and lay down rather than sit. It's not a squishy sofa, but the foam seat and backrest are comfortable and the seat offers some good bounce.

The backrest won't be for everyone as it is very low, but we found the sofa comfortable to curl up on with the backrest then becoming an armrest, and – if you prefer to lie down – then it's a great height for a headrest. 

The deep 69cm seat depth also means there's plenty of room for cushions if you do want to add more back support – although we think to get the most out of this sofa you need to embrace its laidback vibe and use it with the ottoman module or corner module to turn it into a chaise to lay back and relax on.

Will it suit my interior?
You're going to need a modern home to opt for this sofa, but we love its contemporary boxy shape. It works particularly well in a large room or an open-plan layout, where the blocky low-to-the-ground design will help to anchor the room and provide useful contrast to a light, airy and spacious interior.

Upholstery options are limited – there are 3 velvets and 2 linen mixes on offer – but all are versatile and on-trend shades. They also promise stain resistance, a claim our pet-owning Shopping Editor put through its paces in our Swyft Model 03 sofa review (opens in new tab).


A traditional sofa with roll arms and wooden feet in a period propertyReal Homes Rated bronze

(Image credit: Sofa.com)
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6. Sofa.com Bluebell Sofa

Best sofa for a period home: a firm yet affordable sofa with classic details

Specifications

RRP: From £1115
Sizes available: 2, 2.5, 3 and 4-seater, plus chaise and corner sofa
Seat height: 53cm
Seat depth: 60cm
Seat cushions: Feather-wrapped foam
Back cushions: Feather and fibre
Upholstery options: 70+
Average lead time: 8-12 weeks
Matching furniture: Armchair & footstool
Does it come in grey?: Yes! Over 20 different shades

Reasons to buy

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A relatively affordable traditional sofa
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Wide range of size options, including multiple corner sofa configurations
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High legs can make a small room feel more spacious
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Option to have most sizes delivered in four pieces with final assembly completed in destination room - great for rooms with awkward access
+
Also comes in a sofa bed option
+
Good range of upholstery options
+
Matching furniture available

Reasons to avoid

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Firm seats and fairly firm backrest
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Deep seat won't be for everyone
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Overall depth requires a fairly large room
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Armrests are very low
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Feathers make it unsuitable for vegans

This classic look sofa is one of Sofa.com's bestselling styles, and its low scroll back arms and turned wooden legs on castors make it the perfect aesthetic, at a comparatively reasonable price, for a period property.

What's it like to sit on?
We found the seat cushions fairly firm, and although the back cushions are a little softer and quite supportive, they weren't quite as enjoyable to sit back against as other models we've tried. And on all models we tried there was quite a lot of plumping needed to keep the feather-filled cushions in shape. 

We also found the decorative scroll back arms a bit neither here nor there for practical use; too low to offer much arm support and pretty hard for resting your head on if you laid down. 

Will it suit my interior?
However, looks-wise this sofa definitely delivers. If you're looking for a traditional-style sofa then the Bluebell has period elegance in droves, from the turned wood feet on castors to those pleated scrolled arms and the piped upholstery, it has all the classic drawing-room sofa details nailed.

As usual for Sofa.com's sofas it also comes in a super versatile selection of sizes; 2, 2.5, 3, and 4-seater, plus the chaise and corner options. This model also has the added flexibility of allowing you to opt for a 'breakdownable' version which is delivered in four parts with assembly in the room of your choice - a boon for anyone with awkward room access. 

The upholstery choices deliver too, with some great colour-popping velvets, muted linens and plenty of family-friendly fabrics. And there is an armchair and footstool to match for a cohesive living room look.


How to choose the best sofa for you

The best sofa for your home will depend on a range of factors, not least the size of your living room, your lifestyle, and of course, your budget. So what are the key things to consider when shopping for this key household item?


How big should your sofa be?

It may sound obvious, but size is one of the most important aspects to consider before falling in love with your dream couch. 

Generally speaking, you're going to want the most spacious settee your room and budget will allow, but it's also important to make sure you measure carefully to ensure your sofa is going to work in your space.

It's easy to fall in love with a roomy chaise longue in a spacious sofa showroom, but back home that family-friendly corner sofa might make your living room feel cramped and cluttered. 

A top tip is to measure out where the sofa will go in your room using masking tape to mark out all dimensions. As well as width, make sure to consider the height of the sofa – especially if you want to place it under a window sill or beneath existing architecture - and its depth to ensure there is plenty of space to walk around it comfortably. 

And don't just measure the room where your sofa will (hopefully) end up - unless you want a stressful few hours come delivery day! Ensure your chosen sofa will fit through doorways, around bending hallways, or up flights of stairs. Most retailers list packaging dimensions on their sites, so ensure these match the access you have. 

And if your access is tricky? Don't think that means you have to plump for the smallest two-seater you can find. Modular sofas that are delivered in sections are great options for adding a large amount of seating to difficult rooms, and both flatpack options and selected models from specialist furniture retailers, like Sofa.com, provide the advantage of being able to have your sofa constructed within the final destination room.

You'll find more top tips for planning your living space in our round-up of the best living room layout ideas, as well as style inspiration in our modern living room ideas and small living room ideas sections.


What's the most comfortable sofa?

Just like finding the best mattress for you, finding the most comfortable sofa for you will depend a lot on personal preference, and there is nothing that can quite replace going into the showroom and sit-testing a few of your favourite styles. We've rounded up the most important things to look out for when considering comfort.

Cushions
Sofa cushions come in a range of materials and constructions, but the two most commonly found are foam and feathers. 

A foam cushion is more generally used at the budget end of the market and offers a fairly firm sit depending on the type used. The benefit of foam is that it's quick to spring back into shape after being depressed, although over time you may find a depression in your favourite sitting spot. 

At the other end of the scale are feather cushions. These are generally more expensive but provide a more plumptious seat, although the feathers can gradually shift so you'll need to do more plumping. 

Generally speaking, the happy place is with the best of both worlds, and many sofa manufacturers now offer foam cushion cores that are wrapped in a layer of soft feathers - providing comfort and retaining the sofa shape.

Height
If you're using a sofa to zone a room, then a low-to-the-ground model can offer a great way to create dedicated areas without breaking up the space too much, but, the flipside is that (once past a certain age perhaps) low seating can be harder to get up from and can encourage you to sprawl more than sit.

Ergonomically, the recommended seating position is to have your thigh bones parallel to the floor, which for most of us means sofa seating that's a roundabout knee height when standing.

Backrest
Whilst some love the look of a low-profile sofa, if you're lounging for long then adequate back support is going to make sitting more comfortable. 

Look for models that have a dedicated backrest, rather than sofas that offer a low back and then rely on taller cushions to provide support.


How to clean your sofa

You've found the perfect couch for you, plumped the cushions and planned the Sofa-based Netflix marathon. But what happens when disaster strikes and your new sofa gets its first spillage? Never fear. Our guide to how to clean a sofa will have you sorted pronto, along with our round-up of the best upholstery cleaners for your sofa fabric type.


Want more living room inspiration?

Find out how best to use your space in our guide to how to design a living room, or stay on top of the latest trends and easy decor updates on our dedicated living room ideas page. And if you're struggling with how to make the most of a compact lounge, then find top tricks and tricks in our guide to how to choose furniture for a small living room.


How we chose the sofas included in this guide

To find the best sofas for all budgets we’ve walked multiple miles around multiple sofa showrooms and toned our glutes doing sit test after sit test to try out all the latest releases, plus grilled the Real Homes team for their expert knowledge, along with their friends, and their friend's friends, to find out how their sofa choices are holding up to the rigours of day to day life. We also take into account the wider views of those who own each product, whether that’s via online reviews or social media. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Real Homes.

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

After completing a major house renovation, Amy discovered what she had always suspected; that decorating is the best part. She joined the Real Homes team to share her love for all things interior, finally putting all those hours spent agonizing over the best white paint to good use in Real Homes’ carefully researched buying guides, and helping readers to find the best furniture, decor, and furnishings to create the home they've always dreamed of. 

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