The best couch of 2021: the top couches for style and comfort

The best couch you can buy; strike the right balance between style, comfort, and quality

Best sofa 2020
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(Image credit: West Elm)

Choosing the best couch for your living space is an important decision. After all, the piece you pick will play a major role in your daily routine, whether you're entertaining guests, relaxing with loved ones, or simply vegging out after a long workday.

Aside from the obvious comfort and style factors that play into picking the right couch, there are also plenty of practical considerations you'll need to take into account to determine which is the best sofa for you. For example, what type of fabric or material lasts longest? Which is the easiest to clean? Will the shape of the sofa fit into your space without compromising the floor plan? And how can you make sure this piece is eco-friendly, in both its build and its shipping?

To help you along your journey to finding the perfect couch for you, we window shopped, read reviews, researched textiles, and put our own experience with sofa shopping (we've bought dozens in our time as homeowners), and came up with a list of seven of the top options on the market.  Our picks give you a range for size, seating, material, and price point. By the end of this list, you will find a piece that works perfectly for your lifestyle.

Looking for a sleeper sofa? Check out our list of the best sofa beds

The Best Couches of 2021

best sofa

(Image credit: Castlery)

1. Castlery Tana Sectional Sofa

Best couch for families

Specifications
Seats: 3
Colors available: 2
Filling: Pocket spring, foam
Size: 58.3"+37.4”W x 36.4"/63.6"D x 34.3"H
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary style+Fully removable covers makes for easy cleaning +Sectional is easily arranged with alligator clip 
Reasons to avoid
-Short return period -Few color options

A newbie on the market, Castlery is an American online furniture store which “looks to reinvent how furniture retail works.” Their website showcases products from sofas to barstools to dressers, all of which are designed and mastered by a global designer community, with partners from Australia, Spain and Poland, to name a few. Thus far, the site has over 2,000 customer reviews, and one of the most popular pieces is the Tana Sectional Sofa.

Why we like it:

An affordable sectional is a rare find, but one that’s as family and pet-friendly as the Tana Sectional Sofa is a real gem. The sectional is made in just two colors, but comes with a eucalyptus inner frame, pocket spring with foam filling, and zigzag spring suspension. The couch arrives to be fitted with its legs, and Castlery offers affordable payments of up to 12-month installments. With the steady seatback and support system, the couch offers its customers the utmost comfort and relaxation. 

What to watch for:

With 52 reviews amounting to an average of 4.7/5 stars, it’s hard to find a reason not to buy the Tana Sectional Sofa. However, some customers share that the cushions are firmer than they’d like, and they wish the sectional part of the sofa was longer. More so, the company offers a 14-day return policy, which may be a bit too quick for busy customers who don’t spend much time at home. 

floyd sofa - best sofas 2020

(Image credit: Floyd)

2. Floyd Sofa

Best eco-friendly couch

Specifications
Seats: 3
Colors available: 5
Filling: two layers of varying densities of foam for cushions + Top Grade radiata pine plywood for the base
Size: 87" W, 32" H, 31" D
Reasons to buy
+American-made, from a Detroit based company +Easy to clean with stain-resistant fabric +10-year warranty 
Reasons to avoid
-Small

Floyd has gained traction in the design game since coming onto the market in 2013 as a company focused on creating furniture that is built to last. In the time since, it’s become one of the most well-known sustainable furniture companies, and its pieces have ended up in nearly 30,000 customers’ homes. 

For Earth Day 2020, the company announced their Sustainability Plan, aiming to ensure 70% of the material comes from either recycled or renewable sources, use 100% FSC certified wood across all products, and measure, disclose, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our supply chain by 2025. Further, the company will be launching the Floyd Resale and Refurbishment program to extend the useful life of our products.

Why we like it:

The Sofa — one of three versions of the piece available — offers a flexible, stylish staple for your home, for a low-cost and low-impact on the environment. The modern and modular design blends in perfectly with the styles of past, present and future, all while being toxin-free, easy to clean, and made with reusable and sustainable materials, including all-natural, Top Grade radiata pine plywood and free of chemical flame retardants.

What to watch for: 

In just a few of the couch’s 500+ reviews on Floyd’s site, some customers mention that the couch’s cushions aren’t as firm as they’d like, especially for a $1,300+ couch. One also mentioned that the couch isn’t deep enough, and just a few more inches would make sitting on the couch perfect.

best sofa bed

(Image credit: Birch Lane)

3. Birch Lane 89" Recessed Arm Sofa Bed

Best sleeper sofa

Specifications
Seats: 2-3
Sleeps: 2
Filling: foam
Type of bed: pull out
Colors available: 112
Size: H35"x W89" x D38"
Reasons to buy
+Classic style+Good quality+Lots of color options+Comfortable as both a sofa and bed
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Takes a while to deliver

The best sleeper sofa we've found is the  Birch Lanes 89" Recessed arm sofa. Not only will its transitional design suit a wide range of styles, it's also great quality, and  completely customizable.

Why we like it

As we mentioned, this sofa bed will suit so many different spaces, whether you like a coastal vibe in your living room, a farmhouse feel, or a traditional look. Plus, you can choose from 112 fabrics for your sofa and throw pillows. You can even choose different prints for each.

The sofa also comes with two different mattress options, a DreamQuest Coil Mattress, or an innerspring mattress. They're the same price, and reviewers call both comfortable.  

What to watch for

Because this sofa is custom-made, shipping times vary greatly. Certain stocked colors can be delivered in as little as a week, but completely custom orders take 18-20 weeks at the moment due to COVID delays. So, if you need a sofa bed for guests coming in this weekend, this wouldn't be the top pick for you. 

best sofa-small

(Image credit: Burrow)

4. Burrow Block Nomad loveseat

Best couch for small spaces

Specifications
Seats: 2
Colors available: 5, + 6 options for leg finishes
Filling: Three-layer foam and fiber
Size: 60" L x 35" D x 33" H
Reasons to buy
+Good starter piece that’s both easy to move and add on to +Built-in USB charger +Sturdy frame prevents warping, and fiber-weave fabric is both scratch and stain-resistant 
Reasons to avoid
- Lack of padding in the arm cushions 

Burrow has made a name for itself for its affordability. By cutting out the middleman and delivering directly to their customers, the company has been able to remove all retail markups and over 70% of standard shipping costs. 

Why we like it:

Launched by classmates Stephen Kuhl and Kabeer Chopra at Wharton Business School, the pair sought to design furniture that was ergonomically-sound, fashionable, and affordable. With the success of Burrow since its launch in April 2017, the Block Nomad Loveseat is no exception. 

One of the most affordable couches on the market, the loveseat is made from incredibly durable materials —  galvanized steel latches, a precision-milled Baltic Birch frame, and scratch and stain-resistant fabric — has a low carbon footprint, and is non-toxic with zero chemical additives or treatments and zero PCFs.On top of all that, Burrow ships this piece and others both fast and free, with lightweight, easy-to-move boxes and a 30-day return period.

What to watch for: 

Of the 495 reviews on the site for the Nomad Loveseat, there was only one review that had fewer than four out of five stars. The customer cited that, after a month, the couch was not yet comfy and the detachable ottoman was a nuisance.

best sofa

(Image credit: Wayfair)

5. Kerman Modern Velvet 3 Seater 68.5" Flares Arms Sofa

Best tufted couch

Specifications
Seats: 3
Colors available: 3
Filling: Polyurethane Foam
Size: 30”D x 30.25”H x 83.25”W
Reasons to buy
+Stylish bold color options +Value price point+Folds out to a sleeper sofa
Reasons to avoid
- Limited 90-day warranty, with a 5-year protection plan for an additional $96.99 

Channel tufting is major trend in upholstered furniture, with versions of this high-fashion design popping up across the furniture market, from Article to Overstock to CB2. This version from Wayfair is one of the most affordable and archetypal options.

Why we like it:

Thanks to its budget-friendly price point, the Kerman Modern Velvet Sofa is a stylish and functional option for those just beginning to buy their own home furniture. The elegant design — with deep channel stitching, soft velvet upholstery, and sleek tapered legs — provides a focal point for your space, while also giving off a vintage allure. Further, as a sleeper sofa, the sofa is easily able to be arranged between the three positions of sitting, sleeping, and lounging.

What to watch for: 

Of the 43 reviews available on Wayfair’s site for this piece, only four reviews were under four stars. One customer mentioned that the piece was lower to the ground than they expected; another mentioned that part of their sofa still hadn’t arrived in the mail. Further, a warning for California residents pops up that states that the sofa may expose customers to chemicals including Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP).

best sofa

(Image credit: Wayfair)

6. Paulsen 80.5" Reversible Sleeper Sectional

Best affordable couch

Specifications
Seats: 3
Colors available: 3
Filling: Foam
Size: 61.5''D x 31.5''H x 80.5''W
Reasons to buy
+Multi-functional split-back design that independently converts between three positions + Smooth and soft velvet upholstery 
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Wayfair has made a point of offering lots of furniture and home-goods options for its customers over the last 18 years. But a sectional sofa, for less than $600, in this economy? What a steal! With sectionals typically ringing up at between $1,200 and $3,000, this option proves that you don’t need to blow the bank to get the furniture that you want and need for your space.  

Why we like it:

The Paulsen Reverse Sleeper Sectional provides a necessary and surprising twist on the classic sectional and the classic sleeper sofa by combining them to be all of the above. Built on an engineered solid and manufactured wood frame, the sofa has a reversible chaise, track arms, and straight cylindrical legs for a stylish mid-century modern silhouette. Mercer41, the sofa designer, states that the couch can comfortably sit 3, and cite that at least one person can comfortably sleep when the sleeper is positioned in the reversible chaise lounge.

What to watch for: 

Because this couch is so convertible, there is a change that the continued change from seating to lounging could wear on the hinges. One customer mentions this fact in their 3-star review, including the perception that the couch is “more of a fancy futon than a true couch.” Further, with only a 1-year warranty, it may be a better option to pay a bit more for a higher quality, longer-lasting sectional.

best leather sofa

(Image credit: CB2)

7. West Elm Haven Loft Leather Sofa

Best leather couch

Specifications
Seats: 2 - 4
Colors available: 12
Filling: Down alternative and poly-fiber blend
Size: 76"W x 37"D x 32.5"H // 86"W x 37"D x 32.5"H
Reasons to buy
+Option to buy the couch in four vegan leather colors +Legs feature adjustable levelers to adapt to varying floor levels +Assembled upon arrival via White Glove Service 
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricier side -Higher maintenance: To minimize drying and cracking, do not place in direct sunlight or near a heat source 

Founded nearly two decades ago, West Elm has revamped itself to be more sustainable and resourceful for its customers. Today, 60 percent of their products support at least one of their sustainability initiatives, and the option to pick vegan leather for the Haven Loft Leather Sofa is just one of many reasons to support this company for your next couch.

Why we like it:

This is one of the most stylish leather (and faux leather!) sofas on the market, and its key details make it a must-have for your living space. Not only are there 12 leather colors available to choose from, the couch is also available in both 76” and 86”, with adjustable leg levelers to adapt to varying floor levels and removable legs. Further, the couch cushions have down alternative-wrapped, high-resiliency polyurethane foam cores, and back cushions have a down alternative and poly fiber blend.

What to watch for: 

The site itself doesn’t show customer reviews, which is a bit worrisome when making as large of an investment as this one for a staple piece. Further, the sofa will require much more upkeep as a leather/vegan leather option, with West Elm recommending customers to not place it in direct sunlight, to dust and vacuum regularly, and to contact a leather specialist for more permanent stains or thorough cleanings. 

best sofa

(Image credit: CB2)

8. CB2 Curvo Pink Velvet Sofa

Best curved couch

Specifications
Seats: 3
Colors available: 3
Filling: Shearling/Polyester/Cotton
Size: 95" W x 38” D x 30.5” H
Reasons to buy
+Statement piece that'll add instant style points to any room
Reasons to avoid
-Hard to clean (can't use water)-Bold style not for everyone

CB2, the modern younger sibling of Crate and Barrel, has inspired many young renters and new homeowners in their search for furnishing their new homes. Taking the timeless style and classic design of C&B to add in a modern flair makes CB2 a popular stop for all furniture, but also makes them a one-stop-shop for unique pieces.

Why we like it:

As '80s silhouettes return to home décor in full-force, the curved design of this sleek sofa is spot on trend.

Designed by Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop brand, the actress herself calls the couch “a nod to Italian mid century designs by way of its fluid lines.” Available in three unique colors/fabrics — from a blush pink cotton-blend velvet, to 100 percent shearling — the couch will definitely make a statement. The hardwood frame paired with the fabric makes for a comfy place to lounge while catching up on your New Yorkers — this is the lap of luxury!

What to watch for: 

CB2’s listing of the sofa has only 11 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 — but three of the reviews mention how difficult the up-keep is. As one customer said: “Love the look, but I don’t have time to scotch guard it every time before someone sits on it or lint it/vacuum it every day.” If you have a house of of children or a pet who likes to snuggle up on the couch with you, you might want to skip this one. 

Keep reading:

best sofa bed

(Image credit: Birch Lane)