Sectional vs Sofa

The most important place in a house is the living room where people can gather with family and friends or just sit around on a lazy day. The seating plan is very important as it dictates the arrangement and the aesthetics of the occupant, besides offering extreme comfort. Couch or sectional is an important decision. If you want to buy the best sectional sofas, we have already written an article.

The traditional choice for seating is a 3 seater sofa along with few chairs. They together represent style and symmetry in the area. Nowadays, amongst various designs and options available for sitting, two major categories are abundantly discussed; traditional sofa and sectional sofa.

Let’s discuss how both differ and which one is best suitable according to the consumer’s requirement, sectional vs sofa.

Traditional Sofa

Conventionally, the sofa is long and a comfortable seat with arms and a back in usual cases, which is used for sitting by two or more people. Modern furniture consists of sofas made from many kinds of fabrics and amongst them are leather, linen, polyester, and wool. It usually has a formal appearance and can be utilized for domestic and commercial arrangements.

Other materials used include stainless steel, plywood, hardwood, fiberglass, manufactured wood, etc. These materials dictate the price and quality of the furniture. These types of sofas or couches are commonly found in living rooms.

3 seater sofa

Sectional Sofa

Contrary to their traditional counterpart, sectional sofas are a combination of many pieces of seats that can be arranged independently into various positions. Hence, they offer a more versatile solution for sitting as compared to a common multi-seated couch.

Sectional Sofas Are Customizable

They are available in various customizable designs depending on the arrangement and the type of chaise utilized. Sometimes, they are composed of two sofas arranged to make a perfect angle of ninety degrees. This layout is pretty popular and is used mostly for casual setups. Another design is modular as it contains four to seven piece sets that can be arranged in various configurations. Majorly these will be having seat cushions combined with the back cushions. One or maybe two pieces will have an armrest on one side. Since they can be customized to make a single long setting to conventional L shape area for conversation, people usually prefer them in usual cases.

Sectional Sofas Are Very Practical

They are very practical in the sense that various arrangements can be made using sectional sofas. Their mobility is easier when we compare them with single sofas which are heavier. People housed in apartment buildings find it easier to fit their stuff through doors and entryways, especially if they have to move to higher floors.

The design of sectional sofas is usually for rooms with more stuff adjusted inside as compared to formal rooms. They have cushions that can be separated and wiped easily, hence pretty handy for family rooms or enclosed areas. Their cost is generally in the same range as that of good quality traditional sofas. They have models that may contain footrest or may have storage pockets. With lots of seating options, higher comfort, and ease of transportation, they are considered in many scenarios by the buyers.

l-shaped sectional

Sectional vs Sofa: Factors to Consider

Here we are going to discuss a few factors to help to choose between sectional vs sofa. First and foremost is the required number of seats. A sofa is the better choice if only two or three seats are required. For a larger number of seats, two sofas or a sectional, or another option is a smaller love seat with a sofa or two chairs with loveseat can be a choice, it is a good set. But, the regular sectional is a 3 seater sofa with an ottoman.

Who is Going to Use the Furniture

The other consideration is that who is going to use the furniture? Two sofas or sectionals can give the same number of seating; however, all the seats are not of the same size. Sofas with loveseat or chairs allow armrests that allow guests to have more personal space as compared to sectionals that do not have separation of an armrest. Therefore, sectionals can be a choice for families to provide cozy seating for occasions.

sectional vs sofa

The Style

The style of the sofa is another consideration for deciding the right one for you. Although both sectional and sofas come in a wide variety and styles, there is a casual look in sectionals generally and are usually oversized. Sofas, on the other hand, are formal normally but can be of casual design.

If you pair a sofa with chairs or loveseats, the appearance of the room will be more visual due to the empty spaces between the pieces; not something that is provided by sectionals.

The next thing to consider is the way you are going to use your sofa. The intention is formal entertainment or just sinking into the sofa at the end of the day or both. Although sectionals are casual mostly and sofas are formal in look, both have a wide range of designs, so your activities will decide which one suits you the most. One of the best stylish sectionals is the Ikea Vimle.

You can always change color buying a new sectional sofa cover.

west elm sectional


The size of the room is an important factor. A normal sofa is the best for smaller spaces, while the sectional is great when there is plenty of space. There are more options when the room is medium-sized, as tactfully place sectional appear less crowded in comparison with a sofa grouped with chairs. It is key to measuring the spacing prior to looking for the right option. In case you are fond to rearrange the furniture now and then, a better choice is a sofa since you can change configuration whenever required. The ability to change the layout is somewhat limited to the sectional even though they come in versatilities. If you want to buy the best reclining sectional sofas, you need to take measurements very well.

sectional sofa set

Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Sectional Sofa

Once we are done with the above-mentioned pros and cons of a sectional versus a traditional sofa, you can have an idea of your preference. An elegant sofa, or a cozy sectional, or maybe a trendy couch; the functionality is the key driver behind your choice. As far as the stuff you buy fits inside your space, any choice you make amongst sectional or sofa will be correct. Once you are done with your choice, other options can be looked upon. For instance, it can be traditional or a trending urban style, casual and with comfort.

With these factors, the dimensions are also important here. The material could be the next consideration as well. Also, check whether the choice you make is persistent with the existing interior of your room. In the end, if you have done your homework properly before making the choice, it’s a win-win scenario both ways. You need to work for making a good choice.

Sectional or Sofa and Chair

Let us compare if you can go for a sectional or a sofa and a chair. If you go for a sectional, living area is converted into a cozy corner to just lounge out and creates a casual environment. It delineates the seating area from the remaining spacing, hence it resembles a room within another. The attached coffee table gives practical space for the storage of gadgets and remotes. For cushy support, more pillows can be used as there are plenty in bigger sectionals. On the other hand, a more decorated space appears with a sofa plus extra chairs. It is the best configuration for conversations.

For those nights when there are fewer family members around to accommodating extra personnel, the setting is perfect. The layout gets more flexible and reconfigurable when it’s a night for a game with family and friends. You can also pull out a chair to another room if needed. Due to sofas, space is freed up for walking in the room and around the area of seating. This setting is preferable if you want an open, formal, and designed look of the living room with more conversations than movie nights.

Sectional vs Chaise

Here are some considerations before choosing a chaise sectional or an L shaped sectional for the room. They differ in design, but their working is also dependent on the settings and spacing they are placed within. If the intention is just to relax, read a book, use a cellphone, or watch TV; chaise sectional is the right choice. As opposed to the configuration in a traditional L-shaped sectional sofa, you are allowed to stretch yourself in any way or get sleep on a chaise sectional sofa. Another relaxing feature with a chaise is that it provides support to the leg, which is a commodity rarely found in other types of seating. In case you have bought a sectional instead of a chaise, and you are getting tired with cramps in the leg as you relax on the sofa, the best option will be just to stretch out a bit to get rid of the problem.

outdoor chaise lounge

Why I Prefer L-Shaped Sectionals

However, the cozy feel of a conventional L-shaped sectional is one aspect you cannot overlook when it comes to having movie nights with people around and lots of soft cushions at disposal.

Sectional vs Sleeper Sofa

Let us see whether a sectional sofa the right choice for you or the only thing you need is a sleeper sofa. Sectional sofas are usually made up of smaller pieces with some instances of a very large single unit. Due to their modular structure, it is very convenient to use and arrange them in one’s home. This surely is dependent on the style of the sofa bought and the size of the spacing where the article is intended to fit in. A sleeper sofa, on the other hand, has the option to be converted into a bed. But the associated hardware and the accessories make the furniture piece heavy enough that it is sometimes difficult to be moved when required.

But the flexibility of transformation of these sofas into beds when needed is a wonderful option to accommodate guests as they use real mattress material utilized in actual bedding. Sleeper sofas are handy enough as mentioned above but do have one constraint compared to their counterparts is that they take more space. Again, it’s the space and requirement of the buyer, which dictates the choice between whether to have a sectional sofa or a sleeper sofa.

sectional vs sleeper sofa

Sleeper Sofa vs Air Mattress

Sofa beds are a pretty standard option when we consider a solution for temporary sleeping in our home. Let us explore which option might suit you if the choice is between a sleeper sofa and an air mattress. A sofa bed can be a good option if you are living in a studio apartment where you want to save floor space. They usually are comfortable and provide extra seating and bedding space. The air mattress can also be a good choice if space-saving is a requirement since it can be stored away when it is not utilized.

They are often cheaper than sleeper sofas. Air mattresses can be used in the house and on camping trips depending on the type purchased. In contrast to sleeper sofas, air mattresses are usually not that comfortable. Domestic pets can damage inflated mattresses so care must be taken to keep them away. Unlike sleeper sofas, these air mattresses do not provide additional space for seating as well as bedding space when required.

Having said that, the price tag for sleeper sofas as compared to an air mattress is higher; so in the end, it’s a tradeoff between comfort, spacing, and economy when choosing between the two

air mattress

Sofa Bed vs Murphy Bed

Both types of beds are similar in their notion that they can be folded to provide for sleeping space, usually for one or two people. When they are not in use, they can be packed up and folded so that space in the room is pretty much saved. This is the only similarity they have and hence they are the best options for small rooms and apartments where area matters. Sofa beds are different in one way that it can be folded into a comfortable seating spot, whereas the murphy beds are packed and moved totally out of the way.

Therefore, both these types address a different market. Due to their obvious dissimilarity, choosing between the two is not going to be much complicated. The main purpose of Murphy bed is for night use as they can be added with other mattresses that are compatible with their mechanism. They can be just leaned against the wall so that a vast amount of space is being saved as compared to a normal bed. On the other hand, the main purpose of the sofa bed is sitting, and they can be adjusted to be slept upon whenever required. Macy's is a good store for buying murphy beds.


So sofa or sectional? Just like how it has been explained in the article, the best choice for you will directly depend upon what your requirements are. If you are a small family who doesn’t entertain much a smaller sofa will do but if you like to entertain and have a larger family, a sectional can be a perfect choice.