What is the difference between a sofa and a couch?


In the past, a sofa and a couch were two different items. Many people would say that the first thing to look at in order to differentiate these two is the arms. Historically, a sofa has included arms, while a couch does not. Although they are so much alike nowadays, there are still some different features. In this article, we will give you a detailed look at the difference between a sofa and a couch.

What is a Sofa?

Sectional sofa in black

A sofa is a staple piece of furniture found in homes and offices around the world. Serving as a cornerstone of living room decor, the sofa provides a place for relaxation, socializing, and, occasionally, a makeshift bed for overnight guests. Originating from the Arabic word “suffah,” which describes a bench covered in blankets and cushions, the sofa has evolved significantly over the centuries.

Today’s sofas come in various styles, sizes, and materials, catering to diverse tastes and functional requirements. From plush, upholstered pieces that invite hours of lounging to sleek, modern designs that complement minimalist interiors, the sofa’s versatility is unmatched.

What is a Couch?

White couch

A couch stands as a central fixture in many living spaces, offering a blend of comfort, functionality, and style. This piece of furniture, deeply ingrained in household settings, invites people to sit back, relax, and gather in a shared space. Its origins trace back centuries, with its evolution reflecting changes in lifestyle, design preferences, and technological advancements in furniture making.

Couches are designed to accommodate multiple people at once, making them an ideal choice for family rooms, living areas, and even office lounges. Available in a wide array of designs, from traditional and rustic to contemporary and minimalist, couches cater to a spectrum of aesthetic preferences.

How is a Sofa Different from a Couch?

Many people believe that they have some aspects that are not similar, including size, functional use, and location. The differences are really small, but they still need to be considered:

1: A sofa is larger than a couch

One important feature that distinguishes these two items is seating capacity. By their looks, a sofa is bigger than a couch, and more people can sit on it. Typically, a couch can accommodate two or three people, while a sofa is designed for more than four. However, there is an exception, which is called a loveseat. Loveseats are sofas designed for two people (usually couples), and they are smaller versions of sofas.

2: Lie on couches, sit on sofas

This is one thing that you might not know about. In fact, although a sofa is larger, it is designed for seating purposes. And a couch, surprisingly, is designed to be laid on. That is one of the main reasons why couches have no arms, while sofas do. However, at the end of the day, they are just pieces of furniture in your house, and you can do whatever you want (either lie or sit) as long as you feel comfortable.

3: They are put in different locations

When you step into someone’s living room, usually you will see a sofa. It can also be seen in a family room or other large areas that you can easily see. Maybe that is why sofas are designed for more than four people. Meanwhile, couches are meant to be laid on. Therefore, they are commonly placed in more private areas of the home, such as bedrooms or playrooms, where family and friends spend time together. These places are where you can lie down comfortably.

4: Definition and history

Historically, the word sofa comes from the Arabic word “suffah.” It refers to a bench covered with cushions and blankets. And the word couch comes from the French word “couche”. It refers to a type of furniture that has no arms.

Should You Call It a Sofa or a Couch?

Sofa next to a side table

As time goes by, these small design differences between a sofa and a couch seem to disappear. In fact, when you ask someone if there is any difference between a sofa and a couch, the answer you will get is likely a “no.” To most people, a sofa and a couch refer to the same item in the house. However, there is still a belief that a couch is the more casual term to describe a comfortable piece of furniture, while a sofa is the more formal term used for a polished, well-designed, and elegant piece.

Also, some people believe that there is no difference between a sofa and a couch at all. It all depends on what you would like to call that piece of furniture. For example, it seems like people who come from rural areas prefer to use the word “couch,” while the ones who come from urban and suburban areas prefer to use the word “sofa.” But this is just a result of observation; there are no statistics about it.

In addition, people who work in the interior design and furniture industry generally use both terms equally. But furniture retailers and manufacturers like to call it a “sofa” more. This might come from the idea of bringing the image of high-end and fancy furniture to customers.

So what should you call that furniture in your living room? As we stated above, you have the right to call it a sofa or a couch as you wish. There is very little difference between these two, and those differences mostly come from their origins and history.

Instead, what you should really be concerned about is how to choose a sofa (or a couch) carefully. Whether you agree or not, this piece of furniture is more likely to be the most important investment in your home. It is not cheap, so it is wise for you to choose the one that can last longer. If you decide to buy a good sofa (or couch), you will save a lot of money as it will last for many years and bring you the comfort that you need while watching TV, napping, chilling, or spending time with your loved ones.

How to Choose a Good Sofa (or Couch)

White leather sofa

The key for you is to look at different options, including designs, materials, sizes, colors, and prices, and think carefully about each of them. Stick to the material that is easy to clean, the price that suits your budget, the size and color that match your home design, the shape and style that you have always dreamed about, and most importantly, the comfort that it makes you feel.

Also, even if you don’t like to have a large couch (or sofa) in your home, make sure you still get one that can be laid on because there will be a time when you fall asleep on the couch. Normally, it would be placed in the living room where you host and entertain your guests, so it needs to accommodate more people. Consider them all and spend your money on the one that meets all (or almost all) your demands and budget.

Interesting Facts About Sofas and Couches

Throughout history, sofas and couches have evolved, adapting to changes in design, technology, and how we live our lives. Here are nine interesting facts about sofas and couches that highlight their importance and diversity:

  1. The First Sofas: Ancient Egyptians created the first known sofas, which were more like benches made of wood with cushions placed on top.
  2. Chesterfield Sofa: One of the most iconic sofa designs, the Chesterfield sofa, is believed to have been commissioned by Lord Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, in the 18th century.
  3. Most Expensive Sofa: The most expensive sofa ever sold is the “Platner Sofa,” designed by Warren Platner. It was auctioned for over $5 million.
  4. Fabric Variety: Early sofas were typically upholstered in velvet or leather, but today’s sofas come in a wide range of fabrics, including microfiber, linen, and synthetic blends.
  5. Global Influence: The design and style of sofas vary greatly around the world, reflecting cultural preferences and living conditions. For example, Japanese sofas tend to be lower to the ground, which is in line with traditional Japanese furniture.
  6. Sofa Beds: The first patented sofa bed was designed in the early 20th century by Leonard C. Bailey, combining the functionality of a bed and a sofa.
  7. World’s Longest Sofa: The record for the world’s longest sofa belongs to a piece that measured over 1 kilometer in length, created in Russia.
  8. Color Trends: While beige, brown, and gray remain popular sofa colors for their versatility, recent trends have seen a rise in bold colors and patterns as statement pieces in living rooms.
  9. Recycling and Sustainability: With growing awareness of environmental issues, there is an increasing trend towards using sustainable materials and practices in sofa production, including recycling old sofas and using eco-friendly fabrics.


In conclusion, there is not much difference between a sofa and a couch. The most popular way to tell them apart is the presence of arms. However, the way you call them doesn’t really matter, but other considerations regarding size, shape, and functions.

Additional Suggestions

  • Kenli is one of the best brands for sofas. Check out their product line if you are currently looking for high-quality sofas for your home.
  • If you are interested in sofas, go to https://noithatkenli.vn to see more elegant and luxurious sofas for your living room.
Share this


How Long Does Canned Beer Stay Good For?

When it comes to enjoying a refreshing beverage, many turn to the convenience of canned beer. Whether it's for a backyard barbecue, a camping trip, or simply unwinding after a long day, canned beer offers portability and freshness.  Factors Affecting Shelf Life Several factors impact the shelf life of canned beer, including storage conditions, beer style, and alcohol content. Generally, canned...

What Is the Difference Between Beer and Mead?

Beer and mead are two ancient alcoholic beverages with distinct characteristics and histories. Beer, typically brewed from grains such as barley, involves fermentation with hops, which impart bitterness and aroma. On the other hand, Mead is made from fermenting honey with water, often flavored with fruits, spices, or herbs.  While beer's flavor profile is influenced by its malt and hop...

What Is the Difference Between Porter and Stout Beers?

When you sip on a porter or a stout, you might wonder what sets these two dark brews apart. While both boast rich, complex flavors, their differences start with the ingredients and extend to their mouthfeel and pairing possibilities. Porters often use malted barley, which results in a lighter body and subtle chocolate notes. Stouts, on the other hand, incorporate...

Recent articles

More like this