What’s the Difference Between a Couch and Sofa?

Etymology and History of Sofas and Couches

Often mistaken for one another, couches and sofas are pretty different furniture pieces, but also similar in a lot of different ways, so if you ever used these terms interchangeably, know that plenty of people do so.

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The terms “sofa” and “couch” have two very different origins. The first one comes from the Arabic term “suffah” which describes a bench covered with blankets and cushions. The second one comes from the French “couche” and it’s a piece of furniture that was popularly used in the Victorian era.

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As for their structure and shape, sofas usually feature two armrests and a uniform back while couches generally feature one armrest or none at all and a tapered back.


In terms of function, the difference between a sofa and couch is easily visible. In most cases, couches are used in more casual and informal settings like in an entertainment room or a cozy living space.

Sofas are generally perceived as being slightly more formal. They are used in living rooms and they give out an elegant and classy vibe.


Factors For Selection Of Sofa:

Source: amazon.com

Source: amazon.com

Even a home decor addict stresses out over the selection of sofa vs couch. A sofa is an ideal home accessory to fit with the contemporary form of living. The word ‘sofa’ is derived from the Arabic word- “suffer.” It sets the example for industry standards. Those who are familiar with the frequent hosting of formal gatherings should purchase the right product of the sofa. For hosting opportunities and welcoming many people at a time, a sofa is something to do with. 

Move With Trends

It is vital to go on with the trend and start featuring dining and living areas with formal pieces of furniture. Be it a family gathering or an in-house party or an invitation to office guests, sofas are the best to gather. For making guests comfortably seated, a sofa is a luxurious option too. 

Not to stress more on the size of the gatherings because it is easy to accommodate several people. In other words, sofas are the perfect space for several people to sit. It is rigid in design for which people can find optimal comfort by sitting on the sofa.

And if you can’t decide on the exact colour you want for your sofa, it might be worth considering a fitted sofa cover from a company like CoverMyFurniture. These are available in a wide choice of colours and tones, so you can change up the style of your sofa to suit the changing seasons – or even just your shifting personal tastes!

Select Materials

Moreover, there is a range of comfortable seating options. Next, investors should know that it ranges from sectionals to loveseats. For the purchase of hand-selected materials, people need to enthuse more on visiting stores. 

Next, for better crafting of sofas, individuals should select the right type of fabrics falling in the range of leather and cloth. There is an open scope to customize the upholstery of sofas. It is a uniquely designed furniture that features the best to sit comfortably than to sleep. 

Also Read: Top 5 Ultra Affordable And Cozy Sectional Sofas For Your Home (Buying Guide!)

Focus On Furnishing With Modular Sofa

More and more people are interested in adding a twist to home decor. Striking a balance between modernity and functionality, people approach storekeepers to find some modular sofas. Nonetheless, it helps in placing furniture as per the structure of the room. 

For filling unwanted spaces, these are ideal. It is because the modular sofas get manufactured with multiple pieces. It is good to know when to buy such a particular piece. Those who have large living spaces can simply fit with the designed sofa

Dual Combination Of Sofa And Bed

Why invest money in buying an added home accessory? The simplified solutions are within one’s reach. So, for a comprehensive solution, many prefer to deal with the combined products. A sofa- bed suffices with the functionalities as that of a couch. It is because it helps individuals to sleep and relax for hours. Nonetheless, in times of requirement, people can pull the sofa and turn it into bed. 

Notable Feature Of Sofa

Another added advantage that buyers notice is the reclining feature of the sofa. Next, to operate the same, an individual can do it either manually or through an electric mechanism. If some homeowners want to make a separate place for theatre rooms, they should not step back in buying the same. Next, they can design rooms with recliners. In other words, it fits the best in large-sized rooms. 

What is a Sofa?

On the other hand, sofa comes from Arabic ‘suffah,’ which is a piece of furniture that is upholstered and has arms and back. So, whereas a couch has no arms, a sofa is characterized by two arms and a uniform back. Sofas have more seating space than couches, and thus also tend to occupy more space in places they are kept. Another difference between the two pertains to a provision of a bed inside a sofa which is never found inside a couch. When it comes to the function of a sofa, sofas are more formal in their approach and are used in all places from homes to clinics to public offices.

Sofa vs. Couch vs. Lounge


The term sofa refers to a cushioned stone or wooden bench. Typically, the term “sofa” refers to furniture that is used for sitting rather than lying down.

They are comparable to a couch in that they are traditionally constructed from a frame, are equipped with armrests, a consistent back, and are upholstered. However, a couch differs from a sofa in that couches typically seat more than four people.


The word couch derives from the French word “coucher,” which means to lie down. As a result, it’s unsurprising that the term is used to refer to a piece of furniture that is mostly used for lying down. Couches are typically designed to accommodate two or three people.

While couches can have two armrests, there are also models that have none at all. They are characterized by a tapering back to accommodate cushions. They typically feature an internal frame that is upholstered in fabric and may also include springs.


The name “lounge” comes from the French “chaise lounge”, which translates as “length chair”. Lounges are frequently longer than sofas or couches (thus the term “lounging!”) and offer more seating than either of the other two. Their construction, however, is additionally supported by an inner frame covered in cushioned fabric.

Of course, chaise lounges exist in their own right, and they are frequently included as part of a corner or modular sofas.  Additionally, they typically feature a longer seat that allows you to put your feet up. Even more, you can purchase beautiful chaise accent chairs or pair an armchair and a chaise longue.

Make A Better Purchase

Source: storiestrending.com

Source: storiestrending.com

Whenever someone develops a clear understanding between the two, they feel comfortable to pick the right element. The expert sources can guide any novice buyer with a definitive answer. Next, stating that the words have different origins but practically they bear the same meaning. The interior design experts are the ones who can outline subtle differences between the two. 

The Difference Between Couch and Sofa

The difference between couches and sofas really comes down to style and function. You can associate sofas with formal living spaces and hosting opportunities. Sofas sit a few people, rather than an entire family or group, and you probably wouldn’t use them every day.

Couches are the opposite. You use your couch often for sleeping, watching television, and spending time with your loved ones. They can come in various sizes and styles, but it probably sits more than four people.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you use the word couch or sofa. Our designers advise that you try not to stress about it. If someone corrects you, take it with a grain of salt. The minuscule differences between the two might make a difference but be confident in whatever word you choose.


A sofa can be described as a more comfortable version of a couch with armrest and cushions and more space with a seating capacity of usually more than three people. It is a long upholstered piece of furniture with a back and which can be often convertible into a bed. The word sofa is believed to have originated in the early 17th century from the Arabic word “uffa” which means a long seat made of stone or brick. It is the most common word in Britain used to describe a big, comfortable piece of furniture that sits in your living room. Couch, canapé, lounge, and divan are just a few synonyms for sofa and they all basically mean the same thing, one way or another. Couch and settee are the alternate words for the word sofa. So, technically sofa is the right word, while couch is just a new, fancy term for a sofa.

What is a couch?

Although the word “couch” is usually used to refer to small or casual sofas, couches feature some distinct differences. The word comes from an Old French verb “couche,” which means “to lie down,” and the design of couches reflects that meaning. They generally have one or no arms and they are smaller than sofas, like a chaise lounge. However, due to years of the terms being used interchangeably, you’re more likely to hear “couch” used to refer to less formal sofas.


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