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Best Sectional Sofas

Updated October 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 9 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 89 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best sectional sofas

    Last Updated October 2018

    While the predecessor of the sectional sofa first appeared in the Victorian era, the first true sectionals came on the scene in the 1950s with mid-century modern furniture design. Today, the popularity of the open floor plan has brought sectional sofas to new heights of style and comfort.

    These versatile pieces come covered in everything from leather to denim and in configurations to fit any room or décor.

    Finding the right sectional sofa for your home might seem like a daunting task, but you’ve come to the right place. At BestReviews, we’re here to help you find the products that fit your needs and budget. Our shopping guide covers the basics along with an inside look to help you find a sectional sofa you love.

    You will see left-facing and right-facing sectional sofas. Left-facing means the arm of the sofa is on the left when you face the sofa and right-facing means the arm of the sofa is on the right.

    Sectional sofa configurations

    One of the main selling points of sectional sofas is the variety of configurations. With so many to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits comfortably in your space.

    L-shaped: There’s plenty of room for other furniture around an L-shaped sectional. These sofas have one side that’s longer than the other. This configuration is one of the most popular for its traditional look and feel, but it can be updated with the right fabrics and design choices. The smallest sectionals, those with two cushions and a chaise, have this configuration because it maximizes the use of space. However, L-shaped sectional sofas come in all sizes, with many being customizable to fit your home.

    U-shaped: U-shaped sectional sofas provide more seating space than the L-shaped design and work well for anyone with a large living room. These models might have a reclining section, chaise, and/or extra storage space. Sofas with this configuration vary in size but, in general, are larger than L-shaped sectionals.

    Curved: These semi-circular sectionals provide ample seating space but eliminate the corner pieces that some people dislike. With a modern look and feel, these sectionals add sophistication to the right design and room layout.

    Symmetrical: A symmetrical configuration looks similar to an L-shaped sectional in that it has two sides, but in this case the two sides are of equal length, making it look like half a square. This configuration works well in a corner or square room.

    Pit: Pit sectionals have an ottoman that fills the space between all sides of the sofa, creating one large seating area. These are commonly used in rec rooms because they’re good for lounging or serious movie watching. Many are sleepers or convertible into beds, which means they also provide extra sleep space.

    Modular: Modular sectionals come in individual pieces that can be rearranged into any number of configurations. This type of sectional works well if you need an extra-long sofa or have an unusual room shape or furniture arrangement in your home.

    Ample seating, incredible comfort

    With plenty of seating and plush fabric, this U-shaped sectional has everything you need for the ultimate family gathering space. The chaise is perfect for when you want to relax, and the attractive throw pillows complement the contemporary look.

    Sectional sofa features to consider

    Size

    You’ll need to carefully measure the size of both your room and the sectional sofa before purchasing. Sofas can look much smaller in a showroom than in your home. A sofa that’s too large can dominate a room and make it look crowded. Also consider the other furniture in the room, such as end tables, and be sure to leave enough space to walk around the sofa. Keep in mind that sofas with a larger or smaller footprint can provide the same amount of seating space.

    Style

    The design and fabric determine the style of the sofa. Sectionals come in every style, including Chesterfield with its distinct tufted look and English with its low profile and rolled arms. You want your sofa to enhance the style of the room, not detract from it. If you want to add some sophistication, you might consider a leather sectional with brass nailhead trim. If you’re looking for something casual and fun, an overstuffed denim sectional might be a better choice.

    Fabric

    Your choice of fabric can make all the difference in the look, feel, and durability of a sectional sofa. There are many different types of upholstery fabric. The key to finding the right one for you is determining how and where the sofa will be used in your home. If you have young children, you’re probably going to want a fabric that’s easy to clean, like microfiber or duck cotton. If the sofa will be in a formal area and seldom used, velveteen or brocade can lend a luxurious and sophisticated appearance.

    Reclining

    Some models, including most customizable sectionals, include one or more recliner sections. A recliner provides extra comfort and more seating space because you don’t take up the length of the sofa if you want to lie down. Recliners can be either manual or electric. If you opt for an electric recliner, the sofa will need to be positioned near an outlet.

    Sleeper

    A sleeper sectional sofa has a pull-out, folding bed frame and mattress within the sofa. A sleeper works well in a rec room, guest house, or apartment without a guest bedroom.

    Convertible

    Convertible sectional sofas have back cushions that lie flat to create a bed. The difference between a convertible and a sleeper is that the sofa cushions – rather than a mattress – act as the bed.

    Chaise longue

    A chaise longue is one long cushion for putting up your feet (rather than a sofa section plus ottoman). The smallest sectional sofas have two sections plus a chaise, creating an L-shaped sofa. However, you’ll find a chaise in many other configurations because of the extra comfort it provides.

    Built-in storage

    Some sectional sofas provide movie seating in which each section is separated by a cup holder and storage area. Many of these sofas also have recliners. Other sectionals have built-in storage beneath the cushions.

    EXPERT TIP

    Top-grain leather, made from the strongest part of the hide, softens and wears well with use. In fact, many people find that it looks more beautiful after a few years.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Nailhead trim looks classic and expensive. It comes on sectionals upholstered in fabric or leather.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    If you’d rather not have a recliner section in your sofa, models that come with an ottoman are another good option for putting up your feet.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Sectional sofa prices

    Sectional sofas range in price from less than $300 to more than $2,000, depending on size, features, and quality.

    Inexpensive: For under $300, you can find a simple sectional sofa with two cushions and a chaise. At this price, most fabrics are microfiber or some kind of synthetic like vinyl. Some may include accent pillows.

    Mid-range: If you spend $300 to $1,000, you’ll see a big jump in size, design options, and quality. You can find U-shaped, L-shaped, curved, and symmetrical models at this price, and everything from mid-century modern to classic tufted options. Some might come with an ottoman, too.

    Expensive: Between $1,000 and $2,000, you’ll find sectional sofas upholstered in velvet or bonded leather. You’ll also see some pit and curved sectional sofas at this price.

    Premium: The price of sectional sofas keeps going up well beyond $2,000. Models in the premium range are made of top-grain leather and could have ten or more sections. Some might have built-in cup holders and storage bins, too.

    Small footprint, big style

    This sectional’s compact footprint is perfect for a small space. And the reversible chaise gives you extra options when placing it in your home. Neutral, linen-like fabric adds a modern flair to any home.

    Tips

    • Consider a slipcover. Sectional sofas that come with a slipcover are easy to clean and maintain. Families with children might want to order an extra slipcover so you can use one while washing the other.

    • Measure before buying a sofa. Measure your doorways, stairways, and any hallways through which the sofa sections will need to pass. After all your research and careful planning, you don’t want to discover that your sectional won’t fit through the front door.

    • Customize your configuration. With some models, you can choose how many sections you want and other features like a chaise or recliner. This can help you fit the shape and size of the sofa to your room.

    • Decide how you’ll use the sofa. Do you want it for lounging on a daily basis or occasional movie marathons? You’ll choose a different model if it will be in constant use as opposed to one you need as a guest bed once a year. Determining the purpose of the sectional can help you narrow your options.

    • Consider leather. Sectional sofas upholstered in leather cost more but have some great benefits. Leather is easy to clean and works well for people with allergies. However, not all leather is high quality. Bonded leather, a composite of fabric and leather, can peel or crack if not well made, but high-quality bonded leather strikes a balance between durability and price. Top-grain leather, made from the strongest part of the hide, softens and wears well with time.
    Reversible sectionals give you the freedom to change the position of the chaise at any time. This feature can also be handy if you move the sectional to a different room or house.

    FAQ

    Q. I want to buy a sectional sofa, but I know I won’t be living in my current home long term. What kind of sectional fits into different room layouts?

    A. Modular designs provide the most flexibility when it comes to layout. These sofas can be arranged into a single long sofa or a U- or L-shaped sofa, depending on the number of sections you purchase. However, if you want something a little more traditional, L-shaped sectionals work well in many layouts. If you get a reversible model, it can be either right or left facing.

    Q. Do sectionals come already assembled?

    A. There will always be some assembly required with a sectional sofa, though how much depends on the size and style of the sofa. Some models have sections that will already be attached upon delivery.

    Q. There are so many different styles. How can I decide which sectional sofa is right for me?

    A. First and foremost, a sofa should be comfortable. The cushion and fabric quality can make a big difference in comfort. Many people like a pillow or cushion back because it gives them some extra flexibility. Arm style can also make a big difference in comfort. If you use end tables, an armless sofa gives you easy access to your drinks or magazines. Flared arms are more comfortable to lie on than others styles. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the other furniture in your home and pick a sofa that complements your design aesthetic but still provides a comfortable place to sit.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
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      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer

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