What’s Your Call: Sofa or Sectional?

May 20th, 2016 / in Tips & Guides

Deciding between these two great types of seating is a common dilemma, and there’s no correct answer. You have to consider how you live and the vibe you want for your space. In the end, the right choice – whether sofa or sectional – is the one you like best.

Some pros and cons to consider for each option:

Sofa Pros:

  1. They come in a zillion sizes, from really small to really large.
  2. They lend a dressy touch.
  3. You’ll have more room to use your favorite chairs.
  4. A sofa + 2 chairs can sometimes provide more seating, because you might prefer a bit of space between you and Uncle Festus.
  5. They give you more layout flexibility (and you can use more than one).
  6. They don’t throw off your symmetry.

Sectional Pros:

  1. They’re great space-fillers in overly large rooms.
  2. They lend a more casual touch.
  3. You’ll need less furniture in the room.
  4. They can seat more people, assuming you all really like each other.
  5. An asymmetrical sectional can give an awkwardly-shaped room some balance and takes the focus off the room’s outline.
  6. They face two directions, which is particularly useful if you have two focal points.

Sofa Cons:

  1. They’re not as lounge-y looking as sectionals.
  2. Unless they’re really deep, they don’t welcome a family pile-up.
  3. They don’t scream “movie time!” or “game’s on!”
  4. They only face one direction.
  5. You’ll need an extra chair or two for enough seating.

Sectional Cons:

  1. They can feel too casual.
  2. They don’t work in really small spaces.
  3. They might not set the right mood if you entertain often.
  4. They can feel too heavy for some rooms.
  5. They can make walkways awkward.

We tried sofas and sectionals on for size in these rooms. Which would you choose?

Modern living room / family room


Rustic living room / family room / dining room


Transitional living room / family room


Modern family TV and game room


Some of our favorite sofas and sectionals

 Blakely Sofa
Jonathan Adler, $4495 Sloan Sectional Sofa
Interior Define, $2400

Walters Sectional
Interior Define, $1700

Belgian Track Arm Slipcovered Sofa
Restoration Hardware, $2665

Walden Sectional
One Kings Lane, $7400

Pontus Sofa
Spring & Stitch, $1799