Sofa vs Sectional: A Buyer's Guide

The arrangement of your seating space or area is one of the most important considerations when it comes to coordinating your lounge or living room. The traditional sofa has always been thought of as the central feature around which other furniture is arranged. It is usually where most people spend much of their leisure time relaxing after a hard day's work.

Consequently, selecting the right sofa or couch for a living space is something many homeowners will spend a significant amount of time on. It is an expensive feature of any house, so it is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

One of the first decisions that you will need to make is on which type of sofa or couch is most suitable for your particular circumstances. Sofas can generally be grouped into two categories - the traditional sofa and the sectional sofa - and both have their own benefits and features that would suit different types of people.

That is why we have chosen to present this buyer's guide on selecting which sofa is right for you. It will detail the fundamental differences between sofas and sectionals as well as highlight the benefits of each design. We will then compare both types against several key factors and considerations you may encounter during the buying process.

Sofa vs sectional: the differences

There are many crossovers between the two designs, but essentially, a sofa is a continuous structure, whereas sectional sofas are made up of individual, segmented pieces that can be rearranged into different formations and arrangements.

A standard sofa will usually consist of a single, extended cushion across the areas for seating, as seen in our luxurious Laguna sofa. The cushion remains a single piece even for larger sofas, such as our stunning Wallace sofa. Some sofas will have separate cushions, as seen in our Silverlake sofa, but the structure around which the cushions are fitted is continuous.

Sectional sofas, on the other hand, are separate pieces of upholstered furniture that can be joined and detached when necessary. There are several distinct formations you can utilize when arranging a sectional sofa, but the three main configurations are:

  • L-shaped sectional - also known as a corner sofa or sectional. It consists of a sectional or two sofas joined by a central seating space, as seen in our Adelaide bi-sectional sofa.
  • U-shaped sectional - will usually consist of a central sofa piece with the same number of modular sectionals on either side.
  • Chaise sectionals - will usually consist of a standard sofa paired with a chaise on either the right or left-hand side, as shown by our Simena sectional sofa.

The benefits of a regular sofa

Though not always the case, sofas are usually smaller than complex sectional designs, so they are often better suited for smaller living areas. While you don't necessarily get the same level of size and shape customization as with sectional sofas, a standard sofa usually requires far less maintenance. Once it's in your living room, you won't have to think about it again.

Sofas are also usually more varied in terms of styles, textures, and designs than most sectionals. With such a wide variety of options, it is easier to assimilate traditional sofas into your existing design and aesthetic.

Laguna Sofa

The benefits of a sectional sofa

While traditional sofas can perhaps boast more in terms of design and aesthetics, sectional sofas are usually far more customizable in terms of sizing. Each piece of a sectional sofa can be specifically built according to a customer's request, meaning homeowners can better maximize their living spaces with sectionals.

Compared to standard sofas, the biggest benefit to sectionals is the scope of shapes and configurations that can easily be changed if design preferences alter.

They are also far easier to transport. Rather than having to awkwardly maneuver a regular sofa in and out of a house, sectional sofas can be broken down into individual modules and easily removed from a space.

Sofa vs sectional: comparing factors

It is clear that there are some key differences between the two types of sofa. However, many other aspects that both regular and sectional sofas can offer could be considered before purchasing.

Keep in mind that much of what is discussed can be applied to both varieties. For example, regular sofas usually have higher design value, but that's not to say that a sectional sofa cannot be manufactured using valuable materials and textures.

Primary use

Before making a purchase, you must be sure how you will primarily use your sofa. If you like to entertain guests regularly, or if you have younger children who may not appreciate the need to protect your living room furniture, you may want to avoid high-end, delicate designs and textures which are more likely to be found on regular sofas.

If you are someone who sees your living space as more of a family room with more mature children, or if your living area is a small space, then a simple, comfortable sofa might be all you need.

Number of seats

The number of seats may be a key determining factor in how you plan to use your living space. A sofa, by design, can't have additional modules added to it, meaning that it is limited if you require additional seating space. If you are likely to need a flexible number of seats to accommodate more guests, then a sectional might be the way to go.

Keep in mind that you can add additional love seats or accent chairs to your seating configuration if you purchase a sofa. This can be an excellent option for those individuals who may want a little more personal space.

Housing consistency

Are you someone who likes to move on a regular basis, or have you remained in the same house or living space for many years?

If it is the former, then a customizable sectional option might be more suitable. You will be able to transport the multiple pieces easily with less likelihood of damage. You would also be able to change each module depending on the aesthetic of your new home.

If it is the latter, then a sturdy, reliable sofa that will remain in place indefinitely could be the preferred solution.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the biggest determining factor when it comes to choosing your sofa rests on your preferences and your personal circumstances. There are no definitive rules regarding what you buy for your home. All that matters is that it makes sense to you.

At Viesso, we are proud of our vast range of both traditional and sectional sofas. Since our inception, we have worked hard to find partners who share our vision of providing high-quality furniture for our customers. Each designer or manufacturer that we work with also adheres to our core principles of creating furniture using nothing but sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

If you would like some advice on which sofa might be best for you, or if you have any other queries, do not hesitate to contact us. You could also check out our blog article on the most efficient ways to measure a couch for your living room.

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