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Different types of sofas you can purchase: A beginner’s guide

You open the door and take your first steps inside a home. Often, you will first enter into the living room, and the furniture most likely to catch your eye is the sofa. It is without a doubt the centrepiece of the living room in terms of function and form – making the home feel welcome and complete, while at the same time accommodate family members and friends during social occasions.

Thankfully, there are many types of sofas in the market. So the question is how do homeowners go about selecting the right one for them?

Let’s get to the basics

Remember the opening credits of every Simpsons episode, where the entire family converges on their living room sofa to watch television? Traditional sofas are similar to that, typically 2 or 3 seaters made from leather or fabric. They do vary in size and are incredibly multifaceted, making them ideal for all apartment types.

conventional-sofa-urban-ladderYou can never go wrong with a conventional sofa
Image source: Urban Ladder

For those desiring to create a more intimate feel, there are also other variations of the 2 seater sofa to choose from such as the loveseat or the settee. Just as its name suggests, the former is designed to cozily sit two people. It looks akin to a sofa, but shorter in length and sometimes has curved arms to allow people sitting on them to face each other. Great for couples, awkward for everybody else not in a relationship.

loveseats-sofa-castleryLoveseats are usually only made for two
Image source: Castlery

Also catered for two (or more) people is the settee; essentially a very wide chair with a high back and armrests. They come in almost any style, and can be used as part of a larger living room set or individual piece.

Enough room for everyone

What if you have a large family or simply crave more space to lounge around? Homeowners who have the luxury of a wider living room (in 5-room or executive HDB flats) can decide to purchase a sectional sofa.

Usually comprising of 3 to 5 separate pieces, the beauty of the sectional is that it can be re-arranged in a number of configurations. The most common of these are the L and U-shaped, used to mimic the layout of a rectangular room. But what if you have a home with an odd-shaped living room? Fret not, the sectional is versatile enough to be repositioned to fit around those tight corners.

sectionals-sofa-crate-and-barrelSectionals are great if you have a big family, or frequently have house guests
Image source: Crate & Barrel

If you’re intending to get a sectional, a point to note is the amount of space it will occupy in relation to the size of your living room. In most cases, the sofa will be the focal point around which all other furniture will be organised around.

As such, always measure the space of your living room, then compare it with the measurement of the sofa you want to get. The last thing you would want is to spend tons of money, only to find out it is too big (or small) for your liking.

Making full use of the space you have

If you happen to be living in a one-bedroom unit or a studio apartment, chances are you’ll be looking to purchase furniture that maximises your home space. This makes getting a sofa bed or futon a great alternative.

There is a slight difference between these two options; while both serve a dual purpose of offering a compact sleeping and seating solution, the back of a sofa bed remains upright while the sleeping mattress is pulled out. A futon, on the other hand, folds backwards (or inward) to form a flat surface, with the cushions doubling up as pillows.

sofa-bed-highly-sprungAs its name suggests, sofa beds have a dual function
Image source: Highly Sprung

Again, the practicality to purchase either depends on the overall size of your living space. Not only must you take into account the width of the sofa, its length (when fully extended) should not obstruct your movements around the house. Trust us; stumbling around the house, especially in the dark, can result in an unfortunate accidents (such as stubbing of toes for example).

In addition, getting a good quality sofa bed or futon can sometimes be a tad bit costly, more so than a regular sofa. So unless you’re absolutely sure you can live with a sore back from purchasing a budget version (complete with creaky springs), it is advisable to save up for a more comfortable option.

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