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Is it a Sofa or a Couch

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Sofa vs. Couch

A grey sofa with 2 pillow on it and a table in front of it

If it’s a sofa or a couch is genuinely a weird dilemma, whether you’re a native English speaker or not. None of us clearly distinguishes when we should consider our furniture like a sofa or a couch.

Like most people, you probably interchangeably use “sofa” and “couch.” But did you know that there is a difference between the two? 

Read further to find out what sets a sofa apart from a couch and vice versa.

Sofa vs. Couch

Some terms are used synonymously, even though they technically mean different things regarding furniture. Sofa and couch are two of those terms. Many people use these words interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two terms.

Their different names date back to when the upper class used the term sofa as something more sophisticated, and the middle class used the term couch. 

A sofa usually has an armrest on each side and typically seating for three people. On the other hand, a couch is a piece of furniture that generally doesn’t have armrests and usually only sits two people. The couch’s term came out in France, where the sofa had armrests but no laying back posture, similar to a sofa-bed. 

Overall, if you want to name a big, comfy piece of furniture in your living room, it’s better to consider it a sofa. 

Differences of Sofa vs. Couch

Sofas and couches are both types of furniture that are used for seating. They are similar in many approaches, but there are also some critical differences.


One of the major distinctions between a sofa and a couch are their dimensions. Sofas are generally larger than couches, and they often have more than two seats. On the other hand, couches are typically smaller and cozier.


Another difference between these two pieces of furniture is their style. Sofas tend to be formal, while couches are casual. In traditional home decor, you will surely notice wide and heavy leather sofas, while in modern times, you can comfort yourself on a couch, whether in the living room or the backyard.

A modern living room with decorations, paintings and lamps

Similarities of Sofa vs. Couch

Still, there’s a reason why most people don’t divide these terms. Sofas and couches are incredibly identical. Whether you’re probably going to purchase a medium sofa or an oversized couch, you’ll probably use the words synonymously.

A grey couch with a flower painting on the back of the wall and a round table in the front

Both sofas and couches often have cushions that can be removed for cleaning. Another expected likeness is their cost. When it comes to price, sofas and couches can be pretty expensive. However, you can usually find good deals on both if you shop around.


The answer whether it’s a sofa or a couch is yes and no. Sofa and couch are two words that can be used interchangeably to describe a piece of furniture, but there are subtle differences between the two. 

A sofa is typically more formal than a couch, and it usually has arms and legs. On the other hand, a couch is generally casual and doesn’t always have arms or legs. 

Finally, whether you consider it a sofa or a couch is up to you, but now you’re among few people that truly know the difference!