What’s The Difference Between A Sofa And A Sectional?

Difference Between A Sofa And A Sectional

Your living room is easily one of the spaces you spend the most time in your home. For family movie nights or entertaining guests, attractive living room furniture can create a swoon-worthy ambiance. Although the plunge to purchase furniture can be daunting, choosing between a sofa and a sectional can make all the difference in creating the living room of your dreams.

Sofas are a piece of furniture built to seat three to four people. Sectionals are larger pieces of furniture that can be single or multiple pieces and seat many people. Sectionals can be configured in numerous ways, while sofas have standard seating. 

Some prefer a sofa in their living space due to the size and compactness that a sofa provides. The downside to having a sofa is that it’s not customizable to fit your living space. A sectional can have multiple pieces arranged in many ways to fit easily into your living room. The downside of having a sectional is that it is suited to one space and is not intended to be moved around.

How Does A Sofa Differ From A Sectional?

How Does A Sofa Differ From A Sectional

There’s nothing like sinking into your favorite sectional or sofa. The cozy feeling that your favorite furniture provides makes your home feel more complete. When hunting for a sofa or sectional, you may consider the differences and how each can work in your living room.

A sofa generally consists of three cushions to seat three people. It’s best suited to small living rooms or small apartments. Sofas blend effortlessly with your existing furniture; if you’re considering adding a recliner or a loveseat, a sofa can fit comfortably in this space while complimenting the other furniture pieces.

A sofa is cheaper than a sectional; some sofas can recline or convert into a sofa bed. A sofa provides more limited seating space compared to a sectional. Sofas work well for individuals or small families but may not be the best option for larger families. Sofas are also made with many different fabric and texture options.

A sectional is available in multiple different styles, sizes, and pieces. They are easily customizable to fit your living room. Sectionals are perfect for lounging; they are spacious and easily seat a few people. They come in multiple shapes, including l-shape, u-shape, and other custom shapes. The most attractive benefit to owning a sectional is that it can be set up perfectly for your living area.

The multiple sectional pieces can be fitted together in many different layouts while a sofa remains stationary.

When Should You Get A Sofa?

When Should You Get A Sofa
When Should You Get A Sofa

A sofa is a perfect companion for smaller spaces. They offer comfortable seating with the advantage of not occupying too much room. If you have a smaller space, you may want to consider a sofa instead of a sectional sofa. 

If you’re looking at seating only one or two people and have restrictions with space, then a sofa is the best furniture for this space. Deciding between a sectional and a sofa may be more difficult to create a mood or atmosphere in your living room.

Both options come with luxury and comfort. A sofa adds a more sophisticated look to your space, while a sectional has a cozier and laid-back feel.

When Should You Get A Sectional?

When purchasing a sectional, it’s not considered a very movable piece of furniture. Due to the multiple pieces that come with it, once it’s set up, it’s set up in that space for a long time. If you move houses, your sectional may not work in the new living room. Sectionals are usually purchased based on your current space.

Sectionals can seat more people and are a great option for large families and entertaining. Sectionals offer a comfortable and stylish seating arrangement and are sized for your living room. A sectional can easily change the look of your room; it can fill up one space and create refinement. Their highly customizable options make it an attractive choice for most households.

Related Article: Why People Get Sectional Sofas

What Are The Different Types Of Sofas?

What Are The Different Types Of Sofas

There are many sofas in different styles, colors, shapes, and sizes. Suppose you’re looking at purchasing a sofa for your living room. In that case, it’s easy to get lost in all the different types of sofas, and finding the best sofa comes down to how many people you want to seat, the size of your space, and how comfortable a sofa is.

  1. Traditional Sofas. In most homes, traditional sofas are the main furniture piece in the living room. A typical traditional sofa has three seats and works well in most living rooms.
  2. Petite Sofas. A petite sofa is shallower than a traditional sofa. A petite sofa is slightly smaller than a traditional sofa. If you’re looking at a sofa that allows space-saving, the petite sofa is the one to go for.
  3. Grande Sofas. Grande sofas are slightly larger than a traditional sofas. They can easily seat four to five people. They are modern and stylish and work well in medium-sized spaces. They offer comfortable, roomy seating with narrow armrests.
  4. Loveseats. The loveseat is a beloved addition to any living area and is better suited to small spaces and apartments. A loveseat has the same depth as a traditional sofa. They have a shorter width and provide seating for two people.
  5. Sleeper Sofa. The sleeper sofa is one of the most versatile sofas. Its ability to change from a sofa to a bed allows for greater use for extra guests, or if you have a smaller room, the sofa bed can easily double up as a bed for small kids or be used for movie nights.
  6. Camelback. This sofa has a vintage look and a traditional style complementing the living area. The camelback sofa has an arched backrest with one or two curved styles.
  7. Chaise. The chaise is a long sofa with a contoured backrest. It’s typically used in one position for lounging and seats only one person with their legs stretched out in front of them. It’s 
  8. Settee. A Settee is an answer to small spaces. It has a straight back and can usually seat two people; it’s comfortable, sturdy, and a great addition to any home.
  9. Chesterfield. The Chesterfield is a classically designed sofa with deep button styling in the backrest and curved armrests. The Chesterfield is often made from leather and is a stylish sofa for studies and libraries.

What Are The Different Types Of Sectionals?

What Are The Different Types Of Sectionals

While sectionals are highly customizable pieces of furniture, a few are more popular than others. Different types of sectionals work better in some spaces compared to others. Finding the most suitably sized sectional can create a perfectly balanced living room.

The most popular sectional sofa styles are the Sofa Chaise, L-Shaped Sectional Sofa, L-Shaped Sectional Sofa With Chaise, Modular Sectional Sofa, U-Shaped Sectional Sofa, and The Pit. 

  1. Sofa Chaise. The Sofa Chaise is a compact sectional sofa with the familiar L-shape but resembles the sofa. This sectional works well in smaller rooms. It is a good alternative to the standard sofa and can be used in most houses. The chaise section of the sectional sofa can be placed on either the left or right. This sofa offers comfortable seating but is not ideal for lounging. It does not allow for as much seating as the normal sectional sofa.
  2. L-Shaped Sectional Sofa. The L-shaped sofa is one of the most popular sectional sofas. Because of its design, it fits easily into any living room. This sectional works well in open-plan areas and can easily accompany a coffee table in the middle.
  3. L-Shaped Sectional Sofa With Chaise. The L-Shaped Sofa with Chaise is a longer version of the standard L-shape sectional. The chaise lounger allows for more seating. This sectional can be customized and separated into two sections, with one being an ottoman.
  4. Modular Sectional Sofa. The Modular Sectional Sofa is the most customizable of all the sectionals. It comes with multiple pieces and seating options. The modular sectional offers generous flexibility and a more casual seating approach.
  5. U-Shaped Sectional Sofa. The U-Shaped Sectional Sofa comes with three seating options and two chaises. It’s a comfortable fit for those looking to accommodate lots of people. The chaises offer plenty of lounging spaces as well.
  6. The Pit. The Pit sectional is similar to a sofa but offers more seating. The Pit is one sectional with large cushions. It’s casual and resembles a bed, but it’s not the most practical sectional; it is clumsy and bulky and can take up a lot of space. 

Related Article: Modular vs. Sectional Sofas

How To Choose Between A Sectional And A Sofa?

How To Choose Between A Sectional And A Sofa

When shopping for a sectional or sofa, you want to ask yourself a few important questions to help you make the best purchase. You want your living area to create a bold statement, reflect your style, and complement the theme of your living room.

Here are some more tips to keep to help you choose between a sectional or a sofa:

  • If you like to move furniture around, don’t get a sectional. Although sectionals have multiple pieces, they are not easy to lug around. If you have bought a house and don’t plan to move, a sectional is better than a sofa. If you plan on moving, a sectional isn’t the best and is usually bought to fit only one space.
  • Sofas are made in more styles of fabrics. Sofas are made in more styles and with many more fabrics than sectionals. Sections are made in more standard fabrics and don’t provide an iconic look. A sofa would be the better option if you are looking for a statement or iconic furniture piece.
  • How many people do you want your sectional or sofa to seat? Sectionals can seat more people than a sofa. If you want to seat more people with a sofa, add other seats to increase the space. If you want to purchase just one type of sofa that can seat a few people, then a sectional is the best option, provided you have enough space.
  • How much space do you have? A sofa works well in compact spaces, leaving room for additional furniture like a coffee table or display case. A sofa may be more suitable than a sectional if you have a smaller space.
  • What is the purpose of the living room? If your living room is the main entertainment area, you’ll want to invest in something with more seating. If your living room is used to wind down after a long day, then a cozy sofa is also a good option.
  • Do you want the room to look bigger? Sectionals tend to make a room look a lot smaller due to their size. Generally, in a larger room, this would work, but in a room that is a bit smaller, it may take up too much space and end up making the room look smaller.
  • Do you want your furniture to be the focal point of the room? Sectionals are larger than sofas. They become the main focal point when placed in a room because their space doesn’t leave much room for other furniture.


If you have an open plan living area, lots of space, and looking for something to lounge in, then a sectional sofa is the one to go for. Suppose you have a quaint apartment and need a statement piece. In that case, a modern, sleek sofa will complement your space beautifully. 

Whether looking to purchase a sofa or a sectional, their biggest difference is their size and structure. A smaller sofa seats up to three people, while a sectional provides more seating room and comes with multiple customizations to fit your space.


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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