The Difference Between A Sofa and A Settee

Sofa and A Settee

There are various types of couches out there, and it can be hard to differentiate between them all, especially since one couch can have many names. A sofa and a settee might sound different, but they aren’t completely.

A sofa and a settee are two different words to describe a kind of couch. A settee is slimmer and usually smaller than a sofa. Settees are sometimes used to add a sophisticated appeal to a house already containing a sofa.

Sofas and settees both have their own roles in modern decorating. They add unique style and comfort in their own way. Read on to find out what a sofa or a settee can each add to your home.

What Is The Difference Between A Sofa And A Settee

Both a sofa and settee are couches. They can both be described as a kind of cushioned bench, with back support and armrests, made for two or more people.

The only real physical difference between the two is that settees are usually slimmer than sofas and don’t come as large. Some sofas can fit almost ten people, while settees usually don’t fit more than two or three.

Settes are also regarded as more formal than sofas, used in social gatherings as opposed to casual use. They are designed to be a bit “fancier” or “posh” than an everyday couch. So, it isn’t uncommon to have both a sofa and a settee in your home, a couch for everyday use, and a settee for hosting guests and gatherings.

Here’s a table to compare the features of a settee and sofa. This will help you decide which is best for you.

SofaLarge (70’’-96″ long) Seating for 2+ peopleCenterpieceCasual, family useAverage $1000
SetteeSmall to medium (30’’-50″ long)Seating for 1-2Non-center pieceFamily and friend use, special occasionsAverage $600

How Common Are Settees Vs. Sofas

Between the two, sofas are by far more popular and sought after on average. But that isn’t to say that settees don’t have a market at all. They’re still common enough to be prevalent in the home decoration scene.

Settees are commonly bought by people who want to make sure every room in their house is furnished and beautiful. Whether they’re a professional home decorator or just making it a hobby, they know how to utilize this piece. 

Sofas, on the other hand, go into living rooms in almost every home you can find. If someone has a living room, then they want a comfy place to sit in it. They’re common across the globe, and for good reason.

Which Furniture Is Right For You?

Whether a sofa or a settee is the right piece for you is dependent on a few things. You need to take a lot into account before making a big purchase, like a new piece of furniture. Here is a list of considerations:

  • Money- Could you afford to buy both a sofa and a settee?
  • Location- How big is your house/apartment?
  • Animals- Do you have an animal that may like to eat furniture?
  • Already Owned- Do you already own a sofa or settee and are looking for another?

All of these are things to think about before deciding what to get. The honest answer is, more often than not, the right choice is to just buy a sofa. Settees are more money and more room for a piece of furniture you really won’t use all that often.

Unlike sofas, settees do not function very well as a stand-alone piece. They need to accent something else to truly fit in with your home. Especially if you live with multiple people or have visitors often, a sofa is a more fitting choice.

But if you have space and spare money, and your furniture is safe from animals, then absolutely get a couch and a settee. It adds another layer of style to your house, and just its presence will have guests asking who decorated your home for you. A matching pair is the best way to impress. 

Is A Settee More Expensive Than A Sofa

A settee is not usually more expensive than a sofa. There is some overlap between the more expensive settees and the less expensive sofas. However, on average, settees are less expensive.

The average cost of a sofa in the United States is around $1,000. This compares to the average price of a settee, which is around $600. There’s a range of pricing in between, but these are the most common numbers.


Because of a sofa’s bigger size alone, it would make sense that it’s pricier than a settee. There are more materials and man-hours that go into making them. Sofas are always in high demand as well. They’re considered a necessity for most homes.

Settees, on the other hand, aren’t that popular. And with the demand down compared to sofas, the price has gone down as well in comparison. You don’t need to break the bank for a high-quality settee. 

Finding a matching settee to go with a sofa might be a bit difficult, however. This could lead to some pricing issues. Having to custom order a settee to have it match your primary piece may be very expensive. It may be easier to find a settee first, then a sofa to match.

Is A Settee More High End Than A Sofa

A settee is a more high-end piece than a sofa. As said earlier, most people who put these in their homes have experience or did some research in home decorating. Many people consider a sofa as a home staple and a settee as a home luxury.


The sofa sits low on the list of high-end furniture. This is because of its casual nature, as opposed to other pieces. Here’s a list of some higher-end furniture, similar to settees:

  • Chesterfield- Usually made of good leather
  • Chaise- Similar to Divan but firmer, more support
  • Cabriole- Arm and back sections joined, almost “Booth-like.”
  • Reclaimer- A backless daybed, with two arm pieces

Where Can You Place A Sofa or Settee In Your Home

While both a sofa and settee perform the same function, to sit in comfort, you shouldn’t just put either in any place in your home. There is a specific place for each where they’ll get the most value.

A sofa is designed for a casual lounging experience. This means it fits perfectly where people spend the most time in the house outside the bedroom. Usually, this means the living room, where people can easily take a load off.

The settee, as mentioned earlier, is commonly a piece of furniture associated with social gatherings. But most modern homes don’t have a separate, furnished area meant just for lounging with guests. Most modern homes just use the living room for gatherings now.

This, and the fact that a settee doesn’t work as a centerpiece item, means the placement is easy. Just put the settee in the same room as your sofa, but place it in a less prominent way. An example would be if your sofa was in front of a T.V, place the settee perpendicular, with space in between for movement.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the ins and outs of sofas and settees and the effects that their differences can have on your décor. Whether you’re looking for a stylish settee or a comfy couch, you can now shop with confidence.


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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