Buying Guide: Sofa Types Explained

Choosing a sofa can be hard, especially as there are so many different types.

I’ve put together a sofa guide that explains what each sofa is and its shape and/or what material it is made from. It’ll also mention when you might find useful having a particular style.

I hope it helps you decide what sofa is the right one for your home. Happy sofa-shopping ūüôā

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Corner Sofas

You’ll recognise them by their L shape. They’re great for corners, hence the name, because the can slot in and fill in the edge and utilise¬†the whole area. They’re perfect for lounging on, especially as there’s lots of space to spread out where the corner is. You’d be surprised how many bottoms you can fit on a corner sofa so I’d recommend these for those who like to entertain guests often or larger families.

Leather Sofa or Chesterfields

Stylish and classic, a leather sofa is timeless and practical too. Every curve and every touch of a leather sofa can scream luxury so it’s a great choice for those who like living in contemporary spaces that are on-trend.¬†The leather material allows for spillages to be wiped away without a problem, which means when there are kids about it’s sure to last longer. Perfect for a messy family ūüėČ

Chesterfields are a certain¬†type of leather sofa and have a distinct shape and pattern. They look ‘vintage’ with distressed a design whilst the arms are usually curved outwards and it also offers a buttoned back. I’d say that a¬†bachelor pad must undoubtedly have a Chesterfield for a trendy centrepiece.


A classic armchair is intended for one person use. Usually made out of wood with padding and upholstering it allows for the individual to be creative with it. They can be colourful and patterned and can really add to the interior styling of a room. I love how people upcycle armchairs too. Anyway, they’re great for a reading corner or study.

Love Seats

Now loveseats are longer than armchairs but can be very similar. They’ve been nicknamed loveseats (as far as I understand) because couples used to sit together in them and cuddle up… or it could possibly be my fairytale-filled mind at work here. These usually make perfect alternatives to sofas in small lounges or can be made into a centrepiece furniture for guests to awe at.

Fabric Sofas

I always associate fabric sofas with comfort. They’re soft to the touch and are warm to sit on unlike the leather sofas, which I personally like because I’m always cold… They come in various shapes and sizes so make sure to measure out your room before purchasing one. The fact that fabric can be dyed any colour means that you can be adventurous with your interior design and go for a bolder colour than you’re used to.

I think fabric sofas are the most traditional and can come as a corner sofa, sofa beds, armchairs and other seats too so there’s lots to choose from. This also means that they’re great for most homes apart from perhaps those that have cats with claws!

Recliner Sofas

If you like lounging then you’ll like these. These sofas ‘recline’ which means that the back falls back a little bit and then there is a leg base that springs up so that you can watch TV in a half laying, half sitting position. They’re very comfortable. Personally I think they’re best suited to families with older children as I feel ¬†that the youngsters might find these difficult to use.

Sofa Beds

If you’re buying one of these you know that you’re going to have more family and friends come and sleepover. a sofa bed is a practical sofa that transforms into a bed, offering a place to sleep as well as a place to sit. I recommend these for anyone who likes to have space¬†as well as¬†people coming round and staying over night after some entertainment.

Thank you to Sofas from Fishpools who asked me to write this buying guide and who have all of the above sofa types.


Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.

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