- High-quality sofas available online are easy to assemble, as attractive as pieces you might pick up at a local store, and are comfortable to sit, nap, and lounge on.
- Some of our top picks include a leather sofa from Joybird, a modular sectional from Burrow, and a convertible sleeper sofa from Couchbed.
- Read more: The best futons for under $500
The bed-in-a-box industry has exploded in the last few years. No longer do you have to visit a furniture showroom in order to get a high-quality mattress. And, furniture startups and traditional mainstays have taken notice and are beginning to incorporate bed-in-a-box practices into a “sofa-in-a-box” business plan.
So far, there are only a handful of companies that offer sofas exclusively online, and only a few do it well. As we update this guide, there are sure to be newcomers looking to disrupt the industry. In the meantime, we have compiled a list of the companies that are currently doing the best job of delivering sofas to your living room.
Though we snuck an excellent sectional in, this guide mainly focuses on your standard sofas. Most of the pieces mentioned are available in multiple configurations as loveseats or sectionals, with a matching ottoman, and more. So, follow the included links for other options.
While researching the best sofas available online, we combed through hundreds of ratings and reviews of dozens of brands from both buyers and experts. Our guide features sofas that have a strong track record of quality, durability, and performance.
Here are the best sofas you can buy online in 2021
- A fully customizable sofa: Campaign Sofa
- A modular sectional sofa: Burrow Nomad Sofa
- A plush leather sofa: Joybird Hughes Leather Sofa
- A sofa that quickly converts to a bed: CouchBed
- An affordable leather sofa: Allform Loveseat
- A comfortable reclining sofa: Crate & Barrel Petrie Leather Mid-Century Sofa
Updated on 01/29/2021: We updated the formatting of this guide to better account for personal style and preference. We’re continuing to research the best sofas and couches and update this guide regularly with new picks. Unfortunately, the Campaign Sofa is currently out of stock, but we’ve kept the review and links active for when it restocks.
A fully customizable sofa
The Campaign Sofa is unique because it features a sturdy steel frame designed to last a lifetime, and you can choose from a variety of fabric options and even replace your fabric down the road.
Pros: Several fabric options to pick from, comfortable, stylish, lifetime warranty on the steel frame, durable, 30-day return policy
Cons: Heavy steel frame makes assembly difficult, thin cushions, no white glove service
Former Honda and Apple design engineer Brad Sewell launched Bay Area-based Campaign in 2013. The Campaign Sofa is the company’s best-selling product. The frame is made of heavy-duty steel and comes in one solid piece. Four people can fit on this 86-inch-wide couch which features a classic, Mid-century design with clean lines.
The cushions are made of high-resilience foam that is designed to balance support and comfort. There are 17 different fabrics to choose from, including Mojave orange, midnight navy, meridian blue, and flint gray. You can also pick either maple legs or oak with mahogany stain. So, you’re sure to find a look that matches your interior design scheme.
Having tested a Campaign Sofa in my living room, I like that it is long enough for my 6’4″ teenager to stretch out. The cushioning is also conducive to dozing off. My five-year-old loves how bouncy it is. Despite the bounce, the motion transfer is minimal so you don’t have to worry about spilling your popcorn when someone starts using the couch as a launching pad. Of the sofas we have, this is my favorite.
A few customer reviews mentioned that it requires two capable adults to assemble the sofa, and others expressed concern about how thin the cushions are (although this did not seem to impact their overall comfort). However, overall we think this couch is incredibly comfortable, stylish, and a good value for the cost. As a bonus, the fabric covers are replacable, in case of wear and tear or if you just get tired of the color.
A modular sectional sofa
Thanks to the modular design of the Burrow Nomad Leather King Sectional, you can easily fit it into tight spaces and change it into an armchair, loveseat, or sofa.
Pros: Modular design allows for customization and easy assembly and transport, attractive appearance, durable build, simple to clean
In my living room, I have an older Burrow sofa that’s been discontinued. I put it together on my own in about 35 minutes, and found the assembly process to be easy. Not only is the sofa attractive, but when someone plops down next to me, I don’t feel a thing. This is a must when you have a rambunctious 5-year-old who likes to jump around.
Burrow listened to the feedback on older models like mine and used them to make improvements in the design of the Nomad Leather Sofa. Some notable upgrades include lower arms that you can rest your head on while napping, a more durable USB port, easier assembly, reinforced hardware, and more comfortable cushions.
Senior editor Jada Wong has tested the Nomad Leather King Sectional for more than a year and the leather remains unblemished, and the frame continues to feel sturdy. She also had a seamless experience assembling the sectional and was pleasantly surprised that the couch remained cool and comfortable even during the sticky summer months. The only downside is that the underside is covered in a thin fabric and secured with staples, which seems cheap on an otherwise carefully-designed item.
A plush leather sofa
The Joybird Hughes Leather Sofa features a Mid-century-inspired design and is covered with rich and supple leather.
Pros: Made with high-quality leather, comfortable soft cushions, 365-day trial period, lifetime limited warranty, white glove delivery ($99 extra)
Cons: Takes incredibly long for your delivery to arrive
There are several factors that make Joybird unique. First, its Hughes Leather Sofa is essentially handcrafted as orders come in. The company claims to plant six trees for every couch sold, offers a limited lifetime warranty on their products, and most importantly, you get a 365-day home trial. The leather sofa comes in lightly-distressed camel or black leather. The back of the couch is tufted and bordered by low-flared arms that are thick enough to comfortably perch on. Before ordering, you can check out a free swatch kit.
Just about every commenter on the Joybird website appreciated the quality and comfort of the couch. The biggest complaint was that the sofas take a while to arrive. There are at least two reviewers who said it took more than four months for their orders to be delivered.
A sofa that quickly converts to a bed
Whether you live in a dorm or a tiny apartment, the CouchBed provides an excellent way to make the most of your space.
Pros: Easy to convert to a bed, inexpensive, 10-year warranty, 30-day return policy
Cons: Low back, the memory foam is incredibly firm and traps heat, the buyer has to pay return shipping if dissatisfied
The CouchBed is evocative of a futon. But, whereas futons can be somewhat unpleasant to sleep on, the CouchBed is all about comfort and support. You transform it from a mattress to a couch by folding one side on top of the other – no frame needed. When nighttime rolls around, you simply pull the couch’s “back” forward to create a bed again.
The CouchBed is 10 inches thick and made of CertiPur-certified, ultra-dense memory foam. You can pick from twin, full, and queen sizes. Plus, there are several color alternatives, including charcoal, coffee, blue, and limestone. And, the company backs this sofa with a 10-year limited warranty.
Insider Reviews took the CouchBed for a test drive and found it to be a “perfect piece of furniture to help maximize space in a small apartment.” Though our reviewer would have preferred a higher sofa back, he found that it made for a comfortable couch and mattress. It also tends to sit a bit low, so if you are taller, you might give this one a pass, or think about placing it atop a platform.
Some buyers noted that the memory foam is quite firm and tends to trap heat, which would make it a better option for back sleepers, heavier individuals, and cold sleepers. Buyers appreciated how easy it is to convert the bed to a couch and back again.
An affordable leather sofa
Allform (by Helix Mattress) makes couches in multiple fabrics, but the best bargain is the supple leather loveseat, which arrives in multiple boxes, is easy to assemble, and comes with a 100-day risk-free trial period.
Pros: Affordable, sturdy, easy to assemble, scratch-resistant, 100-day trial, lifetime warranty on frame
Cons: None to mention as of yet
Apart from the price tag, there’s nothing that’s not to like about leather furniture, so long as you’re not in the tropics or a living room without air conditioning. It’s almost entirely spill-proof and tear-resistant, it ages well, and like a good rug, it’ll tie a room together and elevate it from college dorm room-esque to something along the lines of wow, I’ve made it!
When I heard Helix, the beloved mattress-in-a-box brand was taking up the sofa game, I was curious, but when I found out that the sofa line would include a (relatively) affordable leather loveseat under $2,000 (when it’s on sale, which it usually is), my curiosity was piqued enough to call one in for testing.
What arrived, about two weeks later, was a procession of boxes, which was fortunate. Allform’s sofas are modular, which doesn’t matter so much with a loveseat, but when you get into sectionals can be life-changing. In other words, if you downsize, upsize, or just want to change your layout, you can switch the sections around to fit wherever the sofa is going to live.
Assembling the thing was sort of like playing with a connector set. Just a couple of screws for each piece and you’re done. We had this one together in about 20 minutes.
As far as materials go, the leather is real and durable: I tried scratching it with, fortunately, zero luck. The seams are all tight and uniform, and the wooden structure is made of Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified (SFI) kiln-dried and laminated maple and poplar hardwood. As a result, it’s sturdy as can be, so long as you assemble it correctly. The brand even backs up the claim by including a lifetime warranty on the frame.
I have lain and slept in it, and pressed against the armrests with all the might my legs and feet can muster, and I haven’t loosened so much as a screw.
This is the most affordable leather sofa I’ve tried, and if you’re after something that’s half the price of the competition but built to last, it’s a safe bet. If you end up not liking it, there’s a generous 100-day trial period. Shipping is also free. — Owen Burke
A comfortable reclining sofa
If you want a sofa that’s not only functional but also makes a statement about your sense of style, consider the Petrie Leather Mid-century Sofa from Crate & Barrel.
Pros: Made of high-quality leather, fits an array of decors, multiple color options, white-glove service included in shipping charge (starting at $129)
Cons: Expensive, restrictive return policy, long delivery times (up to two months)
What sets the Petrie Leather Mid-century Sofa apart is its stylish, compliment-attracting appearance — it’s Guides Editor Les Shu’s dream sofa because he loves the build quality and Mid-century modern look. The frame is made of kiln-dried sustainable hardwood that is resistant to warping, the seat cushions are polyfoam supported by a sinuous wire spring suspension, and the piece is covered with natural leather available in seven different colors (including indigo, carbon, and toffee). It’s made in North Carolina using imported and domestic materials.
The Petrie Sofa is more upright than relaxed, has an average seat depth and height, and is slightly firmer than most couches. The 86-inch width is enough room to seat up to three people or for one person to stretch out and take a nap.
This product isn’t a true sofa-in-a-box like the others on this list, but it can be ordered online. Delivery, setup, and removal of packaging are included in the shipping charge, which costs between $129 and $299 depending on how far you are from the shipping point. There are shipping points in most major US cities.
What else we considered
While compiling this guide, we looked at dozens of products. There were a few that barely missed the cut. Here are some excellent options we also considered:
- Coddle Convertible Couch: We tested the Coddle Convertible Couch in the fall, and while we like it, and find it remarkably comfortable as a bed, it might not be a practical choice for most living rooms. It has a relatively large footprint, and while the modular nature of it is enjoyable, we found that the backrest, which has two upright positions, just wasn’t set quite right: one setting pitched too far forward, the other too far backward. Still, if you like the looks of this couch, and have space, you might like to give it a try. It’s certainly on the more affordable side.
- West Elm Modern Chesterfield Leather Sofa: If you’re interested in a traditional Chesterfield sofa, you might want to consider this piece. The Modern Chesterfield Leather Sofa is available in licorice, mocha, and cigar colors. And, white-glove delivery is included in the shipping cost. We chose to pass on it because we could not track down any warranty information or firsthand reviews of the couch, and some West Elm sofas are known for build issues.
Lucid 4-inch Mattress-Sofa: If you want to offer overnight guests something a little more substantial than a mat on the floor or a polyester-stuffed futon cushion, Lucid’s 4-inch Mattress-Sofa hits the sweet spot. High-density foam, a removable and machine-washable zipper cover, and carrying handles make the Lucid Comfort Couch a practical (if somewhat clunky-looking) bridge between a bed and a couch.
Where to shop online for sofas
Here are other brands that sell great furniture, including sofas:
- The Pottery Barn
- Raymour & Flanigan
- Macy’s furniture section
What to look for when shopping for a sofa online
When shopping for a sofa, there are several things to consider.
- What features are non-negotiable? Do you want something modular? A fold-out? Extra-soft cushions for Netflix marathons?
- How easy is it to put together? Will you need help?
- How much room do you have? And, how big do you want your couch to be?
- How well does it go with your interior?
Your answers to these questions are a good starting point for your sofa search. Of course, you also want to consider comfort, motion transfer (i.e., do you spill your drink when someone plops down next to you?), springiness, and build quality. These are characteristics that you can’t really assess firsthand when shopping online. They’re even hard to gauge in furniture showrooms sometimes.
Instead, the best way to tell if a sofa fits your needs is to try it in your home. That’s why many of the best sofa-in-a-box companies have taken a cue from the bed-in-a-box industry by offering trial periods. These trials are much more conservative than what you might get from a bed company, but they do give you the opportunity to see if a couch is right for you before committing — two weeks should be enough time.
If you are physically unable to put a sofa together or simply don’t want to, many companies offer a “white glove” delivery service. Usually, for an additional cost, the couch maker (or a contractor they hire) will bring the sofa into your home, assemble it, put it right where you want it, and remove the packaging.
How to pay for a new sofa
Some of these sofas can be pricey. Most online stores provide financing options, but we don’t recommend going into debt to buy a sofa. If you don’t have the money upfront, you might want to consider a 0% APR credit card, which doesn’t charge interest for a matter of months as an introductory offer, giving you time to pay off the couch interest-free. You must pay it off within the 0% APR period, though, or your debt will quickly become expensive.
Credit card and consumer debt are some of the most expensive things you can take on, and failure to make payments could damage your credit score and lead to other long-term consequences. You can also look into a personal loan, but be sure to compare your options and confirm the loan is the lowest possible interest rate, and that you have a plan to pay it off as soon as possible.
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