For All Styles and Sizes of Living Rooms, These Are the 10 Best Modular Sofas
Plus Nate Berkus’s advice on how to style one.
Published Jun 29, 2022 5:59 PM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
One size does not fit all when it comes to couches. Some of us have a barely there living room with space for little more than a love seat. Others have square footage to spare and family members who insist on stretching out on a chaise longue. That’s where modular sofas come in. By mixing and matching the various à la carte pieces of a modular sofa—like armless chairs, loungers, ottomans, and corner pieces—you can arrange and rearrange them into various configurations as your space and needs dictate.
“I think that modular sofas are really an opportunity to set the tone, the direction, and the story of your space,” says designer Nate Berkus. “They take up so much real estate that you really should be asking yourself what style you want this enormous investment and percentage of your square footage to be.”
We agree. That’s why, after extensive shopping, we narrowed down the 10 best modular sofas that will allow you to create the semi-custom couch of your furniture dreams.
- The bouclé backdrop: Hay Mags Sofa
- The “kids welcome” corner unit: Floyd The Sectional
- The DTC O.G.: Article Beta Sectional
- The extra-customizable classic: Interior Define Tatum Sofa
- The stay-a-while showstopper: &Tradition Develius
- The ’70s silhouette, updated: Sarah Ellison Muse Sofa
- The polished mod: West Elm Dalton Modular Sofa
- The slouchy-yet-firm softy: Maiden Home Build Your Own Jones Modular
- The goes-with-everything option: Studio McGee Woodland Hills Modular Sofa
- The pile-it-with-pillows beauty: Anthropologie Kori Modular Sofa
The Bouclé Backdrop: Hay Mags Sofa
Width up to: 121.75 inches | Seats: 3 | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Variety
What we like:
- Made of particularly soft flamiber fabric
- Extra-deep seats make it a prime napping couch
- The low height may be too low for some with mobility issues
- Assembly required
Why we chose it: The nubby fabric has made a comeback in recent years, and we’re all about it—especially on this plush seater.
Bouclé is back, and what better way to show it off than in modular sofa form? Make the center of your living room design this structured yet oh-so-comfortable Mags, which is available in an assortment of configurations, no matter the size of your space or preferred lounging position to rewatch New Girl. It also comes in a variety of upholstery options, like wool blends and velvet, but we’re suckers for the flamiber, a soft, textured bouclé. Our chief content officer, Kate Berry, can attest to its marshmallow-iness. You can often find her working from her own Mags. (The wide arms make for a great spot to prop a laptop.)
The “Kids Welcome” Corner Unit: Floyd The Sectional
Width up to: 124 inches | Seats: 5 or more | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Performance or bouclé
What we like:
- No-frills streamlined design
- The upholstery is treated to resist stains
- The follow-along assembly video eases any “am I doing this right?” worries
- Simple assembly required
- Limited color selection
Why we chose it: This chic sectional gets the thumbs-up from adults and kiddos alike.
Sticky peanut butter fingers are no match for this modular sofa from Floyd. Its stain-resistant upholstery is your best bet for a kids’ space, like a basement or playroom. With soft and clean lines, though, it’s a fit for any area of the house—name a room, any room. Whether in a calming neutral gray or a rich forest green, even a cozy corner littered with toy cars or wherever this sofa lands will feel like a totally welcoming respite to gather. Win-win.
The DTC O.G.: Article Beta Sectional
Width up to: 132 inches | Seats: 5 or more | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Polyester
What we like:
- Its modern design looks as stylish today as it will years from now
- The direct-to-consumer model trims the cost
- Includes reversible cushions with removable covers
- White furniture is not for the faint of (coffee spills) heart
- Some assembly required
Why we chose it: We can’t decide what we love more—the always-in-style design or direct-to-consumer reduced price.
Since launching in 2013, Article has changed the game of furniture shopping. By offering big-ticket items (like sofas, bed frames, and dining tables) direct to consumers, they nix a few steps in the supply chain—and slash a chunk of the cost, too. Its modular Beta sofa is a longtime favorite, with the option to arrange chaise longues in different configurations. Building a Beta into various shapes virtually is almost as fun as when the real deal arrives on your doorstep.
The Extra-Customizable Classic: Interior Define Tatum Sofa
Width up to: 118 inches | Seats: 6 or more | Returns: Within 60 days | Upholstery: Variety
What we like:
- Includes the choice of a down or down-alternative filling
- Lush color options in performance fabrics
- The flat-rate delivery fee includes white-glove service
- Expect a lead time of 22 to 25 weeks
Why we chose it: If you have a large living space to furnish (lucky you!), opt for this highly customizable sofa.
No matter what creative modular sofa configuration you can think of, the Interior Define team is several steps ahead of you. They’ve made their modular Tatum sofa available in any and all shapes. Whether you want to seat two or 12, there’s no limit in terms of customization with the Tatum. No need to get overwhelmed with the options, though; one of the brand’s design experts can walk you through the process step-by-step. While delivery may take up to 25 weeks, you’ll receive updated status emails along the way to ease your impatience.
The Stay-a-While Showstopper: &Tradition Develius
Width up to: Varies | Seats: Up to 6 | Returns: 14 days | Upholstery: Variety
What we like:
- A sleek style you’ll never tire of
- Each sofa is made to order in just 6 to 8 weeks
- Uses wood sourced from sustainable forests
- Tight turnaround return policy
Why we chose it: This oh-so-elegant design marries pretty with practical.
You won’t be shocked to learn a Dutch designer created this utter showstopper of a modular couch. You may be shocked to learn it’s equally as comfortable as it is beautiful, though—a unicorn combination in the couch world. With its deep seats and extra-soft-to-the-touch fabric options, you’ll be tempted to stay (and stay) for hours at a time. Get creative combining the modular pieces, fabrics, and refined colors to create the couch of your dreams. Say, a nubby cream bouclé love seat to cozy up on with your honey, or an elongated navy linen couch with a chaise longue to allow for optimal leg-stretching moments.
The ’70s Silhouette, Updated: Sarah Ellison Muse Sofa
Width up to: 111 inches | Seats: 3 | Returns: Contact within 3 days of delivery | Upholstery: Velvet or bouclé
What we like:
- The exaggerated lines make it a true showstopper
- Either fabric option is a winner
- Arrives fully assembled
- There’s no time to waste (3 days!) if you’re considering a return
Why we chose it: With sculptural lines and sumptuous upholstery, this sofa is a piece of awe-inspiring craftsmanship.
If you’ve been jonesing to add Australian designer Sarah Ellison’s relaxed retro aesthetic to your home, consider this your sign. Her ’70s-inspired modular Muse sofa, available through Design Within Reach, would add a warm vibe to any living room. The exaggerated, sculptural silhouette feels like art, but not in a stuffy “don’t touch” museum way. Instead it is functional art you can kick your feet up on, comfortably sinking into the medium-firm foam cushions. As for upholstery, you get to make the tough choice between a creamy bouclé or lush velvet. (The caramel-colored velvet gets our vote.)
The Polished Mod: West Elm Dalton Modular Sofa
Width up to: Varies | Seats: 6 or more | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Variety
What we like:
- Dozens of upholstery options
- White-glove service is included in the flat-rate delivery fee
- Zip-off cushion covers make for easy cleaning
- Not all fabrics are available for all seating configurations
Why we chose it: It’s sleek, it’s stylish, and it’ll stay that way for years (and years) to come.
There’s no getting around it: Modular sofas are major cash. Before clicking “add to cart,” you’ll want to ensure you won’t tire of its design anytime soon. That will never be the case with this West Elm sofa, which evokes both modern and traditional vibes that will look fresh for years to come. Its mod form makes for a stylish spot to converse during a cocktail party, while its soft corners means it’s kid- and pet-friendly, too. Add colorful pillows and a couple throws, then rest easy as it functions for all facets of your life now and for many more years.
The Slouchy-Yet-Firm Softy: Maiden Home Build Your Own Jones Modular
Width up to: 84 inches and up | Seats: 5 or more | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Variety
What we like:
- Seemingly endless upholstery options, by fabric and color
- Includes the option to order fabric swatches before committing
- Reversible cushions allow you to even out wear
- Ready for delivery in 9 to 11 weeks
- Allergy sufferers beware: This couch is down-filled
Why we chose it: A sofa with a stay-all-day feel you can sink into.
Cue up the next movie on your watch list: This nap-worthy modular sofa from Maiden Home is begging for you to settle in and kick your feet up. It’s available in all the standard modular sofa pieces, including armless chairs, corner chairs, chaise longues, and ottomans, allowing you to configure them in the best shape for your space. While it’s a sink-right-in sofa, don’t worry about the Jones losing its shape—it won’t, thanks to its resilient down fill. Bonus: If you’re lacking a guest bedroom, here’s betting your visitors won’t mind crashing on this couch.
The Goes-With-Everything Option: Studio McGee Woodland Hills Modular Sofa
Width up to: 102 inches | Seats: 3 | Returns: Within 1 year | Upholstery: Polyester
What we like:
- Its neutral palette complements any decor style
- As far as couches go, this one is fairly wallet-friendly
- Generous return policy of up to 365 days
- Not sold in stores (just online)
- The cushions are not reversible and cannot be removed for cleaning (spot-clean only)
Why we chose it: This modular sofa is a match for nearly any space and any style.
Leave it to Studio McGee to design a functional modular sofa that complements any design style. Whether your decor veers modern, farmhouse, traditional, or otherwise, chances are this sofa would feel right at home in your living room. It’s perfectly neutral without being boring, and graciously allows other elements of your living space to shine. Layer this sofa with a textured throw, add a statement-maker side table, and you’re set.
The Pile-It-With-Pillows Beauty: Anthropologie Kori Modular Sofa
Width up to: 64.5 inches | Seats: 3 | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Linen
What we like:
- The durable linen upholstery can withstand day-to-day wear and tear
- The love seat solo is the most affordable option on this list
- No assembly required
- Often on back-order
Why we chose it: While piled with pillows, this armless couch is just as cozy as the rest.
If you’re working with limited square footage, an armless couch, like this mix-and-match modular design from Anthropologie, is the way to go. Save yourself a few inches of floor space by nixing the arms, but keep all the comfort by piling it with pillows. This clay-colored linen couch would be a standout in any space, but particularly one with a viewpoint of its side, so you can see its cool, armless profile.
How We Chose These Products
A modular sofas is a sizable purchase, both physically and monetarily. That’s why we took this shopping assignment seriously. We scoured the modular sofa options of reputable brands with high design, but not necessarily high price points. These couches will last you for years to come, even if you move, add members to your family, or tweak your design style. Each of the above couches would be a comfy place to rest through life’s big and little moments.
Our Shopping Checklist
This wouldn’t be Domino if we didn’t prioritize smart, sleek design above all else. We shopped for modular sofas with cool silhouettes, practical pieces, and last-a-lifetime styles that will make you smile every time you pass your living room.
The more upholstery options, the better. Some of us prefer a stain-resistant performance fabric for both the longevity of the couch and wayward wine spills. Others are down for a less kid- or pet-friendly luxe velvet. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
The more à la carte pieces a modular sofa offers, the better. “A modular sofa offers great flexibility,” says Berkus, since you can arrange (and rearrange) the pieces Tetris-style. “If you need an L-shape sectional, you can make that out of modular pieces, or you can make a chaise with a corner piece and an ottoman. Or you can break it apart and put a beautiful decorative table in between two sections with a lamp on it.” You don’t have to spend the big bucks for all of the available pieces either, just what works for your space and lifestyle. No need for an ottoman? Great. Only need one corner piece? Also great.
Comfort is key when buying a modular sofa. If we couldn’t doze off on these couches during a movie night, they didn’t make the cut. If space allows, deep seats are the most comfortable for guests of all heights (and the occasional nap!), and soft-to-the-touch upholstery is a must. Pay attention to the distance from the top of the cushion to the ground, too, especially if you have long legs.
Q: What truly makes a sofa modular?
Think of a modular sofa like playing with Legos (stick with us here) but your Lego pieces include armless chairs, corner pieces, and chaise longues that snap together (more on that below) to create various configurations. Each piece is bought à la carte and can stand on its own or be arranged to create various shapes.
Q: What is the difference between a modular and sectional sofa?
“The brass-tacks, fundamental difference between the two is that a modular sofa can be made into a sectional sofa, but a sectional cannot be made into a modular,” says Berkus. Even though a sectional is also broken into multiple pieces, those pieces cannot reconfigure into different shapes like a modular sofa can.
Q: Beyond style and color, how do I choose a modular sofa for my space?
Before clicking “add to cart” on any modular sofa pieces, measure where it will reside, then measure it again. Use painter’s tape to block out where the pieces could be placed, so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised by how big (or small) they are when they arrive. Also consider any potential obstacles, like slim doorways and how the couch could be viewed from various angles of your living room.
As you’re styling your sofa, Berkus encourages pairing it with pieces from various eras. “I love an Italian ’60s- or ’70s-style modular sofa mixed with classic antiques and Swedish lighting from the ’40s, layered in a way that feels like somebody in that era was decidedly well traveled,” he says. That’s a sure way to up the ante on your modular sofa’s bespoke vibe.
Q: I don’t want to slip between my modular couch pieces while lounging. How do you keep it together?
Rest easy—no one will slip through the cracks. Modular pieces connect with metal “crocodile” clips. Picture a zigzag bracket on one side and a triangle post on the other. The clips should click into place easily, securing your sofa together, and detach just as easily so you can rearrange as desired. To nix any slipping and sliding for the sofa as a whole, place rubber pads beneath the pieces’ legs.
The Last Word
Modular sofas are the “choose your own adventure” of furniture shopping. Consider your square footage, how many people your couch should seat, and whether you like the chaise longue on the left or right. Then mix and match modular pieces to your design-minded heart’s desire.