For All Styles and Sizes of Living Rooms, These Are the 13 Best Modular Sofas
Plus Nate Berkus’s advice on how to style one.
Updated Aug 3, 2023 2:46 PM
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This story was part of Sofa Week, our seven-day stretch of, you guessed it, sofas. After years spent styling, sitting on, and searching for the best of the best—from bespoke designs to rare under-$500 gems—we’re compiling our couch knowledge in one comfy spot.
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—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 13 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- and pet-friendly corner unit: Inside Weather Bondi Sectional
- The ’70s silhouette, updated: Sarah Ellison Muse Sofa
- The slouchy-yet-firm softy: Maiden Home Build Your Own Jones Modular
- The DTC O.G.: Article Beta Sectional
- The budget beanbag: Urban Outfitters Dylan Velvet Bean Bag Sofa
- The casual deep-seater: Sundays Movie Night Modular Sectional
- The polished mod: West Elm Dalton Modular Sofa
- The extra-customizable classic: Interior Define Tatum Sofa
- The goes-with-everything option: Target x Studio McGee Woodland Hills Modular Sofa
- The pillowy beauty: Crate & Barrel Lotus Modular Sofa Collection
- The corduroy cutie: IKEA Jättebo Modular Sofa
- The stay-a-while showstopper: &Tradition Develius Modular Sofa
The Bouclé Backdrop: Hay Mags Sofa
Width: Up to 121.75 inches | Seats: 3 | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Varies
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 creative officer, Kate Berry, can attest to its marshmallowy-ness. You can often find her working from her own Mags. (The wide arms make for a great spot to prop a laptop.)
The Kid- and Pet-Friendly Corner Unit: Inside Weather Bondi Sectional
Width: Up to 216 inches, corner to corner | Seats: 6 or more | Returns: 365-day home trial | Upholstery: Numerous to choose from, including performance fabrics
What we like:
- Made in the U.S.
- Wide selection of upholstery, specific to needs
- Customizable frame and cushions
- Assembly required, but tools included
- Cushions aren’t attached, can shift
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 super-customizable modular sofa from Inside Weather. After you’ve picked out the size you want (in units of 36 inches), it’s time to turn to upholstery. With loads of options to choose from, you have your pick of everything from performance and pet-friendly to machine washable and PFAS-free, Oeko-Tex–certified fabric. Then choose from three frame finishes and two cushion styles, of which short GIFs on the site show the difference. With a tapered back and clean lines, it’s a fit for all areas of the house—name a room, any room. The materials, you ask? Inside Weather uses FSC-certified kiln-dried solid ash wood and Certi-PUR-US foam, and the cushions and pillows include a 100% recycled down alternative, made from plastic bottles that are spun into a polyester fiber. Ship times can vary if you care to customize, so take note of that when ordering.
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 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: Varies
What we like:
- Seemingly endless upholstery options, by fabric and color
- Includes the chance 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 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 will look 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, it nixes a few steps in the supply chain—and slashes 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 Budget Beanbag: Urban Outfitters Dylan Velvet Bean Bag Sofa
Why we chose it: Available in three sizes and four cool colors… and the three-seater is under $500? Sign us up.
While the thought of a beanbag sofa might conjure images of dorm rooms past, this grown-up take makes a compelling case for the concept. It comes in four chic hues (from bold blood orange to minimalist ivory) and three sizes (single-, double-, and triple-seater). The legless design is a relaxed variation of the modular sofa, allowing one to stand alone, two two-seaters to bookend a coffee table, or several to cluster together for a lounge statement. While this pick has no reviewer feedback to fall back on, we decided to take a chance on it. That’s because UO offers a one-year furniture warranty and accepts returns within a 30-day window from the delivery date. Plus it’s made in the U.S., if that’s important for your furniture search. Psst: Looking for more under-$500 finds? Right this way.
The Casual Deep-Seater: Sundays Movie Night Modular Sectional
Why we chose it: A sink-in sectional that sports deep seats, performance fabric, and removable covers.
Has there ever been a so aptly named sofa? Sundays Movie Night sectional makes us want to plop down with our crew and a tub of popcorn and stay put for hours. Let’s start with the basics: The frame is made from solid wood, and it comes in a regular or condo—smaller width and depth, and cheaper—size. Upholstery is made with performance fabric (re: it’s soft, stain resistant, and moisture repellent), and the covers are fully removable; the cushion covers can be machine washed or dry-cleaned. Some reviewers note that the base is firmer than other similar couches but that it doesn’t retract from their enjoyment of it. Several purchasers note that it’s an ideal family sofa whether you have dogs or kids or both; one shopper even says that “we haven’t left the couch since.” What’s better is the brand offers excellent, reviewer-backed customer service, which includes free in-home delivery and assembly on sofas, and regularly priced items are fully refundable or can be exchanged within 30 days of delivery.
The Polished Mod: West Elm Dalton Modular Sofa
Width: Varies | Seats: 6 or more | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Varies
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 require 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 Extra-Customizable Classic: Interior Define Tatum Sofa
Width: Up to 118 inches | Seats: 6 or more | Returns: Within 60 days | Upholstery: Varies
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 Goes-With-Everything Option: Target x 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 Pillowy Beauty: Crate & Barrel Lotus Modular Sofa Collection
Width: Varies | Seats: Varies | Returns: Within 30 days | Upholstery: Varies
What we like:
- Design-your-own option
- 187 fabrics to choose from
- 2 different depths
- Ready-to-ship stock varies
Why we chose it: This squishy sofa strikes the just-right balance between modern and comfort.
If you’re looking for clean-edged silhouette but don’t want to compromise on cozy comfort, let us introduce you to the highly rated Lotus sectional from Crate & Barrel. Available in all types of configurations, the modular sofa has a base that’s bench made with kiln-dried engineered hardwood and flange-finished, polyfoam cushions that include a down blend. Reviewers particularly like the Nordic Frost performance fabric, but if white isn’t for you, there are nearly 200 others to choose from.
The Corduroy Cutie: IKEA Jättebo Modular Sofa
Why we chose it: A fully modular line that incorporates storage and is covered in a unique and luxe-looking upholstery.
Take it from designer Jeremiah Brent: IKEA can indeed exude quiet luxury. Spotted in an Instagram shot from his in-progress Portugal home, the Jättebo sofa looks like it could have been re-covered in a superfancy fabric. It turns out that the trendy corduroy material is straight from the Swedish retailer, too. The thick textile features an extra-wide wale that’s both cozy-looking and soft to the touch, plus the removable covers can be tossed in the washing machine. While we love the verdant green, there are two additional cover options that make switching up a color scheme down the road much easier. As another bonus, the Jättebo line is fully modular, so you can mix and combine the individual one-seaters with chaises (many of which also include storage) to fit any space.
The Stay-a-While Showstopper: &Tradition Develius Modular Sofa
Width: Varies | Seats: Up to 6 | Returns: 14 days | Upholstery: Varies
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.
How We Chose These Products
A modular sofa 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-shaped 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 piece, measure where it will reside, then measure 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 the pieces to your design-minded heart’s desire.