Stop the Search—We Found 7 of the Best Sectional Sofas
Including our chief content officer’s life-changing pick.
Published Dec 28, 2021 1:10 AM
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When it comes to furnishing your home, has there ever been a more important investment—especially given the events of the past year—than a sectional sofa? Designed to seat more than the standard couch, sectionals have become the main spot for sending emails or cozying up with a throw blanket to binge-watch Netflix’s latest hit series. So we probably don’t need to tell you just how important it is for this three-plus seater to not only look good in your living space but feel good. Our deputy editor, Julie Vadnal, found this out the hard way—her curvaceous vintage score was a visual dream, but the sink-y cushions had to be restuffed and sometimes the sofa feels a bit too cramped for her and her partner.
If, like Vadnal, you’re worrying about how a hulking sofa will look in your space, don’t. “Sectionals are often associated with an oversize, casual vibe, but they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles,” explains Britt Zunio, principal at New York design firm Studio DB. “The possibilities are endless.” Her advice? Pay close attention to your desired comfort level and the available fabrics (performance and stain-resistant options are a must for families with kids and pets). To help you narrow down the options, we rounded up a few of the best sectional sofas that are either already in Domino editors’ homes or at the top of our wish list.
- A photo-ready marshmallow: Hay Mags Soft Low Sectional
- A wallet saver: Rivet Revolve Modern Upholstered Sofa
- A leather lounger: CB2 Strato Leather Sectional Sofa
- An influencer-approved splurge: Mario Bellini Camaleonda Sectional
- A family-friendly luxury: Maiden Home The Dune Sectional
- A designer’s dream: Arflex Marceno System
- A serpentine silhouette: Grace Serpentine Two-Piece Sectional
A Photo-Ready Marshmallow: Hay Mags Soft Low Sectional
Width: 100 inches | Cushion: Polyurethane foam and feather wraps | Configuration: L-shape
What we like:
- 28 upholstery options
- Free shipping
- Spring suspension
Why we chose it: Say hello to Kate Berry’s sofa soul mate.
It didn’t take long for our chief content officer to fall in love with Hay’s Mags sofa, which she first first laid eyes on while styling Jordan Ferney’s home. Berry quickly snapped one up and confirms that, even after clocking in and out from her comfy home base over the past 18 months, the high-density, down-encased foam cushions remain soft to the touch (they’re wrapped in plush bouclé) but also continue to hold their shape with nary a wrinkle in sight. And we’d be remiss not to point out the visual play of the bold zigzag stitch seam. If that doesn’t convince you to bring this marshmallowy sofa home, there’s this: You can choose from a narrow or wide chaise, or an L-shaped, corner, or one-arm configuration to customize the versatile sectional to your heart’s content. Whichever you prefer, take a page from Berry’s book and accentuate the bubbly, neutral texture by mixing in a few brightly colored throw pillows.
A Wallet Saver: Rivet Revolve Modern Upholstered Sofa
Length: 79.9 inches | Cushion: Foam | Configuration: L-shape
What we like:
- Free 30-day returns
- Convertible chaise
- Great for small spaces
- Polyester upholstery
Why we chose it: This convertible chaise feels like a steal for less than $1,000.
A sectional sofa doesn’t have to cost a fortune. For proof, see this budget-friendly pick, which sits atop tapered, mid-century modern wood legs for a surprisingly airy silhouette. But the biggest benefit here—aside from the ability to detach and move the ottoman chaise lounger— has to be the easy assembly, a painless process thanks to the couch’s lightweight structure. And here’s one more perk for pet parents: The classic square frame comes in a gray woven-look polyester that’s easy to clean and stands up well to wear and tear. But don’t take our word for it. Designed and sold by Amazon, the Rivet Revolve has a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can simply ship this sectional back if it doesn’t live up to the hype.
A Leather Lounger: CB2 Strato Leather Sectional Sofa
Width: 97.5 inches | Cushion: Foam | Configuration: L-shape
What we like:
- 100 percent genuine leather
- Collaborated design
- Sustainable, hardwood frame
- Estimated to ship in early January
- May fade in the sun
Why we chose it: It’s a toss-up between the luscious leather and the vintage-inspired vibes.
Happily still riding the channel-tufted decor wave? We dare you not to drool over this beauty, complete with chestnut leather upholstery that will weather beautifully over time. Created exclusively for CB2 by Barcelona design firm Mermelada Estudio, this 1970s-inspired sectional feels as good as it looks: Made with sustainable hardwood and a kiln-dried frame, the trendy three-piece lounger is built with long-lasting support to prevent sagging and warping, while the buttery cushions make comfortability a serious priority. Just don’t bank on it for small living rooms—with left and right arms, as well as a corner chair that connects it all, it’s not exactly a space saver.
Width: 101.6 inches | Cushion: Polyurethane foam | Configuration: Modular
What we like:
- Modular design (with wheels!)
- Made with flame-resistant materials
- An update on the vintage cult favorite
- Visible rings and carabiners
Why we chose it: You’ve seen it everywhere, but it’s worth the hype.
The Camaleonda is the ultimate statement sectional—just ask EyeSwoon’s Athena Calderone. The curvy, bulbous piece was the first thing she bought for her Brooklyn townhouse. “I love to trace the first points of inspiration on a design journey, and this was it for me,” she says. But looks aren’t everything. The sofa is so comfortable and has held up so well that she purchased another for her Long Island living room. If you’re considering it for your own home, the modular format lets you choose from any number of seat combinations, making it a good option for both small corners and large, open living rooms alike, as its designer Mario Bellini first intended. The only catch? All of this style and versatility is going to cost you five figures.
A Family-Friendly Luxury: Maiden Home The Dune Sectional
Width: 119 inches | Cushion: Down blend | Configuration: Chaise, L- and U-shape
What we like:
- Machine washable slipcover
- Lifetime warranty
- Free white-glove delivery
- 13-week delivery estimate
Why we chose it: It’s a low-maintenance, modern take on a classic style.
Direct-to-consumer brand Maiden Home’s relaxed furnishings bridge the gap between high-end style and a casual feel. The Dune sectional is no exception. Versatile enough for a variety of spaces but designed for the aesthetically inclined, this modern take on classic slipcovered sofas gives families the best of both worlds: deep-seated, cloudlike comfort with fully removable, machine washable covers that come in a variety of performance fabrics. Plus you can purchase additional covers when you want to switch things up.
A Designer’s Dream: Arflex Marceno System
Width: 90 inches | Cushion: Polyurethane foam | Configuration: Modular
What we like:
- Modular system that includes an optional ottoman
- Fully removable cover (aside from leather)
- Base cost excludes fabric
Why we chose it: The designer-approved contemporary sofa checks all the boxes.
Zunio recently installed this handmade Italian sofa, designed by Mario Marceno for Arflex in the 1970s, in a client’s living room and can sum up the experience in one word: amazing. “It feels tailored and clean but has a marshmallow-like softness,” she notes. “I love that you can add a low ottoman for flexibility.” The bouncy sectional can be arranged in endless configurations that start with either a one-arm or open-ended base, but the big, pouflike cushions—like clouds that we can’t wait to sink into—are standard. And there are just as many upholstery options, many of which are removable for easy cleaning, from an alpaca sheep–wool blend to a cotton-linen combination to supple leather.
A Serpentine Silhouette: Grace Serpentine Two-Piece Sectional
Width: 111 inches | Cushion: Polyurethane foam | Configuration: Chaise, L- and U-shape
What we like:
- Ready-to-ship options
- Removable legs
- Bench cushions can’t be removed
Why we chose it: It’s a velvety perch that pays homage to Vladimir Kagan’s iconic design.
It’s said that curved sofas encourage conversation, but this beauty just might stun you into silence. Inspired by the sinuous forms embraced by legendary designer Kagan, Anthropologie’s Grace sectional ups the style ante with tapered brass legs and a clever convertible design that lets you customize the sofa’s many formats depending on your needs, whether it’s a two- or three-piece setup in a left or right orientation. While the luxurious velvety fabric feels like a European import, the reinforced webbed seat construction and wood frame are made right here in the States. And although Anthropologie offers flat-rate shipping with an additional $149 delivery service, you shouldn’t require it—this sectional doesn’t need to be assembled.
- With 100 upholstery choices and four leg options, Serena & Lily’s Miramar chaise sectional could easily be confused as bespoke. Featuring a deep, cushy seat in a solid wood frame, this is the traditionalist’s answer to a pillowy chaise. The only problem: It’s made to order, so it likely won’t ship for 20 weeks.
- Zunio is also a fan of the Howard sofa, designed by the lovely ladies at the Egg Collective. “It comes in a variety of interesting shapes and has the most beautiful armrest detail,” she says. “So chic.”
- If you’ve got space to burn—and a penchant for napping spread eagle—you can’t beat Arhaus’s deep-seated Coburn six-piece pit sectional. But be warned: Its massive dimensions—128 inches wide by 81 inches deep—rule it out in most homes, and its custom nature paired with supply chain pressure ensure it will take nearly a year to ship.
- Other brands worth noting include Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Cisco Home, Blu Dot, Restoration Hardware, and American Leather Company—the source of our deputy commerce editor’s own favorite WFH spot.
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“By definition, a sectional is two or more upholstered sofas connected to create a flexible seating arrangement,” explains Zunio. Usually this means it can seat more people than a standard single sofa, but it can also maximize seating in smaller spaces with limited clearance for chairs, especially if you go modular. “Because they come in smaller pieces, sectionals are easier to fit into small elevators or stairwells, a bonus for city dwellers,” she adds. The age of the user is pretty important, too. While low-profile sofas are currently trending, Zunio says they can be difficult to get up from if you’re supertall or don’t have the best knees.
Fillings and fabrics
Your exterior cover only looks as good as the interior fill—and both are integral to comfort and aesthetics. A foam filling is often used if structure is important to the furniture; Zunio points out that most sculptural sofas include a firmer foam to resist sagging. “This look is a bit dressier and works well in a more formal environment, but I would opt for a softer fill and cozy, stain-resistant fabric for movies and popcorn,” she says. And while we love bouclé and velvet, sometimes it’s best to go with a fabric that promises durability and resists stains. Natural options, like linen, can require a bit more upkeep, so opt for synthetic blends—nylon, polyester, vinyl—or leather.
Design and shape
Another defining characteristic of sectional sofas is the extra piece of seating, the chaise, that can be arranged in different configurations, mainly an L-shape or U-shape. “Overall, sectionals are a great way to maximize seating in larger spaces,” shares Hannah Rice, interior design specialist at Maiden Home. “They define the living space visually and create a focal point that lends itself to both lounging and entertaining.”
Q: How should I deep-clean my sectional sofa (or do I need to at all)?
The design team at Maiden Home advises you should have your sectional professionally shampooed and steamed biannually depending on your chosen fabric (always double-check with the manufacturer first). Routine maintenance includes flipping seat and back cushions every few months to evenly distribute wear and extend the lifeline of your furniture. Otherwise, you can use a dry brush to loosen up anything that’s been embedded into your fabric and set your vacuum on its lowest setting to suck up leftover dirt, dust, and debris.
Q: Is there any way I can make sure my sectional will fit through the door on delivery day?
Before figuring out pickup or delivery times, it’s crucial to confirm that your sectional couch will fit through the front door and hallway, or that it can even clear the corner around a stairwell. “We advise you to walk the journey of your piece from outside your home to its intended location,” notes the Maiden Home team. “To determine if your piece will fit, follow this simple rule of thumb: The width of the entryway must exceed the piece’s depth or it’s height. In addition to noting the dimensions of your doors and hallways, it is important to account for fixtures, decorative moldings, interior walls, and elevators when measuring—as they may pose an obstacle when delivering to a building or once the piece is in your home.”
The Last Word
Take Zunio’s advice: Be pragmatic. What do you want out of a couch? The best sectional sofa should be as comfortable as it is stylish. A firmer foam may hold its shape better in a formal living room, but a softer fill and cozy, stain-resistant fabric is ideal for cuddling up come movie night.