Best sofas 2021: sitting pretty on the most stylish seating

Best sofas 2021: sitting pretty on the most stylish seating

Choosing from the best sofas around is an important decision to get right, after all, it can be a significant investment and will be the focal point of your living room for years to come.

But with so many different designs, sizes and materials on offer, the choice can easily become a little overwhelming.

That’s where our best sofa round-up is on hand to help; offering insight into some of the best sofas around, and highlighting factors you might want to consider before making a big purchase.

So whether you’re looking for a spacious corner sofa with room for all the family, a chaise sofa to kick back and relax in style, a classic three-seater sofa or a contemporary two-seater, we’ve rounded up our favourite options to help you narrow down your search.

Whatever your needs, we have a sofa to inspire, so read on and find the perfect place to put your feet up!

Oh, and if you need your sofa to work a little harder and provide a space for overnight guests too, make sure to check out our full guide to the best sofa beds.

The best sofas for 2021:

1. Isaac 3 Seat Sofa in Pumice House Basket Weave

Best sofa for relaxed family time

We love the relaxed look of Sofa.com’s Isaac sofa; available in two, two-and-a-half and three-seater options, plus a roomy corner sofa design, it makes for a brilliant family-friendly lounging spot.

Even better the covers are completely removable – making washing or replacing the upholstery when necessary super simple.

The sofa’s minimal yet comfortably understated laidback look makes it ideal for contemporary or country-style interiors. We particularly like the off-white washed linen loose covers which have us dreaming of summer beachside living.

Isaac Sofa, from £1010, Sofa.com

2. Raft Furniture Stanford Sofa

Best sofa for timeless design

Best sofas 2021 - Contemporary Chesterfield - Raft

A contemporary take on the classic Chesterfield sofa design, the Stanford sofa from Raft will bring timeless elegance to a room.

Hand-built in Britain, the Stanford is available upholstered in cotton and linen mixes or sumptuous velvets, all with the hand pleating and deeply studded covered-button back and sides familiar to the traditional Chesterfield design.

Options of two, three and four-seater ensure you will can choose the best sofa size for your room, and your seating needs.

Stanford sofa, from £2237, Raft Furniture

3. Cox and Cox Biscay Striped Sofa

Best two-seater sofa for compact spaces

Best sofas 2021 - Best Two-Seater Sofa - Biscay Cox and Cox

We love the summery striped upholstery on Cox and Cox’s compact two-seater Biscay sofa.

The ideal size for placing in a bay window, or offering perching space in a hallway or bedroom, the easy-breezy French Blue ticking has a slightly nautical feel and, paired with simple pale birch wood legs, has us dreaming of coastal getaways.

The high back and sides lend a classic period elegance to this design, whilst generous back and side cushions add contemporary comfort and simple piped upholstery detail adds the finishing touch.

For compact spaces, the Biscay’s high legs create a feeling of space, allowing a view underneath the sofa that makes a smaller room feel larger.

Biscay sofa, £1450, Cox and Cox

4. Loaf Squishmeister Sofa

Most comfortable sofa for relaxed evenings in

Best sofas 2021 - Most Comfortable Sofa - Squishmeister Loaf

Loaf’s already vast selection of upholstery fabrics now has five new vintage linen fabrics and two brushed cottons joining the mix for 2021. Think warm dusty pinks, sunny yellows and uplifting sky blues to add summer colour to our sofas.

We love the super sumptuous Squishmeister in the new Burnt Sienna colour option. Handmade in Britain from Scandinavian birch and feather-wrapped foam cushion seats, it’s ideal for snuggling up with your favourite boxset.

Available in six sizes, from generous armchair to extra large four-plus seater sofa, Loaf’s range gives you plenty of options to find the best sofa size for you; just be sure to double-check the sofa depth works for your room, as sofas do tend to be extra deep.

Squishmeister sofa, from £1295, Loaf

5. John Lewis & Partners Bailey Large 3 Seater Sofa

Best sofa for mix and match seating

Best sofa beds 2021 - Bailey Sofa John Lewis

Clean-lined and contemporary with a huge 196 fabric options available, the Bailey sofa from John Lewis is a brilliant option if you’re looking for a versatile sofa to work with existing decor.

It also comes in a wide selection of different sizes and shapes, including grand four-seater, corner sofa, compact snuggler and a sofa bed version for if you want the option to put up overnight guests.

There is also a coordinating armchair to complete your living room set, making it easy to mix and match furniture pieces to create aseating layout that best suits your space.

Bailey sofa, from £949, John Lewis

6. Cassie Linen Fabric L Shape Corner Sofa

Best corner sofa, for plenty of stretching room

Best sofas 2021 - Best Corner Sofa - Cassie Linen Fabric L Shape Corner SofaBest sofas 2021 - Best Corner Sofa - Cassie Linen Fabric L Shape Corner Sofa

If you have the space, then you can’t go wrong with an  L-shaped or corner sofa. In neutral upholstery, it will go with every decor and with plenty of seating will easily accommodate a growing family.

The ultra-comfy Cassie design offers a casual yet sophisticated look to strike the ideal balance between style and substance.

Generous cushions are paired with a solid hardwood frame and covered in an affordable linen-look upholstery. The back cushions are also detachable for easy cleaning and care – perfect for busy family life.

Cassie Linen Fabric L-shape Corner Sofa, £899.99, Furniture Choice

6. DFS Tom Three-Seater Sofa

Most affordable sofa for contemporary spaces

Best sofas 2021 - Best Affordable Sofa - Tom DFS

A minimalist and slightly industrial vibe make the Tom sofa a brilliantly affordable option for modern interiors. The slim build and tall clean-lined black metal legs also make this DFS option a good choice for small rooms or apartment living.

You can choose from a range of seat sizes, from three-seater chaise longue to compact two-seater, along with coordinating armchair and footstool. Foam-filled seat cushions offer a firm but comfortable seat that bounces back into shape when you get up, so no plumping involved.

There are also a good range of fabric options, although at this price range they are ‘look-a-like’ fabrics rather than the real deal – we particularly like the wool-look upholstery, but you can also choose from velvet, linen and leather-look options.

Tom 3 Seater Sofa, £549, DFS

Top tips for choosing the best sofas:

Room size

Choose a sofa that isn’t going to make a room feel cramped, or look lost in a larger space. Measure out where the sofa will go in your room – including sofa depth – to make sure there is plenty of space to walk around it.

Drawing the sofa dimensions full-scale onto a large sheet of paper can give you an idea of its bulk. Check heights to make sure it fits under windowsills or existing wall furniture.

And if it isn’t flat pack then measure doors and awkward hallway angles carefully to ensure you will be able to get it into the room!

Seating

Consider how many people you want to seat and how you like to relax; if you enjoy putting your feet up then a corner sofa or chaise sofa offers two or more people plenty of room to spread out and kickback.

Layout

A sofa can also be a really useful zoning tool in an open-plan layout, helping to create designated areas for dining or relaxing within a larger space.

In this case, it’s important to pay attention to the back of the sofa as well as the front, as if it’s not pushed back against a wall, all angles of your sofa will be on display.

This can be particularly relevant on budget sofa models where manufacturers sometimes cut costs on backing fabric.

Comfort

Most sofas either have foam-filled or feather cushions; foam will bounce back into shape more quickly but is generally a little firmer, and feathers create a deeper cushion to sink into but will need plumping regularly.

Some manufacturers have now combined the best of both worlds by wrapping foam cushions in feather outers (see Loaf’s Squishmeister sofa above).

Upholstery

You’ve chosen the design, now you need to choose colour and fabric!

Most sofa retailers offer models in a range of fabrics, generally including more affordable, hardwearing cotton or cotton-mixes, and more expensive linens, velvets and leathers.

Make the most of any fabric samples available as the lighting in showrooms or online can be very different from how a colour looks in the light of your own home.

Legs

Asofa with taller legs – which lift the bulk of the sofa away from the floor – are a good option for a smaller room as they give a feeling of space; a sofa that is seated directly onto the floor may feel bulkier so is best for larger rooms – although it will stop dust-balls and toys from rolling under!

Shapely, curved legs add a classic touch, whereas straighter clean-lined legs give a more modern feel.

Lead time

If you’re choosing from a range of upholstery options there is likely to be a lead time whilst your sofa is built – usually  6 – 8 weeks, but do check as this can differ.

Often retailers also offer a smaller selection of ready-made sofas, these will usually have limited fabric options available, but are in-stock and ready to be delivered straight away if time is of the essence.

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