Don’t tell my husband, but I am on the search for a cheap sofa again. I’m dying to buy a new couch. Over the past decade, we’ve owned 4 different sofas (plus 2 loveseats) and not one of them was a keeper. As in while we kept them for years, it certainly wasn’t because I wanted to!
The makings of a great sofa
So it’s official. I’m putting myself back on the market – the sofa market that is. And this time I’m a bit more prepared. (The good thing about a lot of sofa failures – you learn plenty about what you do and don’t want!) So here’s the wish list:
- Must be kid-friendly. A.k.a. easy to clean. As much as I love a pretty white sofa, that’s probably out with two small boys and another one on the way. I need fabric that can be spot-cleaned. And a fitted slipcover or seat covers that can be removed and thrown in the washing machine would be an added bonus.
- Equally important: it has to be affordable. I realize that with a bigger budget, it would be much easier to find a really high quality sofa that would definitely stand the test of time. But the reality is our budget is what it is. So I am only considering sofas that come in under $900. And if I find one that is even less than that, all the better. Eventually we may be able to invest more into a great piece of furniture, but budget aside, at this point I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to buy something super pricey that is going to be put the ringer by our three rambunctious kids.
- We need a full size sofa. I’ve noticed that a lot of stores offer more affordable sofa options that look great at first. But when you look more closely, they are tiny. More like a loveseat than a sofa. With a family of five, a tiny little couch isn’t going to work. Not to mention a tiny little couch would look completely out of proportion in our average size rooms.
- I’ve got to like how it looks. This is one of those things I just know when I see it. (Anything with tufting gets double points, because I love, love, love a good tufted sofa.)
- Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but it needs to be comfy. Because that’s basically the whole point of a sofa after all.
So after a bit of research, this is my short list of family-friendly, stylish, affordable sofas. (Along with my favorite shops to find affordable furniture when the thrift store just isn’t going to cut it.)
This post contains affiliate links; see my full disclosure here.
This is a new one for me. I’ve seen lots and lots of Ikea Ektorp sofas and Ikea Karlstad sofas in various bloggers’ homes, but I don’t remember ever coming across the Stocksund before. I love the rolled arms and turned legs and it looks nice and cushy. The removable slipcover is also a huge plus, though I don’t exactly love the arm rest protectors. And at $599, the price is definitely right.
Knightsbridge Chesterfield Sofa
I have always loved the classic look of a good Chesterfield sofa. Usually they are very expensive, but in the past few years some really affordable versions have come out. I love this light gray Chesterfield sofa from Overstock.com. It is gorgeous and right now is available for less than $900. The downside? Reviewers say it is very stiff and I’m not sure the linen fabric is the most kid-friendly fabric.
Dark Gray Velvet Tufted Sofa
I’m also loving this more modern tufted beauty from Overstock. Have I mentioned I have a major thing for tufting? I adore it. This one has great reviews and is supposed to be super soft and comfy. But I have to wonder how durable the velvet fabric is. I’ve read in a few places that velvet is durable and easy to clean, but personally, I have my doubts. This one rings in at $830.
Uptown Modern Sofa
Ok so this basic sofa isn’t the most exciting option. But it has great lines and is basically like a blank canvas for whatever throw pillows and blankets you want to jazz it up with. It comes in several great neutral colors and is less than $500! But even with all of those positives, I still think I’m probably looking for something with a bit more personality.
Mid-Century Modern Sofa with Castors
There is something about this mid-century modern sofa from Wayfair that I am loving. I am not usually a huge fan of mid-mod but I think this sofa would look amazing surrounded by either vintage pieces or more modern furnishings. I’m loving the rolled arms and the castors. (In fact it kind of reminds of the Ikea sofa above, minus the convenience/sloppiness of the slipcover). And score, it’s less than $700.
Another tufted beauty! Sadly, this one doesn’t have any reviews yet, but it certainly looks nice and comfy. And the nailhead trim is a nice touch as well. This one is currently $850.
Augustine Tufted Sofa
Another beautiful Chesterfield sofa. This one is just $770. And it has over 600 reviews, mostly all excellent. Unfortunately, some people were complaining again that it is pretty stiff. On the plus side, that should help keep it from getting all saggy and droopy. On the downside, I’m wondering if stiff equals uncomfortable.
Cornelius Custom Sofa
Don’t let the name All Modern throw you off. I’m not typically a big fan of modern furniture, but there are plenty of great pieces at All Modern that aren’t quite so modern. I love the lines of this beautiful sofa. It has my beloved tufting but without the stiff formality of some of the other choices. It is a bit shorter than most of the other sofas at less than seven feet long, so really it is a bit petite for a full size sofa. But the awesome part is you can choose from more than 25 custom upholstery options and many of them bring the total price to less than $800.
Martha Stewart Saybridge Sofa
I know, I know, another Chesterfield! But I had to include this Martha Stewart version for good reason. I’ve had my eye on this lady for awhile now. It has all of the classic Chesterfield styling with the tufted back and rolled arms, but one major thing sets this one apart. This Chesterfield has tons of good reviews and they all report that it is actually comfy! Unlike the others I like, which are reported to be stiff, this one is supposed to be soft and perfect for sinking into. And it’s on sale for less than $900.
So that’s where I am in my ongoing sofa search. It’s hard to pick a favorite. I really like the Ikea option, particularly because of the slipcover for washability. But Ikea is three hours away so it may be awhile before I get to see it in person. And several of the others are close contenders. Anybody else have a favorite affordable sofa I missed? Or any advice? If you think I’m overlooking something important I would love to know!
Update! We found a super affordable sofa that we’re loving. You can read all about the perfect, inexpensive gray tufted sofa right here.
Chris Jaspersohn says
Love your sofa choices, and have one word of caution: double-check the shipping fee on Macy’s furniture. It can be in the hundreds of dollars because they charge from their warehouses, not their stores.
Great tip! Shipping could definitely knock this out of the budget – thanks!
Just a heads up: I have had the Uptown Modern Sofa from Overstock for about 2 1/2 years, and am on the look out for something new. It is shallow, short, and not at all comfortable. When it first comes in, the cushions are stiff and ballooned so you feel like you’re falling over, and after a while, the sides of the cushions start to stay permanently smashed in. No amount of rotating, squishing, and fluffing seem to help. Also, one of the arms is dented in pretty bad from a simple, resting elbow. All-in-all, even at the low price, it is not a good value and I wouldn’t recommend it as anything more than a decorative piece. That being said, I can’t wait to see what you go with and how you like what you find! I’m currently scared to take the plunge!
Thanks for the feedback April. It is so helpful to hear from someone who has experience with one of our options. I’m a little scared to take the plunge like you because I’ve had a couple of times in the past where I thought I was going to love a sofa and it didn’t work out. I will definitely be updating you guys!
This blog post could not have come at a better time! My BF thinks I’m nuts because I’m on my THIRD living room set and I just sold it on a barter type site for HALF of what I paid for it at auction. Why is finding a sofa so hard these days? When I was a kid we had old worn in couches that everybody slept on and watched TV on, played on and the darn things were so comfy- I want my grandma’s hand-me-down couch back! My first was a microfiber sectional that smelled awful from day one and the way the fibers look all pushed down in areas drove me crazy! Plus every time I got on and off the static electricity built up and I would get zapped touching anything in the house. Dogs? don’t even think about trying to keep this clean. gone! Next was another sectional but more of a tweed type fabric from IKEA. At first it was ok, cushions were comfy not stiff like the first sectional but then they started to get clumpy and looked like a drunk fat pillow was about to burst. Also each time you moved, the cushions moved with you and it sat really low to the ground- something we didn’t realize in the showroom. It just always looked like a lumpy mess and I felt like I was sitting on the floor. gone! Next I found a great Saddle brown Italian Leather set on the EBTH auction site. Unfortunately we got caught up in the bidding and went OVER what we initially had set a budget for hence making this a very expensive purchase AND still had to rent a truck to pick it up. Since it was an online auction, we had to go by photos and their measurements- which of course were wrong! The set was in good shape and looked like it should be comfy as all get out but lo and behold, a mystery bar ran through it somewhere so laying on it was a no go. Also it was deep set and cushions angled back so me being 5’5 needed assistance getting up out of the thing. Slobber and dog hair cleanup was pretty easy with leather wipes. Alas, it was way too big for my living room so …gone! it gets picked up THIS weekend. I’m dragging out the clothes holder, I mean treadmill, and putting that in front of the TV. I’m boycotting furniture for awhile… my wallet needs a break and we all need the exercise so…yeah! and thanks for letting me vent! I didn’t mean to write a novel but obviously I am still not over my couch debacle LOL
Debbie, I can so relate. I don’t know why couches are so hard to find! Maybe if you have a huge budget, it’s easier to find a good one, but I feel your pain!