Couch Vs Sofa: What is the Difference Between Couch and Sofa

In America, the words “couch” and “sofa” are interchangeable as they both describe long, comfy, upholstered pieces of furniture. They are both intended for sitting or lounging. Although they are similar, let us dive in and learn more about the couch vs sofa. 

Couch vs Sofa

Historically, the word couch comes from “couch” a french word that describes a kind of furniture without arms and is used for lying. On the other hand, a “sofa” can be defined as an upholstered seat with arms and a back that you can convert to a bed. 

The primary difference you can note by looking at is how the two pieces of furniture are built: with arms or without and their sitting space. However, it might only be a designer who knows the difference and refers to them differently. But, generally, you can refer to each by either term. 

Couch Vs Sofa – Definition

The American Heritage Dictionary describes the couch as a piece of upholstered furniture designed with a back to sit or recline when resting. It has sitting space for two or more people.

The couch is not formal, and it can have one arm or one while the sofa has both armrests, cushions, and more sitting space. In Britain, the word sofa is more common, and it describes a big, comfortable piece of furniture in a sitting room. 


A couch is more casual than a sofa, and the term is commonly used. Both terms are interchangeable. However, an overstuffed piece of furniture that reclines is a couch. Also, if the amount of furniture has no arms, then it is a couch. You can lay there, curl up, and your pet can again do the same. 

Couch vs Sofa


A sofa is borrowed from the Arabic word “suffah,” which is defined as a bench covered in cushions and blankets and it may not be as cozy as its counterpart to curl up or sleep on. However, they are mostly the industry standard. 

People rarely use the term couch, but the sofa is mostly used to mean both. And, most people who use the term are not quite conversant with home decor. Without some experience differentiating the two is not easy. 

Sources like eBay associate a sofa with hosting formal occasions as people can seat four or more on one. The coach will only host two or three people making sofas better accessories for homeowners than couches. But, this is still not much of a difference to stress about. 

Some people will not let you be when you identify one as the other, but it may not be that important. A sofa can be a more formal idea than a couch, and it can host more people. 

Couch Vs Sofa

Both furniture structures are different as a sofa has armrests on both ends while a couch has none or just one. Also, the latter has a tapered back for more comfort. 

As per their size, sofas are meant to provide more seating space, meaning they occupy more floor space. One person can entertain them, two three four or five, or even more prominent.

Couches, on the other hand, are meant for comfort, and they can take two or three people, and they are more compact. Also, a sofa can double up as a bed.

As per the functions, couches are used in casual or informal settings like in entertainment joints or cozy sitting rooms. 

Couches are smaller than sofas and similar to chastise lounges while sofas are the industry standard and described as big and comfortable with long backs made from leather or fabric. Couches are large with a smaller sitting capacity. 

Couch vs Sofa
Couches tend to be smaller.Sofas tend to be larger than a couch.
Generally used for laying down.Normally used for sitting.
Couches have tapered backs.Sofas have a uniform back.
Accommodate about three people.A large seating capacity to accommodate four or more people.
Word comes from the french “Couche”.Borrowed from the Arabic word “Suffah” meaning a long seat.
Furniture in the living room.Upholstered furniture in the living room.
It has a back to sit back or recline while resting.Furniture with more seating space, pillows, and cushions.


Although both words (Couch vs Sofa) can be used interchangeably, most people will not mind using either of the terms to describe the other. Their structure is different, in style and also seating capacity. 

On the hand, a couch is a less formal sofa as it has one armrest or none. On the other hand, a sofa is a more comfortable version of a couch with armrests on each side, and they occupy more space, and more people can sit. 

Generally, the couch vs sofa debate might be unending. A sofa is a commonly used term, and a couch is an alternative. Both pieces of furniture can host more than two people, but a sofa will ultimately host more people. 

READ MORE: Caesar Rodney Dining Hall

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