12 Couch Alternatives To Upgrade Your Space

Sofa Alternative
Have you ever walked into a living room and noticed that the space felt too cramped or traditional with a typical sofa? If you're looking for a unique, versatile way to furnish your living room, fun couch alternatives can add comfort, style, and functionality. From bean bags to chaise lounges, the possibilities are endless.

1. Daybed

Hudson Daybed
Hudson Daybed by Maiden Home

Daybeds are a great alternative to traditional couches because they offer more versatility and functionality. Unlike sofas, daybeds can be used for many purposes, such as a place to lounge and read a book, a cozy spot to watch movies after a long day, or as a guest bed for visitors. And they're ideal for small apartments or guest rooms where space is limited or a futon doesn't fit.

"Daybeds come in various sizes and styles, from sleek and modern to ornate and traditional. Some even have storage options underneath, making them a practical choice for smaller spaces," added Keely Smith.

The Hudson Daybed from Maiden Home has a modern appeal, eye-catching graphic architecture, and a hand-wrought steel frame. And the customization options allow you to opt for sleek monochrome or a two-tone look with mixed materials. It'd be beautiful in a small living room, and the plush, movable bolster offers the perfect spot to rest your head.

2. Chair-and-a-Half

The Dune Chair and a Half by Maiden Home
The Dune Chair and a Half by Maiden Home

A chair-and-a-half offers a comfy, cozy alternative to traditional armchairs. And they're perfect for lounging and relaxing since they're wider and deeper than a standard armchair. They also come in various styles and upholstery options, from leather to velvet, making them a stylish choice for any living room design.

Whether you're adding extra seating in a small space or furnishing a reading nook, a chair-and-a-half makes an excellent addition to any living area.

The Dune Chair-and-a-Half from Maiden Home might seem like a bit of an investment compared to an accent chair, but it's more affordable than most sofas and other living room seating options. This sofa alternative boasts generous proportions for snuggling, relaxed beachy vibes, and a casual throw pillow-style backrest. In addition, the deep seat features cloud-like cushions protected with a performance fabric slipcover that's hand-sewn, fully removable, and machine washable.

3. Chaise Lounge

Chaise Lounge
Chaise Lounge (credit: Cortney McClure Design)

Chaises are another popular couch alternative that offers both comfort and elegance. First, they provide the perfect balance of comfort and style, letting you stretch out and relax in a way that just isn't possible on most regular sofas. And they can be used in a variety of settings, from adding additional seating in a cozy living room to creating a spot to unwind in a fancy bedroom.

Let's not forget about the undeniable chicness factor — there's something so sophisticated about a chaise lounge! And once you try one, you'll never want to go back.

"In this project, we used a chaise in the living room sitting area. We needed something cozy to fill the vast space but something streamlined to keep the TV visible. It also maximizes seating, which is a plus," explained Cortney McClure.

4. Loveseats

Floyd 2-Seater
2-Seater by Floyd

Loveseats offer both comfort and versatility. They're smaller than a traditional couch, ideal for living rooms with limited floor space and larger spaces needing more seating. Like sofas and sectionals, they come in all sorts of colors, designs, and styles. And they're the perfect size for snuggling up with your boo.

The Floyd 2-Seater Sofa stands out with simple, clean lines and a minimalist design. Like everything from Floyd, it's designed to last for life with powder-coated steel legs and a sleek birch frame, and it'll fit through any doorway. It's also the perfect choice for lounging with pets and kiddos, thanks to the durable, stain-resistant upholstery.

5. Bean Bag Chairs

Squishy Chair by Floyd
Squishy Chair by Floyd

Okay, let's get real here — they're something about bean bag chairs that's way cooler than sofas! You can get super cozy as you sink into them, and they come in all sorts of funky shapes and colors. Want a bright pink one shaped like a unicorn? You got it! Prefer a more subdued grey one for your minimalist home decor? No problemo!

Bean bag chairs are perfect for casual settings, and since they come in various sizes, they're a practical choice for both adults and children.

The Squishy Chair from Floyd makes beanbags even better because it's eco-friendly! The Floyd bean bag fill is made from foam offcuts from the sofa and mattress production process instead of the low-cost, environmentally damaging plastic beads in most bean bag chairs. In addition, the Squishy Chair is made from machine-washable, never-been-used scrap fabric that would have ended up in a landfill. It's the brand's first foray into playful seating, and we hope they keep going!

6. Bench

Doris Bench
Doris Bench by Castlery

Benches are a fantastic couch alternative because they're versatile, functional, and affordable. You can use them as comfortable seating in the entryway or living room or as an impromptu footrest. And some designs feature hidden storage to keep spare blankets, pillows, and toys out of sight.

You'll also find benches in a wide range of materials, sizes, and styles. So you'll find a match whether you're looking for a sleek, modern bench or a colorful boho option with thick upholstery!

The Doris Bench from Castlery is an understated beauty, and we love how it channels a mid-century modern flair with a refined silhouette and slanted legs. It's made from high-quality solid wood and a beautiful stained walnut finish, and you can choose between blue and dark grey upholstery to fit your space.

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7. Ottoman

Modern Ottoman
Modern Ottoman by The Inside by Havenly

Ottomans can do it all — they're often paired with armchairs and sofas to serve as footrests. But you can also use an ottoman as an extra coffee table, side table, WFH desk, makeshift dining table, or a seat for unexpected guests. The possibilities are endless.

Want a window seat for some light reading? Pull up an ottoman and enjoy the sun! Need a place to set out extra snacks for party guests? Set a tray on your ottoman, and you're good to go!

The Modern Ottoman from The Inside is fully customizable and made-to-order to keep the production process more sustainable, and everything is handmade for ultimate quality. Its design is as versatile as the piece of furniture itself, too. It'll fit with styles like mid-century modern, retro, contemporary, minimalist, and boho, and since you can choose from over 30 fabric options, it'll go with any decor scheme.

8. Play Couch

Play Couch
Figgy Play Couch

Take your lounging to the next level with a play couch! These versatile pieces of furniture feature soft, modular cushions with a low-to-the-ground design perfect for reading, lounging, building pillow forts, or playing games in the utmost comfort. And they come in various shapes and sizes, from small and compact to large and sectional.

"Lately, I've been loving the playful spirit of modular and configurable play couches," agreed Raelynn Pring. "They're a nice, modern alternative to something like a bean bag. And I love changing shapes and sizes and finding new ways to display and utilize the cushions!"

The Figgy Play Couch would make a great addition to any playroom, family room, or living space. It can be anything from a raft on the high seas to a treehouse high in the sky to the perfect pillow fort for you and your boo — the possibilities are limited only by your imagination! The affordable base includes four base cushions, two rectangles, and the option to add an extra wedge and separate waterproof liners. And you can buy extra cushions in all shapes for total customization!

9. Pouf

Ren Pouf by Article
Ren Pouf by Article

This couch alternative was recommended by Donte J. Young, and with good reason! Poufs are fantastic seating options, and they come in various shapes, colors, and materials to fit every space. And they're super comfy, with soft, plush upholstery and lightweight, portable designs.

The Ren Pouf from Article is a handmade beauty with an eye-catching black and white design created with crisscrossed white yarn topstitching. It features a breezy wabi-sabi look, perfect for Japanese-inspired decor, but it can fit almost anywhere thanks to the neutral palette. The Ren invites you to pour yourself a calming cup of tea and watch the world go by your window.

10. Accent Chairs

Vesper Fabric Lounge Chair
Vesper Lounge Chair by Burrow

Accent chairs are like the stylish sidekicks of regular chairs, and they're another couch alternative recommended by Donte J. Young. You can add a pop of personality to any room, choosing from a variety of colors, designs, and fabrics to match any living room idea. So whether you're looking for a cozy reading nook or a chic living room, accent chairs are versatile enough to make it happen!

The Vesper Lounge Chair from Burrow is a visually-striking statement piece that comes in your choice of three upholstery colors. It features a custom-pressed shell engineered to offer a comfortably reclined seat, perfect for curling up with a good book or binge-watching your favorite show. If you want to elevate your space with the thoughtful design we've come to expect from Burrow, Vesper is the way to do it.

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11. Floor Cushions

Shauf Court Floor Cushions
Shauf Court Floor Cushions by Article

Floor cushions (aka floor pillows) provide a comfortable and cozy seating option for any room in the house. They can add a pop of color and texture to any room's decor. And you can move them around easily to create the perfect seating arrangement for any occasion.

Whether you want to arrange them to create a DIY tea lounge for a party or the ultimate cuddle pile for a family movie night, floor cushions have you covered! They can even rearrange to serve as a makeshift bed for unexpected guests in a pinch.

The Shauf Court Pouf from Article can elevate any living space with its effortless coastal style. It features soft cotton fabric, comfy polyester filling, and a built-in handle so that you can take it anywhere you want a little extra padding. And it comes in your choice of blue, yellow, and green, so you can match your decor or use all the colors to make a vibrant statement.

12. Recliner

Lancer Rocker Recliner
Lancer Rocker Recliner

Recliners are an excellent choice for those who value comfort and relaxation. Unlike sofas, recliners provide unparalleled support for your entire body, from your head to your toes. And you can't beat the option to easily adjust the angle of the seat and the position of the footrest until you find the perfect level of relaxation for your body.

Recliners are especially desirable for anyone who experiences chronic back or neck pain, as they can provide targeted support where you need it most. And since they're often more compact than sofas, they're a great couch alternative for smaller living spaces.

The Lancer Rocker Recliner from Raymour Flanigan gets it right with 18 reclining positions and a chaise-style footrest that takes all the pressure off your legs. You'll love sinking into its cloud-like embrace, with pillow arms and plush backrest for the ultimate comfort after long days. And the handsome charcoal chenille upholstery can fit with a wide range of colors and decor.

Meet the Experts in Couch Alternatives

Living Cozy exists to bring you the best advice and recommendations on the web, so you can create a space you love living in. And we work with leading brands and industry professionals to do it. In this article, you'll hear from the following experts:

Written by
Shelby Golding
Shelby Golding is a Colorado-based writer/editor with over a decade of experience. She has a college education in interior design and enjoys woodworking in her free time.
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