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Choosing furniture can be challenging with kids (and maybe pets) in the home. It’s all about finding something stylish, practical, and — above all — comfortable.
You’ll need to weigh your options and pick a sofa you’ll be happy to snuggle up on for movie nights and evening hangouts for years to come. But, as a parent, making time to find the best options can be its own challenge.
That’s where we come in! We’ve gathered 10 of the best family couches in 2023 in one convenient list to get you started, plus some expert advice for picking the right one.
Meet the Experts
At Living Cozy, we work closely with design experts to bring you professional recommendations, tips, and advice. In this article, you’ll hear from:
This 3-Seat Modular Sofa is modern, luxurious, practical, and rearrangeable into any three-seater configuration. In addition, it comes with removable water- and stain-resistant machine-washable covers for easy maintenance (and color changes!), plus a sturdy solid hardwood frame. And you can check out our interview with one of the co-founders of 7th Avenue to learn more about this furniture brand’s mission, design process, and customer care.
“The sofa feels well-made, and given how much jumping my 4-year-old twins have done on it, it seems pretty durable as well,” wrote Marah Eakin in her 7th Avenue Modular Sofa review. “Our kids have spilled juice on it, kicked their muddy shoes all over it, and thrown the pillows all over the ground and all of those messes have cleaned off the water-repellent and stain-resistant fabric pretty quickly with a damp towel.”
Dimensions: 130”W x 24”H x 38”D | Material: OEKO-TEX certified fabrics; solid hardwood frame | Shipping: Flat-rate to contiguous U.S. based on distance from Los Angeles, CA | Removable Covers: Yes
The Sink Down Sectional is a comfy, deep-seat sofa available in several color options, customizable configurations, and sizes for large and small spaces. It has all the appeal of a luxe top-grain leather sofa, but it’s upholstered with stain-resistant fabric to protect it from spills and other messes in a busy living room.
This modern sofa is an excellent option for families looking for a spot to take naps, watch TV, and do homework on the daily. And the high-quality memory foam cushions will surely be a hit with adults, kids, and pets alike.
Dimensions: 92"W x 32"H x 45"D | Material: Polyester; OSB pine wood frame | Shipping: 12% of order value | Removable Covers: No
The Linville is a low, modern sofa available in six sizes and several upholstery options, from Olefin to microfiber to performance velvet. When picking a fabric, you can sort by upholstery type or options like pet-friendly and stain-repellant, and free swatches are available.
We love Lineville’s versatile look, and it's highly recommended by Designer Kristyn Harvey, who said: “It’s firm enough to hold out against energetic children with armrests wide enough for them to sit on. And its sleek and elegant design creates a calming effect in a room.”
Dimensions: 98"W x 31"H x 38"D | Material: Olefin (240+ fabric options); hardwood frame | Shipping: $99 | Removable Covers: No
The Stanley Sectional was designed with functionality in mind, with upholstery that’s liquid- and odor-repellant, kid- and pet friendly, durable, and easy to clean. It’d make an attractive corner sectional in a busy living space and can fit almost any style, whether you love modern, mid-century modern, French country, industrial, or something else.
Dimensions: 129"W x 29"H x 86"D | Material: Polyester; solid rosa morada wood frame | Shipping: Free | Removable Covers: No
The Union is a sofa with a modular design created with video games, morning cartoons, and movie nights in mind. It boasts a spacious, deep, and wide frame with plush cushions upholstered in a durable fabric designed to last a lifetime.
If your family expands, you can add more pieces to the Union to make room for everyone (aren’t modular sofas great?). And you can add a matching ottoman to serve as a footrest, impromptu coffee table, spare seating, or blanket fort support!
Dimensions: 100"W x 31.5"H x 39"D | Material: Polyester chenille; hardwood frame | Shipping: Free | Removable Covers: No
The Get Together is another versatile modular sofa that can expand alongside your family. It boasts deep, comfortable seats, stain-resistant fabric, and a streamlined frame designed to fit any style or space. In addition to performance fabric, both the frame and cushion covers are fully removable to make it easy to keep your sofa in good condition.
Dimensions: 129.25"W x 37"H x 45.5"D | Material: Performance fabric; plywood and solid wood frame | Shipping: Free | Removable Covers: Yes
The Gather Sofa is a two-seater, perfect for furnishing a small living room or adding a loveseat to complete your seating situation. And if that size isn’t right for you, the Gather Sofa comes in multiple other sizes (plus hundreds of fabrics), so you can make it just right. As a bonus, you can check out this sofa in person if it’s stocked at your local Create and Barrel.
“You really can’t go wrong with most of Crate and Barrel’s options. They offer great performance options at a mid-price point and are family-friendly,” commented Heather Mastrangeli.
Dimensions: 89"W x 26"H x 38"D | Material: Performance Chenille (275+ fabric options); engineered hardwood frame | Shipping: 10% of merchandise total | Removable Covers: No
The Ava Slipcovered Sofa is a parent’s dream come true — it comes with removable slipcovers made from moisture-repellent fabric designed for heavy-duty wear. In addition, it comes with four throw pillows, and you can choose from various colors to find a good match for your home. And if you ever want a new color or encounter a mess you can’t conquer, GrandinRoad sells replacement slipcovers for the entire Ava line!
Dimensions: 86"W x 36"H x 45.5"D | Material: Performance fabric; wood frame | Shipping: 8% of total | Removable Covers: Yes
The Leonard Sofa expertly balances style and comfort with practicality. It boasts elegant sculptural curves and luxurious cushions with a performance linen slipcover for a textural feel and a relaxed look. The linen slipcover is machine washable and replaceable, but your guests will never guess you picked it for functionality.
Dimensions: 60-100"W x 31"H x 39"D | Material: Performance fabric; kiln-dried hardwood frame | Shipping: $145 | Removable Covers: Yes
The Kivik is one of IKEA’s best sectionals for small spaces and parents of young children (or pets). The chaise extension is reversible, and you can even add a second chaise for a U-shaped sofa. As a bonus, it comes with a washable cover available in several colors, making it easier to tackle messes of all sizes.
Dimensions: 110.25"W x 32.5"H x 62.125"D | Material: Polyester; wood frame | Shipping: Variable | Removable Covers: Yes
There’s more to finding the perfect family sofa than picking a retailer you love and a design you like — it needs to stand up to daily life. You’ll also want to consider what you want and need from your sofa. For example, do you host multi-kid sleepovers? If so, you might want a queen-size sleeper sofa instead of a standard couch without extra features!
Keep reading for expert advice on picking the perfect sofa for your family.
The best family couches can stand up to jumping and bouncing, so you'll need a sturdy frame. A piece of furniture constructed around a solid hardwood frame will maintain its shape and provide a higher level of support for longer than one made with lower-quality wood, which may quickly become misshapen.
“For a strong sofa frame, materials like solid wood or kiln-dried wood are optimal as they are extremely durable and will withstand growing, rambunctious children,” Kristyn Harvey told Living Cozy. “I would also avoid particle boards or MDF boards because they are more susceptible to water damage and general wear-and-tear. Wood sofa frames have stood the test of time as a staple for high-end home decor.”
Additionally, if you’re considering a reclining sofa, look for sturdy, smooth-gliding mechanisms in addition to frame construction.
Sofa backs generally fall into three main categories. Here’s how Isabel Gomez explains each one:
Fixed: Fixed back (or tight back) sofas can offer a more formal appearance. They also tend to provide firmer, more supportive seating.
Scatter: Scatter-back sofas conceal an upholstered back with loose, deep-filled cushions and are comfortable and cozy. However, they offer less support for your spine than fixed-back sofas.
Cushion: Cushion-back sofas provide both comfort and a higher level of back support.
Many designers feel that tight-back sofas are the best option for families. This is because they’re the easiest to keep clean, as the back cushion is built into the frame. They also hold their shape better than scatter and cushion backs.
For example, cushion back sofas have cushions that are essentially giant pillows that can become deformed with repeated use. These loose back cushions also need to be fluffed frequently.
If you want loose cushions, buying some affordable throw pillows from Amazon and replacing them as needed from Amazon might be best. But a cushion-back sofa could be the better choice if you're looking for an option with reversible cushions.
Size is always a factor when buying a sofa, but it’s even more critical for a family sofa! First, you’ll want to determine the largest size you can comfortably fit in your space (leaving ample walkways on all sides). Once you settle on a size for your room, test it by outlining it in masking tape on your floor to get an idea of how much space it’ll require.
“From there, it's important that a family sofa offers ample room for the whole family to sit comfortably and lounge,” commented Kathy Kuo. “An L-shaped sectional sofa is great for families because it offers extra seating and room to snuggle up for movie night!”
To ensure the family sofa is comfortable for everyone, Heather Mastrangeli recommends looking for a design with deep and large seat cushions. You’ll also want to find one with thick, plush back cushions to withstand daily life. And if the sofa has a down or faux down fill, it should also have internal channels inside to hold the material in place, as sitting, bouncing, and jumping can displace it.
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Fabrics and Upholstery
The goal for a family sofa is to have it last for many years, so you’ll want a fabric designed to withstand wear and tear from young children and pets. And that’s where performance fabrics come in.
Performance fabrics are almost always the best fabric for a sofa, especially since you'll want your couch to stand up to daily use and family life. In addition, they’re durable, easy to clean, and won’t keep you from choosing the look you want. For example, if you dream of a velvet sofa, you can find performance velvet options for your family couch!
Even with the added durability, though, Kathy Kuo recommends using darker colors to hide stains.
“Most performance fabrics are polypropylene, olefin, polyester, and blended materials,” Heather Mastrangeli explained. “These are typically hard-wearing fabrics that can be easy to clean, making them a great option for families. And I recommend steering clear of natural linen, which tends to relax over time and can give a more messy look, which many families try to avoid.”
It’s important to note that performance isn’t a regulated term. It means different things to different companies. Here’s what to look for:
Bleach cleanable (this is rare)
Hand-knotted or hand-tied construction
Of course, comfort is super important to all family members as well! So don’t forget to look for a fabric that’s soft to the touch. Try ordering some swatches to get a better idea of what you’re ordering.
And speaking of comfort, don’t forget the cushions!
“When styling the sofa for your family, medium to firm cushions will be effective at enduring the kids jumping on it,” Kristyn Harvey told Living Cozy. “And one more thing — steer clear of buttons and nail heads, as they can pose a threat as a choking hazard for small children. Remember, just as much as the kids pose a threat to the sofa, the sofa can also pose a threat to the kids.”
Watch Out for Rub Count and Pill Class
Two other essential factors in choosing a fabric are the rub count and the pill class:
Rub count refers to how much wear fabric can take before it shows — for families and high-trafficked areas, the recommended rub count is 15,000+.
Pill count refers to the accumulation of little balls of fabric that form from repeated friction — Kristyn Harvey recommends that families with kids choose a pill class of 4 or higher.
What About Leather?
Leather sofas are a better fit for families than you might expect! High-quality leather is strong enough to withstand years of climbing and jumping, and it’s not as susceptible to pet scratches as you might assume.
Tip: If you have cats or dogs, keeping their claws rounded with a nail grinder every week should be enough to protect a leather sofa.
You can also repair tears and rips in a quality leather sofa using a leather repair kit or with the help of a specialist. However, there are a few cons to getting a leather sofa for a family home, including the following:
Staining: Leather can stain from things like oil or permanent marker, and it’s not always easy to fix. With a sofa that has a fabric slipcover, you can replace it, but a leather sofa could require a pricier repair to remove a stain.
Price: The catch with leather sofas is that high-quality options are usually the only ones that work well for families, and these tend to be much more expensive than other family-friendly options. That’s why you won’t find any leather sofas on this list of the best family couches — however, you can check out our list of the 12 best leather sofas if you’d like to explore this option.