Whether you’re flicking through your favorite home design Instagram accounts or watching your favorite show on TV, you’ll likely see plenty of alluring mid-century pieces featured in a range of living spaces.
But what exactly is Mid-Century Modern?
According to Curbed the term “mid-century” can be hard to define, but “it broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century (roughly 1933 to 1965, though some would argue the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957),” explains writer Laura Fenton.
The movement started in America and its furniture is often defined by clean, curved lines, and tapered legs. Mid-Century sofas work incredibly well as a focal point in your living space and can blend with other more contemporary furniture styles easily.
If Mid-Century is your thing and you’re looking for the best sofa for your home, here are 10 brands offering some of the best Mid-Century furniture available today.
10 Best Places to Buy a Mid-Century Modern Sofa for Your Living Room
New York-based brand Burrow launched in 2016 after its founders had long struggled with couches that are either too cheap and flimsy or heavy and expensive. The brand takes a direct-to-consumer approach, and by rethinking supply chains it is able to remove all retail markups and over 70% of standard shipping costs.
Its unique take on Mid-Century Modern blends the age-old classic aesthetics like clean lines and tapered legs with modern manufacturing, materials, and features.
Burrow’s sofas and loveseats are handcrafted from sturdy, sustainably sourced hardwood and scratch-and-stain-resistant, non-toxic upholstery options (including velvet sofa options).
Each Burrow sofa is also modular by design and designed for modern living with plenty of configuration options and opportunities to expand with extra seats, chaises, and more — you can even add a kit to turn any piece into a sleeper sofa. The Range Collection also includes the option to add side tables.
Burrow delivers its sofas to your door in easy-to-move boxes, so there’s no need to wrestle your new sofa through tight hallways and doors.
Burrow sofas start at around $1,295.
Maiden Home aims to deliver heritage quality handmade sofas, direct from highly-skilled craftsmen, minus the retail markup.
Maiden Home offers “modern style sofas that all allow for custom fabrics and sizing selections,” explains Queen. “It prides itself on removing the middleman and lowering prices for luxury furniture.”
Every Maiden Home sofa is made in the North Carolina region, home to some of the world’s best furniture makers. It also pays close attention to the details and each piece is finished with bespoke details that are uniquely Maiden Home. From precise topstitching to hidden cushion tie-downs.
Founded by Jessica and Daryll Sharpton, Albany Park aims to eliminate decision fatigue and offers a range of three models that meet the needs of the modern consumer.
Everyone wants to anchor their home with quality, coziness, and style, our mission is to make that experience super easy from start to delivery,” Daryll Sharpton told us.
Its Albany Collection features Mid-Century Modern solid wood tapered legs and a sturdy kiln-dried hardwood frame. The back and seat cushions are also reversible and fully upholstered in plush fabric (with faux leather options available). Its Park Collection is also Mid-Century in style.
Albany Park's sofas and sectionals come packaged in apartment-friendly, space-conscious boxes that can easily be maneuvered in stairwells, small spaces, and into your living room.
Use code COZY10 at checkout for 10% off (exclusive to Living Cozy).
BenchMade Modern is a luxury sofa brand for people who care about design and craftspersonship. And it offers a range of highly customizable Mid-Century Modern sofas.
It was founded on the notion that luxury hand-crafted furniture should be designed to fit into your life. Not the other way around. "We want to provide a great quality product at a good price that is custom fit to your room,” its founder Edgar Blazona told us.
To ensure your BenchMade Modern sofa fits perfectly in your space, you can customize measurements in 5" increments so you don’t have to worry if it’ll fit where you want it. You can also choose the sofa style, configuration, upholstery, and wood leg color. With some styles, you also have the option to select the seat depth.
If you’re searching for the perfect Mid-Century sofa on a budget, AllModern is worth a visit. A brilliant alternative to Ikea, AllModern has been on a mission to make contemporary furniture accessible to everyone, on every budget since 2006.
AllModern has a huge selection of sofas and plenty of Mid-Century Modern styles. Many of its pieces are available in a range of colors and it regularly holds seasonal sales so if you keep your eyes peeled you might be able to pick up a real bargain.
The Kylie Velvet Sofa (pictured above) is a modern take on the chesterfield style with a minimalist feel and tailored button-tufting along the interior cushions. Its tapered hardwood legs and matching bolster pillows (included) complete the Mid-Century design. The Kylie's two seat cushions are removable, reversible, and come with removable covers, too.
Since launching in 2013, Article has been focused on making great style easy, long-lasting, and well-priced. It works directly with manufacturers to produce unique, durable pieces using high-quality materials — this means it can bring you stunning Mid-Century Modern couches at rates around 30% better than traditional retailers.
The Sven (pictured above) is one of its most popular Mid-Century inspired pieces, with crisp lines, tufted back cushions, and matching round bolsters. It’s made from a sturdy kiln-dried hardwood corner-blocked frame and can be constructed in under 5 minutes once it arrives at your home.
Flat-rate delivery is available across the US and Canada, with your order delivered to your door for $49.
Founded in the Pacific Northwest in 2011, Rove Concepts specializes in all things Mid-Century Modern.
“Super stylish, great pricing, and many customizable features,” says Lisa Queen founder & principal designer of Lisa Queen Design speaking on Rove Concepts. “Rove also pays close attention to the quality and sourcing of materials, selecting sustainably whenever possible.”
If you're looking for a Mid-Century Modern sofa, you can't go far wrong with the Luca. Made with high-quality materials and built to last with a Kiln-dried hardwood frame with clean lines, luxe feel and solid ash wood tapered legs, it’s a perfect blend of modern and Mid-Century design.
Rove Concepts has a range of Mid-Century sofas including leather and velvet upholstery and armless and sectional styles.
Recommended to us by interior designer Alice Benjamin due to its “modern and bold touches”, Jonathan Alder has a wide range of Mid-Century inspired sofas.
Jonathan Adler launched his namesake brand in 1993 and today it has retail locations worldwide, a thriving e-commerce site if you’re looking to pick up a new sofa online.
Its Maxime Sofa (pictured above) features a Mid-Century inspired silhouette cradled by an undulating, glam brass frame. Many of its pieces feature retro Mid-Century elements alongside more contemporary features.
Born in Brooklyn in 2002, West Elm is a global design company dedicated to transforming people’s lives and spaces through creativity, style, and purpose. It curates a global selection of local, ethically sourced, and Fair Trade Certified products.
Many of its sofas have a mid-century modern aesthetic and range in price from around $750 to $3,000+, so whatever your price range, you’ll find something here that matches your needs.
The Drake Sofa (pictured above) features crisp lines, tapered wooden legs and grid button-tufted back cushions that keep it always looking neat and chic. The Andres is another Mid-Century inspired piece with crisp tailoring, thin arms, and cast metal legs.
Founded by two college friends who had a passion for design, Blu Dot’s goal has always been to democratize good design.
“Blu Dot has lots of classic modern options with customizable leg finishes in multiple colors,” says Queen. “Founded by designers, Blu Dot designs everything they make from its studio in Minneapolis.”
A staple of its collection, The Bank Sofa (pictured above) is a square arm sofa designed with a low and deep sit and thin, minimal frame supplying some modern elements and features like its piped, rectangular cushions adding some classical aesthetics.
What Makes a Sofa Mid-Century Modern?
We've covered 10 of the best places to buy a Mid-century Modern sofa. Next, let's look into what exactly makes a sofa Mid-Century...
Here are four elements of Mid-Century sofas:
Similar to Scandinavian design, the Mid-Century Modern style is simple, with a focus on clean lines and purposeful elements. Mid-Century sofas focus on doing the basics well and their simplicity often makes them stand out in a room. You'll often find Mid-Century pieces feature tapered legs, wood frames, square armrests, and rectangular seat cushions (often complemented by bolster pillows).
Mid-Century design is all about functionality. Pieces are designed with purpose and elements are rarely added without having a clear purpose. With Mid-Century Modern furniture every curve, line, angle, and feature will be there for a reason.
Mid-Century Modern furniture is known for its rectangular, clean shapes and subtle curves. This simplistic shape often makes a perfect focal point for a living room and can easily work with most interior design styles and aesthetics.
Neutral and bold colors
You'll often see Mid-Century sofas in natural gray tones, but they also work just as well in bold colors like blue, orange, and green. The Mid-Century style also fits well with a number of materials and upholsteries and you'll often see Mid-Century inspired fabric sofas, leather sofas, and velvet sofas.
Types of Mid-Century Modern Sofas
If you're looking for a little more space than the average three-seater sofa, then a sectional could be what you're looking for. Many of the brands listed above (including Burrow and Albany Park) offer Mid-Century inspired sections that can adapt as the needs of your living space change.
"Sectionals come in all shapes and sizes, but the technical definition is a sofa with two or more adjoining sections that attach to create one continuous sofa," says Brooklyn-based interior designer Hugh Long. This can create an L-shape, a linear shape, or even a semi-circular shape - the versatility is the beauty of the concept."
Chesterfield's are tufted sofas that are instantly recognizable. Key features of a Chesterfield include tufted seats and backrests and rolled arms that are the same height as the back. Chesterfield gives any space a classic, luxe look and look great in leather as well as velvet and other fabric upholstery.
Lawson's are the perfect sofa for relaxing and comfortable evenings watching your favorite TV series. A key design element of the Lawson sofa is a backrest made of cushions that are separate and detachable from the sofa frame.
"The Lawson sofa has a special place in my heart because I love “Mid Century Modern," says interior designer Andrea Hysmith. "There are many versions of this sofa, but I love the combination of the simple cone legs, tufted back, and comfy seat."
Like the Chesterfield, a Tuxedo sofa has high arms that sit level with the back of the sofa. "A Tuxedo sofa is a good pick for a more formal setting, and the high back can add formality and a scale that lends some dramatic flair to a space," says Molly Machmer-Wessels, owner and designer of Woodland Design Company.
If a three-seater sofa is a little bug for your space, a Mid-Century inspired Loveseat is a versatile type of sofa that could be the perfect fit for your needs. Smaller than the average sofa, Loveseats tend to be designed as two-seater sofas and typically measure between 48" – 72" in width.
"We love to place loveseats—or even Settees for that matter— in small living spaces," says Kendall Severson, owner of Interior Design Partnership. "They fit beautifully into nooks that are too narrow for a full-size sofa. Velvet loveseats and settees look incredibly sophisticated in a rich velvet fabric or a bold pattern."