What is a Loveseat? The Complete Guide

What is a Loveseat? The Complete Guide
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If you're furnishing your new home, you're probably being faced with an overwhelming number of decisions to make. While none of them are life or death, they make a big difference to your home's atmosphere, comfort, and functionality, meaning that it is crucial to make informed choices about the purchases you make.

In this article, we'll talk about one of the options that you have for living room seating: the loveseat. The loveseat is a great, flexible option, perfect for smaller spaces. The loveseat is a sweetly-named sofa made for two. Read on to learn all about loveseats, what they are, and everything you need to know if you're considering purchasing one. 

Meet the experts

To research and produce this article, we spoke to two interior design and furniture experts:

So What Is a Loveseat, Anyway?

The first thing you probably want to know about loveseats is… what is one? 

A loveseat is a type of furniture made for sitting, essentially a small sofa. As Phataraprasit explains, "A loveseat is a sofa/couch meant for two people, with lengths typically ranging between 60 to 75 [inches]." An incredibly versatile piece, a loveseat is an epitome of "small but mighty." They're pretty flexible, able to fit into most rooms and serve many different purposes. 

"Loveseats are incredibly adaptable given their size—you can use them in entryway spaces, to compliment a larger sofa in a living room, or in a kids' room," says Phataraprasit.

Sabai Essential Loveseat
The Essential Loveseat

All About Loveseat Sizes

Now you might be wondering about loveseat dimensions, namely: what is the length of a loveseat? There are a few standard sizes for loveseats, including:

  • ​​Standard small loveseat: 48 - 52 inches
  • Medium loveseat: 58 inches
  • Large loveseat: 72 inches

Other measurements you should know include:

  • Average seat depth: 20-24 inches
  • Average overall depth: 32-40 inch range, with standard depth being 35

According to Duker, "I find the perfect proportion for a loveseat is about 60 [inches] wide. Certainly, you will find a range of sizes up to about 78 [inches], but the purist in me tends to think that the larger sizes move into the sofa category, and the overall proportions, purpose, and styling tend to change as well."

The most important thing, of course, is to measure your space so you can be absolutely certain that the loveseat you buy will be a perfect fit.

Why Is it Called a Loveseat?

You might be wondering where the loveseat got its cute, memorable name from. Well, all it takes is to see two people sitting on a loveseat together to understand. Because of the more petite size of the couch, sharing a loveseat requires a degree of physical proximity that is rather fitting for an intimate (read: love) relationship. 

Not only does the loveseat allow couples to sit together closely without coming off as indecent. The loveseat was invented in the 17th century when modesty was much more important — its small size meant it could allow couples to sit together closely without coming off as indecent. It could also create a potential new connection between two people forced to squeeze together and get close.

But don't worry, if you prefer to think of the loveseat without any romantic implications, you can always use one of its other names: the "British two-seater" or simply a "two-seater sofa."

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What's the Difference Between a Loveseat and a Sofa?

If you're curious about what a sofa vs. loveseat is, it's nothing theatrical. Actually, a loveseat is a type of sofa, just smaller than what many people might imagine when they think of a prototypical sofa. In short, the only real differentiator here is size.

Pros and Cons of Loveseats

So, should you get a loveseat? Well, let's go over some pros and cons to help you make your decision.

Pros of Loveseats

Perfect for Small Spaces

One of the most significant advantages of loveseats is that they are absolutely perfect for small spaces. If you have a smaller room that needs seating, loveseats are a great go-to option. "You will often find a loveseat sitting pretty in a studio apartment where space is a commodity," says Duker. In fact, you can even get sectional loveseats that give you the option to really work with whatever limitations your space might be giving you.

Versatile

Another pro is the loveseat's versatility. Yes, loveseats are an obvious choice for a small space, but they can also be used in larger rooms to complement other pieces of furniture. According to Duker, loveseats can work well in a range of spaces, including:

  • Bedrooms: Either at the end of a bed or perhaps under a wide window paired with an accent table and reading lamp
  • Children's rooms or playrooms: They are scaled nicely for storytime, gaming, or watching a movie on a rainy day.
  • Home office: Loveseats are great for a place to relax or take calls away from your screen

All it takes is finding the best loveseat that works for your particular room and needs.

Affordable 

If you are on a budget, loveseats are an excellent choice for you. Because of their smaller size tend to be cheaper than standard sofas. And, most of the time, they're even more affordable than buying a pair of armchairs to fill a space.

Perfect for Movie Nights

We don't know about you, but one of our favorite things to do is snuggle up to watch a movie with our partners. And there is no better piece of furniture for this than the loveseat.

Cons of Loveseats

All of this being said, there are still certain disadvantages to loveseats. 

Not the Best for Sharing

As the name implies, it does require a degree of physical comfort with somebody to be willing to share a loveseat with them. This means that sometimes when you have people over, only one person will actually end up sitting on the loveseat. That is unless you're hosting couples who are happy to cozy up to one another.

Not a Sofa Bed

If you're looking for a sofa that can double as a guest bed, loveseats are probably not the best option. You can get sleeper loveseats, but they're not the most comfortable and aren't a great choice if you regularly have people over to stay the night.

We hope that this article helped give you all of the information you need to make an informed decision about what kind of loveseat you might want to buy for your home. Happy sitting!

Written by
Ash is the founder of Living Cozy. He's been featured by publishers like MyDomaine, Realtor, Real Homes, Architectural Digest, The Spruce, Homes and Gardens, and more. As a writer his work has appeared in publications like FastCompany, TNW, and Entrepreneur.
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