Best sofas 2022: our tried and tested favourites

·23 min read
 A mustard yellow velvet two-seater sofa with tall legs in a brightly lit living room
A mustard yellow velvet two-seater sofa with tall legs in a brightly lit living room

Looking for the best sofas? As one of the key pieces of furniture in the living room we know choosing a new sofa can be a difficult decision. After all, a sofa needs to fulfil a lot of criteria, including suiting your decor, your budget, and, most importantly, being a place to relax and get comfortable. And with most options proving a fairly hefty investment, it's a purchase we all want to get right.

Once you start the sofa search, you'll also discover there are a whole lot of options to choose from including the classic two and three-seater sofa, chaise sofas for putting your feet up, multifunctional sofa beds that allow you to offer guests overnight sleeping space (find more of those in our guide to the best sofa beds), modular sofas that come in sections you can configure into your own seating layouts, and spacious corner sofas that have plenty of room for friends and family.

Whilst nothing can beat going to test out a sofa for yourself – after all, one person's 'too soft' can be another person's 'just right' – it can be useful to have a few tips on where to start in your search, plus not all sofa showrooms are within easy reach for everyone.

That's why we've done the legwork to help to narrow down the options in the hunt for the best sofa; we've walked multiple miles around multiple sofa showrooms and tried and tested all of the bestsellers, toning our glutes with sit-test after sit-test. We've also read multiple reviews from existing owners, grilled the Ideal Home team for their expert opinions, and considered upholstery options, lead times, and, of course, pricing when coming to our verdicts.

For in-depth buying advice just scroll to the end of this page, but if you're ready to start shopping now then you'll find our edit of the best sofas available right now – in terms of style, price, and budget – listed directly below.

Best sofas 2022 – our tried and tested top picks

The grey 3-seater Draper sofa from John Lewis & Partners
The grey 3-seater Draper sofa from John Lewis & Partners

1. John Lewis & Partners Draper Large 3 Seater Sofa

A comfortable high-backed sofa with a recliner option

RRP: from £1499 | Sizes available: W156, W202, W222 & chaise | Seat height: 43cm | Seat depth: 59cm | Seat cushions: foam and fibre | Back cushions: foam | Upholstery options: 90+ | Average lead time: 1-14 weeks | Matching furniture: armchair | Does it come in grey?: yes!

Comfortable with a good mix of squish and support

Hybrid fibre-wrapped foam seat cushions offer low-maintenance comfort with reduced plumping

High-legged design makes a smaller room feel more spacious

Available with recliner footrest

Wide range of upholstery options

Matching furniture available

No corner option

According to online reviews, the Draper sofa has some of the best owner satisfaction levels of all John Lewis & Partners' sofa designs, and, after visiting several branches to test out the brand's full seating collection, we're inclined to agree that it's one of the brand's top picks.

Comfort-wise the sofa frame offers that rare combination of a high-backed design that will suit those who prefer to sit upright paired with a deep seat that offers space for those who prefer to curl up and lounge. The foam and fibre seat cushion adds some welcome squish-factor whilst maintaining its shape well, plus, opting for the single bench-style cushion design means the larger widths can happily seat 3+ without anyone getting left sitting in the gap.

If you want to get even more comfortable, then this model is also available with an unobtrusive and easy-to-operate footrest so you can really recline in style.

The modern design has a nod to a classic Chesterfield design with its buttoned cushion detail and will blend easily into a broad range of interiors helped by the 90+ upholstery options. It's also available in a good range of sizes, including a 2, 3, and 4-seater, plus a chaise sofa option, and with prices starting from £1449, plus delivery in just a week if you opt for a more restricted upholstery choice, the design manages to tick a lot of boxes at a good price.

The tan leather Luciano chaise sofa from MADE reviewed
The tan leather Luciano chaise sofa from MADE reviewed

2. MADE Luciano Chaise End Corner Sofa

An affordable chaise sofa that's big on bounce

RRP: from £1700 | Sizes available: W278 | Seat height: 46cm | Seat depth: 60cm | Seat cushions: foam | Back cushions: foam | Upholstery options: 7 | Average lead time: 10-22 weeks | Matching furniture: no | Does it come in grey?: yes! Fabric or leather

Good price for a chaise sofa, especially with leather upholstery

Comfortable seat with a good amount of bounce and comfortably angled backrest

Luxe-look leather upholstery with a buttery soft feel and good neutral colourways

Only available in a chaise configuration

Limited upholstery options

Long lead times

The extra leg room means a chaise sofa will always be more of an investment than a standard sofa, however, if you have the space to fit an L-shaped design into your living room then we think the extra seating versatility is well worth investing in, after all, who doesn't want to put their feet up?

MADE's Luciano chaise sofa is one of the best value and most comfortable options we've tested, and although it's had a recent price hike (try and wait for a sale if you can) the leather upholstered version with its added durability and handsome good looks still remains worthy of consideration.

The model we tested had the perfect amount of bounce and squish-factor, whilst the angled backrest is super comfortable, soft, and supportive. The armrests are also nice and wide, and the slanted angle of the internal arm makes it comfortable for lying down and resting your head on the armrest when you're ready to activate full lounge mode.

The leather upholstery options have a soft, buttery feel and a matt velvety texture, and all are great desaturated neutral shades that look much more luxe than their price tag suggests, or you can opt for velvet or corduroy upholstery.

The downside is that you'll need to be prepared for a wait. MADE usually has fairly long lead times, and this popular design is much in demand. Something to consider if you need somewhere to sit pronto.

The Otto sofa from Sofa.com reviewed
The Otto sofa from Sofa.com reviewed

3. Sofa.com Otto Sofa

A soft and squishy sofa that's ideal for curling up on

RRP: from £1240 | Sizes available: W168, W188, W212, W244, chaise & corner | Seat height: 55cm | Seat depth: 70cm | Seat cushions: feather-wrapped fibre | Back cushions: feather and fibre | Upholstery options: 90+ | Average lead time: 4-6 weeks | Matching furniture: footstool, loveseat, sofa bed | Does it come in grey?: yes!

Comfortable with plenty of squish-factor

Great seat depth for curling up or relaxed lounging

Wide range of sizes

Wide range of upholstery options

Matching furniture available

Not ideal for a smaller room

Feather-wrapped fibre cushions need a little more plumping than foam cores

The feathers will rule it out for some

We love the laidback look of the Otto corner sofa, with its slipcovered upholstery and simple skirted detail creating a relaxed look that invites you to sink into its plump seats.

The generous 70cm seat depth offers plenty of space to curl up and get comfy, and super deep, super soft feather-wrapped foam seat cushions offer real sink-in squish-factor.

That seat depth, plus some generous widths on the 2, 2.5, 3 and 4-seater options, does mean this sofa is best suited to a larger living room, but as long as you have the space then the to-the-ground frame will really help to ground a bigger living room. The chaise and three sizes of corner sofa configuration are also great for defining zones in an open-plan living space.

Creating a look that's worthy of front room status is made easier thanks to the wide selection of 80+ on-trend upholstery choices, and, as one of Sofa.com's bestselling sofa styles, there's a great selection of matching furniture on offer, with an upholstered footstool to transform the standard sofas into chaise seating, plus a coordinating loveseat and a sofa bed if you want to host overnight guests.

The green velvet Bronwyn sofa from Furniture Village reviewed
The green velvet Bronwyn sofa from Furniture Village reviewed

4. The Lounge Co. Bronwyn Sofa

A classic yet comfortable sofa that's perfect for a period property

RRP: from £1859 | Sizes available: W186, W205, W235 | Seat height: 51cm | Seat depth: 64cm | Seat cushions: fibre or foam | Back cushions: feather and fibre | Upholstery options: 16 | Average lead time: 8-10 weeks | Matching furniture: footstool, armchair, snuggler | Does it come in grey?: yes!

Comfortable with plenty of squish-factor

Great seat depth for curling up or relaxed lounging

Choice of foam or fibre seat cushions

Choice of scatter or classic-style back cushions

Matching furniture available

Limited upholstery options

Elegant scroll arms, turned wooden feet, and generous seat and back cushions upholstered in some luxe-look velvets give the Bronwyn sofa a classic and opulent feel – without the luxe price tag.

And while the upholstery options may be more limited with just 16 fabrics to choose from, this sofa offers some great alternative ways to tailor the seating to your tastes.

You can style the settee with multiple scatter back cushions or classic flat-backed cushions, and have the option to tailor the sitting experience by opting for foam or fibre-filled seat cushions. The foam padding offers a firmer sit but will hold its shape well for a smarter look, whilst fibre delivers a more squishy sink-in feel, but one that will require a little more plumping to keep its shape. On top of that, there are three leg colours to choose from, and the option of 2, 3, or 4-seater width.

If you're after a more traditional sofa shape for a period property, or want to add some classic character to a new build, then we think this is a great option to consider. Although it is well worth checking our review of Sofa.com's Bluebell sofa further down this list, which although we didn't find quite as comfortable in our tests, does come with a far wider selection of upholstery, and more configuration options.

The Bromley grey pull-out sofa bed from Darlings of Chelsea reviewed
The Bromley grey pull-out sofa bed from Darlings of Chelsea reviewed

5. Darlings of Chelsea Bromley Sofa Bed

A multifunctional sofa bed that's comfortable enough for everyday use in the living room

RRP: from £2365 | Type of sofa bed: pull-out mattress | Widths available: 150 / 170 / 190 / 210cm | Extended length: 220cm | Sleeping area dimensions: 83 x 190 / 116 x 190 / 137 x 190 / 158 x 190cm | Mattress depth: 12cm | Mattress type: pocket spring or memory foam | Upholstery options: 175+ | Average lead time: 6-8 weeks

Comfortable enough for everyday use as the main seating

Easy to transform into a bed with single action roll out and no need to store seat cushions

Four sofa widths available

Extra-long 12cm deep pocket spring or memory foam mattresses

Can be delivered flat-packed and assembled in situ if you have awkward access

Wide range of upholstery options

An investment, although look out for fairly regular sales

No matching furniture

If you want a multifunctional sofa that can provide extra sleeping space for hosting guests, then, although it's an investment, this sofa bed achieves the rare mix of being comfortable enough to use as your everyday seating as well as providing overnight guests with a decent night's sleep.

There are four frame widths available, all with a single roll-out action mechanism that makes the transformation from sofa to pull-out bed a super simple affair. The roll-out action also means this sofa bed is able to offer a longer mattress than most, with a 190cm length sleeping area. And, at 12cm deep, the mattress is one of the deepest we've come across with the option of pocket spring or memory foam construction for your preferred comfort.

Seat comfort can also be tailored to your preference with a choice of fibre-wrapped foam or feather-wrapped foam seat cushions for low-maintenance squish-factor, and there are a whopping 175+ upholstery options to choose from.

Plus, if a narrow hallway, tight corners, or tricky stairs are an issue, this sofa bed can be delivered flat-packed and built by the delivery team in situ; a real boon for those with awkward access.

For more affordable sofa bed options make sure to check out our tried and tested favourites in our guide to the best sofa beds.

The grey Barbican corner sofa from John Lewis & Partners reviewed
The grey Barbican corner sofa from John Lewis & Partners reviewed

6. John Lewis & Partners Barbican Corner Sofa

A retro-inspired sofa that offers compact comfort

RRP: From £1199 | Sizes available: W145, W176, W196, W212, chaise & corner | Seat height: 45cm | Seat depth: 56cm | Seat cushions: fibre-wrapped foam | Back cushions: fibre | Upholstery options: 110+ | Average lead time: 6-8 weeks | Matching furniture: Footstool, armchair, sofa bed | Does it come in grey?: Yes!

Comfortable with a good mix of squish and support

Hybrid fibre-wrapped foam seat cushions offer low-maintenance comfort with reduced plumping

High-legged design makes a smaller room feel more spacious

Wide range of sizes

Wide range of upholstery options

Matching furniture available

Retro-inspired design won't be for everyone

The Barbican collection is one of John Lewis & Partners bestselling sofa ranges, and with its on-trend mid-Century-modern meets Scandinavian-cool good looks, it's easy to see why.

Looks aside, sitting down on this sofa collection doesn't disappoint either with fibre-wrapped foam seat cushions delivering some welcome squish-factor and sink-in-ability combined with a low maintenance fill that keeps its shape and doesn't need plumping. The back cushions are a slightly firmer fibre construction that offers good support and a comfortable angle to recline.

The Barbican comes in a whole host of sofa sizes along with a range of coordinating footstools and armchairs, including small and medium-sized 2-seater, 3-seater, 4-seater and a variety of relatively affordable chaise and corner configurations. All are useful options for a small to mid-sized living room as the sofa's curved frame, slim armrests and high legs mean it looks and feels a lot more compact than many comparable options.

There are also over 100 upholstery options on offer, including a good range of leathers, plus, either light oak or dark wood leg finish.

The Bluebell sofa from Sofa.com reviewed on Ideal Home
The Bluebell sofa from Sofa.com reviewed on Ideal Home

7. Sofa.com Bluebell Sofa

One of the most affordable traditionally-styled sofas

RRP: From £1115 | Sizes available: W164, W192, W218, W244, chaise & corner | Seat height: 53cm | Seat depth: 60cm | Seat cushions: feather-wrapped foam | Back cushions: feather and fibre | Upholstery options: 70+ | Average lead time: 8-12 weeks | Matching furniture: armchair & footstool | Does it come in grey?: Yes!

Classic design at an affordable price point

High-legged design makes a small room feel more spacious

Can be delivered in sections for final assembly in destination room - great for those with awkward access

Wide range of sizes

Wide range of upholstery options

Matching furniture available

Feather-wrapped fibre cushions need a little more plumping than foam cores

The feathers will rule it out for some

If you're looking for a traditionally-styled sofa then the Bluebell sofa has period elegance in droves, from the turned wooden feet on castors to the pleated scrolled arms and the piped upholstery, it has all the classic drawing-room details nailed.

This is also one of the most affordable classic sofas we've come across. It's given a run for its money in the price stakes by MADE's Orson sofa, but we find the Bluebell by far the most comfortable of the two to sit on. Mainly due to the fact the Bluebell has independent feather and fibre back cushions that add much-needed comfort compared to the Orson's fairly hard fixed back design.

The newest Bluebell design also offers feather-wrapped foam seat cushions. They do still require some plumping, but offer some welcome sink-in factor whilst still keeping their basic shape, and the 60cm seats are spacious enough for those who like to curl up as well as sit up.

This model also comes in a super versatile selection of sizes; a 2, 2.5, 3, and 4-seater, and a range of chaise and corner options. Plus, many widths are available in super useful 'breakdownable' versions meaning they can be delivered in four parts and assembled in the room of your choice –  a real boon for anyone with awkward room access.

Sofa.com's upholstery options deliver too, with some great colour-popping velvets, muted linens, and plenty of stain-resistant family-friendly fabrics. Plus, there's an armchair and footstool to match for a cohesive living room look.

The Swyft Model 03 sofa reviewed
The Swyft Model 03 sofa reviewed

8. Swyft Model 03 Sofa

A versatile modular sofa with a super short lead time

RRP: From £745 per modular unit | Sizes available: modular units from W70cm | Seat height: 45cm | Seat depth: 69cm | Seat cushions: foam and fibre | Back cushions: foam and fibre | Upholstery options: 8 | Average lead time: under 1 week | Matching furniture: footstool | Does it come in grey?: Yes!

Modular units mean unlimited configuration options

Delivery in under a week

Sofa-in-a-box flatpack design useful for rooms with tricky access

Can be easily dismantled and rebuilt if you move home

An investment

Low seat and backrest

Bulky with deep seats so not for small rooms

Limited upholstery options

A modular sofa is the ultimate versatile seating solution, with individual seating sections allowing you to configure a bespoke sofa layout to best suit your room. You can add, subtract or rearrange the modules if you want to transfer the sofa to a different room or move home, and invest in more sections as and when budget allows.

Swyft's Model 03 is a contemporary modular sofa-in-a box that also offers some jaw-dropping delivery times. Lead times are under one week, and can be as short as 24 hours dependent on stock – a rarity in the world of sofas where lead times can often run to several months.

The modular units don't come cheap, and you're going to need a modern home and quite a bit of space to suit this contemporary design, but we love its boxy shape. It works particularly well in an open-plan layout, where the low-to-the-ground design can be used to zone and anchor a spacious room. Upholstery options are also limited, but all are versatile and on-trend shades.

And, although the low seats and backrest won't be for everyone – you're going to need to prefer lounging to sitting upright to be comfortable on this design – if you're looking for a minimalist sofa with designer looks (without the designer price tag) then this quick-delivery, super-versatile sofa could well be a winner.

How to choose the perfect sofa

The best sofa for your home will depend on a range of factors, not least the size of your living room, your lifestyle, and of course, your budget. So what are the key things to consider when shopping for your dream couch?

Consider sofa size and room layout

It may sound obvious, but size is one of the most important aspects to consider before falling in love with your dream couch.

Generally speaking, you're going to want the most spacious settee your room and budget will allow, but it's also important to make sure you measure carefully to ensure your sofa is going to work in your space.

It's easy to fall in love with a roomy chaise longue in a spacious sofa showroom, but back home that family-friendly corner sofa might make your living room feel cramped and cluttered.

A top tip is to measure out where the sofa will go in your room using masking tape to mark out all dimensions. As well as width, make sure to consider the height of the sofa – especially if you want to place it under a window sill or beneath existing architecture - and its depth to ensure there is plenty of space to walk around it comfortably.

And don't just measure the room where your sofa will (hopefully) end up - unless you want a stressful few hours come delivery day! Ensure your chosen sofa will fit through doorways, around bending hallways, or up flights of stairs. Most retailers list packaging dimensions on their sites, so ensure these match the access you have.

And if your access is tricky? Don't think that means you have to plump for the smallest two-seater you can find. Modular sofas that are delivered in sections are great options for adding a large amount of seating to difficult rooms, and both flatpack options and selected models from specialist furniture retailers, like Sofa.com, provide the advantage of being able to have your sofa constructed within the final destination room.

There's also layout to consider. A sofa can be a really useful zoning tool in an open-plan layout, helping to create designated areas for dining or relaxing within a larger space.

Chaise sofas, corner sofas or modular sofas in an L-shaped or U-shaped layout can be particularly useful here, or - if you have the space - you might want to switch up the usual layout of the sofa facing the fire or TV, and have two similar-sized sofas facing each other to create a space that works better for socialising and entertaining.

You'll find more top tips for planning your living space in our round-up of the best living room and small living room ideas.

A grey chaise sofa in a living room with bare plaster walls
A grey chaise sofa in a living room with bare plaster walls

(Image credit: Raft)

How to find the most comfortable sofa

Just like finding the best mattress for you, finding the most comfortable sofa for you will depend a lot on personal preference, and there is nothing that can quite replace going into the showroom and sit-testing a few of your favourite styles. We've rounded up the most important things to look out for when considering comfort.

Cushions
Sofa cushions come in a range of materials and constructions, but the two most commonly found are foam and feathers.

A foam cushion is more generally used at the budget end of the market and offers a fairly firm sit depending on the type used. The benefit of foam is that it's quick to spring back into shape after being depressed, although over time you may find a depression in your favourite sitting spot.

At the other end of the scale are feather cushions. These are generally more expensive but provide a more plumptious seat, although the feathers can gradually shift so you'll need to do more plumping.

Generally speaking, the happy place is with the best of both worlds, and many sofa manufacturers now offer foam cushion cores that are wrapped in a layer of soft feathers - providing comfort and retaining the sofa shape.

Height
If you're using a sofa to zone a room, then a low-to-the-ground model can offer a great way to create dedicated areas without breaking up the space too much, but, the flipside is that (once past a certain age perhaps) low seating can be harder to get up from and can encourage you to sprawl more than sit.

Ergonomically, the recommended seating position is to have your thigh bones parallel to the floor, which for most of us means sofa seating that's a roundabout knee height when standing.

Backrest
Whilst some love the look of a low-profile sofa, if you're lounging for long then adequate back support is going to make sitting more comfortable.

Look for models that have a dedicated backrest, rather than sofas that offer a low back and then rely on taller cushions to provide support.

How to choose a sofa style you'll love

Upholstery
Once you've chosen your favourite sofa shape, then it's time to choose colour and fabric. Most sofa retailers offer models in a range of fabrics, generally including more affordable polyester and cotton mixes (which often have better stain resistance so are useful for homes with young families), and more expensive linens, velvets, and leathers. Take advantage of fabric samples to view colours and textures in your own home, as lighting can often look very different to that in showrooms or online representations, and bear in mind that the more luxurious fabrics are also likely to increase the sofa price quite considerably. As much as you might love pale colours, for family living a darker or marl shade is likely to prove more stress-free, helping to disguise any mishaps!

Lead times If you're choosing from made-to-order upholstery options, then it's important to bear in mind that there's likely to be a lead time whilst your sofa is built. This can be anywhere from 6 - 14 weeks and will differ by retailer and the time of year you're ordering. October and November are generally when sofa demand is highest ahead of the festive entertaining season, but you'll find some top tips for shopping at this time of year in our guide to where to buy a sofa before Christmas.

Legs
A sofa's legs can transform the look quite dramatically. Tall legs will lift the bulk of the sofa away from the floor and can be a good option for smaller rooms where being able to see more of the floor gives a feeling of spaciousness. A sofa that sits directly onto the floor can feel bulkier so is best for larger rooms - although this style also has the bonus of stopping dust-balls and toys from rolling under it! Shapely, curved legs add a classic touch, whereas straighter clean-lined legs give a more modern feel. Some sofa models may offer a choice of leg finish as well as upholstery - if you already have wooden furniture in your living room, try to tie in any wooden leg finishes to keep tones coordinating.

A classic sofa with castor feet and blue linen upholstery in a period home
A classic sofa with castor feet and blue linen upholstery in a period home

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

Looking for sofa deals?

Nothing beats a bargain, especially when it comes to finding a great deal on a big-ticket item like a sofa or sofa bed. Make sure you've found the best prices on your dream living room seating by checking out our sofa deals page for all the latest sofa and seating sales.

How we chose the sofas included in this guide

To find the best sofas for all budgets we’ve walked multiple miles around multiple sofa showrooms and sat down on the job to try out plenty of the most popular designs, plus we've grilled the Ideal Home team for their expert knowledge, along with their friends, and their friend’s friends, to find out how their sofa choices are holding up to the rigours of day to day life. We also take into account the wider views of those who own each product, whether that’s via online reviews or social media. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Ideal Home.