7 couch alternatives that are just as cozy and comfortable as a sofa

Don't settle for a settee, explore our favorite couch alternatives for a more creative take on living room seating

Three couch alternatives. Window bench, ottomans in living room, cozy armchair with matching footstool.
(Image credit: M. Lavender Interiors/Janet Mesic Mackie | Future | Alice Lane, photography by Nicole Gerulat)

A sofa, for many, is integral in a living room scheme, however, this doesn't always have to be the case, as we explore with our collection of couch alternatives.

Whether you're exploring small apartment living room ideas or are in the market for some new living room seating, our list of couch alternatives is here to inspire you to think beyond sofa seating.

From statement lounge chairs to utilizing awkward alcoves with cozy benches, there are a variety of options to consider for your living room ideas and beyond.

What can I use as an alternative to a couch in my home?

'Sometimes, particularly if space is lacking, a sofa isn’t the most practical addition to a living room. Adding in smaller occasional pieces that combine functionality with visual interest and individuality is a great alternative – and they can take up less precious floor space,' say the design experts at King Living Design Studio.

For some stylish seating inspiration, read on to see if any of our couch alternatives can reinvent the way you approach the seating in your space.

1. A beautiful lounge chair

Modern living room with eames lounge chair, piano, round mirror

(Image credit: Alice Lane, photography by Nicole Gerulat)

From a cozy armchair beside a fireplace to a set of matching accent chairs placed around a coffee table, investing in a lounge chair – or two, can create a beautiful design feature and a comfortable place to sit in your living space – and you won't have to share the seat space with anyone else!

Gisela Lancaster, head of buying at Sofology says, 'an accent chair provides an opportunity to add a style statement to your room and is the perfect alternative to a sofa. Often chosen for an eye-catching silhouette, pop of color, or a pretty pattern that can lend personality and charm to a space.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to styling accent chairs. A single piece can transform a drab corner of your home, whether providing an unexpected flourish to your hallway or landing or simply embellishing the corner of a bedroom. Pairing chairs create a more structured look and offer a less imposing and more decorative seating solution for a living room.'

2. Incorporate an ottoman – or two

Open-plan living and study area, two matching footstools, coffee table, desk and yellow desk chair

(Image credit: Simon Brown Photography)

The design experts at King Living Design Studio say, 'increasingly, we’re seeing ottomans or daybeds replace the second sofa in living spaces. Not only can these pieces add visual impact, but also an element of practicality. When not required for seating, ottoman ideas, and daybed ideas can double as coffee tables or surfaces for books and magazines.'

Ideal for a small living room, an ottoman can be a truly versatile addition to a space. Creating an area of extra seating, as well as providing a surface store and display of decorative objects, they work wonderfully alone or in a collection; as shown in this open-plan living room above.

3. Create a window seat

small living room with window seat, cushions, antique coffee table, emerald green round chairs, round poufee, square pouffe, patterned rug, hardwood floor, blinds, artwork, globe pendant

(Image credit: M. Lavender Interiors/Janet Mesic Mackie)

Window seat ideas can create a calming and retreated seat space, and are perfect for enhancing bay windows across the home.

If you're looking into lounge seating for kitchen seating ideas, instead of choosing a couch, why not explore more space-saving options such as benches and window seats? 

Kitchen designer Tom Howley explains how cozy seating zones such as these can help to promote wellness in the kitchen; 'whether you choose to read a book, have a cup of tea or partake in a little exercise, a designated wellbeing corner will help you to relax and maintain calm. This may be a cozy reading nook in the corner of a room, a window seat, a banquette lounge area, or floor space to roll out a yoga mat.'

4. Keep things relaxed with a daybed

Modern living space with artwork, green mirror, check curtain, upholstered daybed with wicker frame, wiggle lamp, colorful cushions and rug

(Image credit: Jon Day Photography)

Smaller than a sofa, bigger than a bench and just as comfortable as a bed, why wouldn't you want a daybed in your home?

A multipurpose piece of furniture, a daybed can provide a comfortable place to sit and lie down and relax in spaces across the home and can integrate effortlessly into bedrooms, and living rooms and they can even be used for modern entryway bench ideas.

Whether you opt for a statement style, as shown with the above design from a collaboration between 8 Holland Street and Vanderhurd, or choose a more practical structure that comes with additional storage, there is a vast array of beautiful designs to choose from.

5. Choose an elegant chaise longue

white living room with grey damask wallpaper panels, blue chaise, floral armchair, matching blind, coir rug

(Image credit: Nina Campbell)

A design that invites you to recline and relax, a chaise longue can make for a truly elegant and luxurious addition to the home.

In many ways, a chaise can provide a more comfortable seat space than a sofa, as your whole body is elevated and supported, but of course, you can also perch on the seat if you prefer.

6. Make the most of awkward alcoves with a bespoke bench


(Image credit: K&H Design)

Instead of leaving awkward alcoves and spaces left un-filled, celebrate and enhance them with bespoke furniture designs, with everything from shelving to seating.

Neatsmith director, Philipp Nagel, says, 'bespoke designs, unlike freestanding furniture, enable you to make the most of every bit of available space in your home – be that simply creating a perfectly fitted full-length wall of impactful wardrobes, or working around more awkward architectural features such as sloped ceilings, chimney breasts, and alcoves. Choosing bespoke not only creates furniture that completely fits the space in your home, but it also maximizes all the available storage opportunities.'

7. Keep things cozy with a loveseat

Fitted bookshelves with cupboards below, wooden flooring and rug, blue patterned sofa and drawings of horses on a blue wall.

(Image credit: Future)

It doesn't get more cute and cozy than a loveseat. A great halfway point between an armchair and a sofa, a loveseat is perfect for placing in a small living room, bedroom, or in the corner of a large kitchen.

Just like a sofa, a loveseat is intended to sit more than one person, but they often have smaller dimensions than a regular two-seater sofa, making for a more intimate and snug seat space.

Can you have a living room without a couch?

As we have explored, there are many other seating options for a living room aside from a couch.

Of course, a sofa will remain a staple for many, but being more creative with your furniture choices and living room layout ideas can make for a stylish mix of alternative seating.

If your living room is on the smaller side, a quality lounge chair or beautiful chaise can still act as the central seat space – you do not always have to have one of the best couches!

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.