8 best two-seater sofas
If you're in need of some style but short on space, opt for one of these comfortably compact loungers
There’s no getting around the fact that buying a new sofa is a big investment. Shopping for your couch of choice can be overwhelming, too, with so many sizes, styles, fabrics and colours to weigh up.
Before excitedly hitting the shops, there a number of key things to bear in mind.
Firstly, to avoid a “Pivot!” moment like the Friends gang, ensure you have measured your space accurately and clocked potential pitfalls like hallways, staircases and doors. If space is tight, choose a sofa that can at least partially be assembled in situ, or one with removable arms.
Get a sense of how the sofa will look in proportion with the rest of the room by marking it out on the floor with newspaper. If interested in a reclining sofa, check there will be enough room for it to fully extend. Square arms are the most modern choice and there are plenty of slender options; classic scroll arms can look grander but add a lot to the sofa’s overall width, which may not be practically suited to a city flat.
Look for foam upholstery if you want a firmer, more supportive sit with minimal plumping required. Feather or fibre-filled cushions are best for those looking for something more casual, who don’t mind turning them regularly.
Buying something classic is always a good shout as you don’t have to worry about your sofa looking dated before you’ve even taken a nap on it, but it can be a little dull. For interiors mag perfection, look for fusions of retro and modern – think clean silhouettes and button-back cushions.
Jewel-toned velvets remain popular, while high-backs add contemporary class. Two colours to watch out for in 2019 are living coral, Pantone’s colour of the year, a rich pinky orange, and spiced honey, chosen by Dulux as their top hue, a cosy amber that’ll sit well with cream and wood.
To compile our list, we rigorously tested an array of sofas for comfort, aesthetic appeal and seating space while considering their value for money. They can all be ordered online from the comfort of your current couch (just don’t tell it it’s on its way out!).
French Connection for DFS Hackney in tan: £1,299, DFS
There’s just something about a leather sofa that will always be timeless and this aged tan, lowback beauty could have come straight from an episode of Mad Men. There’s no need to plump the foam-filled cushions – firm yet comfortable to sit on, they bounce back naturally when you tear yourself away – and the leather is soft and felt surprisingly unsticky, even in a busy showroom during the heatwave.
The square arms sit at a natural level and are wide enough to lean on lazily, and the legs are hidden away, giving the sofa an illusion of floating. Let this stylish piece of furniture take centre stage in your living room, backed up by other retro touches – it’d look great with wooden floorboards and a rich, earthy-toned rug.
It also comes as a three-seater sofa, an armchair and a footstool, and can also be ordered in black, brown or conker-stained leather. One of the biggest sofas on our list, it’s great value for the price tag, giving two people plenty of room to stretch out, and both the frame and springs are guaranteed for 15 years, so you can enjoy it worry-free. Try not to fret over inevitable wear and tear – leather gets its character from use – but if you need to get out a stain, use a special leather cleaner and dab rather than rub.
Heal’s Richmond in smart velvet teal: from £1,799, Heal’s
Prepare to swoon at the look and feel of this stunning teal velvet sofa from high street favourite Heal’s. The square arms elegantly slope down and are so silky soft you’ll be stroking them like a cat. If you’re already fearing stains, worry not, as the material is water repellent and much more hard-wearing than you might assume.
Two plump back cushions mould to your back as you slump into them, while the long, single foam/fibre seat cushion is a preferred choice if you enjoy cuddling up with your sofa buddy and/or are liable to drop crumbs down the cracks of a two-cushion option. It’s less dense than the majority that we tried, so will suit those looking for a sofa to flop onto.
The smart, tapered feet are made from durable ash and come in natural, tinted or black finishes – choose black for a more streamlined look with the teal. If you want something bigger, the Richmond is also available as a three- and four-seater sofa and an armchair, with a ten-year guarantee on the beech and birch frames.
Like the style but not the colour and texture? Choose from cotton, linen, wool and felt in a range of colours online. For an extra £49, Heal’s will arrange for a two person team to deliver and fully assemble the sofa in your room of choice.
G Plan Hirst small power recliner in reed pewter: £2,249, John Lewis & Partners
Though the smallest sofa on our list, this understated gem from British furniture brand G Plan has a secret weapon that literally swept us off our feet: a reclining mechanism for kicking back and relaxing to the max. Two touch sensitive buttons are cleverly hidden away between the arm rest and seat. The motion is slow and gentle, so older users won’t get a nasty surprise and risk injuries.
Each seat has its own buttons, so if you fancy reclining during the next Netflix binge but your partner doesn’t, you needn’t fall out over it. Just make sure you leave at least two inches behind the sofa to allow it to recline fully. Comfort wise, the foam cushions are the right side of firm – soft enough to flop into without feeling unsupportive – though you won’t have as much space to spread out as on others in this round-up.
The arm rests are a tad low for our liking, but some will prefer this, and it’s reassuring to note that the birch and flakeboard frame comes with a ten-year guarantee. For the upholstery, choose from a range of five reed finishes – our favourite is the classy, neutral pewter – plus four leathers for an extra £500. The subtle feet, seen here in oak, also come in ebony, walnut and a rich mahogany.
If you fancy a bit more personal space, the three-seater recliner is an extra £200, and if you aren’t fussed about the reclining feature, save £750 and buy the non-reclining version. This sofa is delivered in two sections that then link together, so don’t panic if you’re not sure it will squeeze through your doorway.
Habitat Fenner in velvet orange: £1,500, Habitat
There’s something both understated and flamboyant about this stylish two-seater sofa made exclusively for Habitat in Italy. Guaranteed to appeal to fans of mid-century furniture, its thin wooden frame accentuates the plumpness of the two feather/fibre seat and back cushions with their cute button detailing.
The seat is deep, offering plenty of space, and its long enough for three people to fit if you don’t mind squeezing in. The arms are equally slim – we’d prefer wider rests for comfort but recognise the practicality of a narrower style – and the solid oak, slightly tapered feet have a natural finish. If you want the collection, the Fenner also comes as a three-seater sofa and an armchair, with a choice of 15 different fabrics and colours.
Our favourite is the velvet orange for a bold, glamorous vibe that is right on trend and will look fabulous paired with a neutral palette and metallic touches. For a design-led sofa, the price tag of £1,500 seems fair – and good for the quality. Delivery is free.
BoConcept Carlton in yellow mustard roma: £2,315, BoConcept
The Seventies are cool again and mustard yellow is the new millennial pink, making this modish 2.5-seater sofa (yes, we’ve cheated and given you an extra half a seat) is a wise choice if you’re a dedicated follower of fashion. It’s been designed by Anders Nørgaard for Danish company BoConcept, which focuses on offering customisable furniture for the modern homeowner.
The foam/fibre seat and back cushions are firm, offering good support, without feeling clinical, and the frame is made from a mixture of solid pine, chipboard and metal. The nickel/brushed-steel feet add a cool, industrial edge. There are some 100 different fabrics and colours to choose from – if that overwhelms you, eliminate based on budget, as the leathers will add thousands of pounds to the total cost.
Our top pick is the mustard yellow roma, a soft, textural, long-lasting fabric developed by the brand, with a slight sheen for a luxe look. This sofa comes unassembled with easy to follow instructions, so you should be able to manage without expert help. Lacking on the DIY front? There’s a professional team to help you out if you need them, for an extra cost that varies depending on where you live (expect to pay around £65).
Lombok Karlsson in vintage velvet jade: £1,356, Lombok
This handcrafted jade sofa from Lombok – originally known for their colonial-inspired dark teak furniture – exudes sophistication. The seat cushions are deep, giving you plenty of space to curl your legs up, while the back is low and perfectly suited to a minimalist interiors style.
Choose from six upholstery fabrics including a lovely burnt ochre velvet, and dark or light mahogany for the base and feet. If you fancy something softer, you can upgrade the cushion fillings to feather, but we enjoyed the slight bounce of the foam before slowly sinking into them.
If your bank balance will not stretch to such a hefty purchase in one go, Lombok offers the option of split your payments over six to 24 months, with the Karlsson also available as a three-seater sofa and armchair. Delivery costs £49, with a team of experts on hand to assemble the furniture on site.
Loaf Bumpster: from £1,195, Loaf
The delightfully country-sounding name of this slouchy sofa from “Britain’s most laid-back store”, Loaf, says it all. Handbuilt in Derbyshire, you’ll be hard pushed to find a comfier couch than the Bumpster.
We love how thick, deep and downright fabulous to sink into its feather-wrapped foam seats are, giving you ample space to curl your legs up under a blanket. The arms are gently curved with some pretty pleated detailing and the back is relatively low so as not to dominate a cottage living room or pokey flat too heavily.
The solid oak legs are barely noticeable but they’re fully removable should you prefer your sofa to sit flat to the floor. If you’d prefer the seat to be higher, you can add taller legs for £95.
There are over 150 fabrics to choose from but our pick is the rose quartz deep velvet seen here – it pairs beautifully with neutrals, navy and olive greens and is set to be one of the most on-trend colours next year. The cushion covers are removable for easy cleaning, so no need to panic if there’s a spill.
The Bumpster is handmade to order, delivered in eight to ten weeks and comes with a ten-year guarantee. Delivery is usually free in and around London, but there may be an extra cost to pay depending on where you live.
Sofa Workshop small Miss Behaving: from £1,849, Sofa Workshop
If you’re looking to make a statement with a compact sofa then let us suggest the Miss Behaving from Sofa Workshop, which handmakes its furniture in Britain. It’s more of a fashion buy, admittedly – the style is chic not casual, and sophisticated not slouchy – but it’ll undoubtedly be the star of even the most cramped lounges and you can always cosy it up with scatter cushions or a patterned throw.
The high back allows for slender yet dramatically curvaceous arms, which come to rest at a natural level for comfortable leaning. The retro dark wooden legs add further character but the colour can be changed if you’d prefer.
There are thousands of fabrics to browse, from brushed cotton to velvets, but the slumber earth wool mix seen here is a great choice if you want to add some tactile warmth to the sofa’s sleekness. Dulux’s colour of the year for 2019 is the calming, caramel spiced honey and this is the closest colour we’ve seen to it yet.
Delivery is within six to eight weeks, with £69 charged for most locations. Your couch will be handmade to order and there’s a 25-year guarantee on the frame, so you know it’ll be good quality.
The Verdict: Two-seater sofas
The French Connection for DFS Hackney sofa takes our top spot for its chic, well-worn look, soft leather feel and comfy cushions with just the right amount of give. In close second is the Heal’s Richmond in smart velvet teal sofa – bang on trend and such a joy to slump into that it’d be an effort to ever get up again.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.