8 best 3-seater sofas
Find a cosy couch fit for friends, family and furry companions
Other than your bed, there’s arguably no piece of furniture more worth investing in than a gloriously comfortable couch.
Most of us spend a lot of time lounging on our sofas, be it snuggling up for a Netflix binge, catching up with friends or taking a nap. They’re where we go to crash after a long day’s slog.
With that in mind – and the invariably expensive price tag – comfort is king when it comes to couches. It’s subjective, but there’s such a huge range of cushion fillings, arm styles, bases and fabrics to choose from that you’re bound to find something you love.
Lounge factor aside, the sofa is usually the focal point of a living room, so it’s understandable that the time may be nigh to replace that tatty brown settee with something a little more fabulous.
Perhaps you’re renting and not allowed to paint the walls or hang up artwork? Consider splashing out on a colourful couch to quickly add impact and personality to your space. Otherwise, consider opting for a neutral-coloured sofa and have fun mixing up styles with jazzy throws and scatter cushions.
Trends-wise, expect blush, rich jewel tones and cosied-up neutrals to be the go-to furniture hues in 2019. Seventies-inspired curvy lines are on the up, and the devil’s in the detailing – look for contrast stitching and piping. Mid-century styling and velvet upholstery are both going nowhere.
Sofas command expensive price tags – you’ll be hard-pushed to find a decent one for under a grand – but the good news is that most retailers offer a full return policy, should you regret your splurge once it’s in situ. Manufacturer’s guarantees, some of which extend to a lifetime, offer reassurance that your purchase will stand up against the inevitable wear and tear of family life.
To compile our list, we plonked ourselves down into a huge number of three-seater sofas on display in London’s showrooms, as well as seeking recommendations from self-proclaimed couch potatoes. Comfort, seating space (three-seater often means two-seater, it seems!), aesthetic appeal and durability were all considered, alongside value for money. Note that many of these styles come in different sizes, should you be looking for something smaller or bigger.
Ikea Gronlid Three-Seat Sofa: £575, Ikea
Swedish superstore Ikea’s Gronlid range is essentially a sofa pick’n’mix. It’s easy to add extra sections to the ready-made couches, meaning you can buy a smaller one and update it should your household grow without needing to splash out on a whole new piece of furniture.
The seat cushions of this three-seater are pleasingly deep and mould to your body, while the array of five square back cushions create a cosy, welcoming feel and allow for mixing and matching, should you fancy shaking up the covers (they’re 68cm x 68cm). They’re also ideal fort-building fodder. The armrests are traditionally round yet quite slender and refined, though perhaps a tad high when it comes to actually leaning on them.
There are five upholstery colourways to muse over: white, natural, light green, medium grey or our top pick, dark red (another hue that’ll work beautifully with blush). The fabric is a hardwearing chenille, which feels fantastically soft while giving off a subtle sheen. It’s easy to clean as the cover is removable and machine washable. It comes with a 10-year guarantee and delivery costs £35.
Three people will have ample space on this sofa, but you can slot in another seat for £185, or add a chaise longue for £250. It’s astonishingly good value - for comfort, appearance and versatility.
Heal’s Hampstead Three-Seater Sofa: From £1,749, Heal’s
British furniture store Heal’s produces fresh takes on traditional designs exceptionally well. The Hampstead sofa is a case in point, sure to suit both contemporary and classic interiors equally well, thanks to its inviting yet neatly-finished style.
The seat cushions are squishy on top thanks to feathers, but there’s a foam core so you don’t hit the floor. Plump them daily if you can so they keep their shape. This sofa comes with two small back cushions, but you may want to buy a few more for extra comfort - try teal and light grey. The pretty, understated legs come in your choice of natural solid oak or black or chestnut-stained beech and are short, so your couch won’t impose too much height-wise. The armrests, too, are set back and unobtrusive.
There are 29 fabric options to browse, from jewel-toned velvets and neutral cottons to boldly-coloured linen. Living Coral is Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2019, making Grenadine the most contemporary choice (£1,749).
Delivery is £59 unless you choose upholstery that pushes the cost over £2,500, in which case it’s free. There’s also an added bonus: Heal’s has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation to take away your old sofa free of charge.
Habitat Slope Three-Seater Sofa: From £1,360, Habitat
If you’re after a sofa you can laze about on first and foremost, then look to British high street favourite Habitat’s newest addition. The Slope sofa nods to the growing trend for curvaceous furniture with its thick, low, sloping arms. These smartly take some of the heaviness out of this couch’s shape, meaning it’ll look less bulky in a smaller space.
The back cushions are filled with feathers for the ultimate slumpathon, while the seamless seat cushions are just as soft, only with a foam core to offer a bit more support. This Italian-made sofa sits close to the floor on hidden stained beech legs, which again is helpful if your ceilings are low and you don’t want the room feeling cramped. There are ten fabrics to choose from; the Bali black and white woven mix is shown here, but we also love the luxury chocolate brown leather.
This slouchy, casual couch will fit perfectly into any family that enjoys living on – and not just looking at – its furniture. It comfortably seats three and is crying out for some fun cushions. Delivery is within 12 to 14 weeks for an additional £25.
Sofa Workshop x V&A Thurloe Sofa Medium: From £2,949, Sofa Workshop
Every arty type’s favourite London museum, the V&A, has teamed up with Sofa Workshop for a beautiful collection of furniture styles and prints inspired by its design archives. We’re lusting after the Thurloe sofa with its timeless 19th-century vibes that’ll turn your dull lounge into a Pemberley-style drawing room.
Handmade in Britain, this couch has a foam core seat wrapped in feathers for an indulgent recline. The back and scatter cushions are feather-filled for pure comfort and the solid, hand-turned oak legs add a hint of decadence. It’s the most expensive sofa on our list, but it does come with a 25-year guarantee, so you know you’re buying quality.
There are literally thousands of fabrics to choose from and the cushion fillings and legs can be altered to suit your needs. The only downside is that the covers are fixed, so you’ll have to dab at any stains and pray to the sofa gods. The best way to get around this is to opt for one of the busier prints, such as the splendid, summery Love Birds shown here.
There are smaller and larger sofa sizes too, but we found the medium a good choice if you want to seat three without taking up too much floor space. There's a chair and footstool in the range too. Delivery takes eight to ten weeks and costs a further £69
Anthropologie Angelina Performance Linen Sofa: £2,198, Anthropologie
The low-slung, clean silhouette of this stylish settee from boho US lifestyle brand Anthropologie will appeal to fans of Sixties ‘Mad Men’ style. The soft, brushed fabric is a cotton-linen blend that’s stain-resistant and washable, ticking the practical box, yet still a luxurious treat to recline on with a glass of something chilled in hand.
The cushions are filled with foam and fibre, giving a firmer feel that lessens the need for regular plumping. The frame is made from British hardwood, the antique brass legs are removable and the armrests are slender enough that this sofa won’t look too heavy in a smaller space. There is plenty of space for three, or four if you don’t mind budging up.
There are ten chic colourways to choose from, but our favourite is ink, a sophisticated navy which will pair beautifully with trendy blush walls. These sofas are handmade to order here in the UK, so allow up to six weeks for delivery, which costs an extra £95. Do note that some basic assembly will be required. Oh, and matching chairs are also available.
Hay Hackney Three-Seater Sofa: From £2,579, Haus
Other than the sheer sense of indulgence that sinking into the Hay Hackney offers, the highlight of this elegant sofa from Danish designer studio Hay is its foldable pinewood frame. That’s right – no more huffing and puffing trying to manoeuvre bulky furniture that inevitably gets stuck in doorways, despite your insistence that you measured up correctly. Simply take it apart and move the three sections faff-free – a real win for cramped high-rise flats.
The seating itself is soft with a satisfying level of bounce, thanks to coil springs nestled in down and a flexible foam that’s particularly good at retaining its shape. The armrests are slim and modern, and the seat is deep enough to curl up on. The single cushion means no-one gets ‘the gap’ but will require that bit more oomph when plumping. The two cushions at either end are a happy bonus and there’s still plenty of room for three.
The yellow wool upholstery shown here is sure to brighten up a subdued palette, but if it’s too ‘out there’ for your taste, there’s a seemingly never-ending range of fabrics and colours to browse. If your pad’s on the small side, there’s a two-seater option too. It is made to order within eight weeks, with delivery costing £65 inside London and £120 outside, including assembly.
DFS x French Connection Hackney Three-Seater Sofa: From £1,399
Relax and take it easy Sixties-style in this 100 per cent leather sofa from furniture behemoth DFS.
It’s a stroll in the park as far as plumping’s concerned: the firm-without-being hard foam-filled cushions naturally spring back to their original shape once you get up.
The leather itself is soft and nothing like the slippy, sticky kind your granny used to sit on. The square, clean-cut armrests give a chic, refined look to this settee, while its legs are tucked further back in the base, giving the cool illusion of it floating slightly above the floor.
There are four stained leathers on offer: tan, brown, black and conker, as seen in the picture. Some people are put off leather by concerns that it stains badly, but if you keep a special leather cleaner to hand and remember to dab, not rub, at stains, it’ll be fine. Plus, leather only gets more characterful with age.
The Hackney is one of the widest sofas on our roundup so you’ll need a bigger space, but if you’re lucky enough to have that, it’s great value for money as you get so much seat room for your buck. The frame and springs are guaranteed for 15 years. Delivery costs an extra £69.
Cara Chesterfield Green Plush Fabric Three-Seater Sofa: £649, Great Furniture Trading Company
For a sales bargain bonanza, snap up this opulent three-seater from online retailer the Great Furniture Trading Company. Its emerald green velvet upholstery is in vogue right now, with no sign of going out of fashion.
Indeed, this sofa’s style is inspired by the classic British Chesterfield design – note that deep-button detailing – yet contemporary, too, with its curves. It stands on refined, dark solid-ash feet and boasts a fabulously padded cushion that’s comfy without flattening as soon as you collapse onto it.
It fits three with ample space to curl your legs up and will make a great base for your own choice of scatter cushions. Position it against a neutral-coloured wall and watch this wonderfully rich colour really zing.
Delivery is within four to six weeks and it’s free of charge. This sofa arrives fully assembled and is one of the biggest on our list, so do check that it’ll fit through the necessary doorways.
Verdict: Three-Seater Sofas
Ikea’s Gronlid sofa scoops our top prize for ticking all the key boxes: comfort, appearance and value for money (a steal!). It earns extra brownie points for its hackability, as you can easily make it bigger, or add a corner seat or chaise longue should your lounging requirements change further down the line. For something bolder that’ll really make an impact, check out Sofa Workshop’s collab with the V&A – those prints are impossible to miss.
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.