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malbec

malbec
10 years ago
Which is more comfortable/usable: a 2- or 3-seat sofa?
Our family of 5 has a single family/living room in our smallish 1930s home. It's the center of our house - my husband sometimes falls asleep on the sofa at night, the kids play there, we play games, our main computer is there, sometime we'll put in a tv, and our family/friends hang out there when they come to visit. I'd like to get a new sofa (and return the one we're borrowing), but am questioning whether to get a two or three seat sofa. On one hand, no one ever wants to sit in the middle of a sofa, but on the other is there enough support with two cushions to sleep on, or does your bottom sink between the cushions? :) Here are a couple pics from C&B that I'm considering. My style is transitional, and I like the look of both. I'm more interested in your thoughts on comfort and usability. Thanks for your comments!

Comments (30)

  • TanCalGal
    10 years ago
    I have a 3 cushion sofa and a 1 cushion sofa. I was told it was a matter of design trends: sometimes 2 are more popular and sometimes 3 are more popular. But, you raise an interesting point, maybe there are other factors to consider. I wish I knew the answer.
  • malbec
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    It's probably a matter of personal taste - I guess we'll just have to "try out" the sofas in the store. How is your one cushion in terms of support?
  • TanCalGal
    10 years ago
    It's a Sheraton style & one cushion is fine, although I don't sit there for long times: while entertaining and nightly pre-dinner glass of wine :) http://www.hickorychair.com/Furniture/All-Furniture/James-River/i504795-Sheraton-Sofa.aspx
  • PRO
    Cynthia Taylor-Luce
    10 years ago
    The larger the seat cushion, the softer the "sit". I prefer the look of the old three-seater length with two cushions instead. It looks more generous and inviting. Sometimes the three-seaters will have a smaller cushion in the centre and L cushions hugging the arms, and it looks unbalanced. As to the ideal size, that depends on your room, but don't be afraid to go big if you can accommodate it. We recently bought a 10'-long sofa, which is made up of a left arm sofa, an armless sofa, and a right arm sofa, all linked together. One can recline at each end and still leave room for someone to comfortably sit in the middle. It's 42" deep, which makes a huge difference--you can really curl up in it. The seat cushions are down-wrapped and the back cushions are a feather/down mixture. It's by Sam Moore (Hooker Furniture) and I've never had anything so comfortable. Many sofas have built-in ottoman extensions, but I'd prefer a separate ottoman since it's more versatile.
  • malbec
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    Cynthia, that's a good point - the 2-seaters do look more inviting. The sofas in the pictures are the exact same length (88"), but you have a lot more room to spread out if it's just two 40" cushions vs three 30" (or whatever the exact measurements would be). I'm not sure a large sectional would work in my 13x22 room, but I have thought about a smaller one with just a sofa and chaise.
  • PRO
    Urban Cabin
    9 years ago
    I am a fan of two over two sofas for casual comfort. If your lifestyle is casual and relaxed a 2 seat sofa would be a great fit. It is nice to lay on a sofa with fewer seams as well...
  • browniebear
    9 years ago
    Check out the sofa from Kasala on my Discussion tabs. It has a reclining seat on one side and a chaise lounge on the other. It can seat 5 people and is great for husbands who like to sleep on the sofa too like mine
  • janiedarling
    9 years ago
    Hi, I am just asking myself the same question--but am taking a step further and considering the benchseating style couch. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I am struggling with all of the options--and I do realize it is a matter of design style--but I do also want a couch that will be practical, comfortable, and look clean and put together. The benchseating certainly seems to look very streamlined. That said, with a 2 seater--you can rotate cushions if they start sinking--vs. benchseat you can't do anything if the cushion breaks down. Thoughts anyone?
  • PRO
    Interiors International, Inc.
    9 years ago
    You are correct nobody wants to sit in the middle. When it is that choice or the floor they will usually take the middle seat. I also sleep on the sofa a lot and prefer a 3 seater.
  • Sarah Yama
    9 years ago
    I've had both with a family and the 3 cushion was used more even with adults. Better use of space, practical, and cost efficient
  • Sarah Yama
    9 years ago
    I've had both with a family and the 3 cushion was used more even with adults. Better use of space, practical, and cost efficient
  • calonlan
    9 years ago
    My sofa is about 90" long with 3 equal cushions and tailored (tight) canvas slipcovers. After cleaning, it's not easy to wrestle the covers back onto those three smaller cushions. I think the longer single cushion would be really tough -- maybe something to consider if you plan to have removable covers.
  • PRO
    LM Designers
    9 years ago
    The 2 cushion looks better. Make sure your husband lays on it to see how comfortable it will be. The arm rests don't look good for laying against. It looks stiff and not sink in comfy.
  • Nancy Hehmann
    9 years ago
    Perhaps no one wants to sit in the middle. But after work or when watching TV we usually lay on the couch so the more room the better.
  • fabia
    9 years ago
    So, I.I.I. you sleep on the sofa a lot...is that because you've been a bad boy? lol
  • nking43
    9 years ago
    I hate the look of two cushions. Even if there is room for three people to sit, they won't.
    I thought I hated one cushion, but that is what I ended up with when I got a settee, and now I love it.
    Still hate two cushions. Just looks wrong.
  • designideas4me
    9 years ago
    I have almost exactly the same couch. 3 seats. I love long low modern. You can lay on it. much more useful.
  • beth128
    9 years ago
    I have one of each and I like both of them, but prefer the 2 cushion for napping on.
  • Swati Gupta
    9 years ago
    i have a singe bed in my drawing room.. i wnt to to a new 5-6 sofa seater sofa plase give me some useful suggestion.. either should i go for lshape or 3+2 seater
  • fefie
    8 years ago
    looks like I am not the only one with this question , 2 0r 3 seater. Since I am downsizing and moving into an apartment , size is a consideration . My living-room is 11.1x12.2 in an open concept setting. I will be the only one using it every day , but of course I will have family come over and don't have room to have too much extra. So far all the sofas I've seen and liked are 2 seaters . Sofas under 85" don't look that good with 3 seat cushions and I also wonder how many times someone actually will sit in the middle of the sofa. I guess I will find out after I bought a sofa :-))
  • Silvey Marshall
    7 years ago
    This isn't exactly the question, but just throwing this out....I just read that if you want a one-seat sofa, it should be high quality; otherwise, the ends may stick up when you sit down.
  • Silvey Marshall
    7 years ago
    I meant to say one-cushion...not one-seat.
  • PRO
    LineBox Studio
    7 years ago
    Three
  • nicolediane
    7 years ago
    3 cushions! Yes, no one wants to sit in the middle but with company over and not enough seating someone will end up in the middle and no one wants to sit on the crack.
  • Alyssa S
    6 years ago

    I'm curious, what did you end up buying and how is it working? I'm having the same dilemma for our family of five.

  • RubyRoses
    6 years ago
    for a household of adults only..I would chose the 2 seater. for a family I would chose the 3 seater so parents can sit on each end and a child snuggle between.
  • Jenny
    4 years ago

    I came across this old post today because I have the same dilemma. A family of 5 and only room for one sofa. We currently have a 3-cushion sofa. We often cram 4 or even all 5 of us on it (our oldest is almost 13 and our youngest is 2... this will not work for long!). Our previous sofa had 2 cushions. It was more comfortable for two adults, but it didn't work at all when a child wanted to sit with us (Who wants to sit on the crack? No one. Ever.). So, the 3-cushion was a must when we bought our current sofa. Now, I am ready for something new, and I'm really wondering about the bench cushions. I sat on one at Pottery Barn the other day (the York Deep Seat), and it was comfy. I am just worried about uneven wear, both to the cover and the cushion. Hmm...

  • Tam
    4 years ago
    I tend to think it depends on your use of the sofa. Do you plan to lay on it? If you plan to lay on it you may not like a two-seater because of where your bottom ends up. Personally, I like the looks of a two-seater, and I also agree with the above statements that I don't want to be the one sitting in the middle. Maybe you can sit on several options in the store to get a feel for what you prefer.
  • momiss12
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I always end up sitting on the crack with the 3 seater. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this. Maybe it’s just me or the way the pillows are arranged:).

    I don’t like the way it looks when the middle cushion is smaller. I prefer the 2 seater.

    I wonder which is more popular but I guess it’s whatever works for us.