Couch Designs

What You Need to Know About Picking the Perfect Sofa Size For Your Space

Not sure what size sofa will fit in your living space? Let's take a look at how to determine the ideal size sofa for your living room.

What’s the Right Size for a New Couch, Featuring Rebecca Hay

Avoid these common mistakes when picking a couch size:

Choosing the perfect couch can be a daunting task, especially when you’re trying to balance function with design. We all love the idea of a large, cozy sectional that invites everyone to lounge, but the reality of fitting it into your room’s layout without overwhelming the space can be tricky. It’s a common dilemma that requires some thoughtful planning. In this post, we’ll dive into the challenges and considerations of selecting the right seating, explore why sectionals might not be the best option for entertaining, and share expert tips from Rebecca Hay on creating a flexible and comfortable living space.

  • Maximizing seating space: When choosing a couch, it’s important to consider both function and design, balancing the desire for a large sectional with the practical limitations of room size and layout. This common dilemma requires thoughtful planning to ensure the couch fits well and enhances the overall space.
  • Discussion on sectionals: Sectionals are popular for their cozy appearance but have significant limitations when entertaining large groups, as the main issue is that no one wants to sit in the corner seat.
  • Challenges with large sectionals: Large sectionals can dominate a room and disrupt the flow of space, so it’s essential to balance seating capacity with maintaining open floor space and good room flow.
  • Rebecca’s recommendations: Opt for multiple pieces of furniture instead of one large sectional. Suggested configurations include a three-seater couch with two club chairs, offering flexibility in arranging furniture and facilitating face-to-face conversations.
  • Entertaining and social dynamics: It is easier to have conversations with separate seating pieces, highlighting the importance of considering guest comfort and social interaction.
  • Health considerations: Rebecca also shared chiropractor advice on sitting styles and avoiding neck strain, offering practical tips on sitting posture for better health and comfort.
  • Dr. Bond’s expertise: In an interview with Dr. Bond, a chiropractor, he provided additional tips on sitting and posture. 


Can a couch be too big for living room?

We won’t sugar coat it (though that’d be delicious). Yes, a sofa can be too big for a living room. If you have a deep sofa, even that can pose problems for your space. And no, a sofa with storage won’t necessarily solve the problem either. Here’s what you need to consider if you think your sofa might be too big.

  • Size matters: Yup, a massive couch can make your living room feel like a squeeze. Balance is key!
  • Space to breathe: You want enough room for walking, opening doors, and good flow. A colossal black leather sofa might cramp your style.
  • Cozy, not crowded: Opt for a couch that lets you move freely without acrobatics. It’s about comfort and functionality.
  • Room to shine: Avoid overwhelming the room. Your couch should complement, not swallow, your space.

Remember, a just-right couch makes your living room cozy, not cramped. It’s your chill zone, not a couch obstacle course!

What is the ideal sofa size for a living room?

Woman thinking on a green couch

You might own the most comfortable sleeper sofa in the world, but that won’t matter if it can’t fit inside your house. We know grandma’s vintage couch is amazing, but if it’s a bulky post-war sofa the size of a tank, then you might be better off swapping it out for a small futon.

  • Room proportions: Go for a sofa that matches your living room’s size. Not too big, not too small—just right!
  • Measure up: Measure the space where your sofa will live. Leave breathing room for a comfy vibe. 2-3 feet on either side is usually the sweet spot.
  • Seat magic: Aim for a couch that seats your crew without cramming. No one likes a squishy squeeze.
  • Visual balance: A sofa that harmonizes with other furniture and leaves space to move is the gold standard.

Finding the ideal sofa size is like hitting that sweet spot in a game—balance, comfort, and fun! 

Full Transcript of What’s the Right Size for a New Couch, Featuring Rebecca Hay:

Rebecca Hay: But actually, sectionals are terrible when you’re entertaining a lot of people because if you think about it, nobody wants to be the man in the corner, the girl in the corner.

Alex Back: Hey everyone, it’s Alex with, and I’m here with my new friend Rebecca Hay from Rebecca Hay Design. She is the founder and Chief Rebecca Officer—CRO—love it, I just came up with a new title. Also, she is a popular podcast host of Resilient by Design. I was a guest recently, and thank you so much again for having me there. Amazing, ladies and gentlemen, Rebecca Hay! Here she is, woohoo!

Rebecca Hay: Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much for having me, Alex.

Alex Back: My pleasure. You have agreed to come to and tell our users about certain things that they may be curious about, that they may want to hire an interior designer to discuss, but maybe they could just think about these things first prior to doing that or prior to going couch shopping.

Rebecca Hay: Certainly.

Alex Back: You mentioned function, and I think function is very important. You also mentioned maximizing seating space. So, this is a common thing, and I sold a lot of couches to a lot of people, and one of the sort of most basic questions that is a little bit less design in a way and more sort of function-based is how big of a couch to get, right? Because I think if people, especially with big families, or if they entertain a lot, they want to have this 10-piece modular behemoth that costs God knows how much money. But also, not every room can handle such a big piece of furniture, so at some point, you have to make certain concessions. Like, okay, I often have six people over, but am I getting a six to eight-person couch or sectional, or from a design perspective, maybe it would be better to keep some more open floor space and keep a nice flow to the room, and maybe that’s more important. So, how do you reconcile that for people that you’ve worked with in the past, and how does that conversation normally go?

Rebecca Hay: Okay, this is such a common conversation, Alex. Obviously, you know that oftentimes clients or homeowners want a sectional because you see it everywhere. It looks so cozy. Wouldn’t it be amazing? I can lie down, I can put my feet up, and yes, if the purpose of the sectional is for you to put your feet up with one or two other family members and watch a movie or watch a show, great. But actually, sectionals are terrible when you’re entertaining a lot of people because if you think about it, nobody wants to be the man in the corner, the girl in the corner. No one wants to sit in that corner. And so what we find is that when you’re entertaining, consider having multiple pieces of furniture and not just one behemoth, as you call it. Because especially if you don’t know the other people that well, like it’s one thing if it’s a kid’s slumber party; it’s a whole other thing if you’re inviting a few couples over from the neighborhood that you’ve just met. And one thing I’ve noticed is, oftentimes when we have that conversation with our clients where we say, listen, maybe a three-seater with two club chairs is actually a better solution because then you can move the furniture around. You could bring in a couple of dining chairs, and you can have an actual conversation where you’re face to face, not side by side. It’s tricky to have a conversation when you’re sitting right next to the person.

Alex Back: That’s true. You can really crane your neck. They’re sitting; you can crane your neck, and you can end up at the chiropractor. I have a post about that too, about sitting styles on the couch. I have a chiropractor, Dr. Bond; he joined me last week. Very excited about this one, but I digress. He tells us all about how to sit and how not to sit on couches.

Rebecca Hay: I’m going to listen to that one. I’m going to watch that one.

Alex Back: You should. We’ve all had experiences where we’ve fallen asleep like that. We’ve all had experiences at a party where someone’s sitting in that corner of the sectional, and whether their shoes are on or off, their feet are encroaching upon your personal space if you’re sitting next to them and talking to them. So, I’m happy that you mentioned that. But it sounds like really considering what your use is going to be is extremely important, and as obvious as that may sound, people don’t often consider these sort of basic elements. What is my style? How much space do I have? How much will I be using this couch, and in what way will I be using it? So, I love that.

Alex Back: Rebecca, thank you so much for being with us and sharing your insight. This is just incredibly valuable. We hit all of our marks, and I genuinely appreciate it.

Rebecca Hay: Thank you for having me.

A smiling man with short brown hair and a beard stands on a beach during sunset. He is wearing a black short-sleeved shirt with small white dots. The ocean and sandy shore are in the background, creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder