Couch Research

A Guide to the Many Different Types of Couches

When it comes to the many different types of couches, has put together a great list of couch styles names and couch types! Which type of couch is right for you?

Sometimes searching for a couch can be daunting. There are a bunch of terms you can't make heads or tails of. Here at we help decipher some of the many different types of couches and names for them to (hopefully) help you find the type of couch that's going to be perfect for you. Each couch type has its own unique characteristics.

What is a single-person couch called?

A single-person couch is often referred to as a "chair-and-a-half," depending on its size and design. It provides seating for one person and is smaller than a traditional two- or three-seater sofa.

What is a 'ghost sofa'?

The term "Ghost Sofa" refers to a specific type of couch designed by Gervasoni, an Italian furniture company. The Ghost Sofa couch type is characterized by its unique design, featuring a light and ethereal appearance. It is created with a wooden structure and is often accompanied by loose cushions filled with mixed down for added comfort. The name "Ghost" likely alludes to the sofa's minimalist and airy aesthetic, giving it a subtle and almost transparent quality.

What is a 'space saver sofa'?

A "space saver couch" is a type of sofa designed to optimize and maximize the available space in a room. This type of couch is more compact or versatile, allowing it to fit into smaller areas or provide additional functions beyond seating. Space saver couches might have features like modular designs, built-in storage, or the ability to be easily folded, transformed, or rearranged. They are particularly useful in smaller living spaces where optimizing space is essential. The focus of a space saver couch is on combining practicality and comfort while minimizing the physical footprint, making it one of the most popular types of sofa.

What is a 'cuddle sofa'?

A "cuddle couch" is a term used to describe a specific type of seating furniture, often a sectional sofa, that features an extended seat or cushioned area where people can comfortably snuggle or cuddle together. This term is commonly associated with sectional sofas that have an extended "cuddle" or "snuggle" seat, sometimes referred to as a "cuddler sectional."

What is a 'flex couch'?

There are lots of couch styles names... we know... A "Flex Couch" is a type of furniture that offers versatile and adaptable seating solutions. The term is often associated with multi-functional or modular furniture designs that can be transformed or adjusted to different configurations to suit various needs. A Flex Couch might have features like adjustable backrests, fold-out components, or hidden storage compartments. It's designed to provide flexibility in how you use the couch, allowing it to adapt to different situations or spaces. Flex Couches are different types of couch that can be particularly useful in homes with limited space or for individuals who value furniture that serves multiple purposes.

What is a 'zero wall sofa'?

A "zero wall sofa" is a type of couch designed with a space-saving feature that allows it to be placed flush against a wall without the need for clearance behind it. This design maximizes space utilization by eliminating the gap typically required for reclining mechanisms. In a zero wall sofa, the backrest and seat move forward as the recliner is engaged, rather than tilting backward. This innovation permits the sofa to recline fully even when positioned close to the wall, saving precious floor space. Zero wall sofas are ideal for smaller living areas. They offer the comfort of a recliner without compromising on room layout and arrangement.

What is a 'Bridgewater sofa'?

A "Bridgewater sofa" is a classic and timeless sofa style known for its casual elegance. This type of sofa typically features a comfortable and slightly rolled backrest, loose seat cushions, and low, set-back arms that are slightly curved. The distinctive feature of a Bridgewater sofa is its skirt that covers the base, giving it a tailored and traditional look. The back cushions are usually soft and unstructured. Bridgewater sofas are versatile and can fit into various interior styles, from traditional to eclectic. Their design focuses on comfort and inviting aesthetics, making them a popular choice for cozy living spaces.

What is a 'charging sofa'?

A "charging sofa" is sort of literally what it sounds like: a modern furniture innovation equipped with built-in charging stations and ports. It's one of those rare couch styles names that actually makes sense! It combines seating comfort with practicality by featuring USB ports or power outlets integrated into its design. This multifunctional feature allows you to charge your devices conveniently while lounging, eliminating the need for extra charging cords and clutter in your living room. A charging sofa caters to our tech-savvy lifestyles, making it a seamless and efficient solution to stay connected without compromising on comfort or aesthetics.

What is a 'Cooper sofa'?

A "Cooper sofa" refers to a style of sofa known for its sleek lines, minimalist design, and contemporary elegance. Cooper sofas typically feature clean, squared-off shapes with simple yet sophisticated detailing. They often have straight arms, clean edges, and a streamlined profile, embodying a modern and timeless aesthetic. The Cooper sofa's understated charm makes it a versatile choice for various interior styles, from modern and industrial to Scandinavian and mid-century. Its emphasis on simplicity and form creates a visually pleasing and comfortable seating option that complements a range of living spaces.

Why is it called a 'space saver'?

The term "space saver" is used to describe something, like a piece of furniture or a product, that is designed to optimize and save space. In the context of a "space saver couch," it refers to a sofa designed to maximize available room in a living space, often featuring functionalities like storage or modular designs to optimize the use of limited space. It could represent a few different types of couch as long as it is on the smaller size.

What is a 'floating couch'?

A "floating couch" refers to a style of furniture placement where the couch is positioned away from the walls, creating a sense of space and openness in a room. This concept is part of floating furniture design, which involves arranging furniture pieces in a way that they don't touch the walls, allowing the room to appear more spacious and airy. A floating couch can enhance the visual flow of a space and make it feel less cluttered. This design approach often involves creating a central focal point in the room and arranging furniture around it, providing a sense of balance and harmonious arrangement.

What is a 'half couch' called?

dog on chaise

A "half couch" is also known as a "daybed." This is one of the types of couches that is designed with a mattress-like cushion that's long enough to support the legs and can serve as both seating and a place for relaxation. Daybeds often have a backrest on one side and may or may not be fully enclosed by sides. They provide a comfortable space for lounging during the day and can sometimes be used as an extra bed for overnight guests. Daybeds are versatile and can be placed in various settings, from living rooms and bedrooms to outdoor spaces.

Why is a couch called a 'loveseat'?

A "loveseat" is called so because it's designed to provide an intimate and cozy seating arrangement for two people who are in close proximity, often associated with couples or individuals who wish to sit closely together. The term "loveseat" originates from the idea of creating a space where people can express affection, hence the name "loveseat." This term reflects the emphasis on creating a comfortable and affectionate seating space for couples or close companions. And yet another one of the couch styles names that actually makes sense!

Why do they call a couch a 'Davenport'?

The term "Davenport" was originally used as a surname but later became associated with a specific style of writing desk that was designed by Captain Davenport. Eventually, the term "Davenport" evolved to refer to a type of sofa or couch. The transition of the term from a desk to a piece of furniture for sitting can be attributed to language changes and adaptations over time. As with many words in language, shifts in meaning and usage contribute to the evolution of terminology. Thus, the term "Davenport" came to represent a particular style of sofa or couch that was named after the earlier use of the term for a desk.

What is the difference between a 'sofa,' a 'couch,' and a 'Davenport'?

The terms "sofa," "couch," and "Davenport" are often used interchangeably, but they can sometimes have subtle distinctions. "Sofa" and "couch" generally refer to the same type of seating furniture, with "sofa" being associated with more formal styles and "couch" having a more casual connotation. "Davenport" is an older term for a sofa or couch, originally used to refer to a specific style of sofa with a slanted, high back and upholstered arms. Over time, the differences between these terms have blurred, and regional preferences play a role. In essence, while there are historical distinctions, modern usage often treats them as synonymous.

What is a 'cuddler couch'?

A "cuddler couch" is a type of sectional sofa that features a specialized seating area designed for enhanced coziness and intimacy. This section, known as the "cuddler," is an extended seat with a curved or angled shape that allows individuals to snuggle up comfortably. Cuddler couches are crafted to provide a warm and inviting seating experience, making them an ideal choice for those who value close interactions and relaxation. The cuddler section is designed to accommodate one or two people and is intended to create a cozy nook for reading, lounging, or simply spending quality time together.

Why do they call it a 'fainting couch'?

A "fainting couch," also known as a "chaise lounge," earned its name from its historical use during the Victorian era. During that time, women's clothing was often restrictive and constricting, leading to fainting spells due to restricted breathing and circulation. The design of the fainting couch addressed this concern by providing a chaise-like seating option where women could recline, offering relief from tight corsets and other discomforts. The fainting couch typically had a sloping back and an extended seat, allowing women to rest in a reclined position and recover from their "fainting" episodes. While the term might seem a bit dramatic today, it reflects the historical context and purpose of the furniture piece.

What is a 'flip chaise'?

A "flip chaise" is a type of chaise lounge or sectional sofa that typically refers to a chaise section that can be flipped up or down, offering flexibility in how it's used. When flipped up, it provides traditional seating like a regular sofa. When flipped down, it extends to create a comfortable surface for lounging or reclining. This design innovation allows the chaise to adapt to different seating needs or preferences. A flip chaise is a practical solution for those who want both standard seating and the option to create a more relaxed and extended lounging space.

What is a 'Paris Sofa'?

A "Paris Sofa" is a specific style of sofa known for its luxurious design and elegant aesthetics. The term "Paris Sofa" doesn't refer to a widely recognized or standardized type of sofa, but it's often used by furniture manufacturers or retailers to describe a particular model or design. The features of a Paris Sofa can vary, but they usually emphasize sophistication and comfort, often with details like plush upholstery, tufted cushions, and sleek lines. The name "Paris Sofa" suggests a connection to the city's reputation for style and elegance, which is reflected in the design and overall appeal of the piece.

What is an 'Oxford Sofa'?

The "Oxford Sofa" is a distinct furniture piece known for its classic yet versatile design. The Oxford Sofa features timeless details such as rolled arms, welted seams, and turned legs. This sofa is designed to seamlessly blend into various design styles, making it a versatile choice for different interiors. The name "Oxford" might evoke a sense of traditional elegance, and the sofa's design elements reflect that aesthetic. Overall, the Oxford Sofa is designed to provide both comfort and style, making it suitable for a range of design preferences.

What is a 'psychiatrist's couch' called?

A psychiatrist's couch is often referred to as a "chaise lounge". In the context of therapy or analysis, the chaise lounge provides a comfortable and relaxed seating arrangement for patients, allowing them to recline while speaking to the psychiatrist. This arrangement is intended to create an open and comfortable environment for discussions, with the patient's comfort being a priority. The chaise lounge in this context symbolizes a space of trust and introspection, where individuals can freely express their thoughts and emotions.

What is a 'camelback sofa'?

camelback couch

A "camelback sofa" is known for its distinctive design feature – a curved or humped backrest that resembles the silhouette of a camel's hump. The camelback sofa typically has a graceful and elegant appearance, with its curved back creating a focal point and adding visual interest to a room. This classic design often features rolled arms and exposed legs, contributing to its timeless and sophisticated look. The camelback sofa can fit into various interior styles, adding a touch of refinement and charm to any home.

Do people still say 'settee'?

Yes, the term "settee" is still used today to refer to a type of upholstered bench or small sofa. While "sofa" and "couch" are more commonly used terms, "settee" has not disappeared entirely and is still recognized and used, especially in contexts that appreciate a more traditional or vintage aesthetic. The terms "settee," "sofa," and "couch" are interchangeable and can vary based on regional preferences and personal choices.

What is a 'one-cushion couch' called?

A "one-cushion couch" is often referred to as a "single-cushion seat" sofa or a "bench cushion" sofa. This type of sofa features a single large cushion for both the seat and/or the backrest, creating a seamless and continuous upholstered surface. The single-cushion design offers a more relaxed and casual appearance compared to multi-cushion sofas. It's designed for comfort and often prioritizes a cozy and inviting seating experience. It can be a popular choice for those who value a cozy and unfussy seating arrangement.

What is a 'kissing chair'?

A "kissing chair" or "kissing couch" is another term for a "tête-à-tête" or "courting bench." This unique type of loveseat is designed with two seats facing opposite directions, allowing two people to sit next to each other while facing each other. The design encourages intimate conversations without having to turn one's head. "Kissing couch" suggests the close proximity of individuals seated on the bench, fostering a cozy and personal atmosphere. This style originated in the Victorian era and was favored for courting and private conversations.

What is a 'pocket sofa'?

A "pocket sofa" is a type of sofa designed with compactness and versatility in mind. It's ideally crafted to fit into small or compact spaces, making it suitable for apartments, studios, or rooms with limited room for furniture. The term "pocket" implies that these sofas can neatly fit into various nooks and corners. Pocket sofas are often designed to be space-efficient without sacrificing comfort, offering a practical solution for those seeking both seating and comfort in smaller living areas. These sofas typically feature streamlined designs and may include features like fold-out or pull-out mechanisms to maximize their functionality in limited spaces.

What style is the 'marshmallow sofa'?

The "Marshmallow Sofa" is a distinct style of furniture that falls under the category of Mid-Century Modern design. It was designed by George Nelson in 1956. This sofa is characterized by its unique and playful appearance, featuring individual circular cushions arranged on a metal frame. The design is minimalist, with a focus on clean lines and geometric shapes. The Marshmallow Sofa exemplifies the innovative and experimental spirit of Mid-Century Modern design, which sought to combine functionality with artistic expression. It's often associated with the pop art movement due to its vibrant and unconventional design.

From timeless classics like "sofa" and "couch" to specialized names like "chaise lounge" and "kissing couch," each one of the different couch types reflects cultural trends, historical influences, and evolving preferences. Even if we're all confused (we probably are), these types of sofas and couch styles names offer a glimpse into the diversity of comfort, style, and functionality that furniture brings to our lives. Now that you know your terms you are better equipped to navigate the vast landscape of couches. There will be a pop quiz this Friday! GULP.

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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