Family fills our home with love, laughter, comfort, and — let’s be real — chaos. From the kids running through the house in their muddy soccer cleats to the dog napping on the sofa after rolling in something questionable, it’s amazing anything in our homes survives.
Sure, there will be casualties— like the vase that fell during that game of “The Floor Is Lava” — but your sofa shouldn’t be one of them. Even a reasonably priced sofa is an investment, so it needs to stand up to a little family chaos.
The best couches for families should be sturdy, comfy, and easy to clean. But they should also fit your favorite interior design aesthetic. (After all, we make a lot of sacrifices for our families — style doesn’t have to be one of them.) And to find a couch that does all that, you need a plan.
We’ll explain what to look for in a family couch. Plus, we’ll share our top five favorite sofas for families so you’ll be ready to go out and shop.
What to look for in a family-friendly couch
Style might be a personal preference, but sturdy is a matter of design. You can choose a couch that’s sturdy enough to face spills, sticky fingers, and stinky dogs by looking for a few specific features. Make these things must-haves before you shop for your new sofa.
A sturdy frame
Kids jumping doesn’t just happen on the bed. Couch cushions are bouncy too. And no matter how many times you ask them to stop, your kids are occasionally going to jump — or at least plop — on the couch.
For a couch that can withstand heavy use from your kiddos, look for a steel or hardwood frame. These are the sturdiest materials for a sofa frame. They’re a sign of solid construction that can keep your couch looking its best for longer.
A performance fabric
Performance fabrics are stain resistant, easy to clean, and less likely to trap pet hair in the weave of the upholstery. They’re ideal for kid-friendly and pet-friendly furniture, so you don’t have to worry if your human babies have sticky fingers or your fur babies have muddy paws.
Some of the best performance fabric options include performance velvet, microfiber, microsuede, and leatherette. These upholstery options have a tight weave that doesn’t snag and doesn’t hold onto pet hair. It also takes longer for stains to soak into a tight weave, giving you more wiggle room when messes loom.
While you may have your heart set on a top-grain leather sofa, genuine leather is notoriously hard to clean, meaning it won’t last long in a full house. High-quality leatherette material can give you the same look and feel in a more family-friendly, wipe-clean fabric. Other fabrics to avoid include delicate upholsteries like silk and chenille.
A dark color
Dark upholstery is another feature that can help you avoid stains in a high-traffic living room. Sure, performance fabrics have made lighter upholstery less frightening for families. But if you want to be sure your sofa can handle the heat (and the many things your kids eat), then darker color options — like you see in the black furniture trend — are a better choice.
Still, if you’ve been drooling over the white sofas you see in magazines, make sure to choose a top-notch performance fabric or a sofa with a machine-washable slipcover. A slipcovered sofa will allow you to replace just the slipcover — instead of the whole sofa — if an accident happens. And in a bustling family house, accidents are bound to happen.
A lot of room
When you’re choosing a couch for the whole family, you need to make sure the whole family fits. This sofa will be where you have your movie nights, talk about your days, and lounge around on lazy afternoons. If you want your family to hang out together, then you need to make sure everyone has space to settle in and get comfy.
Also, if you regularly have your kids’ friends over or host your extended family for the holidays, then you might want to add a little extra room for visitors. If your living space is too small to fit a sectional sofa, try pairing your couch with a love seat or accent chairs to make more room for everyone.
The 5 best couches for families
Now that you have a checklist of features that the best couches for families should include, let’s take a look at a handful of couches that fit the bill. These sofas are sturdy, stylish, and stain-resistant. Add them to your living room and start living!
1. Schwartzman Modular Sectional Sofa in Charcoal
If you thought your days of glam style and luxe living were over when the kids were born, think again. This Schwartzman velvet sofa is made with a kiln-dried wood frame and brushed nickel leg finish. The modular design is completely customizable so you can arrange your sectional to fit any number of family members or any size living space. Plus, the dark-colored back and seat cushions are removable and reversible so you can say “so long!” to stains.
2. Vera Upholstered Sofa Bed in Grey
One of the best kids’ couches and best sleeper sofas, the Vera would be a great addition to your family room, game room, or playroom. The versatile design converts from a sofa to a chaise to a queen-sized bed — giving your family plenty of room for slumber parties. It has a kiln-dried hardwood frame, metal legs, high-density foam cushions, and grey velvet upholstery with two matching throw pillows. This modern sofa design will match any contemporary living room.
3. Sawyer Pillow Top Arm Motion Sofa in Cocoa
For a traditional-style home, the Sawyer reclining sofa features a durable, wipe-clean faux leather upholstery in a dark brown color. The cushions are made with a cool gel memory foam topper, and the reclining seats have a wall-hugger mechanism to make them more functional in small spaces.
The middle seat can also be used as a drop-down console with a USB charger and two cup holders, so this sofa easily transitions from family night to date night.
4. Blaine Upholstered Reversible Sectional in Fog
If you want to deck your pad out in 70s interior design, then allow us to give you the skinny on this plush sectional. The Blaine reversible sectional is ideal for families that like comfy, retro style.
It features deep seats so you can curl up and enjoy a good nap. The performance fabric is in a wide corduroy pattern, and the seat and back cushions are reversible to give you more options in the face of stains. Plus, the two-piece design makes this one of the best sectionals for small spaces while still giving you plenty of room for a family of four.
5. Jennifer 6-Piece Upholstered Modular Sectional in Terracotta
This richly colored modular sofa will add an earthy pop of color to your space. The durable terracotta upholstery is a beautiful alternative to a white sofa in an organic modern or Scandinavian living space. This modern sofa also features a fully-encased solid wood frame.
The six pieces are designed for endless customization so you can create your own ideal seating arrangement. It includes three armless chairs, two corner sectional chairs, and one ottoman, which you can use as a chaise lounge or in place of a coffee table.
Family comes first (and the sofa comes second)
Whenever you buy a new sofa, think of your family first. Then, find a piece of furniture with features that fit your lifestyle. It will save you a lot of family arguments if you have stain-resistant upholstery, a sturdy frame, and a little extra space.
So make your list of the must-have features that are right for your family. Then, head to your local Coaster Furniture retailer to find a new family couch.
When you shop with a local retailer, you’ll not only be supporting a small business, you’ll also be able to sit on every sofa and look at every upholstery swatch to ensure you’re getting a couch that’s comfy, durable, and beautiful.
Ultimately, the best couches for families are the ones you pick out together. And when you shop in person, picking the right couch will be easier than picking a film for your next family movie night.
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