Loveseat vs. Sofa: What’s the Difference?

If you’re deciding between a loveseat or sofa, it’s important to understand the key differences between both along with how many people can comfortably sit on each piece of furniture. Read on for a complete breakdown, weigh pros and cons, and see where you can find your new loveseat or sofa. 

Sofa vs. Loveseat Compared

Both are seating options, but the key differences are that a loveseat has only two seats and a sofa has three, but that wasn’t always the main differentiator.

LoveseatsSofas
Average Size63” x 38” x 34” 90” x 38” x 34” height
Number of Seats23
Primary UseAccent or Additional SeatingPrimary Seating in a Living Room

History of Loveseats and Sofas

Invented in the 1700s the loveseat was intended for women as a seat large enough to accommodate large dresses with hoops, layers, and underskirts. In the 18th and 19th centuries, as women’s dresses became slimmer, these benches could fit an additional person, typically a romantic interest, which is why we refer to them as “loveseats”.

Initially, they were just plain wooden benches, but over time evolved into two and three-seat options where they garnered the title of settee or sofa, as we know them today. 

Loveseats vs. Sofas: Comparing Design

Often love seats are used as an interior design, accent piece of furniture or as additional seating in a larger living space. Alternatively, loveseats can be used as en lieu sofa in a small space. Conversely, sofas are often used as the main seating for the family room or living room. 

Style can and does vary sofa to sofa, but typically both loveseats and sofas have a back connected to a bench with armrests on each side.

What is a Loveseat?

A loveseat is characterized as a two-seater chair or a two-seat sofa with a high-back and either bench-style seating or two separate seats. It’s also been referred to as a courting bench, kissing bench, gossip chair, or conversational bench.  

In any case, it’s defined as any form of two-seat furniture where two seats are arranged in such a way that two people can converse while looking at each other and being within arm’s reach while retaining enough of a barrier between them to be comfortable. 

Often, loveseat sofas come in living room sets that include a sofa and a loveseat. This additional seating helps to fill out the living space while offering additional space for lounging. 

With traditional sectionals, you will also find a chaise attached to a loveseat. Alternatively, loveseats can be used as accent pieces in other rooms such as a guest room, dining room, or foyer.  

What is a Sofa?

A sofa is characterized as a three-seat bench with a high-back, with or without armrests. Sofas are commonly referred to as couches, settees, futons, or chesterfields.  

The textbook definition of a sofa is a piece of furniture for seating two or three people in the form of a bench, with armrests, which is partially or entirely upholstered, and often fitted with springs and cushions.

While it’s primary use is for seating, couches can also be used for laying and sleeping. In fact, many variations of the sofa have been created to add additional seating and functionality. For example, sectional sofas add additional seating while sleeper sofa beds convert into a bed for guests. Reclining options can also be included on sofas.

In homes, sofas can be found in the living room, family room, den, or other space with a floor plan large enough to accommodate it. They are often also found in commercial buildings such as hotels, offices, waiting rooms, and bars.  

Where to Find the Best Sofas and Loveseats

Now you know the difference between a loveseat and a sofa and are well on your way to narrowing down your options for a new sofa. 

Whether you’re in the market for a loveseat or sectional sofa, Home of Cozy has buying guides featuring tried and approved recommendations to help you on your buying journey for new home furnishings.

Additionally, we can also help you find the best place to buy a couch whether you’re an internet shopper or prefer to buy in person.

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