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Today’s modern couch is more than a piece of furniture. The role of the modern couch has grown in importance. The furniture piece is more than a focal point, it’s the nucleus that connects everything within the living space.

modern couch

As the largest furniture piece in your living room, it is the most important one. If you’re thinking about buying a new couch, but you don’t know what you want, we can help.

Color, style, and vibe, will influence how you decorate your living room. Before you start shopping for a sofa, do your research.

There are many types of couches, styles, and a variety of textiles for you to choose from. 

The Modern Couch Nowadays

Modern Couch Design Ideas

The contemporary form of a modern couch is the hub of the living space. It’s where you spend the day lounging, watching TV, napping, and spending time with guests.

Your sofa must fit your lifestyle. After all, the couch is where you and your family watch TV together or discuss important issues.

What is a Couch?View in gallery

Modern Sofa Vs Couch

It is related to the word “suffah,” which is a bench or platform intended for sitting or reclining. Usually, you would find them with draped fabric and cushions.

What is the difference between a modern sofa and a couch?View in gallery

Decades ago, couches did not have arms. A sofa was defined as having arms and a back and was meant for sitting. 

Different Types of Couches

Start shopping and you’ll soon find that there are many different types of couches.

Types of couchesView in gallery

It doesn’t matter if you want an iconic silhouette or a classic, traditional shape, you can find it. Designers have created interesting shapes that riff on older styles. 

You might also think that types of couches have more to do with style than anything else. Often, the silhouette of the back or the style of the arms is the defining element.

Classic Round Arm Couch

This couch style has a classic, well-recognized design. Modern couches that have this shape look far more contemporary. That’s because they use contemporary textiles.

Retro Square Arm Couch

The clean look of these modern couches comes from the squared-off arms. If you want something really versatile, this is a great choice for a family room or a more formal living room.

Hard Wedge Arm Couch

Some people would call this type of couch a Stockholm sofa. It has a higher back but the wedge shape of the angled arms makes it feel lighter.

Rounded Wedge Arm Couch

Related to the hard wedge arm, this is more user-friendly. The angled arms are very rounded and super comfortable

Sloped Arm Couch

This classic design is resurging in popularity. Sloping arms are comfortable and provide a more open feeling.

Belgian Roll Arm Sofa

These types of couches combine the sloped arm style with a roll arm. The resulting hybrid style can be casual or formal.

English Roll Arm Sofa

A classic shape, this modern couch is often slouchy and a bit overstuffed. The more tightly upholstered, the more formal the piece.

No Arm Sofa

Most often sectionals, armless couches are very modern. They usually sit right on the floor like a cushion and are ideal for lounging.

Wooden Arms Sofas

Wooden arms or framing visually lightens the couch. These are best for living rooms or offices where users are less likely to want to lie down.

Tuxedo Sofas

The arms and the back are the same height on a tuxedo sofa. It was a forerunner of today’s more modern types of couches.

Chesterfield Sofas

This also has arms and a back that are the same height, but the Chesterfield has. rolled arms and deep tufting on the back. It’s an iconic style.

High-Back Sofas

On these couches, the backrest is higher than the armrests. This common silhouette works casual and formal settings.

Round-Back Sofas

These types of couches are not as popular and can be harder to find. That said, they can be overstuffed and casual or tightly upholstered and fussier-looking.

Mid-Century Modern Sofas

This style is versatile and still extremely popular. Exposed legs and a linear structure are characteristic of this style.

Camelback Sofas

A camelback sofa is a traditional style and has a hump or two. Typically more formal, it has exposed legs, no back cushions, and square or rolled arms.

Cabriole Couches

With its exposed wood and elegant legs, the cabriole sofa has a distinctive silhouette. Typically, the back is all one continuous piece without cushions and has an elegant curving line.

Lawson Sofas

The back cushions of a Lawson are typically loose. The arms can be rounded but the square is more common in this family-friendly style.

Barrelback Couches

This is similar to a barrel-shaped chair. The curve of the sofa back seamlessly extends to create the arms as it comes around the sides of the sofa. It does not have separate cushions.

Rollback Sofas

A classic style, the rollback takes the shape of a rolled arm and uses it on the top of the sofa back. It’s best for traditional rooms where the back of the couch doesn’t sit against a wall.

Sectional Vs Modular Sofas

Originating in the 1950s, these types of couches are a combination of smaller sofa units that you can combine in different configurations. They are very common and popular in today’s homes

Popular Modern Couch Materials

The Most Popular Couch Material TypesView in gallery

After you choose the style and shape, there’s still one more big decision: What type of material do you want for the upholstery?

Some fabrics are more popular than others. Here are some of the most common types of couch fabrics:

Leather Sofas

Leather Couch Material TypesView in gallery

Leather upholstery is a luxurious, and durable choice. Whether it’s for a formal living room or a casual family room, it will work either way.


  • Leather can last for decades when properly maintained. 
  • It’s low maintenance and pet-friendly because it resists spills.
  • It looks fabulous in any room.


  • Caution is required with sharp objects, which can pierce leather.
  • As great as it is, genuine leather upholstery is more expensive.
  • It can be difficult to determine what you’re buying because so many faux products masquerade as real leather. These fake or “eco” materials are not nearly as long-lasting or durable.


Microfiber couchView in gallery

Made with a fine polyester, microfiber upholstery is soft, easy to clean, and quite durable. It can give you the look of suede without the high cost and maintenance.

Of course, any polyester is petroleum-based and not the most environmentally friendly material.


  • Microfiber resists fading and is hypoallergenic
  • It’s tightly woven so it’s easy to clean and blot up stains.
  • It’s warm, cozy, and soft.


  • It can show wear a little more than some other choices.
  • While it might be rather stain-resistant, microfiber tends to show watermarks from moisture.
  • The fabric tends to have static and hangs onto hairs and various particles.


Olefin couch materialView in gallery

This is an durable, synthetic material that is petroleum-based. It’s ideal for situations where the couch gets heavy wear. Many people like it because it looks like wool.


  • Olefin is resistant to water, chemicals, and fire.
  • It resists fading because the dye runs throughout the plastic fiber.
  • It’s super easy to clean.


  • Light, heat, and various oils can negatively affect this material.
  • The pattern and color choices are limited.
  • If it sits in the sun, olefin can get crunchy-feeling.


turquoise sofa cotton materialView in gallery

Cotton tops the list of popular upholstery fabrics because it’s natural and most durable. You can also find cotton upholstery in a wide budget range. This is because there are different grades of cotton.


  • Cotton is 100 percent natural, hypoallergenic, soft, and breathable.
  • This fabric comes in an endless array of colors and patterns.
  • It’s super durable and resists pilling.


  • Spills tend to soak in quickly.
  • Cotton wrinkles easily.
  • Light colors can pick up the dye in clothing while you’re seated.


WoolView in gallery

Wool is natural and can be a good upholstery choice for a living room. It’s super comfortable and quite durable but requires some care and maintenance to keep it dirt and stain-free.


  • Wool is natural and environmentally friendly.
  • It resists fading, fire, water, mold, and mildew.
  • Wool is warm in cold weather, and cools in hot weather.


  • Wool is an expensive option.
  • Spills must be cleaned quickly to avoid staining.


Green velvet couch 1024x768View in gallery

One of the most luxurious options, silk is meant for formal spaces. It’s a soft, elegant, and long-lasting investment. Moreover, the range of colors, patterns, and textures are unparalleled.


  • The luxurious look of silk is unmatched.
  • It retains its shape well.
  • Silk is comfortable.


  • Silk is not family- and pet-friendly because it requires dry-cleaning.
  • It is prone to fading in sunlight and stains easily.
  • Without a doubt, silk is an expensive option.


AcetateView in gallery

If you like the look of silk but not the expense and maintenance, then acetate is an option. It is a popular synthetic fabric that was created to mimic the lustrous quality of silk. It’s an elegant choice for a formal space at a lower cost than silk.


  • Acetate resists humidity, pilling, mold, and mildew.
  • This is an inexpensive upholstery fabric choice.
  • It has the same wow factor as silk.


  • Acetate is not family-friendly and stains easily.
  • Just like silk, this fabric must be dry-cleaned.
  • It wrinkles easily and has no elasticity.


Green velvet couch 1024x768View in gallery

With the push for more natural materials in the home, linen is becoming more popular.


  • Linen is natural and breathable, so it’s also comfortable.
  • This fabric resists mildew, pilling and fading.


  • Linen is delicate and easily soils, and wrinkles.
  • This fabric is not family- and pet-friendly.
  • Requires professional cleaning.


Pink velvet couchView in gallery

The most glamorous upholstery fabric option, velvet is still having a moment. It feels fabulous and has a luxurious sheen that will make your couch stand out.


  • It’s a warm fabric and is very cozy for lounging.
  • The colors available are rich and deep, like jewel tones.
  • The flat pile resists pet hair and particles.


  • Velvet is not easy to maintain, depending on the individual type.
  • It’s prone to staining and may require professional attention.
  •  It’s not a great choice for a couch that is heavily used.


ChenilleView in gallery

Soft and fuzzy chenille fabric has tufted fibers that make it comfortable. Options include synthetic and natural fibers and either one can be very durable.

Elegant and soft, chenille has tufted threads, which give it a soft, fuzzy texture. Although, if you have cats or dogs with claws, the tufted threads can get snagged in them when you’re not watching.


  • Chenille is super luxurious and soft.
  • It’s easy to clean and stands up to constant use.
  • The fabric is durable.


  • Chenille fabric can loosen. You can add a backing to prevent this but it also drives up the cost.
  • Chenille couches need regular vacuuming and spilled liquids might need professional attention.
  • The fibers are long so pet claws can easily catch in the fabric. 

Modern Couches

A modern couch will have a minimalist aesthetic and no ornamentation. Here are a few modern couch design ideas:

Mid-Century Modern Sofa

Mid-century Modern CouchView in gallery

The main features of a mid-century modern couch are clean lines and organic shapes. The style is now a timeless and popular choice that blends well with lots of contemporary décor.

Typically, these couches feature tapered legs — mainly wood — rectangular seat cushions and squared-off armrests.

Modern Sectional Couches

Modern Sectional CouchesView in gallery

Today’s modern sectional couches are some of the most practical pieces of furniture. Ideal for small or large spaces, the individual pieces can be assembled to fit any space.

You can find them in a range of styles. Moreover, the sections can sometimes be customized with armrests, recliners and lounges. The best thing of all is that you can find one that fits the style of any room.

Modern Leather Sofa

Modern Leather CouchView in gallery

Leather has undeniable appeal and nowhere is this more true than for a modern leather couch. The clean lines and streamlined look are ideal for leather upholstery. Just as leather works for upholstered styles, it also good slouchy, overstuffed versions.

To make sure your investment lasts, go with genuine leather and not faux or bonded leather materials, which can peel and crack. And for added flair, get a few large pillows to offset the color.

Modern Couch Set

Modern Couch SetView in gallery

As much as designers bemoan furniture sets, some homeowners still love a nice modern couch set.   

White Modern Couch

White couchView in gallery

The quintessential example of chic is a white couch. Depending on the upholstery, it might not be the most family-friendly piece, but it will be stylish.

Black Modern Couch

Black modern leather couchView in gallery

This couch falls at the opposite end of the color spectrum and is a stylish choice. A modern black couch is edgier but more difficult to work into decor schemes. A mid-century modern sofa, minimalist, or contemporary design are suitable for a black modern couch.

Green Modern Sofas

Modern Green CouchView in gallery

Green has emerged as the color of choice. A modern green couch is a solid option for updating your living room.

Modern Pull Out Couches

Green velvet couch 1024x768View in gallery

A modern pull-out couch is comfortable and useful. For small living spaces, if you don’t have a separate guest room, the sofa style is ideal for holiday guests.

Formerly known as a sleeper sofa, the modern pull-out couch can be far more comfortable. This is because mattress technology has improved greatly. In addition, some people add a mattress topper to improve comfort.

Modern Velvet Couch

Green velvet couchView in gallery

For the ultimate in glamorous style, nothing beats a modern velvet couch. The beauty of this couches is how it makes an instant statement.

The modern velvet couch is available in many colors, but jewel tones are among the most common. These colors are deep and rich, creating a high-end feel in any space.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Is The Average Price Of A New Couch?

The average price of a new sofa is roughly $1,000. It will depend on the materials and whether you buy it from Wayfair LLC online or a local furniture store.

As you already know, a leather sofa is more expensive than a cotton sofa. You might save more money if you buy it online. However, when they ship your new couch, it could arrive with missing items or broken leg.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of The Average Couch?

A new sofa will last between seven and 15 years. If you have kids, the wear and tear will decrease its lifespan. If the couch is just for you and for relaxing, it will enjoy a 15 year life.

How Much Does It Cost To Reupholster A Sofa?

To reupholster a sofa, you can expect to pay between $500 and $45,00. On average, a reupholstering sofa job will run you $1,800. Upholstery materials include new fabric and legs.

Also, sofa fabric costs between $10-$70 a yard. For labor, you can expect to spend between $40-$100 per hour.

Do Pull Out Couches Come With A Mattress?

A sleeper sofa comes with a mattress. The built-in mattress makes the sofa heavier, which means it’s harder to move. The couch is ideal for small spaces.

Are Sofas Unhealthy?

University researchers found that taking afternoon naps on a sofa may expose you to toxic chemicals. The study found that some couches contain toxic or untested chemical flame retardants, which are a health risk when inhaled.

Modern Couch Conclusion

Modern sofas never stop evolving. Like any interior decor item, new styles emerge annually. Even the mid century modern sofa, although true to its roots, has kept up with modern sofa trends. However, it’s the smaller details that are just as important.

If you live in a small space, and you want a couch, an apartment sofa would be your best option. If you’re having problems when you try and shop for that perfect sofa, see what you can find online. You could also find what you’re looking for by downloading a furniture app.

With the West Elm app exclusive features include shopping assistance. It has a main menu where you can search for a Scandinavian design or other customizable features.

The best places to buy a new sofa are at your local furniture stores like Barrel Crate. Most stores will deliver your new couch for free. And some retailers will throw in free accessories like pillows or rugs, which is always a good sign of honest business practices.