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malbec
February 29, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Which is more comfortable/usable: a 2- or 3-seat sofa?
Our family of 5 has a single family/living room in our smallish 1930s home. It's the center of our house - my husband sometimes falls asleep on the sofa at night, the kids play there, we play games, our main computer is there, sometime we'll put in a tv, and our family/friends hang out there when they come to visit. I'd like to get a new sofa (and return the one we're borrowing), but am questioning whether to get a two or three seat sofa. On one hand, no one ever wants to sit in the middle of a sofa, but on the other is there enough support with two cushions to sleep on, or does your bottom sink between the cushions? :) Here are a couple pics from C&B that I'm considering. My style is transitional, and I like the look of both. I'm more interested in your thoughts on comfort and usability. Thanks for your comments!
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TanCalGal
I have a 3 cushion sofa and a 1 cushion sofa. I was told it was a matter of design trends: sometimes 2 are more popular and sometimes 3 are more popular. But, you raise an interesting point, maybe there are other factors to consider. I wish I knew the answer.
March 1, 2012 at 11:56AM   
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malbec
It's probably a matter of personal taste - I guess we'll just have to "try out" the sofas in the store. How is your one cushion in terms of support?
March 1, 2012 at 1:37PM   
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TanCalGal
It's a Sheraton style & one cushion is fine, although I don't sit there for long times: while entertaining and nightly pre-dinner glass of wine :) http://www.hickorychair.com/Furniture/All-Furniture/James-River/i504795-Sheraton-Sofa.aspx
March 1, 2012 at 2:03PM   
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PRO
Cynthia Taylor-Luce
The larger the seat cushion, the softer the "sit". I prefer the look of the old three-seater length with two cushions instead. It looks more generous and inviting. Sometimes the three-seaters will have a smaller cushion in the centre and L cushions hugging the arms, and it looks unbalanced. As to the ideal size, that depends on your room, but don't be afraid to go big if you can accommodate it. We recently bought a 10'-long sofa, which is made up of a left arm sofa, an armless sofa, and a right arm sofa, all linked together. One can recline at each end and still leave room for someone to comfortably sit in the middle. It's 42" deep, which makes a huge difference--you can really curl up in it. The seat cushions are down-wrapped and the back cushions are a feather/down mixture. It's by Sam Moore (Hooker Furniture) and I've never had anything so comfortable. Many sofas have built-in ottoman extensions, but I'd prefer a separate ottoman since it's more versatile.
March 1, 2012 at 3:54PM   
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malbec
Cynthia, that's a good point - the 2-seaters do look more inviting. The sofas in the pictures are the exact same length (88"), but you have a lot more room to spread out if it's just two 40" cushions vs three 30" (or whatever the exact measurements would be). I'm not sure a large sectional would work in my 13x22 room, but I have thought about a smaller one with just a sofa and chaise.
March 1, 2012 at 7:29PM   
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PRO
Urban Cabin
I am a fan of two over two sofas for casual comfort. If your lifestyle is casual and relaxed a 2 seat sofa would be a great fit. It is nice to lay on a sofa with fewer seams as well...
September 30, 2012 at 9:22PM   
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browniebear
Check out the sofa from Kasala on my Discussion tabs. It has a reclining seat on one side and a chaise lounge on the other. It can seat 5 people and is great for husbands who like to sleep on the sofa too like mine
September 30, 2012 at 10:13PM   
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janiedarling
Hi, I am just asking myself the same question--but am taking a step further and considering the benchseating style couch. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I am struggling with all of the options--and I do realize it is a matter of design style--but I do also want a couch that will be practical, comfortable, and look clean and put together. The benchseating certainly seems to look very streamlined. That said, with a 2 seater--you can rotate cushions if they start sinking--vs. benchseat you can't do anything if the cushion breaks down. Thoughts anyone?
January 1, 2013 at 1:09PM     
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
You are correct nobody wants to sit in the middle. When it is that choice or the floor they will usually take the middle seat. I also sleep on the sofa a lot and prefer a 3 seater.
January 1, 2013 at 1:13PM   
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Sarah Yama
I've had both with a family and the 3 cushion was used more even with adults. Better use of space, practical, and cost efficient
January 1, 2013 at 4:59PM   
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Sarah Yama
I've had both with a family and the 3 cushion was used more even with adults. Better use of space, practical, and cost efficient
January 1, 2013 at 4:59PM   
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calonlan
My sofa is about 90" long with 3 equal cushions and tailored (tight) canvas slipcovers. After cleaning, it's not easy to wrestle the covers back onto those three smaller cushions. I think the longer single cushion would be really tough -- maybe something to consider if you plan to have removable covers.
January 6, 2013 at 3:40PM   
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PRO
LM Designers
The 2 cushion looks better. Make sure your husband lays on it to see how comfortable it will be. The arm rests don't look good for laying against. It looks stiff and not sink in comfy.
January 6, 2013 at 3:49PM   
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Nancy Hehmann
Perhaps no one wants to sit in the middle. But after work or when watching TV we usually lay on the couch so the more room the better.
January 6, 2013 at 3:54PM   
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fabia
So, I.I.I. you sleep on the sofa a lot...is that because you've been a bad boy? lol
January 6, 2013 at 4:12PM   
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nking43
I hate the look of two cushions. Even if there is room for three people to sit, they won't.
I thought I hated one cushion, but that is what I ended up with when I got a settee, and now I love it.
Still hate two cushions. Just looks wrong.
January 6, 2013 at 4:54PM   
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susanjwatts
Both our love seat and sofa have one seating cushion and I love that about them! The sofa is great for taking a nap, and seating 3 is not a problem. It always looks tidy, as well. I'm looking to replace our 12 year old set and the only thing I'm looking at is single cushion, single attached back.
January 6, 2013 at 5:03PM     
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designideas4me
I have almost exactly the same couch. 3 seats. I love long low modern. You can lay on it. much more useful.
January 6, 2013 at 5:34PM   
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beth128
I have one of each and I like both of them, but prefer the 2 cushion for napping on.
January 6, 2013 at 6:14PM   
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Swati Gupta
i have a singe bed in my drawing room.. i wnt to to a new 5-6 sofa seater sofa plase give me some useful suggestion.. either should i go for lshape or 3+2 seater
March 30, 2013 at 9:14AM   
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fefie
looks like I am not the only one with this question , 2 0r 3 seater. Since I am downsizing and moving into an apartment , size is a consideration . My living-room is 11.1x12.2 in an open concept setting. I will be the only one using it every day , but of course I will have family come over and don't have room to have too much extra. So far all the sofas I've seen and liked are 2 seaters . Sofas under 85" don't look that good with 3 seat cushions and I also wonder how many times someone actually will sit in the middle of the sofa. I guess I will find out after I bought a sofa :-))
March 14, 2014 at 6:56PM   
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bbtexan
This isn't exactly the question, but just throwing this out....I just read that if you want a one-seat sofa, it should be high quality; otherwise, the ends may stick up when you sit down.
August 6, 2014 at 10:32AM   
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bbtexan
I meant to say one-cushion...not one-seat.
August 6, 2014 at 10:33AM   
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PRO
LineBox Studio
Three
August 6, 2014 at 10:42AM   
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2014diane
3 cushions! Yes, no one wants to sit in the middle but with company over and not enough seating someone will end up in the middle and no one wants to sit on the crack.
August 6, 2014 at 10:43AM   
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