Different sofa styles

Written by kathryn hatashita-lee
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Different sofa styles
The stanard three-seat sofa measures approximately 76 inches arm to arm. (Modern pink sofa on marble to a floor image by terex from Fotolia.com)

With many sofa styles available, factors for choosing the right style include measurements, function, materials, durability and budget. Whether a traditional or contemporary style, the sofa should have the desired number of cushions, arm style and legs. The internal frame should include strong hardwood screwed together rather than softer wood stapled together. Taking the time to test the sofa by sitting in it will help determine comfort and the right fit for you.

Standard Sofa

The standard three-seat sofa measures 76 inches arm to arm, 30 inches deep x 31 inches high. The long style can feature one of four back styles. A tight back style has no loose pillows at the back. For example, the camel back style includes a sprang back. The attached pillow back features pillows sewn to the sofa. The loose pillow back can be moderately firm with an equal number of back and seat cushions. The casual multi-pillow back style has more back pillows than seat cushions. Also known as the scatter back sofa, this style accommodates people of different builds and allows free arrangement of the pillows.

Sofas for Sleeping

Sofas that also perform as beds include the sleeper sofa and the convertible sofa. Sleeper sofas hide a bed frame and mattress beneath the seat cushions. Removing the seat cushions allows the bed frame to pull out between the sofa arms.

Convertible sofas do not contain this frame mechanism. The sofa seat cushion acts as the mattress when unfolded and set horizontal. Convertible sofas allow adjustments for reclining.

Reclining Sofa

The reclining sofa includes a mechanism that allows one part of the sofa to extend like a reclining chair while keeping the rest of sofa in the same position. This style allows the sitter to extend his legs off the floor and relax as if sitting in his own lounge chair. Some models are dual reclining sofas with double reclining mechanisms.

Sectional Sofa

The sectional sofa allows a variety of arrangements based on sections that can line up in different ways, or groups. Sectional sofas can be without one or two arms. Adding chaises and a loveseat can extend the line or create a corner sectional for a wraparound look. This style can work well in large living rooms.

Futon Sofas

Futon sofas allow the convenience of a casual sofa and a small bed that takes a minimum of wall space. The futon mattress usually measures between six and eight inches. A split-level back allows different sofa positions.

Patio Sofa

The patio sofa usually consists of durable materials that can withstand wind, rain and outdoor conditions. The larger size and heavier weight of patio furniture can counteract the risk of blowing over in a storm.

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