Shopping for a new sofa is complicated on many levels, but if you have a pet, it makes matters even more challenging. While, of course, you want something stylish, comfy, and affordable, you also have to worry about getting something that your cat or dog won't destroy, too. If you're on the lookout for a sectional sofa or a classic couch that'll last you for years to come (even with a cat or dog), you're in the right place.
To help, we searched high and low across the internet and found nine choices worth shopping, whether you're worried about Fido's slobber, Felix's claws, or your red wine. We also found options in a wide range of price points, including styles under $1,000 you can purchase via Amazon Prime, as well as investment pieces you'll use for years (and, ideally, decades) to come. But first, some tips from the experts.
What to Look For in a Pet-Friendly Sofa
Where to begin? Well, for starters, it's smart to look for sofas with "removable and cleanable covers for customers with children and pets," Kimberly Kronberger, Home Furnishing Business Leader for Living Room Seating at IKEA U.S., tells POPSUGAR. "Not only can you remove and clean these covers, but you can also replace them if you ever need to, which is a much more cost-conscious option than replacing an entire sofa due to dirt or stains."
Another rule of thumb is to choose performance fabrics when they're available. "These days, so many furniture brands offer beautiful performance velvets and flat weaves that resist snags, spills, and stains, and they can truly last for years," says Shelby Girard, VP of Creative & Design at Havenly. "Look for fabrics with high rub and thread counts—the higher the count, the more durable the fabric. And for those with active kids and pets, I'd stay away from nubby fabrics like bouclé (they tend to snag) or true linen (it's easy to stain).
What to Look For in a Quality Sofa
Kronberger makes a good point, noting that whether or not a sofa is "quality" ultimately "depends on what's important to you." Here are some guidelines to consider, according to the interior expert: "Do you have pets or children? If so, a sofa with a removable cover may be your best bet, so you have the option to remove the cover and clean it as often as you need. If you are pressed for space in your home, a sofa with built-in storage might be right for you. Or if you live in a space where your living area may need to double for sleep – a sofa bed may be a good idea. Ergonomics are very important when choosing your sofa – If you like a relaxed position, go for a low, deep seat. A higher, narrower seat favors an upright position, while a high backrest supports your neck and shoulders."
Another great tip? "The right sofa should always reflect how you live (or plan to live) in that space," says Girard. For example: "If you're in a TV room, a big, cushy sectional is comfortable enough for the whole family to curl up on. For more elegant living spaces and sitting rooms, your sofa might have more of an upright seat so guests can easily lean in for conversation or grab their drink. If your sofa is in a light-filled space, keep in mind that sunlight can cause darker colors to fade over time. In that case, choose a performance fabric that's more resistant to fading." Ultimately, choosing a quality sofa comes down to the way you live and your personal preferences.
How to Choose the Right Size Sofa
Obviously, dimensions are your friend, and thankfully, brands are generally really good at giving you the exact dimensions so you can find a sofa or sectional with the ideal width, height, and depth, for your space. Keep in mind, though, that it's not just about whether or not it will fit but if it will fit comfortably. "It's all about scale — too big, and your sofa overwhelms the whole room, too small, and there's no room to sit," says Girard. "If you're short on square footage, look for sofas and loveseats with slim proportions and shallower seat depths. For large spaces, play around with a large sectional or a pair of sofas to help anchor the space. In the case of tricky room layouts that require a sized-just-right sofa, go custom! You may have to wait longer, but you can choose the exact length, width, and depth you need.
Oh, and a tip that both Girard and Kronberger were quick to point out is that you need to measure your doorways and stairwells as well to make sure you can even get your sofa into the apartment. "It's an easily avoidable mistake I see made way too often," says the Havenly pro. Keep reading to see the choices we gathered based on Kronberger and Girard's advice and extensive market research. Our personal favorite is the Burrow Block Nomad Sofa Sectional ($2,090). Meet your match ahead.