This Post may contain Affiliate Links. Please read our Disclosure for legal jargon.
“I’d never just want to do what everybody else did. I’d be contributing to the sameness of everything.” -Don Van Vliet.
Don’t only apply this quote to your life but also to your decor. Don’t you walk into houses and think wow they’re all the same? Each house has a conventional couch, coffee table, photo frames or paintings. Each house is the same in its basic design and this is exactly what we don’t want. No. Just no. I see another couch and I will burn it.
But what is the option, you ask? If not a couch, what else? I’m here to give you not just one, but a whole list of cool alternatives to the same old couch. What we’re going to strive for is combining the comfort of a couch and the style of modern seating. So let’s get rolling…
Best Couch Alternatives:
1. Bean bags:
You come home after a long day at work. You’re exhausted and all you want to do is sit on your butt. You walk over to your bean bag and plop down on it. Ahhhhhh you sink in the squishiness. Voila, you’ve got paradise!
Now there are several types of bean bags because there are options in materials, sizes, and styles. You’ve got some kinds which come with a bean ottoman, lounge chair style. You can comfortably stretch out your legs and relax.
There are also bean bag chairs like the Big Bob which are squishy supreme and provide complete back support. In fabrics, you have options like faux leather, wool, linen, faux fur, soft suede and so on. The kind you should buy depends on the support you want, the temperature, and your budget.
Overall, any bean bag is very comfortable because it adjusts itself around the sitter, making it a good choice for pregnant women. A bean bag is quite durable and will last for 3 years at least after which it will require a change in its beans (stuffing).
Some quick buying tips:
1) Get quality bean bags or the cheap ones will go flat quickly.
2) You should get a good discount online while buying.
3) Get bean bags with removable covers so the cleaning becomes 10x easier.
However, a drawback is that they’re difficult to get up from. Older people with weak knees might struggle a bit. Moreover, its beans are an environmental hazard if not disposed off properly. If you have young babies, make sure they don’t nap on a bean bag because it has a suffocation risk.
All in all, if you’re looking for affordable, cool, light and comfy seating- bean bags are your go-to.
2. Cushion Seating:
The best part about couches are the cushions. Soft, big, and cuddly, we all love these teddy bear turned furniture components. So how about we keep only these softies for our seating?
You can arrange cushions in a number of seating styles around an ottoman or table. There can also be a variety of sizes and heights. Get cushions which are ginormous for seating but add a few poufs around them for comfort and style.
There are a ton of patterns and colors and materials available so you are bound to get cushions matching your room’s decor. There’s something about cushions that immediately puts you at ease because they’re cozy. However, your grandma will not be able to enjoy these because it’s floor seating.
I have a solution- get two or three firm cushions that are the same and pile them on top of each other to elevate your seat. You can even place a cushion on a milk crate for some height. To provide more support, you could get cushions with backs.
With cushions, dust mites might be a problem so cleaning will be a little time-consuming. But overall, cushions are quite enjoyable for all spaces!
3. Japanese Style Seating:
Zen is the vibe we want.
Do you think civilization started with couches? Did our ancestors use a sofa? Of course not. The Japanese have not felt the need for couches and still don’t. They go with floor seating even in upscale settings and there is no reason why you can’t either.
A low table with mats or flat cushions for seating is simplistic and minimal. You can even use Zaisu (chairs with no legs) around your table. Such seating is very easy to maintain and doesn’t crowd the room. This seating is also very space-efficient because you can move the table and use the space for sleeping. However, it might not be suitable for people with knee problems.
If you want a room that is airy, light and uncomplicated- do it like the Japanese. Light some incense and put a bonsai in the middle of the table!
Loveseats are tinyyyyy. Their purpose is to accommodate two people so they can cozy up in peace. If you and your partner need seating just for the two of you, this could be your go-to. But if you have any hopes of squishing more people than possible, I’m going to pop your bubble right here.
Loveseats may be tiny but this makes them very mobile. No not the ring-ring mobile- movable. You’ll find shifting them very easy. Furthermore, they are affordable because of their size. Generally, they are used in group seating- in addition to a sofa or couch- but if your place is small-scale there’s no reason you can’t place a loveseat in your hall or near a window.
You won’t be able to lie down or laze in this because it’s not big enough. In a way, it will cut down your laziness considerably. If you’re living by yourself though, then it might be good for you.
5. Wooden Platforms:
Classy, sleek, and sharp- wooden platforms are the in thing this season.
It is a bonus if they are designed with storage capacity. Wooden platforms have height, making them an ideal seating for people of all age groups. They work in both- small and big- spaces. The elevation of the platforms looks very modern especially when combined with good lighting.
But if you live in a humid area, stay away from wood because it will rot. The last thing you want is rotten seating. But humidity won’t keep you away from style. You could use faux wood (synthetic wood) instead as it is quite low maintenance. For real wood, you’ll also have to polish it periodically.
You could build the platform seating yourself or hire a professional. Oak is a good choice for platforms because it is very durable.
Why get a sofa or a couch when you can get something which is a part-time bed? I don’t understand how people don’t love futons. I mean come on people it’s a bed. Uninvited guests? Futon. Fight with your partner and got kicked out of the room? Futon. Couch potato? Futon.
Futons are quite affordable and they start at $130-150 generally. They are pretty pocket-friendly this way. They’re also easy to move and lightweight so if you want to switch rooms or houses, you won’t get a stitch doing so. And if you are short on space, they’re ideal.
However, the mattresses are a little thin sometimes- something you must check before you make the purchase, especially if you have a weak back.
You get a lot of choices in style, fabrics, and frames to suit your decor. If you live alone, don’t buy a bed at all. Get a good quality futon which serves as seating by day and bed by night.
Why get a three-seater when you can get three one seaters? Ooo did I confuse you again? An armchair seats one person at a time (generally). Your living room seating could be 4-5 armchairs.
They’re space-effective yet elegant and they provide substantial body support. If you prefer uniformity then get the same kinds but if you like some spunk then mix and match. Armchairs are accent pieces and look splendid. There are a variety of materials available for upholstery.
You could get oversized armchairs too which are extremely comfortable and arrange them around an ottoman. And they work fabulously when arranged near a fireplace. You can get a blanket, a hot cup of cocoa and all your stress will disappear! Sit with your family and read, play games, talk as the warmth of the armchairs gives a homely vibe.
Lounge all day. You can stretch out like a cat 24/7 if you get chaises for your living room.
Before we begin let me just tell you that if you’re a social butterfly who loves hosting, this option isn’t for you. Chaises are ideal for couples who aren’t big on entertaining guests and like being by themselves as they chill. Now that that’s said and done, let’s get going.
Chaises allow more movement and aren’t as restrictive as a sofa is. You won’t have to chart out a course around them. They can also accommodate guests in emergency situations. Two chaises are ideal but get more if you’re a fan of them.
You can have them facing each other, beside each other, connected, in an ‘L’ position or facing a window with a view. In addition to this, they make a room look bigger. Couches take up space and crowd but chaises give the illusion of space.
Get an amazing chaise lounger here.
9. Cardboard Furniture:
Yes, you read that right. Since everyone is trying to help out the environment in all spheres, why not in furniture too?
Cardboard furniture has become very popular with students these days because it has all the qualities they want. The obvious advantage of cardboard seating is that it is eco-friendly. It is also very light and movable- practically weightless.
There are designs available that go flat when not in use. You can make it on your own by designing and painting it to your taste. As a result, it is very affordable. You can YouTube a bunch of tutorials and do a fun DIY to customize your cardboard chairs.
They look sleek and stylish. But this seating is on the firmer side and if you like softer support, just add a throw or a cushion on this chair.
10. Window Seating:
I automatically feel like I’m in a music video whenever I stand near a window. Before I go completely off track let me tell you why window seats are the best.
Firstly, window seating is something everyone can implement because all houses have windows. Secondly, windows are a nook where you can find some me-time and be by yourself. If you have a window with a view then invite me over (not kidding) and make yourself a seating there.
The natural light is great for working, writing or reading. The window seat could even be a sleeping loft if you wish. You could even fashion some compartments for storage. However, leave a window open overnight and look at the mess you’ve made on the seating.
Get a window pad and make an amazing window seating for yourself.
Don’t you hate it when small things litter your room? A chapstick, box of tissues, chargers, and god knows what else. What if you had a bed that came with drawers? And what if it just happened to be a good seating option too? *cue the James Bond music* and enter daybed!
This is a very functional piece of furniture because it stores, provides rest and seats. Most daybeds are quite durable and space-saving too. It will also come to the rescue when guests turn up and you have no clue where you will accommodate them. In the morning you can throw on some cushions and make them a sofa style but at night you can zizz.
12. Flying Carpets:
Alladin reboot. No this is not something out of a fantasy movie or a sci-fi film either. Flying carpets are a really cool three-dimensional seating option. They’re floor seating but the top left and bottom right corners are elevated to give support.
People love sitting on the floor but can’t do so for a very long time because of no support. Not anymore- sit on the floor as long as you want. You can add throws or cushions to make flying carpets a beautiful and warm space. Their size allows you to stretch properly. When no one is watching you can even pretend you’re Jasmine…
13. Vintage Rugs:
Let’s get that retro-chic!
When you want to go minimal but not drab- rugs come in. Rugs are so beautiful, I mean you have a choice in material, color, pattern, wow. The kind of rug you will use depends on several factors. For instance, woolen rugs are the most durable and clean but they are not suitable for humid places. Silk rugs will look very attractive to you but you do NOT want people stepping all over them as they show footprints.
Jute or cotton rugs are built for casual spaces but lack the aesthetic sometimes. You also have synthetic rugs which are a great choice because they’re low maintenance. Getting a genuine vintage rug will be an expensive affair so you could even get a rug that looks vintage but actually isn’t.
A very helpful thumb rule- you must leave 2 feet between the wall and the rug and your rug should be a minimum of 6 inches. Get cushions matching the rug or paint your walls a similar shade. You and your guests can lie down or sit comfortably on the rug. Did you know that sitting on the floor improves flexibility and keeps diseases at bay?
Check out beautiful vintage rugs on Amazon.
Trying to keep the child alive in you? That will not take effort anymore if you have a swing in your house. How cool is that? You’re reliving your childhood fantasy.
Swings are fabulous because they provide momentum. No more sitting still in one place. You could get yourself cushioned swings or you could add a blanket or rug on a regular swing. One thing to keep in mind is the size of your room- swings go with bigger spaces.
A swing would however not be a good choice for a house with kids because they run around a lot and might get hurt while someone swings. Another factor to consider is installation. Make sure you have the time on your hands as well as the budget to call a professional.
On a similar note, you could get hanging chairs too. While buying a swing you must check it’s weight capacity without fail. But swings certainly add to the aesthetic and you could add fairy lights on their cables!
Buy the best-rated swing from Amazon.
15. A Pit Modular Sectional:
Another childhood fantasy- a pit! An actual pit.
I know that the title made it sound like a Star Wars weapon. A pit modular sectional is a sectional sofa (sofa assembled in pieces) placed in a way to make a huge pit. Naturally, you will require a bigger space for such a pit. But then again- movie marathons, binge reading, board games, and snuggling are things which are better done in a pit.
You can even use it as a bed for sudden guests or yourself. Cleaning sectionals can be a bit of a hassle but only because they require time. As for the price range, they are a bit costly. Look at this as an investment though. Sectionals are quite durable and it’s a pit. An actual pit.
16. Restaurant Booths:
How many Riverdale fans out there?
Restaurant booths are very very very cool. They look like they have been pulled out from a retro movie or a Netflix series. You can use actual resto booths that are for sale by enquiring around your neighborhood or you could use the style.
Booth seating is essentially a close-knit seating around a table- generally a sofa sectional and a couple of chairs. The purpose of booth seating is giving you and your family a sense of intimacy. A small private bubble. You could even hang some lights overhead and make the setting 10x more personal.
A drawback would perhaps be the fact that if one person wants to leave the booth, everybody needs to get up. Such seating does not allow movement very easily. And another thing to consider is that such a seating is designed for 4-5 people at least and if you live alone or with a partner, this is not too practical.
This is straight outta Hawaii! Imagine swinging in your hammock while reading a book and sipping lemonade.
Hammocks are your own little cocoon and super-duper snug. They provide full-body support and are great for sleeping.
Now there are two sides to this- if you sleep in a hammock with your head elevated a little, the blood circulation of the body increases. But get the position wrong and your body aches in places you didn’t know could hurt. You’ll need to research on the right sleeping pose and after practice, you’ll master it. You know what’ll be funny? Watching you enter and exit a hammock initially hahaha.
On the bright side, hammocks are very easy to clean and quite portable. They also save space and you can simply remove them while cleaning. Studies have shown that they are a stress buster and people sleep better in them. They do require an overhang or hook for installation but are otherwise quite hassle-free.
How many of you watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Remember the bench near the window where Monica hid her presents? Yes, that. Benches are something you can make yourself by watching tutorials online. They look sharp and are very useful especially if they’re built with storage compartments.
You must check the measurements online (like the minimum depth required, width for seating, etc) before you go all Bob The Builder. Benches are also easy to clean and can be decorated easily. However wooden benches and rot may be a problem in humid places.
Benches work best when paired with some other form of seating like armchairs or cushions. Practical yet pretty- benches are here to stay.
But aren’t they for beds? How can I use a mattress instead of a couch? This is ridiculous.
This is ridiculously brilliant because I’m offering up a convertible again. Bed cum low seating yay! Here’s what you do- buy two mattresses. Arrange them in an L formation or on top of each other if you prefer height. Cover them with a pretty sheet and add some cushions on top.
Congratulations, you’ve got yourself a stunning seating. At night this will become your bed- saving space and money while it gives you a lot of comfort.
20. Bird’s Nest Seating:
My opinion on modern furniture was not that good until I came across this Birdsnest Seating. It is my dream to have a bed or lounging area where I am surrounded by cushions, enveloped in softness. However, my dream cannot accommodate more than 2-3 people.
And it is a little difficult to clean. But otherwise, it’s gorgeous! You also get a choice in color in eggs. Comfort is supreme in this one but it will also require a slightly bigger space or the room will feel congested.
Did you get my point?? You don’t need a couch or a sofa because there are 20 other options you have instead. Why go conventional when you can have fun with your seating? But here’s a reminder- don’t only go on the appearance of a seating arrangement because comfort is always the priority.
Also, consider your budget and your space. Sometimes chairs look great in a store or online but you need to judge them in context to your space. Mix function and fashion in a healthy way and choose wisely!