Couch Alternatives For The Living Room

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When it comes to selecting a couch, you can be sure there will be plenty of options awaiting you. But if you've got your eye on one of the many styles of couch alternatives on the market, your work may be cut out for you. Gone are the days of the traditional living room-sofa, loveseat and armchair- now you can decide between futons and bean bags, floor pillows and loungers. 

Traditional Couch Alternatives

For many, the couch lost its appeal long ago, and since then dozens of alternatives in dozens of styles have risen to popularity. There are many "traditional" options, which offer the same feel as a couch, and even take up the same amount of space. They include:

  • Futons
  • Daybeds
  • Divans
  • Chaise lounges

Futons: The futon is probably the most popular and time-tested of the couch alternatives. Because of its versatility and affordability, it has long been the favorite among college students and young adults looking to furnish their ever-changing space. Most futons are equipped with collapsible arms that allow you to easily convert it into a bed for guests. Considering the futon is designed to seat people comfortably, it usually functions as a fairly welcoming bed as well.

Finished Product

Daybeds: Daybeds are great for decorators that want their space to look and feel cozy and comfortable. Offering a much greater width than a typical couch, daybeds allow you to stretch out and relax. This might be the perfect option if you find yourself spending a lot of time getting comfortable for movie night. Since there is so much space to cover in pillows and blankets, daybeds also allow you to be liberal with your decorating. Since daybeds are technically still a bed, they work great in large bedrooms, but can still be a warm addition to living and family rooms as well. 

Divans: An ancient form of eastern décor, the divan is a large couch without a back or arms. This is an elegant option for those who are decorating their space with a theme in mind, or who simply want to add a bit of flair. Compared to some of the other options, a divan may not be the most comfortable. Without a back or arms it is hard to nestle in and get comfortable. On the other hand, if you're looking to lie down, you won't be wedged between any borders.

Chaises: Chaise lounges have recently become one of the most in-demand couch alternatives. The great thing about a chaise lounge is that, depending on the size and model, it can work great as a couch or a chair. Like the divan, the chaise lounge can be a good addition to an elegant space. Many chaise lounges are can be adjusted to allow you to sit or lie, making them a great choice for anyone who likes to curl up with a book.

Ready for Planting

Unique Couch Alternatives

If you've considered all the traditional options, and still can't seem to ditch the sofa, it might be time to open your mind to some of the more unconventional alternatives on the market, like:

  • Bean bags
  • Floor pillows
  • Round lounge chairs
  • Hammocks

Bean Bags: There's no way around it: bean bag chairs are fun. They're reminiscent of youth, they take up very little space, and they're pretty comfy. It's why many startups set up lounges for their employees that are filled to the brim with egg chairs and beanbags. Although they may not be the best option in a family or living room, they're great for kids rooms and game rooms.

Floor Pillows: Floor pillows are probably the most bohemian couch alternative you can find. If you're looking for an eastern theme, or you are a proponent of feng shui, floor pillows might be right for you. If not, they are a good alternative for game night or to keep on hand whenever seating is limited.

Lounge Chairs: Round lounge chairs are a very popular item in most furniture stores. With removable pillows, they allow the decorator the freedom of variety. Make sure you take a test-seat before you buy, since these items can be less comfortable than they appear.

Hammocks: You may have chuckled at the thought of a hammock swinging in the middle of your house, but don't be so sure. They are a relaxing alternative for any summer home, and look great in a Cape Cod themed room. They're also easy to remove, so once you've finished that Hemmingway anthology you've been dying to read, you can store your hammock back in the closet for another day.

There are countless options for couch alternatives, with a perfect fit for any budget, measurement and style. The key is to find the right one for you, your personality and your space.

Last Updated: March 19, 2013
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About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for

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