Feeling shameful of your sad, saggy sofa? We get you. We also understand that nice, adult furniture—no, not that kind of adult furniture—can cost a lot of our hard-earned Benjamins, and while we may have gotten our mattresses off of the floor and into a real bed frame, finding a couch that can impress mothers, lovers, and ornery ghosts is no small tall task. Luckily for you, we have nothing but time and an unhealthy obsession for pleasing our poltergeists, and we’ve Goldilocks’d enough couches in our life to understand that the most important elements of a sofa—from durable materials to timeless design—can still be found in couches and seating for under $1,000. And before you suggest a couch cover for that lumpy, ugly futon, be warned: One of our editors had such a couch cover in her last apartment, and it earned the nickname, “The Diaper.” It was not fun to make out on The Diaper.
That’s where modular sofas come in to save the day and coddle your buns. Known as “modular” for their easy assembly and proclivity for arriving in buildable pieces, modular sofas are like the Build-A-Bear of the furniture world. They’re for people who want to make their railroad apartment look way bigger while investing in a velveteen, scratch-proof sofa that even Fluffy can’t annihilate; they’re large enough to fit a sleeping houseguest, sleek enough to look designer, and plush enough to make sure we’re ready to binge-watch 19 hours of Werner Herzog movies (it’s been a weird winter).
Whether you’re looking for a two-seater loveseat, sectional, or couch worthy of your most epic 1970s conversation pit dreams, here are some of the best modular and compact sofas that will stand the test of time (and that one friend who spills everything).
We don’t know if Albany Park is a real place (Don’t spoil the magic) but if it’s anything like the website of the same name, it must be populated with beautiful modular couches. The Kova sofa in particular is worthy of its own Brave Little Toaster spin-off, because it’s super easy to assemble, small-space-friendly, comes in seven earthy colors, and ships under one business week—for free.
If you're looking for more of a conversation-pit-style statement sofa, try the big, bodacious Kova Pit, which has enough space for your whole squad to stretch out and scream at Shake during the Love Is Blind reunion.
As one of the lines belonging to the design emporium that is Wayfair—which can do no wrong, in our books—AllModern’s reversible sofa and chaise is not only built to last, but sold at a far more affordable price than most of the velveteen mid-century style sofas you’ll find online, which can run thousands of dollars. The brand’s plush gold velvet sofa looks like it belonged to a hot, stealthy lady who poisoned her husband, or the kind of man who uses the word “brunch” as a verb. Take it home while it’s $250 off, and leave your impressed house guests none the wiser.
Article has a huge selection of mid-century-modern-ish sofas to choose from, in a wide variety of fabrics and textiles. But if you're still feeling indecisive after checking out the three-seat Burrard or five-seat Timber, head over to the modular section of the site to design your own big or small couch that tickles your fancy perfectly and accommodates all your cats, Roku remotes, and empty bottles of pêt-nat.
One of our favorite pet-friendly furniture options is Burrow, because there’s such a vast range of fabrics and designs. Whether you’re looking for a durable loveseat, three-piece sectional lounger, or a leather, eight-seat corner sectional, all of Burrow’s couches prioritize quality materials that your cat can try (and fail) to ruthlessly claw, easy assembly, and free delivery, no matter the size of your order.
“From mid-century modern to contemporary, our design language is intentionally universal,” says Castlery about its furniture, which pairs perfectly with our Noguchi lamps and Japandi decor. The brand’s five-star-rated, two-seater sofa is the perfect building block for a smaller space, and it’s on sale right now for $220 off its original price.“[It’s] exactly how we envisioned [it] to be when setting up our cozy corner,” writes one pleased customer.
Perhaps best known for its signature chic, easy-to-assemble platform bed frame, Floyd also offers an interactive Build Your Own Sectional feature on its website that lets you choose the length, configuration, cushions, and color of your custom modular couch. Or, if you're not exactly a design whiz and your apartment's a wee bit shoeboxy, go for the Floyd Sofa, which is easy to assemble and disassemble and has an optional chaise for when you wanna put your feet up.
Yet another furniture company that can contend with the ruthless claws of our adorable pets, Interior Define did not come here to play. The brand has innovated 13 pet- and kid-friendly fabrics that include a special leather and velvet, and even its smaller couches and loveseats, such as the sage-colored Marlow, look like a million bucks:
No one is asking, but we would totes swap our first-born for free rein on Kaiyo’s furniture selection. We wrote an honest review about second-hand and vintage furniture seller’s services ages ago, and loved everything from the prompt delivery time (you can select your delivery day and time), the cleanliness of each item, and the affordable white glove (meaning, a team delivers and installs your item themselves, so you don’t lift a finger) delivery fee which ranges from $19 to $49. If you love to zhuzh your home decor and have a vampire thirst for bargain hunting, this is a site to have open in your browser all the time—you never know what deals you’re going to find, such as this cushy modular sofa that is 87% off the original price.
This Jonathan Louis twin sleeper sofa is not only 40% off, but it’s the perfect size for the friend who loves to crash on your couch, and it has a hidden storage department for blankets or whatever else you need to discreetly hide [polishes sex toys].
We are proud, eternal Wayfair devotees, because the retailer of home, kitchen, and design goods has just as many (if not more) highly aesthetic furniture pieces as fellow mega-retailer Amazon, from mid-century modern furniture to the brand’s new, minimalist-meets-industrial Steelside line, and it offers free shipping without any need for a subscription. Modular sofas such as the Ivette and Izaak will make a statement on their own and look classy with a footstool, ottoman, or poof:
There are also some pretty whimsical designs for the adventurous, such as this bubblegum-pink modular sofa, which is the perfect blend of Barbie and James Bond.
No one knows the way to our design hearts quite like West Elm, from ficonstone indoor planters to those plush, faux-fur throws that feel like the real thing. The furniture and decor site consistently makes pieces that feel both trendy and timeless, and it's super-durable, indoor-outdoor modular Catskill loveseat and lounge chair duo starts at $449, while the modular indoor sofa starts at around $1,000 and is made with extra-durable kiln-dried wood.
Now go pour yourself a treat, and put your feet up for a while.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.