The Difference Between a Couch & a Sofa

Many people use the terms "couch" and "sofa" interchangeably, and the terms sometimes vary from one furniture store to the next.

History

Many sofas come equipped with a pull-out bed.Many sofas come equipped with a pull-out bed.
However, some subtle differences between the two may make a big difference in their function and price.

Historically, the term "couch" actually referred to a piece of furniture similar to a chaise, designed for one person to lounge on. These couches usually had one arm and a tapered back. The word sofa, on the other hand, came from the Arabic word "suffah," which was used to describe a bench covered with cushions and blankets.

Size and Function

While most couches are designed to seat three people comfortably, sofas usually have room for four. Sofas are also likely to come equipped with a pull-out bed.

Pros and Cons

Because of the difference in size and function, sofas are usually somewhat more expensive than couches. They are also heavier and more difficult to move, but they provide the convenience of a place to sleep for overnight guests.

About the Author

Tiffany Bennett is a recent graduate from Toccoa Falls College. While earning her degree in counseling and psychology, she discovered that she enjoys various forms of writing. She is currently living in Athens, Ga., and looking forward to beginning a graduate degree program in international affairs at the University of Georgia.