Sofa, Sectional, Futon, Daybed, Divan, Sofa Bed…A Brief Glossary

The market for seating solutions has grown so much, that only to recognize the different products right now in a furniture store, can be really tricky: “Is this a Sofa Bed?”…”Not really, it’s a Sleeping Sofa”…”Ok”. “And that thing over there is a Divan?”…”Well, non exactly. Is a Cantilever”…” Oh Right”…And so on.

So let’s make a very brief glossary to help us differentiate a little bit this little world.

A Sofa. The Classical piece of furniture for three or more people (generally 3 or 4 seats). A sofa is sleeker, elegant and mostly all of them has armrests. A classical Sofa has no mattress or beds. Is just for seating and beauty and functionality are balanced in its design. A classical exponent is an LC3 Sofa, by Le Corbusier, or the Barcelona Sofa.

A Sectional. It’s a type of sofa. They are generally made with sleek lines and have a rectangular or square form. From its name, we can assume that are modular sofas, with several “sections”. What is convenient about sectionals, and makes them so popular, are the different combinations that can be made with them, base on your needs. Keep in mind that its design tends to be monotonous. 

A Futon. It’s a kind of sofa with a sleeping solution in one of its cushions. That cushion will unfold to be used as a light mattress.

A Couch. By definition, a Sofa has armrests,  and is bigger than a couch. A couch has no arms. Is smaller than a sofa, and it is designed considering comfort as the first priority. For people living in small places, with restrained space living rooms, a couch is a way to get seat solutions and a space to relax and rest while you watch TV.

A Sofa Bed. Just like a Futon the Sofa Bed feature some sleeping solution on its own, but while a futon has a foldable cushion, a Sofa Bed has a retractile drawer, to provide a temporal solution for a sleepover. Even some classic Sofa Beds, like the LC5 Sofa Bed, became a bed with the only rotation of its main frame.

A Sleeper Sofa. One of the more recent sensations in the market, a Sleeper Sofa has one retractable mattress that can be unfold from one of the main seats. Unlike its other related pieces, the Sleeper Sofa has a retractable mattress to help you to find a good rest.

A Daybed. A   daybed  has a twin mattress, and generally has a sofa-like frame with arms around it. A sofa bed must unfold its bed from below its main seat, even though there are bed types of daybeds.

A divan is a one piece bed, with one only cushion to recline, with no arms. 

By “chaise” manufacturers refer to a long, unique piece to recline that usually goes against the wall.

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