Difference Between a Chaise and a Sofa

Posted In Knowledge - 06/01/2017

Home Seating Options

Although chaises and sofas are similar sizes, the subtle differences and distinguishing factors give them each their own unique identities. Chaise lounges are generally meant for one occupant to stretch out on, while couches are designed to seat two or more. They both can be sat and slept upon, but nuances of design make each best tailored to specific needs.

Chaise Lounges

Luxurious and Cozy

The chaise lounge provides comfort while sitting upright but they're designed for one person to stretch out upon, making them perfect for relaxing, reading or napping. Structurally, they are essentially sofas with the backrest at only one end. Since they tend to be about the same length as a loveseat or sofa when you are entertaining many chaises have the space to seat two or three for short periods. However, without the backrest of a sofa, they don’t offer enough comfort for more than one for long stretches of time. Their origins can be traced back to Egyptian times, and Greek gods were illustrated relaxing in these types of chairs.

Best for Naps

When considering the differences between chaises and sofas, keep in mind that chaise lounges are meant to offer comfortable reclining for short periods of time. Unlike similarly styled daybeds, there are no mattress support systems, so they don’t always work as an alternative bed.


While chaise lounges work well in a spacious bedroom, they can also be placed in the living room, sunroom or study. They're sometimes combined with a couch to form an L-shape and create a roomy sectional chaise.


Good for a Group

The most striking difference between a chaise and sofa is the length of the backrest. Sofa backrests extend across the entire seating area, compared to the partial support found on chaise lounges. This makes them better suited for watching TV or gathering with friends and family in living rooms.

Ideal for Seating

Sofas can be thought of as cushioned benches with armrests. Padding and upholstery options are widely varied and can be tailored to the homeowner's style preference and needs. Because a sofa is designed primarily as a place to sit with a backrest for support, often that same backrest can crowd a napper, resulting in a less comfortable snooze than a chaise lounge would offer.

Picking a Chaise vs. a Sofa

Let the needs of the room and your family dictate your decision on what will work best for a given space. While picking out the perfect furniture, consider the subtle differences between chaises and sofas before making a final decision.

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