Sofa vs Chair: What’s the Deal?

Are you looking to get yourself a sofa but you’re not sure if you want a sofa or a chair? You’re probably wondering, isn’t a chair just a single sofa? Well, I’m here to explain and tell you the truth that you deserve. 

A sofa can never be a single same way a chair can never be a double so let us grasp on that and not lose focus. Okay so I understand that at first, this may actually be a bit confusing, but trust me at the end of it all, you’ll make perfect sense of it and I will personally get you through it.

So here is the big question again, are you looking to buy a sofa or a chair? Maybe you’re still not sure of what the difference is. Well lucky for you today I think that what I’m going to be looking at, Should you get a sofa or a chair, why should you get it, what differentiates the two, all this in one big question mark. 

Sofas are generalised and confused for so many things out there, but I’m here to correct and fix that today. A chair is not a sofa and a sofa is not a chair, two things that are set at completely different lengths, but anyways I won’t bore you with the details let’s move on and help you make that decision okay?

What Is A Sofa?

Has anyone ever really been able to properly define a sofa? I mean we get tales and tell on what a sofa really is. Simply put a sofa is a padded bench that can come in different upholsteries that offers seating for two or more people, and it has a backrest and an armrest. I think that’s a clear way to put it don’t you think so too? See this with a sofa is that it is more of a design-driven piece. 

A sofa will get its name from the style and shape it presents. For example, we have a loveseat, why would it be called a loveseat? We have sectional sofas and like their name, they come in sections. Looking at other designs like the armless sofa and so on you’ll see that the design is the name, but with a chair it’s different and I’ll look to that later on. 

So now you know what a sofa is right? It’s simply an upholstered bench with arms and a back, it’s basically a piece of furniture, convertible or stagnant that is normally used for lounging, sitting, napping and relaxing.

What is a chair? 

Basically a chair is a large and comfortable single seat piece of furniture that has a raised back and arms at times. It’s more like a sofa for one person but doesn’t have as many features as you’d expect to find on a sofa. It’s a separate seat for one person, typically with a back and four legs.

Typically some styles you find a sofa in you can also find a chair in. For example, chairs can recline, chairs can have lounging features, they can be armless and can have arms at the same time. Some chairs have split backs, whilst some have throne backs. 

You can even find a chair with nailhead trimmings, all those can be found. Chairs are just as stylish as sofas, they are just as decorative as sofas, the major difference could be on size and seating capacity. All in all a chair is just as comfortable as a sofa, and all things that vary when it comes to sofas such as size, style, color, cost, upholstery and framing also vary when it comes to sofas as well.


Let’s look at the similarities between a sofa and a chair before we move forward. So looking at a sofa you think of comfort and welcome. Looking at a chair you see more of a luxury than necessity right? Here is the thing, a sofa is basically designed for homely use, to accommodate people and allow people living in a home together to have time to sit, relax and enjoy each other’s company. 

A chair, on the other hand, is a bit more mature and complex. See chairs are designed to accommodate only one person, anything that accommodates two or more is either a bench or a sofa. Chairs give off an anti-social vibe in a way, I mean getting a chair for one person is obviously a way to show that you don’t like hanging with people much or that you prefer setting a difference to the world, you enjoy distinguishing yourself from the rest. 

You’ll also note that normally in households armchairs can either be for the head of the house or someone who is greatly respected and is set put from the rest.

Another similarity is that sofas come in different shapes and styles. You can find sofas as traditional, classic, modern and so forth. We have sectional sofas, corner sofas and so forth which is exactly what you find on a chair. 

Chairs may as well come with a traditional design or style, they can be modern or mid-century, you can also find chairs that have a bohemian feel and aura, at the same time you can find more formal chairs that are better suited for workplaces. Looking at the variety of sofas out there it could be easy to think that they are the same, but no, sofas and chairs have different names for a reason and that’s what I’m going to help you figure out today.



We both know that a regular sofa varies in shape and size but it can also vary in cost as well. So comparing the two, We can already tell that their prices will vary depending on the brand, upholstery and style setting. However, regularising both of them, you’ll find that sofas, since they have a higher carrying capacity, will cost more. 

Even if both are leather set, velvet, polyester or even chenille you’ll find that just because a chair will carry one person its price will be reduced and it will cost less mostly because its functionality and carrying capacity are limited so really there’s no point at all for making it expensive. Since prices talk, looking at the price for a sofa it will most likely be higher than that of a chair. Reason being a sofa is more functional as compared to a chair. It’s an investment worth the price. 

Looking at chairs, they come in different variations but they are monofunctional, you can’t really do much with a chair except sit and lounge. What will be the reason for high pricing besides the brand name and upholstery? 

At times the function, in case it’s a recliner, but looking at a regular chair what else can you use to set the price high? So yeah, if you are planning to get a sofa instead of a chair you may have to set a higher budget. 


When it comes to functionality sofas and chairs draw a very bold line. Sofas are the basic go-to when you want to sit or when you want other people to sit and relax in your home. Sofas offer exactly that. a warm sense of welcome diluted with a dash of coziness.

With a sofa in your home you’re welcoming visitors and helping the to feel welcome which is exactly what you might need in your home. Looking at functionality you will find that a sofa is quite flexible depending on the type of you. 

Some sofas allow for you to do more than just sit, Some have luxury features such as recliner seats. We have sectional sofas that allow for you to relax fully in either a sitting or lounging positions. Then lastly we have the classic and regular sofa that’s big enough to offer a sleeping or napping space. 

Most sofas are monofunctional in that they are specifically designed for sitting but we take advantage and drift to out naps easily. Sofas can really be used anywhere, be it in your home or office, they’ll still function and give the feeling anywhere and everywhere. 

Now looking at a sofa, we have a difference. Sofas are deeply monofunctional. You can’t do much on a sofa except maybe just sit and do something that helps you relax. Tell me exactly how a fully grown adult actually takes a comfortable nap on a chair. 

I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you will wake up with a few bumps and curves and all in your skeletal system. I’m not a doctor but I wouldn’t advise sleeping on a chair. Besides working as decorative and practical pieces in homes or offices that’s really all there is to a chair, sitting space. 

The thing with chairs is that they are designed basically for relaxing in luxury rather than they are designed for comfort or practicality. Do you know that special feeling where you just want to sit back and relax unbothered? exactly that’s why chairs can get so costly otherwise that’s all. 


Sofas are so beautiful in fact they are great I mean people who make sofas know that there is a possibility that either you have a small room or you have a big room, so whatever sofa you are looking for at any size you will pretty much find it. Speaking on efficiency, It’s the ability to maximise capacity without making waste. I think that’s a better suit definition for it in this case. 

Now looking at sofas right, they can come as sectionals which are best known to preserve space at the same time offering great seating capacity. Then we have modular, you can separate them and set them at different posts. Allowing more people to sit but still leaving enough free roam space in the roam. 

Of course, we do have certain reclining sofas that may require more space or these big sofas that seem to swallow up a room. But generally, in this case, you can tell that a sofa is quite efficient at least space is taken up allowing for ample sitting space in the room.

The looking at the chair, some come in those big classic throne sizes, take up much space and still only manage to have space for one person. The question now comes, what’s better to get a mini one-man sofa or to get a minimalistic sofa? If you have a small space then you can get a small sofa, if you have a big space then you can get either a small or large sofa. 

Point is with whatever room size and shape you have, you will always find a sofa to fill it. Sofas have recently been modified and will probably fit in any room big or small. Or maybe I’m outstanding the chair, but efficiency should always be greater than the size right? Now looking at a chair you’ll have to accept that whatever chair type you get, it will always take up more space than its regular counterpart and still offer less seating. Is it really all worth it? 

Why a sofa? 

A sofa is one of the most important pieces ever invented. If you want to either accentuate a certain style in a room, what better way to do it than with a sofa. Sofas are the greatest and the best piece you could ever bring to your home. With just that single piece you are able to set out a hard and deafening message to any guest who comes over. 

teddy bear sitting on sofa

Buying a sofa will likely be one of the most important investments you will ever make. So if you need a push to actually buy a sofa over a chair then here goes. Chairs tend to be costly both in purchasing and maintaining when comparing their weight and functionality with that of a sofa. 

Let’s say you get yourself a chair. It’s cool at first right because it sets you as a different person from the rest. But what will happen if that chair breaks and repairs are costly for just that one seating stool with arms? is it really worth going over a sofa that will actually accommodate more people for this?

Let’s check on versatility, regular sofas are more versatile when compared to the chair. You will find that a sofa has extra features like it’s probably a modular or its a sectional and has a design that will probably allow it to suit both commercial interiors as well as home interiors. 

I mean, you’ve seen sofas everywhere you go, be it a clinic, hospital, office at times even church buildings have sofas.  I mean you can nap on a sofa but you can’t nap on a chair, you can sit back, or you can kick back, you can’t crouch and snuggle with a blanket whilst watching your favourite movie. Your guest can sleep on the sofa so many options but with a chair, those would be pretty much uncomfortable.

Chairs can be heavy or light depending on construction. Most are actually lighter as compared to their full set sofas counterparts. Now tell me, is one of the reasons why we actually go for heavy sofas so that it doesn’t shift or move unwillingly. With a chair expect many movements especially of its a light one. Sofas can be heavy depending on the construction, but also chairs are generally light. Don’t bet on finding a chair you can’t lift on your own. 

Why a Chair? 

Well, the simple truth would be that chairs are actually cheaper than a regular sofa. I mean imagine that with the price of a single sofa you can actually get yourself like over two solid and beautiful chairs, be it a regular chair or leather and expensive chair. You know how at times you need more than just a seat. 

Well, chairs offer exactly that. See chairs are designed for both comfort and luxury mostly luxury though but still you get the point, why go for a sofa that doesn’t fully stand out when you can get a chair that will practically separate you from the rest of the world?

Very few sofas out there are designed for luxury, they all offer comfort and support but how many can actually fall under the term luxurious the way chairs do? Sofas are practical, but can they give you that solid relaxing feel where you’re alone? I’m sure you already know the answer to that.

Lastly, sofas are very comfortable. Coming in different variations, some can be fluffy and warm, others creating cozy spots for you in your homes, but then again, can you really compare that to the comfort a chair will give you. See with chairs they tend to take up more space when counting their capacity to accommodate people. 

Since they are singular you may need to buy a certain number of chairs to accommodate everyone. The space needed for a regular chair is less as compared to the one needed for the sofa. Same goes for the loveseats and sectionals. If you have a small living space then a chair is most definitely the best purchase idea for you. 

Final Thoughts

Well, this was fun, but like all journeys, they have to come to an end, and I believe this is where our journey ends. I hope I managed to set out the differences clearly for you and I hope by now you know the difference and you know exactly what you need and want. 

Sofas are not as classy but they will make you stand out. They give you the room to be set out from everyone else and so you’ll find that if you enjoy the solitude role in a room if you enjoy your privacy and space then a chair is definitely the way to go. 

However, if you prefer being people or if you prefer having people around you then maybe getting a sofa would be a better idea. You know how they say sofas will somehow bring you closer to your loved ones. Exactly that type of thing, so make your choice and take your pick which of the two actually fits into what you are looking for. Have fun and enjoy your shopping. Be sure to see our Sofa vs Recliner post.

Elissa Smith
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