The Best Sofas for Small Spaces: Comfort and Style in Compact Designs

With so many different types and styles of seating on the market, it’s often difficult to decide which sofa is best for a small living room.

Furnishing cramped spaces can make you feel like Goldilocks. You don’t want anything overwhelmingly bulky, you’re trying to avoid something too small and comfort is essential. Plus, to top it all, every other element that you add should create an aesthetic that’s easy on the eye. 

At FCI London, our expert designers understand the specific challenges of furnishing tiny living areas and the importance of getting the balance exactly right. 

In this detailed guide, we’ll take a look at some stylish sofa options that will not only look great but have some practical benefits too. Join us as we help you find the perfect piece, enhance your decor and improve the quality of your lifestyle. 

The Best Sofas for Small Spaces: Comfort and Style in Compact Designs

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sofa for Small Spaces

When selecting a sofa for a small room, keep the following elements in mind:

  • Size and dimensions: selecting a sofa for a small room is the most crucial consideration. Ensure the sofa you chose fits precisely by carefully measuring the space in the room and the available area. Think about the sofa's height, width and depth as well as the height of the arms and backrest. Our sofa measurement guide can help you greatly with this.
  • Design and style: the secret to creating a standout space is to pick a design that goes well with the existing furniture, like the sofa's form, colour and lighting. Sancal's Momic Sofa features work in compact and open-plan settings as it has a relatively small body, tall legs, and a thin construction, giving the impression that it is hovering.
  • Comfort and support: finding a sofa that offers enough support and comfort for your back and cushions while being soft enough to stay in place is crucial. Even though you need a sofa to fit in a small area, you still need one that is cosy and offers sturdy support. The most comfortable and supportive sofas will have high-density foam or down-filled cushions.
  • Material and durability: leather and synthetic materials are more expensive than natural fibres but more convenient to maintain and care for. They could become uncomfortable over time due to wear and tear, especially for larger families.
The Best Sofas for Small Spaces: Comfort and Style in Compact Designs
The Best Sofas for Small Spaces: Comfort and Style in Compact Designs


Best Sofas for Smaller Rooms

Sectional sofas

Most homeowners believe that their small living areas cannot accommodate large furnishings. However, one sizable sofa can actually anchor a room, making it feel bigger and more inviting. 

Instead of having armchairs dotted all over the place, it allows you to seat everyone together and even provides a space on which to nap.

We suggest you find a small-scale sectional that has all the benefits of an expansive seating arrangement but fits snugly into corners. It’s the ideal way to make the most of your floor space.

The New York Sofa by Gamma & Dandy is the perfect example. With its elevated legs, plush cushioning and sleek design, it will add a sense of airiness and style to your room.

Measure up properly before you pick something out and remember to allow for an adequate area around each furniture item in order to create a sense of flow.

Here are three types of sectional to consider: 

  • L-shaped Sectionals: Available in either a left or right orientation, these fill up your corners and can even be used to divide an open plan room. They are usually available with between two and five seats.
  • U-shaped Sectionals: The perfect arrangement if you love entertaining and want to encourage convivial conversation. You can also make one side of the U longer than the other if your floor plan allows for it. 
  • Chaise Sectionals: Place a chaise longue section on one or both sides of your modular sofa instead of opting for several single seats. It will help to create a relaxed vibe, allowing you to lounge at ease. 


Loveseats are smaller than standard sofas, making them a great choice for diminutive spaces. 

Despite their size, they provide comfortable seating for two, creating an intimate, cosy aesthetic. They are also easy to move around, so you can change your seating arrangement whenever you need to.

With a myriad of styles and shapes to choose from, they can be seamlessly integrated with other furniture, including ottomans and armchairs.

If you’re looking for something a little different, we suggest the Duardo sofa by Eichholtz. Both opulent and contemporary, its rounded profile features soft bouclé upholstery and an eye-catching brushed brass base that adds a sense of glam. 

Sofa beds

Seat by day and comfortable sleeping place by night, a luxury sofa bed gives you the best of both worlds while saving on bags of space. 

Adaptable and comfy, their multi-functionality is ideal for small apartment living. 

Not only will they provide a smart seating solution for your guests, but they also eliminate the need for a spare bedroom for those impromptu sleepovers.

Created with modern lifestyles in mind, they are available in a wide range of styles, making it easy to pick out one that ticks your boxes. And, as you’re getting two versatile options in just one piece, you’ll be saving money in the long run. 

With our guidance, you’ll be able to find fabulous sofa bed offerings that even include extra storage compartments. The Nap by Sancal is just one such example. With its sophisticated quilted detailing and an easy-to-use pull-out mechanism, it truly provides the full package. 

Armless or low-arm sofas

Low-profile armless sofas or units with slender arms will create an open, breezy aesthetic, making your room look light and expansive.  

Occupying less visual and physical space, they can be placed against walls or in corners without having to worry about standard protrusions. 

Many of them have sleek, contemporary appearances, bringing a sense of refinement to small living areas. And, because there is no arm taking up extra space, they can often accommodate more guests than expected. 

The Iseo sofa by Naustro Fiera Collection comes in an array of modular units from corner pieces to ottomans and chaise longues. With its undulated cushioning and cool, modern upholstery choices, you can seamlessly adapt your seating solution to suit both your aesthetic and your spatial needs. 

Useful tips to enhance a small sitting room

Aside from sofa styles, here are some clever tips that will help you to mitigate a visual space crunch:

Choose a light colour sofa to make the room feel larger

A simple trick to making your living area feel more open is to use a neutral-coloured sofa. It will reflect light onto the room’s surfaces for an uncluttered, brighter space. 

Naturally white is an extremely effective choice as it absorbs the least amount of light. However, it’s not a practical option for most homes so if you’re looking for sophistication and charm, opt for beige, creams or greys instead. 

For those who don’t like neutrals, soft pinks and pale pastels are a lovely alternative, bringing a touch of character to your ensemble. And, if that’s also not your style, our article on the latest sofa colour trends will give you some fabulous alternatives. 

Opt for a low-profile sofa to save space

When working with a small area, high backs on a sofa are to be avoided at all costs. They will dominate your room, interrupt your line of vision and create an overall sense of imbalance. 

The same can be said of bulky arms that taper out to the side. These will make your sofa feel boxy and disturb the sense of flow. 

Instead, take a sleek, minimalist approach and jazz it up with some throws and cushions.

Dispose of any unnecessary furniture 

If your space feels cluttered, it may be time to reevaluate your furniture. Like most of us, you’ll probably find some items that you could do without. 

Some common pieces that don’t have a place in compact living rooms are:

  • An entertainment centre

TVs are much slimmer now, and nobody uses DVD players and VCRs anymore, so there’s no longer any need for a bulky freestanding unit when you could mount your media players on the wall instead.

  • Oversized speakers

Another eye-sore, giant speakers are a thing of the past and, once a status symbol, have been replaced by thin, elegant soundbars. So we suggest you ditch those free-standing boxes as fast as you can.

  • End tables

There is no rule that says that every seating arrangement must be completed with end tables. Unless they are absolutely necessary, you can do without them and let your coffee table suffice.

  • Too many storage pieces

Yes, keeping your diminutive living area clutter free is imperative! But it would be better to invest in a stylish coffee table with storage facilities or one tall, custom shelving system than lots of individual, space-consuming elements. So take a good look around your living room and see whether you have a curio cabinet, unused DVD tower or any other storage unit that can be eliminated from your decor arrangement. 

Choose a smaller coffee table

Coffee tables are a must, especially if entertaining is important to you but there are plenty on the market with lower profiles, allowing you to effectively compact your space.  Something like the Lauren collection by Eichholtz would be ideal for a small room.

We advise that you buy one that is versatile, ergonomically efficient and easy to reach. You can explore all the options in our article on whether a coffee table should be higher or lower than your sofa. 

Use colourful accessories and rugs to add personality 

Since your walls and sofa are likely to be in a neutral colour, you can add personality to your room by using colourful accessories.

Here are some pointers:

  • A big rug in a bold pattern will make the space feel bigger, allowing your eye to travel seamlessly along the length of your floor. 
  • Stick to a specific colour palette to ensure that your living room doesn’t look chaotic.
  • When adding artwork, hang it a little higher so that the eye travels upwards, expanding the height of the room.
  • Avoid overcrowding your pieces by organising items like candles, frames, and books in groups of three. 
  • Don’t forget to add greenery - a few plants will give life to your design, improve your air quality and instil a sense of well-being.


If you’re furnishing a small living room, make sure you choose a sofa that ticks all your boxes in terms of comfort, style, and practicality. 

To get a feel for what’s available, browse our online catalogue for gorgeous modulars, sofa beds and more. Or get in touch with one of our expert designers to chat about a range of customisation options. 

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