Best fabric sofas: Velvet, leather, linen and boucle designs to suit your space

·13-min read

When it comes to home comforts, never underestimate the power of a good sofa.

The epicentre of your leisuretime, it’s somewhere to flop down and flick through your latest reads, lay back for a movie marathon or welcome friends for a long-planned night in. For most, the perfect balance is somewhere between crumpled comfort that’s perfect for daytime napping, yet smart enough for when parents come over for a visit.

A well-chosen fabric will stand you in good stead for many years to come. Choose the right type depending on your lifestyle: as well as leather, velvet and linen-wrapped frames, you can get sofas with anti-stain technology, a no-brainer in busy households filled with rampaging pets and children.

Then there are shapes: beyond the standard three- or four-seaters, there are modular designs that will allow you to construct your own look (think sofa Tetris) and L-shaped corner units to make the most of every inch of space your living room has to offer. Smaller homes could benefit from loveseats, a 1.5 seater that can squeeze on two people but is more luxurious with just the one. Feeling fancy? A chaise longue brings that boutique look home and is versatile enough for the bedroom and hallway as well as the living room.

If you’re thinking about welcoming a new sofa to your home, the sheer volume of options can make it a tricky task. So we’ve collected the best designs to help make it easier to shop.

Feel inspired by our edit of the best fabric sofas below.

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Velvet sofas

Is there anything more luxurious than sinking into a pile of velvet? Invest in a sofa covered in this soft, indulgent fabric and you won’t look back. For more options, find our long list of the best velvet sofas here.

Furniture123 Orange Velvet 2 Seater Sofa - Payton

Dimensions: 85 x 150 x 96cm

For a living room that’s lit, there’s little more that sets our heart aflame than a velvet sofa is a burnt orange hue. This plush two seater with pared back saddle arms even comes with a pair of matching throw cushions for coordinating comfort. Pivot it where you need to easily thanks to the two gold-coloured castors on the front legs. Available in 12 additional shades.

Buy now £569.97, Furniture123

Canora Grey Federico 195cm Sofa

Dimensions: 70 x 88 x 195cm

A velvet three-seater with Chesterfield ambitions, this sumptuous design is the statement sofa you’ve been searching high and low for. From the 89cm seat depth to the brass-tipped tapered legs, it’s got comfort and style from top to toe. Matching throw cushions are included, and it comes in a bottle green if this burgundy doesn’t quite do it for you.

Buy now £799.99, Wayfair

Dunelm Darwin Luxury Velvet Snuggle Chair

Dimensions: 94 x 138.5 x 105cm

Dunelm presents the Conscious Choice in this spacious armchair, covered in eco-velvet made from 100 per cent recycled materials - which also, handily, means it’s harder to crush and so will stay looking smarter for longer.

The feet and frames are also recycled and each piece is made to order, so the makers are only ever using the exact materials they need, avoiding waste. Even the filling is eco-minded, with half made from recycled plastic. It is on the pricey side, but think of it as a life-long investment. Available in a choice of eight colours with dark or light wood leg finishes.

Buy now £1049.00, Dunelm

MADE Scott 3 Seater Sofa, Large, Grass Cotton Velvet

Dimensions: 86 x 225 x 100cm

Get all your favourite faces on this vibrant green velvet sofa, the perfect backdrop for everything from get-togethers to house parties.

Offered in four shades and available as a two-seater design, the feather and foam filled cushions create a blissful place to relax and unwind (just remember to plump regularly), while the midcentury aesthetic brings a sense of glamour to your space.

This sofa is part of MADE’s Scott collection, which includes matching furniture - think armchairs, ottomans, corner sofas and chaise longues.

Buy now £1395.00, MADE

Best leather sofas

One of the most popular options for couch coverings, leather is comfortable, hard-wearing, friends-and-family proof and versatile enough to find a style to fit with any interior design scheme. See our full list of best leather sofa options.

Heal’s Isola 3 Seater Sofa

Dimensions: 70 x 220 x 115cm

Inspired by the shape and beauty of island beaches, Heal’s has nailed contemporary elegance in this generous curved sofa design. It comes in a range of leather types, from Daino and Leather Grain to Stonewash effect and Linea Leather. And you needn’t restrict yourself to brown or black when it comes to colour, either - red, blue and vintage green are all up for grabs here. Underneath the hide, the fillings are made from a mix of luxury memory foams to offer supreme levels of support. Go for the full effect by adding a matching ottoman footstool to your order.

From £5699.

Buy now £5699.00, Heal’s

John Lewis & Partners Cromwell Chesterfield Small 2 Seater Leather Sofa

Dimensions: 77 x 169 x 101cm

If you’re of the opinion that leather sofas are sexy, a Chesterfield takes it to another level. It really is a pin-up of a sofa. Roomy, comfortable and its plumpness exaggerated with buttons, this two-seater could come from a private member’s bar. You’ll feel just as at ease sipping a martini here a la Don Draper as you will watching MOTD with the lads.

Comes with a 15 year guarantee for the frame and delivery within nine weeks.

Buy now £1649.00, John Lewis

Swoon Editions Willem Three-seater sofa

Dimensions: 77 x 224 x 85

London’s hotels and restaurants are great inspiration for your own interiors, and this plush sofa looks like its been plucked straight from a five-star resort in the capital.

Adding a dose of glamour to your interiors, the spacious three-seater Willem design can be made up in a range of fabrics, from boucle, velvet and Swoon’s Smart Leather, which “boasts the same hardwearing benefits of real leather and can be wiped clean with a dry cloth.”

There are three colourways in this option: tan, slate grey, and our pick, a stately home olive green. You can also swap the legs too so that they include a brass finish - it’s all in the details.

Buy now £1899.00, Swoon

World of Leather Relax Station Komodo 3 Seater Power Leather Sofa

Dimensions: 99 x 162 x 209cm

A leather sofa may have old school connotations, but World of Leather’s Komodo design brings things firmly into the 21st Century. Relax on the deep bucket seats and soft leather upholstery while recharging your devices through the built-in USB ports by the armrests.

The centre seat folds down into a mini coffee table complete with cup holders so you’re never in danger of working up a thirst and when it’s time to kick back, engage the recliners for a seat so comfortable you’ll have real trouble getting out of it.

We love the petrol blue hue, a refreshing change from the usual brown and black.

Buy now £1695.00, Furniture Village

Best anti-stain sofas

Whether you live in a busy household or you’re flying solo, sofa stains are bound to happen at some point - it’s merely a question of when, not if. Anti-stain sofas will spare your blushes when guests come over: a quick dab with a wet cloth, or wiping down with a microfibre cloth is often all it takes to restore it to showroom-levels of new. See the full ES Best list of the best anti-stain sofas here.

M&S Rochester Button Large 2 Seater Sofa

Dimensions: 85 x 153 x 95cm

A stylish option to bring luxury B&B vibes to your bedroom or dining room, this opulent two-seater sofa looks high maintenance but it’s anything but. Play with fabric types, colours and leg finishes to get the ultimate look for you, safe in the knowledge it will stay looking like new thanks to the anti-stain finish. Eight week delivery time.

Buy now £1199.00, M&S

Love Your Home Bloomsbury Sofa

Dimensions: 98 x 217 x 100cm

Designed in collaboration with Homes & Gardens magazine, the Bloomsbury sofa is as well-heeled and oozing in elegance as the London area that shares its name. All gentle flowing lines with a hint of midcentury style, the legs are set on castors to make it easier to move around to the optimum position (that's bang in front of the telly, then).

It's available in a range of fabric choices, but not all of them are stain-repellent: choose the velvet or linen to guard against accidents and wear and tear, like this option in a searing clementine colour. The perfect statement piece that'll stay looking as lovely as when you first got it.

Buy now £2566.00, Love Your Home

Swyft Model 06 - 3 seater left corner sofa in pumice

Dimensions: 95 x 270 x 96cm

No need to wait endlessly for your brand new sofa to be delivered: sofa-in-a-box brand Swyft lives up to its name and can have it to you in just a few days (or even 24 hours).

No tools are required for construction: instead it comes together through a variety of clever interlocking systems, no tool kit necessary.

Model 06 is the latest design to join the Swyft family and you could argue it’s the most sumptuous of the lot with blissfully deep seats and squishy cushions filled with a mix of feathers and foam for support.

It’s offered in linen and velvet, and while the colours and textures may vary, the one thing they all share is stain resistant technology. It shields your sofa from the effects of everything, from a blurry wine-and-cheese night with your pals to melted chocolate from your little one’s teatime treat. Wipe the offending stain with a damp cloth and it’ll be like it never happened.

Buy now £3400.00, Swyft

Best bouclé sofas

An off-shoot of mid-century modern mania, bouclé has been enjoying an interiors revival, with more people searching for fluffy cloud-like furniture to give their space heavenly appeal. It’s easy to keep clean - yes, even white versions.

See the full edit of best bouclé furniture here.

Soho Home Vivienne Modular Four Seater Sofa, Boucle

Dimensions: 82.6 x 331.5 x 105.4cm

Inject a member’s club vibe into your home (minus the annual fees) with Soho Home, which has a selection of furniture and furnishings plucked straight from the Houses for retail. This four-seater modular sofa is all soft edges and curves, heightened by the soft boucle cover. Add a few more cushions and you’ll have a delicious place to snuggle down into.

Buy now £4395.00, Soho Home

Daals Clapham 3-Seater Ecru Boucle Sofa

Dimensions: 206 x 89 x  86cm

Balancing comfort and style, this ercu-coloured three-seater sofa is the fastest way to elevate your interiors. The neutral tone means it’s ripe for mixing with your existing textiles and soft furnishings: think statement scatter cushions and throws. Got a smaller space? There’s a two-seater version (£469.99) available too.

Buy now £559.99, Daals

Swoon Kallas three-seater sofa

Dimensions: 74 x 236 x 95cm

Get ready for some good sittin’. Swoon’s generously-proportioned sofa claims to seat three, but we reckon you can get a few more on its elegant frame. Full of chic details, this sofa comes complete with matching scatter cushions. If your nerves can’t cope living with this pristine ivory, Swoon offers the boucle option in six other colours spanning grey and black.

Buy now £1749.00, Swoon Editions

MADE Bobo Accent Armchair, White Boucle

Like a kid’s nursery school chair come to life, this adorable armchair is made for a single seater only - so there’s no pressure to budge up and share the gorgeously soft bouclé upholstery. The low-rise chair makes a superb statement, either in the living room or in the bedroom and thanks to the neutral colour, can be matched with any shade of pillow or throw.

Also available in moss green or ocean blue recycled velvet. Comes with a 10-year frame guarantee.

Buy now £625.00, MADE

Best linen sofas

Temperature-regulating linen is a fabric to have on call year round - and not just in your wardrobe. It performs beautifully as upholstery too and if your covers are removable, you can simply put them in the wash to keep them looking and smelling like new.

MADE Flynn 3 Seater Sofa, Grey Linen Mix

Dimensions: 82 x 204 x 86cm

If you’re not brave with colour, there’s nothing wrong with seeking solace in a grey area. This sofa, a mix of grey-coloured linen mix upholstery on a traceable timber frame, is gunning to become your new comfort zone. The padded back and matching cushions take care of the R&R element, while the silhouette ensures it’ll stay looking smart, year after year.

Buy now £950.00, MADE

Hykkon Elissa 199.4cm Upholstered Sofa Bed

Dimensions: 81 x 199.4 x 85cm

With a high back and pleasingly deep seat, this linen sofa bed in a buttercup yellow is the perfect way to add a splash of colour to your interiors. Best of all, it has a clic clac mechanism which means you can push it back to create one large double bed surface that’s perfect for weekend lazing or sleeping guests. Keeping linen clean is easy - gently hand or spot wash and keep away from direct sunlight to keep it looking fresh.

Buy now £429.99, Wayfair

Sofas & Stuff Fairmont sofa

Dimensions: 87 x 209 x 106cm

Whether you want to play interior design master or you’ve got a specific look in mind, Sofas & Stuff allows you to create a bespoke perch in all sorts of fabrics, including this vintage-look floral linen. Best suited to those with generous living room proportions, the seats are so deep and comfy you may never want to rise again.

Buy now £4234.00, Sofas & Stuff

Swyft Turquoise Love Seat

Dimensions: 83 x 125 x 91cm

We’re not sure what we love more, the design of this generous love seat or the fact it takes zero tools, absolutely none, to construct. Instead of fiddling around with Allen keys, all the pieces lock together using Swyft’s interlocking technology.

It stays in bouncy shape thanks to the sense foam and polyester filling, while the sea-coloured linen upholstery racks up the cool points. Nice to look at, even better to flop down in.

Buy now £845.00, Swyft