A sofa might just be the most important household purchase you make — you certainly spend more waking hours on it than anything else in the apartment — especially in the midst of the pandemic. Sure, you could spend several thousand dollars on a piece from Knoll or Minotti, but we decided to challenge interior designers to pick out their favorite actually affordable sofas and love seats (and ones that won’t notoriously fall apart). Below, the 16 best for under $1,000 — and a few under $700.
Modern sofas under $1,000
Best overall modern sofa under $1,000
Article’s Sven sofa was recommended by three of our experts, including Courtney McLeod, the founder and principal designer of New York City–based Right Meets Left Interior Design; Sophia Venturo, a designer at online interior-design service Havenly; and Decorist designer Baylee Floyd. “This sofa is Article’s most popular to date,” according to Venturo, who says that it “delivers in every category: value, style, comfort, and quality.” She calls out its “high-quality construction, which means a sturdy frame, durable upholstery, and comfy cushions that hold their shape.” Venturo adds that its mid-century modern lines are “surprisingly versatile,” something that Baylee Floyd agrees with. She says that the Sven “is a good staple piece for just about any living room.” As for its value, Floyd says that “the sleek design of this sofa is hard to come by at this price. I love how expensive and stately it looks.” McLeod says that its 72-inch length makes it great for an apartment and also likes its “lovely details” including its “biscuit-tufted seat and matching bolster pillows.” For $100 more, you can get a longer version that measures 88 inches. It’s also available in a darker gray and a blue-gray “aqua” in addition to the ivory color shown. And if you’re looking to splurge, you can also get it in different velvet or leather options (which are more expensive, at $1,299 and $1,799, respectively), as well as a sectional version that starts at $2,099.
More expert-recommended modern sofas under $1,000
Article’s Cirrus sofa also got two mentions from our designers. Allison Whitt of Design X Interiors, a hospitality-design firm in San Diego, recommends the less-expensive version upholstered in gray fabric above (also available in ivory), while Venturo likes it in green velvet (which will cost you $100 more; the velvet is also available in gray, navy, and “pacific” blue). Whitt calls the sofa sophisticated, comfortable, and versatile: “It has just enough detail to anchor a room without weighing it down.” Ventura agrees, saying that “this chic, tufted style brings a luxurious touch to any space without the hefty price tag.” In addition to tufting, the sofa has a back and arms that are the same height, which give it a geometric and streamlined feel. Whitt also calls out its “generous depth,” which she says “serves as an ideal backdrop for personalized touches such as pillows and a throw.” Venturo adds that it can easily be dressed up or down, while still always looking polished. And according to Whitt, “The construction stands up to commercial use, which means this is a couch you won’t need to replace any time soon.”
If you like the look of the Cirrus sofa but prefer to spend a little less, consider the similar Myles sofa from World Market that Floyd recommends. She told us it’s a “stately piece” that’s also quite comfortable. Like the Cirrus, it has the same tuxedo silhouette (that means that the arms and back are the same height) and tufting on the seat, back, and sides. But the slightly heftier frame and the nail heads going up the arms give it a more traditional touch.
This three-seater from Joss & Main is a bit like Article’s Sven (but even more affordable, and a bit longer) and comes recommended by Decorilla designer Devin Shaffer who calls it “stunning.” Made of faux-leather in a honey-tan color, it’s constructed of solid eucalyptus wood and has a tufted seat and back with matching bolster pillows (like the Sven).
To add a subtle pattern to your space, Chanae Richards, designer and founder of Philadelphia-based ọlọrọ interiors, recommends going with something like this black-and-white sofa from Crate & Barrel that she says is ideal for a small apartment. “If you have white walls and are afraid to commit to adding a bold color by way of paint or art, here’s your chance to explore a pattern without it being overpowering,” she says. Its streamlined shape and slim, burnished metal legs also add some understated elegance.
Yet another Article sofa that two of our panelists recommend: the Mirage sofa in a “rich gold velvet.” Designer Meghan Noyes likes how the “delicate slope in the armrest” makes it “stand out from other modern sofa shapes.” Decorist designer Emerie Forehand thinks it’s “super chic” and likes how the velvet gives it a vintage look. She also appreciates the detail of the tapered legs. And it’s available in a blush pink for the same price.
For something even more dramatic, Shaffer recommends this updated version of a Victorian “fainting couch” from AllModern. He loves the 86-inch sofa’s “sweeping form” as well as the built-in ottoman and splayed legs. In addition to this rich blue, it comes in a silver champagne velvet, black, and navy.
While it’s not technically a sofa, a daybed can be just as comfortable — and versatile, according to Richards. She particularly loves the textured fabric of the Tufo and its sturdy frame.
This is a more streamlined, velvet three-seater that’s no less enticing, according to Forehand, who likes its “retro vibe” and adds that it comes at a great price for a sofa that’s made to order. At just under $1,000, it’s available in seven jewel-toned colors that she says would “create a focal point in any room.”
This mid-century modern sofa looks “like you might have stumbled upon it during a trip to Copenhagen,” says designer Josh Greene. And at $600, the price can’t be beat, “especially for the style,” he says. The tufting on the back, flared arms, and splayed wooden legs make it a fun statement piece. In addition to the blue color shown, it’s also available in beige, gray with multicolored buttons on the tufting, light gray, teal, and wheatgrass — all at slightly different price points.
Here’s another mid-century modern–inspired piece from Modway that interior designer Vicente Wolf says is an affordable option that “works well mixed with higher-priced pieces.” He likes that it has “firm seating with generous width,” which makes it comfortable. With just one armrest, it can also work as a divan or a daybed for a more casual kind of seating. This one also comes in different colorway options, including navy, beige, dark gray, teal, and wheatgrass — again, all at different prices.
If you’re furnishing a uniquely shaped or super-tiny space, Floyd says the Doyer line is “perfect because it is modular, so you can choose exactly how many pieces you want to make your sofa, from a two-piece to a five-piece.” Upholstered in a linen-viscose blend, “this sofa is one of my favorites because of its versatility,” she adds. While the smallest ready-to-order configuration is a three-piece couch (which costs more than $1,000), you could theoretically combine two of these