Steal My Couch

A selection of shoppable sleepers, settees, and more — as recommended by their passionate owners.

Video: Strategist; Photos: Ayana Gabrielle Lage, Chen Chen, Collier Meyerson, John Derian, Kelsey Brown, Liana Finck, Marc Benda, Manoush Zomorodi, Marisol Muro, Nick Doyle, Osayi Endolyn, Shantell Martin

We often ask people whose taste we trust to tell us about their favorite things. But this process has its limitations — namely, the ability to actually see said products in situ. So we came up with a solution: We reached out to various artists, writers, designers, and photographers who really love their sofas (a particularly difficult product to buy online, it should be noted) and asked them to take self-portraits sitting on them. The result is a sort of catalogue of couches — all in their natural habitats. (And here you can find our home writer’s 2024 guide to the best sofas and couches you can buy online.)

Chen Chen


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I’ve wanted a Togo since I was in design school. A few years ago, I was finally able to afford one and was surprised by how light it is. It’s just a leather pillow. There’s no frame inside. One person can pick up a three-seater over their head. Mine is a bit worn, because my cats like it as well.”

Ayana Gabrielle Lage


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I wanted to find a couch for our formal living room that would look elegant and be comfortable. But most important, I needed it to be reasonably priced — less than $1,000. This one gave me the look I was going for (leather) and fell within our budget. I’ve gotten so many comments from friends about how comfortable it is and how expensive it looks.”

Liana Finck


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I chose the single, long-seat-cushion option (which we cover with nice blankets to protect it from dog hair and baby effluvia) and thick square armrests that go up as high as the back, so it’s like sitting inside a box. I like to sit sideways and rest my drawing pad or laptop on the arm. I spent the first nine months of my life in a rental house that was furnished in the style of the early 1970s — all rust-orange carpets. I love that color. The pull-out mattress is wonderful, but don’t tell my family.”

Tori Mellott

Style director at Frederic

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“The best thing about this sofa is the singular cushion. You never feel like you’re falling into a crevasse when you lie down to watch a movie. And when you have people over, no one has to sit on a crack — as they would on a sofa with multiple loose cushions. The slipcover is washable, and the white linen goes with everything. I am constantly changing out my pillows and reupholstering chairs and rearranging furniture, so I wanted a sofa that was very aesthetically flexible.”

David Coggins


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I didn’t buy a couch until I was almost 40. I wanted it to feel vaguely French and like something I could take a dignified nap on. And I didn’t want it to be white or some inoffensive neutral tone. It plays well with pillows, blankets, guests, and, yes, naps. The color is interesting but not exhausting. And, crucially, it’s impossible to tell how old it is.”

Ngaio Parr


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“My partner and I had a few couch requirements when we moved into our new apartment: long (we’re both six-plus feet tall), comfy (no hard stuffing), easy to move (we’re renting), flexible in terms of style (so it can work in different spaces), and with a pullout (we like having friends stay over). We landed on the Kova — it is long enough for both of us to lie down, the perfect olive-green velvet, and modular for flexible configurations and easy moving. Our elderly lady dog, Iggy Pup, loves it too.”

Elizabeth Wyld


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“Up until I bought this couch, I was living a very transient life in New York City. My apartments felt more like crash pads, and I would buy up whatever cheap furniture the previous tenant owned and sell it off when I moved. This couch was the first piece of furniture that I really invested in. I picked it, because it was the biggest one in the store. It is massive: nine feet long and nearly as deep as a twin bed. The other positive thing is that the cushions are removable and machine-washable, which is convenient, because I can be very clumsy.”

Kelsey Brown

Co-founder of Pepper Home

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I wanted mohair fabric, because it’s luxe but extremely durable — important, since this is the couch we sit on to watch TV with our children. Stylistically, I love its low profile, clean lines, warm hue, and the Art Deco style. It is a nice complement to the ornate Victorian crown molding and jewel-tone bluish-green walls.”

Chris Uphues


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“Our former neighbors Pat and Reggie gave this to us when they retired to Wisconsin. It was Reggie’s parents’ couch and had spent the better part of 50 years in their attic. It was absolutely shredded and filled with cat hair. The only things that were salvageable were the tassels. We picked out the Greenhouse Fabrics S4160 Lime, a super-lush velvet that shifts color with the sun, and brought it to our neighborhood upholsterers. They brought it back to life.”

[Editors’ note: Although Uphues’s exact sofa is not available, searching for “knole-style sofa” on sites like 1stDibs and Chairish will bring up similar styles.]

Dominique Gebru

Interior stylist, influencer, and grad student in urban planning

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“Our condo isn’t particularly large, and I love the way our sofa creates a degree of separation between rooms. But my favorite thing is the rich chocolate leather. We had a lighter version of the Sven in a past apartment, and more than two years after selling that first one, I realized I just wanted another.”

Griffin Funk

Designer at Apple

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“When I moved into my current apartment, I lived for a full year without a couch. I was paralyzed by the choices. Couches are physically big and expensive and can define the look of a room. At a certain point, I stopped spending hours on 1stDibs looking for the perfect vintage Maralunga sofa and got this DTC bad boy. The tan leather is great, and the one long cushion makes it perfect for an afternoon nap. It’s stylish, comfortable, and, in the world of couches, affordable. I’ve had it for three years and found that sitting on its broken-in leather feels like a hug from an old friend.”

Nick Doyle


Photo: Nick Doyle and Reyes Finn, Detroit

“I knew I wanted something comfortable, but I knew if my couch was ugly, I wouldn’t be able to handle it psychologically. Enter the Sven in Italian leather. It took a minute to break in, but it is one of the most comfortable and handsome couches I’ve ever sat on. Over time, the leather will patinate and grow in character. I love it.”

Dexter Peart

Co-founder of Goodee

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“We found this on a trip to Stockholm more than 15 years ago. It has held up remarkably well as we’ve raised our daughters. It’s upholstered in a warm-red Kvadrat wool fabric, which is always uplifting no matter the season.”

Shantell Martin


Photo: Photo courtesy of TED

“This is specially upholstered with a textile from Momentum Textiles and, thus, took seven months to be made and delivered. But it was worth it. It’s fun and supercomfortable and was the star of my Zoom TED Talk. Plus it folds down into a bed. My friend and photographer Theo Coulombe has stayed on it, as has my nephew, Charlie, from London. They both gave it a positive review.”

Collier Meyerson

Podcast host

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“The fabric was advertised as being stain-resistant, and I have found that, in fact, it is. Still, my children are not allowed to do any activities on the couch except sit. It makes you feel like you’re being cradled by friendly quicksand.”

[Editors’ note: Meyerson’s exact sofa is no longer available, but the one below is a close cousin from the same brand.]

Marisol Muro


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I had just bought the matching Drexel bedroom set from Supertouch, and the company contacted me to ask if I was interested in the telephone booth as well. Of course, I needed to have it. I don’t think I specifically was going for a ’60s or ’70s look. It just sort of happened. I like to have a colorful home, and those eras were very good at using color. Plus it’s very comfy.”

[Editors’ note: Although Muro’ s telephone booth is not available, searching online for “Drexel Plus One” is your best bet for locating pieces from this very hard-to-find collection.]

John Derian


Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson

“Years ago, I found an 18th-century sofa at auction — its pure lines spoke to me — so we decided to create something inspired by it. This is the result. It has the prettiest looks and a great deep seat, and it ended up being one of my favorite pieces. Even though I am too long for it, that deep seat somehow makes it good for napping.”

Osayi Endolyn

Food culture writer

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I was committed to a white chaise longue — an elegant piece that could make my smaller space feel more open. I worked with Naïka Andre of NJA Interiors on my entire space, and she helped me find this. Its lower-rise profile is very subtle and immediately felt right. I pile it up with pillows and blankets I’ve acquired from travels (to Santa Fe, Mexico, Sweden) and a few African mudcloth imports from xN Studio. It has become part-throne, part-fort depending on my mood, and it’s as cozy as it is sophisticated. Everyone nods off on this couch. Very ideal for cuddling.”

[Editors’ note: Endolyn’s exact chaise is no longer available, but the one below is a close cousin from the same brand.]

Byron Peart

Co-founder of Goodee

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“This oversize L-shaped sofa has been center stage to countless joyous moments with family and friends over the past decade (and plenty of cozy, lazy evenings in front of the fireplace). My dog, Hugo, can often be found on it — perched above the back pillows”

Marguerite Zabar Mariscal

CEO of Momofuku and Momofuku Goods

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I picked the couch out at Design Within Reach’s outlet in Industry City, which meant it was, first, a deal and, second, in stock — a miracle with today’s supply-chain woes. I chose it, though, because of its depth — really impressive for a daybed. Two people can lie head to toe á la the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s the height of luxury.”

Marisa Competello

Founder of Metaflora

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I found this B&B Italia sofa on Live Auctioneers. I literally pulled off the road to bid on it and won. I was looking for something leather with an interesting silhouette — this exactly. I love its shape and color.”

Manoush Zomorodi

Host of TED Radio Hour

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I chose this couch, because I figured the luxurious, rich color would detract from any stains (I got a pandemic puppy) and look good in videos and photos. It happens to be very comfortable for two people to nap on simultaneously.”

[Editors’ note: Zomorodi’s couch is no longer available, but the one below from Crate & Barrel is a very close match.]

Jean-Pierre Villafañe


Photo: Courtesy of subject

“This sofa is part of CB2’s Piazza Collection. It’s like a cloud or a plush pillow. I find myself here every day for an afternoon cafecito and a daydreaming session before getting back to painting.”

Eryc Perez de Tagle


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I purchased this sofa a year ago, knowing that I wanted a piece with clean lines and a deep comfortable seat. There are similar, less expensive versions out there, but after doing a lot of research, I knew it had to be Muuto. The couch is photogenic and sculptural but durable and comfortable. And it’s modular, so it’s easy to add more pieces to fit different floor plans.”

Nwaka Onwusa

Chief curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I’d just moved to Cleveland and was looking for a couch that could transition from classic to contemporary — a “multi-couch” that was easy to clean and sleep, work, and entertain on. So I went to the Arhaus Outlet and found this sectional. The prior buyer had customized it, and when it arrived, they hated the color. So, lucky for me, it ended up at the Arhaus Outlet. I love the color, and I love the dang couch.”

Jean Liu

Interior designer

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“A pair of these classic, armless slipcover sofas in white linen with loose seats and back cushions flank the fireplace in our great room. We chose the Gregory, specifically, because it’s offered in a wide variety of lengths and depths, which allowed us to find just the right size. Our great room is the most used in our house, so the ability to have this slipcovered was essential — spills and stains can be treated by removing the cover and having it washed. I can’t think of any other couch as practical or good-looking as this.”

Greg Coccaro

Co-founder of Beam

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“The way this thing is constructed makes it feel like it’s cradling me. The dog, Bianca, likes it too.”

Charlie Weisman

Founder of Staff

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“We’ve had this couch for eons and keep wanting to upgrade, but it hasn’t made sense to pull the trigger. My wife and I bought the couch when we first moved in together. We have different styles, and this was the best option in the overlap of our preferences, budget, inventory availability, and, above all, maximal comfiness. After all these years, the thing is a comfortable tank with minimal signs of aging. The ‘performance velvet’ is a life hack that has stood up to party spills in the early years and baby spills in recent days. It’s a ‘couchroach’ that may outlive us all.”

[Editors’ note: Weisman has an older version of the sofa linked below, which has been updated with different arm and leg styles since he purchased it. West Elm now carries a similar design to Weisman’s sofa called the Andes.]

Maggie Boyd


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“This is the couch at our family cabin in Canada, which my grandfather and great-grandfather built in 1963. It is one of my favorite places in the world. And though not exactly high-design, there’s a case to be made for the generic couch made beautiful by a great-grandmother-made textile throw and 65-plus years of naps.”

Madison Brill

Founder of I Love Craigslist

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“When moving to L.A., we sold everything we owned and decided to start from scratch. It’s been quite the journey and a lot of work. Finding good things takes time. I got this Danish mid-century sofa — which was originally sold from a local dealer ( — off of Craigslist.”

[Editors’ note: Brill’s exact sofa is no longer available, but the similar sofa below is from the same designer.]

Marc Benda

Co-founder of Friedman Benda

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“It’s made out of vintage quilts — so unique. Darren, the designer, is a pioneer when it comes to upcycling. It’s just really comfortable. When people come visit, they claim it for themselves. Basically, they lie down and never get off of it.”

Moonlynn Tsai and Yin Chang

Co-founders of Heart of Dinner

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“Our apartment is only 350 square feet, and half of it is taken over by Heart of Dinner items. So we needed to find a space-saving couch that was comfortable and cost-effective. Yellow is one of our favorite colors, and we lucked out with this couch that doubles as an accent piece that brightens up our living-room space and brings warmth to our days.”

Lorien Stern


Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“I was very intrigued by Joybird’s pet-proof yellow-velvet upholstery, because I live a dusty lifestyle in the desert with my dog and cat. So far, it has proved very easy to clean — even after my dog knocked a full bowl of curry lentil soup onto one of the cushions.”

[Editors’ note: Stern’s exact sofa has been discontinued, but the sofa linked below is a similar style with the same yellow-velvet upholstery.]

Daniel Moon

Hair artist

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

“You can fit three people horizontally on this couch. I feel very passionately that this is the most comfortable couch of all time — it’s so comfortable, in fact, that you often fall asleep too early while watching a movie when you’re lying on it. But, otherwise, it’s a perfect product.”

Steal My Couch