Searching for the perfect sofa is no easy task. Plus when you're making a big purchase, you want to know it'll suit your needs for years to come.
And that's why modular sofas are great because they can not only provide hours and hours of comfort, from family movie nights to afternoon lounging, but they can also adapt to your needs.
Whether you're moving home, need some extra seating, or just fancy a springtime refresh, modular sofas are designed to shape-shift based on what you need right now.
What is a Modular Sofa?
A modular sofa is a regular sofa but with much more flexibility. Modular sofas are made up of individual pieces (or sections) that can be arranged in a number of configurations, including U-shaped and L-shaped styles.
Here's what interior designer Allison Thibault had to say about modular sofas:
"A modular sofa is a sofa with many options. It is comprised of several individual chair pieces that can be joined to create a variety of configurations. They can be made into your typical L or U shape configuration, but they can also stand alone as individual pieces. Their versatility is endless."
"Modular furniture is a great option for the customer who needs flexibility. The pieces can be reconfigured over time; they transition from your city apartment to your first home seamlessly,"says Steph DeAngelis, Design Advisor at Maiden Home.
"Modular sofas and sectionals are comprised of individual sofa pieces that connect to each other; you can start out with a two piece sofa and graduate to a seven piece sectional over time," continues DeAngelis. "The pieces are also great to navigate tricky hallways or tight doorways - because they are moved individually, you aren’t stuck with moving a bulky sofa from home to home."
People tend to buy modular sofas because they are looking for flexibility and pieces that can move, adapt or grow with them.
"Modular sofas are a great option for the long-term because of their adaptability," says Jessie Minor from Eco Method Interiors. "You can adjust the size easily if you move, so no more selling your old couch to buy a new one to fit your space. They are also great if you like to freshen up your space by rearranging your room. With so many options, you aren't committed to the sofa only fitting on one wall."
"Modular sofas are a great option for the long-term because of their adaptability."
"People (whether they’re homeowners or apartment-dwellers) are really craving flexibility," says Lowe Saddler, Design SEO Editor at Hunker. "Yes, the more typical couches are still great. But if you need to rearrange your living room in a flash — maybe to accommodate kids who are learning remotely, maybe because you need to create a comfortable WFH setup — this is the way to do it. You can get a custom feel without necessarily spending the money typically associated with a custom piece of furniture."
What's the Difference Between a Sectional and Modular Sofa?
Sectional and modular sofas are very similar, but the biggest difference is the flexibility offered by a modular sofa as they are designed to be rearranged and moved to suit your needs. "A sectional couch typically comes in the standard "L" shape, with on side of the sofa jetting out into a chaise. Modular couches are specifically built in a way that allows you to move them around in various positions, while still fitting together perfectly," says Borneman-Street.
"Modular sofas are specifically built in a way that allows you to move them around in various positions."
The Los Angeles-based designer also says that modular sofas typically have a deeper, low-profile base which "makes for a really comfy seat you can sink into."
Sectional sofas, on the other hand, have a more standard build with the "L" shape either being on the left or the right side. "The tricky thing we see here, someone may buy a sectional sofa fit for their current space, only to realize that it won't fit in their new space," she adds.
How Do Modular Sofas Connect?
Modular sofas come as individual pieces or sections that are usually connected by hooks or clips that hold each piece together.
Why Are Modular Sofas So Expensive?
If you're looking at picking up a new modular sofa, you might notice that it can be a little more expensive than a traditional sofa. Often, the price is higher for a modular sofa because of the additional manufacturing work needed to create a bunch of modules that all fit together in a range of configurations rather than producing a one-piece sofa.
"With modular pieces (and sofas in general) you tend to pay for quality. The manufacturing process may be a bit more involved, certain parts could be more costly to produce, and occasionally some components are made to order," says Saddler.
"Consumers should definitely think about the long-term benefits of modular sofas when considering this type of purchase."
Though modular sofas might be a little more expensive, it's also worth thinking about the benefits that come along with making a bigger investment. "Modular sofas are typically more expensive than traditional 2-3 seater sofas because of their flexibility, scale, and custom capabilities," says Courtney Robinson, Principal designer at Materials + Methods Design.
"Consumers should definitely think about the long-term benefits of modular sofas when considering this type of purchase," continues Robinson. "For instance, if you know that you may relocate in the future or repurpose your space, the flexibility of a modular sofa is perfect."
Modular sofas are also positioned as a little more of a luxury product than a normal sofa and can come with some additional features like electrical plugs or USB ports and these can increase the costs. Modularity and brings functionality, for example, you could use a middle section of a sofa as an armless chair to create additional seating space.