learn what is a sectional couch in this handy guide from bethrmartin.com

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by bethrmartin

So you think a sectional sofa might be the perfect furniture for your new living room, but what is a sectional couch?

Sectional sofas are made up of multiple segments that fit together to create one cohesive piece of furniture. Not only are they comfy, but they’re also super versatile.

The beauty of this design is that you can rearrange the pieces or switch things up whenever you feel like it. A sectional can be arranged in different ways to fit any room and change up the look of your space whenever you want. 

Before choosing the best modular sofa for your living room, there are a few things to consider. 

This guide will give you all the necessary information, from the different sizes and shapes to some design tricks of the trade.

So let’s jump in!

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Sectional vs. Sofa

When you start the hunt for a new couch, all of the terms can get overwhelming quickly. So what is the main difference between a sofa and a sectional?

A traditional sofa is a typical couch that is one solid piece of furniture.

A sectional sofa is a type of couch made up of several parts. Usually, a sectional has two or three seated sections and one or two chaise lounges. 

A sectional can be referred to by many other names, such as a modular sectional, a sectional sofa, or just a sectional, but they all mean the same thing.

Burrow offers a unique and innovative modular system for its sectionals, making them infinitely flexible. Each couch section can be separated entirely, perfect for apartments and tight living spaces. Image via burrow.com

What Are The Benefits of A Sectional Sofa?

Since a sectional sofa is made from multiple components, it can also handle various functions. This type of sofa offers excellent function and flexibility, making it the ideal seating option for any living space.

A sectional allows for multiple functions within one piece of furniture. Sleeping, lounging, sitting, and even storing items can take place within this one piece of furniture. 

It also provides easy maneuverability in small areas such as apartments or houses. The ability to move the sections around gives much-needed flexibility when squeezing into tight corners or arranging around groups or conversations. 

If you move frequently or enjoy redecorating often, a modular sofa could be the perfect option for your home. This type of couch can be rearranged to fit into any room, making it ideal for someone who likes to switch things up.

And the best part? Some modular sectional sofas can include chaise lounges, tables, ottomans, or even sleeper sofas. 

It’s the ideal furniture choice for families who need their furniture to adapt to their ever-changing needs.

Common Sectional Sofa Parts

When shopping for a sectional sofa, you will find these standard components:

Right Facing Seating

If you are facing your sofa and the chaise is on the right side, this is called a right-facing chaise. The arm of the chaise will be on the right side, and the rest of the sofa will be to the left. 

Left Facing Seating

This configuration is the exact opposite of a right-facing chaise. If you are facing your sofa and the chaise is on the left side, this is called a left-facing chaise. The arm of the chaise will be on the left side, and the rest of the sofa will be to the right. 


Think of the corner piece as the glue of your sectional sofa. This component will be used at the corners, and you can use these parts to join almost any other type of configuration together.

If you want a u-shaped sectional, using two corner parts is one way to make this happen.


These chairs are the most versatile piece of a modular sofa and can be easily moved around.

An armless section of a modular sectional sofa refers to a couch component without arms or armrests. It is a unit that can be combined with other armless segments to form a complete sectional sofa. 

These pieces are designed to be interchangeable and can be arranged in various configurations to fit a room’s specific needs and layout. You can usually find either one-seat or two-seat sizes. 


When you are looking for maximum versatility, the ottoman is your star. An ottoman can form a chaise or float in the center of your sectional as a comfy coffee table.

Ottomans offer extra storage or seating in your living room and can be moved around to create a makeshift chaise lounge.


Some companies offer additional options, such as curved components, integral tables, and built-in storage. You will also find sectionals with built-in sleeper sofas, storage compartments, and other handy accessories. 

These options are especially great if you have a small living space because they allow you to store your blankets, books, and other items. These accessories can even turn your sectional sofa into a guest room!

Common Sectional Sofa Configurations 

Now that you understand the available components, you can use those parts to create a variety of configurations. Some of the most prevalent compositions include:

U-Shaped Sectional Layout

A U-shaped layout is ideal for large rooms because it allows for a generous amount of seating. This configuration typically uses two corner sections to create a conversational area in the middle.

L-Shaped Sectional Layout

An L-shaped setup is excellent for medium to large rooms, providing ample seating and no wasted space. This shape works incredibly well if you want to incorporate an ottoman or chaise into your design. 

Sectional With A Chaise Lounge Layout

The sectional with a chaise lounge is the most simple layout and is perfect for smaller rooms. This is also an excellent option if you want to add other components to your modular sofa later. It’s always easier to add more later than to figure out what to do with extra parts.

This configuration looks like a traditional sofa, but one end (either left or right) has a chaise. A chaise lounge is ideal for lounging and works well in most room arrangements. 

Lovesac is one of the best modular sections you can purchase due to its extreme comfort, flexibility, and durability. You can completely replace the covers to give your couch an entirely new look, and you will be shocked by all the accessories they’ve thought of. Image via lovesac.com

How To Use A Sectional Sofa In Your Home

Most sectional sofas are designed with flexibility in mind, and there are many ways to place them to fit different living spaces. 

If your living space is large enough, why not take advantage of its length by using the corner of the room for maximum impact? Pair the L-shape configuration with an elegant chair, like the iconic Eames lounge chair, to make your space feel polished and inviting. 

For smaller living rooms, consider a U-shaped configuration to maximize seating and create an intimate conversation area. A large ottoman in the center makes a great place to rest or serve drinks while entertaining. 

Finally, if you’re looking for a more modern look, try using an asymmetrical or curved configuration. This will help draw focus to your seating area while creating visual interest. 

Use a rug to make your room feel pulled together and polished. Make sure it’s the correct size for your living area and furniture, so your room feels balanced.

No matter how you arrange it, a sectional sofa offers flexibility, comfort, and character in any home.

The Best Fabrics And Materials For A Sectional Sofa

When purchasing a sectional sofa, it pays to be thoughtful about the type of fabrics and materials that best suit your needs.

For kid and pet-friendly households, look for no-fuss, durable fabrics that are easy to clean, like leather or performance velvet. This will allow you to spend more time relaxing and less worrying about how to clean up inevitable spills. 

If keeping the furniture for long-term use, opt for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, wool, or down-filled cushions. These hold up better in comfort and wearability over time. 

Some sofas feature removable slipcovers that are perfect if you aim to switch up the style of your living room and keep your furniture looking new.

With a bit of research and forethought, you’ll soon have the perfect sectional sofa that is both kid-and pet-friendly and lasting in style and comfort.

Final Thoughts

Sectional sofas have become a popular furniture choice in recent years thanks to their combination of comfort and style. With so many styles and configuration options, it’s easy to find a design that will work well in your home.

When choosing a sectional sofa, the most important things to consider are the size and your lifestyle. 

Sectionals are an investment, so you want to purchase a piece that will fit into your home for a long time. Consider how often the sectional will be used, if you’ll need to move it around, and the size of your room and the existing furniture. 

With this knowledge, you can find a perfect sectional for your lifestyle and be confident that it will provide lasting comfort. Because what’s better than a cozy living room?

Thanks for reading! I hope this information has helped you learn more about sectional sofas and inspired you to add one to your home.