The Ultimate Mid Century Style Sofa Guide!

The Ultimate Mid Century Style Sofa Guide!You probably already know that I’m a huge vintage lover and collector. It’s both a hobby to me and an element of my personal style.

There are really only a few categories where I prefer to buy new “replica” pieces rather than true vintage. Shoes, for sure. Appliances, for practical reasons. And sofas, for two reasons—

  1. Cost. Reupholstery is expensive. So unless you find a vintage piece that doesn’t need it, that should be factored in. It can more than double the price tag, and may even push the price of your bargain piece into the same range as brand new sofas.
  2. Options. I like to compare my options back to back before making a large purchase. It’s so easy to do with sofas. And I like that new sofas can be customized. You typically get to choose the fabric color and the wood or metal color. Plus there are a lot of companies (like Joybird) who will even customize the size to fit your space. I love having choices!

Today I thought it would be fun to share a guide to some of my personal favorite sofas that are available online! I broke them down into a variety of budgets, and I will note the companies that I have tested or owned as I go through each section.

Also, please note—I went by retail prices, but many/most of these sites have frequent sales. So definitely watch for those. You can get many of these at substantial discounts just by checking the websites, social media or signing up for newsletters. I’m not an extreme sale shopper, but for purchases like this where you can save hundreds of dollars, I recommend looking into it. 😉

The Ultimate Mid Century Style Sofa Guide! (click through for links)
$850 and under: 1/2/3 (similar)/4/5 (similar)/6 (similar)/7//8/9/10

These options are super affordable! Out of these options we’ve only owned number seven, which Jeremy had in a previous studio, and Emma and Trey have at their home. I don’t recommend Urban Outfitters sofas for amazing comfort, but they are very cute with a pretty unbeatable price tag.

The Ultimate Mid Century Style Sofa Guide! (click through for links)
$850-$1300: 1 (similar)/2 (similar)/3/4 (similar)/5 (similar)/6 (similar)/7/8/9 (similar)/10/11 (similar)/12/13 (similar).

Wow—a lot of really pretty options here. The variety of colors is pretty amazing. I feel like you can find a cute sofa in pretty much any color these days.

The Ultimate Mid Century Style Sofa Guide! (click through for links)
$1,300-$2,000: 1/2/3 (similar)/4 (similar)/5/6/7/8/9/10

As you go up a bit in the price range, more options for sectionals begin to open up. They’re definitely more of an investment, but we love our sectional for both normal nights at home and entertaining. There are rooms that really need sectionals because they can’t fit a sofa AND a love seat, but just a sofa would seem much too small. This happened in our last home, and the sectional we bought there works awesome in our new living room as well.

The Joybird Braxton sofa is what we just got for Jeremy’s studio. We got it in that color as well (it’s number one), and I really like it. It’s more tailored looking than a lot of mid century sofas, which I think makes it feel a bit nicer. It’s really comfortable and bigger than it looks (my feet definitely do not touch the ground—haha!).

-After much thought (probably too much thought? haha!), I just ordered number nine, The Sven Charme Tan Sofa, for our living room (the one with the turquoise floor!). My friend Katie just got the exact same one in black for her home. So I got to try it in person (which helps SO much with these big decisions). I stalked their Instagram like crazy to figure out the true color of the sofa (it’s a bit more tan and less orange in all the “real life” photos). I’ll post some photos on Instagram when it arrives… I’m really excited to see how the tan leather works with our turquoise floor.

I really love the look of the wood details on number six and seven!

The Ultimate Mid Century Style Sofa Guide! (click through for links)
$2,000-$3,500: 1/2/3 (on sale!)/4/5 (also on sale)/6/7/8 (PS. Number 1 is a sleeper sofa!)

On this budget, it’s easy to find a nice, big sectional that’s great for family life and snuggles! Leather is also an option. I know it’s not for everyone, but it does definitely come with some functional perks for those with small children and pets. It’s so easy to wipe clean.

Personal experiences:

-Number six, the Jane Loft Bi-Sectional from Gus Modern is what I have (and LOVE) in our den. It’s big, the shape ages really well and the fabric is a good fit for our two dogs. This was our first sectional and I’m definitely a believer now. I will probably keep buying sectionals in the future for comfy movie night reasons. It’s really comfortable.

-Laura owns number one. She’s almost done with that room, so you’ll be seeing it in a tour soon. On top of being cute, it’s a super functional choice for her because the sleeper sofa gives her an extra impromptu guest room option. She has a lot of out of state family, so more guest space is always a plus!

As far as personal endorsements go, I have owned and LOVED sofas from Gus Modern, Joybird (I love that they have free swatch kits!), Thrive Furniture and now Article (they offer free swatch kits as well!). These are all both beautiful and comfortable options and really high quality. We have also owned two sofas from Urban Outfitters. They are really cute and have great prices, but they can be very firm. That’s not to say they’re not good options, but it’s something to consider and ultimately what really matters is what you need for your budget and lifestyle!

If you’ve owned a sofa from any of these places (or have other recommendations), we’d love to hear them. Sofas are a BIG commitment and a scary thing to buy online. So your comments and notes could really help another reader with their choice. 🙂

xx- Elsie

  • I think your new leather couch with the turquoise floor is going to be STUNNING, Elsie! Can’t wait to see that. These are all such beautiful sofas. Emily Henderson also did a great guide which includes a smaller budget category (though most of those probably wouldn’t be comfortable) and talks about the huge importance of shape. Ikea has a few options as well, which have a nice streamlined shape (not sure if you’d call it specifically midcentury or not) if you really can’t spend a lot. That was the case for us (I even got the Ikea one I wanted on craigslist – student family!) but I still feel like it’s modern enough to bring my style to our living room AND it’s very comfortable.

  • I have the Peggy in the Eucalyptis blue color. I’d dreamed for years of a blue mid-century sofa and I love it so much! I will say that the buttons pop up a bit sometimes when I’m sitting (though they always pop back into place) and I live in fear that I’ll snag one off completely some day 🙂 But it’s such pretty couch.

  • Awesome guide! I have an IKEA Karlstad sofa (along with the rest of the world) and recently switched out its chunky pine legs with some tapered walnut mid-century legs…what an upgrade!

    I’d love to see ABM do a cushion tufting tutorial so I can DIY it to the next level!

  • Thanks so much!!! There are some that are really cheap in that smallest budget (I think 300ish??) I was shocked. 🙂 Craigslist is a great idea! I literally just saw a cute West Elm sofa over there.

    Thanks so much Cait! xx- Elsie

  • Thank you for writing this post! I’ve been looking forward to it since I saw it on snapchat. I’ve been obsessing over all the sofas from Bryght lately. Has anyone purchased one and have any feedback about them? besides looking gorgeous, are they comfortable and worth the price?

  • Hi Elsie!! Those couches are so cute! Even though I don’t own a house, I still love looking at things like that for future references + just for fun!!

  • My friend Katie has the leather one in black. I got to see it in person and it’s super nice. Plus she kind of sold me on it when she was explaining how much better it is for kids than a fabric sofa… 🙂 xx- Elsie

  • Great guide! Word to the wise: I have owned the Peggy couch in cayenne for < 2 years and have popped off nearly all of the buttons. It's a looker, but the buttons (what's left of them!) can be painful to sit on. In hindsight, it was not my best decision!

  • We own the Edith sofa from Dot & Bo. We bought it secondhand (and half off!) from someone who barely used it because she moved in with a guy that was completely against a turquoise sofa! I love the color and it’s comfortable. It’s definitely a bit lighter in person than on the website. We used to have the Ikea Karlstad sectional which was fine for a few years but didn’t stand up to regular use.

  • Oh! I’ve been drooling over the Nixon sofa lately- planning to buy it soooon. Since we’ve just moved from Sweden to Los Angeles we’re in need of a lot of furniture. Except for IKEA (as a Swede it feels like home entering an IKEA store, haha) it’s hard when you’re in a new country knowing where to buy good furniture. This gave me some new ideas, so thank you!

  • Nice post. I debated for a really long time deciding on a new sofa. I ended up finding the Gus Modern sectional (same one that you have!) for about $1,200. It was a no-brainer to get it for that price. I find it very firm (much more firm than I’m used to), but know it will hold its shape well. The fact that it’s huge also makes up for it! 🙂

  • We own #6 (Terminal Sofa) from the $1300-2000 range. While it’s gorgeous and we love it, consider the following points we’ve discovered:

    – The metal legs stick out at a pretty significant angle. You don’t notice this until it’s in person, but if you’re placing it on or near the edge of a rug, you need to be aware it’s going to need more breathing room

    – The feet have felt pads that fall off waaaaay too easily

    – It is super heavy to move and you need to be careful with the wood laminate arms

    BUT, it comes in a single box and it’s tiny! All the parts fit in a zippered area under the seat. So moving it to another house is a lot easier. We have it in a pale grey and it matches everything.

    It’s also a lot cheaper in Europe, where we bought it. So if you’re there, consider pricing it at a few stores/online outlets if you’re interested. Happy shopping!

  • My brother & SIL, bought the KARLSTAD sectional from Ikea, about a year ago. It seems to be holding up pretty well (they have two children under the age of 5). I think they are a great inexpensive option & would like to just switch out the legs for mid-century ones.
    They also have the Stockholm, which like Urban Outfitters, is very firm, but they are a pretty & affordable option people can consider; I especially like it in the light brown leather.

  • This is a great list!
    I really like the Club 3-seater sofa & Ikea’s Kivik sofa, because I am a Mid-Century lover but my husband is much more contemporary in his taste, as well as almost entirely comfort driven. So those two sofas seem like great couches to bridge the gap.
    However we’re still working on becoming home buyers so buying a new sofa (instead of our ugly one we got off of Craigslist) is on hold.

  • I have the Hamilton from West Elm (#5 in the last photo) and I love it! The great thing about leather is the more you use it the better it looks! Also super easy to clean. Definitely worth the splurge 🙂

  • I absolutely love the look of midcentury sofas. I had one for a long time – it was black microfiber and I had some funky throw pillows on it that were amazing. However – I found that this was one instance where form won over function. I’m a couch potato (I’m trying to get better), and I found that I missed having a couch that was great for lounging/napping… So I went back to comfy, more recent looking sofas. BUT – if I had a more formal room that was rarely used, or an office with a waiting room, I would definitely go mid-century!

  • I love the look and function of leather sofas in the mid century modern style, but I’m vegan and don’t buy leather products. Do you know of good quality faux-leather options?

  • I just got mine yesterday! In grey because I am boring…but i feel the same way about the buttons! You can get a super long upholstery needle at Joanns that would help you to reattach a button should that happen. Just FYI.

  • How relevant to my life right now haha. We have never purchased furniture and only have college hand me downs (so a really ugly assortment of mismatched furniture). This year we decided we’d start investing in furniture and our couch was the first piece we got just a couple weeks ago. I LOVE the mid-century design, but my husband holds comfort above anything else, so we made a nice compromise with this one from IKEA : http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S69884946/#/S69005364 – the KIVIK love seat + chaise (in Isunda Grey fabric). I know I know..Ikea..but it was still $1000 and I’m obsessed with it – the fabric, the feel, the look. And the chaise is making all of my tv watching/reading nook dreams come true.

  • Gorgeous wish I had a huge house and budget. I bought an antique sofa and covered it, ( moon fabric) cheaper than new but we want a sofa bed not too chunky for the sitting room, one that is comfy and a grey color…. Hard to find, any ideas under £100
    Thanks
    Jane

  • I love the colorful sofa sets. all the given sofa sets are really very charming. we should buy such type of colorful sofas with the perfect combo of our room’s paint color.