Are you finding that your sofa is not meeting your needs? Do you have to pull out extra folding chairs for every occasion? Replace that sofa with a sectional for more seating, flexibility and comfort. Sectionals come in all shapes and sizes and can have many fun features, so how do you choose?


Ultra plush cushions and traditional styling, this sectional is cozy and classic. It is in a large living room setting with a blue rug and chandelier hanging above.

First, get familiar with sectionals and all their components. Two acronyms you’ll come across are RAF and LAF. When facing the piece, the position of the arm on the portion facing you is described as either right-arm facing (RAF) or left-arm facing (LAF). Basic sectionals are usually comprised of four pieces: LAF or RAF sofa, LAF or RAF corner chaise, armless loveseat and ottoman. They may also include a RAF or LAF cuddler, which is a seat attached to the end of an armless sofa or loveseat, sometimes on an angle. A symmetrical sectional will have equal seating on both sides. Other pieces that can be added include: wedges, armless chairs and dual reclining sofas or loveseats. A corner wedge is used to attach an add-on piece like a loveseat or armless chair to the main piece. Consoles may come separately or built into a sofa or loveseat. Usually they feature built-in storage space and cup holders. With these basics in mind, here are five helpful search tips:



Before the search, decide where the sectional will go. Will it fill a corner, sit in a room’s center or fit along a wall? Take exact measurements of the space you want to fill—reason being: certain styles will not work in smaller spaces. Take the length of fully reclined seats and the size of ottomans into account. Plus, factor in extra space for moving about the room. Once you have a size, decide on the type of seating. Deep seats easily accommodate tall people, while shallow seats with tight backs are ideal for short people or those who have difficulty getting up. Chaises are great for propping up legs.



Think about your lifestyle and envision all that you want in a seating arrangement. What’s your favorite style? From contemporary to traditional, there are many looks to consider. What fabric would you prefer? For example, if you have small children or pets, you may want to consider stain-resistant fabrics. Crave something decorative? Look for features such as naihead trim, rolled armrests, curved feet and jumbo stitching. Configurations are also important. Traditional L-shaped sectionals, like the top-selling Jessa Place 3-piece sectional with a chaise lounge attached, are perfect for TV viewing. U-shaped sectionals are ideal for party hosting because facing seats encourage conversations.



If you want the ability to reconfigure seating, there are several options. Reversible sectionals are ideal because the chaise can be moved from one side of the stationary piece to the other. For the ability to arrange each piece to your liking or the freedom to add as many seats as you want, modular sectionals are perfect. To find all the options with each sectional, ask what pieces are stationary, interlocking or separate.



Recliners, power options, consoles and ottomans are some extra features to keep in mind. When exploring a sectional with recliners, find out which pieces recline and if they have power adjustment options. Usually 2 seats in a sofa or loveseat piece will recline and sometimes separate reclining seats can be added. Reclining features are a huge plus for space savings, especially if you do not have the room for separate recliners. Use an ottoman either for an additional seat or as a foot rest. Look for storage that’s sometimes available because it provides handy space for tucking away remotes, blankets and more.



Before you make your purchase, imagine the piece in your living area. Get a picture of it and hold it up to the space. Will it work for you and your family? Does it sync with your lifestyle? If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, keep looking. Does the sectional overpower the room? If you think it will, consider getting a smaller one or remove pieces. See if the fabric color will match your decor. Often a shade of the color of your room’s decor will work perfectly, but you can add a pop of color to the room using an accent color such as red.

With these helpful tips in mind, take time to explore all possibilities. You’ll be surprised what a difference a sectional can make in your home.

If you have a sectional, who claims what spots? Is dad stationed at the command center next to the console? Does mom relax on the chaise? What spots do the kids enjoy? What are your favorite features?