24 Cheap Sofas and Chairs That Look High-End



Hi Everyone!


Happy, Happy New Year!!!


Sunday we looked at a lot of gorgeous classic sofas from mid-range to low high-end.

A lot of you have asked me what to get if you can’t afford to plunk down 2,000-5,000+++ for a sofa.

Well, today, I am going to focus on cheap sofas AND chairs and what the deal is.

And by cheap, I mean about $500.00-$1,000.00 for a sofa and about $250.00-$500.00 for a chair.


But, Laurel– Aren’t these cheap sofas and chairs going to be uhhh– your favorite word, “ersatz” or poorly made, uncomfortable and fall apart?


Those are all great questions. And yes, there is a LOT of ersatz, ugly, amorphous, cheap furniture out there. But, there is also a good amount of cheap furniture that’s surprisingly not only good-looking, but great looking. And according to reviews, comfortable and well-made.

But sure; there are also cheap sofas and chairs which are not comfortable and will fall apart.

However, I’ve had clients who when their kids were little didn’t want to spend mega bucks on a piece that was going to get peanut butter and jelly and ice cream sandwiches smashed into it. And worse. But, they also wanted something that was stylish enough to look good for the time being.

Now, it is very unlikely that you are going to get a spring-down luxurious seat. And it’s true. The cushions might not hold up so well over time. Plus, very often on a cheap sofa or chair, the cushions don’t flip.

It’s very important to read the reviews if there are any and any other literature available on your piece, before purchasing. If in doubt, you can also call customer service where the piece is sold.


Here are some more things to look out for.


  • Like all upholstered furniture, we want there to be good proportions for its style. So, for instance a mid-century modern piece might have a super low back and that’s appropriate for that piece.
  • Some cheap upholstery is boxy when it is not supposed to be boxy. So, be sure to look at your piece from all angles. The pieces I’ve selected for the most part, have profiles that look high-end.
  • If concerned about buttons falling off, then I wouldn’t get tufted furniture. You might be able to crazy glue any buttons back on, or ask an upholsterer if it can be fixed.
  • However, if it’s a piece that should have a pitched back, then make sure that it’s not too straight up. Some pieces like Tuxedo sofas do have a straight outside, but the inside upholstery is pitched slightly.


Do you know the biggest aesthetic problem that I often see with cheap sofas and chairs?


It’s the legs.

The front legs, be they turned, tapered or straight, look best when they are very close to the edge of the piece unless it’s a mid-century style and the legs are meant to be set in.

Ideally, unless it’s a style meant to be otherwise, the back legs are curved and not the same leg in the front. However, with cheap sofas and chairs, you will almost always have to screw the legs in after you’ve received it. It is more difficult to screw in the curved legs, I imagine.

Below, I made a graphic to show in images some leg issues that frequently occur with cheap sofas and chairs. But, thankfully, not all of them as you will soon see.

Common Issues with Cheap Sofas and Chairs

nice chair except for legs

More spark plug legs and in the back too. I don’t know who created this turned leg design, maybe a former auto mechanic? But, they are horrible. And too bad because they are ruining an otherwise, very nice chair.

Sam Upholstered slipper chair Pottery Barn on sale

This is a proper turned legs and in this case with casters. Sam Slipper Chair from Pottery Barn and currently on sale!

Let’s continue with our cheap chairs and then we’ll look at the cheap sofas


Susie Armchair -One KingThose who follow the hot sales will recognize one of my favorite little occasional chairs that’s on sale right now.



Soma Minna upholstered chair from Pottery BarnAnother favorite, the Soma Mina from Pottery Barn. It comes in several fabrics and is under $300.00!

Slipper chair from Wayfair


Ridgedale arm chair from Wayfair

It comes in a few different colorways and there’s a gorgeous sofa version coming up.


And another image showing in a room setting. I always love to see these because it gives a better idea of scale.


Greer Skirted slipper chair - Boca Medallion $425
Pretty skirted slipper chair from One King’s Lane and on sale right now.


Someone asked me why no skirts on the sofas from Sunday. Well,  a couple do have skirts. And either I couldn’t get a decent image, or the model didn’t make the cut. My own sofa has a skirt, but that’s because it’s a sleep sofa.

Essex upholstered armchair
Wonderful retro-style chair from Pottery Barn that comes in many fabrics and is on sale.


Durham+Armchair - Cheap Sofas and Chairs - Wayfair $542Bad angle on a very cool roll arm chair from Wayfair. There’s a coordinating sofa as well. This is available in dozens of fabrics and if you’re looking for a stylish and deep and cheap chair, this might work nicely for you.


Coralia Club Chair Charcoal gray and cream - Cheap Sofas and Chairs - OKLVery stylish roll arm club chair. I found it at three different sources, but One King’s Lane had the best price and especially now, because they are having a sale. Yes, the legs are set in a little more than I’d like. But I saw a photo of the chairs on another site; probably Wayfair because people post pics of their furniture. Anyway, they looked quite wonderful in the room.


Bourgoin armchair looks a lot more expensive than it is. From Joss & MainBourgoin Armchair from Joss & Main is in the manner of the Spruce Street series at Serena and Lily

Bourgoin armchair from Joss & Main in blue

Armchair- Cheap Sofas and Chairs - Wayfair $291Classic Contemporary armchair from Wayfair is under $300! Great lines!

What are the best sources for cheap sofas and chairs?


Some of my favorites are:



Joss and Main – They have a great selections of cheap sofas!

Pottery Barn (a few things)

West Elm for more contemporary/modern pieces

One King’s Lane has some great cheap chairs amongst their more expensive ones




Let’s move on to the cheap sofas



Delphine+Standard+$1050-Sofa Cheap Sofas and Chairs - Joss and Main

The Delphine Sofa from Joss & Main is a more casual roll arm sofa and comes in numerous fabrics


Delphine+Standard+SofaCheap Sofas and Chairs - Cheap Sofas and ChairAnother image of the Delphine roll arm sofa from Joss & Main


Huston+Sofa - $870 - Joss and Main - Cheap Sofas and ChairsThe Huston sofa from Joss & Main is under $1,000 and with its beautiful styling it looks like a sofa that costs triple that amount.


beautiful side view.

Dieter+Slipcovered+Sofa-Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main-many fabrics $1090
The Dieter Slipcovered sofa is relatively expensive at $1,090.00. But this deep beauty is sure to please the entire family– those that want a bed and those that want a pretty sofa. haha


Danyel+Sofa Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $750The Danyel Sofa from Joss & Main is mid-century cool and only $750.00!


Harcourt+Tufted+Chesterfield+Sofa+in+Teal-Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $820
This Tuxedo style sofa from Joss & Main looks so much more expensive than it is. There are lots of images on Wayfair too.


Jackson+Chesterfield+Sofa - Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $750

The Jackson Chesterfield from Joss & Main is actually another Tuxedo style that’s as chic as they come. And, the price tag at $750 is unbelievably good!


Weybossett+Sofa+with+Cushions - $750 Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main

This  contemporary sofa with an a glamorous 1930s feel is only $750 from Joss and Main. It also comes in blue and one or two other colorways.


Joss and Main - Cheap Sofas and Chairs - $1,069 Hoehn SofaHoehn sofa from Joss & Main


This is reminding me of Jonathan Adler’s Lampert sofa but it’s a lot less expensive. And the dimensions are a little different.


Lincolnwood+Slipcovered+Sofa-Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $890Another slipcovered sofa from Joss & Main – only $890.00!



Katharina+Tufted+Chesterfield+Sofa-Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $930I believe that this is the same frame as the teal sofa above. It’s awfully good-looking and under $1,000. This is a situation because of the straight back when it is fine to have all four legs be straight and tapered. I lighted up the image a little because reviewers said that the upholstery is lighter than it looks in the image on the website.


Oaklyn roll arm sofaThis handsome roll arm sofa from Joss & Main is out of stock for about five more weeks. I love it when they tell us when items will be back in stock!


Huston+Sofa Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $900

Another colorway of the Huston sofa shown in blue further up the page. This piece is only $900.00. Amazing!


Durham+Sofa Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $929
And another deep roll arm sofa– The Durham sofa which is like the white chair above, taken from a bad angle. It is available in numerous fabrics.


Cheap Sofas and Chairs That Look High-end


Please pin this graphic to pinterest as a reminder.


Oh man! I think I just broke my hand on this one. haha Just kidding. Sorta.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I don’t really, but I’ve vowed to try and go to bed earlier.

We’ll see.

Here’s to a beautiful, happy and healthy 2019 for all!




PS: Don’t forget to check out the hot sales. There have been some changes since the weekend.

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Morgana - January 4, 2019 - 11:34 PM

    Great article Laurel! I had come to the conclusion that an inexpensive sofa will be the only way to go forward because my husband is so particular. Everything has to have a high back. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a hideous Lazyboy 2 seater crouching in the middle of our living room because I lost the last couch “discussion”. I’m 5′ 4″ and he’s 6’1″ so one couch does not please both. But that first couch you selected has a high back. Win!! I’ll just tell him I’m ordering some “temporary” furniture until we can order the good stuff.
    Could you give some examples of good quality inexpensive sectionals and contemporary wingback chairs in future articles?ReplyCancel

  • Mary - January 3, 2019 - 8:56 AM

    Happy New Year, Laurel!
    About 5 years ago I decorated my bedroom. The room needed a chair to fill a corner so I marched down to Ethan Allen & spent about $1500 on a lovely chair.
    And all it does is hold my pillows when I make down my bed at night. No one sees it.
    Realizing now that one of the chairs you’re showing here could have worked just as nicely makes me slightly ill.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 3, 2019 - 12:17 PM

      Well, if it makes you feel any better, I don’t think that some of these existed five years ago.

      And Happy New Year to you too! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Joyce - January 2, 2019 - 11:40 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    Beautiful post as always! If you have a chance, could you write a similar post featuring coffee tables? My house is traditional and I’m trying to update a few pieces and branch out into contemporary (per your post on mixing contemporary and traditional). I’d like to add a glass/gold table now that my boy is a teenager and is not likely to smash his head diving off the sofa. Anyway, all the contemporary tables I see on line are too small for my space. Following your advice, I think I need something in the 42” range and would like round/octagonal (I have a sofa with two chairs opposite and want to put the coffee table in the middle), but I have seen few, affordable (to me anyway) out there. I imagine you have lots of posts planned, so no problem if it doesn’t fit in your plan to do it. Hope you’re feeling better.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - January 2, 2019 - 10:30 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    Your sofa posts came out at the perfect time as we’re on the hunt for one ourselves. I noticed that none of the sofas you highlighted are leather (at least I think that’s correct?). Is there a reason for that? My husband really wants leather – can you offer any advice on leather sofas? What are your thoughts regarding longevity of leather vs. Sunbrella or Crypton fabric?
    Thanks so much. I really enjoy your blog. Your wealth of knowledge and sense of humor is very much appreciated – thanks for sharing it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 11:43 PM

      Hi Lauren,

      Welllllll… it depends. It depends on the leather and then environmental factors. Leather can fade and crack. Some leathers are not protected and will scratch like hell. It’s a whole other topic. But my main focus here is in showing some nice looking pieces that don’t cost a whole lot. I’m dubious of cheap leather sofas, however. Good leather is expensive and there’s no getting away from that.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Sanders - January 2, 2019 - 9:19 PM

    Thank you for remaining delightfully real and grounded. I smile everytime I read.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 11:40 PM

      Thank you! and I’m glad that you’re smiling Jennifer!ReplyCancel

  • Pat Loveridge - January 2, 2019 - 3:11 PM

    Thanks so much for your post on least expensive chairs and sofas. I have usually bought expensive pieces but when you pay so much you feel married to the piece and reupholstry is very expensive. I like to change things out once and awhile. Thanks

  • Jacqueline - January 2, 2019 - 3:04 PM

    Hi Laurel, I’m sure I am one of many devoted UK fans (sorry about the GDPR nonsense! What a faff, eh?!) and wondered if there is any scope for a post for those of us who have to live without Joss & Main, OKL, PB, Restoration Hardware, Chairish… I could go on but i’m sure you get my drift..

    PS. thank you so much for the invaluable advice & help, my old upper villa in Edinburgh is slowly coming to life!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 11:34 PM

      Hi Jacqueline,

      As much as I would enjoy that, one, I’m not at all familiar with the UK marketplace, two)85% of my readers are in the US. So, my best recommendation is to take what you see and like and apply it to your local sources.

      And yes, GDPR is nonsense. If they only just went after the bonafide spammers instead of treating EVERYONE as if they already are spammers.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - January 2, 2019 - 12:36 PM

    Your recent posts have been so helpful for me! We just moved into a new house two weeks ago with no living room furniture (previous furniture was sold with the house). I have had some decision fatigue trying to sort out a style suited to our house, size of furniture, and material. With two teen boys, both sweaty athletes, and their friends, sunbrella or Crypton seem like a good fit. Yet they are known to dog pile their old dad while he is on the sofa, so I thought I better get something that is a little more disposable for now.

    I have been to all the furniture stores in our city that are not high end,and haven’t seen anything at all that has good styling or decent fabric choices. Your posts over the last couple days have helped me come up with options I can live with, plus great accessories at OKL!ReplyCancel

    • Logan Torres - January 2, 2019 - 11:39 PM

      I love her stuff.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:36 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      So glad that these posts have been helpful for you! Hooray! And, I can just see your sons having fun with Dad while he’s trying to take a nap.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - January 2, 2019 - 12:12 PM

    You’re so right about the gingham checked chairs – the legs do look like spark plugs! The chair itself is so attractive, that I didn’t even notice until you mentioned it. Please tell me why do so many of the sofas have back legs that are different from front legs? To me, it just looks odd, but there must be a reason for this that I am not aware of. Some are drastically different, like someone put together a mix of fashion accessories that have no business being together.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:33 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      Usually the back legs are curved out and yes, that makes them different from the front legs. That is the hallmark of a high-end piece and how it’s supposed to be. It’s both for stability and also makes a more attractive line.ReplyCancel

  • Megan - January 2, 2019 - 12:09 PM

    HNY! Not to make grand health recommendations but in the “have you tried” way … Have you tried cherry juice? There are a lot more around recently & it is really helping husband fall asleep faster & stay asleep for an hour or two longer. (6 hrs, instead of 4) I don’t know what your store could be, but Stop & Shop in NJ has a great brand – Cheri bundi. Good luck & I’m certainly bookmarking a few of these! The pretty orange modern one is already sold out!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:32 PM

      AAMOF, I have been drinking cherry juice EVERY day for years, except when traveling. I love it and mix it with seltzer and usually a squeeze of lime or lemon. I’m afraid that I haven’t noticed any health benefits, however, I love the way it tastes!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - January 2, 2019 - 11:31 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    What a wonderful article! As I mentioned before, I’m in search of the perfect living room furniture for the house we are building. I love top end furniture, but I’m definitely on a root beer budget. We have an inexpensive furniture store in town, but they only sell brown sofas (ugh). I refuse. Have a very happy new year!

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:29 PM

      Only brown, eh? Not even any gray? I guess that’s to hide the root beer when it spills? hahaReplyCancel

  • Joni - January 2, 2019 - 11:21 AM

    I’m your daily old lady reader and you are my hero! I told my hubby I should be able to decorate with the equal amount he just spent on his beamer 😂 Old goats weep at hearing that! So on to sofas. I always read they must be kiln dried, 8 way tied and stuff. true or outdated? What about sectionals? Are they the kiss of death in design? Impressed with your ballet! Wow!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:28 PM

      Hi Joni,

      Well, we don’t want to the wood to warp. However, my upholsterer and many manufacturers use sinuous springs and that works just fine. In fact, for sofas with a smaller rail, (all the ones with legs higher than 3″), the 8 way tied springs won’t work.

      Please see my other comment below regarding sectionals. I can’t see who it was because I’m only answering pending comments and can’t see my own.ReplyCancel

  • Shelly Heller - January 2, 2019 - 10:32 AM

    Thank you for this! I am in the market for a new sofa and rug but with two kids in college I didn’t think it could happen. I am in love with the image of the Delphine sofa from Joss & Main! Would you be able to tell me more about the white rug? I assume it’s also from Joss & Main but can’t pinpoint which one. I cannot wait to recreate this look! Thank you so much for this blog … I devour every word and image!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:24 PM

      Hi Shelly,

      I’m pretty pos. that it’s the Villebois hand-woven ivory rug. It’s made from jute. If you look at the thumbnail photos on the left and scroll down, there’s an image with several legs on the floor and there’s a nice clear shot of the rug.ReplyCancel

      • Shelly Heller - January 3, 2019 - 8:32 AM

        Thank you so much! I really appreciate you responding. Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • MaryJane - January 2, 2019 - 8:37 AM

    You mentioned that you have a sleep sofa, would you please share the brand and style with me?

    We are building a small cottage on a creek in a rural area of Virginia and your blog has been so helpful. Reading it is the highlight of many days, opposite of dealing with contractors.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us who want to have a beautiful home no matter how large or small.

    A real admirer,
    MaryJane WhitmanReplyCancel

  • vi - January 2, 2019 - 8:08 AM

    I have a 20×20 family room with a 10 foot ceiling. Does the height of the chairs to be taller in a large room? Thank-you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 2:01 PM

      Hi vi,

      Not necessarily. My feeling is that furniture is for the people, not the room. However, yes, a larger room can take a larger piece and I would avoid anything too dinky.ReplyCancel

  • HeidiP - January 2, 2019 - 4:22 AM

    And Happy New Year Laurel!! I hope 2019 brings you continued and expanded success, health, love and happiness.ReplyCancel

  • HeidiP - January 2, 2019 - 4:19 AM

    Praise you!!!!
    I’m very close to starting to furnish some new rooms in my house and went to a couple of furniture stores just to see what was out there… and the main thing that bothered me about the affordable sofas were the legs. I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly bothered me about the legs—but now I see!! THANK YOU!!!

    We have a fair-sized (mostly casual) empty family room to furnish and my husb wants a sectional—of course!!!! Your bed/sofa comment is spot on haha!
    I’d love one of your sofas paired with those chairs Ugh. But I gotta let him win SOMETHING. Any chance you have this same post for sectionals? Did I miss it!?
    I will definitely be getting one of the chairs tho, LOVE the coralia b&w club chair and the Durham arm chair AND sofa. AND the Delphine and Huston sofas!! Omg!!! *-)
    Thank you!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 1:59 PM

      Hi Heidi,

      I don’t have one post devoted to sectionals. There aren’t a lot that I like except for the Spruce Street style at Serena and Lily.

      And I haven’t found a cheap version of that one. The other thing is that at least 2/3 of the sectionals are really a sofa with an appendage. Okay, fine. A chaise. Frankly, I don’t get it. One person gets to put their feet up. What are the other two or three people supposed to do? That’s a rhetorical question. I’ll give it some thought, however.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - January 2, 2019 - 4:03 AM

    Perfect timing, as always, Laurel. Anthropologie is having a pretty good sale right now as long as it isn’t custom. I’m waiting for their next sale on custom sofas, unless you say they are junk. I talked to a furniture person there, and they couldn’t tell me who their manufacturer is. You can’t order extra fabric or ask for extra fill – some of the cushions look a little flat. I’m limited to a 72″ sofa to fit a short wall. Robin Bruce, first choice, comes in a smaller love seat or larger, 78″. Neither of those will work. Anthro’s Glenlee is the closest and least expensive option. It will get very little use.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 2, 2019 - 10:00 AM

      I ordered an Anthro sofa about a year ago for a former client and so far, she loves it. Some sofa styles that are retro would have flatter cushions. It’s most likely a style thing. I have to run now. My ballet class is calling me!ReplyCancel