36 Cheap Sofas and Chairs that Look Expensive



Hi Everyone,

So glad that many of you enjoyed Wednesday’s post about cheap fabrics that look expensive.


I think I mentioned that I wanted to continue with budget items that look classy but won’t break the bank.

So, today, I’d like to discuss cheap sofas and chai.rs. And, again, I am focusing on pieces that don’t look cheap.

Buttttttt, before we get into it, I must remind you guys that the Laurel Home Flash Sale is coming to an end, today, July 26th at 11:59 PM

All of the Laurel Home rocking guides are being sold at 20% off their regular price. This offer is exceedingly rare. In fact, there is usually a price increase in the fall.


Okay, let’s dive into our topic of cheap sofas and chairs.


What do I mean by cheap?


Well, from about $700.00-$1,500.00 for a sofa and about $300.00-$800.00 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 megabucks 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 stylish enough to look good for the time being.

Now, it is doubtful 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.


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


There is a widget at the bottom of the post with many more cheap sofas and chairs and information about them. But, I am hi-lighting some of the sofas and chairs in the post.


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 starts at only $319.00!

Classic slipper chair from Wayfair


Ridgedale armchair from Wayfair

It comes in a few different colorways, and there’s a gorgeous sofa version, as well.


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


Some have asked me about skirts on sofas.


Most of these don’t, but some do. I like skirts which have a slip-cover look. Or, they are a slipcover.  My sofa has a skirt, but that’s because it’s a sleep sofa.


Durham+Armchair - Cheap Sofas and Chairs - Wayfair $542Bad angle on a very cool roll armchair 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 at One Kings Lane.

Use promo code OKL20REVEAL and get 20% off. Plus, shipping is only 40 bucks!


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


By the way, all of the gorgeous upholstered furniture is on sale at S & L. (use code: MADEFORYOU) It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s all made in the USA by Lee Industries, with gorgeous high-end fabrics. So, if your budget allows, I’d definitely consider taking advantage of the sale.


What are the best sources for cheap sofas and chairs?


Some of my favorites are:


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

Pottery Barn

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.


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


Lincolnwood+Slipcovered+Sofa-Cheap Sofas and Chairs Joss and Main $890The Lincolnwood slipcovered sofa from Joss & Main – only $1,040.00!


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.

Huston+Sofa - $870 - Joss and Main - Cheap Sofas and ChairsThe elegant roll arm Corey Sofa at Wayfair


Corey Sofa Wayfair

Love the profile of this piece, and it’s only $1,232.00!


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

Another colorway of the Corey 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.


Below is a widget of 36 beautiful budget sofas and chairs

(please click on any image for more information)



And below is a graphic to pin to Pinterest for reference.


36 cheap sofas and chairs that look expensive


I hope you enjoyed these cheap sofas and chairs. You might also enjoy this post about 15 favorite classic sofas.

Please be sure to visit the HOT SALES for more budget furnishings.

And, please take advantage of the rare flash sale of my rockin’ interior design guides.




  • katherine lesch - September 15, 2020 - 5:47 AM

    Have you ever done a piece on cheap but good quali ty sectionals L and chaise attatched

    Thanks sooooo muchReplyCancel

  • Lorri - August 2, 2020 - 5:57 AM


    Velvet works with cats. Their claws don’t disturb the fabric.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - July 28, 2020 - 9:46 PM

    Re:Christine’s question about number of seat cushions-I think one cushion will eventually show wear if the sofa is used by one or two people who repeatedly sit in the same spot. This could be the case with two cushions, if the sofa is long, and people sit close to the armrests. Three cushions are good for company on a regular basis, although I find T shaped cushions to be a waste of fabric. I prefer squared cushions that are not too deep, because I do not appreciate people lounging on my sofa.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Catalano - July 27, 2020 - 3:29 PM

    Hello Laurel,
    ‘Laurel Home’ is an excellent souce and a wealth of good info. I especialy loved your post “The Numbe One Decorating Mistake.” That’s me,though I know better becasue I grew up with a mother, now 88Yrs. old, who was an interior designer. I’m having difficulty buying comfortable reading/lounge chairs.Unfortunately I have size restrictions, It needs to be 29″-34″W X30″-36″. I’m willing to pay for comfort, please recommend a chair.Thank you,

  • DONNA PATTERSON - July 27, 2020 - 1:37 PM

    Could you help me find a consultant in Ft Lauderdale Florida ??? I love all your stylesReplyCancel

  • Laura from Ohio - July 27, 2020 - 10:49 AM

    I should clarify that the Wayfair brands I mentioned below that source *many* of their upholstered pieces from Klaussner Furniture (Made in NC, USA) include Wayfair Custom Upholstery, Birch Lane Heritage, AllModern Custom, Joss and Main custom. The bottom of the specific product descriptions don’t mention Klaussner, but do state they are made in North Carolina.ReplyCancel

  • Laura from Ohio - July 27, 2020 - 10:23 AM

    Great post! Your readers may be interested that many of the Wayfair brand chairs (including joss and main, allModern) are made by Klaussner in North Carolina. I ordered 2 Montgomery armchairs (very similar to Durham, but with a squared top and detached back cushion— both cushions reversible). I believe the Durham has the same chair base/arms. I was literally blown away with the quality, since I got them ‘open box’ for somewhere around $190ea and expected them to feel cheap. The back cushion is down-filled and the seat is a foam/down blend making them very comfortable. I posted a review of the chair with pics on Wayfair where I mentioned (among other things) that the width of the roll arm was just a little plumper than I would have preferred, but for the price they can’t be beat!ReplyCancel

  • Jane S. - July 27, 2020 - 10:17 AM

    Because of the placement of our TV l, I need a swivel chair. I would like an English club chair scaled small to average.

    None of your examples swiveled. Any suggestions?ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - July 26, 2020 - 6:28 PM

    We have three cats so leather is the only choice; otherwise they will dig their claws in. Would love to see another article about US made furniture with leather covers, like Bradington Young and Omnia.ReplyCancel

  • Margo - July 26, 2020 - 6:20 PM

    I was of the “I have to try it out in person” mindset which we did last year. I should have gone with the one pictured on Wayfair.that I liked. We purchased a reclining sofa from lazy boy and both my husband and I hate it. Extremely uncomfortable even when reclined. I was happy to shop this brand because it is truly made in the USA but I’m sorry to say it’s been a huge disappointment both in the shopping experience and satisfaction with the product. I have two “cheap” chairs purchased on line that swivel and they have held up extremely well. I always say you get what you pay for but that did not hold true with my living room furniture.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - July 26, 2020 - 6:18 PM

    I’m considering that PB Carlisle in leather, provided it can snake its way up my apartment building staircase.

    In the upholstery fabric post, you mentioned leather being risky for durability. I don’t have pets or kids, but I do eat on the sofa regularly. I’m worried more about stains than scratches. Would you still recommend a performance fabric over leather in that case?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 28, 2020 - 2:09 PM

      It depends on the leather. If it has a good protective coating on it, it should probably be okay if you get to any spills quickly.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - July 26, 2020 - 5:11 PM

    I struggled with that question too! I personally have the PB Carlisle sofa that Laurel mentioned. I purchased the slipcover version with the single long seat cushion. I absolutely love it. It’s almost like having another twin bed in the house. I love it so much! My only complaint is that the padding on the arms is very thin and not super comfortable to lean on but the arms are so low it’s really not an issue. We also have a ikea three seat cushion sofa in the loft where the kids use it the most often and it’s not nearly as comfortable to lay on. So I guess it really depends on what you want to use it for but I love being able to stretch out on a sofa that looks as classic as it is but is also very comfortable. Happy shopping.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 28, 2020 - 2:06 PM

      Thanks for the testimonial for the PB sofa, Jenn. As we all know, PB does not publish reviews. I’m sure they’ve discussed it. There are pros and cons for doing both. There are outside review companies, but all sources do poorly in the home furnishings industry. That’s because people only write when they have a bad experience. Or, think they have had a bad experience. Sometimes, it’s just one of those things that happens no matter what; like damaged furniture.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - July 26, 2020 - 4:18 PM

    Great info, Laurel, as always! One question – when I look at a sofa I always wonder should it have 6 legs for better support? Some have 5 with one hidden under the middle, some with only 4. Across a span, especially on a longer sofa, aren’t more legs needed? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 28, 2020 - 1:59 PM

      That’s a very good question, Mary and I’m not sure of the answer. But, a well-constructed 84″ sofa usually has only four legs. The center support is probably necessary for one with a less sturdy frame. However, a heavy sofa like a tufted Chesterfield might have six legs, no matter what. Those babies weigh a ton and cost a fortune to ship.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - July 26, 2020 - 3:05 PM

    Years ago I bought two “cheap” swivel rocker chairs. The swivels finally broke and couldn’t be replaced. So took them off put bun feet on them and slip covered them -skirted to floor. Great for bedroom chairs!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Harper - July 26, 2020 - 3:00 PM

    Also, “cheap” to me means poorly constructed. Best to use inexpensive which is more relative to pricing. IMHO.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Harper - July 26, 2020 - 2:55 PM

    Agreed, Jim. I need a seat measurement of 21 inches deep in order to feel support for my back without stacking a bunch of pillows which then creates a problem for my neck! Why not mention Lazy-Boy in the list? They have some really comfortable, well constructed sofas and loveseats. You can get a wonderful loveseat for $800 if you shop around!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - July 26, 2020 - 2:42 PM

    Hi, Laurel,
    I’d like your opinion on the best sofas with firm seating( heavy duty urethane foam), firm back, 19.5″ seating height ( or only slightly lower), 40″ tall, zippered back pillows, 2 cushions, higher back, bun feet/open bottom. These styles are better for those with spinal issues/ tall elderly. Previous sofa was a long 3 seater, Norwalk Highlander in Cognac Aniline Leather, but we hated the fact that the “T” cushions could not be turned over, and they were, in essence, wasting seating space. It’s also incredibly heavy and awkward to move. This was a made in U.S. product, extremely well constructed (lasted over 22 years), and perfect for a large room.
    Is there anything comparable these days, whether in leather or very durable fabric?
    Thank you from the disabled senior set.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Noonan - July 26, 2020 - 2:34 PM

    Oh Laurel, your website is the best! Your fabric and furniture posts are amazing! Too bad you don’t consult anymore. Could you recommend someone in the south Florida area to us?ReplyCancel

  • marci - July 26, 2020 - 1:32 PM

    I have used rejuvenate on old hardwood floors, the house is 1888. It worked well. I do not know how it would work on the new hardwood that is being installed now.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - July 26, 2020 - 1:17 PM

    One of my biggest struggles with sofas is: one long cushion, two cushions, or three cushions. What do you and your readers think?ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - July 26, 2020 - 12:57 PM

    You have provided a lovely and thorough collection of less expensive options. Thank you for doing the hard work as you always do! I have pinned and bookmarked this post for reference when we make our “temporary” move (1-2 years) sometime next year and your resources will help provide guidance for a stylish interim setting.ReplyCancel

  • Diana - July 26, 2020 - 12:51 PM

    Hi Laurel
    I purchase from Wayfair for the company I work for.
    Whenever purchasing a sofa for my home, I have to feel it. If I press on the arm and the padding is cheap, u can feel the wood. Famous place for sofas made badly is restoration hardware. Pretty and no dense padding on arms. It’s a pretty girl but cheap and sons shouldn’t bring her home.
    Thank u for truly educating us.
    Ur the ray of sunshineReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - July 26, 2020 - 12:26 PM

    Laurel, this is a bit off topic, but have you heard of the product, Rejuvenate, for floors? If so, what is your opinion?ReplyCancel

  • Char - July 26, 2020 - 11:58 AM

    Great post and very timely….I’m helping my sister-in-law buy a chair for a new space. I’ll now forever check out the legs which I didn’t pay much attention to in the past. Love to see a similar post on outdoor furniture. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria McQueen - July 26, 2020 - 10:57 AM

    Hello, Laurel,
    As I am moving into a new home and looking for new furniture, this post was extremely informative. As I scrolled through the widget, I was thinking, why can’t we Pin these, but I should have known better – there it was! What a great girl you are! Many thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Noni - July 26, 2020 - 10:12 AM

    Laurel. Oh no. I never knew that rule about sofa and chair legs placement and style. I am a “noticer” and will never be able to un-see this again, everywhere-I-go. As always, thoroughly enjoy your posts and learn so much!ReplyCancel

  • Gayla Meilleur - July 26, 2020 - 9:10 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    I purchased two of the Corey rolled arm sofas in gray velvet approximately 2 years ago after the last blog you posted on inexpensive sofas and chairs.

    They are made of polyester velvet and are easy to spot clean which is practical for me with two dogs who enjoy laying on them.
    I have also received numerous compliments on them.

    I particularly liked the idea of a tight back sofa because with my previous sofas the cushions were always thrown on the floor when my family wanted to lay on them. My only complaint about these sofas are not as wide as my previous ones, but those were 3-4x the price.

    I will get my money’s worth out of these! Thanks for the recommendation.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - July 26, 2020 - 8:06 AM

    Hello Laurel, It looks like there are many fine couches and chairs available to order, but, like clothing, how can you tell how comfortable a piece of seating furniture is without trying it out? I have some dining chairs that look nice, but are too soft, so you get the feeling of sinking into them, which I dislike. My sofa, which I bought from the person who had the place before me, is firm, comfortable and good-looking, but alas, is not quite long enough to lie down on!

    • Laurel Bern - July 28, 2020 - 11:38 AM

      Hi Jim,

      That’s a very good question. On Wayfair, there are usually a lot of reviews, so that gives an idea. The seat cushions that have down and a high crown are usually comfortable. If the cushion is too mushy or too hard, that is another problem. There should be a pitch to the back. Although the Tuxedos and Chesterfields have less of a pitch. Also, the seat depth is important. I find between 22″-25″ to be ideal. My favorite depth is 24″ However, a sofa with a greater pitch could have a less deep seat and still be super comfortable.ReplyCancel