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Couches, Davenports, Sofas, Futons–What’s the Difference?

Many people use the terms sofa, couch, and davenport interchangeably. However, these three words have different meanings. This article will explain the difference between a sofa, couch, futon, and davenport. Once you’ve read through it, you’ll understand the exact meaning of each.

What is a couch?

A couch is a sturdy piece of furniture that became quite popular during the Victorian era. The design excludes armrests; its primary purpose was for sitting down, lying, or sleeping.

living room
Photo Credits: Megan Bell Made

living room
Photo Credits: Dream Green DIY
living room
Photo Credits: Viv and Tim Home

What is a sofa?

Sofa comes from “suffah,” an Arabic word for a piece of furniture with arms and cushions. The sofa is designed for sitting and is more of a formal piece.

green couch
Photo Credits: Unsplash
gray couch
Photo Credits: Unsplash

What is a Davenport?

The davenport started as a specific sofa design produced by the Massachusetts furniture manufacturer A. H. Davenport and Company. A davenport serves as a sofa but can also be transformed into a bed for the night. Every sleeper sofa can be referred to as a davenport regardless of the branding.

gray couch
Photo Credits: Halfway Wholeistic

What is a futon?

A futon is a traditional Japanese bedding style with a functional design. A futon has a mattress that folds in the middle to form a couch with a simple mechanism that transforms it into a bed.

gray futon
Photo Credits: Walmart
green futon
Photo Credits: Pop and Scott
white futon boho room
Photo Credits: Cutertudor
gray futon
Photo Credits: The Merry Thought

The difference between a sofa, couch, futon, and davenport

The sofa, couch, futon, and davenport differ in design and purpose. A sofa is created for sitting, while a couch is intended for sitting and lying. 

A sofa is ideal for formal living rooms, creating a pleasant seating area to entertain guests. On the other hand, a couch is reserved for more informal spaces such as a bedroom or library. However, “sofa” is a more frequently used term in the interior design industry. A couch is a more casual expression meaning basically the same thing. 

A davenport is a sleeper sofa, a convenient design that combines sitting and sleeping in one. However, there is a difference between a davenport and a futon. The davenport is a classic sleeper sofa with built-in storage, while a futon has a different design. 

Although a futon is considered a popular option for sleeping in campus dorms, its use is not limited to that. With stylish and versatile designs available, the futon becomes a perfect choice for many modern spaces. A futon with a metal frame flatters industrial and contemporary styles, while a wooden frame is perfect for cozier decor themes. Either way, the piece is ideal for accommodating guests when space is limited.

Kristina Shestakova
Kristina is a home decor enthusiast that loves to share practical tips. With more than 5 years in the interior design content writing niche, she has lots to share. She is obsessed with Pinterest, looking for the most creative ideas for your inspiration. Hopefully, this will motivate you to create the home you always wanted.

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