Sofa, Couch or Settee

Do we drink a cup of coffee on the settee? Read a magazine on the sofa? Cuddle up to someone on the couch?

There are so many ways of talking about the same thing! Why is this? Let’s find out…

Sofa [səʊfə]

‘a long upholstered seat with a back and arms, for two or more people.’

The word ‘sofa’ originates from the Arabic word ‘soffah,’ which means a raised platform used as a seat covered with some sort of cushions or blankets. British travellers adapted this term along the way and brought it back to England with them from Arabia –pronouncing it ‘sopha.’ Eventually, the word ‘sofa’ was formed in England, arriving from France in the 17th century after being extremely popular among the rich. As a result, sofa became the most desirable word in the UK to name the long-cushioned thing in our living rooms.

Check out our range of 2-seater sofas here.

Couch [kaʊtʃ]

‘a long-upholstered piece of furniture for several people to sit on.’

There are a few different interpretations of where the word couch stems from. Some say it derived from the French word ‘Couche’- a bed or lair which originates from the Latin word ‘collocare’ – a long seat you rest on, laying down at full length. Others believe it came from the word ‘Coucher,’ which literally means ‘to sleep.’ The main difference between a couch and a sofa is that traditionally, a sofa had both sides raised, but a couch had only one side raised – usually the head. Therefore, we can assume a couch is perhaps a comfier seating arrangement, and a sofa is more stable and supportive. The word couch is extremely popular in both America and Australia.

Check out our range of Large Corner Sofas here.

Settee [sɛˈtiː]

‘a long-upholstered seat for more than one person, typically with a back and arms.’

The word settee is allegedly a native English word meaning bench or small sofa. It has been said that the word ‘settee’ derived from the word ‘settle’ – a word used in the late 800s and meant something to sit on. ‘Settee’ is more likely to be heard up north than anywhere else and is said to be historically more formal than a sofa or couch and more high-end. It was often something used for young couples to sit down and get to know each other in the 1700s. From this, we can gauge that a settee is typically smaller than a sofa or a couch and is more like a padded lounge chair for one or two people to cosy up to rather than a spacious family seating piece.

Check out our range of padded loveseats here.

...they all mean the same thing!

‘Sofa’, ‘settee’ and ‘couch’ pretty much mean the same thing give or take a few backs, arms and inches. It is interesting to see how the origins of the names evolved from different places and word roots that have altered their purpose. So, in response to our questions from before, we cuddle up to someone on a settee, lay down to read a magazine on the couch and drink a nice cup of coffee on the sofa!

We want you to love the look and feel of your new zofa from the moment you set eyes on it (and sit on it of course). We’ll happily send you a box of fabric samples and who knows, we might throw a little something extra in with it too.

Our Best Sellers

Our sofas, snugglers, stools and scatter cushions are simply the best (there’s a song in there somewhere!). With a lovely range of styles, sizes, colours and fabrics we’re bound to have something for you, your family and even the pets! Here’s just a few of our fan favourites.

Inspiration & Guides

If you need a helping hand with keeping up to date with the latest tips, trends, inspiration and must haves in the world of interior style then look no further, zofa has got you covered.

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Please select up to six fabrics from the below by simply clicking the images.

Chunky Textured Weave

The ultimate cosy fabric that is beautifully soft with an easy handle. The fabric has a heavy texture with the structure featuring a tonal weave design, creating a luxurious plush finish.

Soft Touch Velvet

A beautifully soft velvet with a modern matt finish. Available in a range of colours and family friendly, with inherent stain resistance. 100% recycled with a GreenFR finish means your sofa won’t cost the earth.

Luxe Textured Velvet

Stylish, luxury plush fabric with a rich depth of colour. Featuring an antiqued, textured finish that is super soft to touch.

Soft Woven Chenille

A subtle woven texture with an incredibly soft, brushed feel meaning it’s as good to touch as it looks.

Brushed Wool Feel

This fabric is a ‌flat woven twill with a natural wool look and lovely soft handle.

Studio Plain*

A linen look, soft flat woven polyester with a textured weft creating an elegant overall finish. *Exclusively available to the hush range.


A sought-after bouclé fabric, offers a wool-like appearance that suits contemporary styles in vogue. Available in Mink & Ivory, the fabric infuses a natural essence into furniture design, aligning perfectly with the current immensely popular trend. *Exclusively available to the Utopia range.

Cosy Chenille

A chenille weave fabric with a subtle tonal effect that adds depth and character, a perfect blend of style and comfort.


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