Are you searching for the perfect modular sectional sofa to anchor your living room or den? Modular sectionals are tremendously popular options for furnishing open concept spaces that need ample, flexible seating. With their versatile configurations, plush cushions, and variety of styles, it’s no wonder they are topping wish lists!
But modular sectionals are a big investment and commitment. With so many options, materials, and arrangements to evaluate, choosing the ideal one for your home can be downright confusing. Read on for the complete guide to selecting the perfect modular sectional sofa for your needs and style.
What Is a Modular Sectional Sofa?
First things first – what exactly makes a sectional “modular”? A modular sectional sofa is a seating system made up of separate pieces that can be arranged and rearranged into numerous configurations. The different components can stand alone or connect together via corner pieces or connectors.
The hallmark of a modular sectional is this flexibility. Pieces can be added on later to expand or downsize the sofa as needed. And the arrangement can evolve as your space and needs change. A modular sectional morphs to fit your lifestyle.
Most modular sectionals include a lounge chaise – an extended section with back and seat cushions that allows you to lie down or stretch out your legs. The chaise can be placed on the left or right side to customize the layout. Some sectionals even include adjustable headrests for ultra-customized comfort and support.
Other optional components like ottomans, corner wedges, and armless chair pieces increase the possibilities. Modular sectionals can be configured in standard L-shapes, U-shapes, or more unique flowing or angular designs. Sections lock together for stability, but can be easily disconnected and moved around.
Benefits of Modular Sectional Sofas
Why choose a modular over a standard stationary sectional or sofa? Here are some of the key advantages that make modular sectionals a top choice:
- Flexibility – the multi-piece design provides nearly limitless configurations to suit any space. Pieces can be arranged and rearranged to your liking.
- Customization – mix and match components like chaises, corners, ottomans and wedges to create your perfect sectional. Select the exact fabric, color and layout you want.
- Adaptability – sectionals can be expanded by adding pieces, or downsized by removing them as needs change. Easily make room for a new baby or reading nook.
- Comfort – between deep seats, plush cushions and stretch-out capacity of the chaise, modular sectionals provide exceptional relaxation and comfort.
- Seating capacity – sectionals offer more generous seating than a standard sofa, and can accommodate large families or groups.
- Style – from contemporary to classic, sectionals make a stylish statement and serve as the centerpiece of any living space.
If flexibility, customization and comfort top your sofa wish list, a modular sectional is likely the ideal solution. But choosing the perfect one involves evaluating several key factors.
Choosing the Right Modular Sectional Sofa: What to Consider
Here are the top things to keep in mind when shopping for a modular sectional:
Size, Scale and Layout
Since sectionals are a focal point of any room, getting the size and scale right is crucial. You want adequate seating without overwhelming the space. Begin by carefully measuring your room – length, width and ceiling height. Use tape to map out possible sectional sizes and configurations.
Consider the room’s layout, traffic flow, and placement of doors and windows. Allow at least 36-42 inches for main walkways. Plan out different shapes – L, U, or unique shapes – and chaise placement. Mark the floor with painter’s tape to visualize layouts. Recruit a friend to sit in scaled sofa areas to test different designs.
Take your time with this step, and opt for a sectional that complements your room without dominating it. Planning various arrangements will also help you determine which components to purchase.
Upholstery Fabric and Color
The fabric you choose for your sectional makes a huge impact on its look, feel and durability. Leather and faux leather offer a luxurious feel and sophisticated style. But leather can be expensive and prone to scratches. Durable microfiber stands up well to heavy use. Cotton and linen have a casual vibe, but wrinkle easily.
For family rooms, look for sturdy, easy-care fabrics like polyester blends. Make sure the fabric is double-rub tested to withstand years of wear. Children and pets call for even tougher, stain-resistant fabrics.
If you yearn for a light and airy palette, pale neutrals or tones like soft gray work beautifully. But beware – light hues show every smudge and mark. For a sense of drama or coziness, opt for rich jewel tones or earthy hues like chocolate brown. Nail down the fabric and color scheme early, since it will guide your overall room design.
A sectional you can truly curl up, lounge and snooze on is a must. Seek out design elements that enhance comfort, like:
- Plush cushions – Choose cushions stuffed with high-density foam, down or down alternatives. Avoid cushions that are too firm or flatten out quickly. Test out showroom models.
- Tufting – Deeply tufted backs and arms add style and comfort. Tufting keeps cushion fill evenly distributed.
- Wide or boxy seats – Look for seats at least 20 inches deep and arms over 25 inches high. This prevents feeling swallowed up or unsupported.
- Adjustable headrests – Placement of movable headrests along the top of a chaise provides custom neck and head support.
- Quality coil springs – Eight-way hand-tied coils increase durability, prevent sagging, and conform to your body.
Don’t sacrifice on comfort – this is likely where you’ll lounge for movie nights and catch up with friends. Find a sectional that truly cradles and supports you.
A major perk of modular sectionals is customizability. Look for a wide range of configuration options, accessories like ottomans and corner pieces, and fabric choices. More customization allows you to get the sectional tailored to your space and style.
Some brands offer hundreds of fabric choices from vivid patterns to subdued textures. Others provide a curated selection of on-trend hues. Make sure there are at least a few fabrics appealing to your taste.
Accessories like rectangular ottomans, curved corner sections, and armless chair pieces increase layout possibilities. But too many add-on options can impact price. Decide what’s essential to you – like a chaise on a certain side.
Measure showroom models and read reviews to gauge how much pieces can actually be configured and rearranged once in your home. More customization freedom is better.
Quality and Durability
Modular sectionals are a big investment, so you’ll want one that lasts. Look for quality craftsmanship and sturdy hardwood frames. Check that seat, back and arm cushions are securely attached and reinforced at stress points.
Ask about warranties on cushions and fabrics – longer is better. Choose thicker, denser foam and more coil springs for durability. If cushions are reversible, that’s a good sign of even wear and quality construction.
Examine how pieces connect and lock together. Tight, wobble-free joins maintain the sectional’s structural integrity as you reconfigure. Steer clear of shaky frames and joins that easily pull apart – a recipe for early breakdown.
Modular sectionals span a vast range when it comes to price. Basic pieces start around $800-1200, while premium designer brands can run $4000 and up. Establish your budget upfront to streamline options. Measurements and layout preferences will also help guide what you can afford.
More components mean a higher price tag. But don’t sacrifice key features just to save money. Consider a high-quality sectional with fewer pieces, knowing you can add on down the road. Settling for poor quality just to stay under budget will cost you more in repairs or replacement down the line.
Modular sectionals now come in nearly every style imaginable – from contemporary to classic to rustic. Choose a style aligned with your existing decor and furniture. A sectional overwhelms a room, so you want your new piece to integrate, not feel jarringly out of place.
If you gravitate toward clean, contemporary spaces, seek out sectionals with sleek lines and metal legs. For traditional styles, look for roll arms, skirt bases and turned feet. Make sure to feel out the room’s vibe before deciding. Your sectional should complement the aesthetic you love.
Top 5 Modular Sectional Sofas With Chaise
Now that you know what to look for in a modular sectional, here are five top-rated options with chaise currently on the market. We break down the features and benefits of each to help you find the perfect fit.
1. Joybird Eliot Sectional
Configuration: L-shape, U-shape, left or right facing chaise
Upholstery: 55+ fabric choices from polyester blends to 100% polyester in solids, textures and patterns
Size: 163L x 121W x 36H inches
Customization: Arrangement, fabric, leather colors, wood base stain color
Comfort: Flared arms, high back, deep seats, loose cushions, lumbar pillows
Price: $2,959 and up
Overview: The Eliot Sectional from Joybird is a bestseller thanks to its mid-century modern inspired style, expansive configuration options, and family-friendly durable fabrics. Choose from a curated palette of on-trend hues like forest green, charcoal gray, and indigo blue. Each piece is made to order in the USA.
- Hundreds of custom configurations
- Range of fabric options
- Modern and stylish
- Good quality construction
- Long lead times (1-3 months)
- Only available online
Best for: Modern, contemporary spaces looking for a stylish statement piece. The vast customization makes it easy to get the perfect arrangement for your room.
2. Article Sven Sectional
Configuration: L-shape, left or right chaise
Upholstery: 77 faux leather and fabric options like boucle, wool, polyester and velvet
Size: 114W x 87/63D x 35H inches
Customization: Chaise side, leather or fabric
Comfort: Medium foam cushions, pillows
Overview: Clean lines and tapered wood legs give the Article Sven Sectional Scandinavian flair. Available in windsor navy or charme tan leather as well as over 70 fabrics like terrazzo gray and mist blue velvet. Made in the USA with a kiln-dried hardwood frame and lifetime warranty.
- Sleek, contemporary style
- Wide range of fabrics
- Lower price point
- Easy assembly
- Limited configurations
- Few comfort features like tufting
- Low seat height
Best for: Small, urban spaces wanting a stylish sectional on a budget. The clean, modern look pairs well with other contemporary furnishings. Easy assembly is a plus.
3. Wayfair Haslem Sectional
Configurations: L-shape, U-shape, left or right chaise
Upholstery: Polyester microfiber, faux leather and velvet options
Size: 121W x 87/68D x 38H inches
Customization: Arrangement, chaise side, color
Comfort: Plush polyester cushion filling, padded arms
Overview: Budget-friendly modular sectional available at Wayfair. Constructed in the USA with a hardwood frame, the Haslem comes in on-trend gray and blue tones. Available as Sofa Only, L-Chaise, R-Chaise, and U configurations. Great for smaller spaces needing versatile seating.
- Wallet-friendly price
- Good variety of configurations
- Easy to assemble
- Family-friendly fabric options
- Limited color/fabric selection
- Minimal comfort features
- Prone to shedding/pilling
Best for: Families or first-time sectional buyers wanting functionality on a budget. More limited customization but gets the job done and assembles quickly.
4. Anthropologie Tillary Sectional
Configuration: L-shape, right chaise only
Upholstery: Polyester velvet in 3 colors – aegean, grape leaf, frost blue
Size: 113W x 78/62D x 33H inches
Customization: Chaise side only
Comfort: Dense polyurethane foam cushions
Overview: Make a bold style statement with the Tillary’s deep tufting and eye-catching velvet upholstery. Whimsical curved silhouette and brass legs add flair. Available exclusively with the chaise on the right in blue, green or purple velvet.
- Elegant, contemporary style
- Plush velvet fabric
- Generously sized
- Unique silhouette
- Limited customization
- Spot clean only fabric
Best for: Stylish, design-forward living rooms wanting a conversation starter sectional that feels luxe. The Tillary makes a dramatic impact.
5. Pottery Barn Pearce U-Chaise Sectional
Configuration: U-Shape with chaise
Upholstery: Polyester, acrylic, cotton, rayon and linen blends
Size: 115W x 93/72D x 36H inches
Comfort: Down-blend wrapped cushions
Overview: Customizable Pottery Barn sectional with classic roll arms and tapered feet. Available in over 50 classic solids, stripes and houndstooth poly blends suitable for active homes. Made in the USA.
- Wide range of fabrics
- Classic style
- Attached back cushions
- Kids and pets friendly
- Limited configurations
- Bulky proportions
- Spot clean only fabrics
Best for: Traditional style family rooms needing generous, carefree seating. The Pearce provides a classic look able to withstand everyday life. More limited configurations but attached cushions stay looking neat.
How to Choose the Right Sectional for Your Space
Selecting the perfect modular sectional involves more than just comparing models. You need to make sure it fits your room layout, seating needs and style. Follow these tips to find your ideal sectional match:
Measure carefully. Use a laser measuring tape to get accurate room dimensions. Measure length, width, angles, height, window and door placements. Note any quirks or irregularities about your space.
Map out arrangements. Use grid paper to sketch possible sectional configurations at scale. Consider traffic flow, walking space and placement of other furniture like TVs.
Assess your needs. Do you need seating for a large family for movie nights? Space to sleep overnight guests? Decide if you need a bed or sleeper sofa option.
Choose the right size. Err on the smaller size or your sectional will overwhelm the room. But don’t downsize too much or seating will be cramped. Test out configurations once pieces arrive.
Select key components. Ottomans, corner pieces and chair sections maximize possible arrangements. But too many components boost cost. Stick to what’s essential.
Evaluate existing furniture. Will your new sectional work with existing coffee tables, console tables, rugs and lighting? Check that styles complement each other.
Consider your lifestyle. Active families with kids and pets need durable stain-resistant fabrics. Formal living rooms call for more elegant upholstery like linen or chenille.
Allow plenty of lead time. Custom ordered sectionals often take 4-12 weeks for delivery. Make sure to schedule well in advance of needing your new sofa, especially around holidays.
With some planning and forethought, you can choose the ideal modular sectional tailored to your home and family. Take your time deciding since this is likely a piece you’ll have for many years to come. Follow this guide and soon you’ll be lounging in style!
Frequently Asked Questions About Modular Sectionals
How difficult is it to assemble a modular sectional?
Most modular sectionals arrive in several boxes with the pieces labeled for easy assembly. They use simple attachment mechanisms like clips or brackets to click components together. Assembly is generally straightforward following included instructions – expect it to take 2-4 hours with two people.
Putting on fabric covers and scattering pillows will take additional time. Some brands even include tools and white glove assembly for an extra fee. But even DIY assembly is very manageable, especially if you open all boxes and organize hardware beforehand.
Can you add pieces to a modular sectional later on?
One of the big advantages of modular sectionals is you absolutely can add pieces later! Many brands sell individual components like ottomans, corner chairs or chaise sections down the road.
You simply detach part of your existing sectional, attach the add-on piece, then secure it back in place. Just make sure to match new pieces to your original in terms of model, fabric and color. Keep the product label and receipt to simplify reordering. Adding pieces lets your sectional evolve as your space and seating needs change.
What’s the average price range for a modular sectional?
Modular sectional prices span a wide range depending on size, configuration, materials and quality. Here are some general price ranges to expect:
- Budget – $800-$1500 – Smaller sectionals with fabric covers from brands like IKEA and Costco. Limited customization and lower-end construction but affordable options for first apartments or family rooms.
- Mid-Range – $1500-$3000 – Best-selling sectionals from retailers like Article, Joybird, and Wayfair. More custom sizing and fabrics like poly blends or basic leathers and wools. Quality construction with sturdy frames.
- Premium – $3000-$6000 – Top grain Italian leather or performance fabrics from designer brands. Maximum customization of configurations, upholstery, and features. Higher-end construction with kiln-dried frames and premium foam. More luxury comfort features.
- Designer – $6000+ – Brands like Restoration Hardware and Ethan Allen with premium materials and construction. Exotic upholstery options like Tibetan wool or mohair. Statement pieces with cutting edge styles. White glove delivery and assembly.
Prices rise for more components, larger sizes, top-grain leathers, and designer brands. But excellent quality modular sectionals are available across all price ranges if you know what to look for.
How do I clean and care for a modular sectional sofa?
Always check the manufacturer’s tag for specific cleaning guidelines. But here are some general tips:
- Vacuum frequently – ideally once a week – to remove dirt, pet hair, crumbs, and dust. Use an upholstery attachment.
- Spot clean spills immediately with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid abrasive scrubbing. Use a gentle cleaner formulated for your fabric. Test on an inconspicuous area first.
- Steam clean or deep clean fabric once or twice a year. This lifts out deeper dirt and revives the look and feel of the fabric.
- Wipe leather gently with a soft cloth dampened with leather cleaner to remove marks. Condition quarterly.
- Avoid direct sunlight which can fade and damage fabrics and leather. Rotate cushions to distribute wear and UV exposure.
- Rotate chaise placement if possible every 3-6 months to evenly distribute wear patterns from prolonged contact with your body.
Proper care is key to keeping your investment looking fresh and extending its lifespan. Be diligent about routine cleaning to avoid permanent stains and damage.
What’s the best modular sectional for pets?
Active pets call for the most durable, pet-friendly fabrics:
- Polyester microfiber – Extremely colorfast, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. Withstands scratching from claws. Often used on pet furniture. Look for thick, soft-to-the-touch microfibers.
- Olefin – Solution-dyed synthetic resistant to water, stains, and UV fading. Affordable but comfortable and easy to clean.
- Polyester blends – Blends like polyester-linen or poly-cotton add softness and absorbency to workhorse polyester. Look for tight weaves and dark colors to hide hair and dirt.
- Faux leathers – Synthetic leather alternatives like polyurethane leather wear well and clean up easily. Avoid real leather which is prone to scratches.
Pair pet-friendly fabrics with thick cushions and avoid delicate welt cords or skirts. Look for removable, machine washable slipcovers to simplify cleaning dog hair or accidents.
How long do modular sectional sofas last?
With proper care and quality construction, a modular sectional should provide 7-12 years of regular use. Higher priced sectionals made with durable kiln-dried frames, eight-way hand-tied springs, and thick cushions last into the 15+ year range.
Factors impacting lifespan include:
- Quality of materials and construction
- Frequency of use
- Durability of upholstery fabric
- Proper maintenance and cleaning
- Rotating and fluffing cushions
- Keeping it away from direct sunlight
- Repairing any damage immediately
Top grain leathers, sturdy microfibers, and tightly woven poly blends stand the test of time best. Avoid bonded leather and delicate linens prone to pilling. With reasonable care, your modular sectional can serve your family for over a decade.
Can you configure modular sectionals into beds or sleepers?
Certain modular sectionals include pieces designed to be rearranged into a bed or sleeper sofa for overnight guests. Look for:
- Ottoman extensions – Ottomans with removable backs/cushions uncover sleeping space.
- Chaise daybeds – Chaises with arms on both sides form a small single bed when separated.
- Sleeper chair – Chair component converts into a twin-sized bed.
- Corner bed – U-shaped sectionals with thin corner piece transforms into a queen bed.
Measure your space to ensure adequate room for a bed configuration. And test the comfort – many sleeper mechanisms and mattresses are quite firm. But with the right modular design, converting your sofa into a guest bed is convenient.
Are modular sectionals good for small spaces?
Modular sectionals can work wonderfully even in small spaces when thoughtfully designed. Look for:
- Compact dimensions – Measure carefully so the sectional enhances, not overwhelms, the room.
- L-shaped – Stick to simple L-shapes rather than a full U. This avoids a bulky footprint.
- Armless chair – Add an armless chair for seating without heaviness.
- Chaise – A chaise maximizes seating and still accommodates stretch out comfort.
- Light, bright colors – Visually opens up the room.
- Minimal components – Too many pieces crowd a small space. Stick to what you need.
Get creative with your layout, and make sure to test configurations once delivered. The flexibility of modular sectionals makes it easier to find an option scaled for tight quarters.
Which upholstery fabrics stand up best to kids and pets?
If your home is a busy pet and kid zone, these fabrics withstand wear and stains:
- Microfiber – Extremely durable synthetic with built-in stain protection. Available in soft, cozy options.
- Crypton – Patented fabric infused with protective barrier against spills. Used by high-traffic retailers.
- Olefin – Resists moisture, mildew, stains and UV fading. Affordable and kid-proof.
- Polyester blends – Tightly woven poly-cottons and poly-linens add softness but are still durable.
- Faux leather – Synthetic leathers clean up easily and prevent scratches. Avoid real leather.
- Performance polyester – Solution-dyed and treated for maximum durability and stain resistance.
Pair hardworking fabric with thickly padded cushions that hold their shape after heavy use. Washable slipcovers also simplify cleaning up accidents inevitable with kids and pets.
What’s the difference between modular vs. regular sectionals?
While both are sectional sofas, modular has more flexibility:
- Pieces – Modular has detachable components while regular sectionals are fixed units.
- Arrangements – Modular can be reconfigured; regular has a fixed shape.
- Customization – More choices of sizes, accessories, and fabrics with modular.
- Adaptability – Modular can be expanded or downsized by adding/removing pieces.
- Price – Modular costs more due to custom options. Regular costs less.
Modular works best for large, open spaces benefiting from flexible seating. Regular sectionals are fine for smaller rooms that just need some extra seating.
How do you arrange a modular sectional with chaise in a small room?
Here are some layout tips for fitting a chaise sectional in a tight space:
- Place chaise against longest wall to minimize protruding footprint.
- Float the sectional out from walls to open up floor space and avoid a cramped feel.
- Skip the chaise and do an L-shaped sectional to condense seating.
- Opt for a rounded chaise rather than long rectangular to reduce visual weight.
- Stick to lighter, bright colors that recede rather than dark hues that close in space.
- Add an armless chair instead of chaise for seating minus the heft.
- Try placing the chaise vertically against a short wall rather than horizontally on long wall.
Taking measurements and testing layouts with tape can help troubleshoot fit issues before purchasing. Just get creative with chaise placement.
Are modular sectionals comfortable for sleeping on?
Modular sectionals can be quite comfortable for sleeping if designed properly. Look for these sleep-friendly features:
- Daybed chaise – Gives room to fully extend legs and body. Arms on both sides prevent rolling off.
- Memory foam toppers – Add plush memory foam toppers to chaise and other sections. Purchase separately or as upgrades.
- Adjustable headrests – Provide neck support and allow raising legs while keeping head elevated.
- Firm, supportive cushions – Avoid cushions that are overly soft and saggy. These strain the body.
- Mattress pad or cot – Place a folding cot or 3-4 inch pad on chaise to elevate body off the frame.
Test napping in the store display to assess comfort. If your existing sectional leaves you achy, try enhancements like a memory foam layer. With the right design, sectionals can double as a guest bed.
Conclusion: Finding Your Sectional Match
We hope this comprehensive guide provided the insights you need to select the perfect modular sectional sofa for your home. Here are the key things to keep in mind:
- Carefully measure your space and possible sectional configurations. See what works best visually and functionally.
- Decide on must-have components like a chaise orientation or corner pieces based on your layout.
- Select durable, family-friendly upholstery that fits your decor style. From elegant velvets to laidback microfibers, fabrics set the tone.
- Test out showroom models for comfort. Plush cushions and chaise support make sectionals ideal for lounging.
- Choose the right size – generous enough for your needs but not overpowering the room. Scale matters.
- Allow plenty of time for custom ordering, shipping and assembly. Sectional shopping is a process.
The right modular sectional morphs to your tastes and space. Follow this advice to find model possibilities, evaluate options, and determine the perfect design for your home. Soon you’ll have the ideal spot to relax and connect with family and friends for years to come.