Rooms To Go

    How to Decide Between a Patio Sectional or Patio Sofa

    4 pc sectional set with indigo cushions and coffee table

    When it comes to decorating your backyard or deck-top hangout spot, many people wonder whether a patio sofa or sectional would be the best seating option for their space. Both these seat types have their own unique comfort and style advantages, so you'll need to consider the needs of your outdoor design to determine which is right for you.

    To choose between an outdoor couch or sectional sofa, you'll need to compare the two and see which one suits your style preferences, budget and patio dimensions. How you plan to use your setup and the amount of seating you'll need to accomplish that goal are also important factors to keep in mind when choosing a comfy sofa or sectional for your patio layout.


    Check out this post to discover:

    Compare the pros and cons of choosing a patio sectional vs. an outdoor sofa to determine which is the right choice for you.

    What is an Outdoor Sofa?

    As most people know, patio couches are long, upholstered seats that usually sit on your porch or deck. While a standard outdoor sofa can accommodate three or four people, a larger model might be able to seat up to five. Smaller outdoor sofas and loveseats are a better choice for those looking to add space-saving furniture for their small patios and porches.

    Solana white seating set with gray cushions

    Outdoor sofas usually seat two to four people, depending on which model you choose.

    What is a Patio Sectional?

    While outdoor sofas are a common choice for many layouts, patio sectionals lend a unique look to your setup. A range of L-shaped, U-shaped and semi-circle options lets you get creative with your design. Despite their compact size, patio sectionals can usually seat anywhere from four to six people or more.

    Wicker sectional with aqua blue cushions

    Outdoor sectionals come in different configurations, so it's easy to find one that coordinates with the shape of your patio or deck.

    What are the Advantages of an Outdoor Couch?

    Patio sofas tend to offer more flexibility than sectionals, making them a perfect option for those who like to rearrange their backyard layouts on occasion. For example, you can frame your patio sofa with a pair of Adirondack chairs or place swivel club chairs across from the couch to encourage conversation during backyard parties and get-togethers.

    What are the Advantages of an Outdoor Sectional Sofa?

    If push came to shove, you could create the same L-shaped design as a sectional using an outdoor couch and loveseat combo. However, one of the benefits of choosing a sectional vs. a sofa and loveseat is that sectionals have longer seats that let you sit closer to your friends and loved ones. As a result, a single sectional can usually fit more people than a patio sofa and loveseat configuration.

    4 piece outdoor seating set Blue and white sectional

    How you plan to spend time on your patio plays an important role in whether an outdoor sectional or patio couch would be best for you.

    Choosing Between a Sofa vs. a Sectional

    Although both these seating options are excellent for establishing a comfy and relaxing outdoor oasis, one may be a better choice for your setup than the other. Comparing the typical sizes, styles and price points of both furniture types is a smart way to decide between a sectional couch vs. a patio sofa.

    Patio Sofa and Sectional Sizes

    white frame sofa with blue cushions

    Outdoor sectionals and sofas come in various sizes and configurations to fit your seating area.

    Patio sofas are a popular pick for large terraces and courtyards, so a wide outdoor couch with overstuffed seats and back cushions could be excellent for your roomy layout. On the other hand, low-profile sofas featuring armless frames might work better for a small porch, deck or balcony seating arrangement.

    A compact outdoor sectional is also perfect for limited layouts. Many people use sectionals in small sunrooms and modest covered porches. You could tuck a two-piece or three-piece patio sectional into a corner or place it against a wall if you need to save on floor space. Bigger four-piece and six-piece options with modular designs and attached chaises are perfect for decorating roomier patios.

    Style Considerations for Sectionals and Sofas

    Evernon wood framed sectional with gray cushions

    Your outdoor design might influence your decision between a patio couch or sectional.

    Couches typically work well in classic-style setups, while sectionals suit a more contemporary aesthetic. However, both seats come in a range of styles. You can find modern, boho and retro sofas, or choose traditional, rustic or mid-century modern sectionals. Consider how much seating you need on your patio to determine whether a sofa or sectional in your chosen style would be a better option.

    Outdoor Sofa and Sectional Prices

    Gray 4 pc outdoor seating set

    A patio sofa or outdoor sectional should fit your budget as well as your space and style preferences.

    Buying outdoor furniture can cost a pretty penny, especially when investing in large pieces like patio seating. Although sectionals generally cost a bit more than sofas, exact prices vary across different retailers. You may be able to bring home patio couches or outdoor sectional sofas for less than $500, depending on where you shop.

    Decorating Your Patio With an Outdoor Sofa or Sectional

    Once you determine whether a patio couch or outdoor sectional would be the best fit for your space, style, seating needs and budget, you can start looking for seats with the material and colors to maximize comfort and style on your patio. Consider choosing the following upholstery textures and colors to take your outdoor design to the next level.

    Outdoor Couch and Sectional Materials

    When browsing patio couches and sectional sofas, you'll discover seats with various outdoor fabrics and materials to suit your setup. For example, a teak sofa enhances the nature-inspired look of your enclosed porch, while a wicker sectional complements the relaxing, breezy appeal of a beach-themed layout. Seats with soft fabric upholstery also maximize the charming, cozy feel of the space.

    Choosing the right patio couch or sectional materials helps maximize the comfort and style of your outdoor seating area.

    Patio Sofa and Sectional Colors

    Outdoor couches and sectionals come in different colors to complement almost any patio palette. Whether you want to create bold contrast by introducing a mix of vibrant and muted hues or prefer something more laid-back and neutral, consider selecting patio sofas and sectionals in the following colors:

    • Red: Red sofas and sectionals are bold color choices that liven up light wood porches or decks.
    • Yellow: A great color contrast to navy and indigo, yellow sectionals and sofas help warm up layouts featuring cool colors.
    • Blue: Refreshing blue sofas and sectionals are ideal for toning down patios with warm red and orange decor.
    • Black: Black sofas and sectionals offer dramatic flair while still complementing nearly every color palette.
    Sofa with white cushions

    Browse outdoor sectionals and patio couches that complement your color scheme.

    Choosing an Outdoor Sofa vs. a Sectional

    At the end of the day, the size, style and seating needs of your space are the most important factors to consider when deciding between an outdoor couch vs. an outdoor sectional. Use the info in this guide to help you weigh the pros and cons of choosing each seating type, and you're sure to select a sofa or sectional that brings maximum comfort and style to your setup.

    Scroll to top