The Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Sofas for a Low-Maintenance Living Room

We like Burrow's Arch Nomad Sofa for its durable upholstery and varied customization options.

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best pet and kid friendly sofas
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Sofas are one of the bigger investments you'll make in your home when it comes to furniture, and they typically get a lot of use—especially if you have pets or young children. But rather than buy an ultra-cheap sofa that you can toss after it becomes too worn down, consider purchasing an ultra-durable one that can stand up to the trials and tribulations of raising little ones (whether four-footed or two!).

"I know a lot of people think that they can't invest with kids or pets, but finding a piece that will stand up for years will also stand up to kids and pets and lots of use," says designer Libby Rawes of Sharp + Grey Interiors. "Cheap furniture may only last you a few years, and with the addition of kids and pets, even less."

To determine the best kid- and pet-friendly sofas, we researched options with upholstery materials and colors that are best for preventing or hiding scratches and stains. In addition to Rawes, we also spoke with Jaclyn Genovese of Spaces By Jacflash for insider advice. Our top pick is the Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa, a modular piece of furniture that is upholstered with naturally scratch- and stain-resistant fabric.

Here are the best pet-friendly and kid-friendly sofas.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Kid- and Pet-Friendly Sofa: Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Burrow.com

Who it's for: People who want customization in terms of the shape of the sofa.

Who it's not for: People who want a variety of color options.

The defining characteristic of the Arch Nomad Sofa that makes it perfectly pet- and kid-friendly is its olefin upholstery, a synthetic performance fabric that's woven so tightly that it's scratch-proof and stain-proof. Burrow even suggests you can spill bleach solution on the sofa without creating any damage, though we can't recommend you try that out. In order to clean the sofa, all you have to do is blot gently. The olefin upholstery comes in five colors: white, red, navy, and two shades of gray. (You can order swatches to see them in person before committing to one.)

Another reason this is our top pick is that this sofa is modular, and you can pretty much customize every feature. You can add a chaise or an ottoman, pick from six different leg finishes (wood or metal, each offered in three colors), choose from three arm styles, and add lumbar pillows. Plus, its cushions are reversible: on one side they're tufted, and on the other they're smooth. And finally, this sofa comes with a built-in USB charger, which young kids might not appreciate, but teens and adults certainly will.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Olefin
  • Dimensions: 85 x 35 x 33 inches
  • Seat Depth: 22 inches

Best Budget Kid- and Pet-Friendly Sofa: Ikea Uppland Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Ikea.com

Who it's for: People looking for a slipcovered sofa at a good price.

Who it's not for: People who want something a bit more stylish.

The upholstery on this classic Ikea sofa isn't made from scratch-proof or stain-proof material—it's made from a cotton-polyester blend, so you might be wondering why this piece of furniture has even made this list at all. The key is that this is a slipcovered sofa, which means the entire sofa is covered head-to-toe in a protective cotton sheath that's machine-washable. As such, that makes maintenance pretty easy. And once the slipcover gets a little too dingy, you can easily replace it to bring your couch back to its original look.

The slipcover for this sofa comes in four neutral colors, an emerald green, and a red-and-white floral pattern—at least from the manufacturer. But there's an entire secondary market in which individuals make slipcovers for the Uppland sofa in all sorts of materials, colors, and patterns. You can even get creative with manufacturer-produced slipcovers, dyeing them or otherwise altering them to suit your personal style. Just keep in mind that this sofa's shape is very traditional, with rolled arms, slightly overstuffed (and therefore very comfortable) cushions, and a skirt, so it's not the most stylish or modern choice.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Cotton and polyester
  • Dimensions: 88.25 x 36.25 x 36.25 inches
  • Seat Depth: 23 inches

RELATED: The 4 Best Upholstery Cleaners, According to Our Testing

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Modular Sofa: Allform 3-Seat Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Allform.com

Who it's for: People looking to test a sofa before they buy it.

Who it's not for: People who want a sofa with metal legs.

This pet- and kid-friendly sofa is modular, so you can put it together and take it apart easily—and you can even add additional seats if needed. Being modular also means, at least in this specific instance, that this piece of furniture can be assembled without any tools. Therefore, this sofa is perfect for a family with changing needs, whether the family is growing in size or they're moving to a new home that requires a different configuration.

It's upholstered with a durable performance fabric or an extra-thick top-grain leather, both of which are coated with an eco-friendly stain-resistant barrier. The upholstery comes in six colors of fabric and two colors of leather, while the wooden legs can come natural or stained to have a walnut or an espresso hue. You can also add on pillows, an ottoman, or even a weighted blanket. Best of all, Allform offers a 100-day trial period for this sofa (with free shipping and returns!), which gives you plenty of time to decide whether or not it's right for you and your household.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Performance fabric or leather
  • Dimensions: 90 x 38 x 34 inches
  • Seat Depth: 24 inches

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Sectional: Interior Define Sloan Corner Sectional Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Interiordefine.com

Who it's for: People who want a highly customizable sectional.

Who it's not for: People with small living rooms.

Interior Define's entire brand ethos is customization, particularly when it comes to upholstery. The company offers more than 125 options for its products, including this corner sectional sofa. A little overwhelmed by the upholstery selection? You can filter the fabrics by cat-friendly, dog-friendly, and kid-friendly options—unsurprisingly, most of them are performance fabrics, from velvet to antimicrobial chenille. And, of course, you order up to 10 swatches to actually feel the fabrics and see their colors in real life before you buy.

But you can customize far more than just the upholstery on this sectional. For example, there are 18 legs, eight sofa sizes, and three types of cushion fill from which to choose. You can also choose the depth of the sofa, as well as pick between split cushions or bench cushions. If you have pets and kids, bench cushions might be the way to go, as fewer things—crumbs, messes, or otherwise—will slip between the cracks.

You can also purchase an extended protection plan for two, three, or five years, which covers all stains, accidental rips and tears, and chipped or scratched surfaces.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Performance fabric - chenille, velvet, boucle, knit, tweed
  • Dimensions: Varies
  • Seat Depth: 36 or 40 inches

RELATED: The 9 Best Sectional Sofas You Can Buy Online

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Sleeper Sofa: Joybird Braxton Sleeper Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Joybird.com

Who it's for: People who want a sleeper sofa that doesn't look like a sleeper sofa.

Who it's not for: People who want a sleeper sofa with a queen-size mattress.

Sleeper sofas have a bit of a reputation for being, well, not so aesthetically pleasing. That's not the case with this sofa. The Braxton is a smartly tailored piece of furniture, from its boxy, modern shape, traditional tufted cushions, and cylindrical pillows. You'd never guess that it holds a 60-by-72-inch mattress inside (that's the same width but eight inches shorter than a true queen-size bed).

As for its upholstery, you can pick from more than 70 options, which can be filtered by pet-friendly fabrics—there are 47 of them, spanning colors from the dark gray to cheerful yellow. There are pet-friendly velvets, chenilles, and microfibers, as well as "safeguard" fabrics that are extra durable, including Sunbrella fabrics. Go for those safeguard fabrics for higher levels of protection if you have younger pets or kids. You can also bolster protection by adding on a "Life Happens'' plan, which covers spills, rips, cuts, and stains that are not caused by a pet, or a "Pet Protector" plan, which covers the same issues but also pet-related damages.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Performance fabric - chenille, velvet, microfiber, Sunbrella
  • Dimensions: 79 x 35 x 37 inches
  • Seat Depth: 23 inches

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Loveseat: Sabai The Essential Loveseat

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Sabai.com

Who it's for: People who want loveseat made with sustainability in mind.

Who it's not for: People who want a less expensive loveseat.

Running low on space in your living room? Opt for this compact loveseat, made by sustainability-minded company Sabai. All Sabai furniture, including this piece, are upholstered in one of two fabrics: velvet made from recycled plastic bottles or upcycled poly (100 percent olefin, which requires no land or water to produce). Both materials are inherently stain- and scratch-resistant, though if needed, they can be cleaned with household products. On top of that, the velvet is machine-washable, while the poly can be spot-treated—the cushions all have removable upholstery for extra-easy maintenance.

Sabai also has a "repair, don't replace" program. Its furniture's modular design allows you to replace specific components instead of replacing the entire piece. For instance, you can purchase new cushion covers and cushion fills for the loveseat, as well as new arms and legs. You can even change the loveseat to a loveseat sectional! (Or you can buy a separate ottoman for additional seating space.) Just note that this sofa comes in flat-pack boxes, so there is assembly required.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Velvet or olefin
  • Dimensions: 62 x 34 x 32 inches
  • Seat Depth: 22 inches

RELATED: The 9 Best Futons for Every Style and Space

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Leather Sofa: Poly & Bark Sorrento Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Amazon.com

Also available at Poly & Bark.

Who it's for: People who want an easy-to-clean sofa.

Who it's not for: People who aren't willing to live with scratches.

Leather may not be an obvious choice for pet owners or families with young kids, but the material is actually rather durable, as long as it's high quality. And if you wipe up spills quickly, leather doesn't really stain. It does, however, scratch—but scratches contribute to the "weathered" effect of used leather called patina, which is aesthetically valued by some.

This sofa is upholstered with pure-aniline leather in Cognac Tan, which means it's not pigmented or sanded and is therefore ultra-soft. That leather is more likely to scuff over time, adding to its patina—be sure you're comfortable with that weathered look before you buy this piece of furniture. On the plus side, spills can be wiped up with a damp cloth, and more heavy-duty spot treatments are easy to tackle thanks to the removable covers on the seat and back cushions.

If you're a bit skeptical, Poly & Bark offers a 100-day trial period, and if you don't like the sofa after testing it for a few months, you can send it back with no questions asked. (Shipping and returns are free!)

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Pure-aniline leather
  • Dimensions: 85 x 35.5 x 33 inches
  • Seat Depth: 22 inches

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Slipcovered Sofa: Grandin Road Ava Slipcovered Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Grandinroad.com

Who it's for: People who want a traditional sofa with a skirt and those who want a deeper seat.

Who it's not for: People who want colors other than neutrals.

The easiest sofas to maintain are ones that come with slipcovers, as you can simply remove and treat the slipcovers to fix any spills or stains. Of course, slipcovered sofas often have a more traditional look rather than a contemporary one, in part thanks to the skirt at the bottom. That said, we think this sofa has a rather updated take on the classic look, especially because the slipcovers come in beautiful solid neutrals rather than old-fashioned florals.

These slipcovers are made from durable, moisture-repellant performance fabrics that are designed for heavy-duty use. They protect not only the feather-and-foam-filled cushions, but also the frame of the sofa, with a classic skirt around the base. The sofa also comes with four slipcovered throw pillows. While each of the slipcovers can be spot-cleaned by hand for smaller cleaning jobs, they should be dry-cleaned if there's heavier soiling, according to the manufacturer.

Beyond the durable slipcovers, what we love most about this sofa is the fact it has an eight-way hand-tied suspension, an artisanal, high-quality construction method that supports the seat with the utmost flexibility and comfort.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Performance fabric
  • Dimensions: 86 or 93 x 45.5 x 36 inches
  • Seat Depth: 30 inches

Best Kid- and Pet-Friendly Velvet Sofa: Inside Weather Issa Sofa

Best Pet & Kid Friendly Couches
Insideweather.com

Who it's for: People who want to customize their sofa.

Who it's not for: People with limited room space.

Velvet, like leather, probably isn't the first material you think of when picturing a pet- and kid-friendly sofa. But performance velvet comes with a few advantages: First, because it isn't made of tiny loops of fiber like many other fabrics, it's less likely to snag under a pet's claw, and it doesn't trap pet hair—just run a lint brush over the material to clean it up. Second, liquids tend to pool atop velvet long enough for you to dab spills up before they sink in, which helps prevent stains.

We love this sofa for all its customization options, starting with upholstery: If you filter by pet-friendly fabrics, you'll find more than 20 colors of velvet. But you can also customize details like cushion configuration, pillow details (tufting), base style, and cushion fill. Perhaps most impressively, you can test out this sofa at home for 365 days. If it doesn't work for any reason, you can return it. But do be warned—return shipping is only free for 14 days, after which you're responsible for shipping. And you'll also have to pay a 15–25 percent environmental fee.

Product Details:

  • Upholstery: Performance fabric - velvet, suede, micro felt, leather
  • Dimensions: 75.75 or 81.25 x 33.5 x 35.5 inches
  • Seat Depth: 22 inches

Final Verdict

We love the Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa for its durable scratch- and stain-resistant upholstery, which makes it a perfect piece of furniture for a house with pets or kids. Plus, its modular design allows you to customize the sofa to suit your needs.

How to Shop for Kid- and Pet-Friendly Sofas Like a Pro

Material

"The top thing I recommend for kids and pets is performance fabric," says Rawes. Performance fabric is stain-resistant, ultra-strong, and very easy to clean, making it best for high-use scenarios, whether in hotels, coffee shops, or in a pet-filled or kid-filled home. "There are so many beautiful options now that are super durable and almost impossible to stain, like Crypton, Perennials, or even Sunbrella fabric," says Rawes.

But you don't have to be limited to performance fabric. "Leather is another great option for many families, as you can just wipe away spills," says designer Jaclyn Genovese of Spaces By Jacflash. "Leather repels odors and is generally a very strong material." Another solid choice is microfiber. "Microfiber is thought to be the top material for furniture in homes with kids and pets, as its dense texture blocks allergens, is stain-proof, and very hard to rip," says Genovese.

And it's not just the upholstery material you need to pay attention to. "Keeping in mind the material of the sofa's legs can be a make or break if you have a dog that is a chewer. Metal legs are best for teething pups," says Genovese.

Color

If you're worried about stains, opt for a darker color sofa, which will be less likely to show them. "But if your pet has light-colored fur, a lighter color fabric helps to keep you sane from the endless pet hair," advises Genovese.

Maintenance

Always read the manufacturer's directions for cleaning before proceeding with any type of clean-up method. That said, you should always blot up any accidents or spills immediately to reduce the risk of a stain.

"A light fabric, even if it's performance, will show some dirt after regular use," says Rawes. "Just clean based on the manufacturer's instructions regularly. I always try to fluff cushions and flip them as regularly as possible."

Questions You Might Ask

How do you remove stains from a sofa?

Again, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Generally speaking though, there are some steps you should almost always be able to take. "For tough messes, use a solution of dish soap diluted with distilled water and gently dab with a towel or upholstery brush," says Genovese. "Just make sure that whatever cloth you are using is not colored, as the dye from the cloth can transfer onto the upholstery's fabric."

How should you care for your sofa?

Prevention is key! "Pre-treating your sofa with an upholstery protector such as Scotchgard is an excellent preventative measure, as it helps to protect against spills, stains, and water," says Genovese. "Also, regularly vacuuming your sofa to remove any dirt, hair, dust, and crumbs will help to prevent dirt from becoming embedded into the fibers."

What are some ways to prevent pets from scratching the sofa?

You might want to work with a pet trainer to teach your pet proper house behavior.

Cats, however, might be a little more difficult to train. "Cats are difficult to prevent clawing on furniture," says Rawes. "I would suggest clipping their nails often and giving them lots of scratching posts."

Otherwise, there are a few preventative measures you can take to protect your sofa. "There are many cat- and dog-repellent sprays that use sound, pheromones, or strong fragrances like citrus or lavender to safely deter your pets from scratching and chewing your furniture," says Genovese. Rawes also advises using clear tape to prevent cats from scratching the upholstery.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Stefanie Waldek. Stefanie is a contributing writer for Real Simple with seven years of experience writing about home and three years of experience reviewing products. To come up with these recommendations, Stefanie spent hours researching recliners and ultimately narrowed down the list based on durability, style, and price. She also tapped designers Libby Rawes of Sharp + Grey Interiors and Jaclyn Genovese of Spaces By Jacflash to provide tips.

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