Yes, it exists: the difference between a sofa and a couch. However, it has virtually no meaning today. However, if you want to expand your useless small talk knowledge or fall into smart-ass mode here and there, you should read on now.
Both terms are now used synonymously, although there is a historical difference. Furniture stores, interior design blogs and print media are hardly aware of this anymore, as the modern sofa is usually a hybrid of the two.
The sofa – the traditional definition of the term
The sofa always has two armrests, a backrest and no feet.
The term “sofa” is derived from the Arabic “suffah”. It means a bench decorated with cushions and blankets.
A sofa offers a lot of space. It is designed for 4 or more people.
The couch – the traditional definition of the term
A couch traditionally has no armrests, or at most one. It has either no backrest or a very low backrest, but feet.
A couch can accommodate one to three people.
The term “couch” comes from the French “coucher” and means “to lie”. It was used to describe a resting bench with upholstered cushions.
For ladies who used to wear tight corsets, the couch used to be a boon. They could sit and lie on it comfortably and briefly escape their shortness of breath.
The difference between sofa and couch at a glance
|Armrest||yes (always two)||no (maximum one)|
|Backrest||yes||no (or very low)|
|Space available||4 people||one to three people|
|Origin of terms||arabic “suffah”||french “coucher|
|Original use||decorated bench||Piece of furniture to lean and sit|