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Your couch is the most used piece of furniture in your home.

People use the couch as a place to relax and watch their favorite shows, as a place to host family games, and sometimes even as a place to eat their meals.

“It is important to choose a couch that is comfortable for your body. The height, depth, and fill are important factors that ensure that your time on the couch doesn’t cause back pain or strain on your spine.”

To help you find the best couch for a healthy back, we consulted top orthopedic experts and combed through hundreds of customer reviews to help you choose the best option.

It is important to understand how your sofa can affect your back, as well as your spine and neck, as you begin to evaluate couches for optimal back health and posture.

How you position yourself on your couch is important for optimal health.

According to board certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon Dr. Rahul Shah, you want to avoid a couch that causes you to lean forward, placing pressure on your lower back when you sit.

Shah says to keep your head centered over the pelvis when sitting. You want to keep your head in line with the pelvis by straining. The muscles will work harder to keep the head steady if it is further out of line.

To maintain optimal back health, the most comfortable couch might not be the best one for your body, warns board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian A. Cole of Englewood Spine Associates.

The couch is a good example of a trade-off between the soft fabric and padding and the support of the neck and low back.

Cole explains that the spine has a sequence of curves. Supporting the spine is important to maintain the balance of the curves.

He says that the chair you think is comfortable is actually not, because you are no longer supporting the curves of your spine. This causes back pain over time.

There are four things you should look for when choosing a couch.

  • Ideal seat height. According to Shah, the optimal couch height for your body should allow you to keep your legs and knees at a 90-degree angle to your pelvis with your feet flat on the ground. You can measure this by sitting down in a chair in front of a mirror and measuring the ideal height for you. (Cole also notes that older adults should be mindful of not picking a couch that’s too low to the ground, which could be difficult to rise from.)
  • Comfortable seat back. Make sure the back of the couch is not too high. Shah says that, when the head cranes too far forward when sitting, it can lead to significant back and neck pain. Your head should sit in line with your spine as much as possible, even if you’re leaning back.
  • Adequate lumbar support. When sitting, you should maintain the natural curvature of your low back. Couches with built in lumbar support, or that come with pillows you can use for support, will help you preserve that spinal balance, according to Cole.
  • Supportive fill. You need to be able to comfortably and easily get up from your couch. Couches that are too soft will cause you to strain when you need to rise, which can hurt your back. However, because everyone’s body size and strength is different, there really is no “ideal fill” for everyone. If possible, Shah recommends sitting on various types of cushions to help you see how your body responds to each.

“There are many types of couches. They are usually defined by the seating area’s width and how many people can fit in it. The overview will help you choose the ideal type.”

  • Two-person. Also known as a loveseat, this type of couch typically has a 50 to 58-inch seating width (not including the arms).
  • Three-person. This typically has a 78-inch seating width (not including arms).
  • Four-person. This couch typically has a 90-inch seating width (not including sofa arms).
  • Five-person. This typically has a 108-inch seating width (not including couch arms).
  • Sectional: These couches vary in size. They typically seat three or more people and come in two main shapes: L and U. Some can be configured to suit your space, while others are fixed (with the L shape right- or left-facing).
  • Recliner. These couches vary in size and have functionality to tilt backward (and move your legs outward and upward), allowing you to adjust your position.

We looked at a number of factors to choose the best couches.

  • The materials used are of a high quality.
  • The couch size is related to height and depth.
  • Customer reviews on comfort and value.

We considered the aesthetic aspects of the options, like fabric quality, color variety, and overall style, to make sure they looked great in your home.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $1,000
  • $$ = $1,000–$1,500
  • $$$ = $1,500–$2,000
  • $$$$ = over $2,000

Best overall

Lemons & Me Chubby Sofa

  • Price: $$$
  • Type of couch: multiple sizes, from three-person to sectional
  • Pro: can choose size and modulation to suit your exact needs
  • Con: not fully slipcovered

The linen couch is both sturdy and comfortable, and it is both modern and timeless.

The couch is covered in anti-stain fabric, which makes it easy to clean, and it has cushion covers that you can throw in the washing machine.

Reviewers say it is the most comfortable couch they have ever had.

Best sectional

Burrow Arch Nomad Sofa Sectional

  • Price: $$$
  • Type of couch: L-shaped sectional
  • Pros: made with scratch and stain resistant fabric, comes with a built-in USB charger
  • Con: modern design may not suit all tastes

The sectional has a 5-star customer rating.

It has three layers of foam and fiber and a plush crown, plus you can add on pillows for support and a sleep kit to turn it into a bed. You can make it your own with the many custom color and style options.

Best slipcovered

Mario Capasa Feathers Sofa

  • Price: $$
  • Type of couch: multiple sizes, from three-person to sectional
  • Pro: additional slipcovers in multiple colors and fabrics
  • Con: some reviewers say the couch wasn’t deep enough for their liking

This couch has both machine-washable fabric and faux leather additional covers that maximize its lifespan.

The fabric is stain-proof and water-resistant, making it a great option for families and people with pets, as well as anyone who wants to be able to easily change the look of their furniture. The couch is made of memory foam and fiber.

Best for small spaces

Rivet Sloane Mid-Century Modern Loveseat Sofa

  • Price: $
  • Type of couch: two-person
  • Pro: Amazon reviewers give it 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • Con: length may be too small for taller people to comfortably stretch out on

This small sofa is easy to assemble, stylish, and available in a variety of colors, so it will complement your space and make you feel comfortable.

The couch is made of high density foam and has a good support.

Best memory foam option

Serta Palisades Sofa

  • Price: $
  • Type of couch: three sizes, from loveseat to three-person
  • Pro: comes in 17 different colors
  • Con: shallow seat might not be comfortable for taller people

The couch is made with a sustainable hardwood frame and it provides a strong, comfortable foundation for its memory foam fill that is not hard but not soft.

Reviewers noted that the cushions retained their shape even after many years of use.

Best for shorter people

Lifestyle Solutions Austin Sofa

  • Price: $
  • Type of couch: three-person
  • Pro: 31-inch seat depth is good for those with shorter legs
  • Con: only available in two colors

The couch is a good option for smaller statures because it is lower to the ground than other models. It has a higher back to support your frame when you sit. Its foam cushions are high density and provide a good amount of comfort.

“Reviewers say that the couch is easy to get up from and it doesn’t sink when you sit down, which is important for preventing back injury.”

Best for taller people

La-Z-Boy Collins Sofa

  • Price: $$$
  • Type of couch: two-person
  • Pro: optional cushion upgrade of memory foam for added comfort
  • Con: some reviews mention quality control issues

The couch has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. The most popular option of our picks is the couch, which is the most versatile and can be tailored to fit any size person.

The couch is made from recycled water bottles and covered in sustainable fabric.

Best for pets

Foundry The 5th Sofa

  • Price: $$$$
  • Type of couch: five-person and sectional options available
  • Pro: made with anti-scratch, stain resistant, and waterproof fabric
  • Con: only available in two colors

This pet-friendly find looks like leather and is easy to clean, making it great for people sharing a couch with fur babies.

“You can comfortably position yourself and your pets with enough room to spread out. It’s a good option for taller people.”

Best for families

Bob’s Discount Furniture Dream Modular Sofa

  • Price: $$$
  • Type of couch: five-person and sectional options available
  • Pro: can be customized into L or U shape to fit any size family
  • Con: may be too soft and too low to the ground for older adults

Reviewers call the couch the comfiest couch I have ever owned, because it is a copy of the Restoration Hardware Cloud sofa.

The couch has a memory foam core that makes it a great option for families.

What’s the ideal sofa height for good posture?

Shah says that the ideal sofa height for a healthy back and posture allows you to sit with your head and pelvis aligned and your legs bent at 90 degrees. This height will be different for everyone.

If you have a family with differing heights, you can use an ottoman or the lounge side of a sectional to prop up the shorter members of the family so that their legs are extended at a 90 degree angle from their hips.

Is it unhealthy to sit on the couch for extended periods of time?

Shah says that if you sit on the couch in a poor position, you can cause back pain.

He suggests that you check your posture while you sit to make sure that your head is in line with your body. Try to take a break from the couch every 30 minutes to an hour.

Can I sleep on a couch?

Unless the couch is designed for sleeping, it is not recommended. Shah suggests placing a pillow between your knees and head to avoid strain on your back if you like to lay down on your side.

Can TV height affect your back when you’re relaxing on your couch?

Yes. Shah said that if the TV is too high, it can cause neck and back problems.

He says to place your TV in a position that is close to the horizon so you can sit and not feel uncomfortable.

Maintaining a healthy spine and back is important for everyday life, and your couch should support it. Measure your space and body before you buy a couch. You can choose the optimal option for your back health.

If you have any pain or uncomfortable sensations on your couch, you should talk to your doctor.

Natasha Burton is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Livestrong, Woman’s Day, and many other lifestyle publications. She’s the author of What’s My Type?: 100+ Quizzes to Help You Find Yourself ― and Your Match!, 101 Quizzes for Couples, 101 Quizzes for BFFs, 101 Quizzes for Brides and Grooms, and the co-author of “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.” When she’s not writing, she’s fully immersed in #momlife with her toddler and preschooler.