Dogs bring undeniable joy into a home. Unfortunately, they also bring a healthy dose of hair, scratches, and drool into the mix. It can sometimes feel as if the cleaning never ends. Even if regular vacuuming and lint-rolling are part of your routine, your dog should factor into your decision when buying a new couch. The wow-factor designer sofa you’ve always envisioned gracing your living room may not be the best match for your situation.
Whether or not you allow your dog to climb on the couch, a sofa designed for durability and ease of cleaning is a must for any pet owner. Unfortunately, with so many stylish but impractical designs on the market, sniffing out quality products is no walk in the park. To facilitate your search, we’ve gone on the hunt to find some of the best couches for dogs—and their owners—to give you both a place to relax.
- BEST OVERALL: AllModern 84″ Sofa
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mercury Row Garren 75.6’’ Square Arm Sofa
- BEST LEATHER: Birch Lane Adelbert Genuine Leather 95’’ Chesterfield
- BEST SECTIONAL: West Elm Eddy Reversible Sectional
- BEST SLEEPER SOFA: West Elm Urban Queen Sleeper Sofa
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Couches for Dogs
All dogs are different, and so are their owners. Some dogs chew furniture; others drool profusely. Some owners have a true eye for design, while others value comfort over style. Keep your unique set of needs in mind as you browse the following shopping considerations.
Type and Size
Before settling on a model, consider the space in your home, as well as the number of beings the couch needs to accommodate (both human and animal). Traditional couches typically seat three to four people and measure between 72 and 96 inches in length. There are, however, plenty of other types from which to choose:
- Loveseats, which comfortably seat two people, are ideal for smaller spaces.
- Sectionals, whether L- or U-shaped, accommodate larger groups of people in a variety of room configurations.
- Recliner sofas are convenient for putting your feet up after a long day and take up less space when not in use.
If you want to be ready for guests, sleeper sofas feature a variety of styles:
- With pull-out beds, a mattress and frame unfold from under the seat of the sofa, while the backrest stays upright.
- With futons, the backrest releases downward to flatten into a bed.
- With convertible sofa beds, an additional structure pulled from under the sofa creates a wider sleeping surface.
Of course, this list is far from exhaustive; these options are merely some of the most prevalent types of couches available.
When choosing a material for your couch, keep in mind that sturdiness and ease of cleaning are key to durability and longevity. As a general rule, avoid slippery fabrics like silk or velvet and any loose weave fabrics, such as tweed, wool, or chenille, as they tend to trap pet hair and easily snag from interaction with animal claws or teeth. Instead, aim for tightly-woven fabrics, like microfiber, canvas, or denim. They are more resistant to damage and easier to clean. Fabrics designed for outdoor furniture, like mesh or acrylic fabrics, are also a solid alternative for pets.
The most popular choice among dog owners, however, may well be leather. It is more expensive, but it is also remarkably tough. Leather repels odors and is easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Keep in mind that synthetic leather will wear and tear faster than real leather, and beware of smooth leather, which does not withstand scratching from sharp claws.
Beyond the upholstery, the frame and legs of a couch are also important. For sturdiness and chew-proof characteristics, kiln-dried hardwood is your best choice, especially when covered with a waterproof sealant, such as polyurethane or varnish.
Who said practicality has to trump style and elegance? Your couch can be dog-friendly and still add flair to your interior design.
A chesterfield, with its quilted or tufted design, brings elegance to a room, while a modern sofa with a tight or curved back works well with minimalist aesthetics. If, on the other hand, you strive for a convivial atmosphere, an old-fashioned, rolled-arm sofa or sectional may be the answer.
No matter how well-behaved your dogs, accidents happen. For that reason, it is wise to choose dark colors or even patterned fabrics to better conceal stains and scratches. Avoid fabric textures that your dog’s claws could easily snag.
Padding and Cushions
The coziness factor is obviously important when selecting a couch. Whether you prefer firm support or cloud-like softness, be sure to select a couch with the amount of padding or cushioning that suits you.
Beware, however, of cushions that are too soft. Your dogs might be tempted to use their claws for stability. For better support, look for sinuous wire suspension. Also, steer clear of decorative throw pillows, which may turn into improvised chew toys.
Over time, the padding in your couch may absorb fluids and retain odors. For drooly or incontinent pups, consider couches with less padding or waterproof upholstery. Removable cushion covers are also recommended.
Waterproofing, Stain, and Scratch Resistance
As frustrating as pet hair may be, the true challenges to a sofa’s durability are odors, stains, and scratches. Even a well-behaved dog may scratch the upholstery while climbing it or drool while sleeping. You may think you don’t need to be concerned with these features because you don’t allow your dog on the couch, but many pet owners, who purchase a pet camera to keep an eye on their furry friends when they aren’t home, discover their dogs make themselves comfortable on the couch whenever they are away.
A tough and waterproof upholstery, such as leather or acrylic-blend fabrics, makes for a low-maintenance couch. For non-water-resistant fabrics, consider purchasing waterproof slipcovers separately. Stain-repellent sprays may also provide additional protection.
Ultimately, some level of damage is inevitable. Pick a design that will conceal accidents rather than reveal them. For sticky or stubborn messes, professional cleaning is always an option.
Constant vacuuming is certainly a downside of having a dog, but a couch with removable covers will save you time and trouble. As long as the fabric allows it, you can pop them in the washer, and voilà! Good as new.
If your couch does not have removable covers, you can still purchase a slipcover to wrap over the entire couch. Remove it when you have guests or when it needs a wash, and slip it back on in no time. If you know you’ll need one, factor the price into your budget before buying a couch.
Our Top Picks
Even with these considerations in mind, shopping for dog-friendly couches can prove tedious. To give you a headstart, here are some of the best couches for dogs and their owners that stand out in their respective category by performing well with hair, stains, and claws, while also adding an attractive piece to your living space.
The AllModern 84’’ Sofa is durable, water resistant, stain repellent, and stylish. Its upholstery, available in four colors, is 80 percent polyester and 20 percent acrylic. The seat and back filler is 70 percent foam and 30 percent synthetic fiber. The cushion covers are removable, machine washable, and dryer friendly. For sloppier or stickier messes, spot cleaning with upholstery shampoo is recommended. For sturdiness and durability, the frame is made of 100 percent kiln-dried hardwood. As for the legs, the walnut-stained hardwood is not only elegant but is also rendered waterproof by a stain finish.
Measuring 84 inches in length and 22.4 inches in seat depth, this couch comfortably seats three people, without taking up a massive amount of space. The recessed arms and multiple-cushion seating area make for a simple, streamlined design ideal for modern or minimalist decors. Note that partial assembly is required for the legs.
With Mercury Row’s Garren Square Arm Sofa, no need to break the bank to own a sleek design that’s also durable and easy to clean with a lint roller or damp cloth. The upholstery is 100 percent tightly-woven polyester, which is more absorbent than leather or acrylic fabrics but still tough and snag-safe. The cushion covers are non-removable, but the lower price tag makes room for a washable slipcover in the budget. The upholstery is available in two colors, both dark enough to conceal stains. Two poly-filled bolster pillows are also included to elevate the look without superfluous frills. If your dog takes a liking to chewing them, their compact size makes them easy to store elsewhere. As for the java-colored legs, they are made of solid rubberwood, while the frame is kiln-dried hardwood.
Measuring 75.6 inches in length and 21.3 inches in seat depth, this couch easily fits smaller spaces, while still accommodating up to three people. It is a logical choice for apartments and studios but less suitable for large families. Note that full assembly is required.
The Adelbert Genuine Leather Chesterfield by Birch Lane is made of 100 percent cowhide, making it nonabsorbent, easy to wipe down, and even fire resistant. To further increase its natural durability, a final process of finishing is applied to the Italian leather. The cushions and their covers are removable, albeit not machine-washable. Additionally, the crackled two-tone pattern of the leather—available in five colors—will conceal scratches and stains.
The rolled arms, button tufting, and hand-applied nailheads merge old-timey charm with modern appeal. The cushions are comfortable, with a soft down blend fill and sinuous springs for support. With a full length of 95 inches and a seat depth of 24 inches, it is a particularly spacious 3-seat option. It may not be well-suited for small spaces, however. The legs are thick and short to complement the unique look of the couch, as well as to prevent chewing, and the frame is made of solid wood. Partial assembly is required.
With the Eddy Reversible Sectional by West Elm, you receive a compact sectional couch in one of two available sizes—a 74-inch 2-seater or a 90-inch 3-seater. Its configuration is reversible to fit many room layouts, regardless of whether you need the chaise cushion on the left or the right. The cushions are fiber-filled but firm enough to limit accidental clawing. Thanks to its solid wood trestle legs and hardwood frame with reinforced joinery, this couch is both sturdy and durable. Remember, though, the pieces are not attached together, so large or boisterous dogs might be able to accidentally move them.
You can choose among 23 upholstery options to perfectly match your decor and your more practical needs as well. The performance-washed canvas is particularly well suited for repelling water and oil, while the deco weave alternatives are intended to mask stains. Steer clear of the velvet and chenille options, however, if you anticipate your dog making this couch a frequent lounging spot. Professional cleaning may be required for heavier messes. If your dog is prone to accidents, a waterproof slipcover—large enough to cover the angle of the sectional—may be a wise addition.
Never be caught unprepared with the Urban Queen Sleeper Sofa by West Elm. The pull-out bed boasts a premium queen-size, gel-infused memory foam mattress to keep your guests cozy and cool through the night. The couch itself seats two to three people.The cushions are filled with polyester, which makes for firmer seating. Additionally, the cushion covers are removable, although machine washing is not recommended. If your dog is prone to accidents, a waterproof slipcover may be a worthwhile purchase. The wooden frame ensures sturdiness, and the support legs are partly concealed to prevent chewing.
You can choose from a whopping 90 upholstery options, including performance coastal linen and performance-washed canvas, which are both water and oil repellent and tightly woven to prevent snags. Deco weave and microfiber choices may also prove durable, albeit less stain-proof. Swatches are available for order to help you decide among the plethora of possibilities. Some assembly is required.
FAQs About Your New Couch for Dogs
Still have questions? You’re not alone. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by dog owners like you when shopping for couches.
Q. Should you let dogs on the couch?
Dogs with couch privileges tend to view themselves as equal to the humans in the house. In some cases, this can lead to disobedience and territorial behavior. That said, many owners have noted no real issues, aside from having to vacuum up pet hair and clean the occasional drool stain. The cuddling privileges are often worth the risks.
Q. What is the best material for a couch if you have a dog?
Leather wins the popular vote among dog owners for its toughness, durability, and ease of cleaning. For more affordable alternatives, consider canvas, denim, microfiber, and acrylic blends.
Q. Do dogs ruin leather couches?
Real leather is actually quite tough, but it is not 100 percent scratch-proof. If your dog is a scratcher, either look for a cheaper alternative that you won’t mind being damaged, or shop for distressed leather styles to better conceal scratches.
Q. Does dog hair stick to microfiber?
Dog hair may collect on microfiber, but it will not become trapped between threads the way it does with loosely-woven fabrics like wool, chenille, and tweed. A lint roller should do the trick.