Dogs bring undeniable joy into many homes. 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, a dog factors into many dog parents’ decisions when buying a new 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. We’ve gone on the hunt to find some of the best couches for dog owners to give you both a place to relax.
- BEST LEATHER: Pottery Barn Turner Roll Arm Leather Sofa
- BEST FABRIC: AllModern Polaris Sofa
- BEST VALUE: Mercury Row Garren 70.1” Square Arm Sofa
- BEST SECTIONAL: West Elm Eddy Reversible Sectional
- BEST LOVESEAT: Lark Manor Kenn 62.5” Pillow Top Arm Loveseat
- BEST CHESTERFIELD: Birch Lane Adelbert 95” Rolled Arm Chesterfield Sofa
- BEST SLEEPER SOFA: West Elm Urban Queen Sleeper Sofa
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Couch for Dogs
All dogs are different, and so are their owners. Some dogs chew furniture, others drool profusely, and some just want a comfy place to sleep. 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 the 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, including loveseats, sectionals, and recliner sofas.
- 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 feet up after a long day and take up less space when not in use.
If the goal is 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 a 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 performance fabrics, like microfiber, canvas, or denim. A tight weave is 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. A leather couch 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 smooth leather 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 usually the best choice, especially when covered with a waterproof sealant, such as polyurethane or varnish.
Who said practicality has to trump style and elegance? A couch can be dog-friendly and still add flair to the interior design of a space.
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 striving for a convivial atmosphere, an old-fashioned rolled-arm sofa or sectional sofa may be the answer.
No matter how well-behaved dogs are, 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 a dog’s claws could easily snag.
Padding and Cushions
The coziness factor is obviously important when selecting a couch. Whether a firm support or cloud-like softness is preferred, be sure to select a couch with the amount of padding or cushioning that suits the sitters.
There also are cushions that are too soft, and 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 a 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 animal 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.
While these features may not seem to be a concern because dogs aren’t allowed on the couch, many pet owners who keep an eye on their furry friends with a pet camera discover their dogs make themselves comfortable on the couch whenever they are away.
A tough and waterproof upholstery, such as leather or acrylic-blend performance fabrics, makes for a low-maintenance couch. For non-water-resistant fabrics, consider purchasing waterproof couch covers separately. Stain-repellent sprays may also provide additional protection.
Constant vacuuming is certainly a downside of having a dog, but a couch with removable covers will save time and trouble. As long as the fabric allows it, pop them in the washing machine when it’s time to clean the cover.
If a couch does not have removable covers and removable cushions, a slipcover can wrap over the entire couch. Remove it when guests are coming for a visit or when it needs a wash, and slip it back on again. If a slipcover is desired for a sofa, factor the price into the sofa budget.
Our Top Picks
Even with these considerations in mind, shopping for the best sofa for dogs 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. They perform well with animal hair, stains, and claws, while also adding an attractive piece to a living space.
Made with thick arms, a deep seat, and a high back padded with down-blend seat cushions, this is a leather couch made for comfort.
Designed to be bespoke couches for a living space, they are available in four sizes, two seat cushion options, with or without decorative nailheads, and options for square arms or sloped arms. Consumers can choose what works best for them and their pet. There are over 20 top-grain leathers to choose from, so users can get the sofa they want. With true leather, there are bound to be variations in color, which makes this a less desirable option for those who prefer a uniform color to their couch.
Leather is a terrific material when it comes to surface scratches – rubbing the area with warm fingertips redistributes surrounding wax to cover a small blemish. When it comes to cleaning, leather is finicky, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.
- Type: Traditional sofa
- Upholstery: Leather
- Dimensions: 68.5 by 38.5 by 35 inches; 78.5 by 38.5 by 66 inches; 91 by 43.5 by 36 inches; or 109 by 43.5 by 36 inches
- Seating: 3 or 4 people
- Surface scratches fade over time by rubbing with fingertips
- Kiln-dried hardwood frame with mortise-and-tenon joinery; timeless and stylish design
- No-sag steel sinuous springs for added cushion support
- Adjustable levelers for stability; great for uneven floors
- Leather requires special cleaning instructions
- Genuine leather may have slight color differences
Get the Turner couch at Pottery Barn.
The AllModern Polaris 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 performance fabric cushion covers are removable, can go in the washing machine, and they’re 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 about 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.
- Type: Traditional sofa
- Upholstery: Polyester acrylic blend
- Dimensions: 83.85 by 34.64 by 31.88 inches
- Seating: 3 people
- Durable construction supports up to 600-pound weight capacity
- Machine washable cushion covers; great for messy pets and kids
- Water resistant and stain resistant; spills are hassle-free
- Suits different styles of decor and available in multiple colors
- Requires 2 people for assembly
- Narrow arms may feel a bit too stiff for some; requiring cushions
Get the All Modern Miller couch at Wayfair.
With Mercury Row’s Garren Square Arm Sofa, there’s 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 a 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.
This couch easily fits smaller spaces while still accommodating up to three people. It can be a logical choice for apartments and studios but less suitable for large families. Note that full assembly is required.
- Type: Traditional sofa
- Upholstery: Polyester
- Dimensions: 70.1 by 32.3 by 32.3 inches
- Seating: 3 people
- Holds up to 400 pounds; ideal for heavy duty use
- Made from snag-safe performance fabric for added durability
- Includes bolster pillows for style and comfort
- Strong kiln-dried hardwood frame that looks great and provides great support
- Quite small; less suited to large households
- More absorbent than some other types of fabrics; spills can be hard to deal with
Get the Mercury Row couch at Wayfair.
The Eddy Reversible Sectional by West Elm is a compact sectional couch that’s offered in two available sizes—a 74-inch two-seater or a 90-inch three-seater. Its configuration is reversible to fit many room layouts, regardless of whether the chaise cushion is on the left or the right. The seat 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. The pieces are not attached together, so large or boisterous dogs might be able to accidentally move them.
Choose among 23 upholstery options to perfectly match the decor and 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 if anticipating that a dog will make this couch a frequent lounging spot.
Professional cleaning may be required for heavier messes. If a dog is prone to accidents, a waterproof slipcover—large enough to cover the angle of the sectional—may be a wise addition.
- Type: Sectional sofa
- Upholstery: many options, including canvas and deco weave
- Dimensions: 74 by 62 by 33 inches; or 90 by 62 by 33 inches
- Seating: 2 or 3 people
- Versatile design that fits any home style
- Reversible seat cushions with zip-off covers for easy washing
- Wide backed cushions and low arms for comfort; great for relaxing
- The pieces of the couch are unattached and may move
- Not all fabric options are dog-friendly
Get the Eddy couch at West Elm.
In a smaller space, downsize from a standard couch and opt for a pet-friendly loveseat instead. Lark Manor’s inviting loveseat beckons users and dogs to sit down and take a load off. Its thick padded arms are an excellent pillow for a pup, and the tufted back cushions are a welcome place for a person to lean against.
Don’t let the cushy appearance fool. This loveseat boasts standard seat depth, so users don’t feel pulled into the seat cushions. The seat cushions contain sinuous springs and synthetic fiber foam for a firm yet soft loveseat. These cushions are covered in a quality microfiber, and consumers can select from 10 color options.
Built with a solid wood frame that supports a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds, this is a wonderful option for two people, or one person and a dog. If and when messes happen to the upholstery, the performance fabric can be spot-cleaned easily with soap and water.
- Type: Loveseat
- Upholstery: Microfiber
- Dimensions: 62.5 by 34 by 38.5 inches
- Seating: 2 people
- Thick padding in the armrests make this very comfortable
- Springs and foam provide softness and firm support
- Easy-to-clean fabric in case of spills and other accidents
- Supports up to 300 pounds; more than enough for a loveseat
- Seat is not very deep so lounging can be more difficult
Get the Lark Manor couch at Wayfair.
Birch Lane’s timeless chesterfield design is a long and aesthetically pleasing couch for a living space. At 95 inches wide, this structured piece seats three and fits best in larger rooms. Quality craftsmanship and a kiln-dried hardwood and plywood frame help support up to 750 pounds.
Style comes built-in with this chesterfield, helping maintain a look of class within a home. Made from genuine 100 percent cowhide leather in a choice of six colors, the hue is only part of this chesterfield’s beauty. It includes details like cut and sewn button tufting, hand applied nail heads, and bun legs that compliment the shape of the sofa’s rolled arms.
The water-resistant and mildew-resistant Italian leather upholstery covers the chesterfield’s down blend cushion padding and is a great defense against dogs that tend to drool. Though leather can be a bit finicky to clean, most spills can be addressed with a light colored, slightly damp cloth.
- Type: Chesterfield
- Upholstery: Leather
- Dimensions: 95 by 40.5 by 30.5 inches
- Seating: 3 people
- 750-pound weight capacity; great for large families
- Mildew resistant and water resistant; very easy to clean
- Chesterfield design details are timeless, stylish, and functional
- Leather may require infrequent professional cleaning
Get the Birch Lane couch at Wayfair or at Birch Lane.
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 guests cozy and cool through the night. The couch itself seats two to three people. The seat cushions are filled with polyester, which makes for firmer seating.
Additionally, the cushion covers are removable, although putting them through the washing machine is not recommended. If a 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.
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 can also prove to be durable, albeit less stain-proof. Swatches are available for order to help the decision process among the plethora of possibilities. Some assembly is required.
- Type: Pull-out sleeper sofa
- Upholstery: Many options, including canvas and deco weave
- Dimensions: 84 by 39 by 34 inches
- Seating: 2 to 3 people
- Includes queen-size memory foam mattress; perfect for a guest bed
- 90 upholstery options that can match any decor choice
- Hand-built wood frame and hand-finished upholstery; very sturdy with classic design
- Cushion covers not machine washable
- May require slipcover depending on pet and fabric choice
Get the Urban Queen couch at West Elm.
For most dog owners it’s tough to go wrong with a leather couch that’s not going to trap pet hair, which is one reason we prefer the Pottery Barn Turner Sofa. If the goal is to find a sofa with a performance fabric, it seems hard to beat the water-repellent and stylish AllModern Polaris sofa. For those sticking to a stricter budget, the Mercury Row Garren sofa looks and feels rich and comes in colors that can hide many stains very well.
How We Chose the Best Couches for Dog Owners
During our research, we reviewed dozens of the best couches for dog owners. When choosing a sofa for a dog owner, it’s not as simple as selecting any couch and letting a pet curl up on it. Here are some of the criteria we assessed in curating our list of recommendations:
- We picked dog-friendly couches that are supportive, but soft. Just like people, pets need a cozy place to sit that doesn’t put pressure or strain on their bodies. We looked at cushion thickness, foam filling, and spring structure to determine which would be most comfortable for a pet.
- Quality always ranks high on our list. Couches constructed with sturdy frames, reliable joinery, comfortable foam, and durable materials and upholstery helped inform our selections.
- Reputable brand names are always known in their industry for a reason. Our picks include selections from top brands in the home furniture sector who have a proven track record.
- We also reviewed weight capacity, giving favor to couches that support the weight of a large dog and one person (or more).
- Design always plays a part, especially with a large home furnishing like a sofa. Once we determined that a couch was dog-friendly, we only added it to our list if it was also aesthetically pleasing.
Still have questions? You’re not alone. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by pet owners when shopping for the best couch for dogs.
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 animal hair and clean the occasional drool stain. For many, the cuddling sessions 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 most 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.
Q. What fabric does not attract dog hair?
Leather is a fabric that does not attract or snag dog hair and it’s easy to dust off any animal hair that lands on a couch made with this material.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series, including This Old House and Bob Vila’s Home Again, he popularized and became synonymous with “do it yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.