We Tested (and Rated!) All the Sofas at Pottery Barn — Here Are the Best for Every Type of Need

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Pottery Barn living room with brown leather sofa. Seal in upper left corner reads "Apartment Therapy Personal Shopper Pottery Barn Sofas 2024"
Credit: Pottery Barn

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: How any of us have successfully purchased a comfortable sofa or sectional online that we actually love, looks good, and fits all of our needs is an anomaly. All the sifting through the best sofa brands, researching upholstery materials, reading reviews, shopping in-person…who’s got the time? It’s a lot, but it’s also what we at Apartment Therapy are here for. Testing products and finding the best of the best is very much our thing.

As your Personal Shopper, we visit the showrooms and stores of your favorite home brands to put all the hard-to-online-shop-for items to the test, starting with sofas. If it’s on the store’s floor, it’s on our list. We went, saw, and sat on every sofa (multiple times!) at Pottery Barn’s New York City locations to determine which sofa is the right match for you. Without further ado, read on to find the best, most comfortable sectionals and sofas at Pottery Barn.


Why Pottery Barn?

As one of the premier spots across the country to shop for home decor, Pottery Barn is a reliable, well-oiled machine. It’s a brand that, overall, has demonstrated its capacity to stay on top of trends, ahead of production and shipping delays, and true to its best-selling classics and Americana roots. Beyond this, Pottery Barn has its Design Crew, or team of interior design experts across the country, to help with all things interior design planning, logistics, and aesthetics. Not only can you take your pick from virtual, storefront, or in-home meetings with crew members, but they will also listen to your every desire when it comes to your dream space — be it one room or your entire home — and develop custom renderings. Oh, and they’ll do it for free. Yep, free. No need to purchase anything, either (though, yes, we can pretty much guarantee you’re going to want to).

The Sofas

The range of sofas and sectionals carried by Pottery Barn is not limited to this list. Visit the website for more options.

The Criteria

We judged every Pottery Barn sofa and sectional in-store based on the following six criteria, giving each category an average rating between 1 and 5. These scores helped us determine who the sofa suits best, from nap-lovers to movie-night hosts.

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Overall sit: What posture does the sofa best support? How deep or shallow are the seats? Are the cushions soft or firm on the back and arms?

Seat firmness: How soft or firm are the seat cushions? How do they contribute to overall posture and comfort?

Customizability: Are sizing, configuration, upholstery, color, or any other details customizable? How granular can a shopper get when customizing?

Nappability: Can you nap on it? Would you want to? Would guests be comfortable sleeping on it?

Multi-functionality: Does it have storage capacity? Is it a sleeper sofa? What else can the sofa do or help with?

Appearance: What style does it best suit? Does it lean more traditional (i.e., deep hues, busy details, flanged edges) or more contemporary (i.e., clean lines, low profiles, mid-century modern)?


Every Editor-Tested Sofa and Sectional at Pottery Barn

Best Classic Style: Carlisle Upholstered Sofa

What Impressed Us: The timelessness.

The Carlisle’s subtle S-curved base, intricate wood legs, and sloped roll armrests make it reminiscent of classic English design. But while its frame and dark wood legs lean more traditional in style, the Carlisle’s angular cushions — which are also available in a bench style — bring in a contemporary element. A cozy marriage between the two styles, this sofa is our pick for lovers of cottage core, farmhouse, and other vintage-inspired classic interior design.

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Best for Small Spaces: Carmel Square Arm Upholstered Sofa

What Impressed Us: The range of customizability.

The Carmel is available in Pottery Barn’s most slender sofa width (62″) and one of its widest (122″), so whether you’re working with a small space or all the space, there’s a version for you. You can take your pick from modern bench-style cushioning or more classic seating with multiple cushions. More importantly, this is a supremely comfortable couch with deep seats, medium-soft cushions, and a perfectly relaxed-yet-supportive back incline.

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What Impressed Us: The rounded interior angle.

The center wedge piece that connects this L-shaped sectional allows this version of the Pearce to fit flush against an angular wall but maintain a softly rounded interior curve. This slight roundedness creates a comfortable sense of intimacy when multiple people are sitting on the sofa. And because its cushions are removable, the Pearce sectional is ideal for households with kids and pets. Pick the right easy-care performance upholstery and follow Pottery Barn’s recommendation to regularly vacuum the cushions, and the Pearce will become your household’s go-to.

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Best Leather Style: Turner Square Arm Leather Sofa

What impressed us: The relaxed, down-filled cushions and lived-in feel.

You won’t be surprised to hear that in-store sofas see a lot of traffic. As a result, the Turner sofa was sporting some light wear and tear. But if you told us it was made that way, we just might believe you! Everything else about this couch makes it feel like it’s been lived on for years, so some minor abrasions only add to its charm. In any case, the natural leather was designed to patina and become more supple with time. In addition to the plush cushions, the sofa’s wide square arms make it a terrific choice for those who like to lounge after a long work day. Still, you’ll find that the couch’s regular width and depth prevent you from sinking into a deep sleep. In short, the Turner is a happy medium for those after a stylish but life-friendly couch.

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What Impressed Us: The layered back cushion support.

When you sit down onto the York Deep Seat Sofa, it doesn’t initially feel like anything more than a more comfortable, spacious version of the original York style…that is until you feel the shorter cushions layered in front of the sofa’s already cushioned back supports. The design of this dual back support sofa is unique and yields a superior amount of coziness. The slipcover — a mainstay customization for a number of Pottery Barn’s sofa styles — gives it coverage, coziness, and a traditional aesthetic.

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What Impressed Us: The supportive seating.

There’s something about the leather Pacifica sofa that encourages you to sit upright with two feet on the ground — still comfortably, of course — and have your side table work station nearby. Perhaps it’s the tautness of the leather upholstery or the buoyancy of the medium-firm seat cushions. It’s a compact sofa overall, allowing more space for its cushions than its arms, so it doesn’t necessarily appear small but is optimal for tighter spaces such as apartments and home offices.

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Best Low-Maintenance: Chloe Square Arm Upholstered Sofa

What impressed us: The short profile and plush but firm cushions.

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time on the couch — or at home, period —  there are plenty of loungey options to choose from on this list. But if you just need a simple but chic sofa that offers a comfy seat from time to time and prevents your living area from looking empty, the Chloe is for you. It has thin square arms that aren’t exactly conducive to lying around, though they do help create a structured look. The sofa’s cushions are soft but still firm, and we also found the back to be quite short once seated. Even better still, this model is also available in a slipcover version, which is especially nice for quick, easy cleanups.

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What Impressed Us: The uniquely modern pull-out mattress.

The Buchanan, one of Pottery Barn’s most comfortable sofa styles overall, has finally made it possible for us to bid adieu to those uncomfortable and dangerous metal-supported pull-out sofa beds of the past. The collection’s Deluxe Twin Sleeper sofa includes a built-in memory foam mattress that doesn’t separate from or morph because of the chair itself. The sofa is essentially an extra-wide armchair — perfect for those who live solo or with a partner but also want to host guests. In-store, we were able to also try out the matching ottoman, which opens up to reveal a spacious storage compartment.

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What Impressed Us: The pillow-soft armrests.

More relaxed in look and feel than the structured Carmel, the Canyon is practically made for nap time. Its rolled armrests are padded with memory foam cushioning and, in a pinch, can easily take the place of a pillow. The seats and back cushions themselves achieve a midway point between firmly supportive and cloud-like softness. For lovers of plush, slightly bouncy, super nappable sofas — the Canyon is a winner.

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What Impressed Us: The room to grow.

No matter your size, extra- — nay, double– — wide seating makes for a luxe, superior lounging experience. This variation of the best-selling Big Sur sectional is optimal for movie nights since anywhere from two to four people can be seated facing forward and still have their own space to move around. Bonus: The cushion fill is a bouncy soy-based foam wrapped in a down blend that yields unbelievable comfort, all while maintaining its clean lines and sharp, modern look.

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  • Also available as an armchair, sofa, 3-piece sectional, and other styles
  • Available in a left- or right-hand side configuration and with a bench or multi-cushion seat
  • 156” long, 41” wide, 38” high
  • Up to 125 upholstery options, depending on configuration

Best Statement Maker: Jake Leather Sofa with Wood Base

What Impressed Us: The soft, vintage-y leather.

The striking look and luxe feel of the Jake sofa in Aviator Black leather upholstery and a light wood base makes it highly memorable. This particular leather finish is soft — almost suede-like — and has an aged charm that encourages visual character to develop over time. The firmness seems to differ slightly between the seat and back cushions, which lends to a comfortable, sustainable overall sit. This version of the Jake stands out, especially among other leather sofas we’ve tested.

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What Impressed Us: The old-school aesthetic.

The Chesterfield has a low profile and traditional tufted back design that, upon first impression, pretty much says, “I belong to an intellectual.” It pays homage to the intricately designed seating that always seems to adorn the offices of those with high ranks, but without the stiffness and discomfort that’s almost always expected. Its seat is quite elevated, making it easier to sit down on and stand up from. Still, the overall sit is just inches away from being fully upright, so although it’s got comfortable seats, the Chesterfield is supportive for your back.

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What Impressed Us: The relaxed, luxurious feel.

The Newport‘s platform-style frame and relaxed down-fill cushions give it a lived-in feel and make it a contemporary of the higher-priced, trendy, luxury sofas of the same style by different brands. For this reason, it’s our Luxury for Less pick when it comes to sectional sofas that are both stylishly relevant and timeless. Keep in mind that this is a sectional for lovers of ultra-plush seating — the kind that sinks in when you sit and seems to envelop its guests in comfort.

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Best Square Silhouette: Edgewood Leather Sofa

What impressed us: The modern spin on a timeless classic.

As we already noted, Pottery Barn carries a stunning Chesterfield sofa. But if you’re after something a little more contemporary, have a look at the Edgewood, which is part of a newer collection. It practically forces you to sit upright because of its high, square silhouette and ultra-firm polyester wrapping. On the exterior, however, you get top-grain leather upholstery that’s soft to the touch. The Edgewood is a wonderful pick for those looking to break up a space. In other words, if you prefer a more intimate setup as opposed to an open layout, this slightly closed-off sofa will help you obtain that vibe, no problem. A little uppity, for sure, but beautiful, to boot.

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What Impressed Us: The double-wide chaise.

If you’re looking for a sofa with abundant seating or something for a larger space, this version of the Dream sectional is it. With just enough structure to remain modern, its platform base and reclining pillow backrests lend an element of relaxation and coziness that gives an instantly lived-in (yet still brand-new) feel. Those who appreciate their space will love the Dream.

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Best for Supportive Seats: Campbell Slope Arm Upholstered Sofa

What Impressed Us: The buoyant cushioning.

Both plush and supportive, the seats of the Campbell are like a cozy conundrum. This classic-style sofa has thin armrests that maximize cushion capacity — and maximize it does. The cushions to this sofa are plush to the point of lifting you up, giving support from both the seat and the back. If you’re in need of a sofa that’s easy to sit down on and get up from, the tall, medium-firm seats of the Campbell could be your solution.

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Specifications:

  • Also available as an ottoman and armchair
  • Also available in armchair, ottoman, and sectional styles
  • 71” long, 39” wide, 34” high
  • Up to 127 upholstery options, depending on size

Best for Personalized Comfort: PB Comfort Square Arm Slipcovered Sofa

What Impressed Us: The customizable cushion fill.

Pottery Barn’s most coveted customizable sofa collection, PB Comfort, includes the square-arm upholstered sofa that’s any purist’s dream. Perfectly angular with a medium-firm cushion feel, this version of the PB Comfort sofa has one of the widest ranges of customizable options, from sofa width to over 100 upholstery styles. It’s comfortable, supportive, and highly nappable — a great overall sofa by anyone’s standards.

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