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How to Pick the Right Sectional for Your Space

Dec 07, 2021

A sectional set in a large living room

It’s roomy. It’s cozy. It’s the ultimate furniture piece to fit the whole crew for game days, sink into for afternoon naps, settle in for movie night and family time — and still have room to spare. My friends, we’re talking about the perfect sectional sofa.

For those unfamiliar with the concept: A sectional is a large, cushioned couch that consists of two or more joined seating sections, and it’s becoming more and more of a staple in today’s living rooms and dens. In fact, sectional sofas have really grown in popularity over the last decade — especially since TV/movie/game streaming, as well as entertaining and spending more time at home is more the norm these days. Best of all, sectionals are customizable and can be assembled in lots of ways to perfectly fit your room.

Do we have you craving the wonders of a sink-into sectional for yourself? Great! How do you choose the right one for your space? We’re glad you asked! Here are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop.

So Many Sectional Sizes

As with any large furniture piece, you’ll want to make sure your sectional is the right size for the space you have. While sectionals are known for maximizing the seating area, they should not be the only thing that fits in the space; as tempting as it may be to go for a large size with several modules, it may overwhelm your space and make your room feel crowded. It also shouldn’t disrupt the traffic flow of your room or prohibit you from being able to get around the sectional.

Our golden rule before you shop for any furniture: Measure, measure, measure! Whether you decide to shop in-store or online, make sure you’ve taken your room’s measurements, then know how to measure the size of a couch to ensure the size of the sectional will be compatible to the space in which it will reside. If you choose to order a sectional online, always read the product details for dimensions and sizing.

Choose the Right Configuration

The great thing about sectionals is how many configurations they come in. When shopping for your own, try to think about how the sectional’s layout will comfortably accommodate you, your family, your guests and your space. You’ll find a variety of shape arrangements as you shop — but again, a bigger sectional might not always be best if you can maximize seating with a certain layout.

  • L-Shaped: One of most popular shapes on the market, an L-shape sectional is typically made up of one large two- or three-seat sofa and an adjacent one- to two-seat loveseat that come together at a corner to form an “L.” This shape is an excellent choice if you’re looking for seating in the corner of a room or for smaller spaces.

  • U-Shaped: This large three- to five-seat sofa with two outward facing arms is also a popular choice. Typically (though it varies), one of the arms is a one- to two-seat loveseat and the other is a one- to two-person ottoman. If you have a larger space or a more open layout, this shape can be great as it encourages conversations around a central coffee table.

  • Curved: If seating as many people on one sectional is important to you, the long, curved style might be your best bet — especially if you have an open floor plan. Because of its unique bend, you’ll often find curved sectionals in the center of a room as a focal piece. That means it can take up more space (the curve makes this sectional difficult to press against a straight wall) so make sure you have the room for it.

  • Modular: Some sectionals feature separate seating and ottoman modules that you can move around freely to accommodate a wide variety of seating (or sleeping) options. If you have a household that could benefit from a piece of furniture that can go from a TV sofa to a slumber party fortress to the main social space at your next holiday get-together, this is the one for you.2

Right-Armed or Left-Armed: Orientation

Some sectional styles only sport one arm (instead of the traditional two), usually to accommodate a chaise. So orientation, or the side on which the arm is placed if you are looking directly at the sectional piece, is another important decision to make. Going with a right-arm facing (RAF) and left-arm facing (LAF) sectional often comes down to your room’s functionality and layout. Where are you envisioning you want to put your sectional? Where do people enter the room from and where will they walk to sit down? Once you’ve decided on the answers to these questions, you can more accurately determine which orientation you need to focus on.

To Recline or Not to Recline?

On the one hand, why wouldn’t you want to? On the other hand, maybe a sectional with oversized seat cushions and a chaise lounge you can just lie across is more your style. For the fans of the recliner, some sectional couches offer reclining features on select models. You can also find them either electronically powered or manual, and some of the latest styles come with cup holders, USB chargers and other built-in elements for even more convenience.

If you are someone who likes to relax by sitting back while you watch movies, play video games or nap, a reclining sectional can be a great addition to your living room, media room or den.

Find Your Perfect Fabric

As you do your research on sectionals, you’ll find that they come in an abundance of fabrics. For example, microfiber and microsuede sofas are soft yet durable, while leather sectionals can be easier to keep clean and maintain. Many sectionals can be ordered in a specific fabric or material offered by the retailer. So, depending on your design preference and budget, you can get it upholstered accordingly.

You’ll also want to consider which fabric will best hold up with your unique household. The sectional will be super popular with the kids, pets (really, everyone, to be honest) so you’ll want to make sure the fabric has the durability to resist the general wear and tear of your family life for years to come. 

Afford A Sectional Comfortably with Acima

A sectional is a great furniture piece, especially for maximizing the seating in your space. Of course, size, fabric, reclining features and any other personalized add-ons will factor into the total cost. But any way you look at it, sectionals are great investments; their modular setups make them incredibly customizable, offering many different configurations, shapes, seat depths and styles to personalize them to your home’s and family’s needs.

With Acima, you can relax even before you get to sink into your new sofa. Shop sectionals today with Acima MarketPlace and discover the shopping power of our alternative to financing. We can help you find the sectional and lease-to-own option best suited for you, then provide affordable lease renewal payment options that you’re completely comfortable with — without using credit.* If you make the number of payments defined under your lease or exercise an option to purchase it early at a discount, it’s yours! If you no longer need it, you can simply return it in good condition at any time without further obligation.


  1. How to Measure a Couch” – Olive Theory, September 30, 2015

  2. How to Buy a Sectional Sofa” – The New York Times, August 20, 2019