10 Best Couches for Kids, Reviewed by Experts and Parents
Jul 20, 2023
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Kid-friendly seating for the playroom, bedroom, family room or wherever you want your kids to be able to play, read and nap.
Kid-size couches can be a practical and adorable addition to a child's bedroom or playroom. You can find ones perfectly proportioned for toddlers, preschoolers, big kids or teens, and all are meant to be flopped on and many can accommodate sleepover friends and cousins. Some of our favorite kids' couches can actually be played with too. But some families don't need a couch just for kids, they need a family sofa that's ultra kid-friendly and maybe pet-friendly as well. This list features both.
Our Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab did a survey of 5,800 sofa owners to discover their favorite brands and specific beloved sofas for families. Our fiber scientists used their sofa-shopping expertise and worked with our Parenting Lab pros to find and test some couches made just for kids.
Many of these sofa picks have removable, washable covers, but you should also check out our Good Housekeeping guide on properly cleaning a fabric couch. And if you're working on perfecting a playroom, browse our gallery of kids' playrooms, which is sure to spark more ideas for encouraging your kids to read, rest and yes, also perhaps jump on the couch.
Our Lab experts love this durable modular couch that kids can break down and reassemble for pretend play. It's comprised of four foam pieces: a long base that can fold in half, a cushion that can also fold in half, plus two triangle pillows. Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director Rachel Rothman, a mom of three kids ages 6 and younger, says, "In our house, we use The Nugget as equal parts couch and foam building blocks. In couch mode, it's handy seating. For play, it inspires creativity — my kids build their own 'creations' like a pretend rocket ship, or they play 'gym' where they turn the cushions into slides or tumbling mats. When I'm lucky, they just use The Nugget to rest and snuggle."
The Nugget comes in more than a dozen colors. All of the covers can unzip off the foam and go in the washing machine. Side handles make it easy to drag the lightweight cushions from a playroom to a bedroom or a living room. "We've used it in a pinch as an extra sleeping bed for a friend," Rothman says. Note that it is shipped compressed and you should unwrap it as soon as it arrives — the warranty does not cover The Nugget if it's left in its box longer than 15 days from delivery.
Part of why this convertible couch is so affordable is that it's tiny, weighing only 6 pounds and age-graded for 18 months and up. It's a fun "my size" couch for toddlers and preschoolers. The seat easily folds out for nap time or lounging. The sofa seat is low so young kids can get on and off it themselves, and at 30 inches across, it can easily fit two (maybe three) kids sitting next to each other. There's a little side pocket to hold books, perfect for encouraging budding readers to have some quiet time looking at books and then getting some rest.
The machine-washable slipcover can be zipped off the foam but it's much easier to spot-clean this fabric, and that's often all it needs. In online reviews, many parents warn that this can be difficult to put together — the foam comes compressed, so one key is to let it fully expand for more than 24 hours before you begin assembling. The Cozee comes in many patterns including a blue unicorn design and a black Batman Cozee, sometimes for a few dollars more.
When selecting fabric for this Room and Board customizable family sofa, you can specify that you need the fabric to be a cat-friendly, dog-friendly, and family-friendly performance fabric — and you'll still get 15 great choices, including charcoal (shown, a polypropylene fabric), camel, ivory, navy and multiple grays. Cat-friendly means the material is tightly woven and more difficult than other fabrics to scratch; while kid- and dog-friendly performance fabric means it resists stains and can be easily spot-cleaned. If between your children and the pets, the cushions get really filthy, you can order replacement cushion casings by contacting the brand.
The seats are 19 inches off the floor, about the height of a dining room chair, but if you want this to sit even lower for the littles, you can take the legs off and lose two more inches. We like this long 88-inch sofa for a living room or family room, where the whole clan might gather to watch a movie. Give yourself two to three weeks for delivery unless you live near one of the Room and Board stores, in which case delivery might be faster.
If you just know your kids are going to spill and your pets are going to get hair on the family couch, we like that the slipcover on this sofa is removable and machine-washable. It's very much like the old IKEA Ektorp (now discontinued), but with deeper seats that our Lab experts and consumer panelists feel are more soft and comfortable. Good Housekeeping's Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab named the Uppland one of The Best Couches of 2023 for Comfort and Style.
You can order this couch in any of six solid colors or in a red floral. If you do a room refresh down the road, you can buy a new slipcover and freshen up the look. True to IKEA, there is light assembly required. If you don't want to tackle it yourself, you can use TaskRabbit to have someone else build it, usually for less than $100.
Similar to our best overall pick, this couch is made to be lounged on or to be played with in pieces, and it comes with four large play pillows as well as the base and cushion. You can buy two additional Foamnasium Mega Wedges to add to the fun for $299, so though the price adds up, it might be worth it if you have multiple rambunctious kids who need indoor playtime.
Pottery Barn ships compressed foam pieces; you should unbox them and let the pieces recover their shape within 48 hours of receiving your order. The Foamnasium Blocksy is a few inches longer than our best overall pick (at 70 inches, it can easily fit four kids across), but it only comes in three neutral colors: navy, cream and gray. We do like the soft faux suede's feel, but it is not machine-washable, so you'll want to just wipe to clean.
If you've heard word about Restoration Hardware's comfy Cloud Couch but can't see yourself spending some $5,000 on a sectional for your kids, we've named this Valyou section to our list of Best Cloud Couch Dupes That Will Save You Serious Money. It features fully removable and washable covers, making it a great choice for something kids and teens will flop and slop around on. They'll sink right into the memory-foam cushions at the end of a long day or during the weekends when it's time to power down.
This comes in four sizes: 88 inches, 110 inches, 142 inches and a huge 170-inch size. All of them can fit a 6-foot teen with room to spare, but our picture shows the 110-inch size that's even long enough for a 6-foot-5-inch high school basketball player. It requires some assembly and is the heaviest couch on our list, so we vote for paying the $200 service charge to have it placed in the correct room and built for you.
This cute little affordable kid's sofa is sized for preschoolers and early elementary kids and can help you create a perfect reading nook in their bedroom or in a corner of the family room. Handles at the top make it easy to move around. Its kid-friendly upholstery fabric is 100% polyester, which is more durable and easily cleaned than natural fibers. The cushion covers can unzip off, although the manufacturer recommends only spot-cleaning them and not running them through the washing machine.
We like this as an adorable kid-size choice for when you're enticing early learners into reading. But note, at only 23 inches tall, it will feel too miniature once your child reaches about ages 8 or 10.
Related: Get kids reading with the help of our Good Housekeeping Kids' Book Awards
For gamers, music aficionados, avid readers and all the other big kids who usually have a pair of headphones over their ears and a game console or a book in their hand, a floor couch is a perfect place to loll around, rest and recharge. Plus, this couch instantly flips into a full-size sleeper when a friend or cousin stays over. It's on a metal frame that can be set to have the seat upright, halfway reclined, or reclined all the way.
The Flip Floor Sleeper comes in more than a half-dozen fabrics but only a version with gray performance fabric can ship within a few weeks; others, including this white sherpa fabric sleeper, currently need a few months' time to ship because they are made to order. The sherpa material is recycled; the seats are filled with recycled foam too. The cushions on this piece can not be machine-washed, so stains will need to be spot-cleaned.
Related: See our Pottery Barn Sofa Review: What to Know Before You Buy
This daybed is a twin-sized bed that can double as a couch during the daytime. It could be a small-space solution for a child's bedroom or a smart choice for a playroom that has to become your guest bedroom when relatives visit. The "cushion" is any standard 7-inch twin mattress, sold separately. (To keep things kid-friendly, we like that this twin mattress is waterproof on one side.)
This set includes the daybed slipcover in stain-repellent white cotton and a matching white mattress cover. Just slip a sheet over for visitors, as shown. It's designed by Crate and Barrel collaborator Leanne Ford, herself a mom of a 4-year-old.
Need a place for your little kids to relax outside? Since we're so big on sun protection, we like this KidKraft wooden chaise lounge set that provides two kids covered outdoor seating. There are two cupholders between the lounge chairs and a storage compartment. It's small, best for preschoolers and young elementary-school kids, especially ages 3 to 5.
This mini cabana also comes in gray or navy, each at a higher price. Because it's wood, it will get affected by the elements; cover it if you can during storms. This is not a long-lasting piece of furniture like the indoor couches, just fun for the outdoors for a few years. Keep in mind that the cushions can be wiped clean but not put in the washer and that assembly is required.
Related: We list the Best Outdoor Furniture
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab regularly reviews couches for features such as the Most Comfortable Couches Ever. For this story, we leaned into what we learned about sofas after surveying our research from a survey of more than 5,800 consumer testers. We studied what brands they love and features they count on when buying a family couch. To drill down to couches specifically for kids, our Parenting Lab pros researched those trusted brands and others in the juvenile products industry. Some of the products listed were tested in-home by our staff with their own children.
When considering what makes a great couch for kids, we looked at durability (while recognizing that a few of these are only for the preschool years), fabric choices, size, ease of delivery, assembly and cleaning. With kid products, we always add in the "fun factor" and look for items that delight preschoolers, kids or teens.
We've thrown a lot of different kinds of kid's couches at you! When you're shopping for a sofa for your kids, consider:
✔️ Function: Kid's couches can serve different purposes. We love the play couches that can be disassembled and played with like foam blocks, such as The Nugget, our best overall choice. But if you're looking for a couch for a reading nook, you could choose a more traditional sofa shape, sized down for kids. Big kids and teens would likely prefer a larger sofa that they can stretch out on.
✔️ Age-appropriateness: Price is often a tip-off. The least-expensive kid's couches are usually proportioned for toddlers and preschoolers. Once a couch is bigger, for big kids and teens, the price goes up accordingly.
✔️ Kid-friendly sofa fabric: Our pros recommend performance fabrics and polyester choices for a kid's couch. They're more likely to be resistant to stains and easier to clean than something like leather or velvet. Microfiber and faux suede also fall into the easy-to-clean category.
✔️ Kid-friendly couch colors: Honestly, if a couch is made of a machine-washable or spot-clean performance fabric, go ahead and go for whatever you want to match your décor. "If the sofa is going in the playroom, it’s a great opportunity to have fun with color and focus the design element on the children," says Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab Executive Director Lexie Sachs, a mom of two. "That being said, most of our picks come in neutral colors – like grey – making them versatile between home décor and kid’s preferences."
The engineers, scientists, chemists, dietitians and other experts at the 100-year-old Good Housekeeping Institute test and rank consumer products so that families can make smart purchases. You can find choices for the best refrigerator models, learn the best mattresses for kids of all ages and browse the best new family cars.
Furniture, including couches, is evaluated by Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab Executive Director Lexie Sachs, a mom of two who also has a passion for kids' products such as kids' backpacks. Sachs also helms the Good Housekeeping Family Travel Awards and our annual Good Housekeeping Parenting Awards.
This article was written by Contributing Writer Jessica Hartshorn, formerly of Parents magazine and American Baby magazine and also a mom of two. She's also written the best kids' playhouses and the best Lego tables.
Jessica (she/her) is a freelance writer with several decades of experience writing lifestyle content and evaluating home and parenting products. A mom of two teens and two cats, her previous work can be seen in American Baby and Parents.
Lexie Sachs (she/her) is the executive director of the Textiles, Paper and Apparel Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she researches, tests and reports on fabric-based products ranging from sheets, mattresses and towels to bras, fitness apparel and other clothing. She also evaluates luggage, rain gear, disposable paper goods and baby products. Lexie has more than 15 years of experience in the textiles industry and a degree in fiber science from Cornell University. Prior to joining GH in 2013, she worked in merchandising and product development in the fashion and home industries.
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14 Best Warm Socks for Winter 2023durable modular couch that kids can break down and reassemble for pretend playmodularThe seat easily folds out for nap time or lounging.The seat easily folds out for nap time or lounging.you can specify that you need the fabric to be a cat-friendly, dog-friendly, and family-friendly performance fabricthe slipcover on this sofa is removable and machine-washablecomes with four large play pillowsfully removable and washable covers,help you create a perfect reading nookRelated:this couch instantly flips into a full-size sleeper when a friend or cousin stays overRelated:twin-sized bed that can double as a couch during the daytimeprovides two kids covered outdoor seating. two kids covered outdoor seating. Related:✔️ Function: ✔️✔️ Age-appropriateness: ✔️✔️ Kid-friendly sofa fabric: ✔️✔️ Kid-friendly couch colors: ✔️