As much as we absolutely love our pets, sometimes they can wreak havoc on our furniture. Living room seating — couches and sofas, in particular — is especially vulnerable to rips, tears, and stains that our furry friends can leave behind. That's why pet-friendly furniture is key to keeping you, your pets, and your home happy. With the help of a few experts, check out our guide to finding the best couches for pets, below.
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What to Look For
A Solid Frame
According to Nicole Hunt, product development manager at Article, you're going to want to start by looking for seating with a solid foundation. "Look for a sofa with a solid wood structure, especially if your pets like to use your sofa as a launch pad," Hunt tells Hunker.
Hunt also recommends investing in frames that are reinforced by corner blocks — pieces of wood placed at the sofa's joints to help improve structural stability. "While it may seem simple, it can help your furniture last a long time," Hunt says.
Removable and washable cushion covers can do wonders when you're in a pinch, but interior designer and CEO of Brooke & Lou Bria Hammel suggests the right upholstery is well worth investing in. "We encourage our clients to invest in high-quality, performance fabric upholstery pieces that will not only withstand the messes but also the repeated use (especially if your pet loves to jump up on the sofa throughout the day!) over time," Hammel says.
Best Pet-Friendly Upholstery
Whatever seating style you're looking for — whether it's a couch, sectional, loveseat, or chaise — the best couches for pets are made with durable materials and high-performance fabrics.
"[The upholstery] should withstand the Martindale rub test, which simulates the natural wear of the sofa," Hunt says. "If your furniture will be placed in a high traffic area, look for something that can withstand 25,000 rubs or more."
In addition to passing the Martindale rub test, which can typically be found on the retailer's product page, Hunt also suggests looking for upholstery with tightly woven fabrics, especially if you're up against tiny cat claws. With a tighter weave, claws are less likely to snag and pull on the threads.
If you're a pet owner and love a leather couch, you're in luck. Leather upholstery happens to be a great pet-friendly option. "Not only is leather tough, but it's easy to clean and puncture-resistant," Hunt says. "As a natural material, leather will often have wrinkles, scars, and color variations, so any nips and scratches will add to the rustic look. With time, leather is known to develop a beautiful patina, so the scratches will fade as the leather ages."
Microfiber is a synthetic material that's not only super soft but also pet-friendly. It's stain resistant, water resistant, and durable, making it one of the best materials for a new couch in high-traffic living rooms and homes with cats or dogs.
Although velvet is a luxe material, it's surprisingly great for pets. Due to the smooth texture of velvet couches, it's less likely that fur will get trapped between the weaving, Natalie Chang, design house stylist at Joybird, tells Hunker.
"Most pets, specifically cats, seem to not like the feeling of velvet on their paws either, so they tend to not want to scratch it," Chang adds. As for what to avoid, Change recommends steering clear of thicker textured fabrics that are more susceptible to snagging due to claws.
When it comes to the best couches for pets, performance fabrics are tough to beat. They're built to withstand all sorts of wear and tear and are often used in outdoor furniture (so you know it means business). Plus, they're easy to clean, stain resistant, and resistant to color fading. According to Hammel, be on the lookout for names like Crypton, Inside Out, and Sunbrella for the ultimate pet-friendly couch.
Best Pet-Friendly Couches and Sofas
Now that you have an idea of what to look for when it comes to pet-proof seating, here are our top picks for the best pet-friendly couches, sofas, sectionals, and more.
Interior Define has an impressive selection of styles, let alone performance fabrics. From performance crosshatch to plush velvet, the cat-, dog-, and kid-friendly sofa options are endless. One style we can't get over is the Ms. Chesterfield Sofa. With tufted seating, four matching pillows, and sleek wooden legs, this sofa is sure to make a statement in any room.
Made from high-quality full-aniline leather (aka real leather), the Timber sofa has unique markings that get better with wear over time. So, no matter how many times your pet jumps around on it, it'll still look amazing. Plus, it has a corner-blocked, solid wood frame for extra stability.
Looks can be deceiving. This massive sectional — perfect for spacious living rooms and entertaining lots of guests — is made from fine knit velvet that feels like silk but is durable enough for your pets.
As one of West Elm's bestsellers, this chaise sectional can be customized with plain weave performance coastal linen and velvet that are heavy duty, long-lasting, and easy to clean with the simple wipe of a damp cloth. For added reassurance, West Elm's performance fabrics are also tested to withstand at least 40,000 rubs.
Birch Lane is stocked with seating upholstered with performance fabrics like Sunbrella and Sustain, including this small space-friendly loveseat. On top of the durability of the fabric, it has reversible and removable cushions and a sturdy, solid wood frame. And no matter what color you choose (and there are plenty), the loveseat comes with matching throw pillows.
Stain resistant, pill resistant, and made with Sustain performance fabric, this sofa bed is made to last. It also pulls out to reveal a comfortable queen-size mattress for overnight guests.
Burrow's Nomad Collection is specifically designed with pets in mind using tight olefin fiber weave, which is scratch and stain resistant. With a stunning selection of sofas, sectionals, and accent chairs to choose from, you can't go wrong with any product. But if we had to pick, we love the Arch Nomad Sofa, since it comes with an ottoman and a built-in USB charger.
Here's another compact sofa ideal for apartments and small spaces. Considered one of Crate and Barrel's family-friendly sofas (yes, pets are family, too), you can customize it with almost 30 neutral-toned performance fabrics.
Imagine snuggling up with your pets on this cozy, modern style sofa. The sofa comes in five of the brand's Life Friendly Fabrics that are designed with the family in mind. For any messes (bound to happen with pets), all you need to use is Dawn dish soap and warm water for cleanup.
If you're on a budget, the Ektorp sofa from IKEA is a great pet-friendly buy. This sofa has a removable cover that can be thrown in the washing machine and cleaned with ease. You can find even more covers on Amazon, allowing you to switch up your style between cleanings. Plus, the seat cushions are made with high resilience foam and the back cushions are reversible, making them even more long-lasting.