Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Outdoor Sofa vs. Outdoor Sectional – What Is The Difference

In search of patio or garden ornaments? Creating an Outdoor space that is both beautiful and functional can be challenging. Think about the outdoor sofa versus the outdoor sectional. But what exactly is the distinction?

To assist you in making the best decision, we’ll compare and contrast these two possibilities in today’s article.

The Main Difference Between Outdoor Sofas and Outdoor

The main difference is that outdoor Sofas are single-piece units, whereas outdoor Sectionals are composed of multiple pieces. So, they come with two, three, or more pieces and in various configurations, including U-shaped, L-shaped, and semi-circle designs. Typically, standard sofas might seat three or four people, but sectionals seat four to six people.


Outdoor sofas, as you may know, are long upholstered seats. They come in an infinite number of variations, such as loveseats (two-person sofas) and chaise longues (sofas with extended seats to rest your feet). They are always made up of one piece, regardless of their variations.

Patio sectionals and family sofas are already sofa varieties made up of two or more parts that allow for numerous arrangements. The main portion of a sectional can be a loveseat or three-seater, while the side sections can be chaise lounges and recliners.

Keeping this in mind, you can change their layout by rearranging the sections pieces. For example, whether you want to soak in the sun or read and ponder, you can divide outdoor seating areas. Still, if you plan on relocating in a few years, we wouldn’t recommend sectionals because they normally don’t fit well in a different location.

U-Shaped Sectionals

U-Shaped sectionals are composed of a center sofa and an even number of seats on each end. They’re excellent for big gatherings, accommodating large groups, and allowing people to face each other. Not to mention, they’re ideal for cramped spaces.

Add a coffee table in the center to create a focal point, and get the perfect patio hangout with drinks, snacks, or skewers straight off the grill.

L-Shaped Sectionals

L-shaped sectionals contain five or more seats: a connecting seat and two or more seats on every side. They’re suitable for small patios and sunrooms, as they make use of the patio’s corners and save space. The L shape may face left or right, so you should find the right pick for your patio design. Also, they may come with a moveable ottoman or floating chaise.

Curved Sectionals

Outdoor curved sectionals fit wonderfully in small patios. They’re stylish and give your patio a hint of sophistication. Not to mention, they’re comfortable seating options for your patio, so you can stay up outside exchanging stories!

Chaise Sectionals

Chaise sectionals are a combination of standard sofas and chaise lounges. To illustrate, the sofa comes with an attached chaise to its right or left side, which gives it an L-shape. Also, it has three seats.

However, the shorter side is intended for lounging (not sitting). This way, you won’t have this unused portion of the sectional that’s uncomfortable or difficult to reach!

Modular Pit Sectionals

Modular sofas are the most customizable sectional sofas, as there are numerous ways to configure them. This layout is essentially the ultimate crossover between sectionals and beds.

To explain, they’re big modular sofas with U-shaped sectionals and huge ottomans that can fill in the open space of the U-shape. These sectionals are the best for snuggling and watching movies, playing games, and having fun times. Their function renders them suitable for indoor rather than outdoor spaces.

Patio Size

When it comes to sofas and sectionals, the size of your patio affects your options. Sofas, especially large ones, look good in big terraces, courtyards, and patios. Pair the sofa with chairs or a loveseat to create more visual space. Otherwise, you can consider four or six-piece sectionals to ground your patio.

As for medium-sized patios, you have more freedom. You might strategically position a sectional to avoid stuffing your space or find a sofa of an appropriate size.

What if your patio is small? You can opt for a small armless sofa or sectional. Sectionals are popular options for limited spaces, as they can fit in corners or against walls. But make sure it’s a two or three-piece sectional.

Also, you must measure your patio before going shopping, and note that it isn’t enough for the sectional to fit into your patio. You should envision where it’ll go and how you want to position it.

Also, try to avoid stuffing your patio with furniture in a way that doesn’t allow people to move comfortably. So, you want at least 36 inches between the sectional and surrounding surfaces. If it’s a coffee table, you can make do with about 18 inches of space.

How to Take Measurements

If you have a rectangular or square patio, sizing it is easy. Measure its length and width, and multiply them to get the area. For a more obscure-shaped patio, divide it into shapes you know, such as squares, triangles, and even circles. Find the area for each, and add them.

As for furniture, you can simply use masking tape or painter’s tape. Cut it to the sofa’s size, and mark the area that it’ll take up on the ground. This way, you can determine if the sofa or sectional will fit well on your patio.

Seat Number

Whether you need spacious seating space or not should help you choose between outdoor sofas and outdoor sectionals.

After all, regular outdoor sofas have enough seats to fit three or four people. Some are bigger, seating up to five individuals, and others are smaller (like loveseats). Otherwise, sectionals can fit four to six people or even more, which makes them suitable for bigger households.

Still, you might consider getting two sofas, a sofa and a small loveseat, or two chairs instead of a sectional. They might amount to the same number of seats. Sectionals come with several middle seats, whereas two chairs or a sofa and loveseat combo will give you armrests and more personal space. They might also take up more space.

Overall, we’d prefer outdoor sectionals for families and loved ones, as they’ll feel comfortable sitting close to one another. Other options are better suited for guests.


Durability is one aspect where patio couches and sectionals don’t differ. After all, they’re outdoor furniture, so they should be made of an outdoor fabric or material which resists water, corrosion, and mildew. And that applies to the frame and upholstery.

To illustrate, your outdoor furniture should have solid wood frames, and kiln-dried wood is even preferable. You’ve got teak, exhibiting a nature-like quality that blends well with the outside. Other common outdoor frame materials include eucalyptus and acacia wood.

As for upholstery, you want performance fabric, as it’s stain repellent and durable. Also, cleaning shouldn’t be difficult. Such materials are excellent for busy households and houses with children, pets, or both. For example, leather withstands wear and tear and is easy to maintain.

Ultimately, you’ll find outdoor sofas and sectionals with weatherproof cushion covers, maintenance-free plastic rattan, treated hardwood, and more durable features.


Whether you have a sofa or a sectional affects how you arrange your patio furniture. If you choose a couch, you can position it such that its exterior is facing. Regarding the sides, it makes sense to put a loveseat on one and a lounge on the other. Additionally, place two side tables on either side of the sofa and a coffee table in the center.

A loveseat with two armchairs across from it and a coffee table in the middle might be another setup. Between the chairs, a side table can be inserted for convenience or aesthetic purposes.

Say you have a sectional. What then? An L-shaped sectional can be placed on either side of your patio. Then place a straightforward coffee table or maybe a fire table in the center for entertainment. On both ends of your sofa, you can also put side tables.


Your patio should be a space where you can sit back and relax, which is why comfort matters. On the one hand, sofas come with armrests on both sides and backrests that are inclined, cushioned, or both. Some even come with pull-out beds and reclining seats.

On the other hand, sectionals contain upholstery, but some seats don’t have backrests, and most of them don’t have armrests. When they do, their backrests might be too short; if they’re less than half the couch height, they won’t give you the proper support.

For that reason, you might not be comfortable sitting in the middle seats. Still, sectionals make up for it with their cozy lounges and recliners.


When it comes to style, you can find sofas and sectionals in diverse designs, but certain styles are more common in each type. To illustrate, sofas are found in both formal and casual options.

Otherwise, you’ll typically find sectional sofas casual or contemporary. Of course, whether you want your patio modern or classic comes down to your preferences in furniture.


Your purchasing decision should take into account how you plan to use your patio. Sofas are suitable for traditional use and hosting guests because they tend to be more formal. They can be found in offices, waiting rooms, and reception areas for this reason.

Sectionals are ideal for cuddling up with your family and loved ones for casual and familial use. Because of this, it makes sense to use them in bars, lounges, and restaurants. When people sit across from each other on a sectional sofa, they are more likely to talk (rather than be next to each other).


Let’s talk about the average patio furniture price. Both patio sectionals and sofas can be pricey, but sectionals tend to have slightly higher prices. Sofas can cost $1,900 to $2,000 on average, and sectionals can cost $2,000 to $7,000. However, it depends on your retailer and the quality of the sofa.


Are you taking on this patio furnishing project on your own? If so, you might worry about how difficult it is to carry the furniture. Although sectionals are bigger, they tend to be easier to transport than regular sofas. After all, you can carry them piece by piece, whereas you’d have to carry a sofa in one go.


Outdoor sofas and outdoor sectionals are both great choices for creating an inviting outdoor living space, but they serve different purposes. Outdoor sofas are generally smaller in size and meant to seat two or three people, while outdoor sectionals can be larger and provide more seating. Outdoor sofas often have high backs that provide a good level of comfort and support, whereas sectionals typically have low backs that may not offer the same level of comfort. Sectionals also come with additional features such as armrests, footrests, or even shelves. In terms of design, outdoor sofas tend to be more traditional looking while sectionals are often more contemporary in style. Ultimately, the choice between an outdoor sofa and an outdoor sectional will depend on your personal needs and preferences. Both pieces of furniture can help you create a comfortable living area to enjoy with family and friends outdoors.

If you’re looking for the perfect piece for your patio or backyard, click below to explore some of Patio Productions sectionals and sofas.

This post first appeared on Patio Productions, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Outdoor Sofa vs. Outdoor Sectional – What Is The Difference


Subscribe to Patio Productions

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription