Seating Options from Around the World

In the UK and much of Western Europe, there are several main seating options, though most of them involve different sorts of sofas! 

Two-seater and three-seater traditional sofas are probably the most common type of sofas in this country – their styles may differ according to personal preference but will all have seats, backs and armrests.  Small sofas are popular in new-build houses because those houses typically have very small rooms (they are normally quite small houses, made to look larger by the clever use of proportions as seen in the sizes of the windows and doors) – small sofas deceive the eye into thinking that the room is larger than it is. 

Sectional sofas are also popular as they are more flexible in that they can be manipulated into different designs to suit the size and shape of the room.  They typically have armrests designed to go at each end of the sofa, but can be bought with one armrest or no armrests for maximum range of options when arranging the seats. 

Sofa beds and futons are great for using space effectively – a sofa that can be used during the day and used as a bed at night for guests or in a one-room bedsit offers maximum usage in a single item of furniture. 

These are all sofas that we in the UK are familiar with, and have built on designs created by the Victorians who made sofas into common household items, but what about other countries and cultures?  What do they use? 

In many Far- and Middle-Eastern countries, the floor is considered an important part of the room (here in the UK we tend to view the floor as incidental to the room rather than central to it).  To many in those countries, the idea of walking on the floor without removing footwear is insanity.  Floors are often a favoured place to sit down upon and formal items of furniture for sitting upon are uncommon.  Mats and soft cushions are preferable to sofas or chairs.  In Japan, people sit cross-legged on the floor at low tables to eat their meals. 

Countries that were once colonies of Great Britain often still follow our seating customs and so you’ll find sofas as far across the world as Australia, the Falklands, India, Canada and America.  Porch swings are popular in countries with a mild-enough climate to allow them to sit outside on their porch – clearly not something that has originated in the UK.

There are some quirky seating options that may be found in other countries, for example ‘ice sofas’ that are added to ice hotels to fit with the décor and theme.  Ice hotels can be found in many cold-climate countries like Canada but can also be found in America and north-Western Europe.  Ice chairs and ice sofas can also be found in ice bars, which are places you can go for a drink where the walls, floors and furniture are carved from ice. 


Sofas and Stuff sell beautiful, high quality sofas that could last you a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for small sofas, leather sofas or fabric sofas, we offer sofas in all fabric type and size, from small sofas to large three seat sofas. Sofas and Stuff offer a wealth of experience and have been in the sofa business since 1979.

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