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Back when I was couch-less, I put off getting one, partly because, okay, I didn’t have much space, but mostly because I didn’t have the budget. At some retailers, even couches of questionable quality seemed to hover somewhere around $2,000, and high-end ones soared to four times that. Who can afford that kind of commitment? Not me. Getting a couch was an insurmountable financial hurdle, so I just made do without, offering guests a seat on one of my stackable plywood stools and working from my bed.
But...good news! There are good-looking, affordable couches to be had, particularly if you need a comfy place to kick back for a few years that’s not necessarily a forever couch (which, mass production being what it is, might not even exist anymore. A high price tag is not necessarily an indication of quality). To prove it, we sleuthed the Internet for the most attainable options out there. Our criteria? Couches had to be good-looking (no dowdy skirts) and ring in under—wait for it—$500.
Here are our picks, in a range of styles and colors.
Technically this sofa falls under Capsule Home’s small-space collection. It looks petite, but at over six feet long, it’s still pretty roomy. Plus, it’s equipped with two hidden USB ports for easy charging during Netflix binges.
2. Ikea Söderhamn, $459
Ikea’s clean-lined Söderhamn collection is a favorite of designers, and this iteration—a one-armed sofa—comes in well under $500. Plus, it comes in four colors: white, charcoal grey, dark turquoise, and pink.
3. World Market Camel Leanna Tufted Loveseat, $349.99
A win for sophistication: We like this little velvety number from World Market, with dainty gold-tipped legs.
4. Home Depot Cira Velvet Tea Rose Sofa, $366.81
Would you believe this charming rose-velvet sofa comes from the go-to place for paint and buzzsaws? It does, tufted seat and all.
Propped up, this simple sofa in faux leather is a distinguished sitting area; laid flat, it’s a bed for overnight guests. Bonus.
6. Ikea Klippan Loveseat, $379
Another IKEA pick: the simple Klippan, first launched in the ‘80s, and still going strong. Some reviewers find it too firm, so you prefer to sink into your couch, this probably isn’t the one for you. (Worried about getting a white couch? The cover can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.)
7. Target Brittany Linen Futon, $429.99
The design-forward shape of this settee from Target (where else?) makes it hard to believe that it’s actually a futon. Maybe the best-looking futon we’ve ever seen. P.S. It comes in seven colors.
8. AllModern Maggie Convertible Sofa, $409.99
And a simple, just-begging-to-be-sunk-into option from AllModern that still manages to look sleek, with mid-century tapered legs and two bolster cushions. We like the deep blue, but it comes in teal, two practical greys, and beige, too.
Bonus: West Elm Ruby Sofa, $349.99
We just happen to love West Elm’s one and only sofa that—for the moment at least—rings in under our $500 cutoff. Even at its usual price of $599, we’d spring for its eclectic, two-tone blue fabric and handy removable drink tray.