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Often when browsing websites, like ebay or envy furniture  you'll see the same type of upholstered furniture called by three different names. So the question is, what's the difference? Basically, nothing. The three most common names mean pretty much the same thing.


This is derived from the Arabic word 'suffah', which originally described a bench covered with blankets & cushions and roughly translate as an upholstered raised platform. Sofas are generally perceived as being slightly more formal. 

This comes from the old English word 'setl', which was used to describe long benches with high backs & arms, but is now generally used to describe upholstered seating for more than one person.

The term couch was used in the Victorian period, as in 'fainting couch'. It was a place for ladies wearing tight fitting corsets which restricted breathing to rest for a while. Now more commonly used in the USA, Australia & New Zealand. It's believed to be derived from the old French word 'couche', which means literally, bed. Originally 'couche' denoted an item of furniture for lying or sleeping on, more like a chaise longue, but now refers to informal seating for two or more people in general. 

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