The Best Pet-Friendly Couches of 2023 for Every Budget and Style
Having pets doesn't mean you have to let your sofa go to the dogs (and cats). Discover the best fabric for a pet-friendly couch, along with tips for choosing the sofa that's right for you and your furry friend.
Once upon a time, picking out a new piece of furniture was an exciting experience that came down to style, budget and comfort. Enter Fido and Fluffy. While most of us wouldn’t trade our precious pets for the world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when every piece of furniture you love looks like it’s just waiting to be destroyed.
As both a dog and cat mom, I’ve experienced this frustration firsthand when picking out a new sofa for my home, and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve made some mistakes in the name of style (cat + linen sofa = major no-no). That said, the sound of razor-sharp claws digging into my brand-new couch is a memory that sticks with me and guides me on future furniture purchases. And while I learned my lesson the hard way, you don’t have to.
On my hunt for a new sofa, I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. I did extensive research to find the best sofas for pet parents, and I was delighted to find several options that boasted durability and style. It seems furniture companies have finally realized pet parents like nice things, too, and I’ve found some seriously beautiful pieces that are actually designed to stand up to claws, drool, hair and whatever else your fur baby can throw at it.
To start, it’s important to understand that every pet is different. While my biggest issues are scratching and shedding, you may be dealing with chewing or incontinence. Start by assessing the biggest issues you face and work from there.
Leather is a great option for many pet parents, particularly dog owners, as it’s easy to clean, repels odors and is generally very resilient. Real leather is the best choice for durability and longevity, but keep in mind it is not impervious to scratches. Look for distressed leather that will camouflage new scratches and look even better with age.
For cat parents, you’ve likely read article after article touting leather and its smooth feel that deters cats from clawing. While that may be the case for some cats, it certainly isn’t the case for mine who adores puncturing holes in my (read: now his) once beloved leather chair. If you have your heart set on leather but aren’t sure how your cat will react, I recommend first buying a smaller, inexpensive item in faux leather. If your cat has no interest in sinking his claws into it, you can feel confident in investing in a real leather sofa.
Seen here in a classic cognac leather, this sleek sofa from Amazon’s Rivet line is a popular choice for buyers as the warm color fits in with most interiors and can be easily wiped clean with a soft, dry cloth — perfect for the occasionally messy pooch.
If you think pet-friendly and sophisticated don’t belong in the same sentence, it’s time to take a look at this luxe Chesterfield sofa from Pottery Barn. And with 37 color options to choose from, you’re bound to find a shade that complements your home (and your pet) beautifully.
Tightly Woven Fabrics
One great thing about a woven fabric is that it offers dimensionality, making it easier to camouflage stains and hide pet hair. Plus, a tightly woven fabric won’t trap hair like loosely woven fabrics (think tweed, wool and chenille). And while certain woven fabrics make it easy for pets to snag them with their claws, an ultra-tight weave prevents rips from the occasional scratch. Some companies, like Burrow, even test their fabrics against pet scratches to ensure they can stand up to claws as well as stains.
If you want to feel truly seen as a pet parent, look no further than Burrow. Their entire Nomad Collection was created to withstand pet scratches and stains. And the fabric can even be cleaned with a solution of distilled water and bleach. And if that wasn't enough, you can rest easy knowing they only use non-toxic fiber with no chemical additives so it's safe for you and safe for Fluffy. Read my full Burrow review here.
If the thought of microfiber makes you cringe, it’s time to reconsider. This synthetic material has come a long way in recent years and can look incredibly luxe while still offering a lightweight fabric that is easy to clean and resistant to stains and liquid. Plus, the tightly woven threads make it harder for cats to dig their claws into. Microsuede, a type of microfiber designed to mimic real suede, looks and feels like the real thing without the high-maintenance care plan. Velvet microfiber is a great choice for homes with cats due to its durability and the fact that it is composed of loose threads instead of a weave making it difficult to snag.
When I think velvet, I think opulence, and that usually doesn’t go hand in hand with durability. But hear me out. Because velvet doesn’t have the loops of a woven fabric, you won’t have to worry about it getting snagged by sharp claws. For cat owners especially, this is a game-changer. The downside of velvet is that hair does tend to stick, but if you are diligent with a vacuum that's good for pet hair or a lint roller (and let’s face it, pet owners have to be), hair comes off with no problem, leaving a sofa that looks as good as the day you got it. Keep in mind, there are several different types of velvet, and synthetic velvet is going to be the more durable choice for pet owners as it's much easier to care for.
Ultra-comfy with deep seats and coastal-inspired design, this West Elm sofa is the perfect representation of effortless style. Plus, the cushions are reversible and include removable covers, making this sofa an ideal choice for any household where the occasional mess is inevitable.
A beautiful and budget-friendly option, this gorgeous blue sofa also comes in dark gray and features a reversible chaise, making it extremely versatile and a great option for small spaces. Reviewers rave about the quality for the price, while dog owners mention it does catch hair but wipes clean easily. Cat owners may want to opt for a more durable option as some reviewers mention snagging with cat scratches.
While outdoor fabrics don’t have a reputation for being the comfiest of materials, there are options that are just as comfortable as they are durable, and Sunbrella is one of them. Designed to protect furniture from anything Mother Nature can muster, it’s no wonder this fabric is also able to stand up against your pets. Thankfully, many retailers now directly offer their sofas in Sunbrella fabrics, making it easier than ever to keep your investment protected.
Available in multiple Sunbrella options, as well as several other performance fabrics, this sophisticated sofa boasts beautiful turned wooden legs, deep seats and pleated English arms — perfect for anyone looking to add a little elegance in a pet-friendly package.
If you find yourself wishing you could simply throw your sofa in the washing machine any time your pet makes a mess of things, you're in luck. While machine washing your entire sofa is a bit of a stretch, you could opt for a couch with removable slipcovers that can simply be removed and washed whenever needed. Or, if you aren't quite ready to replace your couch but are looking for a way to keep it protected in the meantime, there are a multitude of washable covers to fit every style of sofa.
Boasting ultra-deep seats and three layers of arm and back padding, it’s no wonder this slipcovered couch is literally named “Comfort.” Sink into this cozy sofa with piece of mind knowing you can simply remove and wash the slipcovers as needed. And if things get really messy, you can even replace the covers without having to replace your entire sofa.