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Which small sofa is best for living in the dorms?

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Making adjustments

College life is a major adjustment. It is typically the first time you are truly living on your own and fully responsible for yourself. It’s also probably the first time you have to live with less. Not everything you want is going to fit inside a dorm room.

If you want a comfortable place to sit, a sofa is the best option. However, you won’t be able to fit a full-size model in your dorm room. You’ll need to compromise and get something smaller.

Shop this article: Kasandra 45-Inch Armless LoveseatBest Choice Products Faux Leather Convertible Sofa and Aalisha 44.4-Inch Armless Loveseat

In this video, we explore the best appliances you can take to your dorm room to make it a homey and useful space.

How big is a dorm room?

The purpose of a dorm is to house the maximum number of people in a minimum amount of space. This means it is sized to fit just the essentials, giving the student a place to work and a place to sleep. It is not designed for lounging or entertainment. This is why the average dorm room is about the size of a primary bedroom.

While this might sound spacious, remember, it is for two people. This means each person only gets roughly the size of a walk-in closet to live in. Any furniture that is placed in the dorm needs to be compact.

How big is a sofa?

The average sofa is at least 7 feet long and a few inches shy of 3 feet wide. Placing a bed, a desk and a sofa in the average dorm might be doable, but it would leave very little room to walk around. Purchasing a small sofa or a loveseat will free up a few square feet of floor space to make dorm life a little less cluttered.

What to consider when buying a sofa for a dorm

Measurements in all dimensions

Don’t just measure the length of your sofa, measure the width and height as well. Take into account any ornamental pieces that extend beyond the cushions. This includes legs and armrests. While these protrusions might not be a problem once the sofa is positioned in the dorm, they might keep it from fitting through the doorway.

Dorm hallways and door opening sizes

If possible, measure all dorm hallways and door openings before purchasing your sofa. Make sure the model you are considering is small enough to fit through the smallest opening. Also, check for 90-degree turns. These can make maneuvering a long piece of furniture extremely difficult, requiring you to put the sofa on end.

Weight and durability

A dorm is temporary. It might only be a nine-month living situation. You want a sofa that two people can easily handle, not one you are going to regret buying every time you have to move it. However, you don’t want a model that is made with inferior materials just to make it lighter. Your small sofa has to be rugged enough to endure dorm life. 


Yes, you want to purchase a sofa that matches the decor of the room. However, more importantly, you want one that is forgiving with stains. Darker colors tend to hide blemishes better.

Removable cushions

It is always advisable to purchase a sofa that has removable cushions. With removable cushions, you can rotate them to promote even wear so they last longer. They are easier to clean because they often have removable covers. If you do end up getting a really stubborn stain that can’t be removed, you can always flip the cushion over.

Storage space

Dorm rooms are small. Any piece of furniture that can serve double duty will be beneficial. Some loveseats also have inner compartments, so they also function as containers for your stuff (like storage ottomans). If this sounds desirable, look for a model that has this feature.


A small sofa that folds open into an additional sleeping accommodation can come in handy when you have visitors. Just make sure there is enough space in your dorm to allow the sofa to open up fully.


While it is last on the list, it is important to buy a sofa that is comfortable. If you don’t like to sit on it, it’s just wasting precious space.

Best small sofas for a dorm room

Kasandra 45-Inch Armless Loveseat

This compact option is a fashionable yet rugged solution to your dorm seating needs. It features plush upholstery, a cutout back and solid wood construction. The tapered legs give the piece a retro look.

Sold by Wayfair

Best Choice Products Faux Leather Convertible Sofa for Compact Living Spaces

This versatile piece is excellent for dorm life. It has three positions that let you sit up, lounge or sleep. The center folds down for a beverage holder, and there are two cushions that serve as armrests.

Sold by Amazon


Aalisha 44.4-Inch Armless Loveseat

If space is extra tight, this armless loveseat is an excellent option. It is less than 4 feet wide, is built with solid wood and has a 500-pound weight capacity. It comes in four appealing colors and is reasonably priced.

Sold by Wayfair

Asteria 45-Inch Square Arm Loveseat

The Asteria has a clean, modern design that features a solid eucalyptus wood frame. The foam-filled cushions are supported by pocket springs, and the entire unit is only 45 inches wide and 26 inches deep, making it ideal for small living spaces, such as a dorm.

Sold by Wayfair

Tyboatle 57-Inch Upholstered Loveseat Sofa with Two USB Charging Ports

For the convenience-minded student, this sofa has two built-in USB charging ports so you never have to worry about losing charge on your devices. It is made with a solid wood frame and comes with three throw pillows.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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