From Academic Kids

For the band by this name see Couch (band)
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Sofas come in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials (two-seater model)
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Anciet Greek sofa

A couch, also known as a sofa, settee, or chesterfield is an item of furniture for the comfortable seating of more than one person.

Couches are usually to be found in the living room or the lounge. They come in a variety of textiles and in leather. A typical couch seats two to three people and has an armrest on either side. Many different types of couch exist: popular types include the divan, the chaise longue, the canapé or the ottoman. Also, to save space, some sofas double as beds (sofa-bed or daybed).

They are other types, including two-seater, three-seater, corner, and chaise longue/daybed.

A three-piece suite is composed of three couch pieces (generally, a two- or three-seater and two armchairs).


The couch was originally an Arabian ruler's throne and has been in existence since antiquity. Originally it was an elitist piece of furniture and it was not until industrialization that the couch became an indispensable item of furniture in middle and lower class households. Throughout its history it has often been an object of derision, considered a variety of things from decadent to conformist.

The couch is often associated with Freudian psychoanalysis. Freud originally used the couch as a tool to aid his hypnosis of the patient. However when he moved on from hypnosis to stream-of-consciousness discourse as his dominant mode of analysis with the development of the interpretation of dreams, he still held on to the couch. He justified this with the need to limit the transference between psychoanalyst and analysand. Thus, the couch proved particularly useful because it limits the visibility of the analyst.

Today the couch is invariably linked to both domestic family life and television culture. It is often positioned in relation to the television set in a living room and for siesta. It has spawned social phenomena such as the couch potato, a person who spends a lot of time watching the television. The couch has also become the central prop for many TV sitcoms and soap operas. This symbiosis, through which the couch has shifted from the private to the public sphere, has been satirically depicted in popular culture, in television series such as Married with Children, The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head.

See also

de:Sofa dk:Sofa eo:Sofo es:Sofá sv:Soffa fi:sohva


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