I love white sofas. They’re crisp and classic and they go with everything. But, they’re obviously also completely unforgiving when it comes to dirt and stains, so I’ve questioned just how devoted I was to them on three separate occasions:
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- When we got a black lab
- When we had our first son
- When we had our second son
Those are three of the biggest reasons in The Book of Rational Home Decorating (*not a real book, but if it was real, this rule would be in it) NOT to own a white sofa. Yet here I am, with two white sofas and multiple white slipcovered dining chairs in our home.
And guess what! They’re all looking just fine. Not perfect, mind you, but pretty darn good unless you get really, really close.
They’ve managed to survive because I did lots of research on the best white sofas (specifically, kid-friendly white sofas) before I bought one. I’ve also learned some things about owning white sofas over the years (the two I currently have are my third and fourth).
Before I share my list, I want to share the two important tips I have for choosing a white sofa for your family that I’ve learned from experience, especially if you have kids and or/pets, but even if you just love to drink red wine while curled up in a ball on said sofa. These are the two tips I started my own search with.
Unsure about white? Check out my list of the best leather chesterfields.
Looking for more kid-friendly furniture? Check out my list of the best kid-friendly coffee tables.
Tips for buying a white sofa
1. Get something slipcovered.
This is a must, because if you don’t, someone will wipe their melty popsicle hands all over it the first week you own it and you’ll wish you were able to throw it in the wash. This is just Murphy’s Law.
We had a non-slipcovered white sofa the year we got our lab, and I will say it held up just fine because we didn’t let her on the couch and would vacuum/use a lint roller on it when we had to. Now that I have kids, I’m confident that poor sofa would have been destroyed.
Even if you don’t have kids or pets, a slipcovered sofa is still nice to have. Because after sticky popsicle residue, the next-least appealing thing a white sofa can have on it is a sweaty body stain because you sit in the same spot on the couch every day. A little oxiclean and spin through the washer will take care of that for you.
If you get a slipcovered white sofa, the next tip is not *as* important, but will still make your life a lot easier. If you don’t get a slipcovered sofa, the next tip is a must.
2. Find a performance fabric
Like I said, this is less of a must than #1, because I currently have both a white slipcovered sofa in a performance fabric, and white slipcovered dining chairs in a cotton canvas, and I’ve throw the cotton canvas covered in the wash with some Oxiclean, and they come out looking *almost* as good as new. BUT! The sofa covers need to washed less often than the chair covers, because I can just wipe up spills.
Of course, even if you get a slipcovered performance fabric white sofa, white isn’t the right choice for every space or every family. I looked at white fabrics when we were shopping for a sectional sofa for our family room, but because I knew it would be the spot where our family spent most of our TV-watching time, I went with something darker.
The best white sofas 
Now that that’s out of the way, here are all of the white sofas I looked at when we were searching, plus a few more that I’ve since found that I think would fir the bill (in that they’re stylish & slipcovered and/or performance fabric) They’re also all over the price range, from $850 to $6,000 (I’ve listed them low price-high price), so hopefully you’ll be able to find something in your budget!
Lez go shopping.
Here are a few of my favorites. I’ve noted where the sofa comes in a sectional version, too!
Affordable White Sofas
1. World Market Brynn Sofa, $1,199
This sofa is on my list because I own the World Market Brynn armchair, and I love it. I’ve had it in my bedroom for about four years, and it’s cozy and well-made.
While it’s not slipcovered, the cushion covers come off and can be washed, and they literally come out looking brand new. It is also made with a performance fabric, which is a white-sofa essential. I’ve spilled coffee on it, and it just sort of balls up and rolls off. One thing to note, though, it that the fabric does have a noticeable weave, which can make it a pet hair magnet, so keep the lint rollers handy.
It’s also made of down, so needs the occasional fluff or cushion turn when it starts to look flat.
The West Elm Ives sofa a is a classic English roll arm that would work in a traditional living room, a french-country space, paired with modern furniture for something more transitional, or with coastal or nautical decor.
It’s like the little black dress of sofas. It’s not exactly boundary-pushing, but at the end of the day it pretty much always works. This sofa is also made with a performance fabric, which I can personally vouch for because I own a few West Elm pieces with performance fabric. Basically, when you spill liquid on it, it sort of balls up until you have time to get a towel, instead of sinking into the fabric.
3. Wayfair Custom Upholstery Madison Sofa, from $1,499
Full disclosure: I used to work at Wayfair. I’m not saying that because I’m biased for or against them, I’m just saying this because I remember when they started the custom upholstery program, and (if nothing’s changed since I was there) they private label from a pretty well-known manufacturer in North Carolina, AKA the furniture hub of the world. In other words, Wayfair was making quality a priority when they chose their custom sofas.
I also love the style of this sofa, it’s similar to the one I own, and I like that it’s slipcovered, but still manages to be a little streamlined. The one reason I didn’t choose this sofa was the timeline, since this took 3-4 weeks to ship (which actually isn’t bad at all, we just had zero furniture in our new house when we moved in, and our Pier 1 sofa came in a few days. In 2022 it would be a dream to get a sofa in 3-4 weeks because the supply chain is out of control, but anyway). You can order it in a classic white canvas, or opt for a performance fabric — they have a few white-ish performance options, and you can order free swatches in advance.
4. West Elm Skirted Slipcover Sofa, from $1699
Looks-wise, this might be my favorite sofa on the list. I haven’t sat on this one, full-disclosure, but I feel like I wouldn’t care how comfortable it was because it’s so pretty.
This sofa comes in a variety of sizes, from 65-85″, and you can also choose the upholstery. I’d go with Performance Coastal Linen in white, or for a slightly deeper shade, the Performance Twill in Sand.
Higher Priced White Sofas
5. Pottery Barn Extra Deep York Sofa, $2,100+ (also comes in a sectional)
Last year we were looking for a sofa for an addition we did in our family room. My husband wanted an extra deep sofa, so we popped into Pottery Barn one night before we went out to dinner, and they had this sofa on display. It’s my husband’s dream sofa. It’s deep, it’s plush, and it’s the kind of sofa that just begs you to sit and watch golf (if you’re my husband) for hours on a Sunday. We ended up going with the Crate & Barrel Lounge II Sectional, but this one was a top contender.
Something else I loved about this sofa is that it comes in a few different styles. You can choose slope arms, square arms or roll arms, and you can also choose a few different cushion styles.
6. Crate & Barrel Jake Arnold Crawford Sofa, $2,299
OK, I lied. This is my favorite sofa on this list. I loved this sofa the minute Jake Arnold’s Crate & Barrel collection was released. I mean how good is that box-pleating? It gives the sofa a feminine, grandmillennial feel, but the clean lines make it modern, too.
The sofa is slipcovered, but not performance fabric, so you’d have to rely on spot treating and washing to get stains out. Given the box pleat, I wouldn’t throw this one in the washing machine. This would be a dry-cleaning job, for sure. A small price to pay for a piece of furniture this beautiful, IMO.
For a fashion-forward white sofa, look no further than this version by Leanne Ford. Ford, yes, the HGTV one, is know for her enviable modern-meets-cozy style, which is optimized in the sofa above. She’s also got little kids, so you can trust that she kept longevity in mind when designing her furniture. Though it’s not performance fabric, the white canvas cover is washable, so keep your Oxiclean handy. This sofa also gets bonus points because it’s currently in stock.
Are white couches hard to keep clean?
Years and years ago, white couches were probably pretty hard to keep clean, but thanks to advancements in performance textiles, you can actually have a white sofa that stays, well, white.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are a few keys to keeping your white sofa clean. They are: either buy a slipcovered white sofa that you can throw in the wash when it gets dirty, or buy a white sofa in a performance fabric. Performance fabrics resist stains by preventing liquids and dirt from settling into the fabric so you have a chance to clean it before the stain sets. Choosing a slipcovered or performance fabric is key to keeping a white sofa clean.