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Traditional Sectional vs. Modular Sectional: What’s the Difference?

Updated: May 7

Decorating homes is all fun and games until you come across major decisions, like choosing a sofa for your lounge. Terms like ‘traditional sectionals’ and ‘modular sectionals’ are the most common words you will hear when shopping for living room furniture. 

But what is the difference between the two? Which one is better for you? What are the pros and cons of each option? Don’t worry. We’ve got answers to all your questions, so continue scrolling! 

What is a Modular Sectional Sofa?

A modular sectional is made of various ‘modules’ or ‘sections.’ The pieces can be bought together (or separately) and can be arranged in different ways to create different configurations. Think of a modular sofa as Lego: it is joined together without the use of tools to create unique layouts suitable to your needs. 

Families who need flexible seating solutions or people who move frequently will greatly benefit from the versatility of modular sectionals. Frequent hosts will also find this furniture piece a delight, as it offers maximum freedom for distinct combinations based on the number of guests. Even if you’re a small-apartment dweller looking for space efficiency or a design freak who wants to keep their home in line with the latest trends, modular sofas can serve as an all-in-one solution. 

Difference Between Traditional Sectional and Modular Sectional

A modular sectional is created using several individual pieces. Each part comes with its own backrest, arms, and seats. This allows the sofa to be organized in a multitude of ways, depending on your current needs. For example, you can put together three seats with two arms to create a standard 3-seater sofa, or you can add an ottoman to create a chaise sofa.

Example: Parla Modular Sofa (it comes with 4 pieces in total to complete the set)

A traditional sectional sofa, on the other hand, is created with pre-determined configurations to form an L-shape or U-shape. Though the sofa has limited adaptability, the item sometimes comes in at least 2 separate pieces to allow for the sofa to be broken up or joined together. 

Pros and Cons of Modular Sectional

Pro: Flexibility 

Modular sectionals provide the opportunity to choose the shape and size of the pieces. This is particularly beneficial for homes with awkward corners or dead spaces where nothing really seems to fit. 

Pro: Easy to Move Around

Being delivered in individual pieces, modular sectionals can easily be packed and moved around in liftable boxes. So you don’t have to worry about making measurements through doors, stairs, or lifts. 

Pro: Customizable 

Apart from the size, shape, and number of pieces you want, even the color and fabric of each piece can be customized. Example: The Lilou Modular Sofa that comes in a rustic color and can be combined with mustard, light pink, and red pieces to create a funky, eclectic look. 

With customization comes the added benefit of the facility to replace only one piece in case of damage — unlike a traditional sofa, which needs to be replaced entirely. 

Con: Modules Can Separate

While the ease of moving around pieces allows creative configurations, the modules can sometimes move or separate when in use. To avoid this problem, consider investing in Magic Joiners. Made of strong magnets, the joiners hold the modules together. The best part? They can be easily removed if you want to rearrange the sofa. 

Con: Modular Sofa Lead Times 

Modular sofas are not the best choice for people who prefer walking into a showroom one day and having a sofa delivered the next. From the day of design finalization, a customizable modular sofa can take upwards of six weeks to be made. This can also sometimes come with delays due to supply issues or transportation methods. 

Not to forget, the infinite choices of fabric, cushions, leg hardware, shapes, and sizes of the sofa can become burdensome for an amateur home decorator.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Sectionals 

Traditional sectionals are quite similar to modular sectionals. They offer a comfortable yet modern seating space that can cater to the needs of a growing family. Additionally, they enhance the aesthetic appeal of an otherwise bland living room and help create and define zones in an open floor plan. 

However, traditional sectionals do not provide the level of versatility and ease of customization offered by modular sectionals. They also tend to make a space feel cramped. For example, when you make a sizeable investment like purchasing a sofa, you want it to last you for several years. But what if you decide to move? How can you be sure that the sofa will fit the new space? A modular sofa, as opposed to a traditional sofa, can guarantee flexibility and space efficiency even in an area where you originally didn’t intend to place the sofa.  

Top 3 Modular Sectionals to Check Out

Credit: Homrest

Make your movie nights more memorable with the 6-seater modular sectional. The sofa comes with an adjustable backrest that can be laid out to create a small, relaxing bed. Not to mention, Homrest crafts its products with great materials and advanced technology to ensure its customers get the best bang for their buck. 

4-star review - This sofa is amazing. It provides multiple configurations and is easy to convert into a sleeper. In addition, it provides ample storage space. I highly recommend it,” says Mar.

Credit: Homary

The L-shaped design of the sofa provides adequate space to stretch out and relax — even in space-conscious apartments. It has a durable frame, high-quality material, and a modern look to ensure it suits most — if not all — interior design styles and requirements. 

5-star review - “I recently purchased a functional sectional for my living room and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. This sectional is not only stylish but also very practical and functional,” says Zafirah. 

Credit: Mojuraa

The cuboid sofa is an all-inclusive modular sectional: breathable upholstery material, ergonomic reclining angle, high-quality pine wood frame, exquisite edges, and high-density foam. The two-toned shade adds to the beauty of the piece, making it a stunning focal point in the living room.

Credibility - The sofa has achieved the Google stamp of approval, which speaks for the store’s reliable services and good quality products. 

Final Words 

Traditional and modular sectionals both come with their own pros and cons, so it is important to consider various aspects before making a decision — after all, sectionals are a big investment that deserve detailed research. 

In case you’re still confused, guide your choices through our detailed article on ‘What is a modular sofa and why you need one?’.


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