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Top 20 Italian Sofas (2024)

Sofa serves as an essential component of space, always bearing people’s affection and pursuit, and has consistently been a popular item on various furniture lists. Even in the study of the famous writer Haruki Murakami, there is a Marenco sofa from the Italian brand Arflex, which has conquered the literary master as well as the world.

Top Italian Sofas

In the evolutionary process of modern sofas, Italian designers with foresight have played an indispensable role. In 1947, the founder of Arflex developed revolutionary sponge filling technology. Forty years later, the father of the L-shaped sofa, Antonio Citterio, designed the first corner sofa. With the guidance of various Italian furniture brands, the richness and comfort of sofas gradually reached their peak.

Marenco sofa in Haruki Murakami home
Marenco sofa in Haruki Murakami home

Over the years, Italian sofas have always been the beloved choice of fashionistas. What exactly is their magic? Today, we will introduce top 20 authentic Italian sofas, whether they are groundbreaking in history, extremely comfortable, or boldly avant-garde. Let’s see how they have contributed to the shining era of “Made in Italy”.

01 Strips System Sofa from Arflex

Strips System Sofa from Arflex 01

The name “Arflex” is derived from the Italian word “arredamenti” (furniture) and the English word “flexibility.” This perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Arflex: always adapting to change, always one step ahead, and continuously breaking through with innovation.

Strips System Sofa might just be the best spokesperson for this statement. Designed in 1968, it completely revolutionized the world of sofas by introducing the concept of modularity, making it one of the earliest modular sofas. It was exhibited at the Salone del Mobile Milan, as well as in Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. To this day, modular sofas capable of infinite combinations remain the mainstream of Italian sofas.

Strips System Sofa from Arflex 02

Today, we are persistent in caring about whether sofa fabric covers are removable and washable, a concern that was anticipated by the designer of Strips System, Cini Boeri—one of the great pioneering women in the fields of Italian design and architecture—over 60 years ago.

This sofa was also the first sofa that could have its covers removed and washed, an advanced technique that was unimaginable at the time. Additionally, to ensure the sofa’s softness and comfort, padding was placed inside the fabric bottom. Half a century later, this method is still being used in sofa manufacturers.

Even with the addition of various functionalities, the lines of Strips System Sofa remain elegant and fashionable. Its plump, resilient squares once you lie down, you won’t want to leave. Arflex has successfully brought sofas into the lives of ordinary people, making them no longer exclusive to the nobility.

02 Camaleonda Sofa from B&B Italia

Camaleonda Sofa from B&B Italia 01

The earliest Camaleonda Sofa was launched in 1970 and is the pride of Italian architectural design master Mario Bellini, who won the Golden Compass Award eight times. At the time, its modular concept and integral shaping technology undoubtedly caused a disruptive impact in the interior design world. It became a symbol of a trend, akin to a chameleon adapting to its surroundings.

Camaleonda Sofa from B&B Italia 02

After 50 years, B&B Italia has rewritten this classic sofa from a contemporary perspective. They have preserved Mario Bellini’s pioneering parachute rope, hooks, and ring system, but completely revamped the interior with environmentally friendly materials, making it a truly sustainable product. People can freely untie and reassemble, using modules to build endless living scenarios.

03 Marenco Sofa from Arflex

Marenco Sofa from Arflex 01

Around 1970, Italy experienced a bottleneck period in furniture design, and designers were struggling to develop new forms of sofas. It was during this time that a stroke of genius led the famous designer Mario Marenco to create a sketch that would give birth to the Marenco sofa, becoming a timeless classic launched by Arflex in this revolution.

This sofa was the first in the furniture industry to be disassembled and reassembled, breaking the mold of the traditional combination of backrest, seat cushion, and armrest. It only uses round, rolling cushions as design elements to form a sofa. The cushions serve as both backrests and armrests, nestled between the lightweight metal base and frame. Their variations in thickness and width bring rich visual interest to the design.

Marenco Sofa from Arflex 02

Marenco sofa is as round and smooth as bread, with no visible exposed structure. Its low seating height creates a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Not only has it become the beloved choice of Haruki Murakami, who claims to be very picky about sofas, but it has also won the admiration of numerous celebrities such as Spider-Man movie actress Laura Harrier.

04 Chest Moon Sofa from Baxter

Chest Moon Sofa from Baxter 01

You must have seen this Chestmoon Sofa somewhere. Inspired by the uneven surface of the moon, it’s also a reinterpretation of the classic button tufted sofa in history. It subverts the image of traditional leather sofas, creating a romantic atmosphere akin to the moon. To this day, it remains active on Hollywood screens and graces the covers of numerous major magazines.

Chest Moon Sofa from Baxter 02

The creator of Chest Moon Sofa, Paola Navone, is undoubtedly deserving of the title of Italy’s design matriarch and the queen of Italian sofas. Her name frequently appears behind the scenes of popular sofas from top furniture brands.

05 GHOST Sofa from Gervasoni

GHOST Sofa from Gervasoni 01

The GHOST Sofa is precisely where Paola Navone found a place for her free-spirited creativity after collaborating with numerous top furniture brands. Since 1998, she has served as the artistic director and has dominated most Gervasoni collections. It was with the flowing and elegant GHOST sofa series that Gervasoni leaped to become the pioneer of Mediterranean style furniture.

GHOST Sofa from Gervasoni 02

Before this, sofas had undergone various changes, and breaking through in terms of form and appearance had become increasingly difficult. Paola Navone, true to her spirited Southern Italy colors, started from a simple point: by changing the covers, instantly altering the appearance of sofa. Thus, we see various materials and forms of GHOST sofa, each manifesting different personalities, much like people.

GHOST Sofa from Gervasoni 03

Stitching along the “skirts” of GHOST sofas is another iconic element of this series. It not only strengthens the silhouette but also adds a touch of refinement to its casualness. Another characteristic of GHOST sofa is the surrounding layers of stacked cushions, embodying a concept of utmost laziness. These sofas are no longer just geometric variants; they become a temperament, an ambiance, an idyllic scene of leisurely living that is truly enchanting.

06 Groundpiece Sofa from Flexform

Groundpiece Sofa from Flexform 01

If you’ve ever visit top brand hotels like Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, or Bulgari, you’ve definitely seen this Groundpiece Sofa. This classic masterpiece, created in 2001, has been cherished by sofa enthusiasts worldwide for the past 23 years and rightfully earned its title as a best-seller.

Looking back at the initial concept of design, Italian designer Antonio Citterio, also known as the “Father of L-shaped Sofas,” the visionary behind the earliest notion of enabling people worldwide to lounge comfortably while watching television, still can’t help but smile.

Groundpiece Sofa from Flexform 02

Simple to the point of purity, the Groundpiece sofa broke through the proportions of most high-back sofas at the time, lowering its height to provide a relaxed seating posture. Its exceptionally wide and plush velvet cushions deepen the seat, allowing people to completely surrender to the sofa. From then on, the sofa ceased to be a luxurious piece of furniture and became a stable and amiable household companion. It enabled various family scenes, such as cuddling with pets or taking a nap, to unfold effortlessly on the Groundpiece sofa.

07 Pixel Sofa from Saba

Pixel Sofa from Saba 01

When it comes to the remarkable influence of female power in the design world today, one cannot overlook the pioneering Italian furniture brand Saba, created in 1987. It stands out as one of the few brands with a comprehensive female perspective. Embracing abundant colors and gentle curves, Saba seeks to create a light and relaxing home experience. It’s no wonder you can spot it in the homes of many popular bloggers, models, and influencers who garner attention on platforms like Instagram.

Pixel Sofa from Saba 02

Once the Pixel sofa was introduced, it quickly gained popularity worldwide, becoming Saba’s most beloved product. This is largely attributed to its innovative proprietary connectors. While many people were still stuck on the idea of variable seat cushion modules, this sofa already allowed for free assembly of armrests and even backrests. It provides the same joy as assembling blocks by hand when using furniture. The concept of “home mobility”—being able to adjust the size and configuration flexibly—was understood and realized by Saba as early as more than 10 years ago.

Pixel Sofa from Saba 03

The full-bodied form of Pixel sofa resembles a massive island dedicated to relaxation. The addition of goose feathers gives it unparalleled fluffiness and softness. Due to its consistent popularity over the years, it has spawned various possibilities, including fabric, genuine leather, and color-blocked versions.

08 Freeman Sofa from Minotti

Freeman Sofa from Minotti 01

The design inspiration for Freeman sofa comes from the black and white keys of a piano, giving it a sense of line and depth that typical sofas lack. As one of Minotti’s best-selling sofas, it represents a perfect blend of tradition and technology since the 1950s, making it a prime example of modular sofas.

Freeman Sofa from Minotti 02

Rodolfo Dordoni, the designer behind the Freeman series, has been praised multiple times as the soul of Minotti brand. He is also a leading figure in Italian furniture and an architect by profession. He redefines Freeman series not just as a seating system but as a true living space. So Rodolfo Dordoni has attempted to integrate the functionalities of side tables and coffee tables into Freeman sofa, adding more versatility to it.

09 Sacco Sofa from Zanotta

Sacco Sofa from Zanotta 01

Today, we can lounge in various forms of bean bag sofas while watching TV shows and movies or chatting with family and friends, all thanks to three designers: Gatti, Paolini, and Teodoro. It was they who designed “Sacco” in 1968, the world’s first bean bag sofa, for the famous Italian brand Zanotta.

Sacco is a milestone in the history of sofas, as it shattered the traditional rectangular concept of sofas and reshaped people’s definition of sofas and other furniture. It quickly became a must-have for trendsetters of the time.

Sacco Sofa from Zanotta 02

As its name, “Sacco” means “bag” in Italian, drawing inspiration from the shape of a plastic bag. It is suitable for any body type and sitting position. Despite providing strong support, it offers a comfortable feeling, and its soft and flexible nature allows people to experience a sense of freedom and comfort.

Sacco Sofa from Zanotta 03

The groundbreaking Sacco sofa, launched annually like a fashion item in limited editions, continuously introduces new colors and materials. It is collected by over 20 museums worldwide. As the creator, Zanotta stands as a pioneer in Italian interior design, epitomizing the history of Italian furniture development. Since then, it has firmly occupied the global furniture market, constructing a true temple of design over more than 60 years: with more than 550 designs, nearly one-fifth of which are permanently housed in major museums around the world.

10 Casablanca Sofa from Baxter

Casablanca Sofa from Baxter 01

This Casablanca Sofa fully satisfies young people’s pursuit of “sitting down and lying down.” It’s both lazy and stylish. The foldable armrests, resembling drooping elephant ears, are its soul. They can be used as either a back cushion or a sleeping pillow, fully embodying the essence of a sofa for relaxation. Paired with Baxter’s excellent leather craftsmanship, it interprets softness and texture to the fullest.

Casablanca Sofa from Baxter 02

Here, you can meditate, sleep, read, lounge… This is also a major representative among Paola Navone’s many stunning works, frequently appearing on various popular sofa rankings. It embodies the concept of “sofa as a bed”.

11 Fiorenza Sofa from Arflex

Fiorenza Sofa from Arflex 01

In the 1950s, Fiorenza was regarded as a symbol of comfort in Pirelli’s advertisements. As Arflex’s first product line, it established Arflex’s leading position in furniture materials and technological innovation. It fitted the human body like a glove, fully tapping into the potential of foam rubber, which was considered one of the most advanced materials for upholstery furniture at the time.

Fiorenza Sofa from Arflex 02

The legendary designer Franco Albini, a prominent figure after World War II, designed Fiorenza Sofa in 1950, which catapulted Arflex to global acclaim. He won the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award three times, and was also bestowed the title of “Royal Designer for Industry” by the Royal Society of London.

Fiorenza Sofa from Arflex 03

The X-shaped cross on the side of Fiorenza Sofa is not just simple; it organically transitions with the backrest, armrests, and chair legs. Its simplicity, elegance, and comfort epitomize Franco Albini’s aesthetic characteristics, earning it a place on the cover of publications introducing this design master.

12 Bruce Sofa from Zanotta

Bruce Sofa from Zanotta 01

At the 2013 Salone del Mobile Milano, one sofa garnered attention for its spider-like legs that seemed ready to “move” at any moment. This sofa is none other than Bruce, designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba. Leg design has always been present in modern sofa design and is one of the most scrutinized parts. In fact, it can even become the focal point, adding a dynamic character to the sofa.

Bruce Sofa from Zanotta 02

This is precisely the bold and pioneering work fostered by Zanotta’s genes. Bruce Sofa, inspired by the Milano sofa, and made an upgrade. The legs of Bruce effortlessly lift the whole sofa, emphasizing its weightless appearance. While maintaining a relaxed and lightweight feel, its bold athletic attributes are revealed, as if it’s about to start moving at any moment.

Bruce Sofa from Zanotta 03

The leather used for Bruce sofa is worth mentioning, as it is upholstered entirely in Zanotta’s prestigious N0.99 full-grain aniline leather, providing an ultimate luxurious feel and showcasing the undeniable charm of natural cowhide.

13 Up5-6 Sofa from B&B Italia

Up5-6 Sofa from B&B Italia 01

Alongside Marilyn Monroe’s skirt being blown up, one of the most iconic images in film history is Anita Ekberg’s scene in the movie “La Dolce Vita,” where she plays in the waters of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Up5-6 Sofa from B&B Italia 02

It is said that this scene served as the inspiration for the Up series. The sofa exudes a sense of warmth and comfort, hence its nickname “Mother’s Embrace.” Its seamless, ultra-comfortable design and unique shape have made it popular for nearly 60 years. It still appears contemporary and is a must-have in many celebrity homes. As a permanent collection, it has been featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

14 LAPIS Sofa from AMURA

LAPIS Sofa from AMURA 01

LAPIS sofa, which won the 2020 Archiproducts Design Awards, is a representative work of AMURA. This Italian furniture brand, which always draws inspiration from natural elements such as the sun, mountains, and stones, represents a home that transcends nature. Hailing from Altamura, known as the “golden area” for upholstery furniture in Italy, AMURA has maintained a close collaboration with the renowned Italian leather supplier, Gruppo Mastrotto, for many years.

LAPIS Sofa from AMURA 02

15 Oltremare Sofa from Saba

Oltremare Sofa from Saba 01

Oltremare sofa series is a testament to Saba’s ethos of cross-disciplinary fusion, completed through collaboration between Saba and Antonio Marras, former artistic director of Kenzo. Antonio Marras defines it as a sacred image that tells the story of the land and the sea. Sardinia in Italy, is Antonio’s homeland, and he named this sofa series “Oltremare,” which means “beyond the sea” in Italian. It narrates a story imbued with an eternal soul, expressing deep affection for a distant homeland.

Oltremare Sofa from Saba 02

The curves of Oltremare seat blend classical and modern elements: sinuous like waves, with clear contours, and asymmetrical backrests that envelop the seated occupant in comfortable seating. Oltremare not only integrates the past but also embodies a powerful modern spirit.

16 PANIS Sofa from AMURA

PANIS Sofa from AMURA 01

PANIS Sofa takes its inspiration from the iconic Italian Altamura bread, wide, soft, and enticing—a true interpretation of regional culture. Its geometric lines resemble the cuts on the dough, and as it “rises,” it becomes fluffy and soft, making PANIS Sofa a classic comfortable sofa.

PANIS Sofa from AMURA 02

The popularity of PANIS Sofa showcases AMURA’s ability to extract shapes with precision and accuracy, while also infusing a sense of fun into their designs. The concept of truly promoting regional culture is consistently upheld, with the inherent warmth and comfort associated with bread being incorporated into one of the most enduring pieces of furniture. The intelligence and acumen behind its design are self-evident.

17 HAB Sofa from Désirée

HAB Sofa from Désirée 01

Designed by Marc Sadler, who has won the Compasso d’Oro award four times, HAB Sofa embodies comfort and functionality. For years, people have always been concerned about the height of the backrest and whether it adequately supports the head and neck. Désirée, born in 1968, pays attention to this need. “A soft home” has always been the emotion they aim to convey through their furniture products. With its pure lineage and thoughtful, user-friendly design, Désirée has quickly risen to prominence as a popular Italian furniture brand, making multiple appearances at the Salone del Mobile Milano.

HAB Sofa from Désirée 02

The allure of HAB sofa lies in its soft, outwardly expanding armrests, resembling open arms ready to embrace you. Similar to the backrest, they can be adjusted from 0 to 30 degrees to ensure constant attention to comfort and body support. The central modules can be used for storage or as footrests. It’s fair to say that it achieves a perfect balance between comfort and functionality. Its open posture, coupled with the enclosed layout, provides long-lasting comfort and acceptance.

18 Pack Sofa from Edra

Pack Sofa from Edra 01

Edra has always been a pioneer in avant-garde design, offering a plethora of sofas with novel and eye-catching shapes. With its soft and adorable appearance, as well as its delicate and velvety texture, Pack Sofa exudes an artistic design that provides people with a strong visual pleasure.

Pack Sofa from Edra 02

Pack sofa, inspired by the image of a polar bear reclining on ice floes, evokes reflections on social issues such as global warming and encourages attention to the relationship between humans and nature. In the South Korean TV show “Home Alone,” actor Yohan Lee’s luxurious mansion features this adorable white bear sofa. When placed in a living room, its soft and endearing posture irresistibly invites a big hug and invites people to immerse themselves in the cozy space it creates.

19 Boè Sofa from Désirée

Boè Sofa from Désirée 01

Comfortable yet sinuous, soft yet playful, the half-enclosed “cabin” shape of Boè Sofa is unforgettable at first sight. Experimenting and studying various geometric shapes and curves in furniture has always been Désirée’s focus. Its abundant designs incorporate open and flowing curved postures, turning sofas into natural works of art in the home rather than just providing seating.

Boè Sofa from Désirée 02

Boè sofa embodies reflections on futurism and architecture, while its soft chaise lounge design envelops you in a lazy and nostalgic atmosphere. It seems almost destined to have you snuggle up, leaning into its deepest and most comfortable corner, akin to entering a cocoon of security, feeling the solidity and anticipation of returning to the mother planet.

20 Nuvola Sofa from Gervasoni

Nuvola Sofa from Gervasoni 01

Among Paola Navone’s countless stunning creations, one that stands out as her favorite is the Nuvola Sofa she designed for Gervasoni. Infused with her beloved blue color, it boasts an attractive bright hue and a modern three-dimensional shape. The addition of 3D mesh fabric gives it a futuristic edge, while its soft and bouncy fullness irresistibly invites people to dive into it. Now featured in numerous magazines and celebrities’ homes, it has evolved into various versions, establishing itself as one of the undeniable classic masterpieces in the world of sofas.

Nuvola Sofa from Gervasoni 02

Nuvola Sofa creates an imagination where even when alone, one can still enjoy excellent seating comfort and relaxation. This aligns perfectly with the modern trend of people increasingly focusing on their personal experiences, which is a significant reason for its widespread popularity.

Summary

After introducing these 20 Italian sofas, it’s interesting to note that as a century comes full circle, sofas that emerged many years ago still appear avant-garde today. Despite the passage of time, they remain contemporary, showcasing how they have stood the test of time and continue to captivate with their innovative designs.

It must be said that those designs with timeless potential from the outset share a common characteristic: they revolve around people. Their designers keenly perceive that people are not pursuing furniture but rather seeking a timeless lifestyle.

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