We love a beautiful linen or bouclé couch just as much as the next design lover. But performance fabrics ward off life’s inevitable messes in a way that these luxe materials simply cannot. From red wine, chocolate, and pasta sauce to paw prints, finger paint, and spit up, performance fabrics stand up to the toughest possible stains and ultimately allow us to live a more carefree life.
Best of all, you no longer have to sacrifice style when shopping for a kid or pet-friendly sofa. Brands like Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Crate & Barrel all have an impressive, color-rich selection of performance fabrics ranging from creamy white to deep turquoise.
“Performance fabric sofas have come a long way,” says Havenly lead designer Melissa Wagner. “They’re a lifesaver during those messy toddler years or puppy training days.” She recommends investing in a budget-friendly option that will hold up for six to seven years, and either recovering or donating when “well-loved” becomes an understatement.
As far as color and fabric selection go, always mind the label when shopping: performance fabrics are man-made synthetics like polyester that are cleanable, durable, fade and stain-resistant, and long lasting. While we love a creamy white sofa, it’s best to avoid super dark or light fabrics — a single-tone charcoal sofa can show just as many stains as a white one. “Fabrics made of multi-tone threads are the absolute best at hiding spills and stains,” she adds.
In her own words, Melissa shares her favorite kid-and-pet-friendly selects, plus the beautiful performance sofa she has in her own home (alongside her adventurous and very mobile one-year-old).
1. Crate and Barrel’s Gather Deep Sofa
With an extra-deep seat, this cozy sofa was basically designed for family movie night or snow day snuggles. Upholstered in 100% polyester chenille, it’s completely stain-resistant and easy to clean, but still feels luxe. Plus, the champagne color easily blends with any design style.
2. Pottery Barn’s Jake Upholstered Sofa
Meet the customizable sofa to end all customizable sofas. In addition to 40-plus fabric options, you can choose the furniture finish, seating configuration, and the number of back and seat cushions. Go for the bench seat cushion for a more formal look, or opt for multiple cushions for optimum kid-friendly fort building. Best of all, Pottery Barn performance fabrics are top-notch and affordable, making it a win for the whole family (fur babies, too).
3. Article’s Ceni Sofa
If you’re living in a small space, currently experiencing the terrible twos, just bought a puppy, or all three, this Article sofa is a no-brainer. It’s affordable, compact, and durable — all fabric options are polyester or acrylic, including the stain-resistant white. It’s low to the ground, great for small spaces, and comes in a loveseat, sofa, sectional, or an ottoman. You can’t go wrong!
4. West Elm’s Hargrove Sofa
This West Elm beauty is equal parts timeless and trendy — I love the shape and low profile. And while there are countless fabric options to choose from, I can personally speak to the quality and efficacy of the brand’s machine washable distressed velvet fabric. My sofa has seen it all — breastmilk, an entire glass of wine, chocolate — and it still looks brand-new. Just be careful when making your fabric select and be sure to avoid anything with viscose — even water will leave a stain ring!
5. Joybird’s Aime Sofa
Joybird sofas are known for their durability, and this Prime Peacock number is no exception. It’s the perfect option if you’re looking for something luxe but not precious. It’s sophisticated and stylish enough for a formal sitting room, yet durable enough for play dates and wine nights. They have so many great color options to choose from within their “pet-friendly” fabrics, and their synthetic velvets, chenilles, and microfibers are deeply saturated and truly top-of-the-line.
6. Burrow’s Nomad Corner Sectional
This is definitely my favorite kid and pet-friendly sectional. It’s one of the most affordable and customizable large sectionals on the market. Even though they don’t have a million fabric options (just five colors plus leather), the ones they do have are really all you need. You can even choose your leg, cushion, and arm style plus layout and configuration. It’s definitely a keeper!
Whether it’s finding *THE* perfect pet-friendly sofa or unlocking the best floor plan for your space, our designers are standing by to help you create a home you love. Check out our designer’s portfolios to find your dream match.