Play Couch Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Kids' Couch
With your little one growing up and exploring more and more, they’ll appreciate their own kid-sized space to play and relax. A kids’ couch or play couch is the perfect addition to a playroom, your child’s bedroom, or the living room.
This is furniture that your child will love since it’s made specifically with them in mind. It’s the perfect size and shape and just their height, too. And it allows you to rest easy knowing your little one is happy and out of harm’s way.
If you’re not sure what type of play couch to choose, let us help.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing the perfect kids’ couch. Then, we’ll review some of the different types of couches so you can choose the one that best fits your space and your child’s personality.
Table of contents
- Different types of kids’ couches and play couches
- Factors to consider when shopping for a kids' couch
- Ways to use a modular play couch
- Play time safety
Different types of kids’ couches and play couches
The type of kids’ couch you choose will depend on the reason you want the couch. If you’re looking for a cozy place for your book-loving child to curl up, you’ll opt for a different couch than if you’re searching for a versatile play area for your active toddler.
We’ll go over options that fit both of these needs and everything in between!
Regular kid-sized couch
One option you have is a regular couch (like the one you might have in your living room) — except you’ll choose one made in a miniature size for children!
Modular kids’ couch
One of the most popular types of kids’ couches on the market right now, the modular couch is both a kid-sized lounge area as well as a play couch.
With various pieces, you can easily configure this piece of furniture into different arrangements to fit the need of the moment. It can serve as a regular couch, providing your kids with a place to crash on movie night, or it can be turned into a fort or play area for active, playful afternoons.
There are various brands, styles, and shapes of this type of kids’ couch, so it’s up to you to check them out and decide which one suits your needs. Our favorite is the Newton X Figgy Play Couch.
It comes with eight pieces:
- 4 base cushions
- 1 wedge
- 2 rectangles
- An extra cover for upcycling your Newton Mattress (once your little one outgrows it)
This couch features a strong Velcro® connection system that allows your little ones to build forts while the hidden zippers ensure they don’t take the covers off on their own.
Your child will have so much fun with a couch like this!
Foam blocks and play shapes
If you’re in need of a small, safe, indoor playground, you’ll want to opt for the modular couch we mentioned above or foam blocks and play shapes that serve as more of a play couch. These are perfect for exploring toddlers.
This is because they are targeted more toward play, not lounging or snoozing. But we know that your little one will get creative and chill wherever they feel comfortable.
A soft, comfy kids’ armchair can serve the same purpose as a kids’ couch, giving your child a place to sit and relax. An armchair will take up less space than a couch, but an oversized chair may still work as a sofa for two little ones, depending on how roomy it is.
If you’re not looking for a convertible option or a play couch, this could be a good addition to your living room or playroom.
Convertible crib daybed
A convertible crib made into a daybed can fit the bill perfectly. It’s low to the ground, making it easy for your child to climb in, and gives them a place to sit while also being the ideal place to lay down for a rest if needed.
For an attractive and safe daybed (with or without a toddler rail), we recommend one of our Convertible Cribs. These 3-in-1 convertible cribs are crafted from soft, sustainable wood with a baby-safe finish.
With three mattress heights, there are multiple ways to adjust this crib to grow with your baby. And our cribs are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, making them safe in more ways than one.
This is the last idea we’ll mention, but it might be the one your child loves most.
What is it? A mattress on the floor. There’s nothing fancy about it, but sometimes kids love the simplest, coziest option that’s on their level and allows for both play and rest.
For comfort, safety, and breathability, choose the Newton Baby Crib Mattress. It’s 5.5 inches thick and features a soft, quilted removable cover. This cover is, of course, washable. But it’s not the only thing that’s easy to clean.
This mattress is the only crib mattress that’s washable from cover to core. Plus, it contains no foam, glue, latex, or springs and is Greenguard Gold Certified. Talk about safe, clean, hypoallergenic rest and play!
Pop cute, Organic Cotton Sheets on this mattress, tuck it in the corner of the playroom, add a few pillows (just remember to remove them before your little one takes a snooze), and voila — a couch that is ideal for both play and rest.
Factors to consider when shopping for a kids’ couch
When making any decision for your child, safety is one of the first things that comes to mind. The same is true when it comes to choosing a kids’ couch or play couch: Always consider safety.
If you opt for a regular couch (just mini!) or crib turned daybed, be sure that it is up to current safety standards, put together securely, and that there are no loose or missing parts. After it’s assembled, you’ll also want to check for sharp or protruding pieces.
The softest option with no hard corners is a kids’ couch that’s made entirely of material like foam. That said, these types of couches don’t come without their own safety concerns, which brings us to the next point.
Off-Gassing and GREENGUARD certification
Off-gassing is another health and safety factor to take into account when it comes to choosing a couch for your kids. What is off-gassing? It’s when manufactured items release chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
Sometimes, you can smell off-gassing (think of that “new” smell that some furniture has) and sometimes you can’t. But tons of items you bring into your home can off-gas, including couches and mattresses.
And the chemicals released can have a plethora of unwanted effects on your body and your health. Not good.
One thing you can do to minimize the effects of off-gassing and diminished air quality in your home is to leave newly purchased items outside for a time or open your windows as much as possible.
Or, to ensure that the product you’re buying has low chemical emissions, choose an item that is GREENGUARD Certified or that uses CertiPUR-US certified materials.
These certification programs test the chemical emission of all sorts of products, making it easier for you as a buyer to know which products have low chemical emissions and won’t expose your family to harmful chemicals.
Click here to read more about GREENGUARD Certification.
This point might be obvious, but it’s important to think through. How much space do you have for a kids’ couch? Take stock before you go shopping.
Just remember that even if you’re working with a small room, you can still fit a kids’ armchair or maybe a pint-sized couch. Click here for tips on setting up a nursery when you’re tight on space.
Modular kids’ couches are also an option for small rooms. You can disassemble them and stack the pieces when they aren’t in use. The Newton X Figgy Play Couch, for example, comes with four base cushions, two rectangles, and one wedge so you can set it up however works best for your space.
Ease of cleaning
You probably learned early on as a parent that little ones are a bundle of joy but can make quite a mess. When choosing a kids’ couch or play couch, it’s safe to assume that it will get dirty sooner or later. So, ask yourself if the material will be easy to clean.
Is it made with wipeable plastic? Do the cushions have removable and washable covers? Can you get a waterproof layer? Choose a kids’ couch that is cute but also facilitates simple clean-up. You’ll thank yourself later.
If you can purchase additional covers, that’s another way to keep your play couch looking sharp. When one cover gets shabby, you can simply swap it out for another.
As a bonus, this is a quick way to give your room a makeover. With a different color, your couch will look completely different.
Why do you want a kids’ couch? Do you need a place for your kids to sit? Or are you looking for a couch they can take apart and turn into forts and climbing challenges?
Understanding how you’ll use the couch can help you pick the right one for your family.
Think about the room where you’ll put the couch. What’s the current design of that space? What colors and patterns are you already utilizing?
With this information, you can choose a kids’ couch to complement your decor.
Kids can be rough on furniture, especially furniture that’s meant for them to play on. While a delicate couch may look beautiful in your formal living room, it won’t hold up to children bouncing on it.
Look for materials that can withstand spills, roughhousing, and other kid-friendly activities. You don’t want any floppy foam or wobbly legs on a couch that will get heavy use.
Instead, pick one made from durable materials. Play couches should use a heavy-duty firm foam engineered to withstand kids climbing on it. And if you’re buying a regular couch, look for one with a sturdy frame.
If you’re not sure about the quality of the couch, take time to read reviews and see what other families say. Look for positive comments about the design, durability, and longevity.
Do you plan to put the couch in one room and leave it there? Or do you envision being able to move it from room to room?
If you want to use the couch for different purposes, such as a reading nook in the bedroom or a play area in the living room, then portability is something to consider.
Look for a kids’ couch that’s lightweight and easy to move around. Handles on each piece would make it easier for your kids to transport.
Kids’ couches should be comfortable. After all, they’ll be used for reading, napping, watching TV, and a variety of other activities.
You want cushions that are cozy but not too soft or saggy. Since children have sensitive skin, the fabric should be soft and smooth.
If you’re buying a couch at a store, test the cushions and see how it feels. Can you imagine your kids spending hours on it?
If you’re buying online, look for a company that offers free returns. That way, if it’s not a great fit, you can send it back and try another. For example, at Newton Baby, we offer free returns within 30 days of purchase for the Newton X Figgy Play Couch.
How many people will be sitting on your kids’ couch at the same time? Do you ever plan on joining them on it?
Consider the weight limit on a couch before making a purchase. This way, you know it can safely accommodate all the kids and adults who want to sit on it.
As you’re evaluating the limits, remember that kids grow quickly. You don’t want them outgrowing their new couch too soon. That’s why a couch without a weight limit, such as the Newton X Figgy Play Couch, can be appealing.
Finally, it’s important to think about your budget when buying any furniture. Kids’ couches come in a range of prices, from budget-friendly to high-end.
The key is to find a balance between quality and cost. While you may be tempted to choose the cheapest option, it might cost you more in the long run. These couches may not last as long and may need to be replaced sooner, resulting in additional expenses.
On the other hand, more expensive doesn’t automatically mean better. Always do your research and read reviews to find a good value for your money.
Taking those considerations into account, let’s review a few of the different types of couches that can provide your child with the perfect place to lounge or play.
Ways to use a modular play couch
If you choose a modular play couch, you may wonder what your child can do with it. Well, the possibilities are endless!
Here are a few ideas:
Build different structures
With its modular design and strong Velcro® connection system, your child can let their imagination run wild as they combine the pieces in different ways to create various structures.
See if they can make a:
- Pirate ship
While several may look similar, kids can add props to make each build unique. For example, with a few blankets and pillows, the triangular-shaped build of the house can quickly turn into a cozy camping spot.
Or place a small table and chairs nearby and create a cafe. The sky's the limit – so let your child’s imagination run wild.
Stack the pieces
How many pieces can your little one stack before the tower comes crashing down? Since each component of the Figgy is lightweight, your child can safely stack them up and knock them down as often as they want.
Challenge them to put a different piece at the bottom of their stack. For example, ask them to put the two rectangular pieces at the bottom and stack everything else on top of those. Then, you can ask them to try it with the wedge at the bottom.
This may just seem like a silly game, but it’s actually helping your child develop their spatial sense and planning skills.
Create an obstacle course
Use the different pieces to create an obstacle course for your child to navigate. This promotes physical activity and helps with balance and spatial awareness.
You can ask your little one to:
- Crawl over a base cushion
- Jump over the wedge
- Stack the rectangles and climb up them
- Scurry through a tunnel made from two connected base cushions
- Flop on the last base cushion and sing the ABC song
Once they finish, you can mix up the activities and have them go again.
Set up a slide
The wedge is the perfect shape for a slide or ramp. See how your little one can use it to add an extra element of fun to their play. They can slide down it themselves or send their toys on a wild ride.
You can also ask them to experiment with different angles and heights to create new challenges.
Can your child walk along the top of the rectangular pieces without falling off? What about balancing on one leg while standing on the wedge?
The different shapes and sizes of the pieces make them perfect for practicing balance and coordination. Which one does your child predict will be the most challenging to stay on? Which one do they think will be the easiest?
These games can help build confidence and body awareness in young children. Plus, they help with their balance, an essential skill for many physical activities.
Relax and read
The Figgy isn’t just for active play; it’s also the perfect spot for your child to relax and unwind. Whether they’re reading a book or watching their favorite TV show, the soft, durable cushions are perfect for lounging.
Play time safety
While your kids will come up with many creative ways to use the pieces of their new couch, you must be there to supervise the play. You don’t want them jumping from high places or climbing on parts that aren’t securely connected.
Here are a few other safety tips for a kids’ couch:
- Inspect it regularly for damage
- Replace torn covers as soon as possible
- Keep it away from heat sources and windows
- Set it up in an area with plenty of space for movement and play
- Don’t put heavy objects on the foam that might cause dents or other damage
By following these tips, your kids are sure to have a fun (and safe) experience.
The perfect kids’ couch for rest and play
A kids’ couch is a good addition to any room to help your child feel comfortable and like they have a place to sit that was designed just for them. Meanwhile, a play couch can serve the same purpose while also converting into a fun play area for indoor antics.
When choosing a couch for your little one, consider the factors we mentioned at the beginning of this article: safety, off-gassing, space, ease of cleaning, price, and purpose. Then, choose the style of couch that fits your space, your family, and your child.
Creating a spot that your little one loves may be as simple as placing a Crib Mattress on the floor and making it cozy! Or turn your baby’s Convertible Crib into a daybed, or go with a versatile, modular couch, like our Newton X Figgy Play Couch.
No matter what you choose, your child will love having their own special spot. They’ll spend hours playing and relaxing on the couch, creating memories that will last a lifetime!