Home » What Is a Modular Sectional and Is It Right for You?

What Is a Modular Sectional and Is It Right for You?

Update On

What Is a Modular Sectional?

Sectionals refer to any sofa designed with two or more connected parts. They offer more spacious seating than a sofa or loveseat, and are great for families who like to snuggle up together. But, what is a modular sectional? And how is it different from a traditional sectional?

traditional sectional sofa with unique design

A modular sectional is unique because of its adaptability. Unlike its traditional counterpart, the modular sectional is designed to be disconnected and rearranged with ease. Modular sectionals have all the great qualities of traditional sectionals, but they’re more adaptable. That’s why they’re ideal for most households.

Are All Sectionals Modular?

The short answer is no, not all sectionals are modular. The term modular refers to anything that comes with multiple parts and that fits together in a variety of ways. While non-modular sectionals may have multiple parts, there is only one way the parts all fit together.

Modular with multiple parts, but fit together one way

Both types of sectionals come in a variety of sizes, styles, and shapes (L-Shape, U-Shape, and Curved). And, you can purchase both types with an assortment of functional features, like recliners, storage spaces, pull-out attachments, and cup holders.

Ultimately, both options are great for allowing families to pile on for a movie night.

What Is the Difference Between a Modular and a Sectional Sofa?

Versatility is the biggest difference between these two types of sectionals. Modular sectionals are designed to be rearranged and to fit together in many different patterns. 

The backs and armrests are all the same size, and sometimes even removable. So, you can detach the pieces and mix them up throughout the room.

Traditional sectional sofa

Once traditional sectionals are assembled, there are very few ways you can rearrange them. Sometimes a chaise or footstool may slide out, but the pieces are connected as one strong shape.

How Is a Modular Sectional Different From Other Kinds of Sectionals?

Initially it may not seem like the two sectionals are that different, but certain benefits only come with a modular sectional.


The ability to disconnect and re-combine is perfect for smaller living rooms. It’s also great for rooms with many doors, fireplaces, or windows along the walls. Traditional sectionals are harder to orient in these types of spaces.

Versatile modular sofa set

A modular sectional is ideal if you enjoy rearranging your home. You can break the pieces up into different rooms, around the same room, or into a fresh shape. You can also buy more pieces to keep creating new layouts.


Similar looking modular sofa pieces

Another great feature that’s unique to modular sectionals is that they are easier to replace. You can easily remove the cushion covers and you can also repurchase the sections separately if you need a new chaise or ottoman. For households with kids or animals, modular sofas can be a good choice as they allow for simple replacements.


Modular sofas can offer the same benefits of a sectional without the same commitment. A modular sectional can move more easily from home to home because it fits a variety of orientations. And, the smaller parts make it easy to haul and fit through doors.


Nice looking living room with modular sofa

Sectionals are larger than sofas and offer a more casual atmosphere over a formal one. With a modular sectional that can be disconnected, you can rearrange and change the atmosphere more effortlessly. You can also change the look in a room by purchasing the connectable parts in different colors, textures, or patterns. Modular sectionals are great for people that love to play around with the vibe of their space.

How Do Modular Sectionals Stay Together?

Most modular sectionals come with hardware that attaches the sections. There are three popular options:

1. Crocodile Clamps or Snap Connectors

This type of clamp has a zig-zag design on one side that connects to a pin on the other side. The pin slides into the zig-zag until it snaps, which is the signal that the pieces are connected.

2. Lift and Hook

This type of connector lifts up to disconnect. To reconnect, it has a hook which aims downward and fits into a socket.

3. Self-installation

Some people prefer to have free floating pieces so they can easily rearrange them. However, on slick flooring, the pieces tend to slide apart. Most people agree that connectors are worth it to install. 

What Are Ways You Can Arrange a Modular Sectional?

You should arrange your modular sectional based on the focal point of the room. For instance, if the focal point is a TV or fireplace, you should have the sectional facing it.

If you are entertaining or having a family game night, the focal point is the other people in the room. In this case, you’ll want the seats to face one another rather than the TV or fireplace. Here are some options for how to arrange your modular sectional:

1. Across from the focal point

Snuggled up

Snuggled up modular sofa configuration

A movie night with your family means the TV is the focal point, and that you probably want to be snuggled up. A great way to do this is by connecting all the pieces of the sectional and facing it toward the TV so everybody is sitting together.

Spread out

Modular sectional arranged in a circular fashion

You may also want to have a movie night with guests. And, rather than snuggling up on one large sofa, you can disconnect the pieces and make a semicircle around the TV. This allows everybody to be engaged while maintaining a sense of personal space.

2. Oriented for conversation

Being oriented for conversation means breaking up the pieces into a circle or semicircle. A great way to do this is by utilizing a coffee table. The coffee table, rather than the TV, becomes the center of the space.


U-shaped modular sofa configuration

You can also combine the pieces to form a U-shape around the coffee table. Do this by placing three to four seats next to each other and then adding ottomans to the ends. If you have an extra chair or two, feel free to place them next to the U-shape to fill out the circle.


Grouped modular sofa configuration

Another option is to make the coffee table your anchor and then separate the sectional into equal pieces. For example, you can create groups of two on opposite sides of the table. Keep in mind that you can use an ottoman as a seat.

The great part of a modular sectional is that you can create all these arrangements and more.


Deciding between a traditional or modular sectional comes down to your space and your lifestyle. Both options offer a high level of comfort, and they come in similar shapes, sizes, and styles. 

The adaptability of the modular sectional is what distinguishes it from a traditional sectional. If versatility is essential in your life and your space, then the modular sectional is right for you.

Leave a Comment