Who Invented the Couch? (Invention Timeline Explained)

Chances are you are sitting on a comfortable couch while reading this. We can find couches everywhere, in our homes, offices, banks, and even in shopping centers. We always crave the comfort of our couches after a long tiring day. It is an excellent place to rest and a great place to curl in on a lazy, rainy day (come on, we all have “couch potato” modes). A modern-day house won’t be complete without it.

The invention of couches and sofas proves that humans seek comfort and strive to make life more bearable. But have you ever wondered about the story behind this piece of furniture? Like any other great invention, we tend to take couches for granted. This article tackles the melancholy history of the couch, who invented it, and why it was invented.

Who invented the couch?

The invention of the couch is credited to Jay Wellingdon Couch in 1895. But the earliest signs of a couch or sofa date back to the Greeks in the 9th and 8th centuries  BC.

The couch’s key contributors (and evolution)

  • Pre-historic Humans
    The First Furniture

    The first signs of humans having furniture for storage or resting date back to the Neolithic period. Archeologists found cupboards and dressers made of stones 5,500 – 2,5000 BC old.

  • Ancient Greeks and Egyptians
    Within the Tombs

    Beds and chairs were found in the tombs of pharaohs, queens, and other important people in the 9th and 8th centuries BC. They were used as a symbol of wealth and luxury.

  • French and British People
    Poor Man’s Bed

    In the 1600s, people used wooden couches as an alternative to beds made of cushions. They were made of plain wood and did not have any upholstery. Some scholars believed that the name “couch” came from “coucher,” which is a French word for “lie down” or “recline.”

  • Jay Wellingdon Couch
    The Invention of Modern Day Couch

    In 1895, Jay Wellingdon Couch invented and named (after his name) the first ever couch. Mr. Couch came from a poor family, so he was living an uncomfortable life. He couldn’t afford a bed, so he wanted a chair long enough to sit and sleep.

  • The Asians
    More Comfortable Couches

    Since the first couches are made of wood. The first couches were not very comfortable for sitting and sleeping. People from Asia were widely known for making cushions. The puzzle pieces came together, and people started putting cushions on couches.

When was the couch invented?

The earliest signs of couch-like furniture date back to the 9th and 8th centuries BC. But the formal invention of the couch is credited to Jay Wellingdon Couch in 1895.

A brief history of couches

Humans strives to feel comfortable. This is evident in the fact that we use technology to make appliances, gadgets, and equipment to make life easier for us. Furniture is also necessary for ensuring comfort inside our homes. The earliest signs of furniture date back to 5,500- 2,500 BC. They made dressers, cabinets, and storage from stones. Nowadays, our houses are adorned with luxurious beds, chairs, and tables that make them pleasing to the eyes. One of the pieces of furniture that’ll complete a modern house is the couch.

The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians furnished the tombs of their queens, pharaohs, advisers, and other important people with luxurious beds, chairs, tables, and sofa-like furniture. These pieces of furniture were used as symbols of luxury and wealth.

In the 1600s, French people used wooden furniture smaller than a bed but longer than ordinary chairs. They used this furniture to take a short nap, a quick rest, or when they just wanted to hang around and talk. They were named “poor man’s beds” since they had no upholstery. Some scholars believe that the term couch came from the French word “coucher,” meaning “recline” and “lie down.”

Jay Wellingdon Couch officially invented the couch in 1895. He came from a poor family and was living an uncomfortable life. He had no way of owning a luxurious bed, so he tried to create a piece of furniture suited for sitting and lying down. And that was the story behind the creation of the first ever couch.

Wooden couches were used at parties, banquets, and other social gatherings. By standard, these couches were comfortable for them back then. However, as the quality of life rises, the level of comfort people seek also rises. So, craftsmen and developers found different ways to make it comfier. People from Asia were very fond of cushions. So, they started adding cushions to couches, making them more comfortable for sitting down and sleeping.

The couch’s timeline

  1. 5500-2500 BC
    Made of Stones

    Archeologists found several pieces of furniture made of stones from the Neolithic period. These were the earliest signs of humans using furniture for comfort and storage. Dressers and drawers are some of the unearthed furniture.

  2. 8th and 9th Centuries BC
    Status Symbols

    The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used furniture as symbols of wealth, power, and luxury. Ancient people decorated the tombs of their queens, pharaohs, and other important people with luxurious chairs, sofa-like furniture, and bed. 

  3. 1600s
    “Recline” or “Lie Down”

    Scholars believe that the term “couch” came from the French word “croucher,” which means “recline” or “lie down.” Not everyone from the 1600s could afford a luxurious bed, so people used plain wood and made long chairs. People used these long chairs for napping or resting.

  4. 1895
    It was Mr. Couch

    The official invention of the modern-day couch was credited to Mr. Couch or Mr. Jay Wellingdon Couch. He came up with the invention in 1895. Since he was not well-off, he couldn’t afford a comfortable bed. He came up with the design of wooden furniture that’s smaller than a bed but is longer for people to sleep in.

  5. 20th Century
    The Asians’ Idea

    The wooden couches were comfortable back then. They were used in parties, banquets, meetings, and other social gatherings. However, people found ways to improve and upgrade the design. In the early 19th and 20th centuries, cushions were used by Asians to decorate their homes. Pieces came together, and people started putting cushions on couches to make them more comfortable.

Where was the couch invented?

The earliest signs of couch-like furniture date back to the 9th and 8th centuries BC in Egypt and Greece. But the formal invention of the couch is credited to Jay Wellingdon Couch in 1895 in England.

The importance of the couch

  • Perfect for resting

    After a long tiring day, it is nice to have quiet time and nap. The perfect piece of furniture for this quick rest is the couch. You can find it almost anywhere – in malls, shopping centers, banks, offices, and houses.

  • Bringing people closer

    Watching your favorite TV show or a movie with your family while eating popcorn or drinking coffee is very cozy. The couch is the perfect spot to make this time possible. It’s more than a resting place; it has the charm that brings families and friends closer.

  • Reading nook

    Can you think of a more relaxing scene than sitting on a comfortable couch while sipping coffee and reading a book? It is the best furniture to put in your reading corner. It gives you a place to detox from technology and social media.

  • Status symbol

    People back then used furniture to symbolize wealth, power, and luxury. Although more people can afford these now, they remain to be status symbols.

The couch by the numbers

  • 3.7 We can find the most expensive sofa in the world in Australia, the Lockheed Lounge. It costs $3.7 million. It is made of aluminum and a fiberglass chaise lounge.
  • 1260Most people find comfort when eating. And some of us do not eat at dining tables. So on average, almost 1260 meals were enjoyed by a person sitting on sofas.
  • 8-9 We always wish our furniture would last long. A regular sofa has a life span of about 8 to 9 years.
  • 17There are several variations of couches around the world. There are 17 reported versions of couches with different styles and materials.

Five facts about the couch

  • Money in Couch

    We use couches in our most comfortable states. While watching a movie or laughing along with friends, we became less mindful of our belongings. So, there’s a strong possibility of dropping your coins. Most owners can find money, usually coins, on their couch almost three times a month.

  • The Loveseat

    A type of couch is called love seats. Love seats have smaller and more intimate designs. They were built for two people only, more specifically for lovers. 

  • Couches are strong

    Aside from our weight, couches are designed to support other sources of force and stress. The most common example is children jumping up and down on them. Did you know that a regular couch can withstand children jumping on it 587 times?

  • Couch Potato

    Couch potato is a term to describe someone who spends most of his time curled on a couch while watching TV and eating snacks. A couch potato is not a fan of exercising and going outside.

  • They Witness the “Tea”

    Couches is a good place for people to converse and argue. On average, they witness more than 300 arguments in their lifetime. They also see loving moments from couples.

FAQs about the couch

  • Is it a couch or a sofa?

    When we talk about a couch, it means a piece of furniture where we can sit or lie down to rest and relax. This is also the purpose of a sofa. So basically, the two of them are the same.

  • Is the loveseat a couch?

    A sofa and a loveseat have the same purpose: to relax and rest your arms. The only difference is that loveseat is a shorter version of a couch that is made for two persons only, especially for lovers.

  • What is a one-seat couch called?

    A one-seat couch is called an armrest. This is designed for people who like being alone while resting. 

  • Why is it called couch?

    The word couch came from the French word “coucher” a verb in the structure that means to lay down in a bed or recline. 

  • What does couch mean in slang?

    Technically it is a humorous joke for an individual, especially for a woman who agrees to have sex to get her work in a film, movie, or a program on TV. “Couch potato” is another slang used to describe someone who spends a lot of time watching TV.

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