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18th November 2021

The comfiest Mancunian sofas to read on

We test out some different sofas across Manchester to find which ones are the best to read on
The comfiest Mancunian sofas to read on
The winning sofa; Photo: Aileen Loftus @ The Mancunion

Nothing beats sinking deep into a comfortable sofa to settle into a new book. Sometimes a change of scene, or change of sofa, is just what is needed to make you crack on with your reading list, whether it’s for university or just for pleasure. 

I’ve spent this year’s University of Manchester reading week wisely, by testing the different sofa options Manchester has to offer. I have ranked the five best sofas to read on in Manchester, after trying out a few options. I tried to think mostly about the sofas, though I can’t claim that the coffee on offer haven’t had influenced my decisions.

5. Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

It’s at the bottom of the list, but given that it’s on campus and free for students it can’t be ignored. Ali G does have a few sofas, and if you manage to grab the right one it can be a comfy spot to sit and read for a while. However, it loses points for the often grubby state of said sofas, and for the noisy group of first years you always manage to end up next to.

Alan Gilbert sofa
Photo: Aileen Loftus @ The Mancunion

4. Feel Good Club

The Feel Good Club’s ethos is all about spreading positivity and talking about how you feel, and their cafe is a lovely place to read. It is sitting a little lower on the list only because of its more limited sofa options. I actually opted for a palette-come-sofa, that was comfy enough to read on, but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay there all day. Overall, however, there were good vibes, plenty of tables and a greenhouse indoors, so it was a pretty cool reading environment. 

Feel Good Club sofa
Photo: Aileen Loftus @ The Mancunion

3. Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey is a community cafe run by friendly volunteers, and is super student friendly. It can be found on campus so it’s a pretty handy location if you’re at uni. Its sofas are comfy, so get top points, but it can be tricky to get a sofa spot. It is also only open Tuesday to Friday, from 9am to 3:30pm. 

Milk and Honey sofa
Photo: Aileen Loftus @ The Mancunion

2. Foundation Coffee House

There are three different Foundation Coffee House options, one in the Northern Quarter, one in Piccadilly and one on Whitworth Street. Both are often full of people working and studying, creating a productive environment to help you get absorbed in your book. The spaces are not sofas-only, but sofas can be found (along with some bean bags), and with good coffee and good food, it’s the perfect place to settle into for a while. 

Foundation Coffee House
Photo: Aileen Loftus @ The Mancunion

1. Chapter One Books

A classic spot for book lovers, this cafe has a range of comfy sofas and they don’t mind you staying a while. In fact, I would say that reading is encouraged. You do have to get to Chapter One fast before the sofas are snapped up, but it’s worth it. It’s quirky, has a great atmosphere and great (if a tad pricey) cakes. The different sofa options make it a clear winner for me. 

Chapter One Books sofa
Photo: Aileen Loftus @ The Mancunion
Aileen Loftus

Aileen Loftus

Books Editor

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