There is nothing quite like the experience of relaxing on your sofa after a long, hard day. Whether it be with a coffee and book or popcorn and movie, few things match up. And it doesn’t even there the sofa acts as the centerpiece of your living room or common area, and its comfort level is directly proportional to your family and friends having a good time at your place. Not to mention your own peace on those lazy days when you can’t quite make yourself make the trip to your bedroom when it’s time to hit the sack.
All this is excellent support for our argument that sofas are amongst the most important things to get right when furnishing your house. Especially considering that is a decision you and your family will live the consequences for decades.
So with that rather hefty incentive to get it right, we’ve highlighted a few key factors consider to consider, from aesthetic to practical, to make sure your new sofa is a smash hit for years to come.
In this section, we’ll discuss everything you can do pre-hitting the shops, giving you an easier time of it when actually buying a couch.
Measure The Area the Sofa Will Live In
A key aspect of buying any large piece of furniture, you should always do your best to establish how much space you have to work with while leaving yourself enough room to walk around the sofa comfortably. Additionally, if your sofa of choice is of the extendable variety, make sure you measure your space at the full extended size before you buy, as well as its standard position. Lastly, do make sure that you’re not cutting it too close. Otherwise, the chosen room will seem cramped.
Measure The Doorways and Pathways to Your Sofa Destination
These measurements will help you ensure that your sofa will fit through doors and hallways when delivered. Iconic as the sofa scene on Friends is, no one wants to stand around carrying around a heavy piece of furniture for too long. However, if it seems too tight a fit, you could always choose one requiring partial or complete assembly.
What Type of Sofa Do You Want?
The sofa types mentioned below are among the most common, and you could opt for a custom or hybrid design outside of these based on your preferences and lifestyle.
- Traditional (standard three-seater)
- Sectional or modular (divided into sections and can be rearranged)
- Sleeper or Extendable (convertible sofa bed)
- Loveseat or compact
Establish A Color Theme
Consider the amount of space within the room, what you want visitors to focus on, how much light the room gets, and any previous decoration within the house.
One of the many advantages of living in a world with renowned retailers available at your fingertips, do your research. Consider the prices of various sofa types and characteristics across different brands and other customers’ experiences. You may even ask for free online cost analysis in some cases.
Factors to Consider When Buying
The frame is the foundation your sofa builds on, and none could qualify as a good piece of furniture unless it has a solid, quality inner frame. More economical couches may have frames made from particleboard, plastic, or metal, but quality pieces will have solid hardwood frames (oak, beech, or ash).
Just is the couches foundation – its legs are the foundation of the frame. An easy way to check for leg integrity is to lift one front corner of the sofa off about six inches off the floor. If the other front leg doesn’t quickly rise off the floor, as well, your sofa fails the test. Any item that visibly twists or creaks when doing this test is one to avoid.
Finally, when it comes to the frame, you should ask the employees about the joinery. Make sure it uses wooden dowels, double wooden dowels, wooden corner blocks, or metal screws and brackets. As a rule, you should never buy a sofa assembled with only staples, nails, or glue.
Our second concern is the filling, since getting it right determines how comfy you find your sofa really is. Your three main choices in this regard are fiber, foam, and feathers, or in some cases, a hybrid of two of them.
First up, fiber has a soft, relaxed feel and a plump appearance but requires a fair bit of upkeep to preserve its appearance.
Second, we have the most common sofa filling, foam. Foam offers you the firmest support and a more structured appearance of the three options, which retains (to a large extent) over time even with constant use and requires very little maintenance.
Third, we have the classic option, feathers. A feather-filled sofa invites you to sit down and sink in into the lap of luxury. Like fiber, feathers provide a softer, less structured look than foam.
However, that sink-in feeling comes at a price; cushions will need regular plumping and turning to keep their generous rounded appearance and soft support. Moreover, the expense involved is considerable.
The springs that hold up the cushions on a couch come in three levels of quality. However, most varieties are acceptable so long as they aren’t protruding, closely packed together, and reasonably durable. The least expensive type consists of webbing or meshes instead of proper springs – this is what you are looking to avoid – with the best springs being the hand-tied category.
While not a structural element, the upholstery of a sofa is essential to a product’s visual appeal. So make sure all patterns and stripes match at the seams. Furthermore, ensure the sofa patterns are centered, and all seams and welts should run straight to avoid picking up something that looks poorly tailored. Similarly, check to see if the buttons are secure.
Also, with fabric upholstery, higher thread counts indicate a denser weave and more durable fabric, and when it comes to durability, microfiber is king.
So, even considering all this, make sure you try the couch before you buy it because nothing will replace physically getting the feel of a product. And we hope that this rather detailed journey into the world of sofa shopping proved worthwhile.
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