Purchasing a sofa is one of the most significant purchases you will make for your house. It’s a piece of furniture in the living room where we relax, read, eat and drink, entertain family and friends, watch TV, and even sleep, so it’s only natural that we invest in one that will last for years. These are the 5 things you should think about when buying a new sofa, from taking measurements to selecting a suitable frame.
1. TRY PRIOR TO BUYING
When looking for a new mattress, do you know how you conduct the old bottom test? The same principle applies to a sofa. The usual sofa has a seat depth of at least 60cm, which allows you to move around freely if you have long legs and tuck them under if you’re shorter. However, seat depths range, so try out a few different models to be sure you have good back support. The majority of designs have a seat height of 45 to 50 centimeters. There is no such thing as the “right” or “wrong” size, so try before you buy to ensure that it is appropriate for the entire family.
According to Sarah Humphreys, Senior Buyer at DFS, it’s also crucial to think about how you like to relax. For example, if two of you want to sit with your legs up, make sure the sofa is deep enough to suit both of you. Alternatively, consider a chaise end or recliner sofa if you have the space. If you want to stretch out on your couch, make sure it’s long enough. Taller persons may wish to select a sofa with a higher back for further support.’
2. PUT MONEY INTO A GOOD FRAME
Spend as much money as you can on a suitable frame; it will last you many years of relaxation. A strong oak frame is a good choice, but particleboard or aluminum construction should be avoided. Before you buy, make a note of the warranty – always go with a manufacturer who offers at least a 15-year guarantee.
3. INSPECTION OF THE CUSHIONS
Keep in mind that the inside of a sofa is just as vital as the outside. When it comes to the back and seat of the couch, feather-filled cushions are comfortable, but they will need to be plumped regularly, whereas foam or fiber fillings may flatten out and lose their form with time. Is this the ideal solution? Sofa.com suggests using a combination of feather and foam because “feathers create softness while foam provides stability.” Back pillows made of feathers and seat cushions made of foam or fiber work well together.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE FABRIC
Whether you choose a vibrant color, a pattern, or a neutral, the upholstery fabric you choose will have a significant influence on the room, so be sure it matches your scheme. Natural fabrics may fade in direct sunlight, so choose a synthetic material if the sofa is near a window. It’s especially vital in a busy family home, so choose a fabric that’s easy to spot clean if you have a dog or cat. In this instance, loose covers are a good option because they can be removed for cleaning and some are even machine washable.
5. TAKE MEASUREMENTS
There’s nothing more frustrating than buying furniture that doesn’t fit in your home (remember Ross Geller’s iconic ‘PIVOT’ sofa scene from Friends? ), so measure up beforehand. Get out the tape measure and double-check that the maximum sofa measurements that fit and suit your area are correct.
Both the width (the measurement across the back of the sofa) and the depth (the measure across the front of the couch) are vital to consider, according to Sarah Humphreys of DFS (the measurement from the back of the sofa to the show). ‘If you’re choosing a sofa for a smaller room, pay attention to the depth of the seat, as the depth of the seat rarely changes from larger to smaller size sofas,’ she advises. ‘Take into account the sofa’s height, especially if your space contains radiators or shelving.’
Cutting out the shape of your sofa from newspaper and placing it on the floor in the room is one way to ensure that it will fit in your area. ‘This allows you to double-check that you have enough area to walk around it comfortably and that you’ve left enough room for shelves, radiators, and other furniture, as well as the opening of drawers, doors, and windows,’ Sarah explains.
Finally, double-check the size of any doors or stairways that the sofa will have to pass through during delivery — your unscratched walls will appreciate it.
If you have limited space, a low-back type, one with removable legs, or even a modular design delivered in portions may be the best option. Consider a two-seater or a snuggler if your space is limited. You may have your ideal sofa in mind, but you must also consider practicality. The good news is that customizing a couch to make it truly work for you and your space has never been easier.