Friday, September 17, 2021

The Best Sofa/ Couch Buying Guide You Need to Know

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The worst time to determine that you just hate a brand new couch is after it’s been delivered. The comfort of online purchasing makes shopping simpler, however, once you’re shopping for a sofa sight unseen, it’s necessary to do your homework. After a whole lot of hours of analysis, together with visiting three furnishings factories, interviewing {industry} specialists, and parking ourselves on almost every couch we’ve seen, we will let you know precisely what separates a fantastic couch from a future curbside donation. This information will stroll you thru all the things it is advisable to know to carry house a sturdy—and cozy—piece of furnishings. And we advocate some worthy manufacturers we’ve personally examined.

Discovering the proper couch to your house and price range begins with deciding what type and style you need. Simply as necessary, you’ll want to find out what size sofa will fit in your home (together with by way of doorways, down hallways, and upstairs, amongst different exterior and inside obstructions). Then contemplate how many people you need to seat and what you must keep away from (and spend money on) if pets or kids will frequently use the couch. We let you know learn how to examine for quality construction, how a lot you must expect to spend, and when you may get the perfect offers. We’ve additionally put collectively a buying checklist that you would be able to seek the advice of whilst you’re purchasing that will help you keep in mind crucial particulars.

A settee is among the most costly items of furnishings that most individuals buy, and we encourage you to attempt them out in individual or to purchase from online firms which have beneficiant return insurance policies. We hope that after you learn this information, you’ll really feel snug buying a settee that will probably be funding in your present and future house. And should you’re inquisitive about why two seemingly identically styled sofas may need drastically totally different costs, jump over to our companion piece, Sofa Buying Advice From the People Who Design and Make Them.

Why you must belief us

To find out how high-quality sofas are made, we visited three furnishings factories: Los Angeles–primarily based BSC Furnishings, which on the time was manufacturing BenchMade Modern’s line of upholstered seating (the businesses have since parted methods); the power for Modernica, the modernist furnishings producer, additionally primarily based in Los Angeles; and the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams manufacturing facility in Taylorsville, North Carolina. We spoke with Svenja Diekmann, lead designer at Swedish furnishings firm HEM, on the firm’s pop-up showroom throughout the LA Design Competition. We additionally chatted with salespeople on the ground of such retailers as IKEA, Crate and Barrel, and West Elm, and browse hundreds of online critiques and editorial suggestions listed online at HGTV, Architectural Digest, Curbed, House Remedy, Houzz, and Elle Décor.

Determine what sort of couch you need

Sofas and couches are available in many styles and sizes. The fitting one for you’ll rely on how a lot house you might have, how many individuals you need to seat, and whether or not you propose to make use of the couch for napping or internet hosting in a single-day friend. These are the 4 sorts you’ll typically discover:

  • Normal couch or sofa: These typically measure between 72 and 84 inches, comfortably seating three to 4 folks.
  • Loveseat: Much like a settee, however supposed for 2 folks, these vary from 48 inches to 72 inches large.
  • Sectional: A bigger modular couch consisting of two or extra items organized in an L- or U-shaped configuration. House-size sectionals are about the identical measurement as a normal couch, however bigger sizes can seat 5 or extra folks.
  • Couch mattress or daybed: A settee mattress transforms to put out flat, providing a mattress-like floor to relaxation on. A daybed is basically a settee with extra depth, and is meant for lounging comfortably stretched throughout its size.

Though a designer could take offense should you name their couch a sofa, in on a regular basis use there’s no distinction. Each describes a cushioned piece of furnishings with an again supposed to seat multiple individuals. “Couch” has at all times implied an extra formal seating association for entertaining friends (and the design/retail {industry} favors the time period), and “sofa” connotes the relaxed comforts of seating that’s supposed to welcome any and all.

Select a settee type

Illustration: Sarah MacReading

No matter how effectively a settee is made, you gained’t be proud of it should you don’t additionally love the way in which it appears. Slim your search to the types that enchantment to you and that can complement your property’s decor. Under are the eight commonest types bought at this time.

Mid-century trendy: The hallmarks of the mid-century aesthetic are a clear and minimalist construction sitting low to the ground atop unadorned steel or picket legs.

Lawson: The “comfortable denims” of sofas, the laidback Lawson is virtually synonymous with what we consider because the quintessential sofa the place spare change will get found.

English roll arm: The cushioned but agency high-back couch is distinguished by its low contoured arms leaning outward. This type appears finest in conventional and transitional adorned areas which have sufficient room to not cramp its measurement.

Chaise: Think about the seat of an upholstered chair stretched out and you’ve got the chaise. Historically this couch options one aspect with an arm and the opposite aspect with out (aka a méridienne couch or fainting sofa), however many chaise designs forgo arms altogether.

Sofa: A small upright couch that’s distinguished by its seating for 2, the sofa is the unique title for the love seat. Kinds can vary from conventional to up to date detailing. Due to its petite proportions, the sofa works effectively in smaller flats, in a pair going through one another, or positioned inside surprising areas like bedrooms, workplaces, and even hallways.

Tuxedo: Boxy dimensions, tufting alongside the again and arms, and arms of equal top to the again are what distinguish this type.

Chesterfield: Recognized by its quilted or tufted low again and its excessive arms, this British design is classically upholstered in leather-based.

Camelback: The aristocratic profile of the camelback (additionally known as a humpback couch) is unsurprisingly attributed to the hump on the heart of the backrest. Generally there are two humps, and the couch often sits atop 4 to eight uncovered wooden legs.

Ensure that the couch suits in your house

We’ve all heard the horror tales about somebody who bought the couch of their desires solely to find it will not match by way of a doorway, navigate a stairway, or match contained in the room. The carpenter’s adage of “measure twice, reduce as soon as” proves equally true once you’re dropping a whole lot—if not hundreds—of well-earned {dollars} on a settee. Observe these steps to make sure that you don’t change into a cautionary story for future generations of couch buyers.

A diagram illustrating proper measuring technique: width, height, arm height, and depth all need to be measured, as well as your entryways' width, height, and cornersDouble-check the producer’s listed measurements by taking your individual, and punctiliously measure the trail of supply. Illustration: Sarah MacReading

Precisely measure the couch

Measure the width, top, and depth of the couch; taking additional measurements also can show helpful for ordering customized upholstery or for packing and shifting particular person items later.

Though measurements are nearly at all times listed online or in catalogs, we advocate bringing a tape measure to shops to confirm dimensions in individuals. Ask gross sales representatives whether or not the couch ships with sections or components disassembled, or if they are often simply eliminated.

Measure your entryways

Survey the best factors of entry into your property, along with any obstacles that would complicate supply. A steep stairway, a slim hall, a low overhanging fixture, or a small elevator can all currently insurmountable challenges, even earlier than a supply makes it to the entrance door. We discovered the Room & Board’s How to Prepare for Furniture Delivery video significantly insightful for figuring out and visualizing obstacles that may get in the way in which of supply. Habitat UK’s six-step sofa-fit checklist (PDF) is one other glorious useful resource that may enable you to decide whether or not the couch will match by way of doorways and hallways, up a flight of stairs (together with these with a touchdown), or into an elevator.

Take a look at out the footprint

Earlier than you pull the set off, be sure that your potential upholstered roommate suits the place you propose it to reside.

BenchMade Modern provides a free, true-to-size printout of your actual couch to roll out throughout the ground; should you’re contemplating one other model, create a footprint of the couch utilizing newspaper, cardboard, or recycled paper taped collectively. If that sounds a bit old school, augmented-reality apps like IKEA Place and Wayfair’s Shop All Things Home will present life-size variations of furnishings in any house. AR apps additionally reduce the guesswork of whether or not a settee “works” with the inside paint and close by ornamental or architectural options. Sadly, not all couch producers supply this feature but.

Choose the proper couch to your life-style

When you’ve narrowed your search by type and measurement, give some thought to your private seating wants. A pet proprietor or a household with younger children could have very totally different wants than a fastidious couple. Assume by way of the next questions to assist decide what finest serves your lifestyle.

How will you employ the couch?

Be trustworthy with yourself about the way you’ll sit on the couch. In retail shops, we’ve seen buyers sitting on sofas like they’re upright mannequins, which is probably going not the way in which they’d sit or lie on them at the house. If you happen to are inclined to slouch, a daybed or sectional with a chaise will show extra snug and gained disfigure cushions (overtime, slouching presses the entrance of seat cushions outward). If you happen to’re a sofa napper, keep away from multi-cushion sofas, as a result of they’re liable to buckle and dip between every cushion. If you happen to choose to take a seat upright whereas studying, knitting, or utilizing a cellular gadget, the extra tailor-made, firmer construction of a mid-century-modern–type couch or one with an upright again will really feel extra snug.

How many individuals will sit on the couch?

Assume by way of how many individuals will frequently sit on the couch, but additionally how they like to take a seat. For instance, if one individual likes to take a seat upright however the different likes to lie throughout with their head on an arm, that’s how they need to check out a settee for snug width. Bigger households or households that frequently host friends will probably be naturally drawn to sectionals. However to provide an extra dynamic and versatile seating association, additionally, think about using two different-size sofas positioned into an L form, or attempt a pair of loveseats facing each other.

Do you might have children or pets?

By no means underestimate a canine’s, cat’s, or baby’s capacity to destroy your furnishings. Microfiber and leather-based upholstered sofas are the best to scrub and preserve. And since each are smoother, they’re much less prone to be scratched into remnants by a pet’s claws. In any other case, follow upholstery materials with excessive stain safety and a higher rub count. (Room & Board has fantastic information to pet- and family-friendly fabrics.) For an added layer of safety, you might also need to contemplate a settee with a slipcover. Unattached seat and again cushions will make for simpler particular person cleansing. In case your children soar on the couch, follow a body that has sinuous springs or poly-webbing supports somewhat than one with extra delicate hand-tied springs. For households with younger children, keep away from down-filled cushions, as a result of little toes will probably deform the malleable filling daily. It’s additionally a good suggestion to keep away from ornamental detailing, like tufting buttons or frilly trim; pulling and choosing at these will show irresistible for some children.

Do your flooring simply scratch?

You probably have delicate wood flooring, rigorously contemplate the legs of your couch. From expertise, we all know that hairpin legs can scrape wood flooring. As a final resort, a well-placed space rug can preserve couch toes from damaging aground.

Find out how to examine for high quality building

After a mattress, a settee is probably going the most-used piece of furnishings in a house. The standard of the body, helps, cushions, and fabric impacts how lengthy a settee will final, one thing we elaborate on in our companion piece, Sofa Buying Advice From the People Who Design and Make Them. In short, that is what to search for.

An underside shot of a sofa's squiggly metal springs


Most frames are manufactured from some form of engineered wooden, however, our specialists suggested avoiding MDF or particleboard, which don’t maintain staples, glue, or nails effectively over time. As a substitute, search for these manufactured from furniture-grade plywood, engineered hardwood, or stable wooden. Essentially the most sturdy sofas are created from conventional mortise-and-tenon joints, which require much fewer staples and glue to carry the body collectively. When you find yourself testing out a settee, the body ought to really feel stable. Any swaying is an indication that the body isn’t robust.


Greater than cushioning, the suspensions in a settee are what make it snug. High-quality sofas are sometimes made with sinuous springs (S-shaped springs stretched throughout the skeleton of the wooden body). Some sofas are supported by poly-webbing, which will be much more sturdy than sinuous springs, relying on the standard. However, webbing gained’t give the couch as a lot bounce. Very high-end sofas are made with eight-way hand-tied springs, which might do a greater job of averting sagging and squeaking. When testing out a settee, pay attention for squeaks or creaks. That’s an indication that the springs are improperly put in or presumably damaged.


Past type, cushions are essentially the most subjective aspect once you’re choosing out a settee. Some folks will need nap-friendly cushions they will sink into, and others will need extra structured, firmer seating. Usually, you’ll discover 4 cushion choices:

  • Poly-wrapped foam: Manufactured from high-resiliency foam wrapped in polyester, that is essentially the most generally discovered cushion type. You gained’t have to fluff the cushions, and the froth typically supplies good help.
  • Goose/duck down: Crammed both with 100 % down (plush) or a down-blend encasing a foam core (barely firmer) with a layer of down-proof ticking. That is essentially the most luxurious cushion type, however identical to a down mattress pillow, it requires common fluffing.
  • Innerspring core: Much like a mattress, this cushion type has individually pocketed coils wrapped in a layer of froth. The cushions have extra bounce than different types.
  • Reminiscence foam: You’ll discover reminiscence foam cushions totally on sleeper sofas. The excessive density of reminiscence foam ensures sturdiness, however not everybody will like its form-fitting properties.


Retailers supply a variety of upholstery materials at totally different costs. The most affordable materials are typically extra vulnerable to stretching and marking. Upholstery materials often have a rub-count score, which signifies their longevity. (A measure of a material’s sturdiness, rub rely on is examined by a machine that rubs forwards and backwards over the material till the fabric wears down.) Think about 50,000 rely as commonplace, 80,000 as premium, and 100,000 as high-performance. Residential rub counts above 25,000 are often thought of high-quality, however you probably have a big household or pets, we’d advocate leaning towards 50,000, as a result of the quantity of friction throughout the material floor will add up.

A pile of upholstery swatches on a table

You’ll be able to at all times order material samples from firms, comparable to these from Joybird (left) and BenchMade Trendy (proper). Professional tip: When you’ve pinpointed your favorites, ask for bigger samples to extra carefully scrutinize. Photograph: Michael Hession

When mulling over your material choices, request samples which can be bigger than the same old swatch so you possibly can observe what they appear to be beneath daylight and illuminated by inside lights. Attempt to take a nap with the material in opposition to your face, and apply it in opposition to your neck, arms, and again to find out whether or not it’s really snug—which is one thing that’s almost inconceivable to find out simply utilizing a small swatch and your fingertips.

How a lot to spend and when to purchase

Luxurious designer sofas aren’t essentially constructed to a better commonplace than extra modestly priced equivalents. As with vogue, with sofas generally you’re paying a premium for the branding. From our analysis and expertise testing, we take into consideration $1,000 is the minimal you’ll have to spend to get a three-seater couch made with high quality supplies. Above $3,500 and also you’re in all probability paying extra for branding.

January and July are the 2 finest months to search out sofas at a reduction, as a result of the furnishings {industry} ships new stock to retail areas biannually, in February and August.

January and July are the 2 finest months to search out sofas at a reduction, as a result of the furnishings {industry} ships new stock to retail areas biannually, in February and August. If you happen to’re shopping for from a retailer that has an as-is part, like IKEA, returned sofas supply a chance to find potential weak factors and structural problems with particular fashions. If you happen to see a large number of a sure type, it’s in all probability finest to keep away from that sort.

How we picked and examined

For this information, we sought couches that hit the candy spot of sturdiness, consolation, value, and availability of types. Extra particularly, we wished to search out sofas that had been available to all prospects, together with folks residing exterior of huge cities, and that might be ordered on-line. We appeared for couches that supplied some customization, comparable to material alternative, and firms that prolonged a beneficiant return coverage (as a result of should you hate your couch, or if it doesn’t match into your house, you’ll want to return it). We appeared for inexpensive couches and items that supplied up to date styling, in addition to considerate building particulars suggesting that your new couch gained’t collapse two weeks after it arrives.

Contenders on rug set up in office around coffee table

Though we started by taking a look at couches from retailers comparable to Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, in addition to at items from acquainted sources comparable to CB2, Pottery Barn, and West Elm, we discovered ourselves targeted on an more and more widespread subset of couches: these which can be obtainable on-line and which can be designed and bought by the identical firm. To find out which couches to check, we spoke to a variety of specialists and browse loads about how couches are made. Our preliminary listing of sofas to contemplate got here from our editors’ experiences, in addition to from suggestions from specialists, together with inside designers and interior-design blogs. After winnowing down our listing to 10 sofas, we culled additional. We ended up testing seven sofas from seven firms.

We selected to check one of many best-selling fashions from every firm. Our assumption was that these fashions represented the types that our readers can be most certainly to order; we additionally felt that they’d symbolize the designs that the businesses had essentially the most expertise in manufacturing. We appeared on the variety of material swatches obtainable and, if doable, ordered swatches. We reviewed rub counts. We appeared into VOCs (risky natural compounds launched into the air that have an effect on air air pollution, air high quality on the manufacturing facility, and, finally, air high quality in your house). We requested about supply and warranties, return insurance policies, and ease of return.

We organized for seven couches to be delivered to our Los Angeles workplace. With every supply, we took notice of the expertise, from the scheduling to the supply time as to if the packaging was taken away and the ending particulars attended to. Then we sat,  reclined, and napped on every of these couches over a number of days, taking notes. We flipped cushions, and we picked up the couches and moved them round to check their weight and the pliability of their frames. We examined their stitching, unzipped their cushions, and inspected their underbellies.

As soon as we’d executed our personal investigation and analysis, we invited a variety of associates and colleagues to hitch us; they included an inside designer who additionally oversees the work of a nationwide interior-design agency, a life-style author with an extended résumé of labor within the home-decor market, and knowledgeable organizer with a background in house design. Our friends various in top, weight, and age, they usually included a couple of youngsters whom we inspired to leap on our tester fashions.

We additionally requested our testers to charge what they felt was their favourite couch for every of seven actions: sitting on the couch and having a dialog whereas at a celebration, leaning again and stress-free, sitting ahead as if engrossed in an occasion on TV, sitting by way of a two-hour film, binge-watching a complete season of a favourite tv present, mendacity down and studying or engaged on a pc, and mendacity fully flat and napping or sleeping.

Our picks

The Best Sofa/ Couch Buying Guide You Need to Know
  1. Article Ceni Sofa
  2. BenchMade Modern Skinny Fat Sofa
  3. IKEA Kivik Sofa

We discovered Article’s Ceni Sofa to be snug, effectively constructed, and extra uniquely styled than many equally priced sofas we’ve seen, and Article provides a variety of enticing types, together with sectionals and sleeper sofas. The corporate’s sofas can be found in a number of material selections that may be dispatched in a couple of days, and the Ceni sells for just below $1,000.

The Best Sofa/ Couch Buying Guide You Need to Know
Wide sofa leg on carpet
Skinny Fat Sofa

Purportedly made by the identical manufacturing facility that manufactures top-of-the-line sofas by B&B Italia and Knoll (as reported by The New York Times), Article’s Ceni sports activities a cultured wooden base, sinuous springs, and high-density polyurethane-foam cushions wrapped in polyester. To our testers, it had an honest, albeit agency, “experience,” in addition to a sublime classic vibe that belied its value. The corporate’s return policy is detailed but simple: If inside 30 days you resolve you don’t like your new couch, Article will come to choose it up, deducting the supply and pickup payment (often the identical $50) out of your refund. Ensure that to maintain the packaging; Article gained’t settle for the return with out it.

KIVIK Sofa, Orrsta light gray

BenchMade Modern delivered a settee that was handsome, snug, clean-lined, and meticulously constructed. The corporate’s sofas are comparatively costly in contrast with different on-line choices we tried, however we predict that you just get higher high quality for the value. The frames are effectively constructed (we visited the corporate’s LA manufacturing facility), and BenchMade provides a fantastic vary of upholstery materials. The corporate can even customise the scale of your couch, which is helpful you probably have an odd-shaped front room. If you happen to want a settee in a particular measurement or in much less time than the industry-standard wait time of eight to 12 weeks, BenchMade Trendy sometimes has the flexibility to make a settee in 24 days. Regardless of the speedy turnaround, for our couch the corporate didn’t skimp on high quality. The zipper’s flaps closed evenly over the chain, and the stitching was tight and even. And since it was lined with the identical material on each side, this mannequin was one of many solely couches we examined that made it doable to flip the cushions over. We’ve additionally learn optimistic consumer critiques in regards to the firm’s customer support and supply.

The Best Sofa/ Couch Buying Guide You Need to Know
A close up of the arm on the Benchmade Modern sofa.

The corporate additionally addresses a typical problem—when folks don’t measure appropriately they usually find yourself ordering a chunk that doesn’t match—with a singular resolution. BenchMade can ship you a blueprint of your merchandise so that you could see if the piece suits into your house and has satisfactory clearance to get by way of doorways and round corners. It’s a small element, however it’s one which we discovered very useful.

The Best Sofa/ Couch Buying Guide You Need to Know

If you happen to’re in a rush to buy a sofa and cash is the most important consider your determination, we predict your finest guess is to move to IKEA (you may as well order IKEA’s sofas on its web site). Although we love IKEA’s easy Scandinavian styling, its couches are neither effectively constructed nor significantly snug. Nevertheless, IKEA’s affordability, availability, and the corporate’s yearlong return coverage for unused merchandise makes it an possibility to contemplate.

KIVIK Sofa, Orrsta light gray
top of back cushion on ikea couch

Beginning at $500 and going as much as $650 (the value varies relying on the upholstery colour and weave), IKEA’s Kivik is sort of inconceivable to beat on value. Sadly, on this case you get what you pay for. These sofas are, in a phrase, uncomfortable, particularly in comparison with the opposite sofas we examined. We can also’t vouch for this couch’s sturdiness. We had been disenchanted that after just a few hours of sofa testing, our Kivik couch appeared matted and off-kilter. However for a good friend who bought the sectional mannequin of this couch a couple of years in the past, it’s nonetheless holding up effectively.

Though the development of IKEA’s furnishings leaves a lot to be desired, we do like its easy styling and flexibility. You’ll be able to take away the arm of the couch to mix it with different Kivik items, including a chaise, as an illustration, to create a sectional. We additionally just like the low armrests, which might supply arms a spot to perch and are large sufficient to double as finish tables.

The competitors

Interior Define’s Sloan sofa was a robust contender for our prime decide. This firm provides some customization past material: You’ll be able to modify the size of many of the sofas, and alternate legs can be found on sure fashions. Among the sofas supply again and/or seat cushions wrapped in down or a mix of cotton fiber and down.

Natalie Berschneider Wiweke of Gina Berschneider Inc.—a maker of high-end sofas that has created items for Prince and for Priscilla Presley, amongst others—admired the Sloan’s strains and favored the truth that the cushions had been wrapped with down on one aspect. However a reviewer on Houzz was disenchanted with that mannequin after six months of regular utilization: “[T]he cushions at all times look wrinkly and lumpy. It undoubtedly sags within the frequent locations one would sit.” That is one thing our testers additionally apprehensive about, with one saying that “the cushions principally preserve their form” and one other writing that they “felt spongy.”

Multiple tester famous that the Capsule Home’s Cameron Sofa, a “shabby stylish,” pillow-dense couch, felt terribly gentle (one mentioned they had been capable of slide it alongside the ground whereas sitting on it, and one other wrote, “At any time when I sit the entire sofa strikes”), which didn’t bode effectively for long-term put on. And a reviewer on Houzz notes: “The cushions for the couch that I bought are already misshapen inflicting a dramatic sag in the midst of the couch. I’ve not even had this piece for a month and it already looks like an older piece of furnishings.” This reviewer echoes one in all our testers, who wrote, “The cushions keep indented lengthy after somebody will get up.”

What about Joybird?

We initially really useful Joybird due to the standard, consolation, and pricing of its furnishings. If you happen to purchased a Joybird couch and are proud of it, your expertise is very like that of our testers. However, in 2017, we stopped recommending the Joybird Korver after a variety of readers reported unfavorable experiences with Joybird’s customer support, lengthy supply instances, and even manufacturing defects. We had hoped the corporate would resolve these issues after their acquisition by La-Z-Boy in July 2018, however we’ve discovered that these identical points proceed at this time. A lot of buyer critiques from 2019 and 2020 cite points with manufacturing defects, unresponsive customer support, and poor communication.

Ought to I fear about flame retardants?

If you happen to’re purchasing for a settee, it’s possible you’ll be aware of the time period “flame retardants.” Producers used to add these compounds to furniture fairly liberally, as a result of the substances supposedly slowed the unfold of fireplace within the occasion the froth was uncovered to open flame (therefore the title). However later, scientists demonstrated that the compounds didn’t actually do that. Add that revelation to the rising image of how flame retardants can affect our health (as reported in The New York Instances), and it’s no shock that producers principally aren’t utilizing them anymore. All of IKEA’s couches bought within the US are manufactured without flame retardants (PDF). BenchMade Modern additionally says that it doesn’t use flame retardants within the manufacture of its sofas. On new furnishings, it’s comparatively simple to inform whether or not flame retardants are current, as a result of California passed a labeling law in September 2014, and sofa makers across the nation are largely following alongside.

To evolve to the California labeling commonplace, TB 117-2013 (PDF), every bit of upholstered furnishings should embrace the next strains, with one or the opposite of the strains marked with an “X”:

The upholstery supplies on this product:

___ include added flame retardant chemical substances

___ include NO added flame retardant chemical substances

All the couches we examined do include polyurethane foams. And despite the fact that these foams don’t include flame retardants, they nonetheless launch gases and associated odors for the primary couple of days. For extra about off-gassing, see our article on what is coming out of your foam mattress—it’s additionally popping out of your sofa.

Couch-buying guidelines

While you’re purchasing for a settee in individual, and even once you’re making an attempt one that you just’ve ordered on-line, use the next pointers to assist assess how snug you’ll discover it over time and the way effectively it’s made.

☐ Is it snug to take a seat or lie on?

A settee ought to gently yield to your physique weight, and it shouldn’t really feel noticeably arduous or smooth. Take a look at any couch with out additional pillows; they might conceal back-cushioning points. Deliver and browse {a magazine} from cowl to cowl while you’re seated and mendacity down. If you happen to really feel aches after just a few minutes, contemplate a special type or measurement.

☐ Is it simple to get out of?

If you happen to discover the sofa uncomfortable to stand up from, you would possibly need to attempt a better seat degree and supportive, agency cushions. Seating you sink into is tougher to stand up from, so folks with ache or mobility points ought to keep away from overly smooth supplies like down or reminiscence foam.

☐ Is it the proper top?

Your toes ought to relaxation comfortably flat on the ground while you’re in a seated place. If you happen to’re shorter than 5 toes Three inches, search for sofas which have an inside seat depth of 19 to 21 inches (measured from the edge of the front of the seat to the front of the back cushion). People who find themselves 6 toes and taller or those that lie down frequently ought to search for sofas with deeper seating depth.

☐ Is it nonetheless snug with two or three folks?

Be aware whether or not there’s quite a lot of “movement switch” when a second or third individual sits down on the couch. Sofas constructed with spring helps could have extra movement switch than these with poly-webbing helps. You’ll probably desire a couch that provides some resistance and that gained’t allow you to sink an excessive amount of.

☐ Does the body really feel sturdy?

The couch shouldn’t squeak or creak once you sit on it. Use this check: Elevate the entrance nook or leg of the couch about 6 inches from the ground. The opposite entrance leg ought to finally elevate with it. If the opposing nook stays touching the ground, the body is flexing an excessive amount of. Be aware whether or not the body bows within the heart when two or extra folks sit on it, which probably means the body ought to be bolstered. That is significantly necessary for extra-long sofas. Relying on the size, the couch could require an additional set of legs.

☐ Are the stitching and the piping neat?

Examine stitching and piping sewn throughout cushions to examine whether or not they align constantly. Poor alignment generally is a seen indication that extra critical points exist hidden from view. Equally, if the entrance of a settee’s cushions are wavy, keep away from buying that couch.

☐ Does any wooden grain match?

Study the consistency of any grain or stain throughout wooden items. Look out for mismatched or poorly matched color and grain.


  1. Jay Novak, co-founder at Modernica, in-person interview, May 30, 2018
  2. Joshua Siegel, owner at BSC Furniture, in-person interview, June 5, 2018
  3. Megan Torres, general manager at BenchMade Modern, in-person interview, June 5, 2018
  4. Svenja Diekmann, lead designer at Hem, in-person interview, June 7, 2018
  5. Brad Sewell, founder at Campaign, email interview, July 11, 2018
  6. Natalie Quinn, upholstery merchandise manager at Room & Board, email interview, August 14, 2018
  7. Gregory Han & Abigail Stone Wirecutter, September 4, 2020

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