Things to Consider Before You Buy a Sofa

Shopping for a new sofa

The sofa you buy should be chosen for several reasons, such as how you are going to use it and which style would be the best fit for your room. And since a good sofa can last you for years, it is also important to learn about quality before you determine a budget for it.

How Will You Use Your Sofa?

Determining the kind of usage your sofa will get can help you select most of the other features you need.

  • So, how will you use your sofa? Will it primarily be used for everyday activities such as relaxing, reading, or watching TV, or will it be used only occasionally in a formal setting?
  • Who will be using it most? Pay attention to any special considerations if you really want your sofa to be a good fit. For instance, use deep seating for a very tall person. For someone with bad knees, shallow seating and a tight back make it easier to get up from a seated position.

Before You Buy a Sleeper Sofa

Small Space Solutions from BoConcept

Which Sofa Shape is Right For You?

Once you’ve determined how it’s going to be used, pick a shape that best serves that purpose.

  • A sofa that will be used for relaxation can be deep and cushy with loose pillows. A Lawson sofa, with arms lower than the back, is a versatile choice for both formal and informal settings. A rolled arm sofa is also a good choice.
  • A camel-back sofa has a curvilinear shape, shallow seating, and a tight back. It is better for a formal and traditional setting.
  • Sectionals come in many configurations and profiles and are good in cozy, conversational settings. For added comfort, you can have reclining sectionals as well.

    Sofa Size

    The size of your room is a good guide for the size of your sofa.

    • Make sure its size doesn’t overpower the room or impede the flow of traffic. Measure the entire room, especially the wall against which you will place it before you go shopping.
    • A tight back sofa works well in a tiny space because of its low profile.
    • A sectional might be perfect for a larger area, but smaller scaled sectionals often work in smaller spaces as well.

    Measurements to Create Flow

    Small Scale Furnishings

    How to Measure a Sofa

    How to Choose Sofa Fabric

    To keep your sofa looking its best, it is important to select the right fabric.

    • Use high maintenance fabrics, such as silk, only in areas that are used infrequently.
    • Microfibers are great in heavy usage areas, look attractive, and are easy to clean.
    • Textured fabrics show less wear and tear than smooth ones.
    • Leather is a good option if you are looking for longevity. There is now a large selection of colors and textures, so you are no longer confined to tans and blacks.

    Fiber guide

    Choosing Upholstery Fabric

    Fabric Wearability Code

    How to Choose Sofa Colors and Patterns

    To select a sofa color or fabric pattern, always take into consideration any preexisting colors or patterns in the room.

    • Neutrals work best in most rooms, especially small ones, but you can dress up your sofa by using more vibrant colors and patterns in the pillows or adding throws.
    • A patterned fabric works well in heavy usage areas as it can hide minor stains.
    • Go with a strong color if you want to make a bold statement, but if you do so, consider buying a sofa with simpler lines.

    How to Find a Quality Sofa

    The real quality of a sofa comes from how it is put together on the inside.

    • A good quality sofa is heavier because of its sturdy frame which is constructed of kiln-dried hardwood that is free from knots.
    • The legs will be part of the frame and not screwed on.
    • The cushion should retain its shape when you sit down, and not curve up. A combination of down and dense foam will let the seat maintain its shape for a long time.
    • You shouldn’t be able to feel the frame through the padding.
    • When you check the back, make sure it doesn’t feel hollow, as that is a sign of inferior construction.

    How to Judge a Sofa for Quality

    Top 13 Tips for Buying a Great Sofa

    Should You Consider an Indoor/Outdoor Sofa?

    Buying indoor/outdoor sofas is also an option and not just for the outdoor spaces.

    • Outdoor fabrics have improved to the point where they are just as luxurious as indoor fabrics.
    • They offer ease in cleaning and sturdiness, so you might want to consider them for high-traffic areas.
    • If you are going for a relaxed, resort-style look for your living room, there are lots of choices.

    Leisure Design Collection

    Bridgeport Collection

    Bocca and Kiss From Heller

    How Much Do Sofas Cost?

    You can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to $2500 for a basic sofa. If you’re on a tight budget, visit clearance centers or ask for floor models. Sometimes, you can find good values at special sale events.

    Make sure to buy the best quality you can afford, as you’ll live with your purchase for a long time. A sofa can last you anywhere from ten to fifteen years.

    • Clearance Centers
    • L.A. Design Concepts - Making "To the Trade Only" Furniture Affordable