5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Sofa

Scandinavian style livingroom with fabric sofa, sofa table. morning image with plant. sofa table on the lug.
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There are some mistakes that people often make when buying a sofa. These are small things in themselves, and so are easily overlooked. But all sofa-buying mistakes featured here do end up having a big impact on your satisfaction with your sofa purchase.

  • 01 of 05

    Buying a Sofa That Is Too Big or Too Small

    Small sofa

    Design Folly / Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    This may be the most common mistake of them all. This happens when you don't measure your space or the sofa or sometimes neglect both. Don't go by how big the sofa looks in the store. A sofa might look deceptively small in a showroom but could end up being too big for your room or not being able to fit through doorways, so not measuring your space or your sofa can create many problems.

    Other than measuring the size of your space, pay attention to the scale. Your sofa should be the same scale as your other furniture so it doesn’t seem too big or too small placed alongside the rest of it.

  • 02 of 05

    Buying a Sofa Without Trying It Out

    Red sofa

    Plage Vinilos y Adhesivos / Creative Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Just as your sofa shouldn’t be too big or too small for your space, it shouldn’t be too big or too small for you, either. If you are tall, make sure that the seat is deep enough to allow you to sit in comfort. If you are not very tall or have bad knees, look for a shallow seat that lets you rise out of it easily.

    Where possible, don't buy a sofa without first trying it out. Sit on it, lie on it, try it out the way you would use it at home. If you like napping on your sofa, make sure that the arms are the right height. Make sure the cushions and the back are as soft or firm as you want them to be.

  • 03 of 05

    Buying the Wrong Style Sofa

    Black sofa

    Urbane Apartments / Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Your sofa should coordinate with the style of the rest of your furniture. It should be one that you are comfortable with, not just aesthetically, but also how that particular style functions for you. The way the sofa functions can be determined by trying it out but look carefully at the design to prevent buying something that is completely out of place in your home.

    Each home has a predominant style, and if you buy a sofa that doesn’t go along with it, it could be a major eyesore unless you are especially skilled in merging different looks. If you want to be safe, pay close attention to how your sofa would look lined up with the rest of your furnishings.

  • 04 of 05

    Selecting the Wrong Fabric or Color for Your Sofa

    White sofa

    Sweef / Creative Commons

    Selecting the wrong fabric for your sofa can be an expensive mistake. Make your fabric selection based on how the sofa will be used, and where you will be placing it. If you are buying your sofa for an area of your home that is heavily used, a delicate fabric or color would be destroyed even before you’ve had a chance to enjoy it.

    Selecting the wrong color for your fabric can also be a serious mistake. It is always a good idea to bring a swatch home to look at it with all your other furnishings, wall color, and light.

    Always choose a color you like and can live with. Don't pick colors based on trends or just a whim. You will have to live with that color choice for years.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Buying a Poor Quality Sofa

    Grey and white sofa

    Boa-Franc / Creative Commons / CC BY 2.0

    There are always budget considerations to be sure, but buying a good quality sofa ensures that you don’t have to replace it within a couple of years.

    Buying a good quality sofa saves you money in the long run. Buy the best quality you can afford as buying a poor quality sofa means that it will lose its shape, looks and comfort factor pretty quickly, sometimes within a matter of months. A poor quality frame can also cause it to break, and you will have arms that jiggle and legs that aren't steady.