Top 13 Tips for Buying a Great Sofa

Sofa Buying Checklist

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Are you thinking of buying a sofa? Why not buy a great sofa using these tips. The devil is in the details as they say, so take this sofa buying checklist along when you go sofa shopping.

However, before you even go shopping for a sofa, think about your own personal style and what would be a good match for your home. Consider size and scale, and never forget to measure. Color and fabric selection matter a lot, and choosing the right color, texture, pattern are all parts of fabric selection.

After all, most sofa selections are made on the basis of fabric alone.

To read up on fabric and fabric selection you may want to visit the links below:

These sofa buying tips have less to do with fabric selection, and focus more on another aspect of sofa buying, namely, the quality of a sofa.

  1. The frame should not wobble or creak, it should be sturdy and sit squarely on the floor. Wobbly or creaky frames mean less sturdy joints, while a strong frame means your sofa will last you longer.
  2. The frame and all the corners should be well padded. Run your hand over them firmly to see. A padded frame will not stick out through the upholstery, it also means less friction for the fabric that is covering the frame.
  3. Check the sofa from behind, and pat the center to make sure it isn't hollow.
  4. If you are buying a reclining sofa or a sofa bed, all mechanisms should work smoothly. Reclining, or motion furniture is generally more expensive, and you are paying for a functioning, smoothly running mechanism. It makes sense to check those features out at the store.
  1. If the sofa has any metal parts, inspect to see that they are smooth and free of sharp edges. All moving parts on a sofa bed or reclining sofa should clear the fabric completely to avoid tearing. You don't want any injuries to yourself or damage to your upholstery from a faulty mechanism.
  2. When you check out the back of your sofa , there should be no bumps or hard spots. Run the palm of your hand over it. This is especially important in a tight back sofa. Not only will bumps and hard spots mar the look of your sofa over a short period of time, they will also feel uncomfortable.
  1. Seat cushions should be firm and resilient and fit snugly within the sofa frame. Additionally, the cushions should regain their shape after you press down and let go. A cushion that stays put when you press down will be flattened in no time, end up looking unsightly and feel uncomfortable when you sit on it. Cushions that do not fit snugly in place will also lose their shape quickly and the edges will start looking unsightly.
  2. Seats should be comfortable, and for reclining furniture, be comfortable in all different positions. Select deep or shallow seats depending on your height. A taller person will need deeper seats.
  3. The arms should not jiggle or move, and if upholstered, they should be be well padded.
  4. If there are any buttons, check to see that they are sewn on securely. Loose buttons will come off and end up getting lost in no time.
  5. Just as in well tailored clothing, patterns and stripes should match at the seams. Although it might not catch your eye right away, mismatched patterns or stripes will give you the sense that something is"off". Stripes that match at seams make a sofa look well finished.
  1. Patterns should be centered, and all seams and welts should run straight. Uneven welting and seams that are pulled to one side or another mean that the cover was badly tailored.
  2. For fire safety reasons, look for the gold UFAC tag, indicating that the sofa manufacturer certifies it is made in accordance with UFAC methods. UFAC, or the Upholstered Furniture Action Council was founded in 1978 and its purpose was to make upholstered furniture more resistant to ignition from smoldering cigarettes. UFAC claims that the number of household fires has gone down considerably since these standards were put in place.

Bonus Sofa Buying Tip

And finally, when you are done looking at it, test drive your sofa. Lounge, recline, lie down, see if it feels like a good fit, because more than anything else, that is the sign of a truly great sofa.