common mistakes when buying a sofa

Sofa Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Sofa

Sofa Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Sofa

sofa buying guide

A sofa is a significant part of the furniture you will use for many years. You need a sofa almost everywhere in your home.

Don’t risk making the wrong choice when choosing a sofa. If it is unfit for you and your space, you will have to bear the discomfort for a long time.

Your sofa (or couch) should be comfortable, functional, and elegant. It's one of the most expensive pieces of furniture in the home that you don’t want to choose wrongly.


What to Consider When Buying a Sofa

Here is a guide to choosing the perfect sofa or couch for your home.

1. Comfort

    Before you think of any other thing, how comfy is the sofa? This is one primary rule when buying in stores; the try it before you buy it rule. It's not advisable to buy without testing, so sit on it and lie if you please.

    You should feel how relaxing the sofa is for you. Don't get carried away with its looks. Consider how your body likes its features, height, size, and softness. If you don't feel relaxed on the sofa, then it's not fit for your home regardless of how gorgeous it looks.


    2. Style and Type

      sofa buying guide

      Are you buying a couch to fit into an existing décor, or are you starting from scratch? You have to decide the look you want to achieve. It can be sleek and modern or warm and cozy.

      The couch is a significant part of your living room décor, so, narrow down the style and go for something that works best. The type of sofa you will be buying is different from style.

      A standard sofa is suitable for three or more people. A modular sofa is large and ideal for rooms with more space. It takes five or more people and helps to derive a particular shape.

      Loveseats are for two people and great for cramped corners. Futons are light and small. They can easily be turned to the bed. Sofa beds are suitable for guests as they serve two purposes. Reclining sofa can recline for you to sit and relax. All types have different functions.


      3. Size

        Have you measured your space? Buying the wrong size for your space is one huge mistake in interior décor. Your furniture should not be too small or too big for your living area.

        Although your friends and family should have enough room to sit, don’t overpower your space.

        The usage of the couch should also determine the size. A sofa for a minimal area of the house does not need to be very big. Measure your space and sofa to ensure it can make it through the doorway. Don't just size up the room with your eyes, get the dimensions right.


        4. Shape

          A good-fit sofa should be long enough for a stretch and high enough for comfortable sitting. A deep and cushy sofa with pillows is appropriate for relaxation. A rolled arm or Lawson sofa is a good choice for a formal and informal setting.

          But for family, sectionals come as the most popular choice. It has a cozy and conversational setting for comfort. Although sectionals don't fit in all spaces, you can buy one with a chaise on one end to make the room look airy. The purpose of the sofa also matters here.


          5. Fabric

            sofa buying guide

            The sofa is beautiful and has the right size, but have you checked the fabric? Is it easy to clean? You don't want a situation where you have to use pillows to cover wine spills because the stain won't go away. Asides for its maintenance, the fabric should also look great and resist odors.

            A couch with silk fabric is a good fit for areas with minimal use. For heavy usage areas, microfibers are perfect, attractive, and easy to clean. A textured fabric is resistant to wear and tear while a leather fabric is very durable.

            If you are going to be exposing the sofa to sunlight, consider a material that won't fade easily.


            6. Colors and Patterns

              sofa buying guide

              Your sofa should not be off or isolated. It should blend into the room design. You probably think a neutral color will be best for a sofa and it will blend in easily. Well, that shouldn't be your only option.

              If you love solid colors, go for it. Solid colors make a bold statement. But if you choose neutral colors, make sure you have vibrant colors in the pillows. Patterned fabric will be able to hide more stains. So, you can have them in heavy usage areas.

              Size matters here also. If you have a small room, a neutral color sofa will fit best.


              7. Quality

                sofa buying guide

                Don't let the cost restrict you. It is advisable to go for the best quality in-store. If not, you are at risk of spending more in the long run.

                Take note of the frame. Is it made of hardwood, metal, or cheap framing wood? Durability is crucial at all times. Don't go for cheap sofas as they are mostly constructed with inferior woods or metals. They may begin to sag as time goes on, making it necessary to change your sofa frequently.

                Make confirmations about the joinery. Go for frames that are connected with wooden dowels, brackets, metal screws, and double wooden dowels. Sofa joined with just nails, glue, or even staples are not good quality. Run your arm through and make sure it is well padded. You shouldn't feel the edges of the frame when you do so.


                8. Pillows

                  sofa buying guide

                  You'll find some sofas with attached pillows and some with loose pillows. Attached pillows give formal vibes and can't be rearranged while loose pillows are informal and can easily be repositioned and moved around.

                  Loose pillows are not so easy to maintain; they can get saggy or look unkempt.

                  Your choice of pillows depends on your taste. If you wish to add more colors to the sofa, loose pillows will be more convenient. You can change them later to change the look of your sofa and redecorate your home.


                  9. Cushions

                    sofa buying guide

                    Check the construction and configuration of the sofa. The cushion is what makes it comfy. The foam on the couch should be firm and resilient. It may sink in when it's in use, but it should regain its shape when you get up from it.

                    This is why you have to sit on it for a while at the store. It's the only way to find out. If the foam stays put, it will get flat on time.

                    Seek for a sofa cushion made with polyurethane foam. Make sure you have a balance. It shouldn’t be too soft or too hard. If you go for a goosed down sofa with feathers, you will need to plump it frequently. It's very comfy and expensive.


                    10. Arms and Legs

                      sofa buying guide

                      The arms of the sofa should be tight. Don't hesitate to punch them to feel the hardness. They should not give way when you rest on them.

                      The arms also define the style of the sofa. There are sock arms that work well in a casual interior. You'll find rectangular arms for modern spaces and curved arms for traditional spaces. Just make sure they’re tight and hard, especially if you have children in your home.

                      The sofa's legs don't always have to be visible. You can go for a less leggy sofa, depending on how it suits your interior decoration. Make sure legs are part of the frame and not screwed.

                      Also, consider the legs when measuring your couch. They should be able to pass through your doorway.


                      11. Springs

                        If you want a quality and long-lasting couch, avoid the less expensive ones. Most of them don't have springs – only webbing and mesh. Avoid them.

                        Serpentine springs are conventional in most good couches. They are comfortable but may sag over time if the metal is not heavy. In luxury sofas, you'll find eight-way hand-tied springs, which are satisfying.

                        Good springs offer excellent support and ensure that the cushion doesn't press in too much when you sit.


                        12. Operating Mechanism

                          If you are buying a recliner, make sure it works. Test it by operating it repeatedly at the store. Motion furniture pieces are expensive; you have to be sure yours is functioning properly to avoid excess spending on repairs. It should be smooth-running. Don't overlook any irregularities.


                          Wrap Up

                          Sofas make most of the furniture in living rooms. Go for a quality one that fits best. Since it is often used, it should be able to stand through whatever comes to it.

                          Don't let low prices trick you. Buy your furniture first before choosing a color for your wall paint. It works better that way. And paint the walls before moving the furniture in to avoid staining it. However, if you have a painted wall before choosing furniture, just get one that fits. Make sure the sofa is not isolated.

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