How to Buy the Perfect Sofa for Your Home

Follow This Couch-Buying Checklist to Be Sure You Get the Right Piece

A sofa is a big commitment. Make sure you get the right one for your home by following these tips.

When you’re buying a new sofa, the most important thing to consider apart from if it is easy to set up, is how you’ll use it. Be honest with yourself and take into consideration whether you will be using it for entertaining friends casually, or flopping down after a hard day for a marathon TV session. Will it be in a ‘look but don’t touch’ kind of room, or will it get trampled by kids and pets? What style will best suit the household? Whatever your needs may be, remember them when you’re out shopping.

Sofa Quality

A sofa is a big investment, so always buy the best quality you can afford.

Frames should be made of kiln-dried hardwoods, with corners that are blocked, screwed, and glued.
Springs should be connected to each other with eight ties and then tied to the frame and covered. This is known as eight-way-hand-tied spring construction.
Run your hand across the back and make sure that it’s padded. A hollow back is a sign of poor construction.
Cushions come in down-and-feather blends, foam, spring-down, and combinations of all of these. Each one has their pros and cons, but it’s really a matter of comfort. Sit down and see which you prefer. Keep in mind that down cushions will require frequent fluffing, while foam will spring back on its own.
This information isn’t always on the tag, so ask to see a spec sheet, or have the salesperson do a little reconnaissance work for you.

Test Out Your Couch Before Buying

When you’re in the store make sure you take the sofa for a test drive. Sit, lie down, stretch, and put your feet up. Looks can be deceiving, so make sure the comfort level meets your standards. Try out every position you can think of (within reason of course) and make sure it will suit your needs.

Measure Everything

Measure the sofa carefully to make sure it will fit your space properly, but don’t stop there. Measure the doorways, staircases, elevator, and just about anything else you can think of. You will have wasted a lot of time, energy, and possibly money if you get it home and discover it doesn’t fit through the doorway.

Consider Sofa Fabric

Do a little research about fabrics before you buy. Aside from choosing a color that will work with your décor, be sure to choose a fabric type that will compliment your lifestyle. A delicate silk or velvet won’t do if you have kids and pets roughhousing on the couch. If you’re the type to eat dinner while lounging on the chesterfield, a micro fiber will easily forgive spills. (If this is the case, give some thought to using furniture slipcovers.)

Byuing a sofa is a big investment. Remember the rule of thumb: a top-quality sofa should last 20 years or more. All others should last at least a decade. Keep this in mind when shopping and as with anything, always measure cost versus quality.