13 Tips to Buy Sofa: Sofa Buying Guide
Tips to Buy Sofa

13 Tips to Buy Sofa: Sofa Buying Guide

A sofa is one of the important parts of the furniture and your living room. A good sofa can make your life relatively better by its comfort and luxurious look, you can lay down on it, and watch TV or spend time with your companion. However, a poor-quality sofa can make your life a little miserable as well by its firmness, smell, or wear and tear. That is why it is a major furniture investment, and due to its usage for decades, so it’s important to make a good & healthy decision while you buy sofa.

So, when you are buying a new sofa, follow these 13 tips to buy a great sofa.

1. Select Sofa According to Your Lifestyle

Buy sofa that suits best your lifestyle. You should be clear that either you want a comfortable sofa or a firm one whose frame has more strength. How many people you want to accommodate, what are their heights, and what should be the sofa height? Buy sofa that fits your requirements well and there is no sense in considering a sofa that doesn’t fit you the best. However, most people prefer comfortable seats on which you can sit for a longer time to watch a movie or take a nap, etc.

  • Seat depth: One of the primary considerations is the depth or height of the seats. It can be selected depending upon the height of the person that either you want a deep or shallow seat.

Tip:  Place the feet flat on the floor and the back of the couch should support your back adequately and the back of your knees should be just a little bit forward from the lower seat cushion.

  • Comfort level: Check the comfort level of the couch if you like to take nap on the couch or spend a lot of your time on the couch, make sure to layout on the couch, or if you are buying online make sure to check its ratings about comfort level.
  • Seating capacity: Make sure you check the seating capacity and other dimensions of your sofa as well.
  • Check different parts: Make sure to check different parts of your sofa to check that it’s comfortable at all different parts or positions especially if you are buying a recliner sofa.

2. Sofa Style Selection

The style of a sofa can be a personal choice depending upon the interest of every person. It doesn’t directly impact the durability and long-lasting issues of a sofa but the style has its importance in terms of the aesthetic and overall look of your room or apartment. Some people want a minimalistic look, some want a royal or luxury look so that is completely up to the interest of the person.  But here are some of the common styles given that can help you in selecting a style of your own choice.

  • Mid-Century Modern: This sofa is most commonly being used due to its minimalistic and mid-century looks. It usually has wooden or metal legs, and a tufted back.
  • Lawson: The Lawson sofa is modern, comfortable, and simpler.
  • English Roll Arm: The English sofa has rolled arms, a deep seat, and a tight back. Mostly being used in London and it is a product from the early 20th century.
  • Chaise: The Chaise is a long chair. It’s long enough to lie on it.
  • Settee: The Settee has four legs like a chair. It is commonly confused with loveseats.
  • Tuxedo: The Tuxedo has a boxy shape, one large cushioned seat, and it doesn’t have any back cushions.
  • Chesterfield:The Chesterfield has combined rolled arms and tufted accents.
  • Camelback: The Camelback sofa has a curved back, bare legs, and rolled arms with no cushions.

3. Evaluate the Frame – Tips to Buy Sofa

Having a good quality frame of a sofa is always a plus like upholstery fabric and cushions, it can’t be replaced when it gets old. A good-quality couch should have a solid, quality inner frame. Cheaper sofas would have frames made of particleboard or pine, these frames are economical, but they usually start to warp and wobble within some years that is it’s necessary to select a good quality frame. A good-quality couch will have solid hardwood, kiln-dried hardwood frame, or metal frame but a metal frame can bend with time.

  • The legs of the couch can either be integral parts of the frame or the legs can be held with screws or dowels.

Tip: You should avoid a couch whose legs are just glued.

How to evaluate frame?

Test to evaluate the frame easily is as follows:

  • Lift one front leg or corner of the sofa/couch 6” off the floor.
  • If other front legs quickly rise off the floor that means the frame is solid otherwise it’s weak.
  • Under this test, if any sofa visibly twists or creaks should avoid it.

4. Ask About the Joint Type – Guide to Buy Couch

Ask the salesperson or if you are checking online go-to the joint section and check by which method the parts of the frame are held together. The technical staff or salesperson will have a printed technical specification of that product. Here are some of the types of frame joint assembly are provided:

  • Stapled Frame Joint: In stapled Frame, joint heavy-duty stapes hold different pieces of the frame together. It is one of the cheapest joint types.

Tip: Avoid to buy sofa which is assembled with only staples, nails, or glue; however, these can be used for additional reinforcement.

  • Double Doweled Frame Joint: Double-dowelled frame, joints are made with dowels. These kinds of joints are durable, have higher quality, but they are also more expensive.
  • Tip: Look for frames that are joined by wooden dowels, double wooden dowels, brackets, or metal screws, etc.

5. Test the Arms – Guide to Buy Couch

In a family with children usually, the sofas common breakpoint is through arms (other than upholstery). That’s why other than selecting a hardwood frame assembled with dowels or double dowels you should also check the arms of a sofa. It is a good idea if you do the arms test on a sofa to make sure it has tight arms and will not lean.

  • Push the arms of the sofa hard and look for any sign of wobble or lean.

Tip: Avoid couches that lean or aren’t rock-solid.

6. Check the Spring – Tips to Buy Sofa

After selecting a good frame and its assembly. It’s time to select a good spring quality as well. These springs hold up the cushions. The types of these springs are as follow:

  • Webbed suspension: The webbed suspension is more affordable but lesser durable. The webbed suspension is not a spring at all, it has a hammock-like support system. It is made of natural fibers and rubber.

        Tip: Avoid these if you want a quality couch.

  • Sinuous springs: The sinuous spring type is more common and it provides spring in a S-shape that runs up and down the between frame members of a sofa. If the gauge of metal is not heavy it might sag over time.
  • 8-way hand-tied: This type of spring is the most expensive but also comfortable. It requires skilled craftsmanship. In this, a series of springs are tied in 8 different ways. That’s what makes it unique as well.

Tip: Good spring would be firm and closely spaced together. Avoid the couch that sags a lot when you sit on them.

7. Check the Padding – Guide to Buy Couch

Move your hand over the corners of a couch to check that you don’t feel the edges of the frame. Because if you can feel the edges of the frame the chances are more than upholstery will be damaged quickly than a couch that is padded well and when you will move your hand over it, you will not feel edges. So, that is why the couch should be well padded at all corners and frames.

8. Check the Cushions

There is quite a lot of debate that which material is best for seat cushions. However, qualities of good seat cushions are:

  • Seat cushions should be firm.
  • They should be resilient.
  • They should fit snugly within the sofa frame.
  • When you press cushions, they should regain their shape easily.

Here are some common types of material which are best for sofa cushions keep in mind these points to buy sofa.

  • Polyurethane foam: Polyurethane foam is the most commonly used material in furniture upholstered. It is flexible, comfortable, and supportive material.
  • High-Resilient foam: High Resilient foam has comfortable and long-lasting cushions. It is expensive usually because it uses goose down filled mix with feathers and the cushions should be fluffed regularly.

9. Evaluate the Upholstery – Guide to Buy Sofa

Upholstery is the material that is placed around the sofa. There is a different kind of upholstery materials as well and have a lot of variety in it like linen, velvet, leather, and polyester. These materials will also give the sitting comfort to you depending upon it’s usage. But that might not be the main issue in the case of upholstery. Upholstery should also be visually appealing to you and the fun part is a lot of people just give priority to just visually appealing. But you should not do this and make sure you check the other parameters as well to buy sofa. You should notice these points in upholstery:

  • Material Type
  • Quality of Material
  • Well-Tailored clothing
  • Centered Patterns (if any)
  • Stripes (if any)
  • Eye Catching
  • Thread Counts (Higher is better)
  • Buttons (Check they are not loose)

10. Test the Operating Mechanisms – Guide to Buy Sofa

Make sure to check the running mechanism of your sofa if you are buying a recliner or sleeper, especially, test its mechanism repeatedly and aggressively to make sure it works smoothly. Motion furniture or reclining is usually expensive than others, that’s why you should check it properly and don’t overlook any fault or glitches as these will be more become prominent by repeated usage.

11. Check UFAC Tag – Guide to Buy Couch

One of the key factors of a sofa nowadays is to manufacture it according to UFAC (Upholstered Furniture Action Council) methods. So, make sure, to check the gold UFAC tag for fire safety. Because these standards have made great changes in making upholstery furniture more resistant to ignition from cigarettes etc.

12. Measure the Couch and Doorways

Make sure you measure the couch dimensions, where it is going to be placed and the most important part from where it is going to pass through to the end place, that path measurement should also be taken. People return a lot of sofas to the store or retailer due to this so make sure you measure the dimensions.

13. Budget Friendly Good Sofa – Guide to Buy Sofa

If you have a low budget make sure you check the vintage pieces, they are very comfortable and of good quality as well, they have price 70 to 80% lesser. The other thing to notice is the promos and codes offered by the companies or retailers that can also reduce the cost a lot or even if you have a lot of money make sure you check that it can save a lot of money.

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