Sofa Buying Guide – Type, Style, Budget, Construction
Sofas serve a lot of purposes where ever they are placed whether it be a living room, apartment, or office. Sofas can be a great choice whether you are watching a movie or sitting with a companion. There are a lot of sofa brands which have great sofas so it becomes a difficult choice which sofa is best for you. So, before purchasing a sofa look at the guide to help you find a sofa that would be stylish, long-lasting, and also gets ample playtime. So, help you select a good sofa, Sofa buying guide is provided below:
1. Type of Sofa
First and foremost, you should decide what type of sofa you want for your space. If you don’t know any specific type look at the details below to have an idea. The most common options that you‘ll find on the internet are:
- Traditional: This is the standard three-seater sofa found in many homes and it is the most common type of sofa. These kinds of three-seater sofas use different decorative elements & material to focus on an extraordinary, and luxurious vibe.
- Sectional: This sofa is divided into sections those sections can be arranged to suit your space.
- L shape: L Shaped sectional have can be placed in great rooms or against walls. You can add storage ottomans to keep the things you like in a hidden place.
- U shape: U Shaped sectional is good for media rooms and recording rooms. Add ottomans for storage purposes.
- Chaise: Chaise provides great seating with sectional sofas. Chaise sectional pieces come with either left-hand side or right-hand sidearm.
- Pit: Pit sectional is great in large living rooms or recording rooms where a laid-back approach is used.
- Sleeper: If you don’t have a guest room or bedroom or extra place for guests to stay a convertible sofa bed is ideal for you.
- Loveseat: Loveseat is designed for two people, a loveseat is perfect for small places whether it is a living room, apartment, or office.
Sofa Buying Guide Tip: Measure the designated area for the sofa to narrow down your search.
2. Your Lifestyle
After you have selected the sofa type, now ask yourself some questions to select the fabric and material of the sofa which is best for you. Consider:
- Who will be spending most of the time on the sofa?
- What is the weight of that person?
- Do you want a comfortable and plush sofa or a firmer sofa?
- If you want the sofa for studying or watching TV? Then go for comfortable and plush.
These simple questions will help you decide the type of sofa, shape, strength, height, and comfort level and these are the sofa buying guide tricks to buy a great sofa.
3. Your Budget
After selecting the type of sofa depending upon its shape and usage now is the time to set a range of price. Keeping in mind the range of price, research the sofa across different brands and retailers to find the perfect sofa. If you have a short budget make sure to check the vintage furniture because it costs even 70 to 80 percent lesser and is often actually better made, has uniqueness, and style. Also, make sure to check the promos.
Measure Room Shape and Size – Couch Buying Guide
Before doing anything else just measure your room size and take a look at the shape of your room. Or just measure the area which you are going to designate to your new sofa. Now considering the size, shape of the room, area designated for the sofa you are going to select the sofas as if you have a small living room or place where you are going to place the sofa, you don’t want to put in large size sofa which is not going to leave any space for anything else in the room.
Sofa Buying Guide Tip:
The best way to check the space accurately note the designated place dimensions and mark them on the floor with string. Through this way, you can be sure how much space the sofa is going to take and how much would be left empty to walk around in the room.
Measure Sofa and Entryways – Sofa Buying Guide
Be sure the width of your doorway is more than either the depth or width of the sofa to pass the sofa through it and make sure you measure the spaces from where it is going to pass and not only where the couch will end up. Follow these tips, and you’ll be fine:
- Select the right size sofa: The sofa size should be enough to fill the room and not overwhelm it. Some empty space is important when you are designing the room so make sure you don’t select a huge size sofa. Also, check the back height of the sofa to the ceiling height.
- Measure once: Check the dimensions of the sofa on either the product listing displayed online or the store’s tear sheet. Compare these dimensions with your doorway and halls.
- Measure twice: After having the dimensions of the sofa check it through the route your sofa needs to travel.
Choosing a Sofa Style – Sofa Buying Guide
For a lot of people and interior designers’ style is way more important than anything else. Because picking out a good sofa is making a balance between your lifestyle and the aesthetics of your room. Sofas come in a lot of different styles. Just like your clothes. So, make sure you select a sofa that matches your overall room design or home design. Here are some of the basic sofa styles to know.
- Mid-Century Modern: This sofa is unique due to its minimalistic and clean looks. Clean lines, wooden or metal legs, and a tufted back.
- Lawson: The Lawson sofa dates back to the early 20th century, the Lawson sofa is simpler, more modern, more comfortable, and also has clean lines.
- English Roll Arm: The English sofa has a deep seat, tight back, and rolled arms. It has a lot of versatility that can be placed in any decor style. The name of this sofa is due to its wide usage in London townhouse and Georgian rectory. However, it is highly being used in other parts of the world as well.
- Chaise: The Chaise is a modern French interior design term that refers to the long chair. It’s long enough to lie on it. It has a short backrest and a singular arm.
- Settee: The Settee is straight and has high back four legs just like a chair. They are usually used in the bedroom instead of the living room. They are usually confused with loveseats.
- Tuxedo: The Tuxedo has a boxy shape, one large cushioned seat, the arms of the tuxedo are an extension of the backrest and it has no back cushions.
- Chesterfield: The Chesterfield has a different look due to the combined rolled arms and tufted accents and that’s what makes it unique and gives luxurious look.
- Camelback: This Camelback traditional sofa has bare legs and rolled arms with no cushions. The sofa has a curved back like the slope of a camel’s hump. Sometimes this sofa can also have two curves.
Selecting a Sofa Fabric – Sofa Buying Guide
Some people might not give as much importance to the fabric as they do for style and color but the fabric is a very important part of a sofa. The fabric determines the durability and longevity of a sofa and one of the main issues that people usually have after buying the sofa is its durability. That’s why we have provided the entire array of fabric options. Select any of them according to your lifestyle. Here are some common options:
- Linen: Linen upholstery has luxurious looks, basically linen is all about aesthetics. It is very strong and durable; you might not see any signs of wear but it requires pretty high maintenance as well.
- Leather: Leather has a lot of variety in it. If we talk about full grain and top grain leather these are most durable, have the highest quality, and can be easily cleaned just by wiping them. However, if we talk about other leather types like aniline leather, it doesn’t have good quality, is unprotected, and susceptible to scuffs.
- Natural fibers: In natural fibers silk and cotton are the most commonly used upholstery. Silk is not an ideal choice for you if you are looking for an everyday piece because it is sensitive to daily wear and tear and also the sunlight. However, Cotton is relatively better than silk in terms of daily life usage because it has more resilience and is durable.
- Performance: If you have kids, pets, or someone who spills things on sofas a lot then you might want to go with performance fabric. Because these fabrics are manufactured, in such a way that stains can be removed easily and can withstand the wear and tear due to kids and pets in everyday life. Usually, they are water and oil-resistant.
- Synthetics:If you are looking for affordable and performance-based pieces then a synthetic-based couch can be a good choice for you. The synthetics are made to emulate a natural fiber such as acetate, chenille, faux leather, and microfiber.
- Velvet: Velvet is a highly durable material with no raised weaves or loose threads due to its flat pile similar to a rug. This makes velvet one of the best materials for the couch as it pushes away any dirt or pet hairs, from its fabric.
- Wool blend: Wool blend fabric is cheap, highly durable, doesn’t get damaged easily, and great for hiding stains. But there is one difficulty and that is to care for it.
Checking the Sofa’s Construction – Couch Buying Guide
If you are looking for a long-lasting sofa then checking different elements of sofa construction is very important for you. Even if you are not looking for this, we still do recommend you to keep in mind these things because a poorly made sofa will serve its purpose of aesthetics, but it’ll not be long-lasting enough and by the time you’ll see upholstery colors fade away, and the cushions might lose their shape and density. So, we recommend you to at least have a basic understanding of the elements of the sofa that will surely help you select a good piece of sofa for your home or office. Here are the major key points to keep in mind before buying a sofa:
The most commonly used frames in a sofa are wood but some sofas do have metal frames as well. Here are some types of frame that are commonly being used in sofas today:
- Particle Board: Particleboard is the cheapest frame for sofas, it is fragile, and the lightest frame. It is made of composite wood material.
- Hard Wood: Hardwood is much more durable than particleboard. These frames are made up of solid wood. Hardwood includes oak, cherry, walnut, beech.
- Kiln Dried hardwood: It is a much stronger and more durable material. It is stronger and durable due to its finishing process where it is dried in big ovens.
- Metal: Metal is the hardest material for the frame but it can bend with time. Metal frame’ll not snap.
The joints that keep the frame together are also an important component of sofa assembly. Here are the two common types of joining the frame:
- Stapled Frame Assembly: Stapled Frame Assembly is one of the cheapest. But it is not a durable frame assembly as well. Like a picture frame in this technique, heavy-duty staples hold the different pieces of the frame together. This joining assembly type is less sturdy than double-dowelled frame assembly.
- Double Doweled Frame Assembly: Double-dowelled frame assembly is durable, has higher quality, and is more expensive. In this assembly, the joints are made with dowels. Double dowels, glue, and screws are used in this assembly procedure. This joining assembly type is better than stapled frame assembly.
Springs are what give your sofa bounce and comfort. The main types are:
- 8-way hand-tied: This type of suspension is expensive. It requires true techniques which require skilled craftsmanship. In this, a series of springs are tied in 8 different ways: from side to side, front to back, and diagonally.
- Sinuous springs: The sinuous spring type is more common and it provides spring in S-shape that runs up and down the depth of a sofa.
- Webbed suspension: The webbed suspension is more affordable than other options and it is made of natural fibers or rubber. Natural fibers suspension has a hammock-like support system.
4. Cushioning and Fill
The next thing that you should keep in mind is seat cushions. It depends upon your choice of what type of seat cushion you like. So, what do you prefer firm? Or Soft? Or Both? That’s where fill comes in. Some sofas usually provide a mix of both, one for the backing and the other for the seat cushions. Here are some common fill types:
- Goose or Down-fill: Down-fill sofas are higher-end, luxurious, and plush. Down cushions of these sofas should be fluffed regularly to prevent their form from getting disturbed.
- Fiberfill: Fiber-fill is affordable and less firm. This is due to combining synthetic with either foam or down-fill.
- Foam: Foam-filled cushions usually are firmer and it’s a great material to revive an old and sagging couch but in the beginning people don’t like it much due to its firmness. Usually, convertible or sleeper sofas have high-density memory foam mattresses or cushions.
- Spring coil: These cushions are fixed or built into the sofa so you do not need to fluff it and it keeps shape better over time. Usually, it has a down-fill in it.
After selecting the cushions, now it’s time to select upholstery. Upholstery is the material that goes around the sofa. Upholstery can be linen, tweed, polyester or leather, etc. Upholstery should have durability and the ability to withstand daily wear and tear.
- Top Grain Leather: Top grain leather is made of cowhide. It is soft and highly durable.
- Bonded Leather: Bonded Leather is affordable, less durable, and doesn’t have looks like top grain leather. It is a composite of leather parts and artificial fabrics.
- Fabric: Fabric usually has durability, softness. It can be a mix of cotton, linen, or polyester, etc.
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