What to Consider When Buying a Sofa

So it’s time for you to buy a new sofa. Is it something that has to be more difficult than going to the furniture store and pointing to one and saying, “I want that”? Yes, or no. When you make any purchase, and something as big as a sofa, you want to do some homework and put some thought into it so that you get the best you can for your hard earned money. Most people have the same sofa somewhere between 5 and 8 years. That’s longer than some people own a car. If you’re going to be best friends with your sofa for that length of time put a bit of consideration into your decision so you’ll be happy with it.

The first consideration is usually your budget. Then consider how long you plan to keep your sofa. If you’re purchasing a sofa with the idea of holding onto it for 2 or 3 years then don’t spend a lot of money. If you are looking to buy a sofa that you can keep for 5 or more years, you’ll want to buy a quality sofa, so get ready to spend more. Another consideration is the usage the sofa will get. Where will this sofa be used, and who will be using it? Are you buying a sofa for a dorm room? For use in a family room? A living room?

Did you know that some sofas come with reclining seats? They’re great, especially in smaller rooms where you can’t have lots of pieces of furniture. Do you want a sofa with back cushions attached or loose pillows? Both will give different levels of support and will look different. Do you need a convertible, or sleeper sofa? If you have overnight guests you should consider this. Perhaps you should look into a sectional sofa if you need lots of seating for a family room or living room. Some sectional sofas also have built in recliners and side tables.

Think you’re done? Well you’re not! Now is choosing the style. Sofas are generally thought of as either contemporary (modern) or traditional (classic). Within these two categories are thousands of choices. Of course there is nothing that says you can’t dress up a traditional decor with a modern sofa, or visa versa. One of the things that really helps pull different styles together is the choice of fabric patterns and colors.

Something that can really change the mood and unfortunately the price of a sofa is your choice of fabric. There are hundreds of different types of fabrics available on sofas. From simple duck cotton covers to jacquard and silk fabrics, the choices can be daunting. Also there is a huge variety of patterns and colors. Depending on the style of sofa you choose you may have two different fabrics used. The choice of a floral fabric and a striped fabric can make the same sofa look completely different.

Generally bold and bright colors and geometric designs are used on contemporary sofas and softer muted colors and prints are used on traditional sofas. If you want an eclectic look to your room you can mix the fabrics by using bold and bright colors and geometrics on a traditional sofa and florals or more muted colors on a modern style of sofa. Be aware though, fabrics range from inexpensive to exorbitantly expensive and your choice of fabric can add hundreds of dollars to the final price of a sofa. Regardless of what type of fabric you choose you will always want to have anti-stain treatment applied to your sofa. Your fabric sofa should be thoroughly vacuumed every other month.

Perhaps you should consider leather. Leather is an extremely popular fabric choice for sofas, traditional or modern. Leather now comes in a wide variety of shades from rich teal greens to ruby reds, to white and black and every color in-between. Leather sofas don’t need much upkeep, just a good wipe down with a leather protectant every six months and an occasional vacuum in between. The prices of leather sofas are dependent upon the grade of the leather. Unflawed leather will be more expensive than leather with flaws, although both will wear well.

The final consideration is comfort. Never purchase a sofa without sitting on it first. A sofa that feels too soft for one may be perfect for another. The seat depth and height of the back make a difference too, as does the density of foam used for cushions. Every sofa is different. Remember that a sleeper sofa will have a much firmer seat than a sofa without a sleeper.