A sofa is one of the bigger furniture investments most of us will make in our home, and for that reason you want to make sure the one you are buying is absolutely perfect, and guaranteed to last you a good 5-10 years. With that in mind, there are a lot things to consider when buying a sofa to ensure it is the right one for you and will last the long haul. I've put together 4 tips to consider when buying a sofa, which will hopefully help you make the right choices when choosing a sofa for your home.
1: Measure Up
Making sure you measure your space first is perhaps the most important tip of them all when buying a sofa. Sofas come in a whole range of sizes, with different lengths, depths and heights. Sofas are generally the focal point in a living room, so it's vital that it fits perfectly within your space. And it's not just about going too big either, a sofa that is too small for a room will look lost and out of proportion. Think carefully about how deep you want the sofa to be, and whether it's long enough for you to sprawl out of comfortably. Remember to consider your other furniture for the room too, for example, have you left enough space for side table at each end? If you're planning to have a coffee table, is there at a minimum 50cm space available between the edge of the sofa and the coffee table? Proportion is key when designing a room, so make sure you choose the right size sofa.
Another important tip to consider when measuring up for a sofa is access! How are you going to get the sofa into your property? Will it fit through doorways and are there tight corners to negotiate? If so, you might want to consider buying a sofa that comes in parts. Sofa.com have a section that they call 'Breakdownables' which quite literally means the sofa breaks down into smaller, manageable parts for easier access, and their delivery team will put it together for you. Similarly, Snug Shack have an amazing concept where they deliver all of their sofas in box, and they can be put together in just 3 minutes they claim! I didn't quite manage 3 minutes with my Snug Shack sofa, but I definitely did it solo in 4!
The second tip to consider when buying a sofa is, is the fabric suitable for your family and lifestyle? Sofas come in a huge array of fabrics, from naturals like wool, cotton and linen, to synthetic materials and blends. If you plan on using the sofa daily and have adults, kids, cats and dogs all fighting for a space, you'll want to consider going for a durable material that is also washable, and here synthetics are your friend. Look at polyester and acrylic blends which are likely to stand the test of time or, if you want a natural material, consider buying a cotton one that has been treated already with a stain protection. If you're looking for a little more luxury and want a sofa for an office for example, a luxurious velvet or a cosy wool will be ideal for this. These material will need to be professionally cleaned, so are best used on sofas that are used less frequently.
Let's face it, if a sofa isn't comfortable, is there even any point in having one?! Sundays are made for lounging around on the sofa watching films and snuggling under the duvet, and for that reason your sofa MUST be comfortable, especially your main, every day sofa. Sofas come with either foam, feather or fibre filling in the seats, or a combination of them all. Foam seats have the benefit of really retaining their shape, and will spring back into place when you get off of them, helping them to always look neat. If you want a super soft seat that you'll sink into, you'll want to consider buying from a company like Loaf who's seats are feather wrapped foam. These are the ultimate in comfort, and their names reflect that! With names such as 'Squishmeister' and 'Cloud' you can tell Loaf are confident their sofas are comfy. Top tip though, bear in mind though that with anything feather filled, it will require a lot of plumping to keep its shape.
In terms of the frame, for maximum comfort and durability you want to opt for a hardwood frame and a spring base, to ensure weight is distributed evenly across the sofa and to stop you sinking down the corners. Handcrafted sofas, although more expensive, will be traditionally made with amazing skill and expertise, guaranteeing quality. Darlings of Chelsea have a large selection of sofas handcrafted in the UK.
This might sound obvious, but considering the shape is a really important tip to remember when buying your sofa. Not all shapes will work in every room. In my previous flat, we had a large 5 seater L shaped sofa that worked perfectly in the space because it utilised a corner that would otherwise be wasted in a very angular room. However when we moved house and the living room was bigger and square, this L shaped sofa did not work at all. Backing it into a corner made the room look out of proportion and was too far away from the TV, and having it in the middle of the room made it look too bulky and unsymmetrical.
If you have a smaller space then a small chaise sofa or a straight 2 seater might be best, paired with a small footstool for added comfort. Larger rooms will benefit from multiple straight sofas, that look well placed further into the room rather than against the wall. Creating a configuration with different size sofas works well too. If you have a room you want to use as a cosy cinema room for all the family, or you want a sofa to position in front of a fireplace in a large room, you might want to think about buying a large U shaped sofa that the whole family can sit on together and enjoy.
I hope you found my 4 tips to consider when buying a sofa useful. By remembering all of these tips when you're shopping around, hopefully you will be able to make a great decision about which sofa is best for you. I have linked some of the sofa retailers mentioned in this blog post for you below. Make sure you check out their fabulous ranges! (Contains affiliate links)