Last Updated on September 14, 2021 by Sandra Allens

When Buying sofa and finding that you simply hate it is the last thing you want. Convenience of browsing sofas online is appealing, but before making a purchase, make sure you have done your research. By visiting 3 furniture factories, speaking with industry experts, also taking nearly each sofa we’ve seen on a test drive, we are able to reveal the factors that differentiate a great set from one that will never make it past curbside donation. These tips can help you choose furniture for your home that is durable yet comfortable. Several worthy brands have been recommended by our own personal testing.

Deciding on the type and also style of couch you want is the first step to finding the perfect fit for your space. The size of your sofa must also be taken into consideration. You should consider how people you can fit on the sofa and what one shouldn’t put in places where animals or children might get hurt. Learn how much to expect to one spend, how to spot best deals, and how to identify quality construction. While you shop, you can also use our buying checklist as a reference to help yourself don’t forget important details.

You should try out sofas in person also buy online from companies with generous policies since it is one of the most expensive pieces of furniture you will purchase. By the end of this guide, we hope you will feel confident about investing in a sofa which will withstand the test of time for your home. Learn why a sofa can cost drastically different from one that looks similar in companion piece.

Choose the Type of A Sofa

There are many types and sizes of sofas and couches. If you are planning to nap on the sofa as well as host overnight guests, then the right choice depends on the amount of space that you have. In general, you’ll find these four kinds:

  • Couch or sofa standard. Seating for up to four people comfortably, they typically measure 72-84 inches.
  • Loveseat. They are about 48 inches to 72 inches wide, similar to sofa, but meant for 2 people.
  • Sectional. 2 or more modules arranged in a U or L shape are referred to as a modular sofa. Sectionals that are sofa size are similar to those that are apartment size, but bigger sizes can have five people comfortably.
  • Couches and daybeds. The sofa bed can be laid flat like a mattress for resting. Daybeds resemble sofas but are thinner, and are intended to be stretched across comfortably to relax.

Designers may be offended by the words couch and sofa, but almost everyone uses them interchangeably in daily life. Each of these items has a back and is cushioned. Couches are comfortable, casual seating arrangements that are designed to welcome the whole family instead of the formal seating arrangement intended to entertain guests.

Style Matters

The quality of sofa will not make up for its look, so whether it is well made or not is immaterial. Search for styles that match your home’s decor and attractive to you. Here are the top eight styles that are sold today.

  • Modernist in style. Generally, modern furniture consists of a minimalist structure mounted on unadorned metal and wooden legs.
  • Lawson. Couches like Lawsons belong to the comfortable jeans category. They’re synonymous with the couch where change is discovered.
  • A roll arm in English. Its small contoured arms, which are bent outward, provide a distinct feature of the cushions-yet it is flexible enough to stand on its own. Spaces that are decorated in traditional or transitional styles and have enough space for this style will look best.
  • Chaise. Consider stretching out a upholstered chair, and that’s what you’ve got. Chaise designs traditionally have an arm as well as an armless section, but some don’t have arms at all.
  • Settee. Originally known as a love seat, the settee is an upright, compact sofa that has seating for 2. There are traditional and contemporary styles available. A settee like this one is perfect for apartments with limited space. This pair works well with any room, whether it be a bedroom, an office, or even a hallway.
  • Tuxedo. This style stands out due to its boxy, tufted back and also arms and the height of the arms compared with the back.
  • Chesterfield. The traditional British leather sofa is characterized by a low back with tufting or a quilted pattern, and high arms.
  • Camelback. The hump in the middle of backrest is largely responsible for the aristocratic profile of the camelback. A sofa usually rests on 4 to 8 legs, with some models having two or more humps.

The Sofa Must Fit in Your House

Almost all of us have heard stories of people who bought their dream sofas only to find out that they wouldn’t be able to fit them through an opening, up a staircase, or into their living space. It bears repeating that “measure 2 times, cut once” is true when you’re purchasing a sofa for thousands of dollars. You can keep your sofa shopping experience from being shared with the next generation by following these steps.

Make Sure the Sofa Is Measured

In several dimensions before Upholstery or custom orders moving individual elements. We recommend that you bring a measure to the store to verify measurements in person, even though most measurements are listed online or in catalogs. The sales representative can tell you if the sofa comes disassembled, if it is easily removable.

Measure Your Entrances

Look for obstacles blocking delivery at the entrances to your house. In order to reach the front door, the shipment must negotiate steep stairs, narrow hallways, low overhanging fixtures, and an elevator. A workshop by Room & Board entitled How to Prepare for Furniture Delivery proved especially useful for identifying and visualizing potential obstacles to delivery. Here’s how to make sure that your new sofa will fit through doors, up stairs, and into a lift according to Habitat UK.

Make a Footprint Test

Check that the upholstered roommate you are considering will fit in the place it is supposed to live before you make the commitment.

Print out your exact model using our free, accurate printout to roll the exact footprint created by BenchMade Modern. Use recycled paper, cardboard, or newspaper if you’re thinking about an alternate brand. With augmented reality, you can create life-size furniture based on photos of any space, such as Ikea Place also Wayfair’s Shop the Things Home. It might also be possible to use a virtual reality app to find out if a sofa goes well with the paint in the interior and near decorative elements. Most manufacturers of sofas do not currently offer the option.

Choose a Sofa that Matches Your Lifestyle

Consider your personal seating needs after narrowing your selection by style also size. There may be very different needs for pet owners or families with children than for fastidious couple. Determine best suits your lifestyle by considering the following questions.

What Will You Do with The Sofa?

Your couch seating choice should be a genuine reflection of your personality. The way shoppers sit on sofas retail stores appears to be like lying on an upright mannequin, which is not how they would in their own homes. The cushions will last longer and do not disfigure over time if you choose a chaise-style chaise lounge or daybed Couch nappers might prefer multicushion sofas, but there is a risk that they will buckle or dip between the cushions. For those who prefer to read, knit, or use their mobile devices upright, a midcentury modern sofa with a straight back and a tailored, firmer structure is more comfortable.

 can the Sofa Seat a Lot of People?

As well as the number of people who will be sitting on the couch consistently, consider the position in which they prefer to sit. They should measure the sofa’s width from the perspective of a person who sits upright and another who lies down. Having a sectional is a great choice if you have a large family or receive regular visitors. Aside from an L shape, consider setting up two different-sized sofas next to each other or placing two loveseats next to each other.

Pets or Kids?

A dog, a cat, or a child can destroy furniture. Sofas upholstered in microfiber and leather are the easiest to clean and maintain. Pet claws are unlikely to scratch these surfaces into remnants. The best upholstery fabrics are those that are stain- and rub-resistant. A slipcover might be of use to you if you want to protect your sofa a little bit more. When the cushions are unattached, it will be easier to clean them on your own. When you have children who jump on the sofa, you will want a frame with polywebbing or sinuous springs. The malleable filling of down makes the furnishings easy to deform and should be avoided by those with young children. If kids are attached to any decorative details, like buttons or frills, they shouldn’t touch them.

What Is the Condition of Your Floors?

Examine the sofa’s legs carefully if you have delicate wood floors. We have experienced scratching wood floors with hairpin legs. Area rugs can be used to protect flooring from sofa feet as a last resort.

Quality Construction Check

Sofas are frequently used after mattresses. How the quality of the frame, the cushions, and the upholstery impact the longevity of a sofa can be explored in the companion piece, Sofa Buying Advice From the People Who Design and Make Them. What you should look for in a vehicle is outlined below.

Frame

Engineered wood is usually used for furnishings, but the experts suggest avoiding particleboard or MDF, because they retain adhesives, nails, or staples. Rather than using plywood, look for wood that has been engineered to meet furniture grades. With Motise-and-tenon joints sofas, the frame is held together with less glue and staples. When you test out the sofa, you should test its frame. Any swaying can be an indication of a weak frame.

Suspensions

It is because of the suspensions of these sofas rather than the cushioning inside of them that they are more comfortable. Many quality sofas are constructed with springs that are continuous in nature. It is possible that poly-webbing, which secures many sofas and chairs, may last longer than springs, if it has been meticulously manufactured. The webbing on the sofa will prevent it from bouncing. An eight-spring couch doesn’t sag and doesn’t vibrate so much because it is spring-connected. During your test drive, be conscious of any creaks or squeaks when you are testing out sofas. If this happens, it might be an indication that the springs are not properly installed or have been broken.

Cushioning

The cushions are more subjective than style when it comes to selecting a sofa. Many people prefer to nap on firmer, more structured seating. In general, cushions can be made from one of four materials:

  • Foam wrapped polyethylene. These are the most popular cushion designs because they are made with high-resilience foam. Foam cushions generally provide good support, and you won’t have to fluff them.
  • Goose down. Down or down blend sandwiched between thick foam and downproof ticking and filled with 100 percent down. These cushions must be fluffed more frequently than down pillows.
  • Innerspring core. As with mattresses, these cushions are composed of coils enclosed in foam. This style of cushion bounces more than any other styles.
  • Foam memory. On a sleeper sofa, the most common type of cushion would be one made out of memory foam. Despite the fact that memory foam is durable, it is not the best choice for those who are concerned with their comfort level due to its poor form-fitting properties.

Upholstery

There are different upholstery fabric prices offered by retailers. Fabrics with a low price tag tend to stretch and stain more readily. Rubbing-count ratings on upholstery fabrics indicate how durable they are. A standard count would be 50,000, a premium count would be 80,000, and a high-performance count would be 100,000. Rub counts over 25000 are generally considered fine in residential accommodations, but if there are several family members or pets in the home, we recommend planning on 50,000 rub counts, as friction will accumulate over time.

To see how fabrics appear under the sunlight and illuminating interior lights, request larger samples than are usually included in fabric swatches. You must lie on the fabric with your face against it, and then apply it to your neck, and arms. Just a small piece of fabric isn’t enough to evaluate a fabric’s comfort.

Budgeting and Buying

Generally speaking, more modestly priced designer sofas are not necessarily better than other designer sofas in their price ranges. With fashion items, brand-name sofas may be more expensive. A quality three-seater sofa should cost at least $1,000 according to our investigation and testing. Over $3,500 spent on branding is probably more than you need. Since furniture manufacturers ship new products biannually, the easiest time to find discount sofas is in January and July since that’s when they ship the newest products.

Sofa discounts are most plentiful in January and July as manufacturers ship their new inventory biannually in February and August. By purchasing a returned sofa from an IKEA for example, you can find out about a model’s structural problems and weak points. When you see a lot of a certain style, it’s probably best to stay away from it.

Picking and Testing

We searched for couches that were durable, comfortable, affordable, and offered a wide range of styles for this guide. The sofas should be accessible to all consumers, including those who live outside of cities, and they should be able to be inquired online. A couch that can be tailored, for example, by choosing the fabric, and a company with a generous policy are the things we also looked for. The piece we chose was modern and affordable, well as featuring thoughtful details, which will ensure your sofa will last even after months of use.

Pottery Barn and West Elm, well as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, were also considered. Interestingly, we noticed a brand-new category of couches: designed and also sold online by the company. Number of the experts and a vast amount of information about couch construction were reviewed as part of our selection process. A list of couches to consider based on editorial experiences and recommendations from bloggers and interior designers has been compiled by our editors. We narrowed our list further after narrowing it down to ten. A total of seven sofas were tested from seven manufacturers.

A model from each manufacturer was selected for testing. Additionally, we assumed the furniture represented in these models are the types readers would spend most of their money on; they have also shown to represent the types of furniture which manufacturers are experienced producing. The fabrics were viewed and ordered when possible. A review of rub counts was conducted. We examined the volatile compounds (organic). It was our pleasure to ask about delivery policies, warranty, and returns.

We have received seven couches for our LA office. The scheduling and delivery times, packaging removal, and finishing details were reviewed for each delivery. Our notes were taken on each couch as we reclined, leaned, and napped. Turning cushions and lifting the couches around helped us to determine the weight and flexibility. Additionally, i examined their underwear well as the stitching and zips of their cushions.

As we were doing our research, a host of people assisted us, including an interior designer, an interior decor writer, and a professional in the field of organization. Our guests were a wide variety of heights, weights, and ages who jumped on our model testers. Seven different activities were offered to participants, from which they were asked to choose their favorite. You can watch a movie in a reclining chair, listen to a lecture while sitting on the sofa or take a nap on the sofa when you attend a party.

Sofa Ceni Article

In a great price range, the Article provides solid construction with great comfort. In the Ceni, the company continues to focus on mid-century modern design. Articles’ 30-day policy(return) applies to this sofa as well.

Our evaluation of the Ceni Sofa from Article evaluated it for both its comfort and excellent construction as well as its elegant design in comparison with other similar couches of a similar price point. At Article, you’ll find sectionals and sleepers in a variety of styles. Sofas from Ceni are shipped within few days after purchasing, and they cost between $1,000 and $1,000.

Wood base, springs in a sinuous pattern, Cushions made of polyurethane foam, and polyester upholstery make Article’s Ceni sofa appear to have been made by the same factory that makes B&B Italia and Knoll couches. Despite being firm, this chair handled very well and looked elegant despite its cost. Its return policy can be clear yet detailed: If you do not like a new sofa, you can return it within 30 days. Your refund will be reduced by the cost of pickup and delivery of the sofa. Your return may not be accepted if you do not keep packaging.

Slim Fat BenchMade Sofa

The affordable price of BenchMade Modern makes custom furniture attainable for everyone. Within a week, a customer can have a sofa constructed according to their specifications

Detailed construction, good looks, and comfortable were some of BenchMade Modern’s strengths. Our test sofas from this company were better quality than other online options, despite their somewhat high price. Despite their simple designs, BenchMade’s frames have solid construction and their fabrics are beautiful. It is possible to Choose a size that’s right for you very useful if your living room has an unusual shape. Besides, BenchMade Modern can make sofa within 24 days if it does not conform to the eight to 12-week industry standard. Our sofa was high-quality despite the rapid turn-around. There was even stitching across the zipper flap and it was close to the chain. This model is the only sofa we also tested that allowed you to flip its cushions over since both sides were covered with the same fabric. Additionally, the customer service also delivery of the company have been praised by users.

Kivik Sofa by IKEA

The couches from Ikea are simple and inexpensive, but the construction is flimsy, and they are not very comfortable. Your best bet if you are in hurry and money can be the most important factor in deciding what to buy is IKEA. It has a simplistic Scandinavian design that appeals to many people, but it’s neither very well made particularly comfortable. Despite this, if you are looking for an affordable and accessible option, IKEA is a contender.

IKEA’s Kivik costs between $500 and $650, which makes it nearly hard to beat. You do indeed get what one pay for, regardless of what you might think. We found these sofas to be uncomfortable in comparison to the other couches we tested. The sofa’s durability cannot be guaranteed, either. The Kivik sofa seemed unkempt and offkilter despite a few hours of testing it. My friend, who bought this sofa several years ago, still enjoys the sectional model.

Its simplicity and adaptability make up for the poor construction of the furniture. The arm can be removed from the sofa by adding chaise or another piece. Low armrests provide a comfortable perch for hands, and the end tables can also be used end tables if need be.

Competition

One of our top picks was Interior Define’s Sloan sofa. There are some options beyond fabric offered by this company: Most sofa models can be customized for length and some models have alternative legs. Many sofas are upholstered with down or cotton woven into down blends for the back and seat cushions.

Natasha Berschneider Wiweke was the queen of Sloan-inspired furniture. Her appreciation for the lines and the way the down was upholstered on the other side went beyond Prince and Priscilla Presley. A Houzz reviewer complained about the product after 6 months of regular use, saying: “the cushions constantly wrinkle and lump.”. Testers also commented that cushions sag when sat on.” Additionally, the cushions are thin and not “stiff enough.”

Its lightness impressed testers as well, making it less suitable for longterm use. The couch appears to be made of shabby chic fabric and pillow-dense padding. The cushions I bought for my sofa are already causing significant sagging due to their misalignment, according to one comment on Houzz. Despite being just one month old, the furniture already feels old. Despite getting up from the sofa, the cushions remain firmly indented,” wrote one reviewer.

Joybird, What About It?

Joybird was recommended initially for its quality, comfort, and affordability. Joybird sofas are like the experience you had to buy one. Joybird’s customers have experienced poor customer service and delays in delivery. Joybird Korver stopped being recommended in 2017. After La-Z-Boy acquired them, they hoped to resolve these issues, but they still exist. Customers reported poor communication, delayed service, and unresponsive manufacturers in 2019 and 2020.

  Flame Retardants: Should I Be Worried?  

The idea of a flame-retardant sofa is probably not new to you. By preventing the spread of flames, these compounds were supposed to slow spread of the fire. These compounds ultimately failed to deliver the desired results. Since flame retardants were proven to be harmful, manufacturers have avoided them. There are no flame retardants in the IKEA chairs sold in USA. Also, according to the company, its sofas do not contain flame retardants. Currently, most couch makers in California are labeling new furniture with flame retardants, following California’s September 2014 bill.

California’s TB 1172013 standard requires an X to be marked on the label of upholstered furniture as follows:

This Product Is Upholstered With:

  • Flame retardants added to
  • Flame retardant chemicals are not added to

We found polyurethane foam in every couch we tested. It still emits gases and associated odors in the first few days, even though those foams do not contain flame retardants. Learn how to avoid off-gassing from the foam mattress and couch in our article.