Finding a good quality sofa doesn’t seem like something that should be too difficult, after all, you can probably tell just by looking at a sofa if it’s comfortable or not, right?
Many people assume this, and this is exactly the sort of assumption that will land you with a sub-par sofa, as there are many key things to consider when purchasing furniture, particularly something as important as a couch.
After all, the couch is the centerpiece of any living spaceand needs to be able to be comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing, but also durable and long-lasting to be able to withstand the rigors of everyday use.
In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the key factors to consider when buying a new sofa to ensure that you make the right choice and end up with a piece of furniture you can enjoy for many years.
The frame of a sofa is one of the most overlooked and neglected elements of its design.
This is obviously because the frame can be difficult to see and is something that is easily forgotten about, after all, out of sight, out of mind, as they say.
But the frame is critical to the comfort and durability of your sofa, and if it’s substandard you will find your sofa to become uncomfortable and worn down very quickly which is poor value for money and highly frustrating.
Things like padding and even upholstery can be replaced or spruced up, but the frame itself is the bedrock of your sofa and if it breaks the whole sofa will be ruined.
Inexpensive sofas often use metal frames or even plastic in their frames, but the best sofas will use hardwood frames such as Oak, Maple, and Ash which are far more sturdy and less likely to break over time.
These are much more expensive of course, but this is a small price to pay for a very sturdy and long-lasting sofa.
The quality of the joinery in your sofa will be tied to the quality of the frame.
Quality joinery will make your sofa much more sturdy and comfortable, however cheaper glued or bracketed sofas will often break and wear over time, becoming misshapen and ruining your sofa entirely.
This is something that comes down to personal preference a little, as some people prefer soft sofas and others prefer firm sofas.
Even so, a good amount of padding even on firmer sofas is important to ensure that the sofa is actually comfortable to sit on and provides good support.
Another thing to note is that padding that is cheap will wear down and expose the frame, making the sofa incredibly uncomfortable or unsupportive.
If this happens you can sometimes re-pad your sofa, but depending on the sofa this may not be possible.
While quality upholstery or leather is nice to have, it isn’t necessarily essential to a comfortable sofa.
That being said, quality in this area of construction is often what sets apart a beautiful couch from a fairly good one, and it’s a mark of craftsmanship and quality when the upholstery is made from good quality materials and is expertly cut and crafted.
Matching edges, contiguous patterns, and neat stitching are all really important if aesthetics are important to you, and will often add a little extra longevity to your sofa.
Aesthetic and Design
This is another subjective area of couch shopping, however, it’s no less important as the sofa is the centerpiece of any living room.
Depending on your taste, you may want something loud which makes a statement, or something nondescript and comfortable, but make sure that your sofa matches your room and expresses something about you and your personality to really make a sofa work in your space.
There are many designs and styles, from chesterfields to recliners to chaise lounges and Divan’s, but whatever you choose, make sure it fits in your space properly first!
Are Firm Sofas Better?
This is really a matter of personal preference. Sofas will naturally wear with time, so sometimes a firmer sofa can last longer as it will be able to withstand prolonged use more effectively, however, some people find firm sofas uncomfortable.
Soft sofas are more comfortable most of the time, but some people find them unsupportive and not as long-lasting.
Really you need to decide what your priorities and intended uses for the sofa are.
If it’s for lounging in and comfort, a soft sofa may be a better choice, however, if you want something to support your back and help you sit healthily, then a firmer sofa may be a better choice.
How Can You Tell if a Couch is Good Quality?
As mentioned above, there are several key things to look for in a quality sofa.
First and foremost, make sure the frame is made of quality materials and feels sturdy. Any movement in the frame doesn’t bode well, and cheap materials such as plastic and metal are also a bad sign as mentioned above.
Check out the joinery if you can too, to ensure the sofa feels solid.
Test out the padding and check that it meets your requirements, don’t be afraid to sit or lie on a sofa to really test if it’s something you find comfortable.
Look at the quality of the upholstery and ensure that it is well stitched and lined up properly, and try to determine if the materials are quality or not.
Price isn’t always a good reflection of true quality, so don’t rely on this to purely provide you with an assessment of quality. It can be helpful as a rough guide, but check things over and decide what’s best for both you and your budget!