Tips for Buying a Sofa

When I first built my house, we went out and bought a number of new pieces of furniture. At the time, my kids were small so we didn’t invest in high quality furniture but opted instead for furniture that would at least see them through the rougher years. It saved us a bit of money and gave us time to decide on what we really wanted.

The kids grew up, I divorced and remarried and we got rid of the tired worn out sofa set I had. We have yet to replace it with another one. We live in a rural area where we seldom have company so it hasn’t been an issue. If you fill your living room up with enough other stuff people hardly notice that you don’t have a sofa.

We know we’re going to be moving soon so we just haven’t been in a hurry to buy a new one since it would be a piece of furniture we wouldn’t have to move..

I have looked around over the last few years and have pretty much decided on what I want. Ekornes makes some exceptional sofas that I have my eye on. Take a look at the video that explains their recliners and sofas. The problem is going to be how to choose only one.

I’ve put together a list of things I think you should consider when purchasing a sofa.

Make sure it has a sturdy frame.
Not all sofas are made with long-lasting materials. Soft wood, like pine, may be less expensive but it can warp. Hardwoods are more expensive but well worth it. Avoid plastic, metal, pressed board and particle board. To test the strength of a frame lift the front corner and see of the other corner lifts in unison or if the frame sags and allows the other corner to remain on the floor.

Do you want to see the legs and feet of the sofa or do you want it skirted?
I think this decision is primarily a matter of taste but there are some considerations. If the sofa will sit against a wall or if it will be out in the middle of the floor, may influence whether or not you want to be able to see under it. If you’re going to regularly clean under it, you may want one without a skirt. If you don’t want to ever know what’s under there, then the skirt is your best option.

Ask how the joints are made
Never buy a sofa that is put together with primarily with staples, nails or glue. Joints should be constructed with metal screws and brackets.

Check the springs for comfort
You should feel them close together and firm. Sit in different positions to check for how it feels. It shouldn’t poke you or make squeaks. Some use cheap coiled springs while some use an 8-way tied system.

Check the filling
Polyurethane foam is often used due to its low cost and easy care. You want a hi-resilient foam.

Find durable materials
Watch for loosely woven fabrics because they are prone to snagging and are hard to clean. Wool and leather are strong, but expensive. If you chose a fabric with a pattern, make sure it is woven in rather than printed. Some stores have swatches you can take home to see how you like the color with your interior. Another consideration is the amount of light the fabric will be getting. You don’t want to pick a fabric that fades easily if the sofa sits near windows with a lot of sunlight.

Arms
Do you want fluffy arms that you can lie on like a pillow or do you want wooden arms where you can set a glass? Or do you want something in between?

Depth and height factor
Have you ever been to someone’s house and sat on their sofa and then had a tough time standing back up from it? Sometimes it’s because their coils are wore out and you’ve sunk too far down. Other times, it’s because of how it’s made or it just sits too low to the ground. Do you really want to be one of those people? Try sitting and standing up and few times to make sure it’s easy to stand up from. Sit all the way back and see how the backs of your knees and upper calves feel. Some sofas are just too deep and would end up cutting off the circulation to your lower legs. You and your guests would always have to sit at the edge to ever be comfortable.

Features
Do you want multiple sections of the sofa to independently recline? Do you want a sofa bed? There are lots of considerations for these features. You have to allow for reclining room when putting the sofa near a wall. Sofa beds are extremely heavy and hard to move.

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