Your guide to choosing a new sofa

sofaWhen it comes to buying a new sofa, we often base our criteria on just five simple things:

  • Does it match our room?
  • Will it fit in the room?
  • Do I like the material?
  • How much is it?
  • When can it be delivered?

We then get the sofa delivered, only to find we hit problems. Common problems include: it’s too uncomfortable, cause’s us bad posture problems, scratches our flooring or we simply spend too much time keeping it clean and wish we’d never bought it!

The often overlooked sofa buying criteria

When it comes to buying your ideal sofa, use the following criteria to help narrow down your selection and cover all of the essentials:

  1. Room proportions. The sofa is probably going to be the longest piece of furniture in your lounge, so you’ll want to ensure its not only got room to fit but also that it’s in proportion of your room.
  2. What other family members do you have to consider? Do you have pets and/or children? If so, you’ll want to ensure you buy a sofa that is sturdy and easy to clean.
  3. Often overlooked, the type of flooring you have needs to be taken into account. Why? You’ll need to think about floor protection and whether you need glides for your sofa.
  4. Is it a good fit? Both in terms of overall size of the sofa, style and colour. Measure front to back, along its length and the overall height of sofa. It’s also a good idea to check whether the arms (and any other parts) are detachable too – as this may mean the difference between taking it in through your doorway and having to take out a window or doorframe!
  5. The fabric. Often this is down to personal style, but the fabric used in your sofa will also dictate the overall feel of both the sofa and your interior style. Fabric will be cosy, soft and can come with detachable covers, whereas leather can feel cold and firm. When considering what fabric to use, you’ll also want to decide whether you want to use cushions – as they sit better on fabric compared to leather.
  6. sofaFoot options. Both type (square, caster or bun) and finish (wood, metal) need to be taken into account – along with whether you want to match existing fittings in your room or add a contrast to them.
  7. Sofa seat. The depth (front to back) of a sofa seat cushion can often dictate the comfort of a sofa. You need to ascertain whether you can sit with your back adequately supported AND your feet flat on the floor, or whether you’d rather spend your time curled up with your feet up.
  8. Sofa back. This then leads onto the height of the sofa back. If you’re spending a lot of time seated on your sofa, you may want to have your head and back supported, so you’ll want a high back and adequate head support. On the other hand, some sofas have a low backs, making them ideal for placement in the centre of a room. Parker Knoll are a relatively expensive but well-known maker of chairs with high backs – making them perfect for those with back problems.
  9. Buying British. When it comes to sofa design and manufacture, Britain is still top. With the likes of Parker Knoll (1869) and the classic Chesterfield sofa still going strong, it’s great to support the ‘Buy British’ moto and to know it means quality. You also get the likes of the Sofa Workshop who are great for variety and choice, offering a range of different frame styles. Multi York are excellent if you want a mix and match service that provides the more classical and elegant style of sofa.
  10. When to buy. When it comes to making any purchase, it’s a good idea to bide your time, as the best prices are usually available seasonally – and this applies to sofa buying too!

So whatever type of sofa you’re looking for, make sure you follow the above criteria to ensure your sofa looks great, is comfortable AND practical for your needs.

What was the biggest takeaway criteria for you? What is the one thing you always forget when buying a sofa? Why not share your sofa buying hints, tips and stories in the comments box below!

Images courtesy of Mihalis A./Dollar Photo Club

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