Our guide to choosing the right sofa for your home
There are quite a few things to consider when buying a sofa for your home, such as what room is it for? What purpose do you want it to have? What else will be in the room? How much time do you have to care for the sofa? All these questions will then lead to determining what the best sofa is for you and your family’s needs.
Size & shape
Look at the room you want your sofa to be in and what sort of space you have. Measure up the area where you would like your sofa to go, keeping in mind if you want anything around or near the sofa like a coffee table or floor lamp. You will also need to remember to include the arm measurements for the sofa. Another important thing to consider is the access points to the room, how will the sofa get into the space? Measure all possible access points such as the door to the room, hallway and the front door or the French doors, if you have this option. The last thing you want is for you new centre piece to arrive and not be able to fit it in.
If you are wanting the sofa to be used for guests staying over then you might want to consider a sofa bed. This means you will need to include the measurements of the bed being fully extended too.
Here are just a few of the main sofas you can choose from…
Two Seater Sofas – Good if there is only a small space to fill or if it is an area that doesn’t often get used. Also useful if you wanted to have multiple seating without taking up too much room.
Three Seater Sofas – A larger version of the two seater, better for slightly larger rooms and more ideal for a family room that is used more. A common pairing is a three seater and a two seater sofa together.
Sofa Bed – As the name suggests this is a normal sofa that has a fold away bed, one thing to consider with a sofa bed is the amount of use it will get. A sofa bed for light occasional use will have a thinner mattress as opposed to one suitable for regular use which will have a thicker mattress and be more durable.
Corner Sofa – These are sometime referred to as ‘L Shape’ sofas, they are made up of two pieces that form a right angle, corner sofas tend to work better in larger areas where you don’t want to take up too much room in the centre but often have guests round/a large family.
Chaise Sofas – These are usually 3 seaters that have an elongated seat section on one side to support extended legs, they have a similar look to the corner sofas but don’t accommodate as many people sat on them.
Modular Sofas – As the name suggests modular sofas can be ordered in sections so you can create a sofa completely unique to the size you need. If you wanted, you could also have the sections in different colours creating a more edgy feel.
Picking a material that is suitable for your needs is one of the most key factors for buying a sofa, considering whether it is in a high traffic area or somewhere where food is being prepared etc are all things that will make a difference. Making sure you choose what is best for your home between leather and fabric will determine the longevity of your sofa.
Leather is strong and durable, easy for wiping down if you have young children or pets. You can get various types of leather from natural, that will have visible marks and character, to manmade leather which looks more uniform. Manmade leather comes in various colours and will be more budget friendly.
Fabric sofas make a room look instantly cosy, you can choose from linen which is soft and features natural creases, cotton which is durable and easy to care for, polyester which is the most hardwearing and probably the best for a young family or wool and velvet for those who like something to look a little more luxurious and soft.
Whichever material you decide on, you will need to consider the level care it will need, whether it is just a quick wipe down with suitable wipes or if they’re machine washable if the sofa requires more regular maintenance. Don’t forget to ask for a swatch of the material that you are interested in so that you can take it home and see how it looks with the rest of your room. It is also handy to take this with you if you go shopping for accessories so that you know what colour palette you are working with.
The filling of a sofa can make such a difference in appearance and this might be the deciding factor for you, however you need to consider the use.
Foam – Coming in different grades this is the firmest filling for a sofa and one that visually has straighter lines and holds its shape more, after about six months foam will lose about 15% of its firmness, this is something to think about when you sit on a sofa in a shop as it will feel softer than when yours is initially delivered. Flipping over the seats regularly will help foam seats keep their shape.
Fibre – This is a softer and more budget friendly option to foam and provides a more comfier look however it does require more upkeep that foam so will need fluffing and plumping most days to make sure it keeps its shape and doesn’t flatten.
Feather – This is a more expensive and classic luxury filling which provides a softer and comfier feel. As with fibre it will need regular upkeep so plumping the pillows/seats every day is a necessity to ensure the sofa keeps its visual appearance.