The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the right Sofa
“Why should I refer to a sofa guide?” If you're think why you should read this, then here's are a few reasons why you need to read this step-by-step sofa buying guide:
- This sofa guide helps you understand how to choose the right sofa ideal for your room and personal use;
- You get to learn about the different types of sofas available so you can choose the suitable type for you;
- Read on so you don’t end up spending on the sofa that is not the right fit for your home;
- Expert tips throughout the guide with very useful advice;
- you’ll also learn about caring for your new sofa to make it last longer;
- In the end, there is a bonus guide so keep on reading!
So here it is a complete step-by-step process for you to follow:
Step 1: How to choose the right sofa?
We know theres many options available, so how would you choose the best sofa for you? It’s tricky. But, it’s not if you ask yourself the right questions. So, to begin with, ask the following questions to yourself to get a clear idea of what type of sofa or suite is the right choice for you:
1: Are you looking for a sofa to match with your interiors?
If the answer to this question is yes, you need to look for the style and the colour of the sofa, after all, it would complete your room. So, your sofa needs to be in sync with your room decor and colours.
2: Are you thinking of buying a sofa first and then deciding on your rooms colour and decor theme?
If that is the case, it’s easier for you to choose the sofa style that attracts you the most and then you can decorate your room around it.
3: Do you have kids or pets at home?
If yes, then you need to choose your sofa very carefully. Make sure your sofa is durable enough to ensure they withstand your kids and pets hopping on top or crawling underneath. you may also want to stay away from lighter colours and choose the fabric colours that are darker in shades to avoid embarrassment during your guest visits.
4: Do you have back pain or allergies?
If yes, understand the materials used on the sofa and then select the one that gives you the utmost comfort and no allergies.
5: Will the sofa fit into your room?
This one in my opinion should be higher up in the importance rank because you don’t want to invest in a sofa that physically can’t fit into your room or even pass throught he front door. So, let’s avoid this situation by checking the dimensions available in the details of every sofa that you browse.
6: What is your budget?
Yet another important question for most. Sometimes spending a little more can buy you a lot more of a sofa so dont restrict yourself and be brave to consider better sofas and if you need help theres always some fiannce options to consider. Everyone wants more for there money so check out the sofa sale thats available all year round on a range of sofas and sofa beds in all colours and sizes.
Now, there's the reasons why you need to read this sofa guide. So, let’s move on to step 2.
Step 2: Learn about the different types & sizes
Why do you need to learn about the different types of sofas?
Every sofa is different in style, size, and shape. How would you know which sofa is the right one to fit into your room and even your preferences? That’s the reason why you need to know each and every type of sofa available so you can decide which one suites your requirements.
2 Seater Sofa
2 seater sofas may seem quite small when placed in the larger rooms. They are generally a good size to seat 2 people comfortably and they offer the same level of comfort compared to the larger sofas. They look smart because of their compact size and save a lot of floor space in you room to make your room look a little more spacious. If you buy a set of two x 2 seater sofas, it looks perfectly symmetrical and some 3 + 2 looks just as good giving you that little extra breathing space.
Why should I choose a two seater sofa?
- You can buy two seater sofas for smaller more compact rooms including dining rooms, library rooms and even bedrooms.
- As a part of the larger suite in the rooms for example when you need a matching 3 + 2 sofa suite.
3 Seater Sofa
Three seater sofas are the most attractive pieces in the living rooms. They add a nice sized seating to the room and make everyone from elders to children and pets comfortable together. Usually, the three-seater sofas come with 2 large seats or 3 individual seats. Such large sofas can accommodate 3 adults or 2 adults plus 2 children and even a pet comfortably.
Why should I choose a 3 seater sofa?
- You can use the 3 seater sofas in most social rooms such as living rooms or conservatories.
- In a combination suite bundled with an armchair or two 2 seater sofas in the larger rooms
- If you have a multi function or guest room opt for a large 3 seater sofa bed.
Have a look at the combination of the 3+2 seater sofa suite they are the most commonly bought together sets:
Armchairs are single seated sofas that look like chairs but compliments the same look and feel of a sofa. Just like other sofas, armchairs provide the same level of comfort but to one person and may be a pet. Armchairs come with two seating mechanisms- one is the static one and another is the slight reclining one. Have a look of the reclining armchair:
Why should I choose armchairs?
- You can use the armchairs especially in the rooms to complement certain furniture pieces
- In combination with the 2 and even 3 seater sofas in the larger rooms
- When looking to add contrast coloured furniture to your rooms to match with your interiors
A modern yet stylish sofa. The reclining sofa comes up with one of the best seating mechanisms available today. There are two purposes resolved with the recliner sofa- one is that you get the same look like an armchair and another is that you can get a lying position even in the sofa seating mechanism. The recliner sofa allows you to sit, lie down with a little recline position elevating a slight footrest and a back recline and a complete recline giving you the position just like the sleeping position.
In fact, recliner sofa can be a combination of a sofa having one side reclining mechanism. Have a look of the same here-
Why should I choose recliner sofas?
- If you have a TV or library room that could be your living room/lounge, games room and even a conservatory.
- you can buy a combination set with 2 and 3 seater sofas in the larger rooms
- When looking to add extra comfort in any sitting room
A corner sofa goes perfectly well when you are placing it in the corner of two consecutive walls with no furniture and even where you have a huge amount of space to be covered. The corner sofas can accommodate up to 5 to 6 adults and 4 to adults with pets and children. The sizes of corner sofas differ so when you are looking to buy, consider reading their sizes available to accommodate according to your room sizes.
The corner sofas come in different styles- one that gives a reclining mechanism, second can be just like a sofa bed, and the last one can be sofas with storage space.
Corner Sofas with reclining functionality
Conrer Sofa Beds
Chaise Sofas with a storage space
Why should I choose a corner sofa?
- You can use the corner sofas especially in the living rooms or any other larger rooms that divide it into two rooms
- In combination with armchairs in the larger rooms
- Also, in the library or TV room in order to give a position comfortable to sit for a longer period of time
- when you need to make the most of the spae in your room having an empty corner space
Chesterfield sofas come from the history of Lord Phillip Stanhope. Such sofas are deep buttoned, quilted leather upholstery, and low-level seating. When you go for Chesterfield sofas, it adds a royal look to your room. Such sofas have three sizes available-
Why should I choose chesterfield sofa?
- The have great traditional character
- to comlement any room as single piece of furniture
- You can use Chesterfield armchairs near a fireplace
- You can use a two-seater Chesterfield sofa in smaller rooms and bring true character
Choosing a sofa bed can be one of the most difficult choices to make as it comes in different forms of conversion styles. Sofa beds offer two benefits in one; a functional sofa that can convert into a comfortable bed to sleep on. Just make sure you have enough space infront for it to exten into a bed. You can read more about the types of sofa beds available in our detailed sofa bed guide.
TIP: Sofa Beds are not designed to sleep on every day as its not purpose made bed. They are suitable for temporary or short time use for guests or when you need to escape for a night from your snoring partner! :)
Why should I choose a sofa bed?
- if your home is popular with regular guests
- When you have the sapce to extend a sofa into a sofa bed for the odd occasion
- If you have a guest room where you want to sleep extra people
Seating type is important. Though your purpose of buying a sofa is not just your back support, it matters for some and could be a deciding factor. This is where the style of the sofa, frame and filling play a pivotal role.
If back support matter, don't go for scatter back sofas and choose a fixed back sofa which porivded better posture and back support. if you want to know more about the types of sofa that offer different back support refer to our sofa buying guide.
Step 3: Check Sofa Dimensions and Room Measurements
Sofa dimensions and your room measurements matter the most. With even the slightest misjudgement here, you can be really disappointed and endure the hassle and expense of returning the sofa. So pay close attention to details and make sure you get this right first time.
Here are a few things to consider while looking at measurements:
Compare sofa measurements with space available
Before you buy a sofa, you need to understand the sofa measurements and compare it with the space available with you. And you dont want to struggle and make do with an oversized piece of furniture.
For this, you need to always consider your space, extendable components of the sofa, extra legroom for corner sofas and make sure you allow the doors to open fully. So check the measure up correctly and check the sofa dimensions in the product details section.
Consider the following things to compare the sofa measurements with the space available:
- Dont try to get an exact fit. Make sure the length or width of the sofa is smaller compared to the length of the wall where you’re going to place the sofa
- If you are placing sofas near the door, pay attention to the depth of the sofa and then compare it with the width of walk-in space to ensure it doesnt close the gap to enter the room. the last thing you want is wiggling your way into the room
- Check the design of the sofa, is it raised enough the floor so you can clean under and around the sofa so you can regularly clean duse to keep the allergies at bay
TIP: Ensure the height, width, and the length of your sofa is comparatively smaller than the home entrances, narrower than your entrance hallways otherwise you may have to talk out the doors to get them inside your room.
Ensure it can be manouevred into your room
Now, you know that the sofa you’re going to pick is appropriate and can fit into your room as expected. Your next biggest question is can it enter the house and room?
You need to again keep an eye on the sofa measurements to understand whether a sofa can be easily brought to your home and even within your home entrances.
How to ensure your sofa can be delivered appropriately and safely?
- Consider right angle turns within your home which might affect traversing your sofa to the required room
- If your home is in flats or apartment complexes, make sure the sofa can easily enter into your complex lift and easily be brought to your home
- If you have narrow door frames, you need to be utterly careful while choosing the sofa. Make sure the measurements are smaller than your door frames or entrances
- Understand how the logistics of the entire delivery takes place as 2 people are oftern required
- Whether the delivery staff is going to deliver your sofa to your door or does it needs to be assembled onsite and taken up a flight of stairs.
When you’ve got sofa delivery scheduled, clear the pathway towards the room where your sofa is going to be placed. This will help the delivery staff to easily and safely place your sofa to its required place.
Understanding sofa dimesnions
One of the crucial parts is to understand sofa sizes. Based on the sofa style you choose and from the retailer or manufacturer you buy, the sizes of the sofa differs. Let’s understand the sofa sizes in detail:
- Usually, the length of a sofa remains under 2m to over 3m, the depth remains under 75cm to 1m, the height changes based on the type of sofa- one, two or three seaters, the width remains under 150cm to over 250cm, sofa back sizes remain between 75cm to 1m
- You need to understand that the type of sofa affects the length, width, and height of the sofa so you need to always look into the product description to find out the sofa sizes
The reason why we covered the entire section of the different types of the sofa, in the beginning, is that you can understand how the sizes of each sofa differ.
Step 4: Choosing the right sofa materials and upholstery
Learning about the materials and upholstery used while manufacturing a sofa becomes important. This information allows you to find out the durability of the sofa.
Before you buy a sofa, you should be aware of what materials, sofa frames are made up of.
The frame of a sofa can be made up of hardwood, metals, softwoods, and some are chipboard frames.
Note, the sofa frames made up of hardwood are stronger and sturdier compared to any other sofa frames and they usually come with at least 12 months guarantee.
This is about durability of your sofa and as its wearing of this layer that affects the look.
Following are the things you need to validate before you give a green signal to the upholstery:
- The stitching should be tight with mulitple loops.
- padding should be tightly wrappend to avoid sag.
In simpler words, the sofa that you are looking to buy should have a neat and tight appearance.
Fabric sofas provides warmth and cosiness but they can be a pain to clean but they tend to be more durable than leather. there a few types of fabrics to consider and the most popular are grain and mesh fabrics then ofcourse the luxuriously plush velvet and the more modest cotton/linen fabric sofas. Each of these have their plus and minuses but they are respectively different fir for purpose.
A few benefits of fabric sofas:
- High-quality fabrics are wear and tear proof
- Some fabrics are stain-resistant so when you have spills, they can easily be cleaned
- Fabric sofas come with a collection of unlimited patterns, colours, and texture which you can match with your interiors
The type of leather matters the most when it comes to giving a finished look, feel, durability, and level of care. There are generally 3 types of leather, good old genuine hide and the other synthetics are Bonded leather and Leathaire which is the softer versoin of Bonded. Genuine leather comes at cost but its thicker and real but you dont want that but still need a soft touch goo for the leathaire.
You can happily choose a leather sofa for your home, but consider following things before you buy one:
- If you are a dog owner whose dog is not yet well-trained be careful because those paws will scracth it easily.
- Leather might get cooler or hotter based on the room or climate temperature, so if you want consistency then its not fo you.
- the more you clean the leather the paler it will get loosing the dye colour quicker so make sure you use the right cleaning products recommended.
- There are various processes that can take place on leather- pigmentation, bleach, dye, embossing, adding colour additives so you can make it the way you want it
- The leather sofas tend to be a little more expensive compared to fabric sofa - so if budget is on the top of list then consider fabric.
The PVC sofas comprise of polyester and are made to mimic the qualities of a leather sofa. This type of sofa can help you get the exact same look and appearance like the leather sofa. But, in the limited budget.
When it comes to durability, it’s less durable compared to leather and fibre sofa.
So, let’s compare each of these sofa types: Fabric sofa, leather sofa, and PVC sofa.
|Fabric sofa vs. leather sofa vs PVC sofa|
|Key Components/Types of Sofa||Fabric Sofa||Leather Sofa||PVC Sofa|
|Cleaning||Easy wash (if removable)||Easy for only smaller stains||Only using leather cloth solutions|
|Comfort||More compared to the other two||Lesser than the fabric sofa||Lesser than the other two|
This table helps you in choosing the right type of sofa for your home to make it more inviting and stylish.
Step 5: Choose the right comfort level
When it comes to comfort it boiled down to whats under the surface A lot of cheaper sofas use foam which is not bad unless you use a poor quality foam. So, you need to read the product description about the type of fillings used for the seats so you can expect the right comfort level - soft, medium, or firm.
Here are the types of fillings that can be used in sofa seats:
- Foam: One of the most used cushion fillings is foam filling. They start of comfy but degrade rather quickly.
- Feather fillings: It similarly looks like fibre filled cushions and they are less common these days as they dont keep their shape unless its hybrid fill.
- Fibre fillings: Another popular filling but more durable then most foam used out there.
- Pocket sprung cushions: The much preferred type that will give you a bounce back when you stand up and will last longer than any other compared.
Step 6: Choose the right sofa retailer or brand
Buying a sofa is not cheap and Brand confidence is important when it comes to shopping online. Read the reviews, make sure they have a good range and compare prices.
A few things to look out for:
- Find a retailer that offers a good variety in stock and a good price range.
- Make sure they’ve written a detailed product description that includes everything you need to know as described in this guide.
- Be able to talk to them on phone or chat
- Read the reviews from other customers.
- Don't be afraid to reach out asking for discounts, if you dont ask you won't get!
We hope this step-by-step sofa guide helps you choose the right sofa for your purpose and we can assure you if you follow it you can avoid common mistakes when buying a sofa and spare disappointment.
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