Choosing a new sofa for your home isn’t and shouldn’t be something you do quickly. Your seating experience when relaxing at home needs to be second to none, and having the right sofa can give you a place to sit down and relax and take away all the worries of the world.
That might sound a bit deep, but there is no getting around the fact that an uncomfortable sofa isn’t something you want to deal with day-in-day-out. If your sofa is past its best or you are looking to upgrade your seating arrangements, then this guide is going to go through everything you need to think about when choosing your next sofa.
When Should I Replace My Sofa?
If you’re on the fence about making this investment, because, let’s face it, good sofas aren’t cheap, there are some telltale signs you need to upgrade your living room furniture staple and get rid of the old.
Typically, most modern sofas will last anywhere from 8 to 15 years, although high-quality or custom-built designs will last much longer. The exact length of time will depend on its construction, the materials used, how often you use it and how it is cared for. The better it is cared for, the longer it will last, like with anything else.
However, if you notice the material is starting to rip or come away from the cushions or seats are sagging, and it isn’t offering you the support it once was, it might be time to go shopping and see what is out there.
Tips for Choosing Your Next Sofa: What to Think About
Choosing your next sofa needs to be a carefully considered purchase. After all, you could be placing your bum on it for the next 15 years, so you don’t want to make any rash decisions that could impact your quality of life (not an understatement) for this length of time. Plus, a good sofa is an investment in your home and your comfort, so you want to get this right and not end up wasting your money.
Below are some tips you can use (you don’t have to use all of them, nor will they all be relevant to you), but they are points you should consider before making your next sofa purchase so you avoid making a big mistake.
Set your Budget
Pretty simple, really. Before heading to your local sofa shops to test drive your new seating, you need to set a budget. You don’t want to fall for the latest model with all the bells and whistles if it’s way out of your price range because nothing will seem as good after that.
Find that sweet spot where your head and your bank balance agree, and then you can narrow down your search to what you can afford and get a feel for what is on offer in that price range.
Matching or Not?
Do you want a three-piece suite or not? Your furniture doesn’t have to be matching, but it does need to be cohesive. So you need to decide if you want a statement sofa on its own and then build your other seats around it or if you want to buy a matching set. This is personal preference, and while there is no right or wrong, your house your rules; but you should know beforehand what you want to make your shopping experience easier all around.
Measure Your Room
Measure your current sofa dimensions, your room size and your doorway/entrance to your home. Buying a sofa that is too big to fit through the doorway or overlaps door frames when in places isn’t a good start to your new life with your sofa. And you don’t want to be causing damage to your home or your new purchase.
Have your measurements in mind before you go shopping to ensure that not only can you get the sofa into the house through the front or even back door if it’s bigger and more accessible, but that it fits where you want to place it and isn’t too big, overbearing, or even too small if you have oversized rooms. It might sound simple, but shoppers can often overlook it.
Try Before You Buy
Regardless of if you are buying online or from a store or physical retailer outlet, you need to try before you buy. Why? Because this gives you an idea of what to expect from the sofa before you decide on it. For example, if you are tall, then you might not want to sit low to the ground comfortably or easily get up. The standard sofa height is 60 cm, but this can vary with some designs or for a sofa with additional features such as recliners, so you want to check you are comfortable with the height.
On top of this, seat depths can vary, which can be a big difference between your height and your family, especially if one person is considerably taller.
Being able to try before you buy can also help you whittle down or eliminate the material choices you find comfortable or don’t want, and get a feel for the different types of backs on sofas, armrests and so on. Blindly picking your sofa from the page of a catalogue, while not a complete no-no, should be avoided as much as possible as you won’t know what you are paying for until it arrives. So go out there and try a range of sofas to see what suits you.
How The Sofa Will Be Used
Not all sofas are built the same, and some styles and materials won’t be suitable for certain lifestyles. If you have young kids or pets, you might want to look into easier-to-clean and more durable options, while if you are only using the sofa sporadically, then you can shoe style and aesthetic over function.
How your family will use the sofa, how much it will be used and what it can expect to go through on any given day should be a factor in your decision when buying a sofa to ensure you get one that can withstand your family life and not buckle under the pressure a few months in.
These days, sofas come with a plethora of features that can elevate your sitting experience. Do you want deep seating? Or are you more of a high-back or scattered black person? Do you want a recliner that goes fully back, or is an electric reclining feature or folding centre console with drink holders on your sofa wish list?
Different features come with additional costs; you do get what you pay for in this instance. So, pinning down what type of features you want, what each one does, how it impacts the sofa and why you want these specific details on your sofa can help you make that final decision.
A sofa swatch is simply a piece of fabric that shows the real-life colour and texture of the sofa, so you can be confident that you will be happy sitting on it for years to come. You can match the swatches against your current home decor to ensure it fits your aesthetics, get a feel for what is available, see how easy it is to clean and so on. It might just be a small square of fabric, but if you want to make a good decision, a swatch can be helpful for choosing your next sofa.
The fabric the sofa is made of plays a huge part in the overall design, obviously, but it also needs to play a big part in your decision too. The upholstery fabric needs to fit your lifestyle; for example, if you have pets who will be on the sofa or young kids likely to spill food or drink, then choosing leather, microfibre, velvet, or canvas can be a good option as they will be durable and easy to clean. Textured weave, however, can be harder to keep clean, so you might want to avoid these in this instance.
If this isn’t going to be an issue for your sofa, you can choose from a range of fabrics, including cotton, wool, silk, linen and viscose, to name a few. Again, the upholstery can impact your enjoyment, so you need to pick a fabric you can sit comfortably on day after day.
Choosing the right sofa for your home is a big decision. After all, if it is built to last, you could be relaxing on it, or not as the case may be, for the next 15 or so years.
Sofas are built to a range of dimensions, from various fabrics and in so many colour ways with different styles to choose from.
You need to narrow down your search using the right criteria and be confident that you are buying what you and your family want and need from your sofa to help you make the right decision. Whether you buy a corner sofa, recliner, a two or three-seater design, or you add in an armchair or loveseat, the choice is entirely up to you, but these tips can help you to avoid a sofa-buying nightmare and give you peace of mind you made the right choice!