Purchasing a new sofa/couch is not an easy task, after all it is one of the largest and most important pieces of furniture you will buy for your home. With so many designs, shapes, colors and sizes and customization alternatives out there, you might quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the endless options.
If you have been looking for a couch online or in stores you might have an idea of what you want or gravitate towards a certain design, but the most important thing to keep in mind is functionality, since our lives revolve around this important piece of furniture, picking a couch that works for your lifestyle needs and not only for aesthetics is key.
We put together this guide to help you with your decision, and make sure that you commit to the right couch for you and your family.
1- How much space do you have?
Being realistic about how much space we really have to fit a couch is very important, but also as important is to account for the free space you would like to have available around the couch. Do you have kids that need floor space to move around and play? Do you exercise in your living room? I know I need space for some yoga, or ballet barre from time to time. Do you like to entertain and host a lot of people in your home? Picking the right scale couch will ensure you still have space for a lot more in your home. If you are dealing with a smaller square footage and see that one couch will not accommodate everyone, you can add complementary seating with accent chairs, floor poufs or smaller sofas that can be moved around to create more space when needed and accommodate everyone.
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2- Lifestyle needs.
Do you have pets, children or entertain often? Think about how many people will sit on the couch at once. For families with pets, kids and that host gatherings often, it is recommended to pick durable and stain resistant upholstery. Look for covers made out of performance fabrics, these fabrics are manufactured or treated to prevent stains and are typically water and oil resistant. Other options are leather or faux leather, wool blends, synthetic fabrics with a patterned design or darker colors like grey, blue or green to camouflage some of the normal staining bound to happen if you have pets, kids or like to entertain. Stay away from linen for upholstery, since it requires more maintenance (If you love linen like I do, consider adding Linen Pillows to enhance the look of your couch instead of having the whole couch made out of it). Choosing the right upholstery is crucial to keep maintenance to a minimum and for the longevity of the couch.
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3- What type of couch should you get?
Now that we have narrowed down the square footage for the couch, thought about how many people will sit on the couch at once, and our lifestyle needs, we can decide what type of couch to get.
Standard: A bench that has arms on both sides and a back. It can seat at least two people.
Loveseat: They are smaller and cozier than standard sofas. Meant to seat up to two people.
Futon: Sofas that can be reclined flat and be used as additional beds. Many futons are low and often armless for easier dismount.
Sofa Chaise: A couch that can seat up to 6 people, and one of the ends extends forward to allow your legs to rest on it.
Settee: A more formal bench-like sofa. It is most commonly placed in formal living rooms.
Sectional: A large sofa meant for larger spaces and to accommodate more people. They come in at least two pieces and can seat over 10 people. They can be shaped like an L or U.
4- Will this be my forever couch?
While a lot of furniture stores offer warranties with their products, it is hard to predict how long the piece will actually last. It all depends on the amount of use that it gets and to be honest furniture is not made the same way as it used to be. You can expect a sofa to last from 5 to 10 years. The good news is that prices of couches have dropped in the last few years, there are many options with different price points to choose from. So you don’t need to think that the couch will be your forever couch. To make your decision easier, think about your current needs and maybe picture having it for a few years. Another important thing to consider is to stay away from trends. It is tempting to get swayed by current trends, and by what is on your instagram feed. Instead go with more timeless pieces, remember that you will want to have this piece for at least few years and want to ensure the lifetime of the investment. You can always add accessories such as Pillows and Blankets to switch up your decor style with the seasons.
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Set your price range to start your research and don’t forget to account for additional costs for shipping, white glove delivery and to read their return policy. There are different factors that increase or decrease the price of the couch one of them is the fill.
Down-fill sofas are higher-end, plush and luxurious. Fiber fill is a synthetic insert that’s usually combined with foam or down to make it less firm and a bit more affordable. Foam fill is usually used for sleeper sofas and features a high-density memory foam mattress or cushions. It is a good material to renew an old sagging couch. Spring coil, these cushions often come with a down fill and are built into the sofa, they hold their shape better over time.
If you are looking to save you might want to consider vintage pieces that often sell for 70% - 80% less than new furniture, another option is to search for Outlet stores in your area.
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Other important points to consider:
- Make sure you know the dimensions of the couch and the dimensions of your doorway and entryway before you order the couch, allowing some wiggle room for packaging as well.
- Check the construction. Wood is the most sturdy and solid material while MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is a less durable material. A sofa attached by dowels or glue will be less sturdy than one constructed with both in addition to screws. 8-way hand tied suspension is often the most pricey type of spring but the most durable as well. Sinuous springs are the most common and feature S-shaped springs that run up and down the depth of the sofa. Webbed suspensions, is the most affordable option and have a hammock-like support system that is crafted from natural fibers and the Pirelli webbing is made from rubber and a durable alternative for springs.
Photo by Lorenzo Hamers on Unsplash
I hope this guide helps if you are looking and considering getting a new couch.
Have a great week!