It’s not always easy finding a top-quality sofa. You need to think about different styles and types, not to mention a near endless list of manufacturers.
Choosing can be much easier though if you keep a few essential tips in mind.
The sturdier the frame, the longer-lasting the sofa. Soft wood – for example, pine – is cheap but likely to wobble and warp in a matter of five years. On the other hand, kiln-dried oak, ash and other hardwoods are far more durable. Stay away from particleboard, plastic, or metal frames as they are also prone to cracks and warping. Legs should be part of the frame’s design, or at least screwed or doweled to the frame, rather than stuck with some glue.
There are different types of fasteners that can be used to hold a strong frame together, like wooden corner blocks and wooden dowels. Nails and staples also come in handy for reinforcing strength.
Sofas normally have sinuous or serpentine springs, as they are sometimes called, which are basically bunches of snaking wires. They’re offer quite good support, but sometimes, they can push down on the frame, or, if the manufacturer used a metal that isn’t hard enough, it can actually sag after a while. You will likely find eight-way hand-tied springs in pricey sofas. Make sure to feel the springs through the upholstery and see if they’re firm and close together. If a sofa has no springs, it will be uncomfortable and flimsy.
Polyurethane foam is an inexpensive, low-maintenance cushion filling. The more compressed, heavier-duty kind can feel harder though, while less dense, softer varieties typically decline in quality faster with consistent use. High-resilient (HR) foam, while more expensive, provides more comfort and lasts much longer. Polyester fiber is another inexpensive type of foam, but it flattens very quickly. The combo is deliciously stout, expensive (around twice as pricey as foam), and quite high maintenance. A down-polyfiber hybrid is cheaper, however, it flattens rapidly.
Sofas for daily use should be made of tough fabric. ). Another terrific choice is synthetic microfiber, which can look like any fabric, aside from being stain-resistant. While cotton and linen can be treated so they can become stain-resistant, they’re not very user-friendly, being hard to clean and easy to damage. Mixed natural and synthetic fibers can pill in a year’s time. Wool and leather are strong and beautiful but pricey. Silk is elegant but delicate. Fabrics with printed patterns wear more easily compared to textiles whose patterns are woven into them.
Clearly, if you’re shopping for a sofa, you have tons of options available today. To help you trim down your options, start by checking out sofas made by reputable manufacturers.