A sofa or couch is a major furniture investment, and one which you may live with for decades, so it is important to generate a good decision. Style preferences are a private matter, but when it comes to picking a good-quality sofa, there are objective criteria you can use to make certain you’re getting a sofa you can be happy with for many years. When you are shopping for a new couch, follow these 8 tips to ensure a great purchase.
Assess The Match
There’s absolutely no sense in considering a sofa if it doesn’t fit you nicely. Seats should be comfortable for all members of your loved ones. If you’re buying a recliner sofa, make sure it’s comfortable in all the different places. The principal fit consideration is the depth of the chairs. Select shallow or deep seats, depending upon your height–the couch back should encourage your back adequately with your feet flat on the ground and the backs of your knees just slightly forward of the lower seat cushion. And if the couch is where you want to nap, be certain that you lay out on the couch and see if it’s long enough to get comfortable snoozing.
Evaluate The Joinery
Upholstery fabric and cushions can be replaced when they get old and worn, but no couch can be thought of as a fantastic piece of furniture unless it has a solid, quality inner frame. If your objective is to buy a fantastic sofa, begin with learning about the frame. Cheaper sofas may have frames made from particleboard, plastic, or metal, but a good-quality couch is going to have a solid hardwood frame–preferably a”kiln-dried” hardwood frame made from oak, shore, or ash. Pine frames are inexpensive, but they frequently start to warp and wobble within five years or so. The legs of the sofa should be either integral areas of the frame or held on with screws or dowels. Avoid a sofa if the legs are only glued on. One easy test for solid frame structure is to lift one front corner or leg of the sofa off the ground to a height of 6 inches or so. If the other front leg does not quickly rise off the floor, too, it’s a sign the frame is twisting and is therefore weak. Any couch that visibly twists or creaks under this test is one you should avoid. Request About the JoineryEven though the method by which the frame parts are held together may not be immediately evident, the sales person or printed technical specifications must have this information. Look for frames that are combined with wooden dowels, double wooden dowels, wooden corner blocks, or metal screws and brackets. Never buy a sofa that is constructed with just staples, nails, or glue, although these might be used to provide extra reinforcement.
Test The Arms
A sofa with a good hardwood frame assembled with dowels or corner brackets should be a quality piece of furniture, but it is still a fantastic idea to forcefully test the arms of the sofa to make sure they are very tight, with no sacrifice when you lean on them. In a family with active children, the most common area of failure on a couch (aside from the upholstery) is your arms. As you examine the sofa, push hard on the arms and look for some sign of wobble. Prevent considering any couch that isn’t rock-solid.
Consider The Springs
The springs that hold up the cushions on a couch come in three levels of quality. Least expensive (and least durable) are those which aren’t springs at all, but just webbing or mesh. Steer clear of these couches if your objective is an excellent piece of furniture. Most sofas use what is called serpentine springs–sinuous bits of snaking cable that span the gap between frame members. These offer good support, but they may sag over time if the metal is not heavy-gauge. Luxurious sofas are fitted with what are known as”eight-way hand-tied springs,” which are very comfortable but also pricey. Some experts question if hand-tied springs are any more comfortable than good serpentine springs, but you can be the judge of that. Excellent springs will be quite firm and spaced close together for great support. There should be great support without too much give when you sit on the couch.
Feel The Padding
The framework and all the corners of the couch should be well padded. Run your hands over all corners to be sure you can’t feel the edges of the frame through the upholstery. If it’s possible, the upholstery may wear quite fast, and your sofa won’t be very comfortable to use.
Test The Operating Mechanisms
If your couch is a recliner or sleeper, make sure to operate the mechanism and aggressively to make sure it works smoothly and easily. Reclining, or motion furniture is generally more expensive, and you’re paying for a functioning, smoothly-running mechanism. Do not overlook any mechanical glitches or demanding operation you detect –these will only be pronounced after repeated usage in your home.
Evaluate The Upholstery
Quality upholstery may not be crucial to the sitting comfort of your couch, but it’s critical to its visual appeal.Just as in well-tailored clothes, stripes and patterns should match at the seams. Although it might not catch your eye right away, mismatched stripes or patterns will provide you the sense that something is”off”. Stripes that fit at the seams make a sofa look well finished. Patterns ought to be centered, and all seams and welts should run directly. Uneven welting and seams that are pulled to one side or another imply that the cover was badly tailored. With cloth upholstery, higher thread counts indicate a denser weave and more durable fabric.If there are any buttons, check to see that they are sewn on securely. Loose buttons will come off and quickly get lost.
Check The Cushions
Chair cushions should be firm and resilient and fit snugly within the sofa frame. The cushions should regain their shape once you press down and let go. A pillow that stays put when you press will be flattened in no time, end up looking unsightly and feel uncomfortable when you sit on it. Cushions that don’t fit snugly will even lose their shape quickly and the edges will begin looking unsightly.There is considerable debate over which type of material is best for sofa cushions. Polyurethane foam is the most common material used, but it’s essential to find a balance between a firm foam that is long-lasting but may be too hard, and a soft foam that’s comfortable but may break down too fast. High-resilient (HR) foam is a step up, making for comfortable and long-lasting cushion. Very expensive couches often use goose down combined with feathers, however you’ll pay dearly for this luxury, and the cushions will need to be plumped frequently.A hybrid type of cushion that some specialists recommend is HR foam wrapped in down-and-feathers, which combines the best of durability and comfort.
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