The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Couch
If you’re looking for inexpensive sectionals, check out this gallery of 20 beautiful sectional sofas under $1000.
1) Signature Design by Ashley Larkinhurst Sofa | 2) Riverstone Purple Velvet Sectional | 3) Poundex F7859 Bobkona Parrish Leather Sectional | 4) Poundex F7614 Bobkona Toffy Chaise Sectional | 5) Poundex Bobkona Belinda SECTIONAL | 6) Modway Empress Sectional Sofa | 7) Modern Contemporary Sectional Sofa | 8) Modern Contemporary Polyfiber Sectional Sofa | 9) Poundex F7769 Bobkona Cady Sectional | 10) Poundex F7609 Bobkona Chaise Sectional | 11) Modern Contemporary Leather Sectional Sofa | 12) Homelegance 2 Piece Tufted Accent Sectional Sofa | 13) Gold Sparrow Atlanta Sectional Sofa | 14) Flash Furniture Benchcraft Maier Sectional | 15) Coaster Fine Furniture 501681 Leather Sofa | 16) Classic Two Tone Large Sectional Sofa | 17) Benchcraft Maier Sectional Chaise | 18) Ashley Furniture Signature Design – Darcy Chaise Sofa | 19) 3 pieces Faux Linen Sectional Sofa | 20) Poundex Bobkona Viola Linen-like Chaise |
Here are 4 things to consider to ensure you are buying a quality couch that will last:
1. Look for a Sturdy Frame
A well-made sofa has a sturdy frame so it will not warp or crack with use. For a sturdy couch that stands the test of time, look for a frame made of kiln-dried solid wood. Kiln-dried means it removes the moisture that can cause warping and cracking, and squeaky couches.
You also want to look for a frame that is held together with dowels, wood corner blocks, or metal brackets. Anything that’s held together by only staples, glue, or nails can fall apart or come undone much easier.
A heavy couch is a good indicator that it’s sturdy because it’s made of dense high quality materials.
Since you can’t actually see inside the couch because it’s covered up by fabric, ask the salesperson or check the manufactuerer’s website to find out whether or not the sofa is made of kiln-dried wood and dowels, wood corner blocks, or brackets.
2. Comfort is in the Cushions
What’s inside the cushions can drastically affect the price and quality of the sofa. Most cushions have a polyurethane foam core – the denser the foam, the heavier and longer it will last. Cheap sofas just have the poly foam core and that’s it. In higher quality furniture, the poly foam core is wrapped with batting.
There are tons of options to choose from as far cushion content, but the two most recommended in terms of quality, price, and comfort are high-resilient (HR) foam with a batting layer of down and conventional foam wrapped in polyester batting.
Another thing to consider: sofas with back cushions unattached make cleaning and fluffing much easier.
3. Consider Timeless Upholstery
Upholstery is the element that affects a sofa’s cost most. You want to make sure an expensive piece of furniture you’re investing in has a durable fabric and can withstand daily use.
Performance fabrics (sometimes called Sunbrella) are stain resistant and can even be bleached without affecting the color are some of the most durable around, although spendy. If that’s not in the budget, cotton, cotton blends, leather, and wool are good options. I suggest choosing a neutral color that won’t go out of style for years.
If you’re looking for some help with what color of sofa to go with, you might want to read this post on finding your signature decorating style to identify colors/fabrics that fit you best.
4. Size Matters
Consider the proportions of the room and the other furniture in your space when looking for sofas. You want a sofa that feels proportionate to the rest of the space. In other words, you don’t want a small-scale chair sitting next to an oversized sofa with huge cushions because it will look off.
Another thing to note is not all sofas are the same depth. Some have narrower seats than others, and this can affect overall comfort. The best way to know how wide of seat you like is to sit on many different sofas and measure the seat cushion depth on the sofa you find most comfortable.
If you have a small room or tight space, a sofa with low arms can feel less crowded. Our sectional was way too big for our smaller-than-average living room, and the big cushions made it seem even more crowded. I wanted a sectional for the ample seating, but I didn’t think about proportion or size in comparison to the room.
Besides that, the seat cushions tended to slide so they stuck out, and the seat depth wasn’t as big as I liked. After a few hours of sitting (while blogging away, not just being a total couch potato I might add :)) my butt started to hurt because the cushions weren’t super comfy.
The second time around looking for a new sofa, I knew I couldn’t go much bigger lengthwise, but I wanted a deeper seat. I also wanted a sofa that was smaller scale and didn’t have such large arms or bulky cushions to better fit the space.