9 Essential Things To Look For When Buying A New Sofa

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So you’re ready to head out to the shops and buy a new sofa. To make sure it isn’t an expensive mistake, there are a few things you need to consider and think about before buying a new sofa. In this article we will help you to make sure that you find a couch that is the right size and design for everything and everyone using it.

1. Sofa Design
The worse culprits being the low, squishy deep sofa that renders it impossible to sit comfortably or resist slouching. Most sofas have changed hugely in design over the decades from the Victorian era where they were used much more formally but designed with a human in mind. Nowadays sofa’s can be more akin to a bed than seating, unfortunately our dimensions haven’t changed with them.


 2. What are you using the sofa for?

Will it be the hub of the household used for relaxing watching TV, eating and working at the laptop? Or only for more formal occasions? Who will be using the sofa the most? If it isn’t you they really need to be with you when you are shopping. Height will have a big factor on the sofa that you buy. In times of homeworking, it is easy to gravitate away from the office or dining room chair over to the comfort of the sofa. In much the same way that ergonomics are considered when you are in the office you do need to give this some thought if you sit on the sofa whilst working.

Sofa’s can look deceptively small in a large showroom

What to consider when buying a sofa

Make sure you have your tape measure to hand to ensure it fits the space you have in mind and also the doorway it will need to fit through. Showrooms (such as this image of Wesley Barrel) can have other household furniture to help give a better impression of how big the sofa is in relation to other pieces, which can help.

If your current sofa works for you but just needs replacing remember to measure it up before you head out so that you can compare the sofa’s in the showrooms. The important measurements are:

The outer width/length, height and depth.

The seat depth and seat height from the floor too.


3. Picking The Right Size Sofa For The People Sitting On It

This isn’t just about the room but also the people sitting on it. Who will be using the sofa and what height are they? It is finding that right balance for everyone if at all possible or at least for those who will be using it the most. A lot of sofas are very deep which may be an issue when it comes to being able to sit back into the seat and still have your feet on the ground!

If the sofa is too deep for just one person in a household then a good solution could be a foot stool for them. Just make sure that when their legs are on the footstool that their hips are higher than their knees.

4. Sit On The Sofa For At Least 30 Minutes

Spend at least 30 minutes, ideally longer on the sofa you are considering buying. Any good sofa retailer will be happy for you to sit and really give their sofa’s the comfort test. A quick few seconds doesn’t give you any idea of comfort. Time to take that crossword or a good book or just sit and having a good old chin wag, time will pass before you realise.

If you are worried about other people being around then consider going at a quiet time for example when the shop first opens or on a weekday.

5. Consider Your Footwear

If you are out and about wearing your heels sitting on a sofa in a showroom wearing them won’t give you a realistic idea. They will raise your legs up and give an artificial impression of what the height of the sofa is like for you. Even better take your slippers along and pop them on if you’re feeling brave enough.

6. Buy The Best You Can Afford

A cheaper sofa will begin to lose its support and sag far sooner and cause aches, pains and discomfort. It may sound obvious, sofa’s are expensive and a seemingly cheaper sofa could mean you are replacing it sooner then it’s a false economy. Sofa’s should last many years. We know this can be a Goldilocks moment but you do need enough firmness to offer support whilst still being comfortable. If the sofa is soft when you try it there is a strong chance that this could become even more so very quickly.


7. When Is The Next Sale?

This could be a tactical option, sofa retailers frequently have sales throughout the year. As mentioned in the last point it is important to buy the best that you can afford, so is there a sofa that is better quality but just out of your price range at full price? Don’t be afraid to ask if there are any discounts available, or if you know is a sale soon perhaps they could provide that discount now for a sale today? You never know what someone’s sales target is and what flexibility they may be able to offer.


8. Have You Ever Considered A Recliner Sofa?

Recliners can offer the best of both worlds because you can choose to sit upright or move it back and chillax. We are a big fan of these, as the dimensions are often in much better proportions for us humans. The great thing about a recliner is that you thing about a recliner is that you Choosing the right sofa for youcan often control how far it leans back so that you can achieve that great balance between feeling like you are relaxing whilst being kind to your back – as long as the seat base isn’t too deep. When your lower back is supported and you recline backwards there is less pressure on your back than when you are sitting upright in the old fashioned Victorian manner

9. Remember Ergonomics

Your hips should be higher than your knees and your feet planted on the floor to reduce pressure on your back. Yes you want your sofa to be a joy to sit on but it is essential to make sure that it isn’t too low. If you aren’t able to do that there is a strong chance that it will cause discomfort over time.

Now You Are Ready To Head Off Shopping For Your New Sofa
If you are tooled up with this information you now know what to look for when buying a new sofa. You stand an excellent chance of buying something that will be comfortable and last years to come.

In summary make sure that you:

  • Measure up to make sure it will fit into your house.
  • If your current sofa is comfortable take those measurements along with you to compare.
  • Take into account what you will be using your sofa for and who will be using it.
  • Buy the best you can afford (wait until the sales if you have to)
  • Make sure it is supportive and that you can sit with your feet on the floor with your hips at least level with, but preferably higher than your knees. If this isn’t possible for everyone a foot stool can make all of the difference for them.