Sofas don’t come cheap. In fact, buying furniture for your home or office is a major investment. If you don’t get the size, style, colour or upholstery right, you’ll have a deep hole in your pocket.
To help you make the right choices, we’ve outlined the most important elements to consider when shopping for a brand new sofa. Choose wisely and you’ll have a stylish piece that’s durable, easy to clean, a good fit with your existing home décor and – most importantly – super comfortable.
Opt for a hardwood frame
A sturdy frame equates to comfort and longevity. Opt for sofas with frames crafted from hardwoods such as kiaat, meranti, teak or oak and you’ll have a long-lasting and durable piece of furniture capable of absorbing any body weight.
Conversely, avoid chipboard, PVC, or metal frames as they can crack, warp and break quite easily. Remember to ask the retailer or manufacturer how the frame is tacked together. If it’s wooden dowels or screws, you’re on the right track. If it’s glue, walk away.
Get the size right
Size is critical. You don’t want a sofa that dominates or overwhelms a space. Similarly, you don’t want a piece dwarfed by the size of the room. To ensure you get the right dimensions, measure the space where you intend to place the sofa.
In a small area, you’ll ideally want a couch that’s approximately 152 cm to 198 cm in width. A standard-sized room requires a sofa that’s about 208 cm to 214 cm wide.
The right colour for your couch
The most popular colours for large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, are overwhelmingly neutral. This is because neutral colours can fit in nicely with just about any decor.
If, however, you want to make a statement with your new couch, go for lovely bold colours. Teal, oxblood, lime green or electric orange could enhance the existing patterns, textures, and shades in the room.
What’s the best sofa upholstery?
When choosing the upholstery for your couch, key considerations are the durability of the fabric, how easy it is to clean, and how resistant it is to dirt and fading. A general rule of thumb is the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the material is, and the longer it will last.
Natural upholstery materials, such as cotton, wool and leather, are comfortable, strong and resilient options, but they come with a hefty price tag. Your best bet is a cotton fabric, such as hard wearing canvas or a more formal damask. They generally exhibit a good resistance to wear and tear, fading and pilling.
Synthetic materials like acrylic, a material which resembles wool, resists wrinkling, soiling and fading. Another option is nylon blend, an upholstery material known for its strength, resilience and dirt resistance.
Slipcovers: yes or no?
Slipcovers are versatile accessories popular with those who have kids and pets. They're easy to get on and off, and can be bundled into the washing machine for a fresh and hygienic makeover.
Redecorating your home? No problem. Slipcovers are a cost-effective alternative to re-upholstering or replacing your furniture.
However, if you want a more formal and finished look, slipcovers probably won’t do.
What to do with your old sofa
Another decision you’ll have to make is what to do with your old sofa. You don't have to decide immediately though – an XtraSpace self-storage unit is an ideal option, enabling you to store a sofa in a secure, clean location until you're ready to sell it, or until a friend, family member or charitable organisation is ready to collect it.