From watching TV to snoozing and snacking, Britons are the ultimate couch potatoes. So much so, a 2008 study revealed we spend a staggering 17 years sitting on the sofa!
With figures like these, it’s clearly worth investing in a good quality sofa. An essential item for any home, it’s not a purchase to make lightly, or without considered thought.
There are five keys points to assess when choosing in a sofa: size, style, comfort, longevity and practicality. Ignore these criteria, and the result is a sofa that simply isn’t suited to your needs.
To avoid such an outcome, Dovetail have compiled a step-by-step guide to choosing a sofa, following the key points mentioned above. Follow our advice and you’ll find your perfect sofa in no time!
Step 1 | Size
Be honest with yourself: do you really have the space for a massive sofa? If your room is small, an oversized sofa will make it look more cramped than it actually is. Those short on living space should instead opt for a sofa with low or no arms, as this will create the illusion of a larger room.
On the other hand, should you have a relatively large living room, don’t go overboard on size. Remember that other furniture items, such as TV stands, coffee tables and perhaps other chairs, still need to fit in comfortably.
Step 2 | Style
Think about the intention of your space. Do you envision a formal living room, or a stylish spot for occasional entertaining? A stand-alone sofa presents a sleeker, cleaner line. A sectional sofa is far more roomy and inviting, creating a more casual space that’s perfect for watching TV or snoozing!
Step 3 | Comfort
How do you sit on your sofa? It may seem like a stupid question, but everyone lounges differently.
It’s really important to consider seat depth. You may prefer to slouch into your cushions rather than sit upright when watching TV; therefore, if you choose a sofa with too shallow a seat, you will shift awkwardly as you try to find a comfortable position. Your sofa is now a wasted investment!
Here is a quick overview of sofa seat depths. 18 inches is a sleek, modern look, but very upright and uncomfortable to sit on. 22 inches is the minimum for a comfortable seat, but still presents a sleek design. 24 inches is just deep enough to lie across, while 33 inches has the ultimate “snuggle factor”.
Step 4 | Longevity
Different fabrics ware better than others over time. For example, chenille, while soft and silky, stretches and warps over time. Likewise, vinyl is a cheaper alternative to leather, but tends to be less comfortable and cracks with age.
Meanwhile, ensure your sofa has a hardwood frame. This could be oak, teak, beech or mahogany, but avoid softwoods such as pine or spruce. Furthermore, check it is held together with screws and dowels rather than glued and stapled chipboard; these can easily break and will not last as long.
Step 5 | Practicality
Do you have young children or pets? Then be sensible with your choice of fabric. Cotton-velvet is a family favourite; it’s plush, wears well, and comes in a variety of patterns and shades that can help camouflage any unwanted stains!
Leather is another popular choice for families; it’s wipe-clean, so any spills or stains can easily be erased. However, it’s susceptible to scratches, so is best avoided by pet owners, as well as wool, satin and velvet. Instead, invest in more pet-friendly fabrics, such as distressed leather and microfibre.