men carrying a sofa

Your Helpful Guide to Buying the Best Sofas

Getting a new sofa is the best! It’s an exciting process but can also be challenging. If you’re flexing your independence and have just moved into a condo or apartment and plan to buy your first sofa, this guide will help you find your perfect match in no time.

You’ll need to know what type of fabric or leather you want, whether it needs to be comfortable for both sitting and sleeping, where it will go in your house, how much space you have for it… You get the idea. Interior design experts offer tips to help buyers feel confident about making their purchase. Let’s get started!

How to measure your space

How much space do you have available? The design and size of your sofa will depend on the space you have and how many people will be using it.

Measure the width and depth of the area that you want your sofa to be. Be sure to take into account any potential obstacles like electrical outlets or heating vents. Then add on about eight inches for clearance. This is enough room for two people to walk by comfortably. It’s also a good idea to have about four feet of clear space behind the sofa to fully open your front door.

What type of fabric or leather do you want?

There are so many choices besides leather and fabric.

  • Fabric. It stands up to everyday wear and tear but can be prone to stains. It’s also easier to clean than other fabrics. This is a good choice for a multi-functional room or kids.
  • Leather. It will wear well over time and is easy to clean with a leather cleaner (but can be expensive). It’s suitable for any purpose, but it may not be the best option in high-traffic areas like the living room. It also makes noise when you sit on it.
  • Micro-suede. This soft, low pile fabric wears well and is a good choice for high-traffic areas. The material won’t absorb stains but can be hard to clean in larger spills. Micro-suede fabrics come in many colors and patterns.

How will you use your sofa?

  • Sleeping. If this is the only bed in your house, you’ll need a sofa that’s at least 80 inches long. You can also find sofas that pull out into a queen-size bed or a sleeper chair. If someone drinks too much tea before going to sleep, look for one with a chaise lounge on one end.
  • Comfort. Sofas with plush backrests and armrests are best for leaning back in comfort. Look for one with springs in the base, which provide give when you sit down. This kind of sofa is usually at least 90 inches long.
  • Sitting.  Sofas without arms are good for lounging beside a fireplace or watching TV. They’re about 80 inches long and deep enough to curl up in.

fully furnished living room

Do you want storage space?

If you need to tuck extra blankets, throw pillows, or your kids’ toys away, look for a sofa with built-in storage space like an ottoman or side pocket.

Out-of-sight storage is also a good choice if you don’t like clutter.

How much will you spend on your sofa?

Sofas range from around $500 to well over $10,000! Higher-end sofas usually have better quality springs and fabric, as well as other details like brass nail heads. Lower-cost sofas are a great choice if you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Be sure to set a budget before you shop so that you know what to look for.

How to buy a sofa online or in-store

If you’re shopping for a sofa online, look at the next section first, and it’ll help you determine what to look for on that site or app.

Skip the “sale” prices – they don’t matter if it’s not the color or size you want. If your heart is set on a certain color or fabric, look for deals on those things. If you’re not picky about the style and will be happy with anything as long as it’s comfortable and fits your space, don’t worry about deals—just find something within your budget.

Sofas come in different shapes and styles to match all kinds of needs and preferences. The most important things to keep in mind are the size of your space and how you want to use it. If you’re looking for something unique, browse online and read our furniture guide first, so you know what to look for.

You can also buy a sofa from an appliance or department store, but if you do, we recommend checking this guide before you go, so you know what to look for.

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