When it comes to your living room, the sofa lounge will be the dominant piece of furniture thanks to its sheer size. This means that it will catch the eye of everyone going into the room as well as being the most popular piece of furniture for you and your family.
The sofa you choose must be attractive and fit the home décor, easy to clean and maintain, and be highly durable which may sound like a tall order. However, the good news is that there are many sofas that will work very well for your household if you know what to look for. This means doing a bit of research before making your final selection.
For those who want a new sofa, finding the right one starts with knowing what to look for. This way, you can find the one that will last for many years under normal use conditions as part of your home.
Basically, this means what holds the joints of the frame together which will indicate if it is strong or not. The best wood means nothing if the joints are not properly connected with the right material. So, you should look for joinery that is connected by the following means
- Metal Screws & Brackets
- Wooden Corner Blocks: Corner blocks that are glued and screwed into position
- Wooden Dowels
- Double Wooden Dowels
Glue, nails, and staples are often used to reinforce the joinery, but they should never be the only materials as they will fall apart shortly after moderate use of the sofa. You can find out more about the joiner by asking for the manufacturer’s description of the materials used to put the sofa together.
Everything starts with the frame of the sofa. You’ll want made from hardwood such as ash, beech, or oak that has been kiln dried for maximum strength. A sofa made from pine may be less expensive, but it can easily warp in just a few years. One area to really pay attention is the legs since they should be part of the frame itself or held in with pegs or screws. Legs that are held together by glue will fall apart after a while, so avoid glue at all cost.
You can test the frame simply by lifting the front leg of the sofa about six inches off the ground. If the other front leg stays on the floor, then skip this sofa because it has way too much give and will bend and crack before long.
In addition, avoid sofa frames that are crafted from metal, particleboard, or plastic because they can crack easier than wood because they not as flexible or forgiving.
Springs are the essence to having a good, long-lasting couch. Although springs have been in use for well over a century when it comes to sofas, they still are the best when it comes to providing comfortable support. The type of springs that you should be looking for in a sofa are called serpentine springs that look like rows of snakes going horizontally through a supporting wire structure.
You will need to feel the springs themselves to see if they are good and tight. While there are variations of serpentine springs, you do not need to splurge for the more expensive ones since they do not provide sufficiently more comfort that the traditional serpentine versions. A sofa with no springs, one that uses mesh or webbing for example are usually uncomfortable and will not last very long under normal use conditions.
One way to test the strength of the springs and construction of the sofa itself is to sit on the outer edge or perhaps the corner and listen for any signs that the springs are hitting the frame. If you hear the familiar squeaks of metal springs rubbing up against the wooden frame, then the sofa is not very well constructed.
Now that you have tested the overall strength and construction of the sofa, the next test is the fabric itself. Durable fabric is a must if you want your investment to last a long time. The good news is that many sofas use durable textiles as the covering. The best ones tend to be wool and leather, but they are expensive. If you are looking to save money, cotton and linen are often the best even if they are difficult to properly clean. Avoid blends of natural and synthetic fibers as they tend to fall apart after a short time. Plus, a fabric with a pattern woven into the material will last a lot longer than those with patterns that are printed.
When you find the sofa fabric that you like, try to get a large swatch of it to take home first so you can see how the material will work in your home under different types of light.
Finally, the filling of the sofa is vital to how long it remains comfortable. You’ll need to chose a material that is soft, easy to clean, and long lasting. Many sofas use polyurethane foam which is good and easy to take care of, but not as long lasting as other materials. The important part is understanding the difference between low density and high density foam. Low density may feel softer, but it will fall apart more rapidly than high density versions.
Of course, you can choose more natural materials such as goose and duck feather which is soft, but tends to clump and create uncomfortable spots on the sofa. However, if the feathers are mixed with down, then you can maintain the evenness of the sofa although this is a very expensive option. Other combinations such as down and polyfiber or just straight polyester fiber is not as expensive, but it does tend to flatten out rather quickly.
Perhaps the best options for long-term comfort and price are high density foam that is nestled in a layer of down and standard foam that is wrapped in a batting of polyester. This will provide plenty of comfort for a long time without burning a hole in your wallet.
View our range of sofas and lounges