Finding an excellent-quality sofa can be a feat. You need to think about different styles and types, not to mention a near endless list of manufacturers.
However, making a few essential considerations beforehand can make the whole process easier.
A sturdy frame is synonymous with a long-lasting sofa. Soft wood is inexpensive but it may warp or wobble five years down the road. More expensive hardwood, like ash or kiln-dried oak, is more durable. Forget frames made of plastic, metal and particleboard frames – all these have a tendency to warp and crack. Legs have to be part of the frame itself, or fastened to the frame with dowels or screws and not just industrial glue.
There are different types of fasteners that can be used to hold a strong frame together, like wooden corner blocks and wooden dowels. For extra strength, nails or staples may also be usedThe use of staples or nails can also add strength.
Sofas normally have sinuous or serpentine springs, as they are sometimes called, which are basically bunches of snaking wires. They’re offer quite good support, but sometimes, they can push down on the frame, or, if the manufacturer used a metal that isn’t hard enough, it can actually sag after a while. More expensive sofas usually have eight-way hand-tied springs. You have to feel those strings right through the upholstery, making sure they’re solid and tight enough enough together. A sofa with no springs is going to be frail and uncomfy.
Polyurethane foam is an affordable cushion filling that’s also easy to care for. The denser, heavy-duty variants are tougher to touch, while softer, less dense types are prone to rapid quality decline when used on a regular basis. High-resilient (HR) foam costs a little more but is comfier and longer-lasting as well. Another reasonably priced option is polyester fiber, except that it doesn’t take very long before it flattens. The combo is tastily plump, pricey (about twice as expensive as foam), and demanding in terms of maintenance. A down-polyfiber blend is low-cost, but it flattens quickly.
Sofas for day-to-day use require durable textile. Cotton and linen are best (but not when there are loose weaves because they can snag). Microfiber, which can imitate most textiles and is also stain-proof, can also be a good choice. Though linen and cotton can be treated for stain resistance, they’re more difficult to clean and are also more prone to damage. Mixed natural and synthetic fibers can pill in a year’s time. Wool and leather are attractive and durable but high-priced. Silk is high-class but easily damaged. Fabrics with woven patterns last longer than than those with printed patterns.
As you can see, you have lots of options when shopping for a sofa. The best way to begin is to look for reputable manufacturers and check out their offerings.