Careful Furniture Choice – Buying a Sofa

We welcome back guest author and all round top banana Elena Price

Before you splash the cash on the design of your sofa and shop by the seat of your pants, do your research writes Elena.

Most high street and online furniture shops such as Furniture Choice are keen to emphasise that they “take the hassle out of finding the right furniture for any room of your house”.

However the larger (and more expensive items) need careful consideration form you. From sleek leather sofas to King size beds you may never want to leave, the time invested in choosing the right furniture for you home will be rewarded.

get a sense of depth as well as length

Size IS important

Measure the space where your couch will sit, using newspaper squares to get a sense of depth as well as length. The crucial measurement for comfort is depth — if you are tall, you need a sofa more than 80cm from front to back. Shorter people will be fine with 70cm or less.


Can it be disassembled, and do the legs come off the frame? If not, the installation of a long sofa can lead to an amusing hallway situation and/or paint-scratching anger.

Loose covers

Reupholstering gives an old sofa a new lease of life, but it costs hundreds of pounds. If your sofa takes loose covers, the cheap fix is to wash old ones or invest in new. You can find a two-seat sofa-bed cover in cheerful patterns for a reasonable price.

bright cheerful colourful sofa


Build quality dictates the comfort and lifespan of your purchase. A good choice will last more than a decade; firms such as Wesley-Barrell offer a 15-year frame guarantee. A hardwood frame (typically kiln-dried beech), with robustly constructed joints (screwed and glued) is the most durable combination.

Coil springs, as long as they are numerous and well positioned, spread weight more effectively than serpentine springs (the snaky wires usually found in the sleeker styles). In sofa cushions, down and feathers are more luxurious than foam or fibre, but will clump and need plumping. Look out for feather-wrapped foam cushions that are a good compromise: comfort without daily plumping.