Purchasing a new sofa is a big decision and can be a big investment; being one of the most used items of furniture in the home it’s important to achieve a balance between science and art, form and function.
A sofa needs to look great, feel comfortable and be built to last.
The first step in buying a new sofa is to determine its primary function. Sometimes a sofa that looks good may not offer the level of comfort required for chillaxing in on weekends. On the other hand, a sofa that is purely for show in a formal living room won’t need to be as hard wearing as one that it’s used frequently.
Here’s what to look for:
A good quality sofa should come with a 10 year warranty.
Look for frames that are built to last. Ideally they should be constructed of a hard wood such as Oak or Pine. If the frame is MDF or plywood it is more likely to crack over time.
Springs should sit closely together and be firm and able to bounce back. If a sofa only has webbing it can feel uncomfortable and won’t have longevity.
There are 2 main types of spring types to look out for that will affect the price.
Eight-way hand tied spring coils:
Considered to be the better product as it’s more robust, the coils are positioned close together, hand tied to each other and attached to webbing for extra support and to prevent shifting.
Sinuous (“S”) Springs:
Sit together in rows of snaking that run from the front to the back of the sofa. S' springs are still a good option as they are supportive but it’s important a heavy weight metal is used to prevent any sagging.
A good quality webbing is called ‘Black Cat’ – it’s made from the material as a car seat belt. Webbing helps to support the seat cushions to prevent them from sagging. Black Cat carries a 10 year warranty and is an absolute must.
There are a few options for seat cushioning depending on the look and feel that you want. Most good quality seat cushions are made from high density foam. The foam can then be wrapped with Dacron for added softness which will help to hold the shape of the seat. Another option is to wrap the foam with feather to give the sofa a softer, more casual, lived-in feel.
There are literally thousands of options but it is important to look for a fabric that has a minimum of 40,000 rubs on the Martindale rub test. The Martindale test results are used to check fabrics for their durability and abrasion performance. 40,000 is considered suitable for residential applications.
Types of Sofas:
Depending on how the size of your space is or how many people you need to seat, you can choose from several different types of sofas.
A modular sofa consists of separate components that are interchangeable and can be positioned in different configurations. Also referred to as a 'sectional' sofa, a modular provides maximum flexibility as it can be taken apart and placed around the room if required.
Another great advantage of a modular is that is provides ample space to stretch out and take a nap on, and while they are suited to spacious, modern living areas, they also work well in a smaller living space. This is because having one seamless piece of furniture helps to create the illusion of space rather trying to squeeze sofa and arm chair or two sofas into a room that can't quite accommodate them.
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Three Seater Sofa
A sofa acts as a focal point for a living area. A three-seater is one of the most popular sized sofas as it provides ample room for sitting comfortably with family or friends. Sizes can vary but a general approximate size would 2400 long x 100mm deep.
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Two Seater Sofa or Love Seat
A two-seater is a nice compact option, perfect for living rooms of a smaller scale. Designed for two people, the small proportions offer the flexibility to incorporate an arm chair or ottoman in a smaller space such as a sitting area, or can be used in a larger area as part of set. Again sizes can vary but a general size would 1600 long x 950mm deep.
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A sofa bed offers the flexibility of being able to double as a guest bed. A great option for an office / guest room or for apartment living.
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Why should indoor sofas get all the attention? Creating a beautiful, comfortable outdoor living space holds just as much importance as the inside of a home. Blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces has become the way of the future and helps to creating a feeling of of having more livable space.
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