How to Choose a Sofa That Will Last
We all want furniture that is made well. And, when we invest in a sofa, we want to choose something that will last.
But—particularly when they’re both beautiful—how can you tell the difference between a quality sofa and one that is not well-constructed? What should you look for?
It’s actually more straight-forward than you would think. A quality sofa is made with better material and more care. By checking for each item listed below, you can confirm that your investment is worthwhile.
1. Does the sofa have…good quality foam?
The foam inside your sofa cushions is incredibly important. A low-quality foam will begin to sag over time, no longer rebounding after someone is done sitting. It can also begin to disintegrate. The result is a sofa that looks sad and is no longer comfortable. Even the most beautiful upholstery fabric won’t make up for the problems that arise from low-quality foam.
Ideally, you’re looking for foam with high resilience. You want something that is rated for many years of use. How dense should the foam be? And what about compression—the amount of force required to compress a cubic foot of foam by 25 percent? It depends! This is where the services of a design professional can come in handy.
2. Eight-way hand-tied construction?
This method of construction refers to the springs inside your sofa. Eight-way hand-tied construction means that laborers tie those springs eight ways, from side to side, front to back and diagonally.
Even if you’re (understandably!) not familiar with the concept of eight-way hand-tied construction, chances are good that you’ve experienced it. If you’ve ever sat on a high-quality sofa, you will have experienced an equally good ‘sit’ no matter where you sat on the sofa. Furniture that is made using this technique will hold up for years, with no sagging in the middle. When you want to choose a sofa that will last, this needs to be considered.
It will remain comfortable and good-looking over time—which means you won’t be buying a new sofa every two years. Yes, the investment is higher up front, but the return is huge.
3. A kiln-dried hardwood frame?
Inexpensive sofas (or even those that pass themselves off as high-quality) can have frames that are made from softwoods, low-quality plywood or particle board. But when you’re looking for something that will stand the test of time and provide real durability and strength—the benchmark has always been kiln-dried hardwood.
Drying hardwood in a kiln removes the vast majority of the moisture, which prevents warping and bowing. This means that your sofa will be built to last.
4. Straight lines and thoughtful design decisions?
Once the foundation is in place, there are more considerations. A well-made piece will have straight—not wavy—welt/cord around the edges of the cushions. The pattern on the fabric will be evenly spaced and straight—from the top of the sofa all the way down to the base. This applies to the front and back.
Care goes into a quality sofa to make sure all of the “small things” are considered. Does it matter? Absolutely. The human brain is uncomfortable with patterns that are just a little off-kilter or not quite centered when it seems that they should be. We find order and careful craftsmanship soothing.
5. Options for customization?
Finally, let’s not forget the visual aspect of this decision. A quality, custom sofa can be designed to fit your style and your lifestyle. Custom furniture allows you to combine the best of everything—the shape that you want, the fabric that will work for your family and the details that make it sing—into one long-lasting, perfect-for-the-space piece. Proportion can be considered. Gorgeous details can be added. It’s simply a different level.
Yes, there are many considerations. But that’s the beauty of it.
A sofa is a worthy investment—one that will serve you well for potentially years and years to come. Need assistance? We love digging into the details. Contact us to schedule a chat.
Charlotte| 24 November 2021
My best friend and I are moving into an apartment together and we need to find a great sofa to put in our living room. Thank you for explaining the importance of choosing a sofa that has quality foam of high resilience. We’ll be sure to look into the quality of the foam in any sofa we consider for our apartment before we purchase it.
Modern Resale| 31 October 2022
Thank you for sharing these tips! I’m currently looking for a sofa. Will definitely keep these things in mind! Any recommendations on where I could get the best sofa?
Alice| 31 October 2022
Excellent advice. I’m struggling to find manufacturers that fit the bill though, could you please recommend some?