Sofa Shopping: Everything You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know
The Sit Test
Sofa shopping seems like an easy enough task. See a sofa you like. Sit in the sofa. If it’s comfortable and it’s priced comparable to what we think the quality might be, then we buy the sofa. Done.
We all want a sofa that’s comfortable and beautiful… and preferably one that will look great for a few years. However, the 5-minute “sit test” does not tell us much beyond how comfortable the sofa is for roughly 300 seconds. I certainly does’t tell you:
- If the sofa is made of quality products
- What construction methods were used to make the frame
- If the sofa is good for lounging
- Or if the sofa is better for sitting upright
- Or both
- How long the sofa will look good
So it doesn’t tell you much beyond the sofa shopping trip. If the sit test is not the best indicator of sofa comfort and quality, then what is?
Sofa Shopping: Everything Else
Sofa Shopping for Comfort
Before you go sofa shopping you should know how you plan to use the sofa. Are you going to be sitting upright having conversations in a formal setting? Or are you going to have Netflix binge fests that lead to long naps?
If the former, you may want to consider a “tight back” style sofa that will help keep your posture upright during social situations. If the latter, then you will likely want loose cushions behind you and pillows for comfort. You will also want softer cushions that will allow you to lounge.
Upholstered furniture is a mystery. Seriously, how can you tell anything about how it’s made? The frame and all of the cushion fillings are completely covered in fabric.
I hear you.
When you can’t see the difference in a $1500 sofa or a $7500 sofa it would be hard to understand why you might want to spend an extra $6000. You’re not alone. Most people think that all sofas are made to only last 3-5 years; 7-8 if you’re lucky.
To understand why you may want to spend a little more on a sofa, you need to understand the right questions to ask and the right answers to receive on a sofa shopping trip. I’ve written about sofa quality before, so I won’t belabor the points again here.
However, I will say that when you are sofa shopping, you need to ask these questions and the salesperson in the store should be able to answer them. If they can’t then you can guarantee that the quality is not great.
With certain brands you can also go onto their websites and learn about how they make their sofas. Don’t forget to check out the manufacturer’s website, which may not necessarily be the retailers website. Most manufacturers like to brag about the quality of their furniture. If they don’t brag, then assume there is nothing to brag about!’
In the video below I take you to one of my favorite local retailers of fine furniture lines, Right At Home. If you live in Central Florida, I highly recommend you pay them a visit.
Sofa Shopping: Key Takeaways
Here are my key takeaways for sofa shopping:
- Know how you plan to use the sofa
- Know what kind of cushions will best support your body while you are using the sofa
- Sit for longer than 5 minutes or even 10…
- Familiarize yourself with sofa quality indicators
- Ask the salesperson questions and/or do online research