Buying a new sofa is one of the biggest and most important investments we are likely to make for our homes. In a modern home, sofas are used for a range of activities such as lounging, eating, watching TV, entertaining, and napping. You want to pick a sofa that is right for your space and that you will be happy with for years to come.
There are several questions to ask yourself when you are choosing a new sofa. What size is right for your room? What fabric will be the best for your household? Does your sofa need to come with a loose cover that you can wash regularly?
This article will help you answer all those questions and more when choosing a new sofa for your home. Use our tips to choose the right sofa for your home and lifestyle.
Tips on Picking the Right Sofa
There are so many things to consider when you are choosing a new sofa for your home from your budget to the fabric, size, and shape of the sofa. When you pick a sofa that is durable and fits your space and lifestyle, you get a piece of furniture that you can be happy with for years to come.
It is important to decide how much you want to spend on your sofa before you start looking. This will help you focus on sofas that are in your price range. Look for the best options within your budget. If you can, it may be worth stretching your budget because cheaper options are likely to be less comfortable and durable.
A key factor when selecting a new sofa is the size. How big a sofa can your space accommodate? When measuring for a sofa, consider the width, depth, and height of the sofa. You can use newspapers or cardboard boxes to create the shape of the sofa. This will help you visualise how much space it will take and if you can get around it and other furniture with ease.
Your sofa should complement the architectural elements as well as the size of your room. For example, if you have a large window in your room, you might like to consider sofas with lower backs to avoid blocking the window.
However, it is not enough to just measure the space you are putting the sofa in. You also need to make sure you can get the sofa into the room. This means measuring doorways and stairways you need to carry the sofa through. If you have limited access, consider a sofa with removable legs, a low-back style, or a sofa-in-a-box.
Choosing the right fabric for your lifestyle and circumstances will give you the best durability. For example, if you have pets or kids, you need a more hard-wearing material compared to a household with adults only. Therefore, assess your lifestyle, the purpose and location of your sofa, and who will be using it when deciding on the most suitable material.
How is your sofa going to be used? For example, do you often have TV dinners sitting on your sofa? Is it a sofa for the family living space where it gets a lot of use? Maybe it is a sofabed for the office that doubles up as a guest living room. If your sofa is in regular use consider fabrics that are durable and stain-resistant, especially if you have kids or pets.
Where you will place your sofa in your home also matters when choosing the most suitable fabric. For example, if your sofa will be in a space that is exposed to a lot of sun, choose a material that is resistant to fading or has UV protection. Sofas for outdoor spaces need to use materials that make them more resistant to moisture and mildew.
Some fabrics will require a lot more maintenance than others so consider how easy it will be to keep your sofa clean. For example, it is easier to wipe off spills from leather sofas than it is from cotton sofas. On the other hand, a leather sofa may show scratches more easily than a cotton sofa.
If you have kids who may spill food or drinks on the sofa or a pet that could bring dirt from the outside, you might like to opt for a sofa with a slip-cover. These covers are easily removable and generally machine washable so you can deal with spills and pawprints easily. Just ensure you wash all the covers or their colour is likely to fade unevenly.
Buying eco-friendly items is becoming more and more important for many Canadian consumers. If sustainability is a key factor for you when choosing the upholstery material for your sofa, pick a naturally derived fabric such as linen, canvas, or cotton.
Since most people will have the same sofa for several years, it is important to choose a colour that you will not get tired of and that goes well with the rest of your furniture. It also needs to suit the overall style of the room.
Pick a colour that either blends in with your colour scheme or provides a splash of colour and makes the sofa a focal point in the room. If you go for a strong colour, choose one that will last the test of time or a sofa with changeable covers. With the latter option, you can change the colour of the sofa easily if you no longer like the colour
You also need to consider who is using the sofa when choosing the colour. Households with kids and pets are often better off with darker colours that hide stains better.
Of course, your sofa does not have to be a single colour. Instead, you can opt for a patterned fabric. There are different patterns available ranging from stripes to florals and animal prints. While patterned sofas can add colour and a more personal touch to your room, ensure it is a pattern you will be happy with for several years. For a safer bet, add patterns to your decor through accessories.
Neutral colours such as grey, beige, or white are great timeless options. They also give you a lot of flexibility as they can be paired with different colour schemes and furniture more easily. Remember that you can always add colour to a neutral sofa with throws and cushions.
Ask for Samples
Before you make a final decision on the fabric and colour of your sofa, ask for free samples. Most retailers will have either free or very low-cost swatches you can take home to see how the colours, materials, and patterns look in your room. By taking the samples home, you can see how the light in your room affects the sheen and colour of the materials.
What is inside your sofa cushions will make a significant difference in how it feels and how well it retains its shape. There are three main filler options: feathers, foam, and a combination of the two.
If you have feather-filled sofa cushions, they will need re-fluffing regularly to keep their shape. You may also find the feathers poking through the fabric and lose feathers over time. Foam cushions do not need plumping because the foam regains its shape once the weight is removed. However, over time foam-filled sofa seats can lose their shape and become flatter and less comfortable.
Because foam and feather cushions each have their pros and cons, you might like to consider sofas that combine the two. For example, you could choose a sofa that has feather cushions for the back and foam cushions for the seats for the best comfort and structure.
Type of Sofa
There are different types of sofas available on the Canadian market. You can choose from single-piece, sectional, modular, and sofas-in-a-box.
Sofas that come as a single piece are a classic choice. They work well in smaller rooms and spaces with minimalistic layouts. However, they might not offer as much seating as some of the other options and they are not versatile.
Sectional sofas come in multiple pieces that are connected to assemble the sofa. They often come with an option to add a recliner or chaise. Sectional sofas are good for larger rooms and for accommodating several people. The downside is that they can be bulky and only come in a certain configuration which limits the options if you are rearranging your space.
Modular sofas are similar to sectional sofas but they are more flexible. They come in individual pieces that you can rearrange to suit different room layouts and your changing needs. However, their versatility makes them more expensive.
Sofa in a Box
The term sofa-in-a-box refers to sofas that come flat-packed. They are easy to transport, which makes them a great option if you need to get the sofa up several flights of stairs or into a lift. These sofas require self-assembly and may vary in their quality and comfort more than the other types.
If the sofa is going to be in your living room rather than, for example, a guest bedroom where it hardly gets used, comfort needs to be a key criterion when choosing a sofa. Think about how you like to lounge. For example, do you like to lie down on your sofa or tuck your feet under? Choose a sofa that allows you to get comfortable.
Taller persons may like to consider sofas that have higher backs for extra support. Anyone who has regular back pain should look for sofas that provide plenty of support for the back. Sofas with higher backs and better cushioning are likely to be more comfortable.
You might also like to add extras to your sofa that elevate its look or add functions. For example, you could add welting or nailheads to give the sofa a more traditional or contemporary feel, while USB charging points, magazine storage, and cup holders can make your sofa even more convenient.
Warranties and Return Policies
Buying a sofa is often a big investment so ensure you check the warranties and return policies before you part with your cash. Check what the policies say about breakages, rips, or stains and how long the warranty lasts. The length of the warranty can also be a useful indicator of the quality of the sofa, with better quality sofas likely to have longer warranties.
If you want a sofa that will last you for several years, it is important to consider your requirements and options carefully. You need to consider who will be using the sofa, which room it will be in, and how much use it will get. You also need to consider colours, materials, type of sofa, and your budget.
However, the most important factor is your personal preferences. Pick a sofa that pleases you aesthetically, feels comfortable, and suits your lifestyle. Before buying, test the sofas out in showrooms and read reliable reviews on the best sofas in Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
Key factors to consider include the size of your room, your personal preferences and seating needs, your budget, and who will be using the sofa. In addition, you need to consider the type, colour, and fabric of the sofa.
Yes, there is a difference between modular and sectional sofas. A modular sofa comes in individual pieces that can be arranged in various different ways, making it a very versatile option. A sectional sofa also comes in several parts, but they need to be arranged in a predetermined configuration.
You can determine the quality of a sofa by examining how well it has been made. A good quality sofa will have a well-constructed, strong frame and high-quality durable materials and stitching. A quality sofa will often come with a longer warranty since it is expected to perform better.