How to choose the perfect sofa

Let me tell you, buying a sofa is no picnic. Not only is it one of the most expensive items you'll buy for your home,  but it also needs to be incredibly comfortable, stand the test of time AND pull your whole room design together...no pressure then! 

But fear not, we've pulled together the questions our Interior Designers get asked time and time again to guide you. You'll have your feet up on your new couch in no time!

What style of sofa should I choose?

Image credit: My Bespoke Room 

Sofas come in all different shapes, sizes and styles. The right one will depend on the size of your space, how many people will use it and how it will be used. Will it host cosy long movie nights with the whole family or provide a perch for the occasional guest?

To help you narrow it down, we've taken the most popular styles and explained what each are typically used for:

Image credit: My Bespoke Room using Sofa.com sofas 

 

Love seat: Ideal for smaller spaces or as a secondary sofa, this style is also called a compact sofa or snuggle seat. They have one single seat cushion and a single back cushion.

Two-seater: It's in the name, they are perfect for two people! Ideal for smaller space or perfect to be paired with another sofa as additional seating.

Chaise: Typically a three-seater in size, it has the distinct L shape created by one section being longer, to allow you to stretch your legs. A 'Chaise lounge' is often a statement or accent piece, these sofas have a back and arm at one end, making them perfect to recline on.

Modular: Made up of separate sections, this style of sofa is very versatile as you can mix and match the different modules to create the perfect size sofa for you.

Corner: Also known as an L – shaped sofa, it has two sofa sections that are perpendicular to each other to form the L shape. These tend to be best for larger spaces and are perfect for large families.

Three seaters: This bigger sofa is made to accommodate 3 people or for two people (or even one person) to spread out and relax.

 

Need help designing your living space and choosing the perfect sofa? Book your room design today from just £250:

   GET STARTED   

 

What colour sofa should I choose?

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Naturally, this very much depends! As the biggest piece of furniture in your living room, the colour is a big decision and will form the foundation of the design of the room as a whole. Ask yourself a few questions:

Do you want to make your sofa a foundation item that can be styled and designed around, or do you want it to be the main feature of the room?

If you want your sofa to be the star of the show, you can have great fun picking bold and bright colours and also patterns that will make it a focal point.

Alternatively, if you like to change up your living room regularly, opt for a neutral colour like your greys, tans, or whites (risky!) so that it will sit happily in any scheme. 

 

How do I make sure it's comfy?

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

 

We've touched on the style and colour but as you'll be spending a great deal of quality time with your sofa over the years, comfort is key. For maximum comfort, it's all about the filling, fabric and back heights.

Starting with back heights and angles, this is a personal preference depending on your body shape and how you like to lounge. If you're tall, opt for a higher backrest to give you additional support. Nothing quite beats testing out a few different styles to hone in on the style that suits your body shape.

The filling is also the foundation of a super comfy couch. When choosing the filling for your sofa you have a few options and aspects to consider. Such as, how often you will use the sofa and how much upkeep you are willing to put in? Here are some of the common fillings:

Foam-filled: Provides more structure and as a result, it is firmer. However, within 6 months they lose around 15% of their firmness and eventually can flatten out over time.

Feather filled: The most expensive option, it is more comfortable and has a relaxed feel. However, requires regular plumping but with proper maintenance, they can last a very long time.

Foam and feather: Best of both worlds the feathers give the squish and the foam gives the structure. However, still requires plumping occasionally to help maintain its shape and comfort.

 

Need help designing your living space and choosing the perfect sofa? Book your room design today from just £250:

   GET STARTED   

 

What fabric should I choose for my sofa?

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

The sea of fabric options out there can get overwhelming. Base your decision not only on the style that works in your space but also your lifestyle. Some fabrics look and feel luxurious but won't stand the test of time against kids and pets!

To help you choose, we've listed the most popular fabrics below with a summary of their characteristics as well as images kindly modelled by Sofa.com's Bluebell, to help you visualise them.

 

Blog - Landscape Image (4)

Image credit: My Bespoke Room using Sofa.com Bluebell sofa

 

Cotton: A versatile, comfortable and easy to care for natural fibre fabric which is breathable and soft.

Velvet: Often made from cotton or polyester, it is a soft & luxurious fabric. Velvets can require a bit more love and attention, but some velvets now have a special coating, which prevents spills and stains from soaking into the fabric too quickly. 

Linen: More durable than cotton, this natural fibre material gives a casual, lived-in look.

Leather: A natural material that gets better with age, it is a super hard-wearing material that is durable and will last a long time.

Polyester: A synthetic fibre that is very durable and hardwearing. Ideal for families and pets.

Wool: Often blended with synthetic materials to make it more durable. It gives a cosy look and feel to any interior space.

 

How do I make sure my sofa fits in my room?

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Far too often we have to help clients whose eyes were a bit bigger than their floorplan. A living room that is 80% sofa and 20% floorspace is not only impractical but looks a little daft! 

Scale is incredibly important in interior design and so make sure your sofa is the correct scale for the room size and in proportion to the other items of furniture in the room.

You can mock up a quick floorplan with your room and sofa measurements, but nothing beats marking out exactly where it will sit in the room using masking tape or even stacked boxes. This way you can get a feel for how it will fit in the space - just because it technically fits within millimetres along a wall, doesn't mean it's right! 

Don't forget to make sure it can fit through your doors and hallway too! Need I remind you of the iconic Friends episode? 'PIVOT!'

 

Need help designing your living space and choosing the perfect sofa? Book your room design today from just £250:

   GET STARTED   

 

How to style a sofa

Webp.net-gifmaker (28)

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

So you've chosen your sofa?! Nice work. Now you're faced with the challenge of styling it. Cushions are more than just for comfort, they help to blend your sofa into the room and tie it together with the other items of furniture.

As we've already waffled on long enough here, head over to our other guide which will help you choose the colours, fabrics, sizes and shapes of cushions to make your sofa feel at home. 

 

How can I get a sofa in time for Christmas?

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Sofa's typically have the longest lead time of any item of furniture you'll buy, so make sure you put your order in as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Hosting family and friends on camp chairs this Christmas isn't anyone's idea of fun! At the time of writing this guide (September 2021) Brexit and Covid have meant longer than usual lead times and delays on large items like sofas. 

Aim to order your sofa by the end of September at the latest. At the moment, there's a lead time between 12 -16 weeks depending on the retailer. 

So get your skates on! If you're a customer, your Personal Shopper can help. They'll be able to place the order for you, finding you the best price available. You can also get exclusive discounts on our VIP suppliers so you know you're getting the very best price.

Design Guide Banner (1)

Related