Your sofa can make or break your room. The wrong style, quality or size will make your room feel awkward, but get these factors right, and you and your family will be relaxing in style for a long time.  When choosing a sofa, there a couple of functional aspects you’ll want to keep in mind as well as design. We’ve gathered them all here so they’re easily at hand when you go shopping.


1. Frame

Cheap sofas are tempting, but in the long run, they can cost you more than shelling out for a well-made sofa. Look for frames made of hardwood like oak, ash or beech for a sofa that will last you a long time. Cheaper materials like pine, particleboard and metal will warp over time or become unstable and you’ll end up buying another sofa much sooner than expected. Be sure to also check that the legs are secured with screws or dowels rather than solely glue or nails.

Yellow Sofa

2. Springs

Sofa cushions are supported by springs, and when you think about why you want a new sofa, often it’s because these springs have given out. Look for sofas with “eight-way hand-tied springs” if you can, but if you go with serpentine springs, use a simple test to check their durability. Sit down on a corner or outer edge of the sofa and listen for squeaks and check that the springs are closely placed together and firm.

Serpentine Springs

3. Stuffing

When selecting a sofa, stuffing a couch is easier than stuffing your Thanksgiving turkey, but harder to decide what to put inside. Some popular materials include polyurethane foam which is low-cost and low-maintenance, but can be hard. High-resilient foam is a good middle ground as it’s comfortable and long-lasting. And top-of-the-line down is as comfortable as it is expensive and high-maintenance. Your choice will depend on your budget and how long you plan on keeping the couch, and keep in mind that blends are also a good option.

Polyurethane Foam

4. Appearance Matters

And by appearance we mean the durability of the textile. Tightly woven cotton and linen are great options, while synthetic microfiber is stain resistant. For easy clean up, go with wool or leather (though more expensive).

Sofa Textile Close Up


1. Take a Nap

If you like to take a nap on the couch, and who doesn’t, make sure your sofa is at least 90 inches long and 40 inches deep for a comfy nap nook.

Napping On Couch

2. Tape It Out

Make sure that nap-sized couch works with your room. You can either tape out the dimensions or cut it out in paper.

Painters Tape

3. Sample It

If you’re expanding your style or making a daring fabric choice, ask the store for a sample so you can see how it looks in your room with your lighting. If you still like it after a few days, you’ve made a good choice!

Sofa Swatches

4. Prime Cushions

Two seat cushions can make for an uncomfortable seat. Use three if you can to accommodate for three people, but if the couch is too short go with just one large cushion.

Three Cushion Sofa

5. Ceilings Matter

Believe it or not, the height of your ceilings should affect your sofa choice. If you have 8 foot ceilings, go with a lower back couch to make the room seem taller. High ceilings need a high-back sofa to ground the room.

Low Back Sofa

6. Placement

Your couch should never be flush against the wall—oddly enough it closes off the room. Create space and flow by keeping it at least 18 inches from the wall or anchoring it with a rug.

Mid Century Living Room

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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.