Sofa Buying Guide

Sofa Buying Guide

JULY 12, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Furniture Specialist

Picking a sofa for your home is no small feat. Not only does it serve as one of the main visual attractions in your living room, it also keeps you and your guests comfortable. Sort through the many options more easily by following a few simple steps to determine your sofa preferences.


Large Green Sofa

Size up the Situation

Sofas certainly aren't "one size fits all," as the appropriate sofa size varies depending on the size of your living room. A sofa that's too small leaves too much open space, whereas a sofa that's too large makes the room feel cramped and may partially block its walkways.

Measure your living room to determine the ideal dimensions for your future sofa. While sofa shopping, use the size of your home as a general guideline for the types of sofas you consider. A large sectional sofa is an excellent fit for most houses, but if you live in an apartment, look for a smaller sofa, such as a three-seater.

Gray Leather Sofa

Decide on a Type of Sofa

Popular types of sofas include regular sofas, sectionals, and loveseats. A wide range of each type is available, with regular sofas in particular encompassing a large variety of sofas with different sizes and features.

Regular sofas typically include three to four cushions, with each cushion providing enough space for one person to fit comfortably without feeling cramped. A sofa set is an option if you want more than just a sofa. Sets can include multiple matching sofas or one sofa with other furniture pieces that match, such as an Ottoman or a chair. A sleeper sofa or futon can switch between being a sofa or a bed, making them a good choice if you often have overnight guests.

Sectional sofas are typically in an "L" shape. These fill out a room and provide plenty of seating space. Loveseats are smaller, traditionally offering seating for two. These work well in smaller living rooms, or when used in combination with other furniture.

Modern Cream-colored Sofa

Find the Right Frame

Sofa frames are either wood, metal, or a combination of the two. The most durable frames are found in steel frame sofas and sofas with hardwood frames, such as ash or oak.

Brown Leather Sofa

Types of Upholstery

Leather is one of the most popular sofa upholstery materials, and for good reason. It has a luxurious look, it's easy to clean, and it's durable. You can opt for bonded or synthetic leather to get that leather look at a lower cost.

Microfiber is another good choice for sofa upholstery. It's easy on the eyes, easy to clean, and it's tightly woven, which helps it last longer.

Yellow Sofa

Match Your Home's Style

Whether your sofa is going to be the centerpiece of your living room or just a part of it, make sure it matches the style of the rest of your home for a consistent look that impresses your guests. If your home has an urban, contemporary look, match that with a modern sofa. For classic living rooms that could come out of a catalog from the 1950s, bring it all together with a traditional sofa.

Remember that just because it's a focal point of the room doesn't mean that you have to choose an upscale sofa. If your home has a relaxed vibe, try a casual sofa.

Traditional Brown Sofa

Color Considerations

Traditional colors are king when it comes to sofas, with brown being the most popular choice. Black and gray aren't far behind. These classic colors work well with many color schemes and styles, so they're solid choices overall, especially if you plan to change up your living room from time to time. However, if your living room has a more daring style, don't be afraid to try a unique color choice, such as red, yellow, or green.