How to Buy a Sofa

Everything you need to know for buying the perfect sofa.
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seamless vision, serena and lily, serena & lily Photography by Brittany Ambridge

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Photography by Zeke Ruelas Designers: Emily Henderson, oh joys studio

Buying a sofa can be an intimidating process. Whether you’ve just moved into a new place, or are in need of an update, there are a few things to consider before investing in this living room staple. Enter a few tips and tricks of the trade to help you make the perfect purchase.


Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN
Photography by Tamara Magel

Choosing the Right Style

Assess your space to identify the sort of sofa that will best complement your aesthetic and lifestyle. Whether you’re going for a piece that is modern, traditional, or something in between, here are the nine sofa styles you need to know about.

White Living room
Photography by Adrian Gaut

Identify the Size and Shape

Aside from the length of the wall, measure out the width of the sofa as well as the space on both ends – especially if you’re leaning towards a sectional. Take into consideration the layout of the room to ensure that the sofa does not disrupt the flow of the space. If you’re looking into a sleeper sofa, confirm that there’s enough room for the bed to unfold.

Set two sofas in the middle of the room for a more conversational layout. This way, the focal point of the room becomes situated around the two pieces, as opposed to the TV.

Bonus Tip Be sure to allow additional room for the coffee table, should you choose to include one (or two!) within the setup. Opt for a table that is ½ – ⅔ of the length of your sofa. The standard height of a coffee table is between 17” and 19”.

Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Filler Type

While sofas typically come stuffed with a variety of fillers, the three most common options are foam, down, and batting. For a more budget-friendly alternative, consider sofas with polyester fillers. Get the lowdown here.

Here’s what you should know when it comes to frames, springs, and more!

Upholstery Fabrics to Consider

Opt for materials that best fit your lifestyle. Cotton-blend fabrics are more durable and perfect for families, while silk cover sofas are usually best reserved for adult-only spaces.

When choosing fabric for the upholstery, it will generally come down to natural or synthetic, the latter being the more affordable option. Natural fabrics include: cotton, linen, wool, and leather. Nylon, acetate, and rayon are among the more common synthetic alternatives.

Patterns, or Not

Graphic patterns aside, when choosing a style, keep an eye out for the intricacies of the composition of the piece. Do you prefer something knit or woven? Non-woven or velvet? The weave of the fabric often correlates to its sustainability and longevity.

Shop our complete collection of sofas and sectionals here!