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Find your perfect sofa – sofa buying made simple

Design Inspiration Buying Guides

In that sofa buying mood? The good news is there are literally hundreds of sofas to choose from. The bad news? There are literally hundreds of sofas to choose from – and that can make finding your perfect sofa a real challenge.

Here to help is upholstery buyer Mark Reynolds with a handy checklist of sofa considerations designed to make sofa buying a whole lot faster and definitely more fun. Whether you're shopping in store or you’ve decided to buy a sofa online, our sofa buying checklist will lead you to your perfect sofa.

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1. Find the best sofa style for you

Whatever interiors look you love, there’s a sofa to match. And if you’re starting from scratch – maybe you’ve just moved into a new flat or house – finding a sofa you love is a good way to establish your new living room’s design aesthetic.

If you’re a fan of minimal design, take a look at our modern sofas – simple, unfussy styles with low-key embellishments.

Our traditional sofas – with turned wood legs, curved arms and high backs – can look fabulous in a classic living room or even as the centrepiece in a bohemian design scheme.

And if you love that mid-century modern vibe, browse our retro sofa styles with buttoned backs, splayed legs and angled arms.

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2. Think carefully about sofa comfort

Before you head out to buy a sofa, think about how you want it to feel when you actually sit on it. (Comfort is a personal thing).

Feather-filled sofas offer that fabulous, sink-in luxury feel. If you’re looking for a super-soft sofa that you can really snuggle into, then feather is for you. Feather sofa cushions do need a little extra maintenance in the form of daily plumping.

Foam-filled sofas are firmer and provide more support for the back. Foam cushions also keep their shape better over time. They’re fairly low maintenance too, so you might not need to plump them daily.

Fibre-filled sofas are somewhere in between. Fibre cushions have a feather-like feel and mould beautifully to your body but they do require regular plumping. They’re a good choice if you love the idea of soft feather cushioning but have a family member with allergies.

Mark offers another alternative. “Look out for cushions made of foam wrapped in fibre. You get the support and durability of foam cushioning with the softer, more relaxed feel of fibre”, he says.

And when you’re considering comfort, don’t forget the stretch-out relaxation of recliner sofas.

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3. Pick the right sofa upholstery

The type of upholstery – fabric or leather – that you choose for your new sofa comes down to lifestyle as well as personal preference.

If you have children or pets, you’re probably looking for hardwearing upholstery – nothing too delicate, nothing too pale. If you have friends around often and there's the potential for beverage spillages, think about buying a sofa that’s upholstered in an easy-clean fabric.

Think that leather automatically means a hefty price tag? Many of our leather sofas are surprisingly affordable. And, as Mark says, “Leather is a really family-friendly material. It’s durable, cleanable and perfect for busy households.”

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4. Consider sofa size

While the size of sofa you bring home is usually determined by the size of your living space, don’t make the mistake of buying a sofa that’s too small.

A small sofa might fit your living space with room to spare but will it fit your family? Buying a bigger sofa means that everyone will have room to relax in comfort, and that you’ll always have plenty of seats for visitors.

Also, sofa size does vary by manufacturer. There’s no such thing as a “standard” 3-seater sofa, for example. Every three-seater sofa you look at will be slightly different in size. So, before you shop, be sure to measure your room carefully (and don’t forget to account for doorways and hallways).

If you’re not sure what size of sofa you need, consider a modular sofa. Modular sofas are designed to grow with your family as you can make them bigger by adding extra units. Plus they can be reconfigured to fit a different size or shape of living room if you move house in the future.


5. Find the best sofa shape

Think most sofas are the same rectangular shape? Don’t forget about a couple of our favourite sofa shapes: the corner sofa, also known as the L-shaped sofa, and the chaise end sofa.

Mark is a big fan of corner sofas. He says, “It’s a myth that all corner sofas are designed for big living rooms. Our corner sofas come in all sizes, and they’re also a really good way to maximise space in a smaller living room because you’re using a corner that might otherwise sit empty.”

Chaise end sofas also give you a bit more flexibility and a bit more room to spread out on. And look out for sofas that come with footstools – these allow you to create a chaise end whenever you need one.


6. Identify a comfortable sofa price

You’ll be relieved to hear that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the best sofa for you. At Furniture Village, we've made it our mission to offer all different sofa styles, colours and sizes in all price ranges.

Looking to buy a Chesterfield sofa on a budget? We can help. Browsing luxury sofas for less? We partner with top sofa brands to bring you exceptional quality sofas at great prices. Decided to buy a corner sofa? We can point you to some surprisingly affordable options.

Even if you have more financial flexibility, it’s a good idea to decide on a budget and stick to it. That way you’ll be able to shop for living room accessories and finishing touches sooner rather than later.

We hope that this sofa buying checklist helps you find the best sofa for you, but if you want to research sofa buying in a little more detail, take a look at our upholstery buying guide or visit your nearest store for some expert assistance. Either way, we’d love to see the sofa you bring home. Share your pick on Instagram using #MYFVHOME.

Ready to embark on your sofa buying journey? Take a look at these articles for some style inspiration:

Small living room ideas

10 of the best corner sofas

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