Home is where the heart is. And if the home had a heart, we’re fairly certain it would take the form of a sofa.
That is, after all, the place where all the good stuff happens. Not forgetting the bad stuff, and the totally normal, not worth reporting, same-thing-everyday bits too. From sipping our morning brew to collapsing after a hard day’s work, and from snuggling up with our partner to dozing off in-front of the 10 O’clock News, our sofa bears witness to some of life’s biggest (and smallest) events. We sleep on them, read on them, chat on them, eat on them… and from what we’ve discovered, watch quite a lot of television on them too.
So, with the sofa being such a big part of our day-to-day lives, we couldn’t resist commissioning a survey to find out what the average life of our constant companion looks like. And for an item most people struggle to manoeuvre inside the house, it certainly does see a lot!
When you collapse onto your sofa at the end of a long day, the fact that you’re sitting on the Bermuda Triangle of lost goods might be the furthest thing from your mind. But delve underneath those snug cushions and you could discover long lost treasures… or odds and ends you never even knew you’d misplaced!
While toys and remote controls are regularly found hiding down the sides of your favourite settee, the figures suggest that there could be plenty of goodies still undiscovered. 52% of us reported having lost money down the side of the sofa in our own home, but only 46% of people reported finding money there. ‘But where is the missing money?’ we hear you cry. Well, suspiciously, 6% of you admitted to having found money down the side of someone else’s couch. Coincidence? We think not.
Our study saw 50% of people admitting to napping on the sofa for between one and 10 hours a week. And who could blame them? It’s often the comfiest seat in the house, and with 75% of us either liking or loving our settees, where better to snuggle in for an afternoon snooze?
When it comes to sharing your cushioned kingdom, however, competition is hot. Cats rule in the pet department, pipping dogs to the post by 4%, with 27% of sofas welcoming our feline friends. Notwithstanding the many respondents whose preferred sofa buddies were celebrities like Nigella Lawson, Carol Vorderman and David Beckham (we wonder why…), your partners came out as the resounding leaders for who you’d most like to share a sofa with. Adorable, right?
The sofa and the TV go hand-in-hand like bread and butter. Good apart, but great together. So, it’s no surprise that over an 11-year lifespan one of your sofa’s main activities will be providing a comfortable spot for you to catch up on the latest soaps, films, shoot ‘em-ups and Netflix binge sessions.
We’re not just a nation of digital addicts though. Your sofa will be the spot of some serious book-worming too – around 2,728 hours of it over 11 years to be exact. And surprisingly, it’s the younger generation who’re spending the least time in front of the telly. Respondents aged 18-24 watch an average of 9.16 hours of TV a week, compared to 11.2 hours for ages 25 and above.
Chesterfield, roll-back, snuggler or ottoman, the one thing you can’t call a sofa is a gossip. And thank goodness, because we share some of our most intimate moments with it. They’re a place for cuddles, the occasional date night, a few tears and plenty of kisses. On the flip side, it sounds like we’re not averse to having a fight or two there too.
The sofa also has the commendation of being a fairly gender-neutral space, with males and females spending roughly the same amount of time doing most activities there. Except, that is, for talking on the phone. Women confessed to spending around four and a half hours a week chatting on the ringer each week, almost an hour more than their tight-lipped male counterparts.
It’s been heart-warming learning about all the little ways our sofas add to our lives. But with the good, comes the bad and, as our survey has shown, the downright ugly too. In fact, despite all the cuddles, kisses, nights’ sleep, spillages, and meals eaten on them, 14% of people admitted to never cleaning their sofa. And with one in twenty of us fessing up to dropping food on other people’s sofas, who knows what other horrors might be lurking there?!
It’s never been more evident that your much-loved sofa needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. So, whether you’re tucking into a curry and watching X-Factor on a Saturday night, cuddling the grandkids, or wooing a date with a glass of wine – spare a thought for your cushioned pal. It might be squishy and traditional, sleek and modern, a three-piece suite or a sprawling corner sofa, but whatever shape and form it takes, it deserves a little TLC. Vacuum under the cushions (you might find something nice), clean any spillages and, when it’s time to put your old friend into retirement, make sure your next sofa’s up to the job.
If you would like to view our Curious life of a Sofa infographic in its full glory click here.
*Results are based on a survey conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Furniture Village, from 17.08.2017 to 21.08.2017. Average figures were calculated based on answers provided by 2000 respondents from across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.