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Sofa survey: clumsy kids, naughty pets + misbehaving adults

We surveyed 2000 UK parents and pet owners to discover the state of the nation’s sofas. These results make for eye-watering reading!
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The results are in and it’s official: the UK’s sofas sustain more than £2.3 billion of damage every year. From waters breaking to fish tanks exploding, our survey reveals the havoc wrought upon the nation’s sofas.

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67% have a sofa which has been stained by a child or pet. Cat scratches, muddy paws and urine stains are the most frequent occurrences, but special mentions must go to the unfortunate dog who rolled around on the sofa on a ketchup-covered plate before falling asleep. You can picture the scene… And let’s spare a thought for Bimbo the Hamster whose distraught owner, in a heroic rescue attempt, had to rip apart her sofa in order to free her beloved pet.

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Food and drink spillages are currently staining 66% of the UK’s sofas. Of those, 28% are stained with food. From “an entire plate of curry” to chewing gum stuck on jeans, the tales of foody misadventures are calamitous. Wine is more frequently spilled than beer but it’s the great British cup of tea that’s sploshed most on our sofas, charting at 16%. Respondents told us that since lockdown, a lot more life has been happening on their sofas – working, eating and playing with their children – with 19% reporting increased sofa mishaps.

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Oh dear… From nuclear nappies to the exploding tea light in a nativity scene that sprayed wax all over the cushions, the tales of children destroying sofas are many. Our survey reveals that 21% of sofas have pen marks - some have scribbles but some have actual artwork. “During lockdown, I was working from home and found my 2-year old had drawn all over my sofa and chairs. Lots of nice little pictures!” Alongside pen marks, we noted Playdoh, slime, glitter and one unfortunate sofa burned with a child’s verruca cream. 44% of exhausted parents admit they’ve turned away for a moment to find their child had managed to leave a stain.

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Perhaps not surprising then that almost half of us are put off investing in quality furniture, for fear it will be ruined. In fact, 64% of adults said they’re waiting until their children grow before buying the pieces they really love. Says one respondent: “I’ve always wanted a cream sofa, but I have a cocker spaniel and football-obsessed teens. I’ll wait ‘til the boys have left home, now isn’t the time!”

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To be fair to the little kids, the big kids cause just as much damage to their sofas with four in ten claiming responsibility for accidentally marking the sofa. Red wine is by far the most common of the boozy spillages, but leaks from tubes of superglue, breast pumps and jars of beetroot have been the cause of many a sabotaged sofa, not to mention singes from irons and hair straighteners. But it wasn’t all bad. Our survey revealed two instances of sofas giving life: one woman’s waters broke and one actually gave birth on her sofa.

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Our survey tells us that furniture will get its first mark just 56 days after delivery with the average household causing £117.93 of damage to furniture over the past 12 months – an incredible £2.3 billion across the UK. 29% say their sofas need professional cleaning while 24% have made a mark worse trying to clean it themselves. 22% have even had to replace a piece of furniture because the stain was so bad it couldn't be cleaned.

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Cue LivingProof Sofas… the modern sofa solution

Thankfully, technology is transforming the way we live. New and exclusive to Furniture Village is the new LivingProof range of sofas, designed for real life. Made with wonder fabric Crypton®, these sofas resist stains, spills, smells and even bacteria. “We’re talking next-level tech,” says Mark Reynolds, Retail Buyer, “red wine literally disappears from the palest beige upholstery. It’s sofa sorcery! In fact, we’re so convinced in the magical powers of Living Proof Sofas that we invite you into any store to #doyourworst. We can’t wait to show you!”

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Seeing really is believing

Want to learn more about LivingProof? We tasked some of our favourite influencers to #doyourworst. See the extremely entertaining results as they put LivingProof sofas through their paces. And here’s a fun fact, each of the collections is named after a beloved TV family: Brady, Simpson and Griffin. All the sofas are handcrafted in the UK and all boast the same levels of stain resistant technology, even on the lightest oatmeal fabric. Says Mark Reynolds, Retail Buyer:

“Life can be messy. Family snack-fests in front of the TV, muddy paws, spilt wine and more. I love showing just how stain-resistant Living Proof sofas are to customers. Seeing really is believing.”

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