A Complete Sofa Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a new sofa for your home, there are a few different factors to consider in order to ensure you find one that meets your needs and complements your interiors. To help you make an informed decision, here at UBER Interiors, we’ve created a definitive guide to buying a sofa, including the different types of sofa available, how to measure for a sofa, choosing the right materials and keeping your sofa in the best possible condition.
The Different Types of Sofas
One of the first decisions to make when buying a new sofa is exactly which style you want to opt for. There are several important elements to take into account when choosing between different types of sofas, including the interior aesthetic of your home and the size of your room. We’ve taken a look at several of the most popular styles to help you make your decision.
2 Seater Sofas
Characteristics: Fit for a pair, 2 seater sofas are typically smaller than other sofa designs, sometimes featuring two seats and two back cushions.
Best For: Smaller rooms and apartments where space is limited, placed against the living room wall, in the centre of the room or in a snug alcove.
3 Seater Sofas
Characteristics: 3 seater sofas are larger in length than 2 seater sofas and offer more seating space, sometimes featuring three-sectioned seats and back cushions.
Best For: Placing against long walls or the centre of larger rooms where additional seating is needed. With their ample space, 3 seater sofas are a popular choice, ideal for family homes and hosting guests.
Characteristics: Chaise lounges are a long seat designed for reclining, typically featuring an arm and sofa back at only one end.
Best For: Lounging in luxury and giving any room an elegant aesthetic. Chaise lounges double as both a functional seating space and decorative feature in living areas, hallways or bedrooms, best positioned against a wall or in areas such as in front of a window.
Characteristics: Sometimes referred to as ‘L-shaped’ sofas due to their shape, corner sofas feature two different sections that form a right angle.
Best For: As the name suggests, corner sofas are designed to slot in the corner of a room against the wall. Due to their size, corner sofas are best for larger living rooms and in family homes in need of additional seating space.
Characteristics: Made up of individual parts, modular sofas can be adapted and assembled multiple ways to suit the needs of your room.
Best For: Achieving a bespoke look that perfectly meets your requirements and space available. With the option of adding on additional parts, modular sofas allow you to expand their size should you need to.
How To Measure for a Sofa
Once you’ve chosen from the different types of sofas available, your next step is to work out the dimensions you require your sofa to be in order to fit within your home. When it comes to measuring for a sofa, there are two main areas you need to focus on:
Measuring your room
First thing’s first; you’ll need to measure the room your new sofa be placed in from length to width. If you want your new sofa to sit along a wall, measure the full length of the wall and consider whether you want to leave space for side tables or floor lamps at the side. If you want to position it in the centre of the room, you’ll need to take into account the placement of other existing pieces of furniture and the distance you want to leave between those and your sofa. Remember, it’s also important to consider the maximum width you need your new sofa to measure to and how much floor space you want it to take up.
Measuring your doorways and hallways
As well as making sure your chosen sofa fits well in its designated spot in your home, you also need to ensure you’ll be able to manoeuvre it through your doorways and any tight spaces. Once you’ve established your room measurements, your next step is to measure all doorways you’ll encounter when moving your sofa into its new spot, noting down height, width and diagonal width to factor-in manoeuvring your sofa. Next, do the same for your hallways and any staircases your sofa will pass through, making note of corners, lighting, radiators and other bits of furniture that could get in the way.
Our tip: To make sure you have room to manoeuvre easily, add four inches to each door, stairs and hallway measurements.
Choosing the Right Fabric/Material for Your Sofa
Once you’ve determined your desired design and the size of your sofa, now comes the fun bit; choosing its fabric and colour! The fabric you choose for your sofa plays a huge part in its overall aesthetic, durability and lifespan, so thinking carefully about which is right for you is an important step before you buy. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common materials and their properties to consider.
Variations of cotton fabrics and cotton blends are common on sofas, including textured cotton and twill. Versatile and attractive, cotton sofas make a stunning addition to the home. However, though cotton is a relatively durable fabric, it isn’t as easy to keep clean or as stain-resistant as other fabrics you can opt for, making it perhaps best placed on a sofa in a quiet area of the home to prevent the risk of damage.
Similarly to cotton, linen is attractive, comfortable and relatively durable. However, linen is prone to creasing and also less resistant to damage and spills. The loose weaves on linen are also prone to snagging, so a sofa with linen upholstery is perhaps best avoided for homes with children and pets.
Alongside its cosy look and feel, as a tough textile, wool is a strong and resilient fabric you can opt for your sofa. Unlike linen and cotton, it’s also wrinkle-free and maintains its handsome appearance easily for years.
Comfortable, rich in colour and luxuriously plush, velvet sofas exude style and add a touch of glamour to any room. With no loose threads or fine material to worry about, velvet sofas are also more durable and easy to keep in good condition for years to come.
Smooth and soft, suede sofas are as comfortable as they are stylish. However, as suede tends to mark easily and is hard to keep clean and maintain, a suede sofa is a better choice for quieter areas of the home.
Comfortable and soft while extremely durable and hardwearing, leather is a classic choice for sofas and lends itself well to a variety of sofa shapes. Unlike some other fabrics, leather sofas will last for years without much maintenance, are incredibly stain-resistant and easy to keep looking their best.
At UBER Interiors, many of our sofas provide you with the option of hand-choosing your materials and colours to achieve a completely bespoke look that perfectly suits your home.
How To Care for a Sofa
Whichever material you choose, when it comes to caring for your sofa, there are some easy things you can do to preserve its appearance and extend its lifespan. Regular things you can do to care for your sofa include:
- Placing it away from food preparation areas to avoid the fabric absorbing smells and prevent any food spillages.
- Keeping it out of direct sunlight in order to prevent the risk of the colour fading.
- Regularly vacuuming or brushing gently to pick up any dust and debris.
- Tackling any stains straight away and spot cleaning with the correct cleaning products for the fabric.
It’s important to check on the care label of your sofa which cleaning products are suitable for its material to prevent damage. Before using anything on the main body of your sofa, always find a small area out of sight to patch test on.