How to Buy Sofas and Upholstered Chairs


More than just somewhere to sit, the seating you choose for your living room sets the mood of the room. Mid-price upholstery should give between five to ten years of wear. After this, if the frame and springs are sound but the cover is worn, faded, or simply outdated, you can simply re-cover.

  • The strongest sofas have hardwood frames, usually made of beech or birch that are screwed and glued together (never stapled). Softwood, like pine, is less strong. Sofas are often constructed using a mix of hardwood and particleboard. The hardwood provides the frame, and the particleboard the shape.
  • In the shop, check that your back is well supported and your feet can touch the floor. If you like to relax sitting sideways or with your feet up, go for high, solid sides.

  • If you entertain often, two sofas will seat more than a living room set of a sofa and two chairs.
  • Avoid pale colours if you worry about everyday stains, or have messy pets or children. Avoid dark sofas if you have pets with white, silver, or tan fur.
  • Think about how you’ll cope with stains. Fitted upholstery can be treated with a stain resistor like Scotch guard. Loose covers are not suitable for treating, as the coating will wash away. They can be washed, some in a domestic washing machine, and you’ll also be able to spot-treat small stains
  • Choose the right size sofa and chairs to suit your room. Remember that furniture always looks smaller in a showroom.
  • The seats and cushions may be:
    • Foam – inexpensive and unlikely to retain shape.
    • Polyester fibre-filled – most practical and best for allergy sufferers.
    • Natural down feathers – more expensive, but excellent for comfort.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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