How to Tell If a Sofa Is Made Well


A sofa is a considerable investment and something that you want to last for years. Picking out the perfect color and the right design and layout are important, but so is making sure that your sofa is well-made. Poorly sewn seams can come apart, substandard springs can creak and sag, and badly made frames can warp or crack. Take your time giving the sofa a careful inspection to make sure it is as good as it looks.

  • Make sure the frame is high-quality. If it is made out of wood, ask if it is kiln-dried before buying it. Also, check to make sure the board on the outside of the bottom of a wood sofa is 1.25 inches thick or thicker. For pricier sofas, look for a fifth leg under the bottom of the sofa. Metal frames are also very solid. Do not buy a sofa with a particleboard or plastic frame.

  • Ask the salesperson about the springs. Hand-tied coils are the most durable and comfortable springs. 8-way and S-type coils can also be good, but they are often less durable and stapled in instead of tied in. Remove the cushions and feel the coils. They should be comfortable and springy, and even all the way across.

  • Pick up a cushion. It should be heavy and soft. Lighter cushions tend to wear down and become compressed with wear. Put it back down, and sit on the sofa. Try sitting in different spots to see if it is comfortable and even all the way across.

  • Check out the sofa fabric. Leather is one of the most durable fabrics and is easy to clean. It is also expensive and is not to everyone's taste. In general, tightly woven fabrics are more durable than loosely woven ones. Microfiber is a good choice, because it has a soft, suedelike feel, resists stains and wrinkling, and is easy to clean.

  • Check out the stitching. Make sure the seams are even and regular, and there is no bunching or loose thread.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have kids, pets, or other special concerns, be sure to let the salesperson know. Some fabrics hold up better to rough treatment than others.

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