According to Good Housekeeping, the best couches feature a solid frame. A wooden frame is strongest, especially when the manufacturer adds wood dowels and corner blocks that retain the shape. Some couches use a design that mixes metal brackets into the design for additional support. Reclining couches typically feature a combination of wood and metal in the frame, which maximizes its strength and durability. The frame protects the reclining mechanisms, blocking fabric and other items from sticking to the recliner.
The strength of a sofa depends on a variety of factors, including the springs, frame and the cushions that cover the back and seat. Reclining sofas have a feature that other couches lack: a footrest that moves up or down due to a lever on the side of a couch. You might think that these sofas lose their shape, but no evidence exists that the couches break down any faster than other models.
Checking the Frame
A reclining couch might lose its shape and start sagging when it has inadequate padding and cushioning. Every time you use the recliner, the couch shifts and moves. The constant friction of your body against the cushions causes a gradual breakdown of the padding. As the padding moves, it changes the overall shape of the couch. If the sofa features inadequate padding, it quickly loses its original shape. You might notice signs of sagging or notice that the couch feels less comfortable.
Reclining couches have springs located inside the couch itself, which adds additional support to the sofa. Serpentine springs resemble coiled snakes that typically appear on cheaper couches. The springs lose their natural shape with regular use, leading to the springs sagging. When the springs sag, you notice a change in your couch’s shape. More expensive models use hand-tied springs with a figure-eight shape that last longer and feel more comfortable.
Buying a Couch
When you buy a new couch, always test the piece first. The couch should feel comfortable without any springs or padding poking through the fabric. Visit furniture stores with a high-level of business, as a large number of people sit on the couches and test the different models. You can see how well the recliner holds up to regular use. Examine the padding inside the couch and on each cushion. The padding should have resistance when you press down or squeeze it, which indicates a stronger core that will not sag or droop.