Choosing a sofa is not always a straight forward process for some. You have to consider many factors, what room will the sofa be used in, what decor environment will the sofa be in, will the sofa be in a high traffic area? They are just a few situations to name when looking for a new sofa. Our guide will cover every angle possible, have a skim through and learn what to consider when buying your new sofa.
To help you narrow down your ideal sofa here is a quick list of questions to ask yourself.
Are you simply replacing your current sofa with a new one or are you changing up the style in your room?
If you are changing your existing sofa with a direct replacement you should try to keep it similar to your current decor and maybe something tried and proven as a direct replacement as fashions such as colour schemes could be likely to change and having a timeless proven design will be able to slot into any decor changes without a hitch.
If you are looking to change your whole decor and style, you should plan out your colour scheme, layout, theme, and finishing pieces, you don't want to order one of our Islington mustard leather sofas ( pictured above ) if you are going for an antique style living room.
What is the sofa's main purpose?
I know that sounds really silly, but you are going to need to know is it for decor only? Is it going to be used as a main living room sofa for a busy family?
If you are going to use it for a decor piece with occasional use you should consider a classic chesterfield sofa as a real statement sofa, the classically curved arms with the tufted buttons is a recognisable trademark furniture piece.
If your sofa is going to be the place for the family to relax and gather together, you will need a sofa with a hard-wearing surface to ensure it doesn't start to wear down. We would recommend one of our leather aire sofas if you want something durable and resilient, you can, of course, choose a fabric option but be careful as a velvet fabric and the alike could scratch or rip easily if put through the chaotic life of a family and pets.
What space do you have available?
I know that sounds silly again but you need to consider what space you have available in your current situation, you need to imagine if a bigger sofa will fit better into your room or make it look cluttered, it's not just a matter of if it fits, you need to figure out the flow of your living room and not just technical matters.
You can always increase your sofa size and add another seat if you want to accommodate guests or a new family member but might need to move or archive a lamp table or other furniture.
Do you want to spend a little or invest?
Depending on your situation and its purpose you might want to vary your spending on the sofa.
If the sofa is for a small office with very little use, you, of course, want to spend a little as possible and this makes sense but always make sure it will be fit for purpose.
If you are looking for a family suite or alike you should invest in a quality piece of furniture, as you the use it gets makes the purchase better value every day you use the sofa.
Whatever the price point you should always research your sofa and ask questions, looking at reviews will always give a good idea about the quality.
They are many leather finish options on the market and far too many to go into on this guide, Genuine leather even has different types and grades but we will simplify it, you have;
Aniline leather - is the most unprocessed material and has the most defects but it is the desired leather finish as it is the uppermost layer with the true character of the hide.
Semi-Aniline leather - this leather is the 2nd most desired leather finish and is very similar to aniline leather, hence the name. Semi-aniline leather is leather sourced as close as possible to aniline leather but has the defects corrected, when you correct the details in leather you lose some of the character of the hide
Top grain leather - is the outermost parts of the animal hide with all the defects and imperfections removed.
This type of leather gets a bad reputation these days for unfair reasons, it used to have problems with cracking and peeling after a short time but this has long since gone with advances and progress in the manufacturing process.
The material was designed, researched, and created to provide a better alternative to PU leather.
The technical details about the material are a little dull but in short, it is a combination of two primary materials, real leather hide, and PU leather. The combination of two improves the shine, resilience, appearance, and texture without the cost of real leather and without the dull plastic look of PU leather.
From a bonded leather sofa you can expect around 3-5 years depending on use and how well you look after the sofa.
This is a fairly new material to the furniture scene, By making use of most advanced and innovative technology Leather Aire is able to offer a 100% breathable material that adapts to the body's temperature. This breakthrough means your sofa is will remain cool in the summer and won’t get cold in the winter. Leather aire is heavyweight and highly durable whilst remaining super-soft and drapable. It is also very easy to clean making it a perfect fit for busy families, Offices, and daily use.
From a technical point of view, leather aire is actually a fabric-based material, meaning it is not going to crack, peel or flake like other synthetics. We recommend this material to anyone who does not want to pay genuine leather prices.
They are many types of fabric used on sofas and each type offers its own advantages.
Velvet sofas are one of the most common trends at the moment, they tend to offer a great appearance and statement for people but could be damaged by heavy use if neglected and not cared for.
Chenille type of fabrics are more hard-wearing and suitable for people with pets or a more chaotic lifestyle.
Wool and linen blend sofas are a great option if you have the environment where they will be cared for and looked after if this is not the case you could end up cutting your investment short on your sofas.
With fabric sofas, in general, you will be able to clean them easier and even reupholster them if you so desire.
Known by many names such as PU leather, faux leather, PVC leather. This material is made from a vinyl/plastic material designed to look like leather for a fraction of the cost.
Unfortunately, this material does not last 5 years of use and could vary depending on how well you look after it. This could be an option if you are on a budget and need a sofa.
1 Seater sofas/Armchairs
Useful for a number of reasons, for functional or decorative purposes. They can be brought in after buying a sofa suite to slot into an empty space or could be purchased for a reading room or front room to provide some seating but not take up much space.
An armchair can be used purely for decorative purposes such as in a dining room where you would normally put a standing lamp, these are often referred to as an occasional and accent chairs, where the style and decor is the priority over functionality.
2 Seater sofas
Perfect for a smaller space in a living room, flat, office, snug or as a sofa suite. Ideal for offering a place to relax and unwind just like a 3 seater but on a smaller scale. We offer any size sofa standalone but we always recommend matching a 3 seater and 2 seaters to together, you can always mix and match the armchairs/1 seaters if you want to vary the colour scheme.
3 Seater sofas
The standard and definitive option when buying a sofa. Often the main sofa used in the living room, as well the go-to relaxation area of your property, this means it has to do a number of things for you.
Be able to withstand daily life
be able to fit three adults
Comfort is, of course, subjective to the beholder of the sofa. Some of our customers prefer a soft approach to relax in while watching the TV and some prefer a firm sofa to read a book. We make notes on our product descriptions to let you know the firmness of our sofas. We recommend a medium-firm approach as all sofas will get a little softer over the years and begin to settle with use to your body shape.
Support is vital to a sofa design and without it, you will be looking at a bad posture and possibly a sore achy back, design majority of our sofas with a well-padded seating cushion area to provide support to your base and a softly padded back cushion area to provide a more mellow and calming sense. This provides the end-user to relax and be supported at the same time.
The durability of a sofa is a key consideration when researching a new sofa purchase, whether it is leather, fabric, velvet or any other material it needs to be tough and resistant to family life, pets, or spills. All of our sofas are compliant with the BS standards for domestic and are fire retardant to the specification needed. We always make sure our fabric suppliers are using protective treatments where possible to enable longevity on the materials used.
The standard measurements for a 3 seater will, of course, vary from sofa design but you should be looking for around 190cm to fit three adults and be comfortable with the space remaining. If you feel you need more space you can always upgrade to a 4 seater if you have space in the room.
4 Seater sofas
As mentioned briefly, 4 seater sofas are for those who need the extra space, maybe a large family or an often entertainer. Designs do vary but often they feature two large cushions with enough space to fit 4 people maybe more depending on the style. We recommend 4 seaters to anyone who can fit them into their floor plans, they do take up more space but often the added space will be used by a guest or someone wanting to slouch a little. Always check the measurements when dealing with a 4 seater sofa.
This type of sofa design has received an upsurge in recent times, this down to a number of reasons but the main one is flexibility and practicality. Corner sofas come in many formats, shapes, and functions but the popular choice is often referred to as a 2C2 which means a 2 seater sofa connection to another 2 seater sofa with a 90-degree corner seat, this offers 5 seats in total which is more than enough for an average-sized family and the same capacity as a 3+2 sofa suite but without using as much space as two separate sofas.
The other popular designs are known as LHC and RHC, this is where one side features a chaise, chair, or recliner. This can be ideal for some have restrictions in the floor plan or maybe those who want to lounge out more using a recliner or chaise.
Corner sofas also are much more prominent in a living room and offer a strong focal point to base your decor around.
Ever feel you need to put your feet up after a long day? Well, that is what recliners are for. Simply put recliners allow you to relax with your feet up and when you're done simply put way the foot support. It is such a simple idea that allows you to put your feet up without a need for a permanent footstool that will take up space in your living room.
Depending on which recliner you are looking to purchase, you should consider how fair it reclines and if the back moves back or not. The last thing you want to do is rub your wallpaper or paint on your wall and possibly damage your new sofas.
They are two main recliner types, manual recliners, and electric recliners they both of advantages and disadvantages
Our manual recliners often a two-stage recliner which allows two positions of recline. You need to use the pull tab on the side to move the mechanism into action after this the back will have moved slightly back and the front foot support will have moved approx 75 degrees up to support your legs in a comfortable natural position. If you want to activate the second position you will need to lean a little force on the back support to further recline, the back support will be the area that reclines further here, Please note you do not need to pull the recline tab again, when you are finished simply lean forward and push the foot support area back in gently to return everything back to normal.
Our electric recliners are often found on our more premium ranges, they are more expensive to produce, heavier but offer more positions to recline. The electric recliners are really simple to use, they are two buttons on the side of the sofa where you would normally expect to find a manual pull tab, one is for the recliner to lean back and lift the foot support area and the other is to reverse this action. You simply hold the button until you find your desired position and let go or until you reach its maximum recline position. Most of our electric recliner sofas also feature a USB point for charging smart devices etc.
One of the most requested and searched for items on our website. If you often have guests and do not have a spare bedroom, a sofa bed is a better option than using an air bed. The most common style is the two-fold system where the mattress and support are folded inside the sofa base. The mattresses are often very basic and only ideal for temporary solutions, you could always add a topper if needed.
Sizing up your sofas
The size of your sofa is of the utmost importance, too little space and you will feel cramped, squished, and never truly relaxed. Too big and you might find yourself in the position where you do not have enough space in your living room for other furniture.
We measure our sofas in an easy to read and understand format. You can see from the diagram below which term refers to which area on a sofa.
Length - This measurement is the most important for us, this gives you the biggest impression from a sofa.
Height - From the floor to the highest point of the sofa in question, this is useful for those who want more back support or those who are taller in general.
Depth - Almost as important as the total length of the sofa, this is from the front to the furthest point at the rear of the sofa.
Seat Height - Measured from the point where the legs touch the flooring to the top of the seating cushions, useful for those who have mobility issues or prefer a certain style of seating.
Seat Depth - This measurement gives you an idea regarding the luxury of each seat.
Seating Length - The distance between the armrests, giving you the length of the area usable for seating.
So you got your new sofa, now what?
So you have had the delivery of your brand new sofa, either you have opted in for the premier delivery service or you are going to assemble the sofas yourself.
P.S we always recommend opting in for the premier service, which saves time and hassle.
If you need to move your new sofas, we recommend lifting with two or more people and not dragging as this will damage the structure, feet and most likely your flooring. If you have a corner sofa we would also recommend splitting the sofas into the pieces and moving them piece by piece as you will cause damage to the join otherwise.
We recommend letting the sofas adapt to the room temperature of the new environment it will be located in, this is to allow the fillings and material to expand and adjust to the humidity and temperature. This means please try and avoid using sofas for the first 12 hours, I know this might sound unusual but we recommend this to get the most out of your new sofas and avoid damage to the support system.
The support system will begin to adjust and settle to your body image, you should start to see some settlement within 4 weeks of use, this is normal and expected, this is a good sign of the sofa supporting you.
If you are unsure of you can contact our team on 02476 705 600 for assistance.