Common Mistakes When Buying a Sofa: Detailed Guide

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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A new sofa is a significant purchase that might cost you money if you choose poorly. You may, however, steer clear of the most common mistakes when buying a sofa by equipping yourself with expert advice.

The lifespan of a couch is typically between 7 and 15 years, and during that time it will see a lot of usages, so it's crucial that the sofa you pick is cozy, tough, and made to withstand the demands of everyday living.

In addition to the financial and practical issues involved in acquiring a new sofa, the design, style, and color of your couch are significant variables to consider. Because the couch is typically the focal point of the living room, it's critical to avoid fads and interior design trends and go for a sofa style that will last.

In this article, we'll offer professional guidance on how to avoid frequent interior design mistakes and poor decisions while shopping for the right sofa.

1. Impulse Buying

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Do you often make impulsive purchases? When purchasing a new sofa, this is certainly something to watch out for! Impulsive sofa purchases do happen, but they are typically not perfect. To reiterate, you'll use this piece of furniture constantly.

In light of this, you should choose this significant piece of furniture with the appropriate amount of thought, care, and effort. Although you might be tempted to move quickly, taking your time will end up paying you far more in the long term.

2. Getting the Size and Scale Wrong

Your sofa's dimensions are really significant. If it's too huge, the room may appear to be completely enclosed. If it's too small, you'll have to fight for the finest seat in the house. The secret is to find that sweet spot.

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Sofas with slimmer dimensions and sleek, clean forms work best in smaller spaces. A popular decorating tip for making a tiny living room appear bigger is to choose a model with graceful, tapering legs that elevate the frame from the floor to create the illusion of greater floor space.

These larger-scale items make a stronger statement and provide a focal point for decorating without dominating a large living room. They can serve as room dividers by helping to zone a space.

Size and scale include more than just measuring the area of a room using a tape measure. You must take into account what will fit in the available area, how it will seem once installed, and how it will affect the way people move about a room.

Be sure you'll be able to open doors and windows around your sofa and move comfortably past any side or coffee tables by keeping in mind how others enter and exit the space as well as how you will wish to move around the furniture.

Also, pay attention to the scale in addition to assessing the size of your room. So that it doesn't appear excessively huge or little when to put next to the other furniture, your sofa should be the same size as the other pieces.

3. Ignoring Color

Acquiring a sofa online only to realize that you dislike the color or that it does not go with your décor may be an expensive mistake, and unlike changing paint colors, which might devalue your property, replacing the sofa is significantly more expensive.

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It is important to purchase the couch first if you're starting a decorating project from scratch so that you can select a color scheme depending on the sofa color. If you're buying a new couch to match an existing color scheme, you'll need to choose whether you want it to blend in and complement the décor of the space or alternatively function as an accent piece in a contrasting hue.

The simplest approach to preventing mistakes and regrets is to get free fabric samples so you can see the color in your house before selecting.

4. Selecting the Wrong Upholstery Material

There are many different fabric options when you shop in person or see a couch online in a virtual showroom. The color will undoubtedly establish the tone for the remainder of your space; therefore, it is vital. Yet the three Ws—wear, weave, and washability—are just as crucial.

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a) Wear

Since you and your family will use the couch regularly, you should think about how well it will hold up over time. The majority of light upholstery fabrics will work just fine if you're purchasing something to last only a few years. However, a high-wear fabric and high-quality couch may survive for decades, and the structure is built to last a lifetime!

b) Weave

The fabric's weave will influence whether or not an item will remain fitted and taught for years to come or whether it will sag and take on a more casual appearance. Can you notice the cross-weaving of each fiber when you look at the fabric? If so, the weave is probably looser. A looser weave should eventually stretch out and seem more wrinkled. Go for a cloth with a tight weave if you desire a more fitted appearance.

c) Washability

Nowadays, there is no need to worry about your children or dogs staining your furniture because performance fabric technologies exist!

5. Wrong Style Sofa

Your sofa should blend in with the rest of your furniture's design. It should be one with which you are comfortable, visually and in terms of how that style works for you. Try out the sofa to see how it works, but pay close attention to the sofa design to avoid buying anything that won't fit in your house at all.

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Every home has a strong style, and if you get a couch that doesn't match it, it may be a huge eyesore unless you are really talented at fusing several styles. Pay special attention to how your sofa looks when arranged with the rest of your furniture if you want to be secure.

6. Forgetting About Storage Needs

Think about how much storage space you'll need while choosing a couch. Sofas with storage are the best for keeping pillows, blankets, and other living room furnishings. If you need extra storage, opt for a couch with built-in storage or a coffee table with hidden storage. Use these storage sofas to keep your living space organized and clear of clutter.

7. Ignoring Sofa Construction

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Beyond the positioning of the couch in the room's layout and the color of its cushions, a sofa has a variety of advantages and disadvantages. Consider if you like foam or feather pillows before you start looking, and prepare a list of advantages and disadvantages based on your living situation. For instance, you could need the orthopedic benefits of foam technology or have a sensitivity to feather fillings. You won't ever have a problem if you do your homework on how your sofa is constructed.

8. Disregarding the Presence of Children or Pets in the House

The fact that both young children and animals tend to get pretty dirty makes it a common mistake to buy a sofa without taking these factors into account. In these situations, neutral colors are better since they can best disguise stains. They also have the benefit of being both timeless and incredibly adaptable. We do not advise getting rid of a white sofa if you have kids or pets, or plan to get them in the future.

9. Buying a Sofa That Is Too Hard (Or Too Soft)

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This might be the most typical error of them all. The easiest method to select a seat cushion is to consider how you prefer to sit and relax. Do you prefer sitting upright with your legs crossed or up on a footstool to feel more supported? If so, a firmer foam seat cushion would most likely be appropriate for you. If you want to be curled up and reclined on your couch, feather-wrapped foam cushions will allow you to sink cozily into it.

Understand that different types of cushion fillings may require somewhat more upkeep to remain in good condition. Fibre or feather fillings can compact over time and require regular, daily plumping to maintain their appearance, whereas foam is more resilient and requires slightly less maintenance.

10. Sacrificing Comfort and Usability for Looks

Whichever furniture you choose, keep in mind that you will have to live with it (and frequently on it) for years to come. Comfort must come first since a perfect couch, chair, or table is not like a pair of unpleasant 4-inch heels you can put up with on special occasions.

Height and depth will greatly contribute to the comfort of the sofa you pick. In order to receive the right support you require, it is crucial to have a look at these aspects. For instance, if you have back problems, you should avoid sofas with short backs and look for ones with enough back support.

In addition, you may decide whether you like larger or thinner couch arms based on your own comfort level. Additionally, it is possible to locate couches with helpful features that increase comfort and convenience, such as built-in reclining, USB charging, magazine or book storage, and cup holders.

11. Buying a Poor-Quality Sofa

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For three reasons, a good quality sofa is an excellent investment: they feel terrific, they look fantastic, and they will continue to look and feel fantastic for years to come. Choose a sofa brand you can trust that pays attention to the design of its products. For instance, the oak used to construct the frames of all of our sofas ensures both their long-term durability and the comfort of their plump seat cushions. The cost of high-quality couches may appear higher today, but it will be lower in the long term.

12. Not Trying the Sofa Out Before Buying

Selecting a couch is not like choosing the greatest vacuum cleaner, where reviews can assist you in making the proper selection because a sofa is an extremely personal choice - it's about your personal comfort. The most significant aspect of the procedure is the sit test. That is the best investment you can make if you have to pay a bit extra for a sofa design that feels nice. There is no replacement for comfort.

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It is recommended that you sit on the sofa and check it out before purchasing. Trendy does not necessarily imply comfy; just because something seems beautiful and fits your vision does not guarantee that it will be the same in person.

13. Failing to Research the Couches

Failure to undertake prior research is a common mistake people make when purchasing a sofa. You don't want to acquire your new sofa on the spur of the moment because it's something you'll be using all the time, preferably for an extended period of time. This part of the treatment demands a certain amount of time, energy, and patience.

All the Sofa We Have Reviewed

Now that you've learned how to avoid these typical mistakes, it's time to find the best living room furniture! We recommend that you read the reviews and the Q&A section of the listing and check whether a nearby showroom or large box shop has the sofa you want to see in person. Here are some of the reviews to help you simplify your sofa search:

  1. Best Sofa For Heavy Person
  2. Best Sectional Sofas For Small Living Rooms
  3. Best Sofa With Chaise For Comfort, Style, And Elegance
  4. Best Modular Sectional Sofas To Upgrade Your Space
  5. What Is The Best Couch For Cuddling At Home?
  6. Best Couch For Back Pain And Right Posture
  7. Best Couches Under $1000 For Maximum Comfort
  8. Best Recliner Brands For Ultimate Comfort And Support
  9. Best Wall Hugger Recliners To Sizzle Your Compact Space
  10. Best Swivel Rocker Recliner Chairs For Cozy Evenings
  11. Best Big Man Recliner For Big & Tall People Comfort
  12. Best Recliners For Handicapped And Disabled People
  13. Best Power Recliners For Optimal Comfort And Stability
  14. Best Queen Anne Recliner: Elegant & Fascinating Designs
  15. 5 Best Slipcovers For Sofas, Couches, And Recliners
  16. Best Recliners For Sleeping, Lumbar Support, And Pain Relief
  17. Best Recliners For Back Pain Treatment At Home
  18. Best Leather Recliner To Help You Relax In Comfort
  19. Best Swivel Chairs For Living Room Spaces And Nooks

Final Words on The Common Mistakes When Buying a Sofa

Purchasing is a significant decision that should not be handled carelessly. By avoiding these typical mistakes, you can be certain that you will end up with a high-quality piece of furniture that you will enjoy for many years.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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