When buying anything, ensuring that you get a quality piece that's well worth the price should always be your priority. As one of the biggest investments, you'll make in your home, following this advice couldn't be more important when buying a sofa.
As a buyer, you'd be forgiven for finding the sofa-buying process overwhelming. With so many models, colours and materials available and so many seemingly similar models with vast price differences, it can be hard to decide what's worth the money and what isn't. The good news is that if you know what to look for, you should be able to find a high-quality sofa for your budget, that will last for years to come.
How much should you spend
As with most things in life, a good quality sofa is well worth the investment. It will last for years and save you money in the long run. Whilst there is a correlation between quality and cost, you should bear in mind that as far as sofas are concerned, this only holds up to a certain point.
A good frame and covering material are the fundamentals of a quality sofa. There are however many materials that cost more simply because they are rarer, without offering anything more in terms of comfort or durability. In fact, in the case of aniline leathers and natural velvets, despite being more expensive, they require more care and maintenance and don't offer the same level of stain resistance as other cheaper materials.
As a buyer, you should have a good idea of what it is that you want. This doesn't just mean style, colour and texture - but you should also consider how much time you want to spend maintaining your sofa along with any suitability needs you may have for pets and children.
Deciding what you need
If you're looking for something practical, you should go for a sofa upholstered in protected leather or high-performance polyester fabric with a Martindale rub count above 40,000. These materials are hardwearing and will last well into the future even if you have small children or pets running around. Because of the processes used to tan protective leather and the man-made quality of polyester, these materials are cheaper than aniline leather or natural fabrics.
If you're looking for something more luxurious - semi-aniline and aniline leathers along with natural fabrics and polyester blends are excellent choices. Whilst they're not child friendly, they do offer a degree of stain resistance and can make a sofa into a real centrepiece.
How To Make A Good Investment When Buying a Sofa
Whatever your choice - you should always ensure that you're getting a quality piece. This should mean a solid hardwood frame, a spring or webbing suspension system and good-quality fabric or leather.
Select a Price Range for Your Sofa Based on Your Budget
|Budget||What you should expect|
|Under £1,000||At this price point, your best option is to buy a quality second-hand sofa. Check out our guide to buying a second-hand Chesterfield sofa.|
|£1,000 - £1,500||This is a great budget for buying a high-quality sofa that's been made in the right way with good-quality materials. You should expect a solid hardwood frame and protected leather, semi-aniline leather or a high-quality fabric with a Martindale rub count of over 40,000.|
|£1,500 - £2,500||This is the price point where you can indulge in unique materials that add character to your sofa. This may be 100% natural velvet or fully aniline leather. Bear in mind that these materials have pros and cons which you should consider before committing.|
Decide what style will suit you and your home
Quality sofas are made by hand, so if you find the perfect shape, but you can't find the right material, you should always ask the seller if the sofa can be made up to suit you. They will almost always be able to do this.
Choose the right colour
Neutral colours such as browns and creams are generally a little cheaper than more eclectic colours. This is because manufacturers generally buy materials in these colours in bulk and can pass savings along to you as a customer. Neutral sofas also hold their value well, and if you choose a high-quality piece you won't have any problems if you decide to sell it in the future.
Aniline and semi-aniline leathers
Aniline and semi-aniline leathers undergo minimal processing during the tanning process. As leather hides have natural marks and scars, only a select few are suitable to be made into aniline and semi-aniline leather. These leathers are truly beautiful and unique. Over the years they develop a unique patina that makes your sofa truly yours. They are more expensive and also require more care to keep them in good condition.
100% Velvets and Velvet/ Polyester Blends
Velvet makes for a luxurious covering on any style of sofa. It's a traditional and timeless choice that holds its value for years to come. It is more expensive than polyester equivalents and some people find natural velvet to be quite itchy against their skin.
Don't compromise on materials
A solid hardwood frame and durable material should be non-negotiable. Getting these things right ensures that you have a high-quality piece that will last well into the future, and doesn't lose too much value.
Are expensive sofas really worth it?
A good quality sofa is a worthwhile investment. By paying more from the offset, you'll save considerably in the long run and have a high quality piece that retains its over the years.