We polled a panel of experts to determine what to look for when buying a couch and how much you should budget for it and How Much Should a Sofa Cost? Where should you begin if the last year of living at home has taken its toll on your cherished three-seater and you need to replace it?
How Much Should a Sofa Cost?
It can be tough to know how much to budget for your new buy because the interiors market is inundated with brands selling sofas and couches in all shapes and sizes, in a wide range of colours, materials, and finishes.
Furthermore, in today’s atmosphere, we rely increasingly on internet buying. The limited opportunities to visit a showroom and see, feel, and touch the sofa can make the task much more difficult. So, how can you know if it’s worthwhile?
‘A sofa is more than just a piece of furniture. It’s the first stop after a long day at work, a place to catch up with friends, and a place to curl up with a good book or watch a movie with the whole family,’ explains Suzy McMahon, Sofology’s Buying Director.
Arteriors London’s Helen Pett agrees. ‘The sofa is the focal point of any living room. The higher-ticket investment design will create a focal point, a mood to decorate, and a focal point.
‘Aesthetic and style are important,’ Helen continues, ‘and with that comes details, the distinguishing features that make a sofa stand out.’ From sweeping curves to pleats or fluting, the attention to detail is what counts and is worth spending on.’
So, if you’re in the market for a new sofa this season, read down to learn what to look for so that your investment will last for years.
SET YOUR BUDGET:
You can only buy what you can afford, so there’s no point dreaming of a bespoke design if your budget won’t even stretch to an armchair from the same collection.
However, like with beds, you get what you pay for, and as the sofa is the most significant piece of furniture in a living room, it’s well worth the investment.
‘Taking shortcuts or buying a sofa that doesn’t provide comfort and joy is always a bad investment,’ says Suzy McMahon, Sofology’s Buying Director.
‘Whatever your budget, spend as much as you can, because it is the one piece of furniture where you spend the majority of your time, and it has to continually weather the rough and tumble of everyday living,’ she adds.
The typical cost of a sofa can be divided into four categories:
BELOW $1,000.00 (£750.00):
There are numerous sofas available for less than $1,000. Although many are attractive, they are frequently mass-produced and may not be made to last, so if you’re buying a family sofa, we recommend spending more.
IN THE AREA OF $1,000 TO $3,000 (£750 TO £2,100):
If you set aside this money, you should be able to purchase a well-designed, mid-range piece that will last for years.
ABOUT $3,000 TO $5,000 (ABOUT £2,100 TO £3,600):
Most of the couches in this price range are well-designed and made to last. Some may even allow you to customize the detailing.
UP TO $5,000.00 (£3,600.00):
Is money not an issue? Then you’re in luck since you’re looking at a high-end custom design that will last generations.
After you’ve established a rough budget, you may consider your possibilities. Everyone has a distinct sense of what the ideal sofa is, so there is so much variety.
So, when shopping for a sofa, look at all of the essential design components to help you determine your budget. The size and shape of the sofa, the style, the frame and fill, and finally, the finish or exterior fabric are all factors to consider.
SELECT THE IDEAL SIZE AND SHAPE:
Do you want your sofa to be large or small? Are you looking for a love seat, three-seater, or corner sofa? Do you require a sofa bed or a sectional? The size and functionality will determine the pricing. If you want a one-of-a-kind, custom-made item that must fit exact proportions, your budget should reflect this.
‘The scale of your sofa is vital,’ explains Patricia Gibbons. ‘Too big, and it will feel like it takes up the entire space; too little, and you’ll be competing for the best seat in the house.’ It’s crucial to find that sweet spot.’
‘If you’re looking for a couch for a tiny living room, choose one with thinner proportions and a sleek, clean form.’ Choose a style with gracefully tapered legs that elevate the frame off the floor to provide the illusion of additional room.’
‘If you have a larger area, modular designs or, for a more formal look, a couple of couches with accentuated armchairs will frequently work well.’ These larger-scale pieces make a stronger statement and provide a focal point for decor without overwhelming an ample living space. They also help to zone by functioning as a room divider,’ Patricia explains.
Remember that your sofa must go through your front (or back) door and have enough inside clearance to fit into your living room, so take measurements if you’re unsure. To allow this, most larger designs are broken down into numerous components.
People also read: Which Material is the Best for Sofa Cushions:
CHOOSE A STYLE FOR YOUR ROOM:
From traditional rounded edges to contemporary linear shapes, curved couches, and button-backed styles, the more intricacies a couch has and the more distinctive the shape, the higher the price and that will give you a clear point, How Much Should a Sofa Cost?
It’s also crucial to avoid being too swayed by fashion. Sofa trends are a great way to explore what styles are available and what new materials and techniques businesses use in their designs. Still, you should always aim for a sofa that will last a long time, not just in construction but also in style.
‘Whether you want a more conventional model like a Howard or Chesterfield or prefer statement, contemporary elegance, make sure you choose a style that will work as a centerpiece even if your décor changes,’ suggests Helen Pett of Arteriors London.
CHECK THE DESIGN’S FRAME AND FILL:
Have you ever wondered how even the most beautiful sofas can be reasonably priced? The answer is frequently hidden beneath the surface.
The material used to construct the sofa and the fill used in the seat cushions add to the furniture’s lifespan, so always check to see what both are composed of if you want yours to last.
Seat cushions are typically filled with three materials: feather, foam, or fiber. Duck feathers, in particular, tend to keep their plumpness for years. Fiber fillings, mainly polyester, give the sofa a wonderfully mushy sensation and are an excellent alternative to feathers. Foam is firmer, and because it is a less expensive material, it is frequently used in more economical designs.
Solid wood frames are exceptionally durable, and many designs come with lifetime warranties. Other materials for frames include engineered wood, plywood, and even fiberboard. Several of the higher-end designs can be modified with sprung bases and backs for added comfort.
‘The sit test is the most crucial aspect of the entire purchase process,’ explains Suzy McMahon,’ so paying a little more for a design that feels good is the best investment you can make.’
CHOOSE THE BEST FINISH:
The finish and fabric you select for your sofa’s upholstery can significantly impact the price. ‘Finding the ideal fabric is a balance of durability and aesthetics,’ says Patricia of Sofa.com.
You’ll get a more economical option if you choose a ready-made design in a piece of standard fabric. Do you want a leather couch, a custom design, or a couch with a unique finish? That will inevitably increase the cost.
‘Luscious, deep cotton matt velvets look ultra-luxurious,’ Patricia says, ‘but do they suit your household’s lifestyle?’ If you answered yes, high-quality velvet are unbeatable. They are attractive, but they are also high-quality fabrics that feel great and will last a long time.’
‘Investing in a higher quality fabric, whether a smart fabric or a cotton-polyester blend, should be a priority if you’re shopping for your forever sofa,’ she adds. These will pay off in the long run because they are designed to work harder for active family life and withstand years of daily wear and tear.’
SELECT A SOFA THAT COMPLIMENTS YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN:
Because the sofa is the most significant piece of furniture in the room, it is the focal point of the design. The main concerns for a living room are the wall, colour, and sofa,’ explains Martin Waller.
Kids and Pets:
When it comes to buying a sofa with children and dogs, there are two options. You can choose a lower-quality sofa because there’s a significant probability it’ll have a paint job or scratches from dirty paws. Alternatively, you might invest in a long-lasting, high-quality cloth sofa. Performance textiles (olefin, acrylic, nylon, and others) are stain-resistant, moisture-resistant, and noted for being extremely easy to clean. They can even outlast ordinary cloth by ten times! This cloth will be slightly more expensive, but it will be well worth it in the long term.
The cost of a sofa is mainly determined by the materials used. Leather and silk sofas will be more expensive than cotton and synthetic sofas. There are even numerous grades of leather available, each with its price and longevity. Cushions with the down filling will be more expensive than those with dacron filling. The price is also affected by the density of the foam. Keep in mind that the material you choose isn’t just for looks; it also affects the sofa’s lifetime. Leather sofas, for example, survive longer than fabric sofas. If you have children and dogs but don’t want to replace your sofa every four years, the fabric can make a big difference. Families with a lot of active members choose sofas made of performance textiles.
Construction & Longevity
When looking for a new sofa, think about how long you intend to keep it. If you’re prone to following the latest fashion trend, you might want to go for a less expensive sofa. If you want something that will last, you need to spend a little more. The quality of a sofa’s construction influences its price and how long it will survive. The price may be lower if the frame is glued rather than nailed together, but the sofa’s life expectancy will also be reduced. The same is true for the frame; a metal frame will outlast a wood frame. Consider where you’ll put this sofa. It may not garner as much attention as the sofa in the living room if it is placed in the front sitting room. If you plan on using your sofa daily, choose one that is built to last.
WHAT IS A SOFA’S AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY? :
‘We buy a new sofa every eight to twelve years, depending on usage,’ says Arteriors’ Helen Pett. ‘As a result, choosing a style that will stand the test of time is critical.’
If you spend a lot of money on your couch initially, the bare bones should last you a lifetime. Consider having your sofa renovated rather than purchasing a new one if you love it and it fits perfectly in your home.
An ageing sofa can be given a new lease on life with fresh upholstery and filling.
ARE EXPENSIVE SOFAS VALUE FOR MONEY? :
Suzy McMahon, Sofology’s Buying Director, says, “There is no replacement for comfort.” ‘If snuggling back into your sofa does not bring you delight, feel cosseting, and produce a sense of relaxation, then you have purchased the incorrect sofa.’
‘Most people have a preference for how comfortable and soft the seat and back cushions are. Some people prefer a strong, supportive high back and seat, while others prefer the sensation of sinking into a feather-filled cushion pad,’ Suzy adds.
WHAT IS THE BEST MONTH TO BUY A SOFA? :
If possible, do your homework ahead of time to know precisely what you want and take advantage of the sales discounts. The optimum time to do this is during Black Friday week in November and after Christmas in the January deals.
Sign up for the Homes & Gardens newsletter to get updates on any news we’ve heard about, including unique bargains and competitions and special offers. Alternatively, you can sign up for your chosen retailer’s e-alerts to receive information on any current special offers.
Tell yourself the truth: how much time do you spend on your couch? If your couch is solely used for seating guests, a less expensive sofa will suffice. If your sofa is your other half, you’ll want to spend a little more money for more comfort. Although a sofa under $1,000 can be comfy, higher-priced materials will hold up better and retain their shape longer. Buy a beautiful couch instead of sagging cushions! Different densities of foam are produced. The greater the foam quality, the longer the cushions will maintain their shape and comfort.
How long do you want your sofa to last?
Do you intend to host a party in your living room? Do you have any children or pets? The average new couch should last 8–12 years, depending on usage. You’ll want a sofa that can hold its own so you don’t have to buy a new couch sooner than you’d like. It should still look as lovely as the day you purchased it, whether it’s against the regular wear and strain of youngster horse playing, spilling juices, stashing goodies, or your fur babies’ claws and paws messiness and shedding. So, if you’re looking for dependability, sound quality is essential.
Are you planning to relocate soon? :
Are you currently settled in your current location, or are you a bit of a nomad? If you frequently move from place to place, whether for work or pleasure, you’ll want a sofa that can go with you. Because what works in your current house could not work in your following, and the last thing you want is to destroy your ideal couch by forcing it through a doorway or having to sell it. If you move every few years, you might want to shop for low-cost sofas and reserve your dream high-end item for your forever home.