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Ultimate Sofa Buying Guide

author image Kayla Wilson
Ultimate Sofa Buying Guide image Ultimate Sofa Buying Guide image
June 19th, 2020

What you need to know before buying a sofa from measuring up to choosing your fabric

Buying a sofa is an important investment. As more people opt for a night in, we’re spending more time on our sofas. It’s where we relax, socialise with friends, spend cosy date nights, spend time with the family, watch television, read a book…it’s a well used piece of furniture. Make sure you buy a sofa which is going to fit around your lifestyle and pass the test of time.


Quick Sofa Buying Tips

Here’s 5 quick sofa buying tips to consider first:


Try before you buy

There’s lots of different features of a sofa to be taken into account when you’re shopping for your sofa, but the most important one is how comfortable it is. What makes a sofa comfortable? The seat depth in relation to your height and seating position has a big part to play, so when you’re testing out sofas make sure to sit how you would at home. Tuck your feet up next to you, leaning on the arm, sinking back and stretching out…

You’ll also want to think about back support. If the back of the sofa isn’t high enough for you then you could end up sitting awkwardly with nowhere to lean back comfortably.

Measure twice, fit once

This is an important step which many people get wrong when buying a new sofa. Measure the space carefully first and then double check your measurements. The new sofa you’re looking at buying may look like the perfect fit when you’re in the showroom but don’t forget, that’s in a large space which can make sofas appear deceptively small. It’s easy to over-estimate the amount of space you have at home. Measure all points of the space you want your sofa to fit in, including the height. Ideally, sketch it out on a piece of paper and bring it with you to the sofa shop as a reminder of what you’re working with.

TIP: Measure in millimetres so it’s more accurate

Don’t forget to measure doorways and stairwells to ensure that your sofa will be able to be delivered to your room of choice. The sofa sales assistant can walk you through sofas which can easily be manoeuvred through your house without scuffing the walls. If space is limited then you may need to look at modular sofas which can be delivered in segments.


What’s inside that counts

Talk to the sales advisor and find out what’s inside the seat and back cushions of your chosen sofa. Whilst feather filled sofas are lovely and comfortable at first they will soon need regularly plumping to retain their shape and not sag. Eventually you could end up with flat and uncomfortable cushions.

Furniture Department Manager at Gardiner Haskins recommends: “Look for cushions with foam filling for structure and support but with feather filling also to provide comfort.”

Choosing a layout

This will depend quite a bit on the space you have to work with. If you're placing your sofa in the corner of the room then an L shape sofa will help you maximise that space whereas a more open space could have a combination of 2 seater, 3 seater and an arm chair or love seat. Remember that your sofa will be one of the key features of the room which will grab people's attention when they walk in, so don't allow your sofa(s) to take over the room entirely.


Choosing your sofa fabric

No doubt this will be a decision you will spend time on from an aesthetic point of view but there’s also lots of practical things to consider when it comes to choosing your sofa fabric. If you have children and/or pets then ensure that the sofa covers can be removed and washed or at the very least, easily spot cleaned. Leather sofas can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth but be wary of sharp claws cutting into the fabric or scratching it.

If your sofa is going to be sat in direct sunlight, then be wary of natural materials which may fade whereas a synthetic sofa fabric will be more resistant to this.

Read to start shopping for your new sofa? Visit our Cirencester store which has a large range of sofas on display for you to try out. Our knowledgeable team will be able to help you choose the perfect sofa for you. 


Get Directions to Cirencester Store

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Gardiner and Sons Co Ltd registered address Gardiner Haskins, 1 Straight Street, Broad Plain, Bristol, BS2 0FQ, registered in England.
Company registration number: 00039402 VAT no. GB302974367

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