How to Choose a Couch

Your couch is a focal point in your room and a place to relax and unwind with your loved ones. So it’s important to get it right when choosing a couch.

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Your couch is a focal point in your room and a place to relax and unwind with your loved ones. So it’s important to get it right when choosing a couch.

Sofas, settee, divan, or lounge – whatever your family calls it – a couch is, without a doubt, an important piece of furniture in every living room. It is most certainly one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make in your home. From relaxing, unwinding, lounging, eating, drinking, reading, watching to entertaining family and friends, a couch is an important part of every living room. As such, it makes sense that you choose a couch that’s going to serve you right for many years.

Some of the most essential considerations to make when choosing the right couch for you include size, style and design, color, and upholstery, and the purpose of the couch. You should also make sure that the frame is sturdy and that the couch will fit in your home.

That being said, here’s how to choose a couch that will look great and feel comfortable through years of daily use by everyone in your home.

Table of Contents

Do Some Research

Doing a little research would go a long way when looking to buy a perfect couch for your living room. The fact that you’re reading this means that you’re already on the right path. Of course, you already know that we’re living in an era of endless choice. This means that you have unlimited options when choosing the right couch for your living room.

And while you might think that you know exactly what you want, the number of available options can be overwhelming once you walk into a furniture shop or start browsing couch images online. This is exactly why you should take a little of your precious time before you start the hunt and do some research so that you have a clear idea of what you exactly want.

Consider the Appropriate Size

Size is unquestionably one of the most vital considerations to make when choosing the right couch. After all, there’s nothing worse than buying a couch that is either too small or too big for your home. So before doing anything, you should measure up and know exactly the right size.

Get out a tape measure, do the measurements, and make sure that the maximum couch dimension will fit and suit your space perfectly. You should note the depth (the measurement from the back of the couch to the front) and the width (the measurement across the back of the couch). You can also consider the height, especially if your living room has shelving or radiators.

You have to make sure that the couch will fit perfectly so that it allows you enough space with ease. You also have to make sure that it leaves enough space for other pieces of furniture, enough room for the shelves and radiator as well as enough room for opening windows, doors, and even cupboards.

That’s not all; you also have to consider the dimensions of the door or stairways that you’ll have to maneuver when the couch is delivered. Just imagine how frustrating it would be to buy a couch only to realize that it can’t pass through your door or stairway. Again, you want your walls unscathed.

If access to your home or living room is limited, you can opt for a couch with removable legs, a couch with a low-back style, or even a modular design with parts that can be delivered separately and assembled right inside your home.

You have to be practical when choosing a couch. This means that you have to consider the size of the couch and whether it will be a perfect fit for your home. Do not go for a huge couch if it won’t fit in your small room.

Decide on Style and Design

Style is often the real reflection of your personality. It should portray exactly who you’re and what you love. If you have a signature decorating style, it’s important to make sure that the couch that you choose conveys to your guests your taste without you uttering anything.

This is why the style and design that you choose for your couch should be cohesive and consistent with the overall feel of your living room. In other words, you should coordinate the style and design of your couch with the rest of the furniture in your living room. You have to make sure that the style and design of the couch match or preferably accentuates and elevates your home’s signature style.

If your home has a modern vibe, you can consider going for a sleek-looking couch with clean and shiny lines that will blend right in. If you have a vintage-styled living room, you can go for a vintage style couch. If you have a wide-ranging style of décor, you can consider going for a couch that brings forth different styles.

Another important part of the style and design of your couch is the shape. While this has a lot to do with your personal taste, it also has something to do with the size of your room. If your room is small, a snuggle or love seat might be ideal for you. But if you have a large room with wide-open space and large windows, a sectional couch with ample seating can be the best solution. Just make sure that the atmosphere remains cozier.  

Choose the right Shade

Although the color of your couch is an extension of style, it deserves to be considered separately, especially if you’re looking for ways to reinvent your living room. You also have to remember that choosing a couch with the wrong color is as bad a mistake, so you should choose a color that you can live with for a very long time.

You have to keep in mind that color can evoke certain moods and feelings. This is actually why you have to know the kind of mood and feeling that you want your living space to evoke. Do you want your living room to feel bold and passionate? Do you want a room that feels calm and neutral?

The best thing to do is to have a little understanding of the moods that different types of colors can evoke. Here’s a brief highlight of some common colors.

  • Red – This is a passionate color that can be perfect if you have a bold personality. It is a great option if you want your couch to stand out in your living room.
  • Green – This is a lively color and can be great if you’re anxious. It is a great color if you want your space to feel calm while encouraging some sort of inner confidence.
  • Blue – This is a calming color that can be ideal if you want your living space to have a more serene feeling. It’s always perfect if you want your living space to be more relaxing.

If you love reinventing your living room regularly, you can consider choosing a neutral-colored couch, which gives you more room to play with new pillows, curtains, and rugs. If you have kids around and the couch will be used regularly, you can consider going for a more forgiving color such as black or brown.

Evaluate the Upholstery

While quality upholstery may not have any effect on the comfort of your couch, it has everything to do with the visual appeal of your couch, which is still an important part of the couch. Well, this is what catches the eye right away and so it should be up there with the best.

So whether you decide to go with calm, bold, or neutral color, it’s of great importance to ensure that you have quality upholstery. For those wondering what upholstery entails, it involves the fabric, padding, cushions, webbing, and springs. As such, let’s look at the most important parts of upholstery.

Material/Fabric – It’s vital to ensure that you choose a fabric that fits with your scheme and home décor. If you’re planning to place the couch near a window where the sun may have some access, you can consider going for synthetic fabric. In other words, avoid natural materials that might fade in strong sunlight.

You can go for natural materials if you want something that can last for long without being replaced. But if you have a busy family home and have pets, synthetic fabric can be ideal since it’s much easier to clean.

Cushions – When choosing cushions for your couch, you can consider going for firm or soft cushions but this may depend on the intended purpose. For example, a firm cushion may be ideal if the couch is meant for guests. The idea here is that guests won’t be sitting in one place the entire time. A firm cushion also makes it a lot easier for them to sit upright or easily stand up when needed.

Differently, a soft cushion is perfect for everyday family use. It makes you sink in and is ideal for creating that informal and laid-back vibe. It’s also perfect for movie-bingeing, for lounging with an interesting book, and for date night indoors.

You should keep in mind that the cushion should fit snugly. You do not want a cushion that doesn’t fit properly as it will lose shape quickly and become unappealing and uncomfortable. While Polyurethane foam is the most common material used in making cushions, you can consider going for cushions made from high-resilient foam as they’re a step up.

In essence, make sure that you invest in quality cushion fillings that are durable and easy to care for. Make sure that the fillings aren’t too dense as it can feel hard or that the fillings aren’t too soft as it can decline quickly with regular use.

Springs – These are essential in holding up the cushions on the couch and they come in three levels of quality:

  • Least expensive/Least durable – You should avoid such couches if you want quality. This is because they have no spring at all but just webbing or mesh.
  • Serpentine springs –These are the twisting pieces of snaking wire that cover the gap between frame members. They generally offer good support but may eventually sag if the metal used isn’t of great quality.
  • Eight-way hand-tied springs – These are the crème-de-la-crème of couch springs. They’re very comfortable and yet very expensive and are used in making luxury couches.

Padding – You should make sure that the framing and all corners of the couch are well-padded. This means that you shouldn’t feel the edges of the frames through the upholstery. If you can, this may mean that the upholstery will wear out quickly and your couch will be uncomfortable and unappealing.

Operating Mechanism – If your couch is a sleeper or recliner, ensure that you operate the mechanism aggressively and repeatedly to make sure that it’s operating smoothly and easily. You shouldn’t assume any glitches as this may become more problematic once the couch is in your home and might cost you even more to repair.

Reclining and motion couches may cost more but make sure that you only buy a couch with a mechanism that’s operating smoothly.

Test the Arms – It’s essential that you forcefully test the arms of the couch to make sure that they are very tight and do not give in when you lean on them. You have to keep in mind that the arms are the most common area of failure on a couch, so look for any sign of wobbling.

Choose a Sturdy the Frame

While very many parts of the upholstery can be replaced when they get old or worn out, the same cannot be done on the frame of your couch. If anything, a couch will be considered good if the frame is sturdy and of high quality.

While cheaper couches may be made of metal, plastic, or particleboard, you should avoid such couches. A good-quality couch should be made from solid hardwood such as beech, kiln-dried oak, mahogany, or ash. Such couches might be expensive but are the best option. You may also consider a couch made of softwood such as pine but they can warp or buckle after a few years.

The Intended Use

Finally, it’s important to consider the intended use of the couch. Will it be used for entertaining guests in a formal space or a casual vibe in your living room? You have to be realistic about the main use of the couch as it will guide you in choosing the right couch for you.

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