The couch is one of the most in-demand spaces in every home – it’s where you linger with a morning coffee, curl up for a TV marathon, or flake out after a long day. Needless to say, it’s important to find a good quality couch that can hold its own against all that lounging and living.
There are many factors to look out for when shopping for a sofa – here we talk you through how to find a good quality couch that fits your budget and your lifestyle.
Tips for buying a good quality couch
When looking for a good quality couch, there’s a checklist of features and factors to consider.
- High-quality option: Hardwood white ash.
- Very good frame materials: Hardwood white oak, red oak, or American elm
- Good frame materials: Hardwood maple, birch, and engineered hardwoods like MDF
- Frames to avoid: Softwoods, metal, chipboard
This is the support structure that holds defines the shape of your sofa. If your budget allows, opt for a 100% hardwood frame – this is a durable and high-quality option that will last for a long time.
If you’re looking for a couch that will be a long-term investment, avoid metal and chipboard frames as they can wear out quickly or become damaged more easily.
You should also consider how the sofa is held together: be wary of anything that’s stapled or glued and look for wooden dowels, real screws, and metal brackets instead.
- High-end: Down
- Very good quality: Mix of down and feathers
- Low-maintenance and good quality: Mix of feathers and foam
- Avoid: Shredded foam
This is the stuff that goes inside your couch cushions and makes it so comfy and irresistible. Of course, choosing a filling depends on the kind of comfort you like.
If you’re partial to a super squishy sofa, look for cushions filled with 100% down – it’s a more expensive option that needs a fair amount of plumping, but down offers unparalleled comfort and quality. For something that’s a little less high maintenance, opt for cushions filled with a mix of feathers and down.
Alternatively, if you want more of a budget-friendly option, consider a combo of foam and feather cushions.
Look for high-density foam seat cushions, such as Polyurethane foam, as they offer more support and long-term durability. Foam back cushions don’t necessarily need to be as dense but avoid shredded foam when possible as it can shift or get lumpy and misshapen.
The fabric that your couch is upholstered doesn’t just need to be nice to look at – it also needs to keep up with the demands of your lifestyle.
- High-end, luxury option: Mohair or leather
- Best low-maintenance option: Synthetic or wool
- Durable yet very tough to clean: Linen, cotton, or viscose
If you’re looking for a high-end option, choose a couch fabric with a high thread count and tight weave – typically the higher you go, the more expensive, and the more durable. Some of the best upholstery fabrics are mohair and wool.
Leather is also a great choice if you like the style and feel it offers. To maintain the protective coating, you’ll need to keep it clean and condition it every six months. Worn down or unfinished leather will be susceptible to damage and permanent stains.
Synthetic fabrics are more budget-friendly, but also more susceptible to wear and tear. If you have pets or young children, choose a synthetic or natural fabric that’s easy to spot clean, such as wool.
Couches upholstered in linen, viscose, cotton, or a blend of these (sometimes with acrylic or nylon) are often touted for their durability – but that’s very different from clean-ability. These ones are the hardest to spot clean, due to the lignan in the plant fibers that has a yellow-brown tint.
While they do look stylish and won’t wear down quickly, they’ll require a lot of maintenance or a slip cover – and any unfortunate stains will be a hurdle to overcome.
The support is what fills the area between the frame and the cushions, to create a couch foundation that’s both durable and comfortable.
Springs tend to be the best support option, as they provide plenty of strength while also adapting to your weight. Be careful of couches that are supported entirely by web or fabric suspension, as they don’t offer the same level of comfort and can tear or wear out quicker.
What think about when choosing a couch (online or in-store)
It might sound obvious, but it’s so important: whenever possible, test your couch before buying it. While online research and browsing is great, it’s amazing how different something can look and feel in person.
The return policy
We know it’s not always possible to get out and about when couch shopping – if you’re going down the online route, be sure to check the returns policy, along with the shipping, delivery, and setup terms.
Are you able to send it back at low (or no) cost if you don’t like it? Does it have a quality guarantee? Be sure to choose a retailer that will offer good customer support if you end up with a couch that doesn’t work for you.
Read the product description or the label carefully and find out everything you can about the frame, filling, fabric, and support.
Another obvious one, but an easy mistake to overlook – measure the space where your sofa will go and compare it to the models you’re looking at, paying close attention to the width and depth. Remember: pictures online can be deceiving.
If you can’t physically get a feel for your sofa, try to imagine how it will fit into your lifestyle. Consider how you like to sit on it – will you want to stretch out across the whole sofa or curl up against one of the arms? How many of you will be sitting on it at a time?
How to clean a good quality couch
Just like every other part of your home, your couch needs regular cleaning and attention in order to keep it fresh, comfortable, and maintain its quality over time.
Vacuum the cushions and the frame at least once a week using the appropriate upholstery attachment. Be sure to get into the nooks and crannies, so you can eliminate as much dirt, dust, and other debris that will otherwise wear against the fibers.
Treat stains quickly
Act fast in the event of a stain – whenever possible, call in the pros. If that’s not an option, check the manufacturer’s label to identify the appropriate products and procedures to follow based on your sofa’s fabric type.
If your sofa is upholstered in wool or synthetic fibers, you should be able to spot-clean it (safely and carefully). Avoid using harsh chemicals or off-the-shelf products – blot the stain with water and a white cloth using a tapping motion from the outside inwards, and repeat until you’ve lifted as much residue as possible.
Stains on other fabrics should not be spot-cleaned, and only be blotted with a clean white cloth. We often see attempts to spot clean using over-the-counter products and natural home remedies, which end up leaving a permanent stain watermarks, browning, yellowing, and bleaching.
Be wary of washing
Not all removable cushion covers are designed to be cleaned in your washing machine – they might unravel, shrink, or become misshapen. Always check the manufacturer label for advice before washing cushion covers at home.
Benefits of hiring a professional upholstery and cleaning company
Your couch is likely one of the most expensive (and most loved) pieces of furniture in your home, and undoubtedly you want to ensure it maintains its beautiful look and home-sweet-home feel as long as possible.
Pro upholstery cleaning will tackle hard-to-reach dust, bacteria, and germs that are buried deep in the fibers, prolonging the life of your cushions while also ensuring it’s a fresh and safe space for you and your family to relax upon.
We also have the ability to comprehensively treat stains and pass over the whole piece, so that no rings are left behind. Depending on the fiber type, we may also need to rapid-dry the upholstery with fans.
Our team uses specialized equipment and techniques to execute a comprehensive clean while also protecting your couch, so you can enjoy it day in and day out for years to come.
Questions we get asked (all the time)
What should I look for in a quality sofa?
Always check the features of the frame, filling, fabric, and support. If your budget allows, choose the most natural and high-quality materials.
What is the best quality sofa brand?
It really depends on your budget – popular stores like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel have many mid to high-range options that you can also customize and design yourself.
Budget retailers like Ikea offer a range of stylish designs that provide comfort but likely won’t last as long.
Antique or used sofas can sometimes be a more affordable way of securing a high-quality foundation, but they may need to be reupholstered or repaired.
How can you tell a quality couch?
When checking a couch’s quality in the store:
- Lift a corner of it and make sure the entire end lifts up, to ensure the foundation is sturdy
- Listen for creaking noises when you sit on it
- Consider the comfort of the cushions and make sure they offer support
- Look closely at the fabric and what it’s made of to check for high weave or thread count
- If you’re shopping online, search around for reviews
What is the highest quality sofa?
There are many high-quality sofa combinations out there – anything with a hardwood frame, springs, and natural upholstery should serve you well for many years (if you take care of it properly, that is!).
Once you’ve found your dream sofa, get in touch with our team to book an upholstery cleaning service, so you can take good care and keep dreaming on it for many cozy evenings ahead.
Read more about why upholstery cleaning is important for modern sofas.
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