8 Steps to Buying a Sofa for the First Time


Buying your first ever sofa? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re searching for a top of the range Chesterfield, or a cosy armchair on a budget, get it right the first time by reading our essential guide to buying your first sofa.

Whether you want to replace the saggy old sofa in your rented flat, or need a focal point for your brand new house, keeping these 8 handy tips in mind during your sofa search will ensure you find your perfect match.

1. The Nuts and Bolts

Winter Sofa StyleThe Grosvenor Range by SofaSofa

The secret to every great sofa is a seamless build process; it’s all in the nuts and bolts. No matter how beautiful the design, or sumptuous the fabric, if a sofa’s frame is not well-made, then it simply will not stand the test of time!

Quality sofas are the result of an intricate manufacturing process (watch how we make ours), and they should adhere to strict standards of quality control that prove their comfort, durability, and safety. Without each and every one of these factors, you might end up wearily purchasing another sofa before the year is out. And nobody wants that.

2. Take Care

Sofa damageImage Credit: Lara604

Nobody likes talking about the dreaded “i” word, but without it, that bottle of red wine that is now splattered across your brand new cream sofa is going to seem so, so much worse. Yes, that’s right - we’re talking about insurance.

Choose an airtight policy which will ensure you against even the most lethal spillages, and you may never have to fret over rioja stains again. Alternatively, most sofa retailers offer their own fabric and leather protection plans, which will cover your furniture against household stains and damage for a number of years.

3. Cushion Comfort

Comfortable sofaImage Credit: Lars Plougmann

When deciding what type of cushion to choose, think about how you tend to sit on your sofa. Do you like to sink deep down into a mass of plush feathers ready for your favourite soap, or do you prefer to sit up solider straight against a firmer cushion, reading the newspaper?  If like us you, enjoy doing both, then choose a mixture of the two – such as a foam core with a duck feather wrap – giving you the best of both worlds.

4. Fabric

Sofa fabricSofaSofa's hand-cut Leather

The right fabric can make or break a new sofa relationship, so it’s good to get an idea of what will be arriving in your new home before the big delivery (much like having a new puppy). Order samples beforehand to get a feel of the fabric, and an idea of which colour matches your existing or new room décor best.

Alternatively, visiting a sofa showroom and feeling your sofa’s fabric in the flesh will give you the best idea of whether it is the right choice for you. And if it isn’t, there will be plenty of other options to take a look at!

5. Size

chesterfield sofa roomThe Chesterfield Range by SofaSofa

While it might be tempting to go for as large a sofa as your budget allows, bigger is not necessarily better. Make sure you take the exact measurements of the space you want to house your sofa in, and thoroughly check if your chosen model will fit. Imagine getting your dream sofa back home and finding it just doesn’t fit!

Also think about the proportions, and who is going to beusing the sofa. A single 2 seater loveseat is probably not ideal if you have a large family, and if it’s just you then that bumper 4 seater might not be the best choice (unless you really fancy the extra legroom!).

6. Sofa Sets

Elgar Sofa from SofaSofa

The Elgar Range by SofaSofa

Most of the time, people don’t want to purchase just one sofa, but rather a set of matching sofas or chairs. This helps to create a more social and homely space, and can really bring the look of a room together – as well as providing enough seating for everyone.

Depending on your needs, you will need to decide on the combination of models you require. If you love reading, then an armchair will be a great companion for your sofa; or if you really love to sit back and relax, then a footstool is an ideal addition. If you need some inspiration, take a look at your chosen sofa retailer’s catalogue or website, as they will usually contain photos of sofa ranges as a complete set.

7. Style

Unusual sofaImage Credit: Wicker Paradise

When looking at a sofa, ask yourself - will the style be relevant to me in a few year’s time? That bright Aztec print sofa that caught your eye could be out of fashion in a few months, let alone years!

A sofa is an investment piece, and splurging on a trendy style that could look rather gaudy in the future is a bad idea. Choose modern classic styles to ensure your sofa looks great for years to come, and will match the changing décor in your home as and when you choose to redecorate.

And ultimately…

8. The Proof is in the Pudding

Sofa styleImage Credit: Shari's Berries

Have you ever bought a pair of trendy jeans that look the bee’s knees but are so uncomfortable and restrictive when you put them on, that you hardly wear them? The same analogy can be applied to an avant-garde sofa which ticks the aesthetic box, but doesn’t win the comfort vote.

Choose a sofa style which will complement your existing décor, while also providing maximum pleasure - because when you’ve had a long day at work and your favourite programme is about to air, all you’ll want is a comfy haven to sink into.


And there we have it: our 8 essential tips to consider if you’re taking your first foray into the world of sofa purchasing. Now all you need to do is pick a model! Take a look at our British-made range of sofas today.

Posted in Contemporary Sofas, Homemaking, Interior Design, Lifestyle, Sofas on 9th Oct 2015


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  • @hopkinscricket Fabulous! Thank you for ordering with us 🤗We hope we enjoy your new sofas in your new home.
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