A sofa is a hefty investment piece. And in a world of flat pack, ‘fast’ furniture it’s important to know your couch will spend many years in your home, not clogging up a landfill. While ‘timeless style’ is one box you’ll want to tick, long-lasting requires more than just good looks; it also needs to be durable enough to survive daily wear and tear, particularly if you have kids and pets.
Karen Robinson, Interior Consultant of Bauhaus says that if you are looking for a sofa that will last, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Do your research on the company
Karen suggests that a little research on the brands and companies you are considering can go a long way. “A quick look at a brand website should tell you how long the company has been around for, along with any guarantees and warranties on their products, which says a lot about quality,” she says.
Remember that construction is key
If you’re shopping in store, ask your interior consultant what the sofa frame was constructed from. “Chipboard or soft woods are red flags,” says Karen as they are not very strong. “If you go for a frame that’s 100 percent hardwood, especially kiln-dried hardwood it will be really sturdy and is built to last.” Another question to ask is how the joints are held together. Sofas held together with wooden dowels, metal screws or brackets, or “corner blocks” are far more durable than those held together with nails, staples or glue.
Investigate the fill used
Cushions filled with down feel luxurious, but don’t maintain their shape well. Likewise, cheap foam and foam cores can be left with a permanent seat squish too. “A high-density foam squab will provide comfort and durability and in some brands the foam can be replaced when the sofa needs freshening up. The spring support beneath the cushions is something to consider too. Hand-tied or sinuous springs are best,” advises Karen.
Opt for eternally chic over passing fad
If you’re buying a sofa to last, you’ll want to ensure its looks will still be sharp in many years. That way, it’s more likely to suit a different home if you move. Remember, a timeless style can still be contemporary. Karen suggests that colour is best kept relatively neutral if it will be in the main living area as you will be looking at it a lot and you don’t want to get sick of it. Her tip: Introduce colour in accessories to personalise the sofa for your home.
Consider natural fabrics
Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and leather are durable. Look for a high thread count, which is a thicker, longer lasting weave. “Pets and children should be taken into account when choosing fabric,” says Karen, who says that in addition to a good Scotchgard treatment, Bauhaus stocks Camerich sofas, which are a fantastic investment as the slip covers can be removed for dry-cleaning or even replacing if you fancy a new shade.
Match it to your lifestyle
Buying a sofa that will last means making sure it will meet your needs for many years. Consider whether you need something for a formal room, or whether the ideal sofa suits a laidback ‘snuggle up with the kids to watch a movie’ lifestyle. “You’ll need to consider how many people will be sitting on the sofa and their ages. A seat height that is too low can be challenging for older people to get up from, while if you'll soon be ‘empty-nesters’ you might need a smaller sofa, or a modular sofa so that you can change it up as your living situation changes,” suggests Karen.
At the end of the day, Karen is a firm believer that you won’t regret spending a bit more on a quality sofa that will last a lifetime. “Buy a stylish sofa made from durable materials, featuring quality construction from a reputable company and you’ll be sure to have it in your home for many years.”
Still wondering what sofa is best for you? Check out our free sofa guide for all our top tips on what to look out for when buying a sofa.