How to Choose a Quality Sofa!

Whatever you call it – a sofa, chesterfield or couch – it is a major investment. While style is a personal preference, it is important to keep in mind these universal criteria when selecting your sofa:

Check the Frame

Quality sofas should feel solid and heavy. Look at a frame made from kiln-dried hardwood, such as such maple or birch, or alternatively, a high quality hardwood plywood. A sturdy frame means a longer lasting sofa with a stronger foundation.


A good sofa should be comprised of sinuous spring construction which is at least 8 gauges in size. Higher price point sofas (with higher end quality) will have 8-way hand-tied web and coil construction. Good spring construction will provide extra support and lasting comfort throughout the years.


A good quality sofa should have at least 1.8lb to 2lbs of high resilient density foam. Oftentimes the foam is wrapped with 100% polyester fiber. Higher density foam means the sofa will keep its shape longer over time.


The best sofas have joints or corners that are double-doweled, corner-blocked, glued and secured with screws (not stapled) into place for greater durability.


It is extremely important when you are selecting a fabric for a sofa, in a high traffic area, like the family room, to choose a durable fabric. You can’t usually tell how well a fabric will hold up until it has been tested! For designers, the testing method is called abrasion data or double rubs. What this means is quite simple – a double rub is a testing method that uses a special machine that passes a testing pad back and forth over the fabric until it eventually wears out. Each back and forth pass is known as a double rub. The number of double rubs a fabric has is always labelled on the back of the fabric sample. The entry level of double rubs for a residential sofa is 15,000 double rubs, so if the fabric exceeds 25,000, it should be very durable for everyday use in your home!

Since sofas are a big investment, you’ll want yours to stay in fashion as long as possible. Given that, it’s best to stick with a neutral fabric. You can always add colour and pattern with a few pillows. Plus, pillows are easy and inexpensive to change should you decide to redecorate.

Buy the best quality sofa you can afford that has the comfort you like and the style you love!


Design advice by Ellen Zworth at Decorium