Top tips for buying a sofa

I was recently invited to Rich Mix cinema in Shoreditch to view, and test, the new sofa collection from Next.  We were treated to a private screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s whilst sitting on the new furniture, which had been (painstakingly) carried up to the cinema room! I had a lovely evening and thought it was a clever and original way to showcase the new range. Below are a few images of the new sofas and fabric options.  Keep reading for my top tips for buying a sofa



Next_Swatches copy

I am often asked what to look out for when buying a new sofa including; what shape, style and colour work best in certain settings, and so off the back of my screening, I thought I should write an essential buying guide – I hope you find it useful…

1. Think about the space and make sure your sofa is size appropriate, measure up and allocate the right amount of room for the furniture
2. Where possible, always test a sofa before you commit to buying it as you need to make sure it’s comfortable. If it’s an online only company, check your terms and conditions and read the following guide.
3. Hardwood frames are the preferred option as softwood is prone to warping over time
4. If the sofa has springs (Serpentine springs) check that they are nice and firm
5. Sofas are a good investment, any piece of furniture that is going to support your body needs to be of a certain standard; the same applies with beds.
6. What style to choose?  Modern homes tend to suit low-level sofas with clean lines and box arms and also mid-century modern designs.  For something more traditional, consider decorative legs, scroll arms and button backs.  Modular sofas are great as they can be added to and adapted over time.
7. Think about the filling, in a nutshell, foam is cheaper but can be too hard, if you choose soft foam it can perish and crumble over time.  Feather (goose or duck) is slightly more expensive but that needs constant plumping (we have this, it’s very comfortable but leaves big dips in the seat).  Your best option is a combination of the two, a foam inner with a feather top.
8. Get the fabric choice right, think about the use of the sofa and who it’s for.  Better to go for a hard-wearing fabric if the piece has to endure high usage, tough cotton or linen are great options as is polyester, a man-made fabric. Think about the colour as the lighter the sofa the more the stains will show up.
9. Don’t overload with cushions, stick to the 5 max rule.
10. The average shelf life of a sofa is between 5-10 years so think about how the colour and pattern will date over time.
11. Order a sample of the fabric so you can see how it looks with your existing decor.
12. If you choose an upholstered sofa, check that the patterns and stripes match and that the seams are neat and tidy, just like clothing, the piece should be well made
13. Pay a little extra for scotch guarding, for the sake of a few more ££’s, it’s worth protecting against spillage children’s sticky fingers.
14. Consider the depth of your sofa, if you want to sink back and curl your feet up you’ll need to make sure you have enough depth (this a common buying mistake and is often overlooked).
15. Look at end of line or display sofas as you can save as much as 70% off the original price.
16. We operate a ‘no food’ rule on our sofa with our children and it has been a blessing.
17. If you have wooden floors, it’s worth buying pads for the feet of your sofa, they only a cost a few pounds and help to protect your floor.
18. Make sure your sofa fits through your front door (!) sounds silly but 90% of returns are due to people not measuring the space it’s going into…