Choosing the Right Sofa

When choosing a sofa, it’s imperative to consider your lifestyle and other elements such as the size of the room. Since the sofa carries out several functions, including welcoming guests and offering moments of relaxation, you will also need to focus on aesthetics and comfort. On that note, the appearance of a sofa often suggests the comfort it can offer—be sure not to buy a sofa that looks incredibly soft but is as hard as a rock, your guests will be unpleasantly surprised.


Today, though, the sofa is even more than a comfortable sitting or lounging option; the industry has started adding technology to it, making it an all-in-one object. Smart sofas include integrated chargers for cell phones, built-in speakers to avoid clutter and other tech options.

On the Archiexpo site, sofas are separated by type (straight, corner, modular, semicircular and round), extra options (reclining sofa or sofa bed), style (contemporary, traditional, classic) and other (indoor daybed).

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  • Which sofa to choose?

    MAXALTO modular sofa

    • There are many elements to consider when choosing a sofa, including lifestyle. If you have young children, this will greatly impact your choice as you’ll want to avoid certain materials such as white velvet. The size of your home is important as well. If you live in a studio, for example, certain sofas will be much too big, such as the U-shaped sofa. Since the sofa is the main attraction of the living room, where we spend a lot of time either lounging around or receiving guests, there are a few questions to keep in mind during the hunt for the perfect one.Here are the questions to ask:
      • How much space do I have?
      • Will I need to rearrange the room? Can I?
      • How many people should the sofa fit?
      • What kind of materials will work best for the room and my lifestyle?
      • Do I want a sofa that can also act as a bed?
      • What is my budget?
  • How to choose the size of your sofa?

    BAXTER contemporary sofa

    The first thing you should consider when choosing a sofa is size. It would be a shame to choose a sofa that does not fit in your living room…So, ask yourself the right questions: how much room do you have in your living room for a sofa? Take a close look at your measurements and compare them to the sofa of your dreams in your store of choice. In the shop, the furniture tends to look smaller than in reality so don’t trust what you see without measuring. How many people would you want the sofa to have: two, three … or six? Lastly, think about the shape: do you want a corner sofa or a straight sofa?

  • What type of sofa do you need?

    LONGHI corner sofa

    Second criterion of choice: the use you will make of your sofa. This is when all of the little factors come into play, such as whether you have children or animals or need an extra bed for guests. If you know the sofa will be highly solicited, you’ll want to choose resistant, durable and stain-resistant materials. It might also be a good idea to save space, and, for that, some sofas have armrests that can be used as storage. Corner sofas may also have a chaise longue that converts into a trunk for storage. Here is a list of the different types:

    • Straight—Considered the standard sofa, it fits easily in most living rooms, available in 2, 3, 4 and sometimes more places, fixed or convertible.
    • Corner—Can dress a wall or separate a room in two, available in right angle, left angle and reversible right / left angle, fixed or convertible.
    • Modular—adapted to fit the morphology of the body, support the spine, available in 2 seater, 3 seater, corner and even armchair versions, with a manual or electric relaxation function (reclining head and back, feet up).
    • Semicircular—Curved sofas strictly for style and appeal, they can come in various sizes for the number of seats desired.
    • Round—Perfectly round for much needed togetherness, they can also come in separated parts (either in half or in quarters), they can have a rounded backrest on one side or a center backrest for each quarter.
    • Sofa bed—Ideal for a first apartment or small spaces, requires less floor space, used as an extra bed or daily sleeping, sleep size ranges from 90x190cm to 160x200cm (1 to 2 people).
  • Which structure and suspension should you choose for your sofa?

    The structure is the complete frame of your sofa that will give it its shape. It can be made of wood or metal (especially for models offering relaxation functions), but the most resistant are often in solid woods such as pine known for its solidity. A frame generally includes plywood, particle or fiber panels to fill the interior of the framework, whose strength can be considered good from the moment their  its thickness exceeds 15mm.

    In terms of assembly, stapling remains the most common method because it’s the most reliable, although it is possible to find structures both stapled and glued for even more strength.

    If you choose a convertible sofa bed, the opening mechanism should be strong if you plan on using it often. On most models of the convertible sofa bed, there are generally three types of mechanics, each corresponding to a frequency of use envisaged for the sofa:

    • Daily use—Unfold the sofa directly, without removing any cushions
    • Regular use—Remove the back cushions before unfolding the sofa, but the seat cushions remain attached to the structure
    • Occasional use—Remove the back and seat cushions before unfolding the sofa and installing the bed

    The sofa’s suspension supports the cushions receiving the pressure, both for the seat and the back of the sofa. This is the element that will provide the sofa with most of its comfort. There can be two types used for the seat, in most cases concealed by canvas.

    Intertwined strapsThis is made from elastic textile strips and is noted as one of the most comfortable systems. The strips are placed flat but can also be crisscrossed in order to enhance the strength of the seat. It has also been noted that this is the only system that can be used for corner sofas.

    SpringsThis system has a more durable elasticity. Each spring responds to pressure in an isolated way in order to offer independent comfort. There are a few different types of springs such as the classic spiral spring and the wire suspended flat spring, but certain professionals consider the pocket springs or zig zag springs of the best quality for sofas. As for the backrest suspension, which requires less strength since it receives less pressure, manufacturers often use elastic straps or a fixed support. They often use a panel made from wood fibers.

  • How to choose the right padding?

    In regards to padding, we are talking about the material that will fill the cushions of the seat and backrest. This is another important aspect that will create a comfortable and firm sofa.


    There are several types of upholstery, offering different properties; however, the most used is polyurethane foam. This type of upholstery has a high density, reaching between 30 and 35 kg / m3. Since the seat cushions are more important than back cushions, in terms of use, polyurethane foam can usually be found in seat cushions.

    Since the density of Polyether foam is lower, averaging between 20 and 25 kg / m3, it’s used for the back cushions. It can also be used as reinforcement in the seat cushions or for embedding the structure and softening the sharpest corners. In regards to softening the sharp corners, instead of using polyether foam, you can consider a sofa that has wadding, whose density runs between 200 and 500 g / m3. To save money, or if you have a low budget, foam flakes can be used for padding cushions.

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1 comment
  • My roommate and I want to buy a sofa that we can put in the living room of our apartment. I am glad you recommend taking the amount of space you have into consideration. We will search for a sofa that is the perfect size for the space available in our living room.

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