Sofa Buying Guide

Finding the Perfect Sofa!

A sofa can either make or break the ambience of a room! Whether it’s a classic leather piece or a cozy recliner set, a sofa is the most definitive piece of furniture and a focal point that sets the tone of your room.

Sofa Shopping Checklist

Remember to check out these details before buying a new couch or sofa for your living room, family room or basement.

  1. Sofa Size and Room Size
  2. Who Will Be Sitting on It
  3. How Many People Do You Need to Seat
  4. How You Want to Sit
  5. Fabrics and Upholstery
  6. How Comfortable It Is

Style preferences aside, when it comes to choosing a good-quality sofa, there are some pointers to keep in mind.

This guide will take you through what you need to know when shopping for a comfortable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing sofa.


Measure your sofa + measure your space

When buying a sofa, the first thing to do is to measure your space and the sofa to make sure they fit with each other. Don’t forget to measure the delivery path of the sofa – your doorways, hallways, stairs, and other exterior/interior obstructions.

  • Measure the seat depth (an average sofa has a seat depth of 24”).
  • Measure the seat height (most designs are between 18”and 20”).
  • The most important dimension is the width. How many people do you want to seat on your sofa? What width can your room accommodate?

Who will use the sofa?

Keep in mind who the sofa will be occupied by. Do you have kids or pets? If yes, should you really go for a pristine, white velvet sofa? Perhaps a brown faux leather sofa would be easier to clean. Do you have a house full of rambunctious kids who love jumping on the sofas? Then, pay closer attention to the frame and suspension.

How many people do you need to seat?

You want to make sure that your sofa doesn't take up the whole room or that the room doesn't swallow your sofa.That being said, you also need to look at how many people you expect to entertain in your space. You will also need to decide seating arrangements for various situations, including entertaining guests.


Accent Chair: Seats one

The most flexible piece of furniture, these can either be standalones (example, recliners), used in pairs, or used to complement a 3-seater sofa. There are so many different kinds of accent chairs. You can even pair it with an ottoman to create the perfect lounge seat.


Loveseat: As the name suggests, it seats two people

The loveseat is a multipurpose piece of furniture. It can be used in lieu of a larger sofa in smaller rooms. In a more spacious room, it can be placed next to a larger sofa as a complementary piece. If you are placing your loveseat beside or close to other seating, make sure the arm, leg, back, and seat heights are roughly the same.

Create a conversation area with a loveseat and a sofa, or with two loveseats either facing or at a right angle to each other.

The loveseat is a multipurpose piece of furniture. It can be used in lieu of a larger sofa in smaller rooms. While loveseats generally fit two people, it does not necessarily mean that every loveseat size is the same. Loveseats generally measure between 50” to 70” approximately.


Settee: A settee is similar to a love seat.

Originating from the Old English word setl, a settee used to be a long bench with a high back and arms. Settees are now upholstered and are usually designed to seat two people.


3-Seater: Seats three to four people

Usually measuring between 72” and 84”, 3-seaters are the mainstay of most living rooms. Choose your style: The 3-seater sets the style tone for the entire living room.


Sectional Sofa: Seats five or more

Sectionals provide enough seating for the whole family or a bevy of friends. They help define a space and bring structure to it. However, since sectionals take up a lot more floor space than say a 3-seater, it's best to go through these buying considerations before making your decision: Size of your space: This helps you decide how big and spread out your sectional sofa can be.

Shape of your space: Sectionals have layout options – L-shape, U-shape or curved. Pick one that suits your space the best.

Purpose of the seating arrangement: Want to watch TV? Pick an L shaped sectional, which faces a single focal point. Want a conversational seating? Pick a U-shaped sectional. Sectionals are made up of different parts that can be moved around and used flexibly.

Which Type of Sofa Suits Your Space?

Make sure you pick a sofa that ties in with the aesthetics of your space. Whether you like the more contemporary, mix-n-match concept, or a more subtle and cohesive look, you’ll find it all at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Recliners

If you have ever sunk into the welcoming depths of a reclining sofa then you’d agree that recliners are the greatest thing since sliced bread! While the La-Z-Boy made them popular, now, there is a huge selection of power recliners and manual recliners with a wide range of fabric upholstery to pick from.

Home Theater Seating

These snack and drink-friendly recliner sets are specially designed to give you the joys of watching TV or movies at the comfort of your home. If you need help with home theater design and install our expert electronic installation team can help recommend and create a professional home theater plan for you.

Sleeper Sofas and Futons

They go by many names: sleeper sofa, sofa bed, sofa couch, sofa sectional, but the comfort they provide you remains the same. Utilize your space optimally by adding a sleeper sofa or a futon. You can even choose the sofa according to the bed size you prefer.

Living Room Sets

You can design a classic look for your living room by choosing a living room set which usually comes with a matching 3-seater and 2-seater.

Chaise Lounges

Add a bit of artistic or creative touch to your dwelling and get this standalone sofa that has the power to redefine the style of the living room.

Ottomans

An ottoman or a pouf is a low and padded stool or footstool. It can be used with a sofa or a bed, or even as an alternative to a sofa.

Upholstery Type

The next most important decision you need to consider is the fabric. This creates the look not only for the sofa but for your space as well.

Choose the color and pattern of your fabric carefully. Are you creating a whole new look, or do you need to match existing furniture?

Choose the material of your upholstery with even more care. Consider choosing materials like microfiber or faux leather that are the easiest to clean and maintain if you have pets or children.

If your sofa is near a window, you should consider that colors from natural fabrics may fade in strong sunlight. Choose a synthetic fabric in such cases.

Fabric

  • Modern look with a softer feel
  • Hypo-allergenic

Faux Leather / Bonded Leather / Bi-cast Leather

Faux Leather

  • High-durability
  • Very easy to clean
  • Best choice for houses with pets and children

Bonded Leather

  • Reconstituted leather or blended leather
  • Environment friendly
  • Requires regular care to maintain durability

Bi-cast Leather

  • leather by-product
  • Made of plastic with the look and feel of leather
  • Has a polyutherene (PU) coating
  • Needs PU coating protector and not leather care products

Leather

  • Natural and comfortable fabric that looks great
  • Stain resistant: cleaning is not too hard
  • Ages well

Leather

  • All the comforts of leather with a reasonable price tag
  • Consists of real leather wherever your body touches and faux leather on the sides and back
  • Stain resistant: Easy to clean

Velvet

  • Luxurious look for your sofa, a touch of class
  • Strong and durable fabric
  • Fabric’s fibers don’t have loops, so there is little chance of snags
  • Difficult to clean: avoid if you have kids or pets

Microfiber

  • Budget-friendly: low-cost fabric
  • Looks great and is softer than suede
  • Provides durability
  • Very easy to clean: stain resistant, perfect option if you have pets and children

Try Sofas Before You Buy

It is very important for you to experience a sofa before you buy it. Sit on it, lounge on it, sleep on it at odd angles, test it how you like, but do test it! Ultimately, the “feel” of the sofa becomes as important as its look or style.

  • Is it comfortable to sit or lie on?
  • Is it easy to get out of?
  • Is it the right height?
  • Does the frame feel sturdy?
  • Is it still comfortable with two or three people?
  • Does it fit in with the rest of the furniture at home?