How to Choose a Sofa: Your Essential Couch Buying Guide — Furniture Bazaar
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How to Choose a Sofa: Your Essential Couch Buying Guide

How to Choose a Sofa: Your Essential Couch Buying Guide

A sofa is an important piece of furniture in the home, not to mention a pretty big investment. However, sofa or couch buying doesn't have to be difficult. Learn how to choose a sofa that suits your lifestyle, works in your space and fits your budget with our essential couch buying guide.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right sofa involves considering how it will be used, as well as the size and layout of the room to ensure it fits in the intended space.
  • The materials used in its frame and coverings affect a sofa’s comfort, durability and style, making them particularly important to consider.
  • When sofa buying, you should consider long-term value and lifestyle changes. Look out for sales, understand warranties and follow aftercare guidelines to extend your sofa's lifespan.

Finding the Right Sofa for You

To find the right sofa, start by evaluating how it will be used in your daily activities. This may seem silly; is a couch not intended to be where you can sit back and relax? When you really think about, everyone uses their couch slightly differently. Understanding this ensures your new sofa integrates seamlessly into your living space to serve its intended purpose.

Assessing Usage

How your couch will be used influences its size and design. Will it be a cosy spot for binge watching TV or a showpiece for entertaining guests? For instance, if your living room is primarily used for entertaining, seaters facing each other better facilitates conversation among guests. Assessing usage before making a purchase is essential to get the most out of your sofa.

Sofa Bed Versatility

Sofa beds offer a world of versatility, especially for smaller homes that still host overnight guests. Couches that also work as beds provide both seating and sleeping arrangements in one piece of furniture, making them the ideal solution for homes without a guest bedroom. From pull-out sofa beds to fold-down models, the options are immense.

Ensuring Your New Couch Fits Just Right

Once you’ve identified how your couch will be used, it's time to get out the tape measure. Accurate measurement of the whole room where your new sofa will be placed is crucial to maintaining the desired flow and functionality of your living space. When considering the measurements of your sofa, keeping other pieces of furniture in mind is also key to ensuring everything fits with enough breathing room.

Room Layout Considerations

The size and layout of your room play a significant role in determining the ideal size and placement of your couch. The ideal sofa size should be about 2/3 the length of the wall it will be against, with a minimum of 45cm of space on each side to avoid overcrowding the room.
In smaller living rooms, it may be beneficial to consider two two-seater sofas to allow for visual breaks and side tables. Open floor plans benefit from low-back sectional sofas that help define and separate living areas without disrupting sight lines.

Access Points & Delivery

Another critical aspect to consider when buying a sofa is the size of your doorways and access points for delivery. No-one wants to wait for their couch to be delivered only to find they can't even get it in the house! Checking the dimensions of doorways and stairways before delivery ensures your new sofa can pass through without issue. In cases where access points are very tight, some couches have long legs that can be unscrewed and removed to facilitate delivery (be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions). If all else fails, doors can be taken off their hinges to make more room.

Sofa Frames & Materials

Beyond use and dimensions, the comfort (not to mention durability) of a sofa depends on its frame and materials. How the frame bears weight and construction of the legs are important to ensuring a couch's stability.

Frame Materials

The durability of a couch is determined by its construction. A solid hardwood frame is generally more durable than particleboard or metal construction and offers more stability. Investing in quality materials for a sofa frame ensures greater durability and satisfaction post-purchase.

Covering Materials

The covering material of a sofa not only contributes to its style but also comfort and longevity. For example, leather is durable and easy to clean. Fabric allows for greater design choices, although it's harder to clean and maintain. Consider your budget and lifestyle, including whether you have especially playful kids or pets (discover pet-friendly lounges here and see our blog on solving a common issue with dogs and couches)!

The ideal couch isn't just stylish, but functional. Enhance the practicality and adaptability of your couch within the home through a multifunctional piece. Just some extra features to consider are:

  • A sofa bed for guests
  • Built-in storage compartments
  • Recliners for relaxation
  • Adjustable headrests and armrests
  • Cup holders
  • USB charging ports

There are so many options that cater to a range of needs.

Storage Solutions & Modular Designs

For small spaces or homes with growing families, sofas with storage and modular sofas can be game changers. Storage sofas reduce clutter and keep items within easy reach. Modular sofas allow for customisable configurations through movable modules, so they can be altered to better fit your living area.

Customisable Options

Aside from modular designs, sofas can be customised with other features to suit your requirements. Removable seat cushions and cushion covers add practical value with easy cleaning, while ottomans provide extra seating, a foot rest, storage or even coffee table solution. Customisable features make your couch truly yours.

Picking a Couch That Enhances Your Living Space

Couches significantly affect the overall aesthetic of your room. A mismatch between your sofa’s style and the room can result in a lack of harmony, making even the nicest sofa seem out of place.

Timeless Design vs. Trendy Styles

When choosing the design of your couch, you might be torn between going for a timeless piece or keeping up with the latest trends. Determine which is more important to you and best suits your budget going into the future. Since they're likely to stay appealing for many years, timeless designs are a better investment. On the other hand, updating your living space according to the latest trends ensures your couch is always the height of sophistication.

Colour and Design Harmony

With so many options out there, how do you choose a sofa colour? It's great to have choice, but sometimes more options can make it harder to figure out which is best.

Here are some tips for achieving design harmony:

  • Consider the colour scheme of the room. Choose a sofa colour that complements the walls, floors and other furniture (neutral colours like tan, grey and navy tend to work well with most colour schemes).
  • Match the style of the room. Formal spaces often call for more sophisticated neutral tones, while casual family rooms can handle brighter, bolder colours.
  • Think about decorative elements. If you want to incorporate colour but a bright solid seems too loud, use decorative elements like sofa cushions to tie in accent hues.

Understanding Sofa Pricing and Value

As an investment, buying a sofa requires understanding its pricing and value. Couch prices vary widely, from $300 to $5,000 or more. The type of sofa, size, material and features all impact price. While cost may be a significant factor in your buying decision, considering the long-term value of your couch is just as important.

Long-Term Considerations

High-quality materials and construction directly contribute to the longevity of sofas. While higher-quality sofas may have a greater initial cost, investing in durable, large staple items can lead to better long-term value compared to spending less.

Something you may not consider that's equally important is future life changes. Are you likely to grow your family or move house? This will influence the long-term suitability and, as a result, value of your new sofa.

Navigating Furniture Stores and Online Retailers

Once you’ve got a better idea of the type, size and design of your sofa, it’s time to navigate furniture stores. Whether you choose to shop online or in-store, a retailer's warranties, delivery options and customer support all contribute to your couch buying journey.

Securing the Best Deal

To secure the best sofa deal, take advantage of sales events and discounts. Some major sales events and clearance periods to look out for include:

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • End-of-season sales
  • Holiday sales

These events often present opportunities to purchase sofas at significantly reduced prices.

Snag exclusive deals by subscribing to a retailer's newsletter and becoming a member with them too.

Furniture Bazaar

We have a wide range of lounges at Furniture Bazaar, from modular sofas to sofa beds. As one of Western Australia's leading furniture stores, you can rely on our quality products to provide comfort, function and style for years to come. We stand out among other retailers with our:

Start your sofa buying with Furniture Bazaar today!

Caring for Your Sofa

Once your brand-new sofa is home, proper care and maintenance will prolong its lifespan and keep it looking its best. To keep your sofa clean, vacuum it regularly using an upholstery attachment to remove dirt, debris and pet hair. Spot clean spills and stains straight away using a mild soap and water solution to prevent the upholstery fabric from becoming permanently marked. Before everything, follow the care instructions that come with the couch. It's a good idea to consider furniture care cover too, especially if you have young kids who may accidentally make a bit of a mess on your lounge!


Sofa buying involves more than just picking a piece that looks good — it’s about finding a balance between comfort, function and style. From assessing usage and measuring your entire space to understanding materials, every step in the process plays an important role in your final choice. After reading this sofa buying guide, you’re now ready to navigate the world of sofas and find the perfect piece that not only suits your needs, but also elevates your décor and provides lasting value.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a reasonable price to pay for a sofa?

On the lower end, sofas will generally range from $300 to $800 for a basic 2- or 3-seater. Mid-range sofas cost around $800 to $2,000. Premium, high-end sofas come in at $2,000 and go up to over $10,000.

For a quality, medium-sized fabric sofa, $1,200 to $1,600 is a reasonable price.

Is it better to have a light or dark sofa?

Light sofas make a room feel more open and spacious. They're also more versatile, pairing well with many colour schemes and décor styles. However, light sofas require more frequent cleaning, show wear and tear easier and make pet hair more visible.

Dark sofas, meanwhile, are great at hiding dirt, pet hair and wear and tear. Though, they can make your room feel smaller.

Ultimately, it comes down to what's most important to you.

What is the 2:3 sofa rule?

The 2:3 sofa rule proposes that the length of your sofa should be 2/3 the size of your room to create a sense of balance and proportion within the space.

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