Sofas are a core essential for your every home, especially in places with high traffic like the living room. From entertaining your guests to family movie night, sofas are guaranteed to be used daily, by everyone, in your home.
Contrary to popular belief, finding the right sofa for you isn’t as simple as buying the first design you see. To give you some clarity and peace of mind, here is a rundown of the five essential factors to think about when shopping for a sofa.
Size is one of the most important considerations to make when choosing the right sofa. After all, if the sofa doesn’t fit your living room, then what’s the point? If you’re unsure about where to start in this area, we’re here to give a helping hand.
In terms of measurements, the general rule of thumb is to have the sofa approximately 152 cm long, 91 cm high, 102 cm deep, with about a 48 cm height for the seating. However, if you’re one for a cheeky afternoon nap every now and then, you need to extend the horizontal height too. In this case, extend the length measurements from 152 cm to 229 cm for enough comfort to lie down or nap.
But not everyone is amazing in mathematics (and that’s okay!). Simply remember the 2:3 rule instead. The sofa should be about two thirds the size of the entire room. If you decide to add in a coffee table too, that should then be two thirds the size of the sofa.
To visualise all of this properly, it’s a great idea to actually draw your measurements out onto a big piece of paper and cut it out. This gives a template of measurements that you can bring with you while shopping. It also saves you time from having to measure every sofa piece you see in stores or online.
Style is another important consideration to make when sofa shopping, as style is often a reflection of your personality. It conveys to guests your tastes without you having to say a single word. With this in mind, it’s essential to keep the sofa style cohesive with the overall vibe of your living room.
There are few ways to approach style. The most common way is to make the sofa the centrepiece of your living room. Thus, the first piece guests will see is the sofa. Their eyes will then bounce to other pieces in the space, but regardless the sofa has done its job of enticing guests into the space. On the other hand, the second way is making the sofa blend into the entire room. When guests see your living room, they’ll notice the overall style of the space instantly, rather than be drawn to one piece at a time. So what you need to think about is whether or not you want the sofa to shout your style loud and proud, or do you want it to subtly whisper it instead.
Once you’ve sorted this out, the next step is to consider the unique aesthetic of the sofa. The top three most popular sofa styles, especially within our loyal Brosa community, are:
- French Provincial Sofas – classy and vintage are two words to describe this style. French Provincial furniture, especially sofas, are all about suave curves and smooth frames.
- Chaise Sofas – While generally simple in style, they more than make up for it through functionality. If you’re the type of person who loves putting their feet up after a long day at work, chaise sofas are the way to go. Note that the extra space to put your feet up means chaise sofas are typically bigger than your average sofa.
- Chesterfield Sofas – Chesterfield sofas are a classic cult favourite in the furniture world, and for good reason too. What really sets this style out from the rest is the tufted detailing, which gives a classy and chic vibe to any living room it’s in.
The shade of your sofa is an important consideration to make, as the colour of the sofa can evoke certain moods and feelings depending on the colour scheme. Ask yourself: how do you want the space to make you feel? Do you want it to feel calm? Neutral? Or even bold and passionate?
A good way to approach this is to consider the primary colours first, the mix and play with their different variants. You can go darker or lighter – whatever you feel like. To help you out, here is an overview of common colours and the moods they evoke:
- Blue – Calming. This colour is said to help you feel more centred and serene.
- Green – Lively. Green is recommended for those suffering from anxiety, as the shade helps you calm down and encourages inner zen.
- Red – Passionate. Red is an excellent colour to show off your bold personality. The deep shade really helps the sofa to pop out in your living room, which is especially good if you’re using it as a centrepiece.
If you’re having trouble in this area, creating a colour palette may prove useful to you. We recommend digital tools like Coolers to do this.
Firmness and softness is another important factor to take into account when hunting for the right sofa. This depends on the purpose of the sofa. If you are using it for guests and only guests, a firm sofa is better. This is because generally, guests won’t be staying in the one place in your home the entire time. A firmer sofa makes it easier for them to not only sit upright, but easily stand up when needed. It’s never a good look having guests accidentally sinking into a soft sofa, or fumbling around trying to get up because they’ve sunk in too low.
On the other hand, a softer sofa is ideal for everyday family use. When you sit on a softer sofa and sink in, it creates more of an informal and casual vibe. Perfect for events like movie marathons, date nights indoors, or just a place for you to lounge on your own with a good book.
At Brosa, we offer a range of sofas with different softness levels. We have interviewed some of our customers and asked them to share their thoughts. Take a look at what people are saying about these different softnesses, and decide what’s the best for your home.
Relatively soft. Subtly smooth. You’ll feel it fit to the contours of your body when you sit. It gives you a cosy place to recline with gentle support.
Not too firm. Not too soft. It’s right in the middle, and gives a bit of both. Designed for a crowd that’s hard to please.
We’ve got your back. Literally. Layered foam filling provides a firmer fit. Supportive, with just the right amount of softness.
Our most supportive level is for those who prefer a firmer feel. It eases pressure points evenly across the body. Enjoy a better posture.
Sensibility & Practicality
And last but not least, ask yourself: is the sofa sensible to your home and requirements? For example, getting a big and spacious sofa would prove disastrous for a small space like an apartment. Whereas, a small sofa would look rather awkward if the space was especially large. When you’re trying to find the right sofa, it’s all about being practical to you. Not only does your sofa need to fit your budget, but also your lifestyle and your family (remember the family dog!) too.
When it comes to sense and practicality, it’s also essential to consider the material of the sofa. If you have any family pets, a leather sofa is ill-advised as their claws may accidentally rip through the material. On the other hand, if you opt for a sofa that uses fabric, ensure you have a spot cleaner on hand for any unexpected stains that shouldn’t be vigorously wiped off with a cloth.
Hopefully, this article provides you with a solid framework to think about when sofa shopping. While it would be perfect if a sofa fits all of these requirements, the reality is, most of them may not exactly fit every requirement you’re thinking about. So it comes down to a matter of preference – ask yourself: which of these factors are the biggest priorities for you and your home? Good luck!
Try our new sofa selection tool that helps you customise your requirements and finds the perfect match for you.
Have any other tips for sofa shopping? We’d love to know in the comments below!