When determining the quality of a sofa, you should look at more than just its appearance. The thing is, it is usually determined by what is inside of it, not just how it looks on the outside. Two sofas can look the same but vary greatly in price depending on the method and technique of their construction.
The different parts of the sofa, such as the frame, seating support, and filling, all contribute to overall comfort. They also affect the sofa's ability to keep its shape and be stable over time.
If you want to know what to look out for before making your purchase, look no further than our pointers below.
1. Take Note of the Frame
When looking for a sofa, it is important to consider the frame. The best frames are made out of kiln-dried hardwood, as this removes all moisture from the wood and helps it retain its shape and stability over time. Greenwood frames can shrink or crack as they dry, while softwood frames can bend and break easily. Knotted wood frames are also prone to cracks.
The frame of a good sofa should be sturdy and well-constructed, with special attention paid to the joints. The joints should be glued, dowelled, and screwed for extra strength and stability. The corners of the frame should be reinforced with additional blocks for additional support.
That said, plywood and particleboard frames are usually not as strong as other types of frames, especially if they are only held together with staples. If you are considering a sofa with a plywood frame, look for one that has at least 11 to 13 layers of plywood. This will help to reinforce the frame and make it more durable.
2. Take Note of the Seating Support
The seating support is the sofa part that helps keep you comfortable while sitting. It works with the frame and the filling to create a comfortable and supportive experience. A sturdy frame provides a good foundation for the seating support, and the filling adds to the comfort.
When testing a sofa for quality, sit on it to check for proper support in the seat and back. The sofa shouldn't sag and should provide good overall support. The most common seating support options are:
- The Eight-Way Hand-Tied Springs System
The craftsman weaves the twine in a specific pattern to secure the springs together. The twine passes over and under the springs in a front-to-back and side-to-side motion and diagonally in both directions. This creates a sturdy and secure connection between the springs.
- The Sinuous Spring Construction
These springs are designed to provide support and comfort while sitting. They are typically made from high-quality steel and are very durable. This type of seat is strong and does not take up a lot of space, making it a good option for smaller frames.
- The Web Suspension
The webbing consists of bands that lie across the seat and back. These are attached to the frame to create a platform for the cushions. The webbing is made of either natural or man-made fibres. If it is used alone, it does not provide much support. The webbing suspension is not the best option for a sofa, as it is not as secure as other options.
3. Take Note of the Cushion Filling
High-density polyurethane is the most common type of filling for cushions. It is firm and can be wrapped in softer materials to make it more comfortable. Dacron-wrapped foam is a less expensive option, but it does not have the same longevity.
It's important to choose a high-density foam for your upholstery project because lower-quality foam can break down quickly, resulting in sagging fabric.
When choosing a sofa, it is essential to consider its appearance, comfort, and durability. To ensure that you are getting the best possible sofa for your needs, follow the tips above and take your time in making your selection.
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