The construction of your upholstered furniture determines it’s comfort, quality, durability, and longevity. A sectional or sofa is a major purchase and one you will live with for a long time, so it's important to make a wise investment on this key piece of furniture. Here’s what to look for when shopping for upholstered furniture to ensure that you’re buying a quality piece that will stand the test of time.
The skeleton of your sofa is the frame, you want it to be made of a sturdy wood that won’t warp over time. Look for a frame made from kiln-dried hardwood – the kiln drying process removes the moisture from the wood which allows it to maintain its shape. Here’s a quick test to check the frame’s sturdiness – lift one front corner of the sofa a few inches off the ground, if the leg on the other side doesn’t rise to the same height as the one you are lifting, the frame is warping and therefore not very sturdy.
Look for frames that are joined with wooden dowels, wooden corner blocks, or metal screws and brackets. Avoid sofas or sectionals assembled with only staples, nails, or glue - although these may be used in conjunction with the other joinery methods to provide additional reinforcement in high quality upholstered seating.
The foundation of the seat of your upholstered furniture is created by a system of springs. The springs keep you from sinking through the sofa and onto the floor. The absolute best support system for your seating is an 8-way hand-tied spring system. The coils have been hand-tied in every direction: front to back, side to side, and diagonally. This support system will maintain its integrity over time and will prevent the sofa from sagging.
A spring down cushion is ideal for those who prefer a seat that is not too firm or too soft. It is made with a coiled spring core, covered in foam then wrapped in feather-filled down-proof ticking. The foam and spring combination offers support while the feather batting adds softness. Test the cushions, they should regain their shape after you press down and let go. A cushion that doesn’t spring back to its original shape will become completely flattened very quickly with everyday use.
There are so many great options on the market for durable fabric – we recommend looking at indoor/outdoor fabrics. They have a nice feel to them while being stain-resistant and easy to clean. Take a look at Sunbrella, Crypton and Inside Out.
The combination above will give you a sofa meant to last. Our recommendation to our clients when sourcing soft seating is to purchase the highest quality pieces they can afford. High-quality pieces with classic lines can be reupholstered numerous times throughout the years. Ask your salesperson these questions about the construction of the sofas and sectionals to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment.