Important Points – How to Pick Out a Couch


Buying new furniture for the home is always fun, but are you wondering what information you should have before buying your new couch? Read on for tips on picking out the perfect couch.

Buying a new couch or sofa can be intimidating. A couch is not just a piece of furniture, it’s an investment, something that’s going to sit in your living room for many years and the decision can’t be taken lightly. Below are a few guidelines to keep in mind while shopping for that perfect new couch.


When looking for a new couch, it’s important to find out what your couch is made of and how it’s put together. Any couch worth considering should be made of a solid hardwood and both glued and screwed together. If the salesperson tells you it’s made of a composite, walk away. If they tell you that it was only glued or screwed, walk away.

Another aspect to consider is the springs. Hand tied coils are more comfortable and stronger than springs, also keep in mind where you do most of your sitting. Do you usually snuggle up against the arm of the couch? Then having extra coils or springs along the arms may be an added benefit.

Also keep in mind the stuffing of the couch and cushions. Is it flame retardant? Cushions made up solely of foam hold up well, but are less comfortable. Down filled cushions are exquisitely comfortable but are terrible for holding their shape and need constant fluffing. A mixture of the two is best.


Don’t be afraid to really try out a couch before you buy it. Just sitting on it isn’t enough. Curl up in your favorite movie watching position and see how it feels. Do you love to nap on the couch? Lie down on it and see if it feels comfortable. Move around and switch positions. Do the cushions slip around or fall off? Will a spouse or partner be sitting on it with you? How does it hold up to cuddling? (A strange question, I’ll admit but it’s one you need to ask. When my husband and I were buying a new couch, we both realized we like to put our feet up. So, we bought a couch with a chaise.)


There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to fabric. First of all, will the couch be making a statement in the room it’s in? If so, you may want to choose a louder, more unique fabric. Keep in mind however, that your couch should last at least ten years. Make sure you can live with the fabric you choose for that long. Most people vouch for a fabric that is more neutral and then dress it up with throw pillows. This is an easy way to change the look of a room, switch from season to season and play with your adventurous side in a more cost effective way.

The next thing to consider about fabric is what type of fabric it is. If your couch is going to be in a room with a lot of sunlight, cotton is not the option for you. It will fade a lot after extended exposure. Think about it’s purpose. If you have children, or friends prone to spilling, leather can be an excellent option. If you have a cat or dog with sharp nails that will be spending time on it, leather may not be the best idea.

Think about how stain resistant it is, how easy (or not easy) to clean if there are spills, how well it will hold up to everyday use. (Keep in mind that any fabric with a noticeable weave can also be torn apart by cats). When looking at a couch with micro suede, really look at the quality. A lot of discount furniture stores have highly inferior micro suede. Scratch it lightly with your fingernail. Do the little fibers come off? If they do, run away. Remember, it’s okay to ask questions about the quality of the fabric. If it doesn’t feel right (both in your gut or against your hand), walk away.


As I said before, a couch is an investment piece. If at all possible, buy the best that you can afford. Invest in a quality piece of furniture that is going to last and last. Do your research, take your time, make sure you feel comfortable with your purchase. Quality doesn’t mean it has to be wildly expensive. Shop around for the best quality within your budget. It’s okay to wait for that perfect couch.

Before you buy, research the store and the brand of couch you are looking at. Does it have a good warranty? Does that warranty cover the construction, the fabric, the cushions? Does the store you’re buying it from have a good return policy? Read customer reviews. Was the store easy or horrible to deal with? How have other buyers found the quality of the couch once they had it in their home?

A good couch should have a good reputation. Make sure both the makers and the store you’re buying it from have a long standing good reputation on both construction and customer service. No one likes dealing with a stubborn store or manufacturer who refuses to honor a warranty. Make sure you read the fine print.

Basic Reminders

When buying a couch, make sure you have the measurements of the couch and the room you will be putting it in. Also remember to measure the door you’ll be bringing it in through. Will it have to make it down a flight of stairs? Measure and triple check that everything is going to fit before you bring it home.

Always check to see if there is a delivery service. If not, know how you’re going to get it home. Do you have a helpful friend with a truck? There’s nothing worse than having a store call and tell you that your furniture is in, only to realize you have no way of getting it home.

Always invest in some sort of fabric protector for your couch. Make sure you check with the store to see what you are able to use and test it on a small area before applying it to the whole couch. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.