How to choose the right sofa

Not everyone knows that when buying a sofa, first of all, you should pay attention not to its appearance, but to the “inner content”. What the pillows are made of, what is the sofa mechanism – these are the questions that need to be answered before taking a nice sofa for a note.


Someone needs a sofa so that they have something to collapse on when they come home from work. Someone spreads it out every night because they have to sleep on something. Well, some, sorry, just live on the couch – and there is an explanation for this too! Doctors say that two states are most natural for a person: movement and … lying. That is, all intermediate stages, when we are standing or sitting, are processes which are obviously “harmful” for the body. In this sense, all “recumbent” furniture (be it a bed, couch, sofa, or just a lounger or bench) are vital items. And the leading place among them, of course, is the sofa.

Since the days of the Marquise de Pompadour (and it was then that the first sofa appeared), this piece of furniture, of course, has undergone some changes. Modern sofas (unless they are specially made “antique”) are furniture that keeps pace with progress. To date, its functions have expanded, which means that the design has also changed. Now you almost never find a sofa that does not know how to turn into a sleeping place, and some “advanced” specimens have got wheels for moving around the room, various folding and pull-out tables, drawers for linen, shelves for newspapers and magazines and pockets for small things. The sofa got rid of everything “superfluous”: armrests, legs, often – springs, and sometimes the frame itself. The most relevant today minimalistic version called “Eurobook” is simple and laconic in form: a rectangular seat and the same back. The struggle for customer preference is now being waged with the help of materials and technical equipment. In other words, it is much more important today what the sofa is made of and how well it “works”.

A few words about the inner world

The classic system of cushions (frame – springs – pads) was invented long ago, and only this system guarantees your sofa a long and “elastic” life. All other options look very attractive outwardly, but, alas, they do not guarantee long-term usability. These options include spring replacements popular among manufacturers of cheap furniture – foam rubber, latex spraying, polyurethane foam, synthetic winterizer, as well as new generation materials made on the basis of holofiber fibers (such as durafil, synthetic fluff, spandbond).

Of course, if buying a solid sofa is not included in your plans, for the first time a springless one will do, but then its “filling” should be at least from solid pieces of material, and not from foam crumbs. In general, the main feature of a good sofa is the spring block. If you want the sofa to serve you for a long time, it is desirable that there are as many springs as possible (and the best of them are steel), so that they are fixed in special vertical cells that do not allow them to move, so that the structure is reinforced with a metal mesh and provided with a gasket made of felt, batting or coconut fiber.

The second very important point is the quality of the wooden parts. When buying, be sure to check whether the lumber from which the frame is made is well dried (by the way, the strongest wood is beech). Chipboard elements must be covered with a harmless protective paint. It is best to choose a sofa with a metal frame..

To make everything fit

There are four main ways in which the sofa turns into a sleeping place: these are the mechanisms “book”, “clamshell”, roll-out mechanism and folding sidewalls. In addition, recently there have appeared so-called hypertransformer sofas, in which, when unfolding, literally everything is removed (or folded back): armrests, backrest, pillows, etc. Some modern sofas are transformed so easily that they resemble car seats. With a careless movement of the hand, the side cushions are removed and grow, the backrest tilt is adjusted, the angle of the head restraints changes. And if the situation requires the immediate transformation of the sofa into a bed, it is enough to pull a special lever called “gas lift”. All these options have the right to life – the main thing is that your particular instance works well. And it’s also important to choose what really suits you..

The most durable and reliable mechanism for a sofa is a “book”. It should be chosen if the sofa is your permanent sleeping place. It is better if the parts of the mechanism are made of steel. The most “long-playing” mechanisms are German-made. But the popular “clamshell” is a rather flimsy and inconvenient mechanism to use. It is suitable only in cases where the sofa needs to be expanded every six months for guests. When choosing, you should pay attention to what the so-called sleeping support is made of. Best of all, if it is veneer armor (plates), the worst option is metal mesh. The so-called roll-out sofa is more convenient to use, but also not suitable for a permanent overnight stay. This mechanism is often used in corner sofa models. The most important thing in a roll-out sofa is the roller mechanism itself (how strong it is, does it jam, whether the wheels “ride” easily, etc.). To preserve the floor, choose models with rubber wheels. And the last option is a sofa with folding sides: it unfolds easily, but at the same time gives only a single place.

After checking all the objective factors and technical characteristics of your sofa, do not forget about the most important thing: about your personal feelings. Try to rehearse how you will sit on the couch: will you be able to relax your whole body, will it be comfortable for you to recline, take a recumbent position. Sit on it longer – find out if your back is numb, if the angle between the back and the seat suits you. And do not hesitate: after all, we are all, to some extent, the descendants of Mr. Oblomov …

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