When we buy a couch, a loveseat, a recliner or some other type of large, sturdy furniture, we acknowledge on some level that we’re not going to have to think about buying another one for a long time – if ever.
But really, how long can you expect a sofa to last?
We can talk about expectations and averages, or we can talk about how to choose one that will last longer than the rest.
Research the furniture frame.
Whether it’s a sofa, an accent chair or something else you expect will get a lot of use, you should learn everything you can about the frame. Here are a few factors to consider:
Frame Material – Many furniture frames are wood, but not all frames are made the same. Kiln-dried, solid wood frames provide a durable option, though they’re not the only option.
Joinery – This refers to the way the frame is fit together. Strong joints are what’re going to keep your sofa together after that second and third move.
Hardware – These are the nuts, bolts and fasteners that reinforce the joints. Hardware isn’t necessary for solid design, but sometimes it can’t hurt.
Ask about the fill.
You’ll find all kinds of fill in upholstered furniture designs – goose or duck down, polyester batting and various foams are most common.
Down feels the softest, but is relatively expensive compared to foam alternatives. And, there are several different kinds of foam …
Many folks prefer the comfort and durability of high-resilient foam, although high-density foam is comparable and often more affordable. Low-density foam and polyester flatten faster, but are good economical choices.
Choose durable upholstery that suits your needs.
Synthetic materials like olefin, nylon and polyester blends are the most durable you’re going to find among upholstery fabrics. You may also see acetates and acrylics in this category, though less frequently. Leather and vinyl are also strong choices, although you do run the risk of puncture.
Consider your space and intended use (do you have kids, pets or frequent guests?), and then find what suits your budget.
Spring for good springs.
Not every furniture design includes springs, of course, but if it does you want them to be strong and well-positioned. Good springs may feel a little stiff at first, but should provide comfy give without squeaking after they’ve been broken in a little.
Keep these things in mind and you’re sure to get the most out of your next large furniture purchase.