How long do you expect your sofa to last? Most people will tend to keep their sofa for seven to ten years. So choosing the right sofa is key to its longevity. How will you use your sofa? Will it be a place for kids to kick back watch TV and play video games? Is it for looks and not use? Will mans best friend be sharing your space? With all your requirements in mind, homework done, grab a friend or two it is time to shop for you new sofa. Here are some secrets all you need to know about buying the perfect sofa.


A sturdy frame made of  kiln-dried oak, ash, or beech, is a more durable hardwood but can pricy. Avoid frames made of particle board, plastic, or metal. These materials may warp and crack over time. Soft wood, such as pine, is cost-effective, but it may warp or wobble after five years. Legs should be part of the frame or held on with screws or dowels (pegs) — not with glue alone.


Tip: To test frame strength, lift one front corner or leg of the sofa off the floor. By the time you’ve raised it six inches, the other front leg should have risen too. If it’s still touching the floor, the frame is weak.

Frames should be connected with solid construction such as wooden dowels, double wooden dowels, wooden corner blocks (the tag might read corner blocks glued and screwed), or metal screws and brackets. Staples or nails may be used for extra reinforcement, but never buy a sofa that’s held together solely by staples, nails, or glue.


Tip: Always ask your salesperson for the furniture specification and joinery information.

After you have looked at the structure and construction it’s time for the fun stuff. Your sofa should reflect your personal style and be suited for your family function.  There is a phrase that I like, “Buy it for looks buy it for life”, meaning make sure you love that pretty sofa because you will have it for 7 to 15 years. Here are some examples of some classic yet traditional sofas that has last the test of time.


Everyone talks about being riveted by Downtown Abbey. I think part of it is the seductive background, it’s good furniture! You see camelbacks, chesterfields, English roll arm and Knole sofas, and they look as good today as they did in the 19th Century.


Knole Sofa


A Chesterfield sofa is a large, often leather, couch with deep tufting, and rolled arms that are the same height as the seat back. This style of seating was typical of England in the 1900s but has seen a surge in popularity in recent years.



Camelback Sofa

So the next time you are in need for a new sofa remember our tips. Don’t forget to go to our Pinterest page for more inspiration.

Posted by Vanessa M.

Comments on Sit on Me
  1. Rachel says:

    I was just wondering how long a typical sofa should last! We have had ours 7 years and is starting to look a little sad… Do you have any tips on understanding how well the padding in a sofa is when you purchase it? I am never sure to tell how the padding/cushions will stand up over time! I am also interested in what types of fabrics are family friendly, easy to clean, etc… I would love to see a follow up post about this in the future! Thanks in advance for any input:) -Rachel

  2. Vanessa mitchell says:

    @ Rachel-
    As for padding it all depends on your personal comfort and how much you want to invest. If you are looking for a cost effective, easy to care cushion filling polyurethane foam works nicely. But for a more durable, high-density foam can feel hard, and a low-density foam is softer, deteriorates more quickly with constant use. I don’t recommend a low-density foam for families with small kids or if you plan on using it in your main living area. High-resilient foam is a little more expensive but more comfortable and long-lasting. This is a great option for family use. Polyester fibers tend to flatten over time but it is an inexpensive option. Goose and duck feather fillings are comfortable, very expensive and require a ton fluffing.

    If you are looking for family friendly, easy to clean fabrics cotton and linen are great options. They can be treated for stain resistance but they aren’t easy to clean. For high traffic areas synthetic microfiber is best at stain resistant. Try to avoid fabrics with a blend of natural and synthetic fibers they tend to pill with in a year and look worn. Fabric with the pattern woven in tends to wear longer and better than printed fabrics. Leather and wool are durable and strong but can be very expensive. -Vanessa

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