A beige colored couch with dark colored pillows on each end of the couch

4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Sofa


The way your furniture is built MATTERS. Have you ever purchased a sofa that felt great in the store, but started to sag or lose its support within months of having it at home?

Who knew there was so much to think about when buying a sofa? For the most-used piece of furniture in your home, this kind of research is absolutely crucial. Luckily, this process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. 


A sofa’s ability to stand the test of time and remain comfortable for years to come lies solely in its inner construction. When you are shopping, it is important to look for sofas with solid wood frames and eight-way hand-tied (or knotted) support. Solid wood provides a sturdy base, allowing the sofa to maintain its shape and structural integrity. Solid wood will also prevent bowing (or dipping) in the base or arms.

Eight-way hand-tied support refers to the seat and back of the sofa where the cushions will sit on top. This system provides even weight distribution throughout the frame, and it also prevents cushions from dipping or sinking. When you are shopping, be sure to ask a sales associate about the construction features so you can determine if a sofa is worth your hard-earned money.


How do you use your sofa? Do you lie down on your couch to take naps, or are you usually sitting upright? Do you enjoy eating while sitting on your sofa? Are you looking for a piece that allows you to fully recline? Everyone uses their sofa differently depending on their preferences and needs.

It is so important to keep your own lifestyle in mind when you are shopping and trying out different frames. For example, if you enjoy laying down on your sofa, you might want to look for something with rounded arms, which are more comfortable to rest your head on. Or you might want a frame that comes with a chaise on one side to really allow room for napping. Or perhaps you have a big family and need a lot of seating on your sofa. Your family might benefit from having a sectional with room for 5+ people. A sales representative can help you with navigating all these options to find the perfect sofa for you.

Fabric vs. Leather

Similar to the question of function, your choice in fabric or leather comes down to your lifestyle and personal preferences. Fabrics come in a broad range of colors, patterns, and textures. Top-grain leathers can also come in a variety of colors and textures, but you probably won’t have as many options as you do with fabrics.

It should also be mentioned that leather is much stronger than fabric. Leather can usually be repaired if damaged, whereas fabric cannot be fixed in the event of a tear. Leather is also typically more cleanable; however, there are many performance fabrics on the market today that are easily cleanable and stain resistant.

*Side note: If you are buying leather, ALWAYS look for top-grain leathers and avoid split hides or bonded leathers at all costs.


Last — but certainly not least — comes the question of style. There are tons of different sofa styles on the market ranging from casual to formal and traditional to modern. Many sofas can even be customized towards one end of the spectrum or the other by changing the arm style, the way the cushions are tailored, and the list goes on. For example, if you are placing your sofa in a formal sitting room, you may want to look for a traditional frame with rolled arms, clean lines, and buttoned cushions. A family with kids buying a sofa for their living room, however, is often looking for a more casual frame that reflects the coziness of the space with pillowy cushions and simple tailoring. If you are struggling with pinning down which style is right for you, a designer can be a huge help in narrowing down the options that fit your lifestyle and the room setting.

At Reid’s Fine Furnishings, not only do we have a wide variety of options to offer our customers, we also have an amazing sales staff and experienced designers who can walk you through the process. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service by matching our customers with quality furniture that will last for years to come. Visit our Roanoke showroom today and try out our sofas for yourself!