There’s something to be said about buying furniture from the comfort of your home. No need to put some chores on hold to drive out to a store. Though, to be fair, how can you not savor the feel of a piece of fine craftsmanship beneath your hands? And what about the smell of new furniture? 

Nevertheless, COVID-19 is here for now, and buying online has become more of the norm rather than a perk. 

As with most products, buying your sofa online requires you to know exactly what you’re looking for—in particular, get your measurements, color, and material right.

1. Get your measurements right.

Sofas are measured by length, height, and depth. Traditional furniture tends to be standardized, while contemporary design often accommodates exceptions.

Before you start shopping, be sure to have the answers to the following:

How many do you want to seat?

The best way to answer this is by looking at sofa length.  

The most common length for sofas is 84 inches. You can then find plenty of options on either side of 84 inches, usually anywhere between 70 inches and 117 inches. 

Loveseat: 52 inches long

Average 2-seater sofa size: 69 inches long

Average 3-seater sofa size: 84 inches long

Average 4-seater sofa: 95 inches long

What’s the intended use?

Adjustments will have to be made depending on its main use and who will be using it. Seat depth and height will be huge factors to consider here. 

The standard sofa depth (from the very front to the very back) is 35 inches, but most fall within the range of 32–40 inches deep. 

The average seat depth is 21 to 24 inches, with 20 to 22 inches being a good range that allows you to sit up comfortably.

Sofa height (the distance from the floor to the very top of the sofa back) ranges from 26 to 36 inches high. 

  • If you want a sofa for lounging back or sitting with your feet tucked up on it, look for a deeper seat depth—at least 23 inches to start with.
  • If the sofa will be used by someone with short legs, you can go with 21 inches or shallower.
  • If you want plenty of throw pillows, consider a seat depth of 28 to 35 inches.
  • If you want a sleek and modern look, go for low-back sofas; if you prefer something more traditional, choose high-back sofas.
How will your sofa’s size affect your space?

Don’t forget that adding a new piece of furniture will affect how big or intimate your space feels. This means that depending on the size of the area where the new sofa will go, you may have to give or take an inch or two to strike the right balance between getting what you want for comfort and what your space needs to be easy to move around in and, overall, simply feel right in terms of scale.

2. Make sure the color works. 

Consider a range of similar colors. Your best move is to request for swatches, keeping your options down to seven.

Whether or not the color works will be determined by these factors:

  • The color palette of the room where the sofa is supposed to go
  • How it interacts with the light in the room throughout the day: morning sunlight, afternoon sun, evening lamplight, and other forms of lighting

3. Pick the right material and texture.

Texture is also another important factor when choosing a sofa. Your lifestyle and how you use it should guide you pick the best material:

  • Pick durable materials if you have little kids and/or pets (at least the kinds who will insist on napping on the sofa). So, no silk velvet. 
  • You’ll get more wiggle room if the sofa is not going to be in a high-traffic area and therefore won’t be subjected to much wear and tear.
  • Is it easy to clean, or will maintenance cost you more than you’re willing to spend?

4. Read the reviews.

User reviews will give you authentic consumer perspective, and therefore a better sense of what it’s like to have the sofa as part of your home. Trends in praise or complaints can be indicators of quality. 

5. Understand the return policy.

Sofas are not exactly easy to return should there be issues with them. So before making your purchase, read through the returns and exchange policy to prepare for the worst-case scenario. 

In particular:

  • How long is the sofa under warranty? Most stores will refund a damaged product for at least a year.
  • What are the terms of the return policy? Will signs of use—like a stain or a gash—negate the policy?
  • Will the company pay for shipping? Some may cover the cost for up to the first 3 weeks, after which the money will be coming out of your pocket.

If you’re shopping for a sofa for the new home you still have to choose or for an old one you’re perking up to sell, keep in mind the above tips to ensure you’re making yet another smart investment.

If you need expert help with listing your home or finding your next one, contact Team Clancy today. 

Let’s talk about what you need and what you want in terms of home.