Sofas & Chairs Buying Guide

Sofa and chairs buying guide  

Buying new sofas and chairs is not something you do very often and it can all seem a little bit daunting. We want you to be pleased with your choice, and with so many different options available, we want you to take some time to think about what’s best for you and your home before you buy.

Any choice you make when purchasing your sofa or chairs will obviously depend on the size of your room and how many people you want to seat at any one time. If you'd like some help calculating space let us plan your room with our computer aided room planner & help you decide what sizes of sofa or if a corner sofa is relevant.

For tight spaces or doorways, some of our sofas come with bolt-on arms or in 2 parts. These will generally be to order, so do ask in store.

Many of our ranges have 2 or 3 sizes of sofa to choose from. A rough rule of thumb is that a large sofa will seat 3 average size adults comfortably. Small sofas will accommodate 2, and we also have compact or "snuggler" sofas which provide an oversized chair for one or a cosy sofa for a couple. Work out whether you're best off with 2 small sofas or one large sofa plus a couple of chairs - they may offer more flexibility as they can be positioned more easily. It's worth remembering that the arms of a sofa can make a big difference to the amount of seating capacity as well as ease of access to a room. If your room is small, narrower sofa arms give the illusion of a more compact piece. High backs on sofas and chairs may look best in rooms with higher ceilings. Lower backs in less open rooms can give the illusion of more space, but can also be used effectively in open-plan rooms to emphasise the sense of space. Open plan space can also be enhanced by using modular furniture in large configurations, but this type of furniture can be helpful in smaller spaces too because of its flexibility.

Covering leather or fabric?

Leather is enormously popular due to its smart, contemporary look but also its ease to care for & keep clean. Choose from many varieties and styles of leather. Treated & protected leathers will be robust but not feel as luxuries as less treated semi aniline leathers. Talk us through the use that the sofa will get & we can advise in store the correct leather to suit your lifestyle.

Leather sofas are easy to look after - just remove dust with a slightly damp cloth nothing stronger than a mild detergent to remove more stubborn stains.

Fabric sofas present you with a bigger range of colour options. They usually come in a fibre mix for strength and texture, and all our ranges are thoroughly tested for durability. We also sell microfibre upholstery that can be simply wiped down with a damp cloth to clean, and so are ideal for households with children or pets. Use soapy water or even baby wipes on stains.

Think carefully about strong colours in a very sunny room in case of fading.

Fillings for sofas

It may not be uppermost in your mind, but the filling in your chosen sofa does make a difference. Just as they offer different levels of support, sofas and chairs will require different levels of maintenance depending on the filling. Foam or foam with fibre will make an easier life for anyone with more limited mobility or strength.

Foam upholstery will feel firm and supportive, and lends a more tailored appearance to a sofa. It will recover well and all you'll need to do is turn the cushions occasionally to allow even wear. Over the years, the foam will compact and lose volume a little, though this process is much slower with high resilience foam.

Fibre, or foam with a fibre wrap, will give a softer look and feel to sofas and chairs. Just plump and turn cushions occasionally to maintain comfort and wear.

Feather-filled upholstery will have a more relaxed, casual look and a softer sit - ideal if you like to curl up on the sofa. You'll need to plump up cushions daily.