How to choose a sofa

Who is the boss in the house after the cat? Naturally, the sofa! He alone is able to gather the whole family, guests, friends on a piece of three square meters. He alone can decorate even a modest apartment, replace a bed, act as a podium after a successful shopping, and what is there, and is ready to turn into a dining table. So choose His Highness Sofa follows all the canons.

Types of sofas

So the first two questions are: how much space do you have under the sofa and what will you do on it: sleep, watch a movie, throw pillows, leave guests for the night, just walk by? My friend in the living room has only a small chaise longue for entourage. And the sofa in my apartment is never empty – my husband, dog and random guests argue for the right to lie there.

Do you want a life hack? Sketch out your room, mark where the furniture is and where you want to push the sofa. At the same time, evaluate how much space is left for unfolding. It’s embarrassing if the second bed blocks the through passage, during sleep the arm will hang down into the dog bed, and the corner of the sideboard will be dangerously close to the head.

Angular Sofa

A good option if the layout allows you to place a sofa in the corner, and a TV or projector opposite – this way the room will become more balanced, and the space will be used efficiently. A corner sofa is also good for narrow rooms – with its help it is easier to zone the room and bring it to a square shape.

Angular Sofa

The corner sofa has storage space, shelves for remotes and drinks. And it also unfolds into a full-fledged double place – you can safely call your great-aunt for the weekend.

But there are also nuances. It is most convenient to sleep on a solid corner sofa – it has fewer joints in the surface. But it is not separable – it is difficult to bring it in and impossible to take it out, so it is with you forever. 

Parts of a prefabricated sofa are attached to each other with a hook, they are easy to transport and clean, and it is also easier for them to change upholstery or covers. But sleeping for a long time at the junctions of parts is not only unpleasant, but also dangerous to health.

Bottom line: a corner sofa is good for non-standard layouts, but takes up a lot of space. It is not so easy to get rid of it, but it has many hidden storage areas. By the way, we have already selected for you  15 luxurious sofas and armchairs that will change the idea of ​​USA furniture brands .

Straight Sofa

The most popular version of the sofa that fits almost any layout and interior style. The only case when a straight sofa spoils the decor is extra-narrow corridor-type rooms (how to make more of them, read here: 5 simple tricks to make a small apartment bigger ). However, in such rooms any sofa will be superfluous. On straight sofas it is convenient to sleep, receive guests, just relax during a siesta.

Straight Sofa

A shortened straight sofa is suitable for the hallway, kitchen and nursery. In the living room, this option will play well in tandem with armchairs. I love compact sofas because they are easy to change to any other color (drag or buy a new cover), they are ideal for receiving guests and are convenient when you don’t want to leave anyone for the night.

Modular sofa

The most trendy type of sofas – it is ideal for complex transformer interiors. A modular sofa consists of several parts, which may not be interconnected at all. It is easy to make a huge cinema hall for the whole family and guests out of it, arrange a cool place for tabletops or pull parts around the house in the form of poufs, chaise lounges and compact sofas. Finally, each sofa module can be a different color or print. 

Modular sofa

Modular sofas are furniture that will not become obsolete in decades, here we talked about similar things in more detail: We  checked it for ourselves: durable furniture that will not break in a year (18 finds) .

It is uncomfortable to sleep on a modular sofa all the time – the joints do not allow you to fully relax. But for rare guest overnight stays, it is suitable. Modern models also have storage boxes, but I vote for lightweight options with thin and high legs – these are easier to carry and fit into a design project. When you start the robot vacuum cleaner, you will say thank you.

Island Sofa

The most expensive and prestigious sofa option. It can be round, semicircular or oval. They don’t sleep on such sofas, covering them with blankets and decorating with pillows is completely bad manners, because they are impeccable in themselves. This is an island of relaxation in the ocean of your living room. And the living room must certainly be large so that the “island” can be approached from different sides.

Island Sofa

Such sofas are made in expensive finishes of status colors: deep blue, red velvet, emerald green, purple. The height of luxury is to build a spinning podium under the island sofa. Don’t forget to include David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Sofa with ottoman

An ottoman  is a separate piece of furniture that can go in the same collection with a sofa or be in tune. This is such a luxurious soft couch, almost like an ottoman, which, depending on the size, can be used as a bed, a storage container or a footstool. The corner part of the sofa is also considered an ottoman, if it is modular, easily separated and can be an independent chaise longue. 

Sofa with ottoman

A modern ottoman may have an armrest or a convertible back, niches for storing small items or a cup holder, a retractable footrest mechanism or recesses for pillows.

A sofa with an ottoman is ideal for a spacious living room, which has several scenarios for relaxation: hosting guests, watching a movie, reading, knitting or contemplating the ceiling.

Which sofa is better to choose according to the transformation mechanism

The third question you should ask yourself before choosing a sofa: how often and how long will people sleep on the sofa? Do you need a full bed or just a couple of pillows to take your breath away? Are you ready to regularly move the sofa away from the wall, or do you want the furniture to unfold with just one finger?

In the store you will be listed with a dozen mechanisms, but in fact there are only three types of them: folding, roll-out and unfolding.

Eurobook Sofa

The most popular folding mechanism that does not require serious effort: you do not need to move the sofa itself. Pull the seat towards you (there is a special loop at the bottom), and then lower the back into the middle. The sleeping place is flat, and bed linen can be stored in drawers.

Eurobook Sofa

The mechanism is reliable, especially if you lay it out slowly and carefully so that the wheels drive strictly along the skids and do not “jump out” of the grooves. But after a few years, it will still begin to slip a little, especially if your frame is made of inexpensive wood like birch.

The Soviet version of the book is when you move the sofa away from the wall, lift the lower seat up until it clicks, and the back itself falls down. The quality of a rectangular bed directly depends on the finish of the sofa: if the seat and back are even, then you get two flat places to sleep. The nuance of the sofa: legs or wheels can ruin the flooring.

click-clack Sofa

click-clack Sofa

The same Soviet “book”, only a little more modern. For some reason, she made several levels of the back. At the idea stage it sounds great, but in real life it reduces the life of the mechanism several times.

Telescope Sofa (withdrawable)

A complex sofa with a bunch of mattress sections. You roll out the lower part, lay it out, and lay out the seat on top (in some cases, the back). The sleeping place is not too flat, but in general you can sleep.

Telescope Sofa

Of the nuances: the wheels spoil the floor, and the bed is too low.

Accordion Sofa

Another simple and popular type of sofa that unfolds in a couple of movements: pull the seat towards you, and the double back automatically unfolds after it. The sleeping place turns out to be uneven, but get rid of intrusive guests.

Accordion Sofa

When buying, check with the seller that the sofa is assembled on all-metal frames with wooden armor – this can be laid out often. But it’s better not to touch the structure on wooden frames with ordinary metal hinges or even leave it in the store.

Tick-tock (pantograph)

This is an improved “Eurobook”. On special springs, the seat jumps forward, and then you lower the backrest with your hands. The bed is comfortable and very durable, and the floor does not suffer. Inside the sofa you can store bed linen or seasonal clothes.

Dolphin Sofa (kangaroo, microlift)

These mechanisms work in much the same way: another section is hidden under the sofa seat. It is easy and convenient to lay out such sofas, you do not need to move bulky furniture. But because of the hidden mechanism, there are no storage boxes here.

Dolphin Sofa

Most often, “dolphins” are supplied with corner sofas and sets with ottomans.

French, American, Belgian and Italian cots

Similar furniture options, when the entire bed is hidden inside the sofa, are a frame base and a mattress in two or three sections. Because of this, the sofas are very large, and the beds, on the contrary, are small and hard. For daily sleep, such furniture is not suitable from the word at all.


The fourth question: what keeps the whole sofa. Inside there can be a metal frame, wooden or a combination of wood and chipboard (LDSP). The third option is the most affordable, the second is the most expensive, and the first is literally eternal.

There are simply no downsides to metal frames . They are quite environmentally friendly, durable, can withstand more weight (up to 250 kg!) Compared to wood. And modern design ideas and solutions turn the once boring office furniture into stylish furnishings. The only thing that can be considered a minus: often there are no linen drawers in such sofas.

Sofas on a solid wood frame are  expensive. Especially if valuable species are used: oak, teak, walnut, ash, beech, mahogany, elm, cedar. Soft coniferous varieties – trees, pine, fir – are less durable, but they are environmentally friendly and give the furniture the smell of a fresh forest.

A mix of wooden blocks and chipboard is the most common option. We used to be able to grumble here about the toxicity of glue and shavings, but technology has gone far ahead.

Choose the filling for your ideal sofa from a simple calculation: the stronger the base, the longer the sofa will last. Maybe you will pass it on to your grandchildren.


Question five: filler. It’s like bed mattresses. If you want to sleep soundly, choose a multi-layer filler with spring blocks, interlayers of horsehair, coconut, polyurethane foam or prohibitively expensive latex. Only a few factories produce such sleeping sofas. The rest most often use only polyurethane foam .

It is safe for humans, strong enough and resilient. This will keep the shape of the sofa for several years. Polyurethane foam can lie inside the upholstery in layers (then parts of the back, armrests and seat are simply glued together from thick pieces) or as a cast piece, when liquid polyurethane foam is poured into a special mold for a particular sofa at the factory. This method is much more expensive to manufacture and is used in factories with a large volume of orders of the same type of parts.

An outdated filling option is foam rubber . It is cheap, easy to fit into any shape and covers. But the term of conscientious service is five years. Then the foam rubber will sag, reveal all the obscene reliefs, and even release the springs into the wild. These sofas can be placed in the guest room, in the hallway or in the kitchen.

The most expensive filler is latex . Natural, hygroscopic, safe. It does not burn, does not mold, keeps its shape perfectly, does not cause allergies, and provides comfortable air circulation. If for some reason a double bed does not shine for you, choose the most comfortable sofa with latex filling. And don’t let anyone in!

What upholstery foam to choose

Question six: durable and beautiful upholstery. The most practical and durable option is leather. It is sticky in summer, cold in winter and it is simply impossible to sleep on it. But all the dust is clearly visible, it is easy to wipe with a damp cloth and fearlessly paint with felt-tip pens. A more ergonomic option is eco-leather. But even she does not breathe, cracks over time and requires special care products.

What upholstery foam to choose

Popular fabric options are expensive velor, flock and chenille, more affordable ones are jacquard and matting. Velor is very pleasant to the touch, is available in a variety of trendy colors and will give the furniture a touch of aristocracy. But it will lose all its gloss in five years. Flock is a little stronger, changes color depending on the position of the villi, pleasant to the touch, but absorbs odors. Chenille is a modern premium material. Very soft, very resistant to friction, but absolutely not suitable for apartments where humidity is high and cats live. Few people are resistant to cats.

Jacquard due to the interweaving of natural and synthetic threads is very durable, rough to the touch and in itself resembles a tapestry. In terms of colors, it is closer to the aesthetics of the 2000s: flowers with a shimmer, brocade patterns or a universal “cage”. The gunny does not stand up to any comparisons at all, but as a temporary option or as a wedge in the hallway – why not?

If you don’t want to go into details, ask the seller to name the Martindale test for abrasion resistance of the fabric. The figure must be from 20,000 cycles and above.

What color sofa to choose

Question 7: Will your sofa stay neutral or will it become a splash of color? If you buy a sofa with the expectation of “inheritance to grandchildren”, then pay attention to restrained shades and some kind of universal print. Such a sofa can fit into any style of interior, and if necessary, decorate with a blanket, cushions, cushions, a cover or pets. Yes, you yourself see how pussies decorate our houses .

What color sofa to choose

But if the room has neutral light walls and a ceiling, then allow yourself a rich-colored sofa. Let this be a challenge. Moreover, you cannot lose – even the pinkest sofa can be “justified” with a suitable poster, pillow or curtains.

If you want inspiration, take a closer look at the interiors of the heroes of popular TV shows. After all, professional designers and decorators worked there. For example, in the movies, sofas of all shades of brown and reddish are very fond of – such was Sheldon’s favorite sofa (and especially the armrest seat) from The Big Bang Theory and the plush sofa from the friends coffee shop.

Which sofa to choose home

Before you pay for your dream sofa at the checkout, sit on it thoroughly. We do not call for jumping and embarrassing others with ardent hugs. But lie down, fidget, throw your legs (without shoes), lean back and slide down it to your usual position, pat your hand invitingly on the seat … well, I understand, right? If the sofa is already creaking, do not be fooled by the manager’s “it’s just that the mechanisms have not been developed.” You don’t want your neighbors to knock on your batteries at night, do you?

Too pretentious and original sofas, too, appreciate with prejudice. The design version of the couch in the form of a cropped bathtub from Holly Golightly’s living room in Breakfast at Tiffany’s will look at least strange in an ordinary Khrushchev. And the pretentious brocade sofa with carved backs from The Great Gatsby will obviously not fit into the Scandi studio.

Finally, look again at your pencil sketch. Does the size of the chosen sofa exactly fit into your ideas about the ideal universe?

Living room sofa

Living room sofa

We choose a triple (to be sure) sofa with an ottoman, modular or straight, with the option of unfolding. After all, the sofa in the living room is such a secret haven where you can watch movies until the morning. Where can you crawl out of a common bed if the children have taken it. After all, this is a little paradise for those who have come home from a wild party and are not at all ready to tidy up for the marital bed.

Sofa for children

It can be a small folding sofa in cozy colors or an elegant chaise longue – it all depends on the tasks. A sofa as the only bed is an economical option, but not very useful for an unformed posture. But a couch for a grandmother who came to visit, or for a girlfriend who played Narnia, is just right.

Sofa for children

Variants with prints – cartoon characters – sweep away immediately ( this applies to all furniture in the nursery ). Today, the blue tractor is held in high esteem, tomorrow the Winx fairies, and a week later, someone from the Miyazaki anime you don’t know. And you just learned the song of the tractor at last …

Kitchen sofa

Corners and sets with stools have long been out of fashion (here are 6 more signs that the furniture is outdated (and what to replace it with ). A sofa in the kitchen is more of a luxury item, a way to create an atmosphere and mood for cozy gatherings.

Kitchen sofa

Three important factors for a kitchen sofa: the upholstery should not absorb odors and be afraid of water, and a deep saucepan for 10 liters of borscht should be placed under the seat cover.

And finally. Carefully feel the sofa before buying – it should be smooth, with even seams and uniform filler. Try on the back if you are taller than average, and look for models with an extended back. Lay out and assemble the sofa several times in the store.