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Sofa Buying Guide

Sofas are a staple of any household. Between the kids, the pets and ourselves, we sit on them, lounge on them, sleep on them, work on them, eat on them, jump off them, scratch them and chew on them.
They come in all sorts of shapes, styles and sizes. and that's the problem, really. In this world of daring designs, fabulous fabrics and sumptuous scatters, how are you supposed to choose?
We can't pick for you, obviously. But we can guide you on your sofa journey by answering some of your biggest burning questions.

Which sofa is best?

That's a very good question, but I'm afraid I'll have to answer it with another: best in what way?
Different sofas excel in different areas, such as comfort, style or durability, and some may suit your lifestyle better than others.


Which sofas are the most comfortable?

Comfort is important but also subjective - what's comfy for one person may be downright unpleasant for someone else.

The important thing is that you feel relaxed and supported when you sit. We have lots of options to help maximise your comfort, so we'll take you through some examples below.


  • Feather fillings have that soft, luxurious feel and allow you to really sink into your seat. They require a bit of plumping to maintain their shape and softness and might not be suitable for allergy sufferers
  • Fibre fillings come in different densities but are generally quite soft. These cushions also benefit from plumping to keep them looking and feeling good. As they are made with synthetic fibres, they are better suited to allergy sufferers
  • Foam is firmer, making it a more supportive option. Medical foams are also available, which aid in circulation. Foam retains its shape, making it the lowest maintenance of these fillings

Many of our sofas contain combinations of these fillings to achieve superior comfort.

You can see details about each sofa's construction online. You can also visit our fantastic showrooms to make sure your dream sofa feels as good as it looks and that you aren't overlooking any cosy hidden gems.


High back or low back?

A high back provides extra support for your head, back and neck, helping to keep you in a comfortable position and reduce the risk of back pain. Low back sofas won't cause back pain and can still be perfectly comfy, but they are less supportive, being more style-oriented.


Reclining options

Reclining options allow you to put your feet up more comfortably, without having to tuck your feet beside you, slouch or lean against the armrest. By encouraging you to sit 'properly', they can help to reduce aches and pains.

Dual motor recliners allow you to operate the backrest and footrest independently, so you can find the best seating position for you. This provides a tailored comfort experience.

seat height

Seat height and depth

Deeper or higher seats will be more appropriate for people with longer legs. Lower or shallower seats are better suited to smaller people. Most families aren't all one height, but try to keep as many people happy and comfortable as you can.


Which sofas are the best quality?

We source the finest sofas from around the world, made with high quality materials by expert upholsterers. Our extensive sofa collection includes well-known premium brands who pride themselves on their craftsmanship, such as Natuzzi, Ercol and Alexander & James. We would expect nothing less for our customers.


Which is better - leather or fabric?

Fabrics come at a lower price point and have different textures and properties, such as wools and velvets. Patterns are also available, which are great for accent furniture or making a style statement. They also tend to keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Leathers come in different grades. Protected leathers are a colder to the touch but make up for it with additional resilience. They are cheaper and lower maintenance than other leathers (just wipe them down with a damp cloth) and contain the fewest imperfections.

Aniline leathers are warmer and softer but harder to maintain. They are more expensive and carry more prestige, but are not protected and include imperfections like scars and insect bites. If you love characterful, one-of-a-kind furniture, it's for you. If you want something low maintenance, stick with protected.

Semi-aniline leathers sit in the middle of protected and aniline leathers. After the leather is dyed, a thin protective layer of pigment is added to the surface. This offers the softer feel of aniline leather with the protective benefits of a surface coating. The leather will still include natural variations like aniline leathers and won't be as heavy-duty as protected leathers.


Which sofa is best for cats and dogs?

When our lovable pets aren't scratching up the furniture, they're getting mucky paws and fur all over the upholstery. So, what options are best to withstand this onslaught?

The hoovering need not be never-ending if you pick the right sofa colour - the colour of your four-legged friend's fur, of course!

Protected leathers are also a good option because they are durable and easy to clean.

We also have furniture protection plans to cover you against some of your pet-related accidents. You can learn more about our plans and what they cover here.


What's fashionable?

Fashions change all the time, but we're entering the 2020s with lots of classic mid-century designs, particularly in jewel tones and botanic fabrics. Button-back detail, curved backs and tapered legs are currently in vogue, often complemented with dark or gold legs for that opulent finish.

For a fun or casual look, geometric accents are still a popular look. You can select a bright body colour, such as yellow, lime or teal, or try a more neutral grey sofa and use sunny, patterned scatters to add interest.

how many

How many sofas should I have - and how big should they be?

A good - and difficult - question. It's a case of matching your requirements to the space you have available. Often people have either one or two sofas in their living rooms, sometimes adding an armchair or recliner. A standard configuration would be a 3 seater, 2 seater and armchair.

What you don't want to do is block any doors or take over the whole room with sofas, so adapt your seating arrangements appropriately. If you're low on space, you may be able to make do with a 3 seater and armchair, or two 2 seaters. A corner sofa is also a good space-saver. Don't be afraid to experiment to find the best combination.

How long do sofas take to make?

Our sofas are almost always made to order especially for you, so the process takes a bit longer than it would for a mass-produced alternative. Lead times vary for different sofas, but most will typically take between 8 and 14 weeks outside peak times of year. You can check the lead time for a sofa by clicking on the Delivery tab.

Will the sofa fit in my house?

We strongly recommend measuring your home and your new sofa to make sure it will fit in your living room and through your doorways.

If you've done the above and aren't sure it will fit, don't throw in the towel just yet - check with our sales experts first on 0333 200 1552. You see, some of our beautiful sofas are sneakier than they appear, featuring removable feet or removable arms. Removable arms and feet make delivery easier, reducing the dimensions of your sofa so it can fit through smaller gaps. Some sofas are also sectional or are available split, meaning that they arrive in two or more parts and are put together in your room of choice. Our White Glove delivery teams also work wonders and have a knack for getting sofas into your lounge unscathed.

How will my sofa be delivered?

As part of our outstanding White Glove delivery service, a two man team will deliver your sofa to your living room or another room of your choice. The team will then assemble your sofa and remove all packaging so that you can enjoy your new furniture immediately.


Speak to an expert

Still unsure about what to purchase? Why not speak to one of our sales experts, either in store or on the phone on 0333 200 1552.


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