Beyond the Price Tag: How to Judge a Sofa for Quality
Choosing a quality sofa is art. It takes a great deal of experience to see through the sleek upholstery and judge a sofa purely on its intrinsic value and quality.
Indeed, a great sofa is more than meets the eyes.
It’s no wonder then why two identical sofas vary so much in price.
This post is designed to help you deconstruct the critical components of a sofa to evaluate if it’s worth the price.
As per furniture experts, there are essentially three qualities you should judge a sofa on. Let’s talk about them in detail.
The longevity of a sofa depends largely on its frame – it’s the frame is sturdy and built from high-quality material, it’s likely to have a long life and withstand pressure and elements year after year.
But, that’s not all, let’s take an example of what actually constitutes a sturdy and quality frame and what you should look for while examining the frame of a sofa.
Klin Dried Wood: High-quality sofas tend to last a long life because their frames are built from high-quality wood. The very process of making a frame highly determines its quality.
The frame can be made from hardwood and Greenwood. As a matter of fact, frames that are built from hardwood tend to be stronger.
Often the best and strongest of frames are made out of kiln-dried hardwood. The kiln-drying process ensures that the moisture is removed from the hardwood, enabling it to retain its shape and stability when exposed to the elements and pressure.
On the contrary, frames made from Greenwood or knotted wood will shrink and crack over the period of time. Therefore, it’s really important for you to check if the sofa you want to buy is made from hardwood, Greenwood or knotted wood. Don’t hesitate to ask the salesperson about the details of the manufacturing process. Alternatively, you can check the details from the brochure.
Strength of Joints: The strength of a sofa frame also depends on how its joints are held together. There are various ways to join the ends of wood in order to build a frame. They can be glued, dowelled or screwed. Each process can be applied to a frame depending on the nature and style of frame. In some cases, blocks are used in the corners of the frame for adding strength. However, when the joints are dowelled or screwed securely, they provide impeccable strength and support to the frame, which, in turn, empowers the frame to withstand additional weight.
Layers of Plywood: Usually, low-cost sofas tend to have frames that are built from inferior wood materials such as plywood and particleboard. Should you choose a sofa built from plywood, be sure it’s made from the best quality plywood. High-quality plywood usually has 11-13 layers of food. Any fewer and the sofa has a very weak frame.
A high-quality frame acts as an anchor to the seating support of a sofa. However, the seating support must be built securely to endure everyday use and abuse. While buying a sofa, be sure to test the strength of the seating support, a seat on it and see that it doesn’t sag.
Much like the frame, the seating support must be built to last a long time. And, often the process of making the seating support determines its strength. When it comes to the process, there are three methods to the making of seating support such as:
Eight-way Hand-tied Spring System: One of the most popular methods used to build the sofa’s support system, it connects each spring to the adjoining one with strong twine. The twines then pass side to side, front to back, and diagonally in both directions ensuring each spring is tied very securely. This is considered to be the gold standard of building sofa’s support system and is often labor-intensive. Therefore, they are more often used in the making of high-end sofas.
Sinuous Spring Construction: Sinuous spring construction is another popular method of building support system; however, they are not as strong as the 8-way hand-tied spring system. The method involves using sinuous springs which are S-shaped. The sinuous springs run from the front of the seat to the back, which is supported by additional wires that run from side to side.
The sinuous springs run from the front of the seat to the back.
Web Suspension: The web suspension is considered to be low quality support system there is no use of spring in this method. Rather, bands of webbing are used to cross the seat and back, which are then attached to the frame to build a platform for the cushion. The webbing can be either natural or man-made fibers. Since it’s unable to offer a very high-quality support system, sometimes a tensioner is used to fasten the webbing to the frame securely.
While a strong frame and well-built support system ensure stability and endurance, the filling inside the cushions augments the comfort for great seating experience.
Essentially, you have the following choices as far as the filling is concerned.
Down Cushions: These cushions are premium choices and therefore, are very expensive. These cushions have down proof ticking beneath the upholstery fabric in order to stop feathers from poking through. Down cushions are very delicate and need the utmost care to able to last longer.
Blend Down Pads: Blend down pads are a kind of down that uses pads made out of Dacron polyester fiber. They are also wrapped around high-density foam for extra comfort. In some cases, the springs in the support system are surrounded by high-density foam which is wrapped in down pads offering strong and resilient support without losing their shapes easily.
Polyurethane: It is the most common filling method and comparatively cheaper in terms of cost. Basically, the higher the density of the foam, the firmer the cushion and the longer it is likely to last. Never go for the low-quality foam for your sofa as it breaks down very quickly.
- Ellon Labana