Burnt orange loveseat sofa with matching ottoman and oversized cream chair.

Sofa Buying on a Budget: How to Find Affordable and High-Quality Sofas

A sofa is one of the most important furniture investments you will make for your home. If you think about it, you will most likely spend more time sitting on your sofa in the future than you will in your car. So, it is important to choose a high-quality sofa that will serve you well for many years to come as our Ultimate Sofa Buying Guide teaches you.

High-quality sofas can sometimes be costly, and finding one that ticks all your design boxes, including style, shape, and texture, may feel a little daunting. However, never fear; there are many ways to combat this.

In this blog, we will look at ways that you can buy a high-quality, affordable sofa when you are on a budget, and we will outline the key things to consider before you go sofa shopping to ensure that you’ll get full bang for your buck!

How can you tell if a sofa is high-quality?

A great, high-quality sofa will be made with the finest materials, such as an eight-way hand-tied suspension system, sturdy metal or kiln-dried hardwood frames, reinforced screws, and corner blocks. It’s a good idea to look closely at the construction of the frame of a sofa, as this will instantly tell you if it is durable and of good quality. Most retailers will include the sofa construction information online and you can also source this information in-store via most furniture retails sales departments. Keep in mind that higher quality materials may cost more, but they will contribute to the overall comfort and longevity of your sofa, which will save you money in the long run.

Light grey tweed sofa corner cushion.

High-quality sofas are also made with sturdy fabrics, such as microfiber, leather, and performance fabrics designed for heavy use. These upholstery selections will last longer and be easier to maintain. Make sure the sofa seams and stitching are even and tight, and avoid low-density foam in sofa cushions, as they can lose their shape quite quickly.

A good-quality sofa should last approximately 7 – 15 years, and you will know if it is a high-quality piece if it has a strong frame, which will make it harder to lift or move. A lower-grade sofa will be lighter and easier to move around, so avoid frames made with cheaper materials, such as plastic and metal, as they may warp and crack a lot sooner than more durable materials, and the replacement will cost you a lot more in the long run.

Determine your sofa budget

Like any large purchase in life, it is important to determine your budget prior to going shopping. As your sofa will be one of the most used furniture items in your home, you will want to invest as much of your budget as possible into the highest quality sofa that you can afford. This way, it will be more comfortable, and it will last a lot longer. Whether you make the sofa the key point of your room or select one that blends into the overall décor, make sure to pick one that complements your space. Remember, everything else can work around your sofa, and vice versa; this includes soft furnishings, colour palettes, and accessories.

Burgundy chesterfield velvet sofa with matching ottoman.

Once you have determined your budget, make sure to stick to it. Like so many purchases that we make daily, it is easy to be swayed by temptation. And bear in mind that a larger price tag doesn’t always reflect the quality. Make a mental note of the features that are most important to you, for example, comfort, durability, functionality, and style, and focus your search on sofas that meet those criteria within your budget. 

Do your research

Once you have settled on your budget and have outlined what your priorities are, this will help narrow down the search for your dream sofa. There is a huge selection of different sofa types as well as designs and styles on the market to choose from.  

Faux leather cream sofa suite, three, two and one seaters with matching cream rug.

Here are some research tips on what you should look out for:

  • Sofa selection: Familiarise yourself with the different types of sofas on the market that are within your budget. Keep a log of your favourite types including shape, size, texture, and style.
  • Construction: Consider the different types of materials that sofas are made from and be aware of the high-quality options available. Remember that durability is one of the most important factors when sofa shopping.
  • Reviews: Look around at the sofa marketplace, both online and in-store, and take note of the most popular sofa ranges available to you within your budget. You can review customer feedback online, and you will know instantly if a sofa is high-quality if there are consistently positive reviews about it.You can also gain a lot of insight from expert designers who have tried and tested several types of sofas. They love to write about them and promote them, and they will generally include a wealth of information, including the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Look for sofa sales and discounts

A great way to find an affordable, high-quality sofa is to look for sales and discounts. After all, who doesn’t love a bargain? There are many furniture sales throughout the year, as well as seasonal offers and clearance sales. If you keep an eye on your favourite sofa, you just might be in luck when it comes to getting a stellar price.


Man and woman holding hands sofa shopping with a view of cream sofas and coloured cushions.

Many furniture outlets also provide discounts and percentages off if you sign up for their newsletter or place an initial order with them. You can also monitor sofa sales through social media. If you are willing to be patient and give it some time, these tactics can all help you potentially save quite a lot of money when buying your ideal sofa.

Consider second hand options

There is a huge variety of second-hand sofas on the market, which is an eco-friendly way to shop, and a lot kinder on your wallet. There are many unique gems out there, you just need to know where to look and what to look for.

An example of this is Corcoran’s Outlet store, Rock Street, Tralee, which has a huge variety of suites available at a bargain price.

Silver fabric coloured corner sofa.

Here are our top tips to consider when purchasing a high-quality second-hand sofa:

  • Look for high-quality durable frames and construction. If the frame squeaks or is off-centre in any way, then this is not the sofa for you.
  • Thoroughly inspect the sofa for wear and tear and general damage.
  • Check out a variety of online second-hand sofa options via Facebook, Craigslist, thrift stores, charity shops, and estate sales.
  • If you are lucky enough to find an antique sofa that works for your space, remember that it has lasted a long time already, which reflects its excellent quality and craftsmanship.
  • Avoid lightweight sofas, as they will not be durable and will be susceptible to moisture and humidity.
  • Smell the sofa! Unfortunately, this is the only way you can find out if it is suitable for your space and not affected by scents such as oil, smoke, or mould. You will be sitting on it for a long time to come, so it is important that it smells nice.
  • Check the back of the sofa and underneath the sofa to ensure there are no rips or loose springs and upholstery.
  • If you do have to do some work by reupholstering your second-hand sofa, then consider it an opportunity to make it more unique and a way to put your own stamp on it.

Choose a timeless design

A classic sofa design will never go out of style. It will last through a variety of trends and styles over many years, and neutral colours will adapt to different décor styles. By investing in a timeless style sofa, you can rest assured it will retain its value and appeal for a long time to come.

Faux leather three seater cream reclining sofa with matching rug.

Classic sofas may be more costly initially, but their durability makes them the perfect investment, and they will save you money in the long-term. They are also usually crafted from high-quality materials and have an increased resale value as they hold their value longer than on-trend furniture pieces.

Test drive your sofa

If possible, test drive your sofa in person. The cushions should give you ample back support, and you should be able to rest your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Also test out the comfort factor of the sofa’s arms, as well as the height and width of the back of the sofa, as these will have a direct impact on your comfort levels in general.

Light grey fabric covered sofa corner with scattered cushions.

The depth of your sofa will influence how you feel when you are sitting or lying down, and remember that the deeper the sofa base is, the more you can sprawl out on it. All these features will be down to your personal preference, but make sure you are happy with how your sofa feels prior to agreeing on the price with the retailer. Lastly, do not be afraid to negotiate the price of your soon-to-be sofa, as many stores (including yours truly) are willing to offer discounts or add incentives, such as complementary accessory promotions or customer loyalty discounts.

Buying a high-quality sofa on a budget may sound a little challenging at times, but it can also be interesting and fun. Your budget will play a large role in the sofa you choose, so make sure to take your time to select the best one within your price range. There are many bargains on the market, which you can access through research and sales, and there are also some fabulous, more than worthy, second-hand gems to be found. By taking all these factors into consideration, you will have no trouble finding your affordable dream sofa and knowing that you got a bargain will make it all the sweeter.

Ready to find your dream sofa without breaking the bank? Explore our range of affordable yet high-quality sofas. Each one is designed with care and crafted to provide long-lasting comfort and style. Your perfect, budget-friendly sofa is waiting for you – start your sofa search now and relish the sweet satisfaction of a great deal.

Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

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