Green velvet sofa and dusty pink velvet feature chair.

The Ultimate Checklist for Making a Confident Decision on Your Dream Sofa

So, you have finally made the decision to buy your dream sofa—congratulations! As this is such a significant, important, and potentially costly furniture purchase for your home, you will want to be certain that you choose the correct one. With so many questions such as, ‘Will it fit?’ ‘What fabric should I choose?’ ‘How will I know if it will be comfortable?’ and ‘Will it last?’ you may feel that choosing the perfect sofa is a daunting task. But never fear, we are on hand to help!

You will be lounging and entertaining on your treasured sofa for many days ahead, so it is important to select the perfect one for your needs and space. With this in mind, we have put together the ultimate checklist so that you can make a confident decision when buying your dream sofa.


Before you take a deep dive into the world of sofa shopping, make sure to sit down and assess your budget. There is no point in falling madly in love with a sofa only to realise later that it doesn’t match your budget. Set out your budget criteria and stick to it. As a sofa is a long-term investment, bear in mind that a cheaper sofa does not necessarily mean that it will be less expensive long-term, as it may need to be replaced more frequently.

Cream leather three seater L-shaped sofa.

Focus on selecting the highest-quality sofa within your budget. It will last longer, it will be more comfortable, and you will get more bang for your buck!


Think about the function of your new sofa prior to selecting your ideal one. For example, consider your lifestyle: do you want to spend long leisurely days lounging on your dream sofa, and mainly use it for relaxing and watching TV? Or do you want your perfect sofa to look more formal, or to be showcased as an accent piece in your space? Whatever your requirements are, do not purchase a sofa until you have decided what its main function will be.

Navy fabric four seater sofa with recliner option.

Also, consider who will be using the sofa. Is it just for you, or is it for a busy household with many family members and pets? You may need to select a larger sofa if you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, or you may wish to select a smaller and more compact sofa, depending on your needs. Or maybe you’re looking for a multi-functional furniture piece that can serve in a sitting room or home office space and can easily convert to a night time setup for guests.

Sofa size

The size of the sofa is important, as you will need to consider the overall dimensions of the space available to you, including the width, height, and depth of the area. A great way to determine if your soon-to-be dream sofa will work in your space is to create a rough outline of the shape of the sofa with masking tape on the floor. This will give you an exact idea of how it will fit in your space.

Lady measuring back of dark green sofa using measuring tape.

You will also want to ensure that your sofa will fit through spaces in your house, such as doorways, stairs, and hallways. Once you are clear as to what size sofa you want, this will help to narrow down the search, and you can then focus on what materials and style will work best for you.

Structure and materials

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing your sofa is the structure of the sofa and the quality of the materials used to build it. This will determine the longevity and durability of the sofa.It is also advisable to think about your lifestyle and how much use your sofa will get. This way, you can determine how durable it needs to be. For example, if you have a busy household with lots of footfall and young children, a leather sofa may be suitable, as it is durable and easy to clean. Alternatively, sofa slipcovers can be a practical and stylish choice, and fabric sofas will offer a huge range of colour palette options.

Person vacuuming orange velvet sofa with dog sitting on it.

Here are some tips to consider when checking the construction and quality of a sofa:

  • Frame: High-quality sofas have a solid, sturdy frame that is usually made from kiln-dried hardwoods such as maple, cherry, mahogany, oak, and birch. The kiln drying process ensures that the wood won’t crack or warp over the years.
  • Joints: The best sofas have joints that are reinforced with dowels, screws, or brackets. Avoid less expensive options that use only glue, staples, or nails, as these won’t stand the test of time.
  • Support springs: The quality of the springs will determine how comfortable your sofa will be. Hand-tied eight-way springs are the gold standard when it comes to support, and these are the best on the market. Alternative options include the S-shaped sinuous springs, which run from front to back, or the cheaper web suspension option, where springs are crossed and attached to the seat and back to create a platform.
  • Cushion filling: The cushion filling you select will help to maintain a sofa’s shape, and it will also have an impact on how the sofa feels when you are seated on it. There are many durable foam cushion options available that will retain their shape over time, such as high-density foam, memory foam, and polyurethane foam. Alternatively, you may choose a down and feather cushion filling option. These are more expensive than foam options, but they are undoubtedly the most luxurious and comfortable sofa cushion option available.
  • Fabric: The fabric you choose will depend on the function of the sofa and your personal preference. Leather is extremely durable and easy to maintain, but it is an expensive option. Linen and cotton wear very well, but as they are made from 100% natural fibres, they will be pricy, and they are harder to keep clean than leather options. Blends such as cotton and polyester will retain great texture year after year, and as they are a natural and synthetic fibre blend, they are very durable, making them a popular option in many homes.
  • Comfort: The comfort of your sofa is key. If possible, test the sofa in person to make sure that you can sit comfortably on it with your feet flat on the floor, and that the back height and seat depth match your preferences. If you are unable to test it out in person, you can monitor the ratings of your dream sofa by reading online reviews and testimonials from previous buyers. This will give you a real-life insight into the quality, comfort, and durability of the sofa you are looking to purchase. Also, check out the return and exchange policy prior to purchasing so that you fully understand the retailers return policy should you need it.

Sofa style

Your own personal taste will no doubt lead you to gravitate towards a certain sofa style when shopping but remember to aim to choose a style that is in keeping with the rest of your furniture and taste. Also bear in mind how different styles will elevate your space. For example, sofas made with high backs and arms, or with ornate wood, will feel heavier than more contemporary sofas which feature exposed legs and lower arms.

Green velvet sofa with silver legs and matching armchair.

Also consider the colour palette of your room. A neutral sofa will be more flexible with a variety of décor styles and will also stand the test of time. Alternatively, you may wish to choose an accent piece with an instant pop of colour or a sofa with a bright and vibrant texture or pattern.

When considering the overall style of your sofa, also consider any additional features you may require. For example, if you live in a smaller space, a sofa-bed may be the perfect solution for overnight guests, or if you like to fully recline while lounging, you may opt for features such as adjustable head and footrests. Some sofa options include features such as USB ports, electric recline, drinks consoles and interior storage, so the choice is limitless when it comes to finding a dream sofa to meet your needs.

Take your time when selecting the perfect sofa for your living space; after all, your couch is one of the most important pieces of furniture you will purchase for your home. The right sofa will serve you well for many years as it provides the ideal place to lounge, chat, socialise, and snooze. Once you determine your budget, select the highest-quality sofa within your price range. And once you follow our recommended checklist that includes, function, size, structure, materials, and style, you cannot go wrong. In the meantime, happy sofa shopping!

Ready to find the perfect addition to your living space? We welcome you to peruse our extensive collection of top-quality sofas, all within a wide range of prices to fit your budget. Don’t wait to find a sofa that combines style, durability, and comfort all in one. Start exploring now and let your happy sofa shopping journey begin right here!

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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