Buying a new sofa is always a chore.  There’s the matter of finding one you like the looks of, the feel of, the color of, one that fits in your room well, not to mention one that fits your budget!  But Apartment Therapy makes sure you don’t forget to look for the little details that ensure your sofa is built to last.

The first thing you want to look at is the frame because a good frame ensures your sofa will keep its shape for a long time.  Kiln-dried hardwood is the highest quality material used for a frame.  Softer woods like pine are more likely to warp easily and if the wood has a lot of knots it will break sooner.  You also want to be sure the wood is at least one inch thick (reach under the front of the sofa to feel for the frame).

Construction is also a clue to the quality.  You can ask the salesperson or examine a store model that has been cut in half if one is available.  Joints should be mortise and tenon or dowelled joints.  It’s okay if the wood is joined with screws, but avoid ones that use staples.  If the frame has reinforcing blocks, that’s another bonus that will help your sofa keep its shape.

If the legs are built in, that’s stronger than ones that are just screwed in and if you lift the frame more than 6 inches to check out the legs, the other end of the sofa should lift as well.  Otherwise the frame isn’t strong enough.

Apartment Therapy also has detailed instructions on what to look for in the springs, cushions, fabric and tailoring, so be sure to read the entire article to make sure your purchase will last a while.  And if you live in an apartment, don’t forget to measure doorways, hallways and stairs to be sure that when your sofa arrives at its new home, it can move right in! 

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