5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Sofa (so You Don’t Regret It Later)


Choosing a sofa is no easy process. There are so many options on the market, many of which are major investments, and even lower-end finds can still cost a pretty significant chunk of change. Plus, the sofa is a piece you’re bound to use every day, so you’ll want it to stand the test of time while still being comfy and looking chic. There’s just so much to consider! To help you streamline your shopping process, we spoke to interior designers who shared their best sofa buying tips to keep in mind before you make a purchase. 

1. Be strategic when it comes to color 

Designers get it: White sofas are pretty. But skip them if they aren’t conducive to your lifestyle—you’ll thank yourself later. “Before you commit to the pale color that you see online or in the showroom, ask yourself a few questions,” said Laura Medicus, a Denver-based interior designer. “Do you have pets who get up on the sofa? What about small children? Do you regularly eat or drink on the sofa? If any of those are a yes, a white sofa is probably not for you.” 

That said, you may not want to stray too far off the beaten path when it comes to hue, either. “Don’t buy a color because it’s trendy,” advised New York City designer Isabella Patrick. “Right now, I’m seeing a lot of greens and yellows and dark oranges. I love these colors, but can you see yourself living with them for five, 10, or 15 years?” 

Also, don’t forget to consider the actual fabric of the sofa. A darker-colored linen might end up being less practical than a lighter velvet if the fabric is more delicate and prone to stains or tears. For example, the performance velvet available in our collaboration with Interior Define is an editor favorite for durability without sacrificing style. Stains are easily buffed out with water and a mild detergent, even on lighter shades. If you’re unsure about fabric or color, always order a set of swatches (Interior Define offers 10 for free!) to get a sense of how it feels and looks in your interior lighting. 

The Everygirl x Interior Define

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The Everygirl x Interior Define

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Source: Aimee Mazzenga for The Everygirl

2. Measure, measure, measure

When it comes to a sofa’s size, you’ll want to consider how it’ll look in the context of your living room. Medicus advised placing painter’s tape on the floor to create an outline of the piece’s measurements before clicking “purchase.” But there’s one more step involved: triple-checking that the prospective sofa can adequately fit through your apartment’s front door (or up the stairway, if your building doesn’t have an elevator). A little foresight will save you time and money down the line. 

Additionally, don’t forget to measure a sofa’s height and the depth of the seat, design influencer Erika Kikola advised. She noted, “Our previous couch was teeny, so we made sure our sectional provided enough space for us to lay, cuddle, and sit up while feeling supported.” 

If you fall in love with a piece, check the customization options. With our The Everygirl x Interior Define collection, you can adjust the length and depth to ensure you get the perfect fit for your space. If you need something that’ll fit in a tighter space, try a loveseat or piece designed specifically to fit in smaller apartments. 

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The Everygirl x Interior Define

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The Everygirl x Interior Define

3. Choose a price that’s right 

“Once you find your perfect style of sofa, purchase the best quality your budget will allow,” said Gordana DiMonte, creative director at Douglas Design Studio in Toronto. “After all, you will be using this piece of furniture every day. Consider the value over time and how long you wish to keep the sofa.” This may mean spending a bit more money on a high-quality piece that will last for several years. You’ll likely be happier paying extra upfront if it means that you won’t have to replace it after a short period. However, if you frequently move apartments and can’t guarantee that your future space will accommodate a certain piece, you’ll likely want to steer away from making a major investment until you settle into a more permanent home. 

Looking at styles in person can be beneficial if you’re having a tough time making a decision. “Online shopping makes it easy to buy just about anything, at any price,” said Kelly Mlsna of Cake + Jelly Design in Madison, Wisconsin, “but you will do yourself a favor by taking the time to visit a few stores and actually sit in different styles, with different cushions, arm heights, and fabrics. You might be surprised at what you really like and want.” 

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Source: Darlene Campos for The Everygirl

4. Think about how you’ll use the piece 

Sofas are designed to be sat on after all, so the style you choose needs to work with your lifestyle. For example, sectionals give off a cozy, casual feel that’s great for lounging, while two sofas facing each other will create a more formal atmosphere that works well for entertaining, Patrick explained. If you love to host, a more tailored sofa may be the move, but if your lifestyle is more chill, comfort is key. Snuggling up on the couch and binge-watching Netflix is much cozier when you’ve got plush cushions and plenty of space to stretch out.

5. Make it complementary 

If you’re purchasing a replacement sofa and don’t plan to change any of your existing decor, you’ll want to ensure that the piece you buy complements your living room setup. That means the style, fabric, or leg finish should fit in with the existing elements in the room, DiMonte noted. The shape of the sofa is also key here. “If you want to achieve a contemporary look, keep the lines of your sofa clean and the colors neutral,” DiMonte said. “If your style is more feminine, you might opt for curvier lines and some tufting.” 





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