Buyers guide to sofas
Picture: Supplied by Freedom

Be sure to know the dimensions of your room and where you are going to place your sofas, said Claudia Monk, of The General Store.

"In store, a lounge often appears smaller than when you get it home and place it in your living room space."

Adam Watkins, of Bespoke Furniture Gallery, said it was important to scrutinise the quality of a piece.

"You can see how well it is upholstered but you cannot see how it was constructed," he said. "Where was it made? Will this sofa last as long as your parents' sofa they had for 20 years?" As a rule, he said sofas should at least have a 10-year guarantee on the frame, suspension and the foams.

Ask what the frame and cushion inserts are made up of, recommended Fiona Steddy, of Minkz.

And ensure fabric lounges have fully reversible cushions: "(This) uses twice the fabric but provides twice the lifetime of the cheaper products," she said.

Mr Watkins also recommended looking at the fabric swatch and finding the label. "The label states the performance of the fabric from light domestic to heavy commercial," he said. "The composition states the material used; generally the higher the polyester synthetic content the more durable the fabric is and the easier it is to clean.

"The label also states the Martindale Rub Test: this measures the durability of the fabric."

Buying a leather sofa? Ensure you're getting the real thing, Ms Steddy said. "Cheap leather, or fake leather, is not designed to last a long time and it can be hard to tell the difference," she said.

"Be extremely wary of products that claim to be good quality but cost a lot less than competitors. Cheaper alternatives will only frustrate you and cost you more long term as they deteriorate quickly."

And don't forget comfort, Ms Monk said - after all, this is a sofa. "Make sure your lounge is long enough to lie on and deep enough to curl up on," she said.

Mr Shah said it was also important to inquire about what the warranty covered (for example, the frame, springing, webbing and cushions), and where a sofa was made. If it's locally made, any problems down the track could be easily dealt with by going direct to the manufacturer.

And always find out who the warranty comes from. "When you buy a sofa from a retailer, the guarantee is the manufacturer's, not the retailer's," he said.

The West Australian

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