Skimp or Splurge: The Sofa Edition

Sitting at the intersection of comfort and style, and often sporting a hefty price tag, a lot of factors go into finding the perfect sofa for you. In this installment of our “Skimp or Splurge” series, we are taking a closer look at what to consider when you are buying a sofa.

Don’t think of this as a trade-off between price and quality, as we all know that one does not always equal the other. Instead, re-frame the challenge of finding the right sofa as a balancing act between cost and longevity.

Here are four questions to ask yourself when deciding to skimp or splurge on a new sofa.

Question 1: How nomadic are you?

Sofas are large, bulky, and not the easiest pieces of furniture to move. One that worked perfectly in your current home, might not fit through the doorway at your new place.

Your solve:

If you plan to only live where you are for under a year, consider skimping on an inexpensive sofa that you won’t have to worry about lugging to a new location.

Around five years? Maybe a slightly higher-quality option is the best fit for you, as you want something that will last you that half decade or so, but won’t be missed if you decide not to bring it with you to your new place.

Finally, if you are relatively settled in your current home, it likely makes more sense to invest in a higher quality sofa that will last you 15 years or more.

The bottom line: Your overall timeline is important to consider before making a big-ticket purchase that isn’t easy to transport with you.

Question 2: Are you into trends?

A trendy sofa looks great right now, but you might find you’re sick of it after a short time.

Your solve:

If you can’t say no to a sofa with a bold color or statement pattern, consider skimping on a lower-cost option rather than investing in a more expensive one. Unlike decorative accents, you can’t as easily move a sofa from room to room when you get tired of it, so don’t sink your money into something you’ll be sick of in a year.

If you’re looking for a sofa that can transcend your current tastes, consider investing in a high-quality neutral option. This can be a sofa with a neutral fabric, a quality leather option, or a even a sofa with a versatile shape, such as a chaise that can switch sides.

The bottom line: If you want to splurge on a quality sofa, it’s important to find one that works for both now and later.


Question 3: Do you have pets or kids?

Kids and pets can often be the greatest factor that contributes to furniture wear and tear.

Your solve:

One way around this is to skimp on a cheap sofa option that you don’t mind replacing as it gets destroyed. Consider, though, that opting for something too cheap will mean low quality, and can lead you to spending more money in the long run as it will need to be replaced more frequently.

The alternative is to invest in a slightly higher quality option with durability in mind. Consider choosing a performance fabric option that is stain resistant. Quality leather is also great for pets as it won’t stain or rip easily, it does not magnetically attract fur, and any scratches will blend in with it’s patina.

The bottom line: You know your kids and pets the best, so factor their habits and your sanity into the picture when deciding what sofa makes sense for your family.

Question 4: How much time will you spend on your sofa?

If you use it a lot, don’t make yourself miserable.

Your solve:

If you’re always on the go and rarely spend time on your sofa, no need to invest in a high-quality, ultra-comfy option. Maybe something inexpensive but stylish will suffice.

If you’re a self-proclaimed couch potato, don’t skimp on a cheap sofa that is uncomfortable. There are plenty of mid-range priced sofas that are the triple-threat being comfortable, of decent quality, and nice to look at too.

The bottom line: The things you touch and use daily, like your mattress and your sofa, are where it makes sense to invest in quality and comfort.


Splurging on a sofa can be intimidating. Get confident and try on sofas in your home before you make the investment.


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