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Sofa Buying Guide: 5 Questions to Help You Decide How Much to Spend a New Sofa

With so much of life currently spent at home, it’s more important than ever to have furniture that works for your life. And, after countless TV show binge-watching sessions on our sofas (and some reading of books too—don’t worry!), we’ve decided that a good sofa is worth its weight in gold.

So, it might be time to ask yourself if you have a sofa you love or if it’s time for something new? And if you’re embarking on the hunt for the perfect sofa, you’ve come to the right place.

GIF of different sofas swapping into a room

The “perfect sofa” looks different for everyone—but there are some universal non-negotiables when it comes to finding the right sofa for you. It should be comfortable, fit in your living room, reflect your style, and hopefully last a few years (if not more). Not to mention it should be a price that fits within your budget!

But all that is easier said than done. It doesn’t take long in the search process to discover that shopping for furniture isn’t always simple. There are a lot of decisions to make: Do you opt for a sectional or sofa? Do you try to save some money with a cheap sofa or splurge on a more high-end sofa? Is it even possible to find nice couches under $500—or sectionals under $1,000? Oh, and what about sofa materials??

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Before you get completely overwhelmed by all the possibilities, we’ve found that it’s generally best to start by thinking through your budget and how much you’d like to spend on your sofa before getting lost in the world of sofa styles and materials.

What you choose to invest in a new sofa is totally up to you and your needs. For some people, it might make sense to invest in a quality piece that will last years. For others, buying something that works for right now is a better option.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “How much should I spend on a sofa??” we’re here to help. We’ve designed countless living rooms and have helped thousands of Modsy customers pick the perfect sofa for their style, space, and budget. And we’ve created a sofa buying guide to help you uncover how much money you should spend on a new sofa.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you buy a new sofa.

staging velvet sofas

Question 1: How much do you want to spend on a sofa?

It can be hard to wrap your head around how much you should spend on a sofa, especially if you’re not even sure what the average cost of a sofa is. A good place to start is getting familiar with some average price ranges for couches and sofas.

How much does a sofa cost?

Here are the average price ranges for sofas.

  • $1000 or less: The sub-thousand dollar range is what we’d consider an inexpensive sofa.
  • $1000 – $2000: A mid-range priced sofa generally falls in between one to two thousand dollars.
  • $2000 or more: We’d consider anything above two grand to be an expensive sofa.

The Bottom Line: Survey the sofa landscape to help you get a sense of how much you might want to spend.

display of velvet sofas

Question 2: How nomadic are you?

Sofas are large, bulky, and not the easiest pieces of furniture to move. One that works perfectly in your current home might not fit through the doorway at your next. So it’s important to ask yourself if it’s worth investing in a high-end sofa if you move every year or two or if you should look at more inexpensive sofas for the time being. So, think through how nomadic you are and how invested you are in moving a sofa from place to place.

Your solve:

  • I move a lot or will be moving soon: 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.
  • I’m relatively settled: Around five years? Maybe a slightly higher-quality option is the best fit for you. You want something that will last you that half-decade or so, but won’t be missed if you can’t bring it with you.
  • I’m in it for the long haul: Finally, if you are relatively settled in your current home, it makes more sense to invest in a high-quality sofa that will last.

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

display of linen sofas

Question 3: Are you into interior design trends?

A trendy sofa looks great right now, but you might find you’re sick of it after a short time. Depending on what you think of decor trends, here’s what we’d recommend for your next couch.

Your solve:

  • I love trends: If you can’t say no to a sofa with a bold color or statement pattern, consider opting for 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. Don’t sink your money into something you’ll be sick of in a year. Instead, consider incorporating that velvet trend into a few pillows.
  • Trends don’t phase me: If you’re looking for a sofa that can transcend your current tastes, consider investing in a high-quality option. This can be a sofa with a neutral fabric, a quality leather option, or 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.

display of velvet sofas

Question 4: Do you have kids or pets?

Although we love kids and we love pets, it’s a fact that they are the culprits behind a lot of our furniture’s wear and tear. Be sure to factor your real and fur babies into the equation when buying a piece of furniture.

Your solve:

  • Don’t stress: One way around this is to choose a budget-friendly sofa that you don’t mind replacing as it gets worn out.
  • Call for reinforcements: The alternative is to invest in a higher quality option. Opt for a sofa that’s durable and can take whatever your kids/pets throw at it. Consider choosing a stain-resistant fabric or with a slipcover that you can easily toss in the wash. Quality leather is also great for pets. You want something that won’t stain or rip easily and doesn’t attract fur like a magnet.

The Bottom Line: You know your kids and pets the best, so factor them into the picture when deciding what sofa makes sense for your family.

staging velvet sofas

Question 5: How much time will you spend on your sofa?

Just like your mattress, if you use your couch a lot, don’t make yourself miserable with something that’s uncomfortable. (And let’s be real—with the current state of the world, we’re all spending a lot more time on our sofas, aren’t we?)

Your solve:

  • My sofa is just for looks: 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. Something inexpensive but stylish can suffice.
  • My sofa is my other half: If you’re a self-proclaimed couch potato or your living room revolves around TV-viewing, don’t skimp on a cheap sofa that makes you uncomfortable. You can find plenty of inexpensive and mid-range sofas that are also comfortable and of high quality.

The Bottom Line: Invest in quality and comfort for the things you use daily, like your mattress and sofa.

 

Ready to find your perfect sofa?

Read our guide to sofa styles and learn more about how to buy a sofa online to make shopping for this living room staple as comfortable as lounging on it.

Or, if you want some insurance before splurging on a sofa, try on some options in your home before you make the investment. Modsy can help show you how real sofas will look in your actual home with our 3D designs.

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This post was updated on May 12, 2021

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The Ultimate Guide To Sofa Styles and Which Is Right for You

The sofa is arguably the most important piece of furniture in the living room. So it’s important to find the right one for your style and needs. But with so many different types of sofas to choose from, it can be hard to know which is right for you.

Similar to choosing between a sectional or a sofa, deciding on a sofa style comes down to comfort. But it’s also about the shape of the sofa and how it works aesthetically with the rest of your living room decor. For instance, if your living room has more traditional furnishings, a classic camelback sofa might make for a stylish option that blends right into your space versus other sofa styles. Or if your living space has a more modern and industrial vibe, a tuxedo sofa could be the perfect sleek-and-sumptuous piece you need. Either way, the sofa style you pick should play up a feeling of comfort and reflect the overall style of your room.

Already thumbed through all the types of sofas and know what you want? Check out our sofa buying guide to make sure you’re spending wisely before you purchase the piece, especially if you’re buying a sofa online. Otherwise, read on for our roundup of the most common types of sofas and why they might be perfect for your space.

sofa stylesThe Chesterfield

When it comes to sofa styles, the Chesterfield is hard to miss. It’s said to have been designed in the 18th century for “gentlemen to sit upright without wrinkling the garment.” The more modern and boxy tuxedo sofa is derived from the Chesterfield.

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The Perks: Chesterfields are known for their deep seating, high-rolled arms, and quilted or tufted backing, which gives them a sumptuous look and a bold silhouette. They’re typically made of leather, but contemporary takes on the piece also feature it in linen and velvet.

Good To Know: The Chesterfield generally has a large frame and is pretty substantial in size, so make sure you have the floor space to accommodate one.

It’s Perfect For… those who like more traditional types of sofas or something very masculine and timeless in style. The Chesterfield works well in a classic and formal interior, a sleek industrial space, or a pared-down rustic room.

sofa stylesThe Bridgewater Sofa

For a classic sofa that emphasizes major comfort and an elegant form, try the Bridgewater. It has origins in England and was once among the most popular types of sofas. It’s less common in homes now, but it’s still one of the most comfortable options today.

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The Perks: The Bridgewater has a slightly rolled back, low-set and rolled arms, and loose seat cushions that are generously padded, which gives them their signature plump look and plush comfort. They also sometimes come with a tailed skirt that hides their turned legs.

Good To Know: The Bridgewater silhouette is wide and deep, but today they come in an array of colorful upholstery fabrics that make them appear more streamlined and less bulky.

It’s Perfect For… fans of boho and glam style interiors that can use a sofa that combines traditional details with a modern edge. You can’t beat a Bridgewater sofa in a bright fabric mixed with eclectic patterns, colors, and accents in a room.

sofa stylesThe Lawson Sofa

It’s not surprising that the Lawson is one of the most popular types of sofas for family homes. Low to the ground with a boxy silhouette, it first appeared in the early 20th century as a modern and comfortable sofa design that is a derivative of the classic tuxedo sofa.

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The Perks: It’s one of the most versatile types of sofas because it’s easy to find it in many fabrics. The back and seat are comprised of extra-plush pillows that are separate from the frame, which means it’s a sofa designed for soft comfort and support.

Good To Know: Because it’s made up of large, soft pillows that give you a deep, sink-in kind of support., it’s a great sofa if you have kids or want something that’s snug and extra soft.

It’s Perfect For… any style interiors—traditional, modern, rustic—given its functional form and versatile fabric options. It works best in family homes, formal living spaces, and TV rooms.

sofa stylesThe Mid-Century Sofa

Out of all the sofa styles here, you’re likely most familiar with the Mid-Century sofa. Originating in the 1930s, the Mid-Century sofa has been making a strong comeback in recent years given its minimalist aesthetic and clean lines.

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The Perks: There aren’t many types of sofas that give you a tailored, streamlined look quite like the Mid-Century sofa. It usually has a boxy and slender silhouette, tapered legs, and tuft cushion backs that give you firm support. It’s also a sofa you can dress up however you want.

Good To Know: Aesthetics are key to the Mid-Century sofa, and sometimes it comes at the expense of comfort. But if you’re after a stylish and trendy-looking sofa more than anything, this is for you.

It’s Perfect For… modernists, minimalists, and mid-century style lovers across the board. The Mid-Century sofa is ideal in more contemporary interiors that have a rustic or glam touch.

sofa styles The Slipcovered Sofa

If you’re after the types of sofas that are durable and long-lasting, Slipcovered sofas are your best bet. It’s a sofa style that typically comes with a classic frame, rounded arms, and a fitted fabric cover that can be taken on and off for cleaning. It’s all about function and easy care.

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The Perks: No other types of sofas will stand up to wear, stains, and traffic like the Slipcovered sofa. Not only is the slipcover washable, but it’s removable and replaceable so you can change the cover and customize your look as needed.

Good To Know: While the cover is washable and easy-to-clean, it’s prone to get wrinkly. It’s all part of the look, but it’s something to consider if you prefer a tailored looking sofa.

It’s Perfect For… casual and relaxed rooms that aren’t overly decorated or filled with ornate accents. Think beach house living room, airy rustic family room, laid-back boho space. You get the picture.

sofa stylesThe Settee

Essentially a wide chair, the Settee is like a loveseat but much narrower. In terms of sofa styles, it definitely leans traditional and it sometimes comes with a curved frame that recalls a camelback sofa. If you’re after a beautiful traditional perch, you can’t go wrong with a Settee.

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The Perks: Many Settees are cabriole style, which means they feature an exposed wood frame around the edges and have ornately carved legs. These are standout details that are sure to captivate. One way to modernize a Settee is to reupholster on in a colorful or patterned fabric.

Good To Know: Compared to the other types of sofas here, the Settee is always a sophisticated choice but not necessarily the most comfortable choice. It’s designed like a dining chair so it’s not the best for extending seating or lounging.

It’s Perfect For… classic and formal rooms are the Settee’s natural habitat given its Old World appeal. It’s perfect in a foyer or hallway as a seat for putting on or taking off shoes.

sofa stylesThe Sleeper Sofa

The most compact and functional of all the types of couches available, the Sleeper sofa is what we call a workhorse piece. It does double duty as a sofa and bed, so it tops our list as the sofa that does it all.

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The Perks: There aren’t any other types of sofas that offer you and your guests a sleeping solution that’s neatly tucked away under the seat cushions. The beds also range from futons to pullouts, and they’re often surprisingly more comfortable than they look.

Good To Know: Unlike the Mid-Century or the Settee, the Sleeper is all about big function packed into one streamlined piece. That means it’s less about good looks and more about comfort and convenience here. There are chic modern Sleepers, but they’re pretty pricey.

It’s Perfect For… small guest rooms, mixed-used spaces like an office den, or a compact apartment living room. Sleepers are usually pretty contemporary in design, so they’ll fit right in with any transitional or modern interior.

Explore more living room design ideas!

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