​Congratulations! You’ve just moved into your new space and now, it’s time to purchase furniture starting with one of the most frequently used pieces in any home: the sofa. A quality-made sofa is a significant investment; a lot of research and planning must be put into its selection so you can get the most out of your investment.

The Linen Duck, a furniture store in Columbia, TN, shares five things to consider before buying a sofa:


1. Size

Measure your space before you go sofa shopping. A good rule of thumb to follow is to have a 30-inch space in front of your sofa; add 12 to 18 inches more if you have a coffee table. Leave at least 16 to 30 inches on each side of your sofa for side tables.

For spaces measuring 10’ x 13’ or smaller, a loveseat or an apartment sofa is a good option. These sofas are between 52-72 inches long, so there’s enough room for seats and accent pieces.

If you have a 15′ x 22’ space in your living room, go for a standard sofa. Measuring between 74-84 inches long, these sofas can comfortably seat three people.

For spaces measuring 22’ x 28’ or larger, you could combine two standard sofas or opt for a sectional. You might also want to consider an extra-long sofa that’s between 87 and 110 inches long. This provides extra seating and is a statement piece on its own.

2. Style

From tight back to loose fit, and L-shaped, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to sofa styles. But first thing’s first: consider your lifestyle and your sofa’s primary function. Will it be used for relaxing, entertaining friends, or for more formal gatherings?

Sectionals are perfect for playrooms and spaces meant for casual conversation. For lazy evenings where you just want to kick off your shoes, sit back, and watch TV, deep sofas are your best option. A tufted or tight back sofa is used for more stately settings. You can, however, transform a tight back sofa into a cozy seating spot by adding accent pillows.

Should you go for high arms or low arms? Choose a sofa with higher arms if you like to relax and lean onto them. Lower arms are perfect for formal spaces and smaller rooms, as they open up the space more. If you love the look of a low arm but enjoy resting against it, just add accent pillows to make the sofa more comfortable. Many furniture stores will have multiple options and it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you start shopping.

Another important factor to consider is back height: it’s measured from the top of the seat cushion to the top of the back.

Anything measuring 18″ or higher is considered a High Back; these are best for lounging and watching TV because they provide adequate head support.

A sofa back measuring 15″ or lower is considered a Low Back, which is ideal for sitting rooms and more formal spaces. These sofas are also suitable for spaces in front of windows as they won’t block the view.

A 16 “or 17” back is considered to be of Medium Height. This height provides extra back support but has no head support. Having an ottoman in front of your sofa will give you the option to sit and lay back.

Sofas 22″ deep are perfect for people who like to sit upright. If you prefer to lay down on the sofa more, sofas 23″ to 24″ deep work best.

3. Cushion

A bench seat has no gaps and creates the illusion of a bigger sofa. Seating arrangements are not defined so more people can make themselves comfortable in it. On the other hand, stains are difficult to hide since they are hard to flip over. The fabric may also look loose and rippled between fluffing.

Shorter sofas look great with two cushions. Each cushion is bigger and offers a wider seating area. People might shy away from the middle seat though because of the gap between the cushions.

Use three cushions if you prefer a sofa with clearly defined seating. Turning the cushions over and handling stain treatments are likewise easier to do. The downside is that these are not cozy enough for napping.

If you’re planning to get a custom or semi-custom sofa, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the thousands of fabric choices available. At the end of the day, durability should be your priority. It might cost at least 30 percent more than the usual fabrics, but if you’re looking for an option that’s meant to last a long time, leather is your best bet.

This furniture store in Columbia, TN, The Linen Duck, carries a wide selection of performance fabrics. These tough fabrics offer an extra level of protection against stains, spills, and odors, and can withstand the daily assault of energetic kids and pets. Another option is polyester or polyester blend, which can be easily spot-cleaned.

Keep in mind that textured fabrics show less wear and tear than solid ones.

5. Price range

Sofas priced at $1,000 and below are considered inexpensive, and they are for a good reason – the quality of the materials used are typically compromised. Style options are limited, and the average life span is just between one to three years in the average household.

A mid-range sofa would cost anywhere between $1,500 to $2,500. There’s a wider selection of styles and fabrics within this price range. While most sofas in this range offer a lifetime warranty on their frame, expect yours to be replaced in 10-15 years.

Top of the line sofas range from $2,600 and up. You’ve probably had your fair share of sofa “fails” over the years and you’re ready to invest in a quality piece. With a life expectancy of 25 years or more, expect it to survive through multiple relocations and different life stages. This is truly the best investment when comparing dollars to longevity.

Premiere boutique furniture store in Columbia, TN, The Linen Duck carries a beautiful selection of found objects, current trends in upholstery, beautiful bedding, unique lighting, and accessories. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Call (931) 548-2422 or visit their website to learn more.