Your sofa might be one of the most used but least appreciated pieces of furniture in your home. We sit of them, eat on them, sleep on them all day (and night), but when it comes time to shop for a new sofa, most of us don’t know where to start. With up to 17 styles of sofas to choose from and a myriad of fabrics, fillings and prices, it can seem like a daunting task to sort through them all.

Where to Start: Know your space and how you use it

The right sofa is the one that reflects your style and how you live. Too much furniture is a room makes it feel crowded and small and difficult to walk around. If you already have a recliner or lounge chair, a more compact sofa may be a good choice for balance. If your sofa is the gathering spot where everyone tends to congregate for the big game or binge-watching Game of Thrones, un unstructured sofa with plush cushions and abundant pillows from Younger might be the ideal choice. If your home had a mid-century modern vibe and your living room is primarily used for everyday living, the casually elegant styles from Blu Dot might appeal to you.

Style, Size and Fabric

When selecting a size for your sofa, it is important to know how many people you want to seat, how big your space is and what other furniture will be in your room. Modern sofas have longer and exposed legs, usually have firm and tufted upholstery, and have straight lines and distinctive angles. Sofas in contemporary styles on the other hand, have shorter and often hidden legs, come with plushier cushions and have traditional accents. Choose a sofa that goes well the design of your living room and likewise complement existing furniture such as tables or media consoles. Or use your new sofa to create a whole new look for your living space. For an apartment or urban loft, consider a compact sofa measuring 54-60 inches wide. These sofas can still seat three adults comfortably, but will not dominate your space. For larger spaces, consider a larger 4-seater sofa. These designs are up to 90” wide and con provide a comfortable space for the entire family and bring proper proportion to your room.

Color and fabric choice can be a very personal experience. Gray and black are popular options for modern style sofas as these neutral colors work well with the spare clean line of mid-century modern design. Don’t be afraid, however, to express your style with bold, vibrant color if you are so inclined. Many of the sofas Smart Furniture offers are available in a wide variety of fabrics and colors. Due to its durability and resistance to dirt and stains, leather is always a popular fabric choice for sofas. Leather is susceptible to fading so if you have a room that receives a lot of direct sunlight, this is a consideration. If you are unsure what color or fabric you want, let our knowledgeable Furniture Genius’ hook you up with swatch samples and walk you through all of the choices we offer. If you want to learn more about how to select the right sofa for you, check out our Sofa Buying Guide.

Another area to pay attention to is the cushion type. Most sofas have a polyurethane foam cushion, but not all foam is the same. Low quality foam tends to be less dense, meaning it breaks down and loses is resilience over time. If you intend to keep your sofa for many years, it is worth investing is a sofa manufactured with high-density cushions.

In addition to foam cushions, some sofas are filled with feathers or down. Down or feather filled cushions provide a very soft seat; however, they also require regular maintenance or they tend to lose their shape. A final option for those looking for exceptional support are sofa cushions with pocket coils. These long-lasting coils have a firmness that down or foam cannot match, but may not have the inviting cushiness of other options.