How to Buy the Perfect Couch
From your first-apartment sofa to every practical and stylish upgrade along the way, buying a sofa, sectional or sleeper couch is a big decision that comes with oh-so-many design and lifestyle considerations. We’re here to guide you through finding the one that makes you want to sink-in-and-stay, complements your space, and suits your day-to-day habits at home.
1. Choosing the right sofa style for your space
Sofa styles generally fall into the following categories:
Traditional: Classic and timeless, a traditional couch typically refers to a standard three-seater sofa.
Modern: Made for the minimalist, a modern sofa is full in size, but features a bench cushion or two large cushions for a streamlined look.
Sectional: Practical and versatile, a sectional sofa comes in all shapes and sizes and offers the most seating space.
Sleeper: No guest room? No problem. A sleeper sofa converts into an extra bed for your guests from near and far.
Loveseat: Double down on good design with a loveseat, a cozy two-seater made with condo-sized spaces in mind.
“Think about if you lean towards a minimalist or a more maximalist look,” advises Urban Barn stylist Asha Hessing. “If it’s minimalist, go with a two-seater. If you want to fill up your room with more interest, go for a three-seater!"
2. Finding a sofa that suits your lifestyle
Now that you know which sofa style will be right at home in your living room, take a moment to think about how your sofa will be used. Answering the following questions will help you understand the basic needs your couch needs to meet:
- Who will be sitting on the sofa most often?
- How many seats do you need on a regular basis?
- Will you mostly use the couch for movie-nights and lounging, or hosting get-togethers and gatherings?
- Do you need a pet-friendly fabric?
- Is accessibility a factor to consider?
3. Selecting the right fabric for your sofa
Equally as important as the size and style of your sofa is what it’s made of. The longevity of your couch will depend on the qualities of the fabric you choose, and how much (or little) your couch will be used. Giovanna Moondust is a stunning fabric well suited for living rooms with a touch of elegance, while Simplex Shell works well when regular usage (and the occasional spill) is to be expected. A neutral-coloured fabric like Aiden Platinum serves as a beautiful base for your accents and décor, while a patterned fabric like Boucle Ivory makes a statement all on its own for the modern minimalist.
“Choosing the right fabric for your sofa can be an overwhelming decision, so take a fabric sample home and see how it looks in the daylight, lamp light, next to your wall colours and other furniture pieces you love,” adds Asha. “This will give you confidence in your choice!”
If pets or allergies are a consideration, Egyptian Dove is a perfect option. Stuck between a beautiful fabric and a top-grain leather? We’ve outlined the differences to help with your decision-making, here.
4. Measuring your sofa for the perfect fit
The best sofa for your home is one that fills the space but doesn’t overwhelm it. It's important to not only consider the square footage of your room, but also the height of the ceiling in relation to the height of the back of your couch.
Once you’ve ensured the couch you’re eyeing up fits the scale of your room, it’s equally as important to ensure it will fit through all necessary doorways on its way in! From door frames to stairwells to elevators, carefully map out the route your new sofa will have to travel through to make it safely into its new home. Be sure to ask how your sofa will be delivered, and plan on leaving a little wiggle room for any additional packaging.
Helpful measuring reminders:
Width: This refers to the length of the sofa from side to side.
Depth: The length from the back of the sofa to the front of the cushion.
Height: The length from the floor to the top of the back of your sofa.
Check out our in-depth How To Measure guide here!
5. Insider tips for sofa shoppers
Whether you’re a first-time decorator, seasoned stylist, or simply looking to stretch your home furnishings budget as far as possible, bookmark these insider sofa buying tips:
Say yes to swatches: Ordering complimentary swatches is a time and money saver whether you’re hunting for a condo-sized sofa or a family-sized sectional. Seeing and feeling the fabric options in the natural light of your own home helps ensure you’re making an investment that’s aligned with your personal taste and style.
Shop the stocked-as-shown sofa styles: Reap the benefits of a beautifully well-made sofa without the additional costs or lead time of a custom option.
Relax knowing your investment is protected: Every sofa purchased at Urban Barn comes with the Diamond Kote complimentary 5 year extended protection plan against any accidental stains, rips, tears or burns.
Subscribe to save: Email subscribers get first access to upcoming sales and promotions. Be sure to sign up to stay in the know and plan your sofa shopping accordingly.
When you're searching for the perfect piece of furniture, size is just as important as style. Learn how to measure furniture and your home to make sure you choose the right pieces for you and your space.