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“False economy” has been defined as an “apparent financial saving that in fact leads to greater expenditure.” Is this something that you’ve experienced?
We can’t help you to make better buying decisions for your car or shoes, but we can offer a little insight into the considerations of buying a cheap sofa.
Shall we explore this together?
Seating Position
Back in 2008, the Daily Mail published some stats which showed that the average Brit will spend around 17 years of their lives on the sofa! Whether those stats have changed for the better over the last decade remains unknown, but it still gives us a jump-off point for a discussion around the best seating position.
Logic dictates that the best seating position for comfort and overall spine health should allow your feet to sit flat on the floor while allowing the back of the sofa to support your back and neck. 
We all know that when there’s a gap between our lower back and the back of the sofa, or if the sofa cushions are too soft, we tend to slouch. Ultimately this will lead to back pain and poor posture over time. 
Homeguides weighs in on the topic, saying, “Since a comfortable place to sit is the most important function of sofas, the seat height needs to accommodate people of all sizes. The most common measurement is 17 to 18 inches from floor to cushion top, but you can find heights as low as 15 inches and up to 20 inches. 
“Consider the size of individuals using the sofa most often and pick seat heights accordingly. A seat on the taller side will have some feet dangling, while a too-short cushion leaves tall sofa owners looking at their knees.”
A standard high-street sofa may be a cheaper option than one made to accommodate your family, but will it be a comfy fit for you? 
Putting your feet up?
Most of us want to put our feet up after a long day, whether we curl our legs up beneath us or prefer to stretch them out in front of us, this should be a consideration for your choice of sofa.
A corner sofa is an excellent choice in this case as it allows you to sit upright with your legs and feet up in front of you, without having to twist your spine. If this isn’t an option for you, then look into buying an Ottoman or other footstool to help maintain a straight spine.
Cheap Sofa Fabric
The topic of sofa fabric is two-fold and we need to think about both colour and fabric choice.
Because we are in the business of crafting unique, custom sofas, we are very aware of the
importance of both of these elements and how they require careful consideration.
Colour choice
Ready-made sofas usually offer a choice of colours, albeit a limited one. Do the colours and patterns of this cheap sofa match your living room? Or are you going to have to repaint the walls or buy new curtains to avoid your room looking like a student hostel?
In a showroom, those beautiful cream sofas look incredible! But will they stand up to weekend telly marathons with pizza and wine? 
Ideally, darker neutrals or happy patterns are the route you want to pursue for a family sofa. If not, you’ll find yourself with frustrating stains, or simply buying washable throws which cloak your beautiful new purchase forever. 
Real Homes say, “There are loads of gorgeous cheaper sofas … and you can get them in some really luxe fabrics, such as velvet. 
“But be aware that with a cheaper sofa your colour choice might be limited to a handful, whereas if you have a bigger budget and your sofa is being made to order, there are usually hundreds of fabrics and colours to choose from, plus you can order swatches before you buy to check you're happy with your choice.”
Fabric choice
Does your lifestyle include children, sleepovers, furry pets, and TV dinners? If so, then your sofa will need to be hardy, washable, and not harbour dust and pet dander.
This means that your fabric choice will not include silk, chenille, viscose, or wool blends. 
The article from Real Homes mentioned above says, “Natural blends and fluffy textures are pleasingly tactile, but if you are an allergy sufferer, they are likely to bring you misery. Long natural fibres are perfect depositories for dust, dirt, and pet hairs, so if you have a sensitivity or allergy, smooth, synthetic blends will be a better choice. There are many clever blends on the market, with faux suede being one popular option.” 
Forbes agrees, and adds, “Technology has really helped a lot… Today’s engineered textiles look increasingly like their natural counterparts, Cone says, but can withstand wear and tear much better. And many natural fabrics are nearly as durable. It all depends on what you choose.
“As a rule, engineered fabrics tend to be more durable than natural ones. And the engineered fabrics that stand up best to kids and pets are the ones originally designed for use on the patio.”
Early Retirement
A cheap sofa is cheap for a reason – and the upholstery is usually the first to be downgraded from strong and durable, to pretty but impractical.
Following that, you’re likely to find that a cheaper sofa will be made with cheaper innards. The foam for the cushions, the supporting wooden frames, springs, or joints simply cannot measure up to a high-quality product. 
Does it really matter though? 
A sofa is probably going to be one of the biggest purchases in your living room, and to that end, it should last you between 7 – 15 years. 
Just because you can’t see the inside of your couch doesn’t make it any less important than the outside. A cheaper variation will sag, creak, and fade much faster than its custom-made, top quality counterpart.  
Rounding Up
We understand that you may not always be able to get exactly what you want on your budget. 
However, we’d like to encourage you to consider the various factors we’ve mentioned above when you are looking for your next sofa. Perhaps take a little time to explore a made-to-order couch for your family and get an idea of what you get for your money versus the one you may have seen in a shop window. 
That way you’ll have all the facts and avoid falling into the false economy trap of a cheap sofa.