Why is buying a sofa much the same as buying a car? 

Simply because what you see isn’t always what you get. We don’t buy a car because we like the colour, but we’re going to look for something that suits our needs, is going to last, and does what we need it to do. 

The old adage that tells us that we get what we pay for is truer now than ever, and especially when shopping for a sofa. If you’re looking for sofas for sale in the Birmingham area, then we have some information to share with you to assist you in your search. (And even if you’re not in Birmingham, this advice holds true.) 

Buying a Sofa for Your Lifestyle

In the same way that a larger family will need a bigger car, our sofa needs to accommodate our lifestyle. But there’s more to it than just making sure it’s big enough. Ask yourself these questions before you buy:

  • Does it fit the style of my home? 
  • Is it big enough, or small enough, to fit perfectly in the space available? 
  • Is it deep enough to accommodate a very tall person comfortably?
  • Is it the right shape for the living room? 
  • Do I need it to double as a sleeper couch?
  • Will it be comfortable for the family on lazy Sunday afternoons?
  • Will it stand up to three toddlers and a teen?
  • Do I need something versatile?

For a businessperson who does a lot of mileage, a car that provides comfort, safety, and fuel efficiency is essential. But a young man buying his first vehicle will probably be looking for something a little more flashy, quick, and noisy.

How does your family use your sofa? Practicality is key.

Buying for Quality

Not all sofas are created equal and if something is cheap, there’s usually good a reason for this. How can we make a decision, though, when we see two sofas for sale which look identical, yet one is double the price?  

It’s no secret that the skeleton of the sofa and the structural materials used will dictate its longevity. Of course, these critical components are the one thing we can’t see when we look online for sofas for sale. 

Frames and Joints

The frame of a quality sofa will be crafted from hardwood, and not plywood or chipboard. Screws and dowels are used instead of staples and tacks in joints. It will feel heavy and solid and won’t creak or wobble at the smallest movement. 

A good test of the internal structure of a sofa that you like is to lift the front corner a few inches off the floor. If the other front leg doesn’t follow immediately, then you can be sure that the frame is weak. 

Moreover, one of the earliest points of failure in a sofa is the armrests, especially if you have children. The joints connecting the arms with the rest of the sofa need to be unyielding with absolutely no give. 


Strong stitching and good quality upholstery are key, but you’re not going to know how good they are until you get your sofa home and you’ve used it for a few months.

One way to double-check the quality of the upholstery is to ask for information on the rub count. 

Apartment Therapy explains this for us, saying, “Always ask about or search for a sofa’s rub count, which is a number determined by a machine that runs back and forth over the fabric until it wears down. This is essentially how durable upholstery is, so it’s an important figure. For residential use, a 20,000 rub count is the industry standard, but the higher the number, the better off you’ll be in the long run.”

Springs and Padding

The mechanics that support the cushions vary between sofas. Cheaper couches will have a mesh or webbing which may be soft and comfy but won’t last too long. Springs are the most common support option with heavier gauge wire giving a longer-lasting result. 

The very best support found in luxury sofas is known as eight-way hand-tied springs. The firmness of the springs is reinforced with a web of heavy-duty cord which serves to spread the load and makes for a wonderfully comfortable seat.

A good quality sofa will have sufficient padding to ensure that everyday life doesn’t result in prematurely wearing away of the fabric on corners and edges. All corners should be soft and well-filled. 

The average lifespan of a sofa is around 10 years before we need to consider replacing it. This means that when we’re looking for a new addition to our family furniture, we want it to last and not have to throw it in a skip in two years.


One home advice article mentions an important point when buying a recliner or sofa bed. They say, “If your couch is a recliner or sleeper, make sure to operate the mechanism repeatedly and aggressively to make sure it operates smoothly and easily. Reclining, or motion furniture is generally more expensive, and you are paying for a functioning, smoothly-running mechanism.” 

Buying for Aesthetics


Just as our vehicle says something about us, so our choice of living room furniture tells our guests a little about who we are. 

Your style is unique, and you should have the option to create a sofa that is an extension of your personality. Custom sofas are a smart choice when you want something specific in terms of size, colour, shape, depth, and style. 

After all, if you’re going to invest in a quality sofa, you may as well get exactly what you want, right?

Sofas for Sale in Birmingham

We understand that you have many choices available to you if you’re looking for sofas for sale here in Birmingham. 

So, if you are looking for a quality piece, something that’s not going to require repair or replacement within the next few years, but you also want it to be beautiful, stylish, and cater to your individual needs then we can assist.

Here at Signature Sofas, we have been crafting top quality, bespoke sofas for over two decades. We know precisely what goes into making something durable and beautiful and delivering on the image that you have in your head. 

Please feel free to book some time with our friendly team at the showroom closest to you, and we guarantee that you’ll get exactly what you want. Alternatively, call us on 03300 564 111 for more information.