Things to Consider When Purchasing a Living Room Set

   The first two rooms most people see when entering someones home are their living room and dining room.  You want to make sure you get these rooms right!  To get the living room right, you have to get the right living room set! Let’s talk about the sofa sets today. Here are some things to consider when purchasing a new sofa set:

Size and shape: The sofa set should fit comfortably in the space you have available. Consider the dimensions of the room, as well as the traffic flow. You'll also need to decide on the configuration of the living room set. Do you want a traditional sofa, sleeper sofa, loveseat, chair, recliner or a sectional or some combination?  It is often wise to consider measuring your space prior to shopping.


Comfort: This is a very important factor to consider. The sofa should be comfortable for you and your family to sit on for long periods of time. Sit on the sofa and make sure the cushions are the right firmness for you. You should also be able to move around easily on the sofa.

Stationary or Reclining: Stationary sofa sets are typically more affordable than reclining sofa sets. This is because they do not have the complex mechanisms and moving parts that reclining sofas do. Stationary sofa sets take up less space than reclining sofa sets. This is because they do not have the footrests or require setbacks from the wall that some reclining sofa sets need. Lastly, stationary sofa sets are easier to clean than reclining sofa sets. This is because they do not have the moving parts that can trap dirt and dust. On the other hand, reclining sofas are designed to provide maximum comfort and relaxation. They have padded seats and backs that can be adjusted to different positions, and some models even have built-in features like massage and heat. Reclining sofas can be used for a variety of purposes, from watching TV to reading to napping. They can also be used as guest beds in a pinch. You will have the choice of manual or power recline. The advantage of power recline is that you can stop at any position while manual only offers usually 3 positions including the closed position. Manual is cheaper that power. If you can afford power, do not worry about durability unless you have a child who wants to use the footrest as an elevator. Another great feature of reclining sofas is that you are much more likely to find plug ins and USB ports built into the set.

Frame: The frame is the foundation of the sofa, so it's important to choose a quality frame. A solid hardwood frame is the best option, but it's also the most expensive. Most reclining sofas use a metal frame.


Cushions: The cushions (stationary sofas primarily) should be made of high-quality materials that will hold up over time. Foam cushions are a good option, as they are comfortable and supportive. Usually, the more expensive the sofa set, the better the foam. Not having good foam is the primary reason for sofa sets breaking down. Ashley is a good option for inexpensive sets because they do not sacrifice quality on the foam.

Materials: The upholstery is what covers the sofa. You will have four to five primary options in today’s market – leather, polyester, microfiber, chenille and fabric.

  • Leather is a very durable material that can withstand years of use if treated respectfully. Leather is relatively easy to clean. You can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and spills.  Leather is a hypoallergenic material, which means it does not harbor dust mites or other allergens. This makes it a good choice for people with allergies.  Leather sofas have a classic and timeless style that will never go out of fashion. One of the disadvantages is that leather sofas can be more expensive than fabric sofas. Leather can also retain heat, which can make it uncomfortable to sit on in hot weather while it still feeling cold in cold weather.  Leather can be scratched easily, especially if you have pets or children.  Leather requires regular care and maintenance to keep it looking its best. You should condition the leather regularly to prevent it from drying out and cracking.
  • Polyester is a strong and durable fabric that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It is also resistant to fading and staining, so your sofa will look good for years to come.  It is often mistaken for leather at first look. Polyester is easy to clean and maintain. You can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and stains.  Polyester sofas are relatively affordable compared to other types of sofas.  Polyester is a good choice for homes with pets. It is resistant to pet hair and claws, so it won't get ruined by your furry friends.  Polyester is a hypoallergenic fabric, which means it is less likely to trigger allergies. This is a good choice for people with allergies or asthma. One of the disadvantages of polyester is not as breathable as natural fibers, such as cotton or linen. Overall, polyester sofas are a good choice for people who are looking for a durable, affordable, and easy-to-care-for sofa. However, it is important to keep in mind that they are not as breathable or soft as natural fibers.
  • Microfiber is a stain-resistant and water-repellent fabric, so it's easy to clean up spills and messes. You can usually spot-clean with a damp cloth, or machine wash the covers on a gentle cycle. It is a great product for families with young children – very easy to clean. It is a strong and durable fabric that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It's also resistant to fading and shrinking.  One of the disadvantages is that it can attract lint and pet hair, so you may need to vacuum it regularly.  Also it is not as breathable as natural fabrics, such as cotton or linen. This can make it feel warmer than these materials at times.
  • Chenille is a soft and luxurious fabric that is comfortable to sit on.  It is also quite durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.  Chenille is resistant to wrinkles and creases, so it will retain its shape for many years.   Among the disadvantages is that chenille can be a bit expensive, especially if you choose a high-quality fabric.  It can also be a bit difficult to care for, as you need to be careful not to damage the fabric when cleaning it.  Chenille also can attract dust and pet hair, so you will need to vacuum and dust it regularly.
  • Fabric and linen sofas are soft and comfortable.  They are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They are easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner and mild detergent: however they are more to susceptible to stains and fading and may require professional cleaning for deep seated stains.  They are breathable which means that they will not feel hot or cold to the touch.  Some fabrics are more susceptible to wrinkling.

Style: The style of the sofa should complement the décor of your home. If you have a rustic décor, you'll want to choose a rustic sofa. If you have a more farmhouse décor, you can choose a more farmhouse sofa.


Budget: Sofas can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Set a budget before you start shopping so that you don't overspend.

Here are two additional tip when buying a new sofa set:

If you anticipate that the persons sitting on the sofa are 250+ pounds, realize that if you purchase a stationary set that you need to make sure the cushions can be refilled or the foam replaced.  Since most of us sit in the same place, remember to rotate the cushions often.  If you are buying a reclining set, be sure and ask what the reclining mechanisms are rated. Industry standard is 250 pounds but there are a few manufacturers that use 300 pound plus mechanism.  Though it will cost more money, it will extend the life of the furniture substantially. Cheers Manwah reclining furniture has 360 pound mechanisms and are great for us that are oversized.

Consider Buying a Warranty: A sofa set is a major investment. While most sofa sets and sectionals will come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty, that does not cover damage like staining the material with a drink or the dog gnawing the leg.  Understand that most extended warranties only cover damage not workmanship. A warranty can protect you in case the sofa breaks down or needs to be repaired due to damage or improper use.

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