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Choosing the Perfect Sofa: Comfort, Durability, Size, and Dimensions

Do you know how to choose a sofa? There's more to it than you might think.

Picture this situation. Either you’re at a friend's home or a retail furniture store, and you run across what seems like the perfect sofa for your living room. But what if you happily purchase this beautiful piece of furniture, and it doesn’t meet your expectations when it's delivered? Maybe the size isn’t right, the color doesn’t match, or it doesn’t fit in your space.

How to Pick a Couch For Your Living Room

The Baer’s Furniture team always wants you to be happy with your furniture purchases, so we’ve developed this guide to help you avoid several of the most common sofa-shopping pitfalls. After reading this article, you will know how to choose a couch with confidence.

1. Measure Your Space

This one is first for a reason. Don’t start looking for sofas without knowing the dimensions of your living room. If you don’t have them with you, take down the product number and go home to measure before you make the purchase. Imagine purchasing this Natuzzi Editions Intenso Contemporary Power Reclining Sofa and finding out that it didn’t fit in your living room the way you’d hoped.

Gray sectional in neutral room.

The important measurements include:

  • The wall-to-wall measurements of the room.

  • The measurements of any pathways you want to use the sofa to define. 

  • Door measurements. You not only want to make sure that the piece fits inside the room, but you also want to ensure that your sofa doesn’t hang in front of a door.

Bring a tape measure with you, or if you’re at Baer’s Furniture, just ask for one. We keep plenty available for customers.

2. Sit on the Display Models

One of the best reasons to shop in-store is to be able to view and touch the display items. If you’re unsure whether your local Baer’s Furniture has the piece you want, check out the “Where Can I See it In Store” feature on every product page. That way, you don’t have to make a special trip to the store to find out it’s displayed elsewhere.

Sit on the sofa and make sure you speak to a sales representative. These are trained furniture professionals who should be able to answer all of your questions. If you’re not ready to buy that day, that’s not a problem. We are happy to guide you through some options that match your preferences.

3. Research the Surface Materials

You may know you want a leather, cloth, or microfiber sofa, but every material has several categories. Leather can be full-grain, top-grain, split, etc. Microfiber can be split, brushed, suede, woven, and more. The grade and type of material you choose will affect the longevity and feel of your sofa. 

Purchasing 100% leather furniture may cost more, but it will pay for itself in the long run when your sofa lasts 20 years or more with proper care. And if you choose a timeless, versatile piece like the Bernhardt Germain Leather Power Motion Sofa, you will be able to keep it as the centerpiece of your living room, even if you decide to change other elements of the décor. It’s a piece you can build around.

Brown leather reclining sofa against a plain white background.

4. You’ll Need a Buffer for Reclining Sofas

This may seem like common sense, but you might be surprised how many people forget this detail when purchasing a reclining sofa or sectional — especially when they haven’t owned one before. When measuring your floor space, you’ll need to decide how much you can give up to accommodate the recliner. This is where your tape measure comes in handy. Measure your room and then measure the opened depth of the reclining sofa.

You can probably envision your frustration if you bought this stunning Bernhardt Wrigley Power Reclining Sofa, and it forced you to push your coffee table forward into the television console.

White leather recliner and reclining sofa in minimalist living room.

5. Remember These Terms for Sectionals

Sectionals have specific terms for different features. It’s important to know them to ensure you get the right sectional for your space:

Gorgeous, modern living room with beige sectional.
  • Armless Chair: A single-seat component of the sectional that has no arms. 

  • Armless Loveseat: A double-seat component of the sectional that has no arms. 

  • Chaise: A single seat that goes at the end of a sectional that extends out so the occupant can extend their legs. 

  • LAS (left-arm-seated): A single seat with an armrest to the left of the person sitting. 

  • RAS (right-arm-seated): A single seat with an armrest to the right of the person sitting.  

  • RAF (right-arm-facing): A sectional with the loveseat or chaise portion on the right side of the sofa when a viewer is facing it. 

  • LAF (left-arm-facing): A sectional with the loveseat or chaise portion on the left side of the sofa when a viewer is facing it. 

  • U-Shaped: A sectional that is both RAF and LAF.

  • Wedge: The corner component of a sectional.

Baer’s has hundreds of display models in its 16 Florida furniture stores. Shop Baer’s Furniture for your perfect sofa!