Why Buy the More Expensive Sofa?

With so many great deals on sofas out there, why buy the more expensive sofa when there's a cheaper lookalike? Interior designer Lesley Myrick shares the truth about cheap sofas - and what to look for when sofa shopping.

You know I love a beautiful, non-boring sofa. And with so many great deals on sofas out there, why buy the more expensive sofa when there’s a cheaper lookalike?

Here’s a little #realtalk from your designer friend Lesley.

Cheap sofas are cheaply made, and being cheap always ends up being expensive in the long run!

Quality is about so much more than looks, and what’s inside a sofa is what determines the price. That’s why two nearly identical-looking sofas (in photos, at least) can vary so much in cost. They might look the same in photos, but trust me, your butt and back can tell the difference.

I recently saw an Instagram post from a major home shelter magazine that featured two beautiful velvet sofas that looked quite similar. The question posed to their followers was, “Which is more expensive?

With so many great deals on sofas out there, why buy the more expensive sofa when there's a cheaper lookalike? Atlanta Interior designer Lesley Myrick shares the truth about cheap sofas - and what to look for when sofa shopping.

So which sofa is more expensive?

The big reveal was, in fact, that one of the sofas only looked expensive but actually cost less than $1000. And the underlying message was clearly intended to imply that there’s no need to pay more when a lower-priced sofa looks exactly the same.

You guysssss. While yes, these two sofas may look comparable in photos, you cannot possibly tell from a photo how good the quality is! And your poor butt is NOT going to like sitting on a sofa that is cheaply made overseas from poor-quality materials in mass quantities. It’s easy to make something look good in a picture, but let me tell you a “sit test” will reveal how great (or rather, terrible) the construction and quality are.

What should you look for in a sofa?

I’m the first to tell you that choosing a sofa that feels awesome to you is the most important factor. Go shopping. Sit on a lot of couches. Get to know what you like – tight back, or loose back cushions? Firm foam cushions, or squishy down and feather wrap? Three individual seat cushions, or one long bench-style cushion?

With so many inexpensive sofas out there, why buy the more expensive sofa when there's a cheaper lookalike? Interior designer Lesley Myrick shares the truth about cheap sofas - and what to look for when sofa shopping.

If you wanna get technical about sofa stuff,

here are 3 important things to learn about before you go shopping (and impress the heck out of your friends and family!):

  1. The Frame. The best quality sofas have frames constructed of kiln-dried hardwood, which retains its shape and remains stable for a long time. The joints are glued, dowelled, and screwed with reinforced corners. If a sofa is made of plywood or particleboard and is held together with staples, be wary.
  2. The Seating Support. Eight-way hand-tied springs and sinuous springs are the bomb-diggity for comfort and support. Web suspension isn’t as strong or sturdy on its own, and isn’t what I recommend.
  3. The Filling. You’ll likely notice most sofa cushions are filled with high-density polyurethane. (FYI, this is the good stuff you want to look out for! The higher the density, the firmer the cushion will be.) This foam can be wrapped in other materials like cotton, Dacron, or even super plush down feathers.

So, when it comes to sofas and upholstered seating,

When should you splurge and when should you save?

On upholstered furniture you’ll use often like your sofa, desk chair, and dining chairs, pony up and invest in the best quality you can afford. When you sit somewhere daily, you want it to be well-made, comfortable, and built to last.

And where to save? On upholstered furniture you won’t sit on frequently, like the bench at the foot of your bed, a chair in the entryway, or a living room accent chair that doesn’t see much action.

Don’t get duped by pretty sofa photos! Put your butt on that sofa and really put it to the test before you purchase. Suddenly, that cheap $1000 sofa doesn’t seem like such a great value any more.


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