The worst time to figure out that you hate a new sofa is after it’s been delivered. The convenience of online shopping makes browsing easier, but when you’re buying a couch sight unseen, it’s important to do your homework. After hundreds of hours of research, including visiting three furniture factories, interviewing industry experts, and parking ourselves on nearly every sofa we’ve seen, we can tell you exactly what separates a great sofa from a future curbside donation. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to bring home a durable—and comfortable—piece of furniture. And we recommend some worthy brands we’ve personally tested.
Finding the right sofas for your space and budget begins with deciding what type and style you want. Just as important, you’ll need to determine what size sofa will fit in your home(including through doorways, down hallways, and up stairs, among other exterior and interior obstructions). Then consider how many people you want to seat and what you should avoid (and invest in) if pets or kids will regularly use the sofa. We tell you how to check for quality construction, how much you should expect to spend, and when you can get the best deals. We’ve also put together a buying checklist that you can consult while you’re shopping to help you remember the most important details.