If you're in the market for a high quality sofa, you should know what you are buying. These days, there are even cheaply priced, low quality sofa companies that have done a remarkable job of trying to make low quality sofas look like their high quality counterparts. However, there are several differences that set high quality furniture apart from the competition. Here are the most important elements of high quality sofas to look for to ensure that you are getting what you paid for.
Frame Construction and Joinery
The frame construction of your sofa plays a huge role in determining the durability of your sofa. If you want your sofa to last, you need a sofa that has been built using kiln-dried solid hardwood. This solid wood is generally considered to be the best option for a durable sofa frame. Drying the wood in a kiln removes up to 95% of the moisture, which prevents the frame from warping or bowing over time. In addition, once these solid wood pieces are secured using dowels and glue, the frame of the sofa is very tough. When it comes to high quality sofas look for interlocking joints, doweled or glued joints.
Low quality sofas are often manufactured using particleboard or low-quality plywoods. In addition, the furniture may be held together with staples rather than screws. The use of poor quality materials combined with inferior frame construction techniques means that a cheap sofa will be significantly less durable than a high quality one.
When the frame construction techniques for the best sofas are compared to those of sofas made from engineered wood, the difference is clear. Frame construction using solid hardwood is the better option for a high quality sofa, offering the best craftsmanship available.
The springs of a couch are used to absorb shock and can provide firmness and elasticity for the seat of the couch. Generally, there are two types of springs that are used in sofa construction, coil springs and zig-zag springs. Coil springs are generally considered to be the better option for high quality sofas. The exception is if the sofa has a frame that is not very deep, where zig zag (or sinuous) is sufficient.
The 8 way hand tied knot system is best for deeper high quality sofas. These hand-tied springs are made by first securing twine from one spring coil to the other springs and to the frame of the sofa. The twine is then crossed from the front to the back of the frame using a diagonal pattern until each coil of the spring has been tied in eight different ways.
Zig-zag, also called sinuous springs, do not last as long as coil springs for very deep sofas. However, they are commonly used in low-end furniture because they do not cost as much to produce. These springs are produced in rolls and then cut to the required length and are joined together horizontally with a cord. Zig-zag springs are most commonly made from 9-gauge steel wire, which may corrode over time. The more springs that a sofa has, the more it will feel stable when seated on it and springs also won't wiggle. A sofa that completely lacks springs and has webbing or mesh, will not be durable and is also likely to be uncomfortable.
High Resilience Foam
High resilience (HR) foam makes for filling for the best sofas, especially above 2.0 HR. Medium-firm foam is generally considered to be suitable for most sofa cushions and is durable and long-lasting. High resilience foam is a top of the line filling because it can return to its original shape immediately after being compressed.
However, lower quality furniture may using other fillings, such as down, feathers, polyurethane and polyester fiber. Down and feather fillings are likely to clump and sag over time. Polyester fiber may cost less, but it will flatten quickly. Polyurethane foam may deteriorate quickly with regular use of the furniture and the high-density foams can be uncomfortable to sit on. In general the filling, along with the seat depth and seat height, will determine how to make the most comfortable couch for you.
Durable upholstery fabric is another important element of high quality sofas. For everyday use, the best sofas should have cotton or linen as upholstery fabric. Synthetic microfiber, which is also stain resistant, is a third option. Woven fabrics can handle more wear over time than other fabrics that have printed patterns. For optimum fabric durability, opt for an upholstery fabric that has 30,000 rub count or higher.
Made in the USA
Selecting sofas that have been manufactured in the US is the best way to ensure that the sofa that you are purchasing is a high quality sofa. This is because when sofas are built in low cost countries, it can be hard to maintain quality with regard to construction and materials and still meet pricing requirements.
When you purchase a sofa that has been manufactured in the US, having the work done locally also means that your sofa is more eco-friendly. Massed produced furniture made in other countries is also more likely to contain toxins in the glues, paints and other materials that are used to create the furniture. By buying furniture that is made in the United States, you can ensure that the materials used are free of dangerous chemicals.