When you invest in a sofa, it’s important to make purchase that will last for years. A durable couch will withstand hundreds of thousands of movie nights, dinner parties, and nights in with pets and kids. Not all sofas are built to last, so you need to make sure you’re selecting a new sofa that is the most durable.
A durable sofa will look great even with regular use. When you settle for a less-expensive sofa, you’ll need to replace it every three years or so. Calculate the cost of a new sofa every three years, and compare it to the cost of one high-quality, durable sofa every 20 years (or even less frequently!). It’s easy to see why it’s worth it to invest in something durable the first time around.
But how do you make sure you’re buying a durable sofa, and not just an expensive sofa? There are four main factors to look for; Fabric, Frame, Filling, and Finish Work. If you ensure each of those aspects of your sofa are well-made and durable, you’ll have a furniture piece that will be enjoyed for generations.
Follow this guide to discover what makes the most durable sofa.
The longevity of your sofa hinges on the fabric you choose. If you have pets, kids, or just want to enjoy your movie nights to the fullest, you need a sofa that can stand the test of life. Durable fabrics will keep your sofa from needing to be replaced every few years, or at least make it easy to clean.
There are three things to consider when you’re looking for durable fabric:
- Fabric weave
- Fabric content or material
First, fabric weave. The tighter the fabric weave, the more durable it will be. Loosely woven fabrics are more likely to snag and get holes. A tight weave is less likely to allow dirt, dust, and liquid to penetrate and ruin the fabric and your sofa.
The material of the fabric is also going to make a big difference in the durability. You have a lot of options, including:
Cotton and linen can be very durable, but make sure the weave is tight. But it is easy to clean and can be be treated to be stain-resistant. Wool is similarly strong and wears well over time.
Velvet is very strong, but not as durable against stains or scratches.
Synthetic microfiber is the most durable furniture fabric available in today’s market.
Its durability can be attributed to its ultra-fine fibers, which are tightly woven and create a powerful layer of protection.
Leather is a great durable option, though it is more expensive. They are stain resistant, and develop a patina over time, which creates a beautiful aged look. Leather is resistant to punctures and scratches can be repaired from pets. Plus, it’s easy to wipe off stains, because leather is not porous.
Some colors are naturally more durable and will hide wear and tear. A white or light-colored sofa is likely going to look worn down after a few years, no matter how careful you are. A dark or patterned sofa or sectional will hide stains and wear, which can be a big benefit. Though one risk with a dark color, is if you have a lot of sunshine in your home, make sure the color and fabric material will not get faded by the sun over time.
The most durable frame is made of 100% hardwood, specifically kiln-dried. This type of wood, including oak, ash, and beech, will be sturdy for many years. Softwoods, like pine, will begin to warp over the years, which is why they are cheaper. And always avoid frames made of particle board, plastic, or metal, as they may crack.
The joint construction also contributes to frame durability. Frames held together solely with nails, staples, or glue will not hold up to years of use. Instead, look for frames made of wooden dowels, metal screws, or brackets, plus corner blocks. Staples or nails may be used for extra reinforcement, but never buy a sofa that's held together solely by staples, nails, or glue.
To test the strength of the frame, lift one front corner of the sofa six inches off the floor. The other front leg should lift as well. If it is still touching the floor the frame is not sturdy enough, and has too much give.
Sofas have a variety of cushion filling options, some of which are more durable than others.
One-hundred percent down-filled cushions are extremely soft and very luxurious, but require more upkeep, as they need to be fluffed. They also don’t offer much back support.
Most inexpensive sofa cushions on the market these days are made entirely of foam - but the quality of that foam varies greatly. High-density foam provides a firm cushion Low-density foam is less firm, but usually degrades much faster. Neither types of foam will last more than around 10 years.
The best durable option is a combination of high-resilient (HR) foam, with a layer of down. This will be comfortable, low-maintenance, and stand the test of time. Another consideration is eco-friendly furniture, using fillings like natural latex and wool that are very durable over time.
You can have a great frame, durable filling, and a resilient fabric, but your sofa can still look shabby if it has poor finish work. This includes the stitching, wood finish or stain, and/or paint.
A high-quality sofa made by professional craftsmen shouldn’t have any issues with the finish work, and should look perfect from top-bottom. When you’re purchasing a new sofa, make sure every element looks well-made and durable.
You may want to look for a water-resistant wood finish, to make sure that wood arms or back won’t be warped by wet glasses or spills.
Why Purchase Durable?
A durable sofa is an investment you can enjoy for many years. Choose a classic design and style, and you’ll be able to take your sofa from apartment to house and beyond. Consider how many years of memories your sofa could see when you invest in something well-made and built to last.