How to Buy a Sofa Online
We’re gonna give it to you straight- the online sofa shopping experience is a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have a clue where to start or what to look out for. Not only is a sofa likely to be one of your more expensive home purchases, but it also needs to be comfortable, which is a highly subjective requirement that can only truly be determined in person. While buying a sofa online may sound super risky, we have a few expert tips that will give you the know-how you need to confidently hit that “place order” button. 🛒
Let’s get right to it…
Read the Reviews
Reviewers are your new BFFs! Don’t just skim a few- really dig in and get as many details as possible about your (potential) new sofa. What some reviewers may consider a con, you may view as a pro, and vice versa. The overall score is a decent indicator of quality, so keep that in mind as you also factor in the total number of reviews. You also want to see if any customer images are available; photos of the sofas in real-life spaces without studio lighting and pro styling are generally pretty revealing. 😮
If the manufacturer doesn’t offer customer ratings or the particular item you’re looking at doesn’t have any, take a peek around the internet to see what any bloggers might have to say. Don’t forget to also check out the comments from readers. 😉
Know the “Buzzwords”
When checking out the product descriptions, look for keywords such as:
“Kiln-dried hardwoods” – this process reduces moisture content, making the wood less likely to split or crack.
“Eight-way, hand-tied steel springs” – the most resilient and strongest kind of springs.
“Corner-blocked” – frames that are corner-blocked will have increased stability.
The quality of the upholstery is just as important as the sofa’s construction, as the fabric will likely be the first thing to show signs of wear. Ask about the “double rub count test number”—the higher the number, the better.
Sofa cushion inserts will usually be down, foam, or polyester — or, in some cases, a combination of all three. The best way to determine which is most comfortable for you is to test out the various fills at a local furniture store.
Make Sure it Measures Up
Measure THREE times; order ONCE! ✔️ Grab your tape measure and blue painter’s tape to mark your furniture’s layout. That way, you can get a better sense of how its size will impact the other furniture and your ability to move around the pieces easily. You may also want to measure out the sofa’s dimensions in a few different locations; that way, you can be confident that it will work in your space with some flexibility.
Your room will dictate the sofa’s length; a basic formula for measuring is that your sofa should be about two-thirds the size of the entire space. Your personal height will determine its depth: if you’re on the tall side, you’ll likely prefer a deeper sofa, whereas shorter people prefer a shallower depth. It’s also not a bad idea to test out sofas at a nearby furniture store and take notes of the most comfortable dimensions for you. Also, consider how you’ll use the sofa; for example, if you plan to sleep on it, you will want a dropped arm height. If you are on the taller side, it’s likely that you will be more comfortable with an arm height that’s as tall as the back. If you’re more petite, you don’t want to get a sofa that makes you feel like you’re being devoured.
SUPER important: Don’t forget to measure the size of your passageways (i.e., doorways, stairways, elevators, etc.) for delivery! It’s the absolute WORST to wait weeks and weeks for your new sofa and ultimately have to send it right back to where it came from. 😬
Order Fabric Samples
Ordering fabric samples is ESSENTIAL, and many vendors provide them at no cost or a small fee. DO NOT purchase something as major as a sofa without seeing the fabric in person! The only way to truly get a sense of what materials will work for your space is to see and feel them. If you can’t easily find a way to order fabric swatches on the manufacturer’s website, then contact them and ask nicely; there’s a good chance they’ll send you some. Either way, be willing to pay for them because it’s really cheap insurance!
Read and Reread the Return Policy
You should check the return policy and warranty for any big purchase, sofa included. Some companies offer a return policy of up to a year, while others offer a mere three days. There are plenty of companies with fantastic return policies, so don’t settle. What’s an ideal amount of time to “test drive” your sofa? 30 days. That should definitely give you enough time to know if that sofa is “the one.” 💍 Before purchasing, you also want to check if there are any restocking or shipping fees and/or any other restrictions.
And there you have it, my savvy sofa shoppers!
By the way, if you want a SUPER easy way to get paired up with YOUR perfect sofa- take our Find Your Sofamate Quiz!
We also have many magazine-worthy sofas for you to check out in The store!