What To Consider When Buying A Sofa Online?
Buying a sofa online might seem a bit daunting. What will it look like? How will it feel? What if you don’t like it once it’s in your home?
We’ve pulled together the top things to look for when buying a sofa online. Considering these should give you confidence in your choice:
Before you click buy, ensure you know the shipping costs to avoid any nasty surprises. Because of the size of sofas, you’re normally looking at oversize delivery costs. One way around this is choosing a sofa in a box which is more affordable.
As well as cost, understand the expected delivery timeframe. If it’s in stock, it could be with you in days. But if it’s being customised to your colour, or not manufactured locally, it could be weeks.
Pay attention to what the shipping includes. Will the delivery team bring it to your kerb? Deliver it into your lounge? Or unwrap it, assemble it and remove any rubbish?
With any online purchase, the returns process is important. Understand what will happen if you get your new sofa home, only to find out it’s uncomfortable or the colour is wrong.
If there’s no defect or manufacturing issue, you may not be able to return it.
Some retailers do offer a change of mind return within a certain number of days. Look out for that if you’re unsure of your choice.
The colour you see on your screen may not be a good reflection of the colour in real life. The best way to understand the colour you’re getting is to order fabric swatches.
Most online retailers offer fabric swatches. Ideally, more than 1 and free. Use your screen to narrow down your preferences and then order some swatches.
Fabric swatches will also give you a good idea of how your new sofa will feel.
We’ve done most of the hard work for you, but dive into customer reviews yourself. This will help you understand how the sofa performs in real life.
If the retailers don’t list reviews on their websites, search out blogs, social media or independent customer review websites. Look for customer photos. Without professional styling and lighting, you’ll get a better idea of what the sofa looks like.
Have a look at your available space. Mark out ideal sofa dimensions on the floor in different locations. Ensure you’ve got room to move around. Compare the dimensions of the sofa you’re considering buying to existing furniture. You’ll be able to see how much more – or less – space you’ll be dealing with.
Even if you don’t have a spare sofa to compare it to, a chair would work. Think about how easy it is to get up from that seat height. Or how the height looks against the wall. Or how comfy the arm height is. Considering all this will give you the ideal measurements of your new sofa.
Oh, and remember to measure your doorways, hallways and stairwells for delivery too!
Thanks to their low overheads, online retailers frequently offer sale prices. Contact them and ask them if they have any sales coming up. Or sign up to their newsletter for a discount code. Most retailers have sales around holiday periods.
If you can wait, you’ll get a better price.
Look for the following when reading online product descriptions to ensure a quality, durable sofa:
Frame – should be hardwood, particularly kiln-dried hardwood. Cheap plywood and fibreboard might not last.
Joinery – should be ‘mortise and tenon’. This is a centuries-old construction technique that’s simple and strong. Dovetail joints are also good. Look for joints that are glued, stapled and screwed.
Cushions – aim for high-density foam so it bounces back, even after continued use. Down cushions require frequent fluffing. Try out different fills at a local store to see what you find comfortable.
Springs – eight-way hand-tied steel springs are the strongest, most resilient springs. Serpentine springs are more affordable but also good quality. Try to avoid mesh or webbing which may not survive extended use.
Fabric – aim for a durable fabric and consider paying extra for a stain treatment. Look for covers that are removable and washable for easy care.