Buying a sofa can be daunting. Because it’s such a big purchase, it requires a lot of research and measuring. The sofa has to fit through the doorway and into the room, the height of the seat should be about the same as others in the room, and the depth is important, too, so it won’t be in the way or cut off room traffic. It needs to fit the scale of the room itself.

Beyond size, there's fabric to choose, different cushion materials, different shapes — it can all get a little overwhelming.

So here’s the skinny on shopping for the perfect sofa:

 When you have kids or pets, it's important to choose your sofa fabric wisely. You’ll want sturdy, performance fabrics. If you have cats, pay attention to fabric weave too. Large weaves don’t play well with cat claws. No matter what you choose, get a protective treatment on the fabric.

For small spaces

Look for slimmer lines that make the sofa appear to take up less space. Also, many companies have small-space sofas with English roll arm and other styles that can look less minimal or modern.

For large spaces

If you have a big room to fill, by all means, go with a big sofa or sectional. Opt for high-quality fill in cushions and the promise of a long life

If you can't decide between modern and traditional, land in the middle with a transitional silhouette that looks at home with both traditional and contemporary furnishings

Sofa beds

Look for comfort in a sofa bed —a regular mattress plus an inflatable top layer is great for a guest sleeper. Opt for well-made mechanicals in a sofa that looks good, too.

 

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