In the digital age, it's easy to give in to the temptation to conduct all of your business online, making each new purchase with a few simple clicks. Even large furniture like sofas can be bought online. But while this shopping method may be easy, it can also leave you stuck with a piece-of-junk couch that looks nothing like the image online. Whenever you make such a large and long-lasting purchase as a sofa, it is often best to visit a physical furniture store to make the four following inspections in person.
Testing the Frame Quality
The first step you should take whenever you find a sofa you like is to test the sturdiness of the frame. While it may not be a good idea to wobble the furniture in the store, you can at least heft it slightly to get an idea of its weight. Generally speaking, the heavier the sofa, the sturdier the frame. Also check the feet to see if they are attached to the frame rather than a natural extension of it; because they must bear so much weight, it is usually better for the feet and the frame to be the same piece rather than secured by glue or screws.
Gaining Perspective on Size
Even when a manufacturer lists the dimensions of a sofa online, it can be hard to really picture the exact scale of the item. In some cases, homeowners may order a sofa only to find that it dwarfs everything else in the room. Furniture stores give you a sense of context before the furniture is bought and in your home, which can be invaluable if you have cramped space or a specific design in mind. When you see your new piece of furniture beforehand, there should be no unpleasant surprises upon delivery.
Inspecting the Cushions
The frame of a sofa should be solid, but the cushions are just as important when it comes to the longevity of the furniture. Thick, well supported cushions will bounce back from seated weight longer, besides simply making you and your family more comfortable. For higher-quality pieces, look for down mixed with sturdy foam for the most luxurious seating.
Comparing the Alternatives
When you order furniture online and discover that you don't like it, you have to arrange to have it shipped back and hope for a fair refund. On the other hand, when you visit a furniture store, you have plenty of other options on hand if you are no longer a fan of your first choice. You may spot another sofa on the other side of the room that will be perfect with your new shade of paint, and there is no penalty for switching favorites on the floor. A quality sofa should last you for a decade or two at least, so before you make such an important decision, make sure you actually see your new piece at your local furniture store.