Your Definitive Sofa Buying Guide: Expert Tips for Buying a New Sofa
January 29, 2021
Are you looking to buy a new sofa?
Shopping for a new sofa is very exciting, it is a great way to freshen up any room! But it can be difficult to know where to begin.
With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to narrow down the selection and find the sofa that is perfect for you.
When you think La-Z-Boy, the iconic recliner may be top of mind. But as innovators in comfort for over 90 years, La-Z-Boy has applied their expertise in furniture design and motion upholstery to sofas as well. With this, we have some expertise to offer when it comes to selecting a sofa.
Although La-Z-Boy has a wide variety of sofas, we realize that we may not be for everyone. Whether you intend to shop for your sofa with us or browse alternative furniture brands, this comprehensive sofa buyers guide will lead you in the right direction of buying the ideal sofa for you.
Table of Contents
8 Tips for Choosing your Perfect Sofa
Consider your Space
In order to choose the right sofa, first, it is important to consider your space.
Consider what room the sofa will be placed in …
Where do you plan to put this sofa? The room or location that the sofa will live in your home will be crucial in determining the size, style, and functionality you want to select.
Is the sofa for a casual living room where the family gathers to watch tv, or a formal living room meant for hosting guests?
Or, is this sofa meant to go in the basement for the kids to jump around and play their video games?
Maybe you live in an apartment and you need the perfect sofa to fit into a smaller space?
Perhaps, you haven’t yet decided where it will go. For some ideas, here are Three Practical Tips on How to Arrange your Furniture.
Wherever it may be, take the time to consider the dimensions, features, and daily use of the room where your new sofa will be placed.
Measure your room …
Once you have decided on the room that your new sofa will be placed in, it is critical that you take some measurements.
When shopping for your new sofa in a furniture store, the dimensions can be deceiving. Showrooms are typically large, open spaces compared to your cozy living spaces at home. A sofa, that looks great in the store, maybe much too large for your room at home.
The only way to ensure that your new sofa will fit is by taking measurements before shopping in-store. In addition, consider measuring the doorways and spaces that the sofa will have to fit through upon delivery.
While taking detailed measurements, make sure to account for windows, doorways, and fireplaces. Not only should your sofa fit in your space, but you will want to make sure that it does not obstruct the flow of the room. While considering the flow of the room, try referencing the article 5 Tips for Decorating your Family Room.
Now that you have done your homework, bring these measurements into the store with you when you begin shopping for your sofa. This will allow the salesperson to help you find a sofa that is the right size for your space.
Taking measurements isn’t always easy. To learn more, check out How to Accurately Measure your Room in Order to Buy the Right Furniture.
Take Pictures …
Everyone knows the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This applies to furniture shopping as well.
Before visiting a furniture store, take a couple of photos of the room your new sofa will be placed in. This will help the salesperson get a better idea of the layout and style of your room at home.
In addition to taking pictures, there are many 3rd party space planning tools that can come in handy during the shopping process. For example, try out La-Z-Boy’s augmented reality app. This app can be downloaded on your mobile phone. By using the app, you can have a sneak peek of what La-Z-Boy furniture will look like in your home before buying it.
Other Important Things to Consider …
- What is the style of the room? What look are you going for? Considering your home decor is important when choosing a new sofa to ensure that it fits seamlessly into the design of the room.
- What colour are the walls in the room? Are you planning to paint? Consider bringing a sample of the paint colour into the store to help match the sofa fabrics.
- What type of flooring does the room have? Tile or scratch-resistant? Make sure to protect your hardwood floors with felt pads.
- What furniture is going to stay in the room? Do you plan to replace any furniture? Will the current furniture in the room match your new sofa?
- Are there windows or doors in the room? You can place a sofa in front of a window as long as it doesn’t obstruct the view.
Perhaps these questions have inspired a design project. Are you considering redesigning the entire room? In this case, you may consider hiring an interior designer.
For design assistance, La-Z-Boy offers a complimentary interior design service.
Our talented interior design experts will work with you to bring your home decor vision to life. They will assess your space and understand your needs in order to create a detailed vision board and 3D floor plan of your new room. The interior designer will work with you in-person and schedule a visit to your home, or if you prefer, there is also an option to schedule a virtual design appointment.
2. How to Choose the Right Sofa?
When it comes to sofa shopping, there is no shortage of options. Sofas come in all styles, shapes, and sizes! Further, different sofas have varying purposes and functionalities in the home.
With all these options, it is essential to choose the right sofa for your own needs and preferences.
What is your Sofa Style?
From classics to modern to comfortable, sofas come in a very wide range of styles.
It is important to choose a sofa that embodies your unique taste and style preferences. Further, the right sofa for you should fit seamlessly with your home décor.
As you begin your hunt for the perfect sofa, have a clear image of the style you are looking for.
Do you want a sofa that looks sleek, simple, and sturdy? Or do you want a sofa that looks plush, cozy, and casual? Perhaps you want a bold and patterned sofa that will make a statement.
Whatever it may be, knowing your personal sofa style will help narrow down and guide your search in finding the perfect one for you.
At La-Z-Boy, we have a wide variety of sofa styles. Our furniture is categorized into four main style collections: Classics Revisited, Modern Retreat, Family Favourites, and Comfortably Casual.
Choose the Right Sofa for your Space & your Size …
Once you have determined your sofa style, you want to ensure that you choose a sofa that is the right size. It should be the right size for your space and the right size for you!
When considering your space, it is important to pick a sofa with appropriate dimensions for space. Your room measurements will come in handy when making this choice.
Whether you are looking to fill a large basement or squeeze a sofa into a small apartment, sofas at La-Z-Boy come in various sizes to meet your needs and maximize your space.
Sofas come in the following sizes:
- Chair and a Half (46 – 54 inches wide) – technically, this can fall in the chair family
- Loveseat (54 – 79 inches wide) – usually only have room for two adults to sit
- Apartment Sofa (69 – 74 inches wide) – compact size for when space is at a minimum
- Standard Three-Seater Sofa (77 – 92 inches wide)
- Sectional (varying widths depending on the number of seats or chaise)
More importantly, it is crucial that the sofa you choose fits your unique size and body type.
Getting Fitted for a Sofa …
When getting fitted for a sofa, there are three main factors to pay attention to:
- Your Height
- The Depth of the Sofa
- Sofa Cushion Construction & Preferred Firmness
A fitting sofa should provide the right seat depth for your unique height. As you sit into the depth of your sofa, your knees should curve over the edge of the cushion at a 90-degree angle with your feet comfortably reaching the floor.
If your sofa reclines, ensure that your feet do not dangle too far over the edge of the chair. The heels of your feet should just fall off the edge of the footrest.
For more detailed information about getting fitted for a sofa, take a look at the article How to Find the Right Sofa for your Size.
In addition to your height and depth of the sofa, it is also important to consider the cushion construction including the foam’s quality and density and the support that it provides.
Ideally, the cushions on a sofa should support and slightly elevate your lumbar region, bottom, and knees. The foam in these three pressure points should be slightly more firm.
A seat cushion is often constructed with different density foams and batting. The foam density rating (typically between 1.5 and 2.5) tells you the strength of the foam. The higher the number, the better the support and the longer the foam will last.
When discussing firmness, it is essential to know that choosing the right foam comes down to personal taste and is not an indicator of cushion quality. In foam, firmness is measured using ILD (Indentation Load Deflection). Ideally, you want a cushion that has a balance of comfort and support suited for both its use and your preference.
What Functionality Do You Require from Your Sofa?
Finally, a very important aspect of choosing the right sofa is knowing what functionality you need.
First, depending on your preference, there are a few different types of sofas to choose from …
If you want a stylish and sturdy sofa, consider a solid stationary sofa.
Reclining sofas raise the bar on comfort by letting you lay back and elevate your feet. By reclining back into a reclining sofa, you can find yourself in the perfect position for watching movies, reading, or a nap.
Most reclining sofas are available with power controls that offer smooth, effortless reclining at the touch of a button.
A sleeper sofa is great for maximizing your living space while simultaneously making extra room for overnight guests. From sofa to bed, this option is practical and comfortable.
To learn more about our most popular sleeper sofas check out La-Z-Boy’s top 5 best-selling sofa beds.
So how do you choose? Ask yourself what functionality you require out of your sofa.
What will this sofa be used for? Is this sofa meant for a formal sitting room? Or is this sofa for family movie nights?
A stationary sofa is a great choice for a formal sitting room, while you may consider the comforts of a reclining sofa for family movie nights.
Do you value convenience or are you willing to put in a little extra effort for reclining comfort?
This will determine if you want a manual reclining sofa, or maybe you would prefer a power reclining sofa. A power reclining sofa allows you to lay back with just the touch of a button.
Who will use this sofa? Is this sofa meant for adults only? Or will children and pets be jumping around on this sofa?
If you have kids, you are likely worried about spills and stains. You may be interested in La-Z-Boy’s performance fabrics.
As a pet lover, pet-friendly furniture is what you need. Check out the article on pet-friendly furniture for tips on how to create a safe environment for pets without worrying about scratching, stains, and shedding.
How many people will be sitting on this sofa? Do you need room for multiple people to sit down at once?
This will determine if you need a loveseat, an apartment sofa, or a sofa. You may even opt out of a sofa all together and go for a sectional.
Do you sometimes have visitors that stay overnight? What about the kids, do they have sleepovers?
In this case, you may appreciate the versatility of a sleeper sofa.
3. How to Customize my Sofa?
Customize your sofa to make it uniquely yours!
Beyond choosing the type of sofa you’d like, at La-Z-Boy, everything is customizable.
Here are some of the customizations available for sofas:
- Choose specific upholstery (upgrade fabric, leather, high-performance iClean)
- Customize wood finish or welt trim
- Add decorative pillows
Additional Upgrades & Options
- Upgrade with additional reclining options
- Upgrade to power
- Add power headrests
- Add a console for storage & beverages
- Seat cushion upgrade (ComfortCore)
- Turn your sofa into a sofa bed
- Upgrade your sofa bed with SlumberAir or Memory Foam mattresses
- Cordless freedom – optional rechargeable battery pack
For more information, take a look at the article Custom furniture at La-Z-Boy: What to Expect.
4. What Fabrics/Covers are Right for Me?
Your choice of fabric or leather upholstery can drastically change the look and feel of your new sofa. But when it comes to sofa covers, there are so many choices. How do you decide what fabric or cover is right for you?
Leather upholstery can vary in quality depending on the type of leather used and it’s treatment. They can differ in the tanning process, manufacturing, and dyeing method, ultimately affecting the final price tag. Essentially, the more processing that a leather undergoes, the less valuable it becomes.
When it comes to leather, there are two main types: Top Grain Leather and Split Leather.
Top grain leather is considered the most valuable. It has dense fibrous tissue making it strong and tear-resistant. This type of leather features the natural grain of the hide and its imperfections. The grain side of this leather is soft to the touch, while the flesh side is rough.
Split leather is less valuable as it has loose fibrous tissue making it less strong and more likely to tear. It consists of the underside or flesh side of the hide, making it rough in texture on both sides.
Upholstery fabric, on the other hand, is either made from natural fibers or human-made fibers. Depending on the type of fabric you choose, the look, feel, and quality of the material can greatly vary.
When making this decision between leather or fabric upholstery, there are some important factors to consider …
Comfort is subjective and can mean different things to different people.
The leather is soft and warm to the touch. This is because leather has the ability to “breath” in a way that it adjusts to your body temperature. Additionally, leather has the ability to conform to your body shape becoming more comfortable with regular use.
The feel of fabric varies depending on the fabric itself. Fabric made from natural fibers tends to be the softest and the number one choice when it comes to comfort.
When it comes to appearance, leather has a natural beauty and holds a unique character that contributes to any room. The timeless look of leather is something that only improves with age. With this in mind, some may find the wrinkles and puddling of leather aesthetically unpleasant.
On the contrary to leather, the fabric allows for much more aesthetic versatility. Fabric comes in unlimited patterns, textures, and colours. With this, the fabric offers the ability to easily complement and enhance existing home decor or achieve a specific look.
The way you intend to use your sofa at home will determine your priority for durability.
Leather has incredible resistance to wear and tear. In fact, it lasts 4 times longer than fabric.
The most durable type of fabric is microfiber which is a synthetic blend. While the fabric has come a long way in terms of durability, a well-maintained leather cover will almost always outlast the best fiber-based fabrics.
Maintenance requirements can also be a determining factor, especially as a parent or pet owner.
If properly cared for, leather will maintain its appearance and usefulness for many years. This may require specific cleaning techniques, tactical furniture placement, and periodic dusting or vacuuming.
When it comes to fabric maintenance, the best form of protection is swift attention to spills. Some fabrics allow for spot-treatment, while other stain-resistant fabrics repel spills themselves.
When it comes to cost, leather is far more expensive than upholstered options.
If you end up deciding on fabric upholstery, there are many options available. In fact, some fabrics on the market offer unique properties that may have been mentioned above:
- Performance: designed to specifically withstand wear and tear while being simple to clean.
- Stain-Resistant: technology that repels spills such as La-Z-Boy’s iClean fabrics. To learn more, check out this video.
- Eco-Friendly: sustainable textiles such as La-Z-Boy’s conserve Sustainable Fabrics which are made from recycled water bottles.
- Antimicrobial: antimicrobial properties are woven into the fabric to protect against mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria.
- Pet-Friendly: tested to simulate the scratches and wear pets can cause, to ensure a durable and easily washable fabric.
After considering all of the practical factors, it is also important to ensure that your colour and pattern choice coordinates well with the rest of the furniture and accessories in the room.
To learn more about fabric and colour choices check out these articles:
5. How Much Does a Sofa Cost?
It is no doubt that a comfortable, quality, and stylish sofa can be a significant investment piece for your home.
The cost of a sofa varies depending on a variety of factors such as the size, type, and style. Further, the construction method and the quality of materials used can also impact the final price tag.
In some cases, furniture retailers offer customization options and upgrades which can cause the original cost of any given sofa to increase.
Generally speaking, the cost of a sofa can range from $400 to $5,000.
Here is a breakdown of sofa price ranges:
|Introductory Range (On a Budget)||$400 – $900|
|Low to Mid Range||$900 – $1,300|
|Mid Range||$1,300 – $3,000|
|High-End||$3,000 and Up|
How much do La-Z-Boy sofas cost?
Sofas at La-Z-Boy fall within the mid to high-end price range in the market. If you are looking for a sofa within the introductory price range, La-Z-Boy may not be for you.
The cost of La-Z-Boy sofas range from $1,500 to $8,000 depending on the sofa type, features, and upgrades selected.
La-Z-Boy sofas are constructed with the quality you can see and comfort that you can feel. We offer quality-crafted frames consisting of kiln-dried hardwood and furniture grade laminates engineered for lasting durability.
Further, La-Z-Boy believes you shouldn’t have to compromise on taste to stay cozy. With this, La-Z-Boy sofas are made with high-grade foam seat cushions that maintain their comfort and appearance over time.
Below are principal price ranges depending on sofa type:
|Stationary||$1,499 – $2,100
Leather: $2,179 – $2,799
|Reclining||$1,799 – $2,499|
|Power||$2,299 – $3,500
$4,300 with headrest & lumbar options
|Sleepers||$1,999 – $3,000|
For more detailed information on sofas costs at La-Z-boy, check out the article How Much Does a Sofa Cost at La-Z-Boy?
On top of the cost of the sofa itself, some additional costs may occur. Given that sofas can be a large investment, you may consider purchasing an additional warranty or protection plan.
La-Z-Boy offers a Comprehensive Service Protection Plan priced relative to the cost of your purchase. See in-store for the full price list.
With all this being said, it is clear that purchasing a sofa can be tough on the pocket-book. Furniture financing is offered by many furniture retailers, including La-Z-Boy, and this can be a helpful tool when it comes to avoiding this type of investment.
If you have questions about furniture financing and how it works, take a look at the article Furniture Financing: Everything you need to know.
*All La-Z-Boy prices listed in this article are subject to change. Please visit lzb.com and select an Ottawa or Kingston La-Z-Boy store location to view the most up-to-date pricing.
6. Stylish Sofas at La-Z-Boy
When you think La-Z-Boy, you probably think of the iconic La-Z-Boy recliner. You might not realize that La-Z-Boy sells a wide variety of furniture for most rooms in the home that aren’t only comfortable but stylish!
One of the biggest challenges when furnishing a living room is making it stylish, modern, or trendy without compromising comfort.
The best way to achieve both is to consider all of your options when shopping for a sofa, especially given that the sofa is typically the centerpiece of a living room.
Take your time to know exactly what is available in the marketplace. Do some online research to efficiently help narrow down your hunt for the perfectly stylish, yet cozy, sofa.
La-Z-Boy offers many styles of furniture, from traditional to contemporary. Most clients who visit a La-Z-Boy showroom for the first time are pleasantly surprised by the range of styles and corresponding comfort level.
Here are some sofa options you might not expect from La-Z-Boy:
The Urban Attitudes is a fresh collection of furniture with a contemporary twist on classic styles. The sofas are designed to fit any room, style, and budget with clean lines and designer details. All Urban Attitudes furniture is easy to mix, match, and is fully customizable.
Check out the Bexley Sofa. It’s small details, clean lines and casual styling makes the biggest statement and blends seamlessly with any décor.
The Duo collection offers revolutionary sofas in traditional to contemporary styles with the unexpected power to recline. At first glance, all you see is style. But look closer and you’ll find that these sophisticated lines also offer ultimate comfort.
The Edie Sofa is perfect for style-shoppers. The sofa’s refined design offers a pleasant surprise of comfort.
Sofas from the European collection are manufactured overseas and have a sleek and contemporary style. These European-inspired sofas are created for the European market who prefers small-scale furniture in their homes. As these styles gain popularity in North America, and particularly in Canada, we are eager to offer clients this option at La-Z-Boy.
7. Sofa Delivery or Pick-up?
So you have chosen your sofa and customized it exactly to your liking. When can you take possession of your new furniture?
Most furniture retailers provide a delivery service for clients who live within the vicinity of their retail stores.
If the sofa that you have purchased is in stock, delivery typically takes about one to two weeks.
Custom sofas, on the other hand, will take longer. These sofas are custom-built for the client based on specific requirements. This process can take anywhere from 6-14 weeks before being delivered to your doorstep.
When it comes to delivery, there are three basic types of delivery services. Each service varies in the amount of effort and labour required, therefore affecting the final cost of delivery.
- Doorstep Delivery
- Standard Delivery (placed in the home)
- White-Glove Delivery/Full-Service Delivery (included unpackaging and final assembly)
Depending on which delivery service you choose, delivery fees can range anywhere from $50 to $125.
With this being said, sometimes the cost of delivery is factored into the price of the furniture or you can get a discount on delivery with the more pieces you buy.
To learn more about furniture delivery services and costs, take a look at the article How Much Does Furniture Delivery Cost in Ottawa?
At La-Z-Boy, our white glove delivery service is charged at a flat fee of $99.95 if you live within the Ottawa vicinity. Given that the furniture is shipped out of our local Ottawa warehouse, $149.95 is the standard delivery price for furniture sold at our Kingston showroom. Learn more about our delivery and pick-up services.
*Due to the current pandemic that we are living in, furniture delivery times are taking longer than usual. To get the current status on delivery times at La-Z-Boy, take a look at the articles Our Response to COVID-19 and How COVID-19 is Affecting Furniture Delays.
Save on Delivery Costs …
Purchasing a sofa is a significant investment. If you are looking for ways to save on this purchase, you may consider forgoing the delivery service and picking up your sofa instead.
If the sofa is in stock, you can pick-up and take your sofa home the day of purchase. If the sofa you purchased was a custom order, you will be able to pick up the sofa once it has arrived at the retail store from the manufacturer.
8. Sofa Buyers Checklist
Remember, buying a high-quality, comfortable, and stylish sofa is only half the battle. To begin shopping for that perfect sofa, you must first evaluate various sofa brands and retailers. The furniture company that you do business with is responsible for not only the product itself but also the successful delivery and installation of your new sofa.
Moreover, the furniture company you decide to do business with may, or may not, offer supplementary services such as design and post-purchase support that will ultimately impact your overall experience.
To save you some time, we’ve created a list of must-haves when shopping for a quality made sofa.
How to Prepare for my Visit to La-Z-Boy
After reading this comprehensive sofa buyers guide, you have a better idea of what goes into buying a sofa and you’re probably ready to find the one that’s best for you.
If you’ve done your research and examined all of your options in the market, the first step is to choose a furniture retailer to shop with.
Perhaps you have decided to give La-Z-Boy a try, and if that is the case, you can feel good knowing that La-Z-Boy has over 90 years of experience in offering quality and comfortable furniture.
Our highly trained sales consultants are sofa experts! They will guide you through the purchasing process to find the perfect sofa for you. The wide range of sofa options at La-Z-Boy will ensure that you find the right sofa to meet all of your needs and preferences.
To get you started, below we link to our Top 5 Selling La-Z-Boy Sofas and Reviews …
- Trouper Reclining Sofa
- Talbot Stationary Sofa
- Bexley Stationary Sofa
- Collins Stationary Sofa
- Amy Stationary Sofa
We look forward to answering any of your La-Z-Boy sofa questions at any one of our locations in the Ottawa and Kingston area or schedule a virtual or in-person consultation today.