A new sofa is a major investment. Not only is it often the centerpiece of a design, but it’s also where many of us spend quality time day after day, so the best sofas must combine durability with great style. But before starting your hunt for the perfect piece, you probably want to consider your budget.
Sofa costs can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000 or more depending on their style, construction, and brand. Fortunately, you can find a great sofa at just about any price point as long as you’re armed with the information you need to identify good quality indicators.
Use this guide to help you determine the best couch costs based on factors like your space, budget, and the sofa’s style and construction.
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So, How Much Should I Spend on a Sofa?
The right price for a new couch heavily depends on factors like your lifestyle, budget, and the sofa’s quality. For instance, some sofas might cost less up front but they’re lacking in durability, so you might find yourself needing to buy a new one before you know it. The sofa’s size is also a major factor. If you have a small living room, then a less expensive loveseat might make more sense than a pricey oversized sectional.
1. The Space You Have
Before investing in a new sofa, consider the size of your space. If you attempt to add a large, 4-seater sectional to a small living room, it can make your space feel much more cramped and crowded. Similarly, a small sofa in a large space can look awkward and out of place.
To find just the right sofa size, Erin Banta recommends that you “Measure, measure, measure. Before you embark on a sofa shopping spree, measure your space to ensure that whatever you wind up purchasing is the precise fit.”
To arrive at the precise fit, Kelly Sohigian advises that the sofa should have, “space on both sides for accessibility, as well as room for a coffee table or ottoman.”
2. Your Budget
For most of us, budget is a very important factor when buying a new couch. But when determining your budget, you should factor in both short-term and long-term costs. For instance, an inexpensive sofa might seem like the perfect option, but if it’s not built to last, then you might find yourself needing to buy a new sofa in just a few years, whereas a more expensive, high-quality sofa might last much longer.
“When it comes to certain pieces of furniture, like your sofa, I am a firm believer that you should buy the most expensive sofa that fits into your budget,” says Kelly Sohigian. “This is typically the most used piece and one that if you purchase wisely will be with you for a while.”
Fortunately, “You can find high-quality sofas in every price range,” says Isabel Gomez. “Don't be afraid to shop around and compare prices from different retailers. You may be able to find a better deal on a high-end sofa by shopping during sales.”
Sofa Price Ranges
- Budget ($300 to $1,500): “If you’re on a budget, then spending $1,000 to 1,500 on a sofa might be the price point that will best suit you,” Kelly Sohigian. You can find a great, high-quality sofa in this range that won’t break the bank too much.
- Mid-Range ($1,500 to $4,000): If you can spend a bit more, then “A solid mid-range price point is somewhere between $1,500 and $4,000,” says Kelly Sohigian. You’ll be able to find sofas in just about every style and upholstery type in this range.
- High-End ($4,000 to $10,000+): Sofas above $4,000 are generally considered high-end. This range is where you’ll usually find the highest quality materials and construction.
What’s the average cost of a couch? While sofas can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000 or more, most people pay somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 for a new sofa.
3. The Sofa Style
Given that you probably want your new sofa to look great in your space, style is another important factor to consider when budgeting for a new one. There are so many different types of couches to choose from. Some of the most popular styles include:
To arrive at the right style, consider the rest of your interior design. For example, if you’re more of a minimalist, then maybe a low-profile sofa is the best option. The pared-back, airy design of many mid-century sofas also work well in minimalist looks. Or if you tend to change your mind about a room’s design, maybe a modular sofa that you can reconfigure in various ways is the right option.
Also, consider what you’ll use the sofa for. For instance, if you plan to use it as the primary place to watch movies and TV, then a reclining sofa, or a sofa with a chaise will help ensure your comfort while watching. You might also consider a slipcover sofa in this case, which can protect the cushions from spills and crumbs. But if the sofa’s in a room that doesn’t get much use, maybe the sofa’s aesthetic is more important to you than its comfort.
4. Sofa Construction
It’s tough to tell just how high-quality a sofa is by looking at it. To really understand its durability and construction, make sure to research the sofa’s frame construction, seat cushion fills, and types of materials.
According to Kelly Sohigan, an “Eight-way hand-tied sofa frame with springs is among the best types of frame you can get and will last the longest.” And if your potential sofa is made of wood, make sure to check what kind of wood. Solid wood frames are typically much more durable and long lasting than sofa frames made of plywood or engineered wood.
Additionally, consider the seat and back cushion fill. Typically, cushions are filled with foam, down and feathers, or polyester fiberfills. Down and feather cushions do a great job of retaining their shape and feel very comfortable for most people to sit on. However, they can pose some allergy and ethical challenges for some people. Polyester fiberfills are a nice alternative to down. They’re usually less expensive but retain their shape and plumpness well. High-density foam cushions are firmer than down and polyester fiberfills, but they often cost the least.
Finally, consider whether the sofa has removable cushions. “Having the flexibility to turn your cushions can help keep them looking great,” says Kelly Sohigian. “It is recommended that you flip and turn cushions every week to ensure the life of the sofa and prevent divots in the cushions.”
5. Sofa Upholstery
Fabric choice also plays an important role. The best fabric for sofas depends on your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Leather sofas are generally considered durable and good quality, and they’re easier to maintain than other upholstery fabrics, but they’re usually pretty pricey.
You can also purchase a performance fabric, which is designed to resist stains and spills while withstanding wear and tear from pets and kids. Performance fabric is also usually less expensive than leather upholstery. “I always guide my young families with little children and pets to select performance fabrics as they will withstand all the tests from both children and pets,” says Kelly Sohigian. Meanwhile, “many cat homes require sofas made of velvets, suedes, or microfibers that can resist claws,” says Erin Banta.
Popular sofa upholstery materials include:
- Velvet: Velvet is a luxe fabric that looks and feels great. It’s also resistant to cat claws, so it’s a stellar option if you have feline family members.
- Leather: Durable and long lasting, leather sofas are a solid investment that can provide years and years of comfort.
- Microfiber: Microfiber is soft and comfy while being resistant to stains. It also stands up well to little kitty claws.
- Performance Fabric: Performance fabric sofas are durable, easy to clean, and stain-resistant, making them ideal for households with pets and kids.
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Warning Signs: What to Look Out for When Buying a New Sofa
When perusing furniture stores for your new sofa, there are a few signs that you can look for to indicate whether or a not a sofa is high quality. “First of all, you should be aware of couches made of low-quality materials like particleboard or plywood,” says Keely Smith, “since they are less long lasting than solid wood frames."
It’s also a good idea to spend some time sitting on the sofa to see how the cushions feel, as well as how they look when you get up. “Cushions that sag or lose their shape can be a sign of poor quality foam or fill, which may need to be replaced in the future,” says Isabel Gomez.
Finally, determine whether any prospective sofa has a warranty. A solid warranty of at least five years is a good indicator that your new sofa is built to last.
How Long Should a Sofa Last?
The longevity of a sofa depends on the sofa’s quality, as well as how often its used. But according to Keely Smith, “A decent-quality couch should last anywhere from 7 to 15 years. Investing in a high-quality sofa is crucial since doing so will save you money over time and keep you from replacing it too frequently.”
When is the Best Time to Buy a Sofa?
If you’re looking for a great deal, then the best time to buy a sofa is probably on a holiday, like Labor Day or Memorial Day, when lots of home furnishing stores run major deals on their selections. Other popular holidays for sales include President’s Day, Fourth of July, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
There are also certain months that lend themselves more to sales than others, namely January through April. According to Albert Lee, founder of Home Living Lab. “During this period, lots of furniture sees a reduction in price.” This is because many furniture buyers complete their home furnishing buying during the spring, so retailers often offer great discounts prior to the season in order to clear their existing inventory and make room for new stock.