Warning Signs Bought Wrong Sofa

It’s squeaking.

No mice infestation here. The culprit is frame problems. Just like your old bones squeak and crack, the places where wood pieces are joined together – called “the joining” – are the weakest spots on your sofa. The lower the cost and quality of your sofa, the lower grade “joinings” were likely used when it was manufactured. In all likelihood, that squeak is telling you that your wood is warping somewhere and your frame is getting weaker as a result. Chances are, it’s a joining.

The seat cushions look smashed and it’s less than 3-5 years old.

All you and I are to a sofa is “a load”. That’s not an insult. It’s a truism in the sofa-engineering world. The spring system inside your sofa is working 24/7 to “disperse your load”, and your poor cushions have the thankless job of cradling your dead weight. If your seat cushions are made of foam, over time they can compress. The cheaper the sofa, the lower the grade of foam used in cushions, and so the sooner they will degrade. If your cushions are down filled, you will need to beat them to a pulp to reinvigorate the loft. Me? I’m a fan of the spring wrapped seat cushions for high-use upholstery. Here, each seat cushion contains a group of springs, which are then wrapped in foam and Dacron®, or feather or some combination of these to cover the inner springs. Spring blend cushions cost more upfront, but they will hold their tailored shape exponentially longer than their spring-less cousins. Want a tip to prolong the life for all seat cushions? Flip your seat cushions at a minimum of twice per year (Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day for the forgetful) or every 2-3 months for softer cushions.

It’s uncomfortable.

This is a tough one. My best advice is this: don’t sofa shop when you’re tired and numb. Go when you feel really alert. And when you are “test driving” a sofa, sit on it for a few minutes. Try reclining. Know that it will break in slightly with time and use, but not more than about a 10-15% differential. If it feels hard and stiff in the showroom or store, take a pass. Also, be careful of sofas that are too deep for you as these will require pillows for proper support and comfort or your lower back may other you.

It’s just plain, old, ugly, or out of date.

Can’t help you here. However, rather than trying to enliven a ready-to-be-put-out-to pasture sofa by purchasing new items in the room around it, know when to throw in the towel. Either reupholster or replace. Nothing looks worse in a room than a worn, tattered or badly dated looking item. After all there’s a collector’s item – and then there’s old, worn or dated. Continue to try to ignore a large, bad item like a sofa in a room’s over all schematic and you’ll be throwing good money after bad trying to step over the dead cow in the room.