A Guide to Buying Second Hand Sofas

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A Guide to Buying Second Hand Sofas
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Sofas

Sofas, due to their sheer size, become a focal point in any room, so make sure you buy one that’s both practical and looks fabulous.

If you’re on a limited budget, you will get more for your money by buying second hand. Here are a few tips to get you started.


It is important to check what size sofa you can accommodate. Measure the room where you plan to put the sofa, in particular taking note of distances from corners to doorways, fireplaces and the like, as well as the dimensions of the doorways. You don’t want to buy a sofa then discover you can’t get it through the front door when you get it home. 


Measuring a doorwayIt is important to check what size sofa you can accommodate. Measure the room where you plan to put the sofa, in particular taking note of distances from corners to doorways, fireplaces and the like, as well as the dimensions of the doorways. You don’t want to buy a sofa then discover you can’t get it through the front door when you get it home. 

Also consider the depth of the sofa and who will be using it. Older people and those with limited mobility find it more difficult to get up from a deep sofa. 

 

Choose your sofa type

Corner sofa

Corner sofas are great for smaller rooms as they make better use of
the available space. They come in a number of different sizes so you can choose one with how many seats you need.

 

 

Chesterfield style sofa  


Chesterfield sofas are based on an original design created in the 18th century for the fourth Earl of Chesterfield. They are hardwearing and built to last, typically for 10 years or more. 


 

Modular sofa

Modular sofaModular sofas are ultra-versatile, sectional sofas, which means you can tailor the size to suit your room and family. Their modular design allows you to make the most of available space.
 

Sofa beds


Sofa beds are great space savers and ideal if you have people to stay on a regular basis. More up to date models are easy to put up and comfortable, whether they’re being used as a sofa or as a bed.

 

 

What's your style?

There are numerous different designs and colours available. Narrow your search criteria by thinking about how the design of the sofa will fit in with the features and decor of your room. Do you want a modern sofa or are you looking for a vintage feel for your room? 
 

Upholstery

Sofa fabricsSofa upholstery includes leather (durable and wears in the longer you have it), faux leather, synthetic microfibre (stain resistant), wool, cotton
or linen, the latter two both being greatfor everyday use. Consider the colour and fabric if you expect your pets will sit on the sofa. Lighter colours will show stains more easily while patterned styles don’t show wear as quickly. Microfibre is agreat choice as it wears well and is easy to maintain.

 

Arms and back

There are four different styles of arm: English traditional, roll arm, square arm and armless. Some sofas have high backs, which allow users to sit upright, while others are low and sleek, and better for lounging about on.
 

The frame

The most important part of the sofa is the frame. Hardwearing materials include beach, oak, maple and poplar. When buying a used sofa, make sure the frame is intact. Lift one front corner or leg of the sofa off of the floor by about six inches and  check that the other frame or leg is off of the floor too. If that doesn’t happen, and the leg is still touching the floor, the frame has too much give.
 

Springs

The sturdiest sofas have springs that are tied together. You can feel the springs through the upholstery to check if they’re firm and close together. Sofas with no springs are uncomfortable and provide limited support. You can also test how stable a sofa is by sitting on the corner or outside edge. If there’s any creaking the springs may be hitting the frame or may have been incorrectly placed.

 

Fillings

There are a range of different fillings available and all have their strong points, however here are a few things worth considering: 
 

  • Polyurethane foam is an easy care cushion filling but can deteriorate rapidly with constant use.
  • Polyester fibre can flatten quickly so will need regular plumping.
  • Goose and duck feather fillings are comfy but can clump. The top of the range filling is goose down (the bird’s soft undercoat), which is very comfortable but high maintenance – cushions will need plumping regularly.

 

 

Ask the seller for extra information

Sofa transport Check where the sofa has been stored. If it’s still being used in the house ask whether the home is smoke-free home or whether they have pets. Check the pictures for any stains and ask the seller for close-ups if they haven’t been provided. 
 

Make a plan
Think about how you’re going to pick up the sofa and get it home. If you don’t have access to a van, you can hire one. This is an additional cost that you’ll have to factor in to the overall price.
 

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