Buying an Affordable Furniture Suite

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Buying an Affordable Furniture Suite

Good-quality furniture is an investment. Making the right purchasing decision both improves the look of your home and provides comfort for the people who use it. If well cared for, furniture can also have resale value at a later date. The key to buying the right furniture suite is thinking about who will use it and what their needs are: the key to making a purchase affordable is looking effectively in the right places. With both new and used furniture available from a variety of sellers, eBay can be a treasure trove of affordable furniture bargains.

Choosing the Right Suite

Choosing the right suite involves a number of different considerations. Below are a few to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Who Is Going to Use the Furniture Suite?

What is the maximum number of people who are likely to want to be seated at any given time and what are their needs and preferences? If young children (or pets) are going to be using the furniture on a regular basis, then ideally it should be durable enough to withstand knocks and spills. If it will be used frequently by the elderly, then furniture which reclines and/or has footrests is likely to be appreciated. In modern homes, where space is at a premium, it may be well worth considering a storage sofa or sofa bed.

What Kinds of Sofa Bed Are There?

Sofa beds come in 3 main types, click-clack, fold-out, and metal-action. Click-clack sofa beds are ones in which the back folds down to create the sleeping area. This is usually accompanied by a “click-clack” noise, hence the name. Fold-out sofa beds are sofa beds in which the seat lifts up and out until it lies on the floor to make the bed. These types of sofa bed are relatively cheap and best suited to occasional use. Even then they may be unsuitable for people with mobility issues, such as the elderly, as they are so close to the floor. Neither of these types of sofa bed has a mattress as such, which means that they may cause issues for people with back problems. Metal-action sofa beds have an internal metal frame which converts the sofa into a bed with a mattress. The best of these have similar levels of comfort to a normal bed. This is the most suitable type for regular use and/or as a longer-term investment.

What Space Is Available?

The traditional furniture suite consists of two armchairs and either a two- or three-seater sofa, but furniture manufacturers have adapted to modern lifestyles. There are now corner sofas and sectional sofas, which may fit better into smaller spaces and offer more flexible seating arrangements. Small details can make a big difference. Sofas with wide arms are convenient places to put drinks and remote controls, but where space is limited narrower arms may be more sensible. Furniture with high backs can look stunning in rooms with high ceilings, but it can overpower smaller rooms. Furniture with lower backs can blend more easily into the smaller rooms typical of modern houses and can also work in larger spaces, particularly open-plan environments. Reclining chairs and sofas can provide great comfort, particularly for the elderly, but they do need more space to operate. It can also be worth looking at the options for bringing the furniture into and out of the house and moving it into other rooms. While the initial plan may be to keep the furniture in one place permanently, it may be desirable or even necessary to move it at some point, for example to create space for a special occasion or to have new flooring laid.

How Easy Will It Be to Maintain and Update the Furniture Suite?

Leather tends to age well, and, if well-maintained, can be both durable and stain resistant. It is generally more expensive than fabric but the initial cost can be offset against the reduced need for recovering and repairs. Fabric covers are usually cheaper than leather and can be very comfortable. They may also be removable, making for easier cleaning. Modern fabric furniture suites are available in a huge variety of patterns and colours to suit all possible tastes; however given that buying a furniture suite is a significant purchase for most people, it may be best to opt for a neutral colour and to use accessories to change the look of the pieces when desired. Both leather and fabric furniture can be updated with covers and cushions. How easy it is to re-cover furniture depends largely on the shape of the furniture and so may be a consideration when buying a new furniture suite.

What Type of Filling is Best?

Soft furnishings are filled with foam, fibre, or a combination of both. Foam tends to be firm and durable, while fibre tends to be softer, which some people find more comfortable. Foam may be wrapped around with fibre to give a softer feel while fibre can be filled with pockets of foam to add strength and support. It is usually possible to adjust the exact feel of a piece of furniture by using cushions to taste.

What Are the Safety Considerations?

All furniture is flammable to some degree, however, modern furniture must conform to government-regulated safety standards regarding their ability to withstand cigarettes and matches (which are two common causes of household fires). The regulations began to be enforced in the late 1980s after concerns were raised about the number of household fires involving furniture. Furniture which predates this may still be safe for general use; however, it may not be ideal for use in a home where there is regular smoking.

Buying with Confidence

eBay has a feedback system which allows buyers to see how long sellers have been active, how many sales they have made and how happy buyers have been with the goods and service they have provided in the past. The very best of sellers are identified by a Top Seller icon. Although a lack of feedback may simply indicate a legitimate new seller, if making a significant purchase, many buyers prefer to look for sellers with an established track record. All eBay sellers must offer Paypal as a payment method. Even if the item is available for local collection (as is often the case with furniture), it is strongly recommended to pay for the item using Paypal in order to qualify for payment protection. In addition to eBay ensuring buyers receive the goods they ordered (or get their money back), many eBay sellers offer similar guarantees to retail stores in terms of buyers being able to return an item if they are unhappy with it. In case of doubt, buyers can always contact sellers safely using eBay’s messaging system.


There is no longer any need to visit multiple shops to make the perfect purchase when looking for affordable furniture suites; eBay has a wide variety of items on offer to suit any taste. Before making a purchase, always consider for whom and for what the furniture is intended as such items can be expensive. Generally, it is only a matter of time before customers find what they need at a price they can afford, so don’t give up the search. The right furniture suite can be found on eBay.

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