Your Guide to Buying a Modern Sofa

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Your Guide to Buying a Modern Sofa

A sofa is a piece of indoor furniture that allows for two or more people to sit or recline. Sofas are often the centrepiece of a living room or family room, and should be comfortable pieces of furniture. Sofas traditionally include a bench-like seat, armrests, springs, as well as fitted cushions. Sofas are also upholstered with a variety of different materials. Additionally there are multiple types of modern day sofas from the convenient daybed, to the classic three-seater.

Typically, a new modern sofa is an investment, and can last for several years with adequate maintenance. Modern sofas of all styles and sizes can be purchased at furniture stores, department stores, and online. There are a number of things to consider when buying a modern sofa including a consumer’s preference for upholstery, cushions, and frame construction. Further, after all of these factors are considered individually, the various types of modern sofas should also be contemplated.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Modern Sofa

There are several individual factors that should be considered before considering what type of sofa is desired, as these characteristics are not always obvious by a visual inspection of a particular type of modern sofa. Each important factor of the purchasing process will be discussed in turn, providing the potential customer with a better understanding of the options.


Deciding on modern sofa upholstery requires a consumer to consider both, the desired fabric and texture. Texture comes in a variety of options including, suede, leather, velvet, and chenille, to name a few. Textures such as velvet and suede are soft and attractive, but may be more prone to wear out over time. On the other hand, leather and chenille textures have a harsher appearance, but typically last longer. Modern sofa upholstery usually makes a statement with a pop of bright colour or a unique pattern.


Almost all modern sofas come with cushions that cover the bench, and those that cover the back frame, which better stabilises the sofa. The cushions are one of the most important part of a modern sofa as they determine how comfortable a sofa will be for those who sit upon it. Each seat cushion should have a companion back cushion to maintain equilibrium. The number of total cushions that comes with each sofa is up to the consumer and is often dependent on the size of the sofa. Additionally, some cushions are detachable, while others are sewed into place. When considering the cushions of a modern sofa, one should also consider the filling of the cushions.


Deciding on a preferred filling requires considering factors such as maintenance, allergies, and desired firmness. While filling might seem like a small detail when choosing a modern sofa, the right filling can make all the difference in comfort and durability. There are four main types of cushion filler to consider.

Sheet Foam

Sheet foam, a petroleum product, is the most popular type of cushion filler. Density and compression determine how soft and durable sofa foam cushions will be. Density is measured in weight, per cubic metre, whereas compression is measured by how much pressure it takes to compress the filler by 1/4. Sheet foam comes in both, hard and soft foam types. The hard foam variety has a higher density and compression, whereas soft foam has a lower density and compression. Sheet foam is also traditionally wrapped in terylene, which gives the cushion a lofty feel.

Loose Fibrefill

Loose fibrefill is a polyester that acts similar to down. Loose fibrefill is soft but tends to flatten quickly. Loose fibrefill is always encased in a fabric casing before being inserted into sofa cushions. Although loose fibrefill quality varies based on the manufacturer, it is more affordable than sheet foam and good for those with allergies.

Foam Core

Foam core is a hybrid between traditional down, and traditional loose fibrefill. Foam core consists of an inner foam core surrounded by loose fibrefill and a fabric shell. Foam core is more durable than loose fibrefill, as it holds its shape, and is more affordable than sheet foam. Foam core is often considered a cheaper, more hypoallergenic option to down filler.


Down is both the most comfortable, and most expensive type of sofa filler. Amongst other advantages, down filler conforms to the body and stays cool in warm weather. However, it also flattens easy and tends to lose its shape quite frequently. Therefore, cushions with down filler must be fluffed and turned regularly to prevent permanent damage. While down is a natural material, it should not be purchased for those with allergies, as it is not hypoallergenic.

Frame Construction

Frame construction is the backbone of the modern sofa. Quality modern sofas are made from kiln-dried hardwood. On the other hand, soft pine lumber can be substituted to make furniture more affordable in exchange for less durability. Each piece of the sofa should be securely screwed together, not stapled or glued. Modern sofas often come with a straight Parsons style arms. Additionally, a quality modern sofa should have eight weigh-tied springs, as opposed to cheaper wire coils that work as the main seat support system. Lastly, while sofa legs help support the piece, legs can be purchased with style in mind. Most modern sofas stray away from a skirted look and opt for visible, heavy square chunks, or wide bun feet. Finally, the general frame structure of most modern sofas is relatively angular.

Types of Modern Sofas

There are several types of modern sofas to choose from after a consumer has considered each of the above factors in their individual capacities. Many of the following types of popular modern sofas can be tailored to fit the needs of each individual.


Daybeds serve the double purpose of acting both as a sofa and a bed. Daybeds often have a wood, metal, or a combination of metal and wood frame. Daybeds traditionally have sides and a back, as well as rectangular metal springs with cross support that support the mattress within the daybed. Additionally, daybeds typically do not sit more than two people at a time in their upright position.

Fainting couch

The traditional fainting couch is backless with one side of the back elevated for easy reclining. However, in a lot of modern fainting couches, the back will dip down in the middle and wrap around both ends into the sofa arms. Fainting couches date back to the early 1900s, but have found their place among modern sofas with subtle variations on the traditional back.


The three-seat modern sofa is easily the most popular purchase amongst consumers. Like the name suggests, a three-seat modern sofa has three seat cushions in addition to three back cushions. Usually the modern three-seater is a rectangular shape with straight arms and visible legs.


The loveseat is a slight variation on the modern three-seater. The modern loveseat encompasses all the same features as a modern three-seater, with the exception of the number of cushions. The loveseat is usually designed to seat two people with two seat cushions and two back cushions.

Sectional Sofa

Modern sectional sofas are optimal for those who need maximum seating and have a lot of space. Sectional sofas often come in multiple pieces, this allows consumers ample room for creativity when setting up this modern piece. Additional bumper seats and chaise lounges, are popular end pieces for modern sectional sofas. Sectional sofas are often expensive, so doing adequate research beforehand is a must.

How to Buy a Modern Sofa on eBay

Modern sofas come in a variety of styles and fashions to appeal to a diversity of consumers. All types of modern sofas can be purchased at traditional furniture stores, department stores, and online. eBay helps make purchasing the right modern sofa online easy and affordable. For example, if you are looking for a general list of available modern sectional sofas, simply navigate to the eBay homepage. Type modern sectional sofa into the keyword search, and a list of items matching that description will be populated for you. If you’re looking more specifically for a leather sectional sofa, for example, this item can be found using the same method, with the keywords leather sectional sofa.

As you browse through the list of available purchase options, make sure you pay attention to those sellers that have been labelled as Top Rated Sellers. This rating identifies those sellers that consistently ship items, provide accurate descriptions, and charge fair postage for items shipped. Purchasing items from Top Rated Sellers ensures you are buying desired items from eBay's most reliable sellers.


Whether it be a daybed, fainting couch, three-seater, loveseat or a sectional, a modern sofa is a key piece of furniture in any consumer’s living room or family room. Although quality modern sofas can often be relatively expensive, they can also last a long time with the right care. Consequently, picking the right modern sofa requires adequate research before making a purchase. This decision should not be made without considering key factors such as preferred upholstery, cushions, and frame construction.

Some of these factors are stylistic choices, while others are important to the long-lasting functionality of the furniture. Additionally, the importance of each of these factors should be considered individually before exploring the various types of modern sofas available. This will help narrow down the vast selection of options. Purchasing a large piece of furniture can be an overwhelming decision. Luckily, eBay can help narrow down the selection of choices and present the options in a manageable, efficient manner.

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