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Sofa Shopping Secrets: How Much Does a Sofa Cost and Other Useful Tips

Discover the secrets of sofa shopping, including how much a sofa typically costs, along with useful tips on buying the perfect couch.

Looking to buy a new sofa but not sure where to start or how much to spend? You’ve come to the right place! In this sofa shopping guide, I’ll share how much you can expect to spend on a sofa, how to check the quality, navigate leather and different fabrics, and alternatives to sofas.

We’ll go over shopping in stores, online, and second-hand so you can make confident decisions if you are in the market!

How much does a sofa cost?

You can find a decent new sofa or couch for as little as $300 all the way up to $3,000. Prices reflect craftsmanship, size, design, and material. There are great sofa options for all price points!

Learn how much to spend on a sofa like this beautiful grey leather sofa with layered textiles next to a window.
Grey Leather Sofa with Global Textiles

How much should I spend on a couch?

Determining your budget for a sofa purchase and researching stores before you start shopping is helpful for avoiding overspending. Here are some key factors to consider when setting a budget for furniture.

  • Assess your financial situation by evaluating your overall financial standing and how much you can comfortably allocate toward a sofa. Consider your income, expenses, and other financial obligations you have. Set a realistic budget that ensures you don’t overspend or strain your finances.
  • Think about how long you expect the sofa to last in your home. Are you looking for short-term or long-term investments? Sofas vary in terms of durability and higher quality options often come with higher price tags.
  • Your lifestyle plays an important role when considering your budget and the type of sofa to purchase. Consider how many people will use the sofa, the level of daily activity, and any specific requirements you have such as stain-resistant fabrics or pet-friendly materials.
  • Research price ranges in the market to get a general idea of what to expect from your budget. Prices can vary depending on factors like brand, materials, craftsmanship, and design.
  • Consider additional costs like delivery charges, taxes, warranties, and potential customization options.

Once you’ve set a reasonable budget, it’s time to decide on the size, materials, and design for the right sofa.

A light blue sofa view from the back with a pink and white throw blanket is in front of a german smear fireplace surround with a build in tv bookcase.
A Wayfair Sofa Ordered Online

Loveseat vs. Sofa: Which One is Right for You?

Depending on your situation you may be wondering if a full-size couch or loveseat or perhaps both are the best options for you. Here are a couple of tips to consider.

  • Measure the space where the sofa will live before you shop. Consider the height, depth, and width of what you want. Loveseats are ideal for compact living areas or as an addition to a larger sofa.
  • Sofas offer more seating capacity but loveseats can offer more versatility!
  • Evaluate how each option fits into your overall design scheme and how it meets your seating needs.
A DIY red obi pillow with pom pom fringe and love seat with bullion fringe.  Find tips on how to buy a sofa.
Grey Loveseat with White Fringe Added

How to Check a Sofa: Quality Assessment Tips in Store

Check out these suggestions when looking at upholstered sofas in stores. This can be super helpful when looking at less expensive options at discount stores like HomeGoods, Target, and Value City Furniture and department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney.

  1. Try it out!! Sit on the sofa, make sure you don’t feel springs poking through, and check the firmness. Lay on it to see if it is nap-worthy.
  2. Make sure it is well constructed, when you lift one end of it off the ground about 5 inches, the other side should lift too. Look for solid, sturdy frames made of durable materials like hardware.
  3. Consider sofa cushion covers that are removable (for easy cleaning) in a durable upholstery fabric such as Ultrasuede, twill, denim, velvet, wool, flat weave fabrics, and other natural fabrics that are woven with a little synthetic fiber.  To test fabric, run your hand across it, the more noise it makes, the more durable it is.  When choosing Ultrasuede, choose one whose fibers do not change colors when you move your hand across it.  Check the stitching and craftsmanship to ensure the sofa is well-made and built to last.
  4. Check the filling material.  Down/feather combinations are the most preferred, but most expensive. A less expensive option is a down feather mixed with HR foam (high-resilience polyurethane).  High-density polyurethane lasts longer than polyester and polyfiber. Try to avoid poly fiber mixes and polyester because they lose their shape quicker, flatten, and can clump and become lumpy.
A view of a open layout with green velvet sofa and chair, blue wingback chairs, and a dining table with blue chairs and landscape wall mural.
Check out Used Sofas in Person before Buying

How to Shop for a Sofa Online

Online shopping provides more options and perks like free shipping. It is important to pay attention to the descriptions and details of the materials used and examine customer reviews.

Use the fabric and filling material tips from above and the leather sofa buying guide below to aid you online!

Leather Sofa Buying Guide

  • Leather is always a fantastic choice for easy care and offers a timeless style with luxurious appeal.  
  • Understand the different types of leather such as bonded, split grain, full grain, or top grain leather for each with different characteristics and price points.
  • Look for strong stitching, proper cushioning, and a solid frame when looking at budget-friendly options like bonded leather and leatherette.
Close up of a pretty grey leather sofa.
Grey Leather Sofa from Department Store

Other Useful Tips for Sofa Shopping

  • Accurate measurements of your space are crucial to ensure the sofa fits perfectly in your room. Consider doorways, hallways, and other obstructions when assessing the size of the sofa.
  • Check the warranty options and return policies offered by the retailer or manufacturer. Understanding the terms and conditions will give you peace of mind in case any issues arise.
  • Seek recommendations from friends, and family, and read customer reviews to gather insights and experiences from others who have purchased the same sofa. Try a Google search on a brand and name to see what others had to say!
  • Don’t forget to check thrift stores and consignment shops.  Sometimes brand-new sofas are available on the Facebook marketplace.
  • Most older sofas are well made and their appearance is a testimony to how durable they are. You can always reupholster it for a custom appearance.  Designers do it all of the time!! Check out Emily Henderson’s post on upholstering antique sofas.  She is amazing!
How much to spend on a sofa depends on where you shop.  THe green velvet sofa in this living room came from Facebook marketplace and looks gorgeous in a colorful and eclectic open layout.
Everything Here is Second Hand Except Blue Dining Room Chairs

Alternatives to Couches

Check out these fun alternatives to the traditional sofa.

  • Daybeds offer stylish and functional alternatives, especially for smaller spaces. They can serve as seating during the day and transform into a comfortable bed for guests.
  • Bean bags and floor cushions can provide a more relaxed and causal seating option for a cozy and informal atmosphere like an entertainment room or kids’ space.
  • Accent chairs and chaises add variety and visual interest to your seating arrangement and can be moved around easily. A good option for small living rooms and parlors.
A grey loveseat with white fringe is in front of bird wallpaper.
Grey Loveseat is Versital and Easily Changes Rooms

Now that you have these valuable insights on sofa costs, alternative options, quality assessment, and leather sofas, you’re ready to find a new sofa with confidence.

May you find the perfect sofa that not only fits your budget but also brings comfort and joy to your living space. Happy shopping!

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  1. Thank you for your tips on construction. It is so easy to find something that looks amazing, but if you want it to last the durability is a good thing to consider. After reading your advice, I have a better idea of how to shop for a quality sofa. Who like the design of this couch I found? I love the functionality of the sleeper option!

  2. Personally, I find it quite difficult when it comes to buying the right sofa/couch for any of the rooms in the house. Yours is really insightful article I can use in the future. Thank you Kathy.

  3. Kathy, I wish I would have read your article before I bought my new leather sofa. I didnt take any measurements before that and I had to go back and forth getting a new one (and that was a hassle…). One good thing was that when I returned it there was better deal :), thanks

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