Welcome Home: The Trick To Buying A Sofa That Lasts

Over the past 10 years, I have helped hundreds of home owners in Vallarta Nayarit find comfortable sofas and sectionals. Most people want to jump right to the style and the color they prefer. To ensure you get a well-made sofa that will last you twenty years or more, don’t forget to select one with the right frame and support.

The frame is the most important part of the sofa. If the wrong materials are used, or the manufacturing processes are not high quality, it is unlikely your sofa or sectional will last even a few short years. Well made frames use kiln dried hard wood and/ or high quality engineered wood. This assures quality, strength and durability. Be wary of any sofas or sectionals made with particle board. Well made items also have good interlocking joinery rein- forced with glue and/or staples. You know you are buying from a good manufacturer if they design and engineer their frames using an upholstered furniture test method developed by Purdue University’s Wood Research Lab. This test ensures proper joint construction and materials so that your sofa is designed and built to last. Another test that good manufacturers use is called the drop test. This test is one prescribed by BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufactuers’ Association). A 300 lb weight is dropped on the seating area from a specified height to ensure the frame withstands impact. When it comes to suspension, most mid price range sofas use springs or webbing. If your sofa has springs, make sure they are a minimum of 8 gauge and that the springs are sinuous so that there is good seat suspension. Webbing is interwoven strips of synthetic material with rubber attached to the wood frame. Both springs and webbing ensure you will not fall through to the floor so another key piece of a good sofa. Almost all upholstered furniture uses foam. Good foam for seating should be at least 1.8 lb high resiliency. This foam gives improved comfort without loss of support. The seating will feel soft when you first sit. It will also give the feel of deep support without bottoming out as would happen with softer foams. Conventional foams lose their support over time and use. High resiliency foam is the way you ensure your upholstery will look and feel good for years to come. High resiliency foam is also environmentally-friendly.

In addition to foam, a well made piece will also be padded. Padding takes the hard, sharp corners of the foam and helps give the sofa or sectional the rounded, smooth edges. There are different types of padding. Some have resins and hardeners so that they can be used on outdoor upholstered items. Others have the resins and hardeners removed so that they are softer and smoother but used mainly for indoor. Dacron, one type of padding, resists mold, mildew and parasites.

This, along with a performance fabric for a cover will make the perfect sofa or sectional for your home in Vallarta Nayarit.

Sheryl Novak
Sheryl Novak is an expat Canadian who has owned a home in Mexico for over ten years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico – the online furniture store for your home in Mexico and The Furniture Store by SOLutions Mexico, a brick and mortar show store in Bucerias. She is considered the expert on sourcing all styles of furniture for all sizes of budgets, in Mexico.