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Sofas Guide

The living room can often feel like the heart of your home and, at the heart of the living room, lies the sofa. It’s estimated that we spend up to 17 years of our life on the sofa, so knowing what to look for when buying a sofa will come to be a great investment for your home.

With so many options when it comes to size, material, style and finish, how do you know how to buy a sofa that will last? So you choose the right sofa for you, we chatted to some of our expert store managers about the most common sofa buying questions.

Don’t forget you can call our friendly customer service team who’ll be happy to walk you through any of your trickier queries. Ring today on 0800 440 2254.

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Sofas FAQs

  • What size sofa should I buy?
    2 seater fabric sofa

    You know the old saying, ‘measure twice, cut once’? When it comes to buying a sofa, it should be ‘measure, measure, then measure some more, and then choose a sofa.’ Not only should you check the dimensions of the sofa itself, also check things like your door width, stairs measurement, and check the fit in your lift. This is to make sure that your sofa can fit in your home in the first place. Bear in mind the length of the sofa if you need to make any turns when moving it into place, or navigate tight stairs or landings.

    Here are the top measurements to keep in mind when planning for a new sofa:

    • The size of the sofa in your room
    • Doorways, stairs, lifts, and key delivery points compared to the size of your sofa
    • Buying a sofa bed? Don’t forget to take the measurement in your space of the extended bed!

    If you’re worried about creating great seating in a more compact space, never fear. There are lots of ways to configure a living room which don’t require a large sofa. Try mixing it up with several smaller sofas, or incorporating armchairs, loveseats, and accent chairs into your arrangement to create more places to relax.

    Want to learn more about getting the right measurements? Our delivery guide has a handy drawing of the key measurements you need in your home.

  • What are the key design features?

    Our sofa designers have incorporated lots of interesting details into our products, so you’re sure to find a sofa style that fits your home. From the more traditional styles to contemporary inspired seats, our sofas will work perfectly with your living room decor. Plus, our sofas are designed to match our beautiful hardwood furniture ranges, so coordinating your decor is never a concern.

    Some of our most beloved design features can be found in these areas:

    Arm design

    The arms of your sofa work hard, so it’s important to find a style that works for you. We love the overstuffed arm pad on some of our leather sofas, which seem to beg you to sit back, lean in and relax for a while. We also have several flared arm styles, which help to maximise the seating area on our sofas and give everyone a bit more room to stretch out. Scroll arms adorn some of our more traditional styles to give an air of classicism, or try a low square arm for a contemporary look.

    Sofa feet

    We leave no stone unturned when designing our high-quality sofas, so you know that even the feet of your sofa will be gorgeously finished. The legs are all made to match our stunning range of hardwood furniture, so you know that when you bring one of our sofas into your home it will look fantastic with your decor. The feet are made in keeping with the overall design of the sofa, so look for beautiful turned oak legs, Scandinavian style tall straight feet, modern flared feet, low square legs, or even sofas on castors.

    Sofa back

    We’ve designed several different styles of sofa back, and some of our ranges even feature more than one style to choose from based on your preference. Pillow back styles are a great way to create a cosy and social feeling in your living room, while our high back styles offer excellent support and comfort. Many of our leather sofas feature fixed backs for easy care and specially designed lumbar support regions. All our ranges have special style details to create a distinctive look. You’ll be sure to browse and find a style you love.

    The extra details

    A great sofa is not just about having durable construction, high-quality materials, and great style, it’s the little finishing details that can make all the difference. Most of our fabric sofas come with coordinating scatter pillows and bolsters to complete the look of your sofa. Our scatters feature coordinating patterns made from the same high-quality upholstery fabric as our sofas, and have plain backs too so that you can change the look of your sofa as you like! We have also designed a selection of footstools to help pull your room together. With plain, accent, and storage styles available, you can find the perfect finishing touches.

  • How do I know my sofa is high quality?

    Quality is in our DNA; you’ve come to expect it from our cabinet furniture, and our high standards apply to our sofas, too.

    We incorporate real hardwood into integral parts of the sofa frame, paying particular attention to stress points, such as the front and arms of the sofa to prevent any bending, sagging or creaking over time and ensure your sofa keeps its shape through the years. The frame is constructed with special screwed, glued, and pinned joints for added durability. This means that there is no warping or twisting of the frame, and you don’t get any annoying squeaks or creaks as the frame shifts. It also accounts for the natural expansion and contraction of wood; we have always been experts in hardwood, and we make sure our sofas are crafted with the same care and attention.

    Seats are supported by special serpentine springs, which are strong zig-zag flat springs which are carefully attached to the frames so that the seat cushions have excellent support, and will never sag over time. Plus, for our pocket sprung sofa seats, such as those in our leather and reclining sofas, we pack an impressive number of individual pocket springs per seat, made of high grade heavy gauge wire. We’ve also taken extra care in constructing our seat support; we use plastic quieting components so that there is no noise where the spring connects to the frame. These little details make a big difference, as no one likes a squeaky sofa.

    It doesn’t stop there; we only use solid oak in the feet of our sofas, made to match our cabinet furniture ranges. The upholstery is also carefully chosen for its durability, the fact that it continues to look great over time, and of course its meeting of UK flammability standards, so you can rest assured that you are bringing in a safe and hard wearing piece of furniture into your home. We also take special care on our sofa beds to make sure you have the best quality sleeping and sitting experience. The mattresses are available in standard and deluxe styles up to 115mm deep so that your guests can rest in comfort.

    For more about the high quality and uniqueness of our sofas be sure to check our sofa quality page.

  • What kind of cushion types are available?

    When it comes to your sofa, comfort is key, which is why we’ve designed several different styles of cushion so that everyone can sit back and relax.

    Dual foam

    When life gets busy, the last thing you want to do is be plumping your sofa cushions, which is why we’ve exclusively designed a dual foam seat cushion for many of our sofas. This combines a high resilience foam for a springy feeling and excellent support, with a softer deeper foam top, which really lets you sink in in comfort - it’s a truly luxurious feeling! The dual foam cushions create a clean and formal look in a sofa and require no turning or plumping to keep their good looks up. It’s no wonder that these are some of our most popular cushions.

    Foam and fibre

    If you’re all about sinking into a cosy, cloud-like sofa at the end of the day, then our foam and fibre styles might be perfect for you. Made from the same high resilience foam of our dual foam cushions, these are topped with a deep layer of polyester fibre for a lovely lived-in look. The overall look of foam and fibre cushions is casual and cosy, and perfect for curling up on with a warm cup of tea and a good book. Also no-turn, these require minimum plumping to keep their soft and fluffy shape.

    Carded fibre

    To create that sink-in feeling, perfect at the end of a long day, some of our sofas use high-quality polyester fibre cushioning, specially selected due to its high comfort rating. Sink into comfort, and enjoy the many fibre seat backs and arms that feature throughout our sofa collections for added comfort. To keep our fibre cushions at their best, we make sure that all cushions are filled to their maximum capacity to minimise the settling of the fibre over time. We specify carded fibre as well, this has extra loft and comfort than inferior fibres, and using this higher quality material means that your sofa will retain its style for the longest time possible.

  • What kinds of upholstery are available?

    We’ve designed a wide range of sofas in fabric and 100% real leather. Our fabric sofas are designed in plain, patterned, and textured styles, all from high quality upholstery fabrics which meet and exceed all British flammability standards, so you know you are bringing only the best pieces into your home.

    Our leather sofas are all made from 100% real hides, across the entire surface of the sofa. We never scrimp and use inferior leathers on our products; even the backs and arms are made from real leather. Because we know everyone has their own unique style, too, we offer a wide range of dyed leather colours on our sofas. With more than 10 colours available on many of our leather sofas, you’re sure to find the perfect style for your home with us.

  • How do I take care of my leather sofa?

    It’s easy to keep your leather sofa looking great through the years! For everyday use, simply dust or wipe it off. The quicker you can wipe away any spills, the better. Don’t use any harsh chemicals to clean your sofa. As we only use 100% genuine leather on every inch of our sofas, even the arms and backs, this can damage the finish on the hide.

    You should also keep your leather sofa away from direct sunlight and sources of heat, such as a fireplace or radiator. The sun can actually discolour your sofa over time, and lead to uneven wear patterns. Heat can actually cause the leather to dry out and crack - never a good look for a living room! Want to check to find the safe distance from a radiator to place a sofa? Here’s a handy tip from our showrooms: hold your hand in front of the heat source and slowly move it away. When you stop feeling the heat coming out, this should be a safe distance to place a sofa! In most cases, this is about 30-40 cm away from the heat source, but it’s always worth double checking in your space.

    Remember, leather is a natural material, so it will age. As you use it, it will soften and stretch, and you may notice it has a more relaxed feeling to it. But don’t worry! This is one of the reasons why leather is so prized as an upholstery material; it acquires the character of your home over time.

    However, we also take special steps in our design process to make sure the natural ageing of leather doesn’t affect your sofa’s performance. All our leather sofas and chairs have pocket sprung seats to prevent puddling. When you sit on a leather seat, there is extra pressure, and therefore stretching. Without pocket sprung seats, there is a tendency for the leather in the seat to prematurely stretch and crease. We designed our pocket sprung seat so that there is constant pressure against the leather to help it retain its shape over time. Plus - they’re fantastically comfortable to sit on!

    We also provide special leather care kits for purchase, which include everything you need to keep it clean and looking as good as the day it’s delivered. Consisting of leather cleaner, leather protection cream, an ink remover stick, and special cleaning cloths, it helps to keep your leather furniture looking its best through time.

  • How do I keep my fabric sofa looking great?

    If you’ve decided to go with one of our fantastic fabric sofas, you can rest easy, knowing that caring for it is simple.

    To keep the fabric looking fresh and crumb free, just vacuum the cushions, seat backs and scatters to loosen any crumbs, dust and dirt to keep the fabric looking it’s best and keep colours bright. While all of our fabrics are made from the highest grade of furniture upholstery for excellent wear and to meet UK flammability standards, we would still recommend keeping them out of direct sunlight to avoid any fading which may occur. You should not launder your sofa cover to preserve the flammability treatment, the zipped seat covers are simply for production purposes.

    But should any of life’s little slips occur and your sofa should get stained, we also offer a fabric care kit, which can help your sofa look its best, including a grease and oil spot remover, an old stain cleaner and more. And to let you lounge in total comfort, don’t forget about our five-year guarantee available with Furniture Guard.

    Additionally, we offer many different types of cushions that help to minimise care on our fabric sofas - our foam and fibre cushions are no flip, and our dual foam seat cushions provide plump free support. That being said, if you love that fresh-off-the-shop-floor look, regular plumping and rotating of the cushions will do no harm.

    Should the fabric get any snags or pulls, don’t tug on the loose thread! Just trim it close and tuck the loose ends underneath for a clean look. Dark denim and dark dyed clothes can stain lighter fabrics - if in doubt, sit on a throw to prevent any discolouration. Arms tend to experience the most wear, so arm covers can be used to keep your sofa looking fresh.

  • Should I choose an electric or manual recliner?

    The living room is all about relaxing, which is why we’ve designed several recliners in both leather and fabric upholstery. Our recliners come in 3-seat and 2-seat styles, with two reclining seats on each sofa, as well as the traditional reclining armchair.

    We also have both electric and manual styles of recliner - so how do you choose?

    Electric recliners provide relaxation at the touch of a button and easily top our list in terms of reclining style. Great for those with mobility issues, or those who just love to lounge, the subtle buttons on the side of the sofa allow you to lay back with ease. The mechanism is quiet and smooth, and you can stop it at any point to find your most comfortable resting position. Our Eastbourne armchair is even available in a riser/recliner style - so not only can you lean back in comfort, it can also raise you up to a comfortable standing position.

    If an electric recliner isn’t your style, we also have several manual reclining styles, too. These work well in areas where there is no outlet access. We’ve specially designed our manual recliners to have the same style reclining release as our electric options, so you can mix and match the two within a room and maintain the same overall look.

  • When should I consider a sofa bed?

    We think that sofa beds are a really useful piece of furniture for the modern home, and have designed some luxuriously comfortable styles for you to choose from.

    Sofa beds are ideal for creating a comfortable sleeping space for unexpected overnight guests, especially with our easy to use opening mechanism. Simply remove the seat cushions and pull out the frame to unfold our high quality sofa bed mattresses.

    They are also ideal in compact accommodation, as they can help to create multi-purpose spaces. In homes where there isn’t a spare room for a guest room, a sofa bed is a great option. When not required for guests, it’s perfect as a comfortable everyday sofa.

    If you are using your sofa bed for an extended period of time, we would recommend one of our deluxe sofa bed mattresses, such as that on our Jasmine and Kirby sofa beds to bring you sweet dreams.

    All our sofa beds are designed to match our sofa ranges. You can easily incorporate a sofa bed into your overall living room decor scheme.

  • How can I enhance my sofa?

    So you’ve chosen the sofa of your dreams, now what? We make it simple to enhance the overall styling of your sofa with our full range of upholstered furniture.

    In addition to our sofas, we have a wide range of armchairs, accent chairs and loveseats in some truly unique styles to complement and enhance your sofa.

    Many ranges have armchairs in plain and patterned styles for a real pop in the living room. All our patterns are chosen to coordinate within a range, making styling simple. Accent footstools are also available, so you can create a unique look in your space.

    We also offer storage footstools. These are great for storing kids toys out of sight, hiding remote controls, or other living room clutter. We especially love storage footstools as great ways to tidy away out of season throws or soft furnishings to let you quickly switch the style of your living room on a whim.

    You may notice that a lot of our sofas come with complimentary scatter cushions, making designing your room simple. All our accent cushions feature one plain, and one patterned side, so you can change the look of your sofa with just a flip. You can always change things up though with your own soft furnishings. A new throw blanket or accent cushion is a simple and inexpensive way to redecorate your sofa.

    Don’t forget to check out our ranges which let you select high back or pillow back styles for more versatility.

  • How can I pay for my sofa?

    In addition to offering our incredibly high quality sofas at an incredible value, we also can make your living room transformation a reality with our affordable finance options. Any order over £500 is eligible to qualify for our finance packages. Learn more about finance at Oak Furnitureland here.

  • How long is my sofa guaranteed for?

    Our Furniture Guard cover protects your sofa for up to five years, so you can sit back and relax, knowing that your sofa will be taken care of.

    Our Furniture Guard cover protects your new sofa from the moment it’s delivered into your home. We’ve made it simple to protect your new Oak Furnitureland products, offering you no nonsense protection against everyday damage. With our policy, we will assess the problem, and wherever possible will repair it there and. If a replacement is needed, we’ll take care of that for you, too.

    Our Furniture Guard cover protects you for five years against:

    Stains and accidental damage

    • Heat and liquid marks
    • Heat marks
    • Breakage
    • Dents, chips and scratches
    • Pet damage

    Structural damage

    • Warping
    • Heat marks
    • Cracking
    • Breakage
    • Excessive loss of resilience

    The above is only a summary; please review our Furniture Guard page for the full Terms & Conditions for comprehensive details of the policy cover.
  • How can I protect my new sofa?

    We make taking care of your new sofa easy. Whether you’re buying a leather or a fabric sofa, we offer care kits for both, which help take care of and clean up everyday messes. To make sure that your sofa looks great year after year, consider our five-year Furniture Guard cover guarantee. For more details, check out our Furniture Guard page.

  • Why buy sofas from Oak Furnitureland?

    We know what it takes to craft the highest quality hardwood furniture, and we’ve taken that same mindset into the creation of our sofa ranges, so you know that by choosing one of our sofas, you’re choosing quality, every time.

    We use high-quality hardwood in the frames of all our sofas and chairs. Combined with special techniques such as screwed, glued, and pinned joints, this means that the frames won’t warp or bend over time, and you never have to deal with a creaky sofa. To keep the springs quiet, we have designed a special cap which prevents friction between the spring and frame.

    We also use high-performance serpentine springs to make sure the seats are springy and supportive whenever you sit down and relax. This style of spring also prevents sagging over time so you know that your sofa will look great year after year.

    Our seat cushions are also designed with comfort, quality, and durability in mind. Our bespoke dual foam and foam and fibre seats offer a cosy place to sit, each with their own unique appearance. Our leather sofas and recliners have individual pocket springs and foam seats to help them keep their shape and prevent puddling and wear over time.

    When you buy a sofa from Oak Furnitureland, you know that you are buying an incredibly high-quality piece of furniture, made with care and attention to detail, all at our incredible savings, and with great delivery options available.

  • How will our sofa be delivered?

    Our friendly delivery crews will bring them straight to the room of your choice, making installation easy. Learn more about our delivery options.

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