This is the 'most important' thing to consider when choosing a sofa, according to an interior designer

Follow these tips to ensure your sofa is as comfortable as it is stylish

Orange couch with throw pillows
(Image credit: Future)

Choosing a sofa can be a challenge. It's a costly investment you will want to get right the first time around, and while it needs to look great, it's important that it's actually comfortable.

'The sofa is the most important piece of your home,' says interior designer Kathy Kuo. 'While every home is unique and different, one thing that most homes have in common is that the sofa is really the heart of the living room and one of the most important pieces of anchor furniture you'll purchase.'

'The right sofa for each person and their home is going to depend on their family, pets, amount of space, and design style, but comfort and quality construction should always be the most important factors. Ultimately, you want to be sure that you can picture yourself lounging on it with a good book and a mug of tea with a cozy blanket.' 

If you're looking for insight into how to go about choosing the right sofa, continue reading where we explore the interior designer's expert advice.

1. Fabric

orange velvet sofa with monkey side table and artwork hung on wall above

(Image credit: Future PLC / James Merrell)

Not only does the fabric of your living room sofa need to complement your decor style, but you should also consider the fabric from a practical perspective. Some fabrics are more robust and can handle daily wear and tear, whereas others are more prone to showing scuffs and spills, such as velvet

While light-colored sofas can look great in minimalist spaces, you should be aware that these lighter tones will show up any marks a lot more than darker colors. 'If you have children or if you have pets you might want to opt for a performance fabric or a slightly more neutral colorway,' suggests Kathy. 

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

2. Back cushions

Grey walls, wooden floor ad grey sofa with framed picture above

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

'When people say if your sofa is comfortable or not, they’re actually really reacting to your back cushion and not your seat cushion,' says Kathy. While you may naturally assume that the seat cushion is more important, Kathy suggests that the back cushion is just as, or if not more important to ensure a comfortable sofa. Make sure you opt for something that offers support and isn't too slouchy or low for ultimate comfort. 

3. How well it's made

living room with gray sofa black coffee table and taupe walls

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

'Personally speaking, the most important thing that you should look for in a sofa is actually how well it’s made on the inside,' says Kathy. 'You’re looking for a sinuous spring construction. You're looking for an eight-way hand tie. You’re looking for something that isn’t made out of foam.'

When choosing your sofa, it's always best to go and try it out in-store where you can fully assess how comfortable it is while ensuring it's made from quality materials. 

Once you've decided on the sofa that is best for your space, make sure you avoid these sofa arranging mistakes to ensure it looks cohesive and balanced in your home. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.