Gardeners Back painSo you’re ready to head out to the shops and buy a new sofa. There are a few things you need to check before you go ahead and make that purchase. After all it is a huge investment.  The last thing you want is for it to cause you back pain when you start using it regularly.

Most sofas have changed hugely in design over the decades from the Victorian era where they were used much more formally but designed with a human in mind. Nowadays sofa’s can be more akin to a bed than seating. Whilst the wooden frame that holds a sofa’s shape is very similar, what is encased over it has changed dramatically.  Unfortunately our dimensions haven’t changed with them. The worse culprits being the low, squishy deep sofa that renders it impossible to sit comfortably or resist slouching.

So what do you need to look out for when you buy your next sofa?

Sofa’s can look deceptively small in a show room

What to consider when buying a sofaSo make sure you have your tape measure to hand to ensure it fits the space you have in mind. In addition to making sure it will fit through your doorways.  Showrooms (such as this image of Wesley Barrel) can have other household furniture to help give a better impression of how big the sofa is in relation to other pieces, which can help.

If your current sofa works for you but just needs replacing remember to measure it up before you head out so that you can compare the sofa’s in the showrooms. By this we mean it’s outer width, length and depth in addition to the seat depth and height from the floor too.

Picking the right size

This isn’t just about the room but also the people sitting on it. Who will be using the sofa and what height are they? It is finding that right balance for everyone if at all possible or at least for those who will be using it the most. A lot of sofas are very deep which may be an issue when it comes to being able to sit back into the seat and still have your feet on the ground!

Sit on the sofa for some time

A quick few seconds doesn’t give you any idea of comfort. Also consider your footwear. If you are out and about wearing your heels sitting on a sofa in a showroom wearing them won’t give you a realistic idea. They will raise your legs up and give an artificial impression of what the height of the sofa is like for you. Would you sit wearing heels in the evening at home? Any good sofa retailer will be happy for you to sit and really give their sofa’s the comfort test. Up to you if you are happy to pop your slippers on 🙂

Buy the best you can afford

Getting the best back care sofaMay sound obvious, sofa’s are expensive and a seemingly cheaper sofa could mean you are replacing it sooner. The quality of the foam and support may be poorer and so begin to sag and cause aches and pains for you. Sofa’s should last many years. We know this can be a Goldilocks moment but you do need enough firmness to offer support whilst still being comfortable. If the sofa is really soft when you try it there is a strong chance that this could become even more so very quickly.

Don’t be afraid to ask if there are any discounts available.  Or why not wait to see if the one you want is on offer in their next sale. Tactical shopping can mean you can get better quality for your budget.

What are you using your sofa for?

Will it only be formal when people are visiting? Will it be the hub of the household used for relaxing watching TV, eating and working at the laptop? Who will be using the sofa the most?  If it isn’t you they really need to be with you when you are shopping.  Height will have a big factor on the sofa that you buy.

Do you need a recliner sofa?

We are a big fan of these. Often the dimensions are in much better proportions for us humans. The great thing about a recliner is that you Choosing the right sofa for youcan often control how far it leans back, so you get that great balance between feeling like you are relaxing whilst being kind to your back – as long as the seat base isn’t too deep. When your lower back is supported and you recline backwards there is less pressure on your back than when you are sitting upright in the old fashioned Victorian manner

Remember ergonomics

Yes you want your sofa to be a joy to sit on but make sure that it isn’t too low. You should be able to sit comfortably into the back of your sofa with your feet planted on the floor. Your hips should be slightly higher or at the very least level with your knees.   If you aren’t able to do that there is a strong chance that it will cause discomfort over time.