Picking a Sofa: What fabric and where should you look?

So you're ready to pick a sofa. There are only 8 billion out there so you'll probably find the perfect one, say...never. The sofa selection process can be daunting, but I am here to help. I will walk you through the different material options and some of my current favorites!

Material, Girl:

Ok, so we're living in a material world. There's leather. There's polyester, cotton, velvet, linen, blends - and that just scratched the surface. Let's break it down a bit.







Velvet (Cotton, Linen, or Silk)

Pros: natural - more environmentally friendly, free of chemicals, tight weave holds up for years

Cons: they are more delicate and can be easily damaged by sunlight and moisture, can soil and wrinkle if untreated (although treating it with a chemical negates the environmentally friendly factor), silk should be avoided on upholstery items









Velvet (Polyester or Nylon)

Pros: can resist stains and fading and tend to be more durable, can typically be cleaned easily, not typically damaged by pet claws

Cons: may pill with constant abrasion, may be prone to stretching


Pros: durable - real leather lasts 4 times longer than other materials, doesn’t absorb smells and odors

Cons: more expensive, can be hot or stick in the summer, will patina and change color over time as different body oils touch it, harder to repair if ripped, could be easily scratched by pets


Pros: not as "tacky" as the pleather or vinyl of years past, good for people who want the leather look but support animal rights, plenty of variety of color/pattern, won't fade as much in the sun

Cons: doesn't wear well over time, may look cheap if not made well, could be easily scratched by pets

The verdict:

Most durable: solution-dyed acrylics or blended polyester (anything that is a blend will be more durable), velvet (it attracts dirt but holds up well, polyester velvet is most forgiving)

Worst for pets: anything with a weave (claws will get caught), leather (easily scratched)

My Faves:

Favorite Channel-Tufted:

Joybird, Chelsea Sofa - $2579 for large size

Smaller size options, many color options (can order swatches), leg finish options

Favorite Slipcovered:

Pottery Barn, Sullivan Fin Arm Deep Seat Slipcovered Sofa - $2,899 for 86" version

Many fabric options (can order swatches)

Favorite Solid Wood Base:

Apt2B, Olivia Sofa - $1,798

Many fabric options available, wood base finish options, nothing get stuck underneath due to solid wood base

Favorite Sleeper:

The Inside, Tailored Sleeper Sofa - $1,999

Many fabric and finish options, pretty quick leadtime for something you can customize (4 weeks).

Favorite Environmentally Friendly:

Medley, Gio Sofa - $2,280.00

Multiple options in filling, size, fabric, and leather, uses natural materials, eco-friendly and home friendly

Favorite Wood Detail:

France and Son, Steen Sofa - $1,738

Available in two other color options, wood arm detail

Favorite Leather:

Interior Define, Sloan Sofa - $2,695

Various color and finish options, also available in fabric. Can customize cushion fill. Sectional option and additional sofa sizes available as well. Downside is the long leadtime but they are great quality and have quick-ship options as well.

Favorite Quick-Ship:

Rove Concepts, Anderson Sofa - $1,575

Ships within 1 week, various color and leg finish options. Also available in loveseat and chair

Favorite Daybed:

France and Son, Spindle Daybed With White Cotton Mattress - $3,231.80

Caned back, comes with mattress. Allow for depth. Can double as a bed!

Favorite Fully Button-Tufted:

Article, Cirrus Sofa - $999

Ships in 1-2 weeks, Various fabric options

Favorite Modular:

Rove Concepts, Porter Sofa - $2,275

Ships within 1 week, various color options. Modular pieces also available separately

Favorite Curved Back, Infiniti Curve Back Sofa - $1,799

Other color options available for custom order, lovely curved back and seat cushion

Has this given you the courage to finally go out and buy that sofa? If you still need more help, let me know!

Is there anything related to sofas you'd like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments!



Hi, I'm Courtney, and I'm the founder of Courtney Schrank Design Studio. I help high-powered female executives maintain their identity and well-being while working for someone else. Read more about my services here!

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