How to Pick
The Perfect Sofa
Our simple tips for selecting a sofa to suit your style and space.

Even we’re willing to admit that sofa shopping isn’t always a highly anticipated activity. There’s an endless number of options, but after a few, the fascination starts to wane a little, huh? Any decent sofa will cost you a grip, so as tempting as it may be, you can’t just close your eyes and point.

But unless you’ve become unnaturally comfortable sitting on the floor, there’s really no getting around it. To help you through the process, we’ve come up with a few tips based upon your most important priority. Whether you’re limited on space, or need a place for overnight guests, check out our suggestions for picking the perfect sofa.

 Handcrafted “Standard” Sofa, $4500

“I like to veg out on my couch.”

If you’re the type who comes home from a long day and immediately plop down on the couch, comfort is definitely key. We’ll admit, its hard to find an astoundingly plush sofa that doesn’t look like it belongs in grandma’s den, but we assure you there are some modern and masculine alternatives. Here are a few things to think about when seeking to maximize comfort:

 Handcrafted “Standard” Sofa, $4500

1. As cozy as that overstuffed couch may look, the answer is “no.” Style-wise, stick to clean lines and square arms. The cushions should look firm and full, but not like they’re busting at the seams. In our opinion, a spring system wrapped in dacron or down offers the most comfortable seat.

 Margot Sofa, $2199

2. Sofas with detachable back cushions are often very comfortable. It’ll be up to you to keep them nice and fluffed, but it’s a small price to play for good rest and relaxation.

3. Make sure the sofa is deep – at least 30”, more if you’re really tall. This gives you plenty of room to lay back and sink deep – especially useful if you like to take the occasional nap.

 Carmichael Sofa, $1999

“I live in a shoebox.”

If you live in NYC, there’s a good chance your apartment is closer in size to the average American’s closet. No shame – that’s the price we pay – but here are a few things to consider for optimizing space:

 Spencer Sofa, $1999

1. Go for a single bench cushion, rather than a two or three cushion sofa. You’ll be able to seat a few extra people without anyone falling through the cracks.

 Inheritance Loveseat, $4500

2. A sofa without arms will give you a few more inches of seating space. You won’t have anything to lean on, but you’ll be able to seat at least one extra person in your living room.

 Jane Loft Bi-Sectional, $2999

3. If you’re in need of additional storage space, go for one that’s elevated on feet. Assuming a presentable storage container, you can slide a few things underneath.

 Flipside Sofabed, $1999

“I’m ready to toss the futon, but my friends still need a place to crash.”

So you’ve graduated from the futon, but haven’t clocked enough hours for a spare bedroom. Not a problem – there are plenty of stylish alternatives so your friends don’t end up on an air mattress or worse – a nearby motel. Here are a few points to consider when looking for seating that will double up as your guest room:

 Flipside Sofabed, $1999

1. The Flipside Sofabed by Gus is the next notch up from a futon. It maintains a low profile, but easily converts to a queen sized bed with a single motion. And it comes equipped with a clever, snap-in top sheet.

2. Since you’re likely to add some additional wear, be particularly mindful of the quality of the foam. Be sure its resilient and won’t deflate or deteriorate with use. Heavy, dense cushions are generally signs of good quality.

 Inheritance Chaise Lounge, $3900

3. If you’re willing to forego arms, a chaise or daybed could be a nice alternative to a convertible sofa bed.

 Atwood Sofa, $1999

“Feel free to sit…but don’t
get too comfortable.”

You’re the guy who uses his living room for entertaining, not lounging. In this case, form definitely supersedes function. You need something eye-catching – something that says “you may touch, but you better be careful with that red wine.” Comfort really isn’t as important. I mean, no one’s taking a nap on your work of art. Although you really have few limitations, here are some suggestions to get your thoughts going:

 Atwood Sofa, $1999

1. For a classic, sartorial look, consider a sofa with tufting. One of our all-time favorite sofas is the Atwood by Gus. It features blind tufting on the seat and back, striking the perfect balance between classic and modern.

 Goddard Bench, $2600

2. If you want something super-slick, consider bench seating. Yea, it may be a bit impractical for most, but for you, it doesn’t matter! Looks great in traditional or modern spaces, and you don’t have to worry about it ever going out of style.

 Inheritance Sofa, $6900

3. Or, break the mold and go for something completely out of the ordinary. LA-based designer Stephen Kenn makes a sofa with cushions upholstered in old military shelters. The frame is welded steel with webbing made from custom leather belts.

  • littletoyman

    Apparently, consideration of one’s choice is only of being eye candy, while comfort doesn’t have to be part of the criteria in the choosing, as a sitting of more than 10 minutes duration would be a pain in the butt for any of the illustrated sofas. A true couch would be comfortable, conducive to a relaxing period of time, where family members would sit to enjoy a movie or sports activity of some length with built-in features of a recliner (and cup-holder) and most important, of a good monetary value, to last of children’s play, TV dinners and other rigors of daily use

  • CCPhilly

    Excited to see that TRNK now carries Gus Modern pieces. I’ve had my Gus Modern sofa for several years and it’s held up well and still looks great. The upholstery in Urban Tweed hasn’t faded nor does it look worn despite many parties and guests. I think the sofas are good quality / value. Will be visiting the TRNK website when I’m due for a new one. Until then, may purchase another pillow – the mended tweed and striped pillows I did get here compliment my sofa nicely.

    • TRNK

      Thanks for the feedback! Yes, our experience with Gus is that the products are very well-constructed and definitely a great value for the price. Glad to hear that your sofa is holding up well! Which model do you own?

  • CCPhilly

    Back from some travel … I own the Carter sofa which looks similar to the Atwood sofa, but has a stainless steel base and 3 loose back cushions. The new wood base definitely adds warmth. Purchased in 2010.

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