Sofa Buying Guide - What To Look For In a Sofa - OKA U.S.
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  • Sofa Buying Guide

    By Jack Stevens

    Like a bed, a sofa is a key piece of furniture that needs a lot of forethought before purchasing. It’s not just about what looks good or fits in the space, but also about what your requirements are; what’s right for someone else’s home and lifestyle may not be the right choice for you. With a minefield of scrolling arms, modular sets and loose covers to contend with, we’ve dissected the essentials when it comes to sofa buying to help make the process a little bit easier.



    Most of the sofas in our ranges come in various sizes allowing you access to most styles, regardless of the scale of your room. Our sizes go up in ½ seat increments from a 1.5 seater sofa to a 3-seater sofa, and our modular sets can go as large as you like.

    The best method we know for judging the size of your sofa is lay out a flat template (newspaper will work) on the floor to the exact footprint of your chosen sofa. Make sure you have adequate space around it to move freely through the room, and if you desire it, space for side tables or even a console behind.

    If you’re nervous about getting your new sofa into your house, don’t be. All of our loose-covered sofas above a 2-seater size break down into two parts for easy installation. The two parts are simply bolted together and the loose cover reinstated on top.

    Don’t forget the sofabed. If you’re struggling for space in a small bedroom the Hurlingham sofabed is a fantastic solution.




    The shape of sofa that you choose is really down to personal taste and to the style of the room that it is going into. There are however a few options that are worth weighing up before making a final choice.


    Modular sofas are hugely adaptable and give you great scope when the space you are filling is an unconventional size or shape (allowing you to work around a corner). They can also be easily rearranged as required.

    Fixed sofas are less flexible and a little more formal, but come in a huge range of styles so offer greater scope in terms of aesthetic.



    A lower back gives a more open look, perfect for big open plan spaces or for positioning under a window for example. A higher back sofa tends to be more formal and will have a more imposing presence. Also bear in mind arm width, which can make quite a difference to the overall size of your sofa: if space is tight choose a style with narrow arms.




    Which is almost another way of saying traditional or modern...



    Sofas with legs are generally upholstered, whilst those without are often loose covered and suggest a degree of informality. Again this is really a matter of personal taste and the existing tone of the room.




    When it comes to sofas, here at OKA we are firm believers in a neutral palette of Off-White, Ecru and Natural (with the occasional stripe or contrast piping thrown in for good measure). Neutrals are hugely adaptable and will slot in to most schemes and ensure that your sofa is useful for years to come.

    We then dress ours up with scatter cushions and throws and alter these as the seasons change and the mood takes us. If you choose a loose-covered sofa, these are easily updated with a new set of covers.




    Sofa Covers

    This decision often comes down to practicalities and if your sofa is liable to be subject to a lot of use (and abuse) then a loose-cover that can be removed and cleaned is the way to go. Loose-covers also mean that you can change the look of your sofa – either by purchasing a loose-cover in an alternate colour, or buy getting one made in your own fabric.

    Upholstered sofas generally have a more tailored and sophisticated look. Often coming with feet they tend to have a sleeker, smarter profile than their loose-covered cousins and will work well anywhere, even in the smartest drawing room.