Before you had children, or dogs, or cats, or anything else that spills yoghurt, wields crayons, moults, scratches or causes other sorts of general chaos, the most important consideration in buying a sofa was whether it looked nice, right? With how comfy it was to park yourself on after a long day at work, a close second. But now you’ve got a family, there are so many other considerations involved in choosing the most important piece of furniture in your house. This is why we’ve put together this handy family sofa buying guide.
What style of sofa is best for a family?
Corner sofas, chaise sofas and modular sofas are all great choices for families. Here’s why:
The most spacious and roomy of all designs, corner sofas are also brilliant at space-saving in a house filled with family clutter. The whole family – even if you’ve got nearly enough kids to make up your own football team – can cosy up on a Swyft corner sofa which sits up to ten people. Or buy your own modules to create the perfect sofa for the size of your family – and have the flexibility to add to it and move things around as your family grows or the kids leave home and you fancy it’s time for a revamp.
A chaise sofa is long enough to lie out and stretch those weary legs, perfect for your lanky video game-playing teens, or for exhausted mums and dads after another day at the parenting coal face. And there’s room for the rest of the family to sit alongside you, too, whether it’s for movie night, board game playing or arguing over what to watch next on the telly.
Incredibly versatile, buying a sofa in sections is a brilliant way to create exactly the sofa of dreams for the size of your family. Made up of individual pieces that can be styled to suit your living needs, Swyft modular sofas can be anything from a 2-seater to a large corner sofa with an ottoman.
Indeed, you may prefer to opt for two separate sofas – how about a main four-seater sofa to hold the prime spot in front of the telly, and a smaller three-seater sofa tucked away in a quieter corner for reading a book and a golden moment of peace and quiet (you wish)?
What fabric is best for a family sofa?
A practical, durable fabric is always going to be the obvious answer here. Leather is always a good option as it can be wiped clean. But if leather isn’t your preference, can you wash or wipe the covers? Are the covers removable? Will the colour you choose show up stains from chocolate-y covered fingers or fizzy pop spillages? Opting for grey or brown shades disguise stains far more easily than bold or bright colours, so choosing a more neutral and darker colour rather than a bold, bright makes sense.
But no one wants to think only practical, do they? You also want your sofa fabric to be comfortable and to fit in with your design pallet, whether that be a classic or contemporary look. Swyft’s stylish sofas are all made of stain-resistant and easy-clean fabrics, perfect for kids, babies and pets.
Whether you choose linen or even the traditionally unpractical velvet option, our sofas all feature fibre guard technology which resists stains and protects fabric – in fact, most marks can be removed purely with water.
Indeed, velvet was once upon a time considered a hard-to-clean fabric – thanks to its short pile fibres, it was more the choice for glamour and sophistication, rather than something you could comfortably spill ice-cream on. But this is no longer the case. Nowadays, a velvet sofa can be every bit as tough as one made from more traditionally practical fabrics. The main thing is to learn how to maintain your sofa and clean off the stains of family life.
What size of sofa is ideal for a family?
Of course, this very much depends on the size of your family, and how much you all enjoy cosying up together in one spot of an evening. But it’s likely you’ll be wanting a larger sofa, and measurements really do matter.
Make sure you check, and check again, the size of your desired piece of furniture – and don’t forget to look at the width as well as the length. Ask yourself whether it will fit neatly into the spot you have earmarked for it. Will it be obstructing any doors or windows, for example? Make sure you check out our sofa dimensions and measuring guide before you buy.
A 2-seater usually has 50cm seating width, so would only suit those families who like to sit separately for a bit of ‘me’ time.
Three seaters have a 78cm seating width and tend to suit two people lounging or three sitting upright, though there’s plenty of space to squeeze in a small child or two.
The seating width is a spacious 90cm, for cosy TV watching.
A 5-seater has a roomy 108cm seating width, more than enough room for all the family.
What are the important factors in sofa buying when you have pets?
Ah, never mind those children and their sticky mitts, it can often be our furry friends causing havoc, be it over-excitable dogs with their mucky paws after a walk in the woods, or cats using the sofa as a scratching post. Here are our top tips for pet-friendly sofas.
The best colours for petsOpt for a darker colour for your family sofa to disguise muddy marks. And how about choosing a colour of sofa that actually matches your pet? That way it won’t show up all those moulting hairs from your cat/dog/hamster quite so easily.
The best fabric for petsWe all know how much cats love clawing, and how much we owners do not love clawing. Our feline friends can ruin rugs, carpets and sofas and chairs with their territory marking, or whatever the reason is they’re doing it that day. So fabric is important. They can’t destroy leather. Also, velvet is perfect for cats, as it is a short fat pile that lacks the woven texture they are prone to unlooping/destroying. Linen is also great for cats as it isn’t prone to snagging, plus it is good for disguising all forms of animal hair. Both fabrics are super easy to vacuum too.
Easy cleaning sofas for petsNo one wants their new sofa to smell of wet dog, do they? The other main hazard of pet ownership around your finest furniture is smell, particularly from our canine pals. So you need a durable, hard-wearing sofa that can be easily cleaned, and both linen and velvet are perfect for dog lovers. A great natural tip for eliminating dog smell from your fabric is to use baking soda – sprinkle it over the sofa, leave overnight and give it a thorough vacuum in the morning for a thorough deodorising... Your comfy, stylish new sofa will smell as fresh as a daisy – ready for another day of whatever family life throws its way.
And here is our top tip – as family time so often revolves around watching the telly, make sure you are able to have the sofa and the TV well positioned in relation to each other – the ideal distance between the two is roughly around 3 metres. You’re welcome.Shop our sofas, all flat-packed and delivered to your home in 24 hours. Swyft sofas are easy to clean, stain-resistant and perfect for all the family.