8 best sofas 2021: sitting pretty on the most stylish seating

The best sofas to kick back and relax in style
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  • Looking for the best sofas? Choosing a sofa is an important decision to get right, after all, it’s a significant investment and will be the focal point of your living room for years to come, so, of course, this key piece of furniture needs to be comfortable, practical and stylish.

    But with so many different designs, sizes and materials on offer the choice can easily become a little overwhelming. That’s why our best sofas round-up is here to help. We’ve highlighted the key factors to consider before making this big purchase and have pulled together the best sofas on the Ideal Homes radar.

    So whether you want a spacious corner sofa with room for all the family, a chaise sofa to kick back and relax on in style, a classic three-seater sofa, or a contemporary two-seater, our round-up will help you to narrow down your search.

    Oh, and if you want your sofa to work a little harder and offer sleeping space for overnight guests too, make sure to check out our guide to the best sofa beds!

    How to choose the best sofa for your room:

    Size Choose a sofa that isn’t going to make a room feel cramped or look lost in a larger space. Measure out where the sofa will go in your room – including the sofa depth – to make sure there is plenty of space to walk around it. Check heights to make sure it fits under windowsills or existing wall furniture. And if it isn’t flat pack then measure doors and awkward hallway angles carefully to ensure you will be able to get it into the room!

    Layout A sofa can be a really useful zoning tool in an open-plan layout, helping to create designated areas for dining or relaxing within a larger space. In this case, it’s important to pay attention to the back of the sofa as well as the front, as if it’s not pushed back against a wall then all angles of your sofa will be on display. This can be particularly relevant on budget sofa models where manufacturers sometimes cut costs on backing fabric.

    How to choose the most comfortable sofa:

    Space Think about how many people you want to seat and how you like to relax; if you enjoy putting your feet up then a corner sofa or chaise sofa offers two or more people plenty of room to spread out and kickback.

    Cushioning Most sofas either have foam-filled or feather cushions; foam cushions will bounce back into shape more quickly but generally provide a firmer seat, whilst feather cushions create a deeper cushion to sink into but will likely need plumping regularly. Some manufacturers have now combined the best of both worlds by wrapping resilient foam cushions in plumptious feather outers.

    How to choose a sofa style you’ll love:

    Upholstery Once you’ve chosen your favourite sofa shape, then it’s time to choose colour and fabric! Most sofa retailers offer models in a range of fabrics, generally including affordable, hardwearing cotton or cotton mixes, and more expensive linens, velvets, and leathers. Take advantage of fabric samples to view colours and textures in your own home, as lighting can often look very different to that in showrooms or online representations.

    Legs A sofa with tall legs, which lifts the bulk of the sofa away from the floor, can be a good option for smaller rooms as being able to see more of the floor gives a feeling of spaciousness. A sofa that sits directly onto the floor may feel bulkier so is best for larger rooms – and has the bonus of stopping dust-balls and toys from rolling under it! Shapely, curved legs add a classic touch, whereas straighter clean-lined legs give a more modern feel.

    And one more thing to consider when shopping for the best sofas:

    Lead time If you’re choosing from made-to-order upholstery options then there’s likely to be a lead time whilst your sofa is built – usually anywhere from 6 – 14 weeks. This can differ by retailer and the time of year you’re ordering, with October and November generally when sofa demand is at its highest ahead of Christmas entertaining.

    Often retailers also offer a smaller selection of ready-made sofas. These will have limited fabric options available, but are in-stock and ready to be delivered straight away if time is of the essence. Or of course, there is also the new generation of ‘sofa’s in a box’, many of which state your sofa can be delivered in as little as 1 – 2 days! Read our review of the Swyft Model 03 sofa in a box to get the lowdown.

    Now, armed with some knowledge of what type of sofa will suit you best, it’s time to discover the best sofas for putting your feet up!

    The best sofas of 2021:

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