4 signs it’s time to buy a new sofa – and the best sofas in the sales

Make the most of the January discounts while you can

We could live without tables, bookcases, desks... but the sofa? No chance. it's basically THE most important piece of furniture in our homes and sits in the centre of family life. It's our cinema, our dining room, our cuddling spot, crèche and bed (when finally defeated by those late-night box sets).

Related: The new V&A Sofa Workshop collaboration just made us totally rethink our living rooms

So how do you know when you need a new one? Well there are plenty of tell-tale signs, maybe a few of which you've been ignoring. A sofa is a big investment, but a tatty one can really let down the rest of your decor. That's why it's important to keep these in mind.

1. You're getting that sinking feeling

living room with pink sofa and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Georgia Burns)

If you get the sensation that you're being swallowed up by your settee, it's an indication that your upholstery is no longer supporting you and needs replacing.

All-fibre fillings are susceptible to flattening out over time, and while feather cushions are comfier, without

2. Your sofa has started creaking

This is a sign that the framework is breaking down. Some manufacturers will guarantee their frames for a lifetime. But if you've gone for a budget option with a chipboard/LDF or metal construction, it will likely deteriorate over time.

3. You've had your sofa for YEARS

living room with grey wall and sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Love this look? Buy now: Ideal Home New Dante Fabric 3 Seater Sofa, £999, Very

According to Terry's Fabrics, the average lifespan of a fabric sofa is 15 years, dropping to seven if you lounge on it every day. A leather sofa should last a bit longer – 20 years if you're lucky, or 15 with very regular use. If you suspect your sofa is older, it's probably living on borrowed time.

4. It's faded and stained

Ok, so this isn't necessarily a reason to buy a new sofa. If it's got a quality frame, you may be better off paying for it to be reupholstered. If that's not the case, replace it with a new sofa, making sure your old one is recycled. Visit your local council's website to find out how.

Sofa sales – bargains from DFS, John Lewis and more

living room with leather sofa

(Image credit: DFS)

Leather is very much back, people. And one of its most fashionable forms is a soft mid tan with a natural patina, just like this. If you think this design looks comfortable, just wait until you sit in it. Now where did we put the remote?

Buy now: Caesar Left Hand Facing Chaise End Sofa, was £1,199, NOW £999, DFS

room with pink sofa

(Image credit: The Lounge Co)

We've been looking for the perfect pink sofa for a while and think we may have found it in this Lounge Co beauty. It's available with a standard or this more decadent pillow back.

Buy now: Briony 2.5 seater pillow back sofa in Ashen rose house velvet, was £1,079, NOW £917.15, The Lounge Co 

room with grey sofa

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

More bargains: Our favourite Boxing Day deals – including a Tefal steam-generator iron with £120 off!

Now half price, this chic sofa has a forgiving, family-friendly dark grey finish. And at 181cm at its widest point, you should be able to manoeuvre it into a room where access or space is tight.

Buy now: Lunar Medium 2 Seater Sofa, Light Leg, Dylan Charcoal, was £999, NOW £499, John Lewis & Partners

If those aren't three good reasons to switch your sofa, we don't know what are!

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.