Sofas & Chairs Buying Guide

Buying new sofas and chairs is a major investment, so you will want to get it right. We want you to be delighted with your choice for years to come, and with so many different options available, it's good to research what is best for you and your home before you buy.

We have a large section of sofas, corner groups, and chairs on our website but if you don't find the one that you’ve always dreamed of here, either pick up the phone and speak to our expert staff or come instore to see our full range of customised and bespoke sofa options.

Any choice you make when buying your sofa or chair will obviously depend on the size of your room and how many people you want to seat at any one time. If you'd like some help calculating space, again our staff are experts and can advise you of the best option to suit your room and lifestyle. Getting new furniture can be exciting and we do want you to make sure that your new sofa will suit you and your room before you order, so please take a little time to measure up before you make your final choice. Also see our guide to measuring up for further tips.

For tight spaces or doorways, some of our sofas come with bolt-on arms or in two parts. These will generally be to order, so please fee free to contact us with your requirements and we will find the solution for you.

You also need to try to envisage proportion: many of our ranges have two or three sizes of sofa to choose from. A rough rule of thumb is that a large sofa will seat three average size adults comfortably. Small sofas will accommodate two, and we also have compact or "snuggler" sofas which provide an oversized chair for one or a cosy sofa for a couple.

To gauge a safe distance between your leather sofa and a radiator to prevent cracking, move your hand away from the radiator until you can no longer feel its heat; at minimum, this should be about a foot (30cm).

Work out whether you're best off with two small sofas or one large sofa plus a couple of chairs: they may offer more flexibility as they can be positioned more easily. It's worth remembering that the arms of a sofa can make a big difference to the amount of seating capacity as well as ease of access to a room. If your room is small, narrower sofa arms give the illusion of a more compact piece.

High backs on sofas and chairs may look best in rooms with higher ceilings. Lower backs in less open rooms can give the illusion of more space, but can also be used effectively in open-plan rooms to emphasise the sense of space.

Open plan space can also be enhanced by using modular furniture in large configurations, but this type of furniture can be helpful in smaller spaces too because of its flexibility.

Care tip: whatever the size, avoid perching on the arms of the sofa as this can distort the sofa frame over time.

Sofa materials: leather or fabric?

Leather has become enormously popular. Once considered a luxury, new techniques to manufacture less expensive options has made it much more affordable. Plain styles give a more contemporary feel, but we also have more traditional choices such as studded arms and button backs, especially in accent chairs.

At Caseys all our leather sofas and chairs are 100% leather, including arms and rear.  Technology has also enabled the achievement of all sorts of finish, from distressed and antiqued to exceptionally smooth and soft, where the semi-aniline dyeing process removes most of the flaws. Corrected grain leather will have had most flaws covered up, but because leather is a natural product, markings will differ from piece to piece and dyes may not take identically throughout the hide.

Unless you go for a very smooth, highly treated finish, your leather upholstery will age with use and for many people this adds to the character: it stands up to wear and tear very well.

Leather sofas are easy to look after: just remove dust with a slightly damp cloth. Keep them at least 30cm away from direct heat sources to prevent drying out, and remember that, just like fabric, it's not immune to the fading effects of sunlight.

Fabric sofas present you with a wider range of colour options. They usually come in a fibre mix for strength and texture, and all our ranges are thoroughly-tested for durability. We also sell microfibre upholstery that can be simply wiped down with a damp cloth to clean, and so are ideal for households with children or pets. Use soapy water or even baby wipes on stains.

Sofas with washable or dry cleanable loose covers are also available; otherwise we recommend the use of a specialist company to clean your furniture at home. Use an upholstery brush or crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust, and always attend to spills immediately. Be sparing with the use of spot chemicals as they can cause a ring or fading; try plain water first.

Care tip: think carefully about strong colours in a very sunny room in case of fading, but rotating cushions will help to slow the process.

If you would like assistance in choosing the right fabric colour and texture for your new sofa just email us using the contact form on each page, call our staff or come instore and we can help you choose your new sofa or chair.

Fillings for sofas

It may not be uppermost in your mind, but the filling in your chosen sofa does make a difference. Just as they offer different levels of support, sofas and chairs will require different levels of maintenance depending on the filling. Foam or foam with fibre will make an easier life for anyone with more limited mobility or strength.

  • Foam upholstery will feel firm and supportive, and lends a more tailored appearance to a sofa. It will recover well and all you'll need to do is turn the cushions occasionally to allow even wear. Over the years, the foam will compact and lose volume a little, though this process is much slower with high resilience foam.
  • Fibre, or foam with a fibre wrap, will give a softer look and feel to sofas and chairs. Just plump and turn cushions occasionally to maintain comfort and wear
  • Feather-filled upholstery will have a more relaxed, casual look and a softer sit—ideal if you like to curl up on the sofa. You'll need to plump up cushions daily.

Again we are happy to help you choose the right sofa filling to suit your space and lifestyle.  Contact our staff if you have any questions or would like more options than you find on our website.