What to Look for When Buying Furniture

When you need to buy a new bed, couch, futon, office chair or coffee table, it’s important that you take your time and ask plenty of questions before making the purchase to ensure the piece is a good fit for you and your home.

For instance, considering the color, size, style and feel of the furniture piece is important, as doing so will help you to avoid making a regretful decision. Before purchasing a new piece of furniture, it’s also important that you inspect the item for quality and comfort, especially since most quality pieces don’t come cheap.

If you don’t, you may end up with a beautiful furniture piece that looks great on the outside but isn’t sufficiently stuffed, lined and sewn together. In this case, the piece will probably be too uncomfortable to sit or sleep on, or it may not last more than a few years before it needs to be reupholstered.

Comfort

When purchasing a new piece of furniture, chances are you’re looking for a comfortable item, especially if you’re buying a new mattress, couch, chair or futon. Therefore, it’s important to test out each potential furniture piece and inspect it for signs of long-lasting comfort. If cushions are flat or squashed, for example, the piece may lack enough stuffing and it may feel hard or rough against your body. Instead, cushions should be full, heavy and well-shaped.

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In addition to cushioning, other factors can be used to determine whether a furniture piece will be comfortable or not. These factors include the furniture item’s spring system, frame and the quality of its tailoring. When purchasing a couch, for instance, you should be able to feel the sofa’s spring system when you push down on it. Additionally, its frame should be at least 1 ¼ inches in width, as thinner boards are more likely to squeak and create noise.

Filling Materials

Depending on the type of furniture you wish to purchase, many furniture pieces are stuffed with wool, down, foam or other types of filling materials. Before purchasing a new piece of furniture, however, it’s important to consider the different types of filling options that are available to modern-day shoppers. These may include the following:

  • Flexible polyurethane foam – This type of filling material provides users with durability, long-lasting comfort, support, resiliency and handling strength
  • Natural latex – This natural filling is constructed from the sap of rubber trees, providing users with a safe and durable filling material
  • Feathers or down – While down or feather materials are softer and less uniform than other types of materials, they need to be fluffed on a regular basis in order to return to their original form
  • Domestic eco-wool – As a cruelty-free alternative to feathers or down materials, domestic eco-wool is a natural and chemical-free material often used to construct different types of bedding
  • Polyester fiber – Furniture made with polyester fiber materials maintain their natural shape and spring back to life more easily

Colors

Colors are proven to evoke certain feelings and emotions, so the hues you choose for your furniture pieces should fit you and your family’s personality. For instance, red can be used to increase energy levels in a room, while yellow evokes a happy, cheerful feeling. Moreover, blue is calming and serene while green is restful and easier on the eyes than many other colors. However, neutral colors like brown, black, white and gray are go-to colors for many due to their flexibility and timeless appeal. When buying a piece of furniture, determine whether the piece is available in your preferred colors, and don’t settle for a color you’re not crazy about.

Customization

Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to customize your furniture piece for an additional fee. However, your salesperson may not volunteer this information to you, so you generally need to ask him or her if customization is available for the specific furniture piece you wish to purchase. In some cases, you may be able to change the fabric, frame, upholstery or finishing of the furniture piece.

Size

When buying furniture, you need to consider the amount of space you have to work with. If you need to furnish a small space, you may choose to look for multi-functional furniture pieces to keep the space from feeling cramped or overwhelmed. If you need to furnish a large, open space, you may need a bigger furniture piece or a collection of items. To determine the amount of space you have to work with, make sure to measure your rooms, doorways, entries and passages before you begin the process of shopping for a new piece of furniture.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Even if you purchase a high-quality furniture piece, you may need to repair or replace your item if it splits, cracks or tears sooner than expected. Therefore, purchasing furniture pieces that come with a manufacturer’s or retailer’s warranty is a wise idea.

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While the conditions of these warranties vary by manufacturer or retailer, many include the repair or replacement of furniture for up to five years from the date of purchase.

Delivery

Unless you own a pick-up truck or trailer, you’ll likely need to have the new furniture piece delivered to your home. If you do need to have the piece of furniture delivered to you, be sure to ask the salesperson about their delivery policy. Determine whether you’ll need to pay an additional fee for the delivery, get a delivery date, and find out if they’ll call you before they deliver the item to your home.

Free Furniture Removal

If you pay to have new furniture delivered to your home, your retailer may offer free furniture removal services during the time of delivery. To determine whether this is possible, ask your salesperson before finalizing your transaction.

Other Factors to Consider

Before purchasing a new piece of furniture, it’s important to consider the various conditions in which the piece will be used. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will the furniture piece be used for decorative purposes or will you or your children be using it on a daily basis?
  • Will the piece sit in front of a sunny window? Will the fabric fade over time?
  • Will the furniture piece be used indoors or outdoors? Do you plan to cover it or bring it inside whenever it rains?
  • How easily will the furniture piece scratch?
  • How does the piece need to be maintained? Do you need to clean or polish it regularly?
  • Will the new piece match your other home furnishings?

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