We know, shopping for a couch is a pain in the ass. That's actually why we started Burrow! There's so much information out there, it's hard to tell which is actually important. We're here to break it down for you and talk about the 5 most important things to look for when shopping for a new couch.
Before we get into the couch details, go ahead and decide on what’s important to you. What are you looking for in a couch? Aside from obvious things like size and aesthetics, what other details are a must-have for you? Are you passionate about shopping sustainably? Did you have back surgery and need something specifically supportive? Do you move a lot and need something easy to break down and move?
There are a lot of personal details to think about, and making a list of your ‘musts’ is always best practice.
And without further ado, here are the 5 things to look for when shopping for a new couch.
1. Quality of Materials
The materials that matter most are the frame and the fabrics. Look at those two parts and it will be a good indicator of what you’re getting.
For the frame, quality ranges from the lowest end which is particle board (IKEA) to the highest end which is a mixture of hardwood and high-end, durable plywood. It doesn’t get any more expensive than hardwood and durable plywood, and even that isn’t all that expensive. Always ask what the frame is made out of.
In regard to fabric- you want to look for something that’s durable and easy-to-clean. If the seller doesn’t specifically say why it’s durable or why it’s easy-to-clean, it probably isn’t.
Finally, where it’s made! There’s no denying the quality in the U.S. is higher than elsewhere. That’s why all the high-end retailers make their furniture in Mississippi, North Carolina or a handful of other factories in the U.S.
You also want to make sure the wood and fabrics weren’t cut in another country and shipped in “kits” to the U.S. to be assembled. Those who have truly U.S craftsmanship, meaning they oversee the entire production process, are the best in the business. They have the highest attention to detail and the best quality control, period. (P.S that’s how we do it at Burrow).
The average adult spends more than 30 hours a week on the couch, so comfort is an obviously important factor when shopping for one.
What many people don’t realize when they are buying a couch on the cheaper end of the spectrum is that the first thing their sacrificing is comfort. Typically, cheap couches and overly “designer” couches rarely end up being comfortable.
I know what you’re thinking, “when shopping for a couch online, how can you know if it’s comfortable?” There are three great ways to make sure you don’t skimp here:
- Read reviews – reviews are a great way to hear what real people are saying about a particular couch. Comfort is usually the first thing people touch on.
- Look for a trial period - like our 30-day risk free trial. That way if you decide that it’s just not vibing with your couch style you can send it back easy peasy.
- See if you can try it in-person – look if you’re near one of our showrooms filled with real life Burrows ready for lounging.
3. Buying/Moving Convenience
Millennials move every 1-3 years on average, and 33% of millennials have moved every year in their 20’s. That being said, we’re totally down with the modern-day nomadism! Having a couch that can roll with a move is a key thing to look for. (You can read more on how Burrow makes moving suck less here).
As for the buying process- going to multiple stores and dealing with couch salesmen is no one’s definition of a good time. It’s exhausting, time consuming and honestly becoming an obsolete part of the process. If efficient, convenient shopping is important for you- online is the way to go.
4. Hidden Costs
A lot of people just look at the price tag of a couch, but don’t realize there are so many potential hidden costs to look out for. Some of which are:
Time costs – think about the time you spend researching, going store to store, and then taking time off work to make sure you’re home for the delivery. It adds up, and your time is money!
Paying for delivery- this is often where you get hit..hard. Delivery fees are huge for furniture, because shipping a couch is usually the most expensive part of the entire process. (That’s why we ship Burrow in a few lightweight boxes to cut the shipping costs by 70% and save you a ton of time and money).
Paying for assembly- we all act like we can assemble IKEA furniture, until you flash forward 3 hours to your living room full of indecipherable pieces and you’re crying over a glass of wine and 10-page assembly instructions. Don’t pay a Taskrabbit to assemble your (already overpriced for what it is) furniture. Go with a Burrow sofa that has a 10-minute, tool free assembly.
Paying for movers when you eventually move- this is another dozy. If you’ve ever moved a couch you know the stress and expense that can come from hiring movers and trucks. Go for something modular, like Burrow that can be easily disassembled and moved with ease.
5. Sustainability & Safety
Look for a company that is transparent about where their materials come from, where the furniture is made, and how sustainable and eco-friendly it is. If they’re not telling you, that should be a red flag.
A shocking number of popular couch brands are full of cancer-causing chemical treatments. Not to mention unsustainable manufacturing processes.
Look for a couch that’s not only good for you and your health, but also good for the environment and the people making them. You can read more on how we make one of the most sustainable, eco-friendly couches out there.