Most people choose a chair or a sofa based solely on aesthetic qualities. While it's certainly important that your new furniture look great in your home, looks shouldn't be your only concern. The right upholstery choice can make a huge difference in the enjoyment and function you get out of your couch.
In order to make the best upholstery choice for your home, you'll need to consider a few factors. These factors are location, family size, and pet habits.
The location of your new couch is extremely important to consider when deciding on an upholstery choice. That's because the area where a couch will be placed often determines the use it will see--and the stains it might encounter. Your choice of fiber will often determine whether you can keep a sofa clean or not.
For example, if you're buying a couch for a formal living room, you can choose pretty much whatever type of cloth you like. On the other hand, a den or family room couch shouldn't usually be made of silk or linen due to the fact that these fabrics must be professionally cleaned. Consider wool, vinyl, or synthetic fibers for high-traffic areas.
A couple that has no intention of starting their family any time soon is unrestricted in their upholstery choices. However, larger families are more likely to experience two things that dramatically influence upholstery choice--high volume and excessive cleaning.
If you have a lot of children--or plan on starting down that path--you'll need to choose a durable material for your couch. Nylon blends, acrylics, and leather are fantastic choices due to their durability and ease of maintenance. Also, people that tend to entertain guests frequently should consider durable upholstery choices as well.
Much like small families, homes without pets have a wide variety of suitable options. Pet owners don't have that luxury. Their animal companions create a high volume of wear and dirt--particularly when pets are left unattended for any length of time throughout the day.
Leather, while durable, is a poor choice for homes with cats and dogs. Since your couch will undoubtedly encounter claws at some point, a leather couch will require professional repairs. Microfibers and distressed leather are the top choices for pets, since they resist odors, hair, and can mask minor claw damage with their construction and patterns.
By understanding these important factors, you'll be able to choose a couch that will serve you for years to come. Even though the sheer volume of upholstery choices can be daunting, these considerations will certainly help narrow your search. Sales associates at a furniture store can also offer helpful insights about choosing a couch.