Buying a sofa is like getting engaged: it’s a high-stakes decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. Many of the same factors should be considered before you’re able to decide whether a sofa will be a viable match for you. How well do you know each other? Are their life goals aligned with yours? This is a decision that can lead you to many years of happiness or a path of enduring heart/backache.
Just like how your betrothed is typically someone you’ll spend the majority of your life with, your sofa will be one of the most (if not THE most) used pieces of furniture in your home. In fact, we spend over 11,000 hours on our sofa just on activities like watching TV, doing work, and chatting on the phone. And that’s a pre-pandemic figure. With all of the additional time we’re spending indoors these days, it’s important now more than ever to have a dependable sofa at home that you actually enjoy lounging on while coping with this new reality.
As a millennial who was living paycheck to paycheck in her early twenties, I prioritized cost over comfort much to the dismay of my now rickety back. But after a decade of compromising my posture for something more affordable, I decided I was ready to commit to a sofa that I could see myself with for the long haul. What I wasn’t prepared for were the obstacles that came with finding The One. I felt a bit like Goldilocks since each sofa was missing something that would make it “just right.”
This is my journey dating 4 different sofas before I got down on one knee and rearranged my furniture for the last time.
I was introduced to Living Spaces by a friend who had recently furnished his home with an enormous sectional that he purchased from them. It was so soft, I immediately sunk into it and refused to get up. I decided then and there that Living Spaces was where I needed to go and find The One.
Unlike my friend, I didn’t have space for an enormous sectional, so my partner and I opted for the Aspen Tranquil Sofa, which featured bouncy foam cushions and was much more appropriate in size for our living area. Unfortunately, we were so eager to choose The One that we didn’t realize that my partner’s legs were too long for the sofa. It wasn’t until it was delivered to our living room that we saw his knees jutting out from the seat cushion in a nearly 45-degree angle when he sat down.
That said, Living Spaces has a dizzying array of furniture for you to choose from, but I did appreciate the fact that they catered to a wide range of design tastes. From modern to farmhouse-chic, Living Spaces has it all. We stuck with this couch for a few months before embarking on the next search for The One.
I came across BenchMade Modern during my search for a customizable sofa that would accommodate my partner’s abnormally long legs. They offer products that are exclusively hand-made in Northern California with thousands of sizes and configurations based on your unique needs.
I decided on the aptly named Crowd Pleaser Sofa, since I wanted everyone who sat down on it to love it. I ordered a free life-size printout of the sofa with the dimensions I wanted, which was helpful for me to determine whether the size would be right for our home. Their customer service was also among the best I’ve ever experienced.
After confirming the measurements once my print out arrived, I went ahead and placed an order with an upgraded premium fabric, which was meant to guarantee more durability. To me, the extra cost to increase the longevity of our purchase would be worth it, especially since we have two cats that couldn’t care less about maintaining our furniture upholstery.
When the sofa finally arrived, it looked perfect in our living room. It was just deep enough for us to sink into without our limbs poking out. The cushions were firm enough for us to do work on while lounging, without feeling overly stiff. But we were met with a different issue this time: fabric pilling.
Although I paid extra for premium fabric, it didn’t seem to be holding up too well after just a week of use. I noticed that the material was forming unsightly small balls of fluff and suddenly knew the inevitable would have to happen. I was thankful for the flexible return policy. The entire return process was seamless and free.
It’s never a good feeling to break up with a sofa after dating for such a short amount of time, but I knew the journey to find The One needed to continue.
Ah, West Elm. The place that most people turn to after graduating from temporary furniture. I was excited to join the masses going through this transitional phase. I wanted West Elm to solve my design woes just like it did for others, so I paid a visit to my local store and planted my bottom on sofa after sofa until I felt the electricity of a match.
That’s what happened with the Harmony Sofa. The distressed velvet was so plush. The down-alternative filling was a luxurious departure from the foam I was used to. Was this The One? There was a 6-week wait since the sofa was made to order. I decided The One would be worth the wait. So I waited. And waited. And waited. I was so excited once the sofa finally arrived, but as the delivery associates unboxed it in my living room, I noticed there was something very wrong.
Once the last pillow was unwrapped, the sofa in my home barely resembled the sleek one I sat on in the store six weeks earlier. It was overstuffed and the color was completely off. The fabric was rough and scratchy. It was then when I realized that I was catfished. It’s something you always think will happen to someone else, but not you. Yet there I was, living proof that you can indeed get catfished by a sofa.
I was three couches into my journey to find The One and I still felt so far away from meeting it. To top it off, returning the sofa was no easy feat since West Elm’s customer service was difficult to work with. It was definitely one of the most difficult breakups I’ve had where my soon-to-be-ex just wouldn’t pick up their things from my place, or give my belongings back either.
Once again, I was out on the sofa scene again. My confidence took a hit from the multiple conscious uncouplings I experienced so far, but I knew The One was still out there. I couldn’t get discouraged.
Then, on one sunny weekend when I was on my way to get takeout from my favorite local restaurant, I spotted a furniture shop called Harbour Outdoor that I hadn’t seen before. I ducked in to take a quick look but ended up falling in love with the beautiful decor inside. The beachy coastal aesthetic was exactly what I was looking to emulate in my home.
I made my way to the sofa section and gravitated to the taupe linen sofa known as the 2026. As soon as I laid my eyes on its clean lines and gorgeous stitching, I knew I had to sit on it. And as soon as I sat on it, I knew I had to have it. Of course, The One wouldn’t come easy. I thought I waited a long time for the West Elm sofa to arrive, until I was told that this one wouldn’t arrive for another 3 months. It was excruciatingly long, but I agreed to wait, even if it meant sitting on beach chairs at home in the meantime.
The time passed slowly, but once my 2026 arrived, it was all worth it. My hopes weren’t high at first, even though it looked exactly how I pictured it. After three complicated sofa breakups in under a year, who could blame me? “It’ll probably be too short. Or the fabric will fall apart. Or the cushions will be different than the ones I saw in the store,” I worried. None of that turned out to be true. It ended up being everything I wanted and more.
Don’t get me wrong, no relationship is perfect. There are some minor issues like the need to fluff the cushions every week to keep them in shape. But I’m happy to oblige in exchange for an amazing 11,000 hours spent lounging on it.
There are moments when I miss switching out my cheap furniture to keep up with the next hot trend, but I would never go back. I’m excited to settle down for now and invest in a high-quality, dependable sofa that I can build a future with. Does this mean that my sofa search is over? I certainly hope so.