An old IKEA Harnosand sectional. It's time for a new sofa!

New Sofa Shopping: 10 Must Haves On My Wish List

Recently, I spent days sitting and lounging on the sofa in a sort of blogging frenzy of sorts. By day 3 of the affair, my back had had it! I don’t think I’ve really recovered yet to be honest. At some point, it felt like I was sitting on bricks! I guess that was when I decided that a switch to a new sofa was needed.

Why I want a new sofa

Our living room is in desperate need of beautification. Namely, I really want new (or new-to-me) furniture. Currently, I have my trusty IKEA couch that I bought used for $150 eight years ago. The couch is so old, IKEA has long since discontinued it! I think the cushions have finally been properly worn down. Or maybe, I’m properly worn down and can feel discomfort more quickly nowadays. 😂

Our current sofa is so janky, we put cardboard in the bottom to help disperse our weight across the coils at the bottom of it. I call that ingenuity!

A velvet mcm style sectional with tufted back cushions

New sofa territory

Since I have never purchased any major furniture brand-spanking new, I firstly roamed the internet in pursuit of knowledge on how to buy a sofa. This has been one of those grown up tasks I’ve been putting off to be honest. Plus, I like my couch! However, my guests don’t love it as much as me. And The Honey definitely doesn’t love it – but to be fair, he doesn’t much like anything.

What makes shopping for sofas so hard is the mystery about the construction of the frame. Companies tout “kiln dried wood frames” as an amenity when it’s just an industry standard. It’s tough to decipher quality without many details.

And so my journey to the center of the Earth began. I’ve been sofa surfing incessantly ever since. So, let’s talk about what I’m looking for in a new sofa!

My top 10 list for a new sofa

Grey sofa with coral pillows and coral and green art on a brick wall. A glass dining room table with green velvet dining chairs is also shown.

The back of the couch must be high.

Y’all, I HATE high furniture and I looooveeee low sitting furniture. Give me all the mid century modern vibes. I, however, do not have a bad back (yet), so getting up off a low sofa is nothing to me. Conversely, The Honey, who has severe back pain, says the back has to be high to encourage good posture and better comfort. I believe him because when I search “sofas for senior citizens,” all of these high back, recliner style sofas pop up. As a result, sofa backs that are about 33 in to 35 inches are on my radar.

The couch can’t sit too low.

Again, my MCM dreams are being crushed yet again. The Honey and my daddy have terrible back pain, and they find it hard to get up and out of a low sitting couch. Sofa legs are easy to swap out, so that’s less of a concern. However, new legs will be calculated into the overall sofa budget if the legs of the new sofa needs changing.

A new sofa sits in a white hallway. It is brown and tufted with a high back.

The sofa cannot be too plush.

Personally, I love everything plush. But again, plush surfaces that swallow you when you sit are not easy to get up from! It can be tough on folks with bad backs.

The seat cannot be too deep.

The Honey has specified that the cushion has to be no deeper than about 26 inches. Again, he’s telling me that sofas that make you sit up are less painful.

Performance fabrics are a must.

Finally, here’s a specification for me! 

Unfortunately, I’m a messy person, so our new sofa has to be able to withstand that. I love to eat snacks and wings on the couch, particularly when watching football. Therefore, I’m going to get some hot sauce or something on the sofa. One great thing about our current sofa is that it’s  fully slip covered. In other words, I can just peel off the cover and throw it into the washing machine with no problem. I love that when the cover is on the sofa, it doesn’t look slipcovered. The cover fits so tight onto the frame of the sofa. I doubt many sofas nowadays are like that. My options are limited! Therefore, the fabric has to be easy to clean.

Shopping for a new sofa can be tough. A gray sectional sits in a corner surrounded by bohemian decor.

A chaise would be nice.

Recently, I observed how we naturally lay on the sofa. I noticed when we nestled without thinking: Daddy on the chaise with a pillow behind his head, me beside him feeding him snacks, The Honey with all of the rest of the pillows leaning against the arm rest, legs bundled in a ball.

When Dad comes over (which is super often), he stretches out so that he’s comfortable. Being an elder can be tricky sometimes, so it’s nice to prop him up and stretch his legs out in a comfy spot for him. I can sit next to him. I’m not concerned about the attached ottoman moving and becoming a hazard for him. He’s 6’1, by the way!

I will, however, consider sofas without chaises. Then, I can add an ottoman to mimic a chaise situation.

The sofa sectional should be convertible.

That’s another feature of our current sofa that I love! I love how we can change the location of the chaise depending on how we reconfigure the room. It’s nice to have that type of flexibility.

The new sofa’s got to have sturdy construction.

I’ve unfortunately had some accidents with my mid century dining set. It’s cute, but my poor family and friends have eaten dirt after a chair has betrayed my trust in its construction. I thought old things were built to last! It’s a wonder people still talk to me after their booty hit the floor!

While I get those chairs properly reinforced, I don’t want the same to happen with the couch. Thus, the new sofa has to be bootylicious-friendly. It has to be strong enough for my people who plop down, or what I like to call throw-that-tail-in-a-circle. 😂 But seriously, that’s all about safety. My dad is heavy, so I do not need a sofa to buckle under pressure.

Emerald green velvet sofa with red ottoman with a green coffee table is seen with a zig zag chevron slipper chair. Large plants and a floor lamp is seen with a bold abstract artwork on the wall.

It cannot exceed 95 inches. 

On top of all of the maddening aforementioned requirements, the sofa cannot be big. Our living room is awkwardly shaped and difficult to design. Additionally, furniture that you would think would fit well doesn’t as we need room to navigate Daddy’s wheelchair. So, small sofas and sectionals for the win please!

No sleeper sofa sectionals.

Those bad boys are super friggin heavy! If I bought a used sleeper sofa, I’ll definitely be removing the inner bed mechanism. We have a guest room and a flex space, so an additional sofa bed isn’t necessary. Well, watching a ginormous TV in bed would be amazing…no no no! I must stick to my gut on that no-sofa-bed point!

With all of that being said, if we buy a sofa, we won’t be able to afford a new mattress this year. We will only be able to do one mid-ranged project this year. Ahhh…decisions, decisions! However, I know that it’ll be worthwhile to invest some money into something that all of us can appreciate and enjoy.

Tune in next time when I’ll be creating a round up of my favorite sofas so far!



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  1. Sofas are so tough! Love this list – when we got our sofa we basically had to get the smallest sectional we could, and neither of us actually like it. I think my list has to have the option of sitting before I buy! Learned my lesson from this uncomfortable heap!

    1. You know, I’m with you on that. My work around has been to find in store sofas of either the fabric or dimensions to try out. Not a fool proof method, but it’s better than going in blind.

  2. Can’t wait to see what you end up with. I had a “sofa-gate” over here… with my partner buying a sofa without me, thinking it was a great gift…
    Suffice to say, it got relocated and I got something that better suited the room. But I regret not being able to sit in it first. The back is just not high enough. Though I’ll never admit that to anyone other than you… 😉