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Sectional Sofas Buying Guide: All You Should Know
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Sectional Sofas Buying Guide: All You Should Know

April 10, 2024 12 min. read
IN THIS POST
IN THIS POST

Are they cheap? Oh, no. Are they worth it? Absolutely! Due to their modular nature, sectional sofas are perfect solutions not only for large airy spaces but also for small cozy nooks. How to figure out what type of sectional couch you need, how to find it, and how to care for it so it stays in place for years to come — let’s uncover all those topics, peeling layer by layer.

But first… What is so special about sectional sofas?

Whether you have an open space hall or a cozy tiny room, you need comfy seating. Something that would look nice, be ergonomic and be easy to care for. Something that would work for a weekend nap, a night TV show binge as good as for hosting parties. In case you are all about versatility, modern flare, and multifunctional furniture, sectional sofas are your go-to solution. But what makes sectional couches so expensive? To keep it short - the size, the amount of material needed to make them, and the amount of engineering needed to construct them is the way you can literally assemble a couch like a puzzle.

What Types of Sectional Sofas Are There?

We are sure that at this point you scrolled through hundreds of Pinterest boards and websites, touched, and sat on a dozen sofas. And bearing with all that information, it’s almost impossible to decide if somewhere out there is a perfect sectional sofa just waiting for you. Well, fear not! Let’s break down the different types of sectional sofas to help you narrow down your options:

L-shaped Sectionals 

These are the most common types of sectional sofas, featuring an L-shaped configuration with one straight section and one perpendicular section. They are versatile and can fit well into corners or as a divider in open-plan spaces. L-shaped sectionals are particularly well-suited for medium to large-sized living rooms or family rooms where they can anchor the seating area without overwhelming the space.

U-shaped Sectionals 

If you have a large living room or entertainment area, a U-shaped sectional may be the perfect choice. This style provides ample seating and creates a cozy, intimate atmosphere for gatherings. U-shaped sectionals are ideal for spacious rooms where you want to maximize seating capacity without sacrificing comfort or style.

Modular Sectionals 

For ultimate flexibility, modular sectionals allow you to customize the arrangement of individual pieces to suit your space and needs. You can rearrange the modules to create different seating configurations or even separate them into standalone seating options. Modular sectionals are suitable for rooms of various sizes, as you can adjust the configuration to fit the dimensions of your space perfectly.

Full-back vs. Low-back Sectionals 

Consider whether you prefer a sectional with full-back cushions for maximum support and comfort, or if you prefer a sleeker look with low-back cushions that offer a more modern aesthetic. Full-back sectionals are well-suited for larger rooms where you want to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere, while low-back sectionals work well in smaller spaces where you want to maintain an open and airy feel.

Chaise Lounge vs. Ottoman Additions

Many sectional sofas come with features like chaise lounges or ottomans, which can enhance comfort and versatility. A chaise lounge provides a luxurious space for lounging and relaxation, while an ottoman can serve as extra seating or a coffee table. Consider the size of your room and how you plan to use the additional features when choosing a sectional sofa with a chaise lounge or ottoman additions. In smaller rooms, opt for a chaise lounge or ottoman that doesn't overwhelm the space, while in larger rooms, you can go for more substantial pieces to create a focal point.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of sectional sofas available, you can start narrowing down your options based on your space, style preferences, and functional needs.

Choosing the Right Upholstery

When selecting the upholstery for your sectional sofa, consider both style and practicality. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of fabric and leather, as well as factors to consider for durability and maintenance:

Fabric vs. Leather 

Both fabric and leather have their unique advantages and considerations. Fabric upholstery offers a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures to choose from, allowing you to customize your sofa to suit your aesthetic preferences. It tends to be softer and more comfortable, making it ideal for lounging. However, fabric may be more prone to staining and wear over time.

On the other hand, leather upholstery exudes sophistication and durability. It's easy to clean and maintain, as spills can be wiped away with a damp cloth. Leather also develops a beautiful patina over time, adding character to your sofa. However, leather sofas may be more expensive upfront and require regular conditioning to prevent drying and cracking.

Durability Considerations 

If you have children or pets, durability should be a top priority when choosing upholstery. Look for fabrics with high rub counts and stain-resistant treatments to withstand everyday wear and tear. Leather can also be a practical choice for busy households, as it's resistant to scratches and spills.

Popular Fabric Options 

Common fabric choices for sectional sofas include linen, cotton, microfiber, and polyester. Each material has its characteristics, such as breathability, softness, and stain resistance. Consider your lifestyle and preferences when selecting the fabric for your sofa.

Leather Grades and Maintenance Requirements 

When opting for a leather sectional, pay attention to the grade of leather used. Full-grain leather is the highest quality and most durable, while top-grain leather offers a balance of quality and affordability. Bonded leather and faux leather are more budget-friendly options but may not hold up as well over time. Be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations for leather care to maintain its appearance and longevity.

Palette Choice and Patterns

Another important thing to consider when you’re on the market for the sectional of your dreams — is color choice and pattern. Usually, as sectionals are quite massive, they are upholstered in solid-colored fabric with no distinctive design motifs. Also, often colors of upholstery stay on the neutral part of the spectrum, giving us plenty of tan, beige, greige, grey (of all kinds), and off-white options. If this palette works for your style and aesthetics, you’re golden, yet if you’d prefer a nice bold pop of color which is nowhere to be found in your budget — here’s a trick.

A good, thick slipcover that imitates upholstery can be your solution to keep your sectional couch looking fresh and stylish. Due to its size, it might be a bit on the pricey side, way cheaper than reupholstering the whole sectional sofa though.

Take a look at rich velvety slipcovers, or durable polyester covers that would help you achieve the desired look and protect the actual upholstery to make your unit last longer.

Caring for Your Sectional Sofa

Speaking of protection. To ensure your sectional sofa remains in pristine condition for years to come, it's essential to give it some time, love, and care with a regular maintenance routine. Do you know how to handle spills, stains, and general wear and tear? Let us be your guides!

Regular Maintenance Routines 

Vacuum your sofa regularly to remove dust and debris, and fluff and rotate cushions to prevent uneven wear. Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and maintenance to preserve the integrity of the upholstery and cushioning.

Cleaning Tips for Different Upholstery Materials

Different upholstery materials require specific cleaning methods. For fabric sofas, spot clean stains promptly with a mild detergent and water, or use a fabric cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Leather sofas can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or treated with a leather conditioner to maintain suppleness and prevent cracking.

Handling Spills, Stains, and General Wear and Tear

Accidents happen, so it's essential to know how to address spills and stains promptly. Blot spills with a clean cloth to absorb excess liquid, then clean the affected area according to the fabric or leather care instructions. For stubborn stains, consider professional upholstery cleaning services.

And a Bit More About Slipcovers

We know that it feels almost like a crime to invest thousands in a good-quality product just to cover it with another fabric layer later. But hear us out: Mamma Mia Covers are made to mimic real upholstery and create that nondetectable finish that is mandatory for a stylish home.

There’s no way we would allow you to ruin your aesthetic. That’s why we offer several different collections, where each contains up to 14 unique colors to choose from. Would you like to keep it neutral as a canvas to layer more decor? Maybe you want a pop of color to make your sectional serve as a focal point. Want a neutral with a twist, like a subtle pattern to bring certain features out? We got you.

Another feature of Mamma Mia Covers products is a unique 3D pattern. It is this ruffled texture in combination with thicker material that gives our slipcovers a real upholstery look. It helps to conceal the original material’s surface and potentially hides minor imperfections such as tear or piling.

In the world of interior design, sectional sofas aren't just furniture — they're perfect tools for reimagining the comfort of our living spaces. Don't let room size hold you back from embracing their versatility. Whether your space is snug or spacious, there's a sectional sofa waiting to make it shine.

So, dare to push boundaries and think outside the box. With the right sectional sofa, even the tiny room could become a cozy and versatile space. And if there’s a color or pattern issue on a model that fits perfectly into your layout, don’t sweat it — slipcovers are your design tool to customize the furniture and make it feel like it was made for your home.

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