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Best places to buy a new sofa

Should you buy your next sofa from DFS, Ikea, Sofology or elsewhere? Our 2021 survey of sofa shoppers helps you decide.

Best places to buy a new sofa

Our sofas get plenty of use, and dominate the entire look of our living rooms. So it’s important to love your sofa – and for it to be a haven of calm, a place you can relax and unwind, not a source of stress. 

We quizzed more than 2,900 people to find out which of the most popular sofa retailers offer great range, excellent value for money and the best customer service.

Before you rush into a big buying decision, discover the best sofa shops according to our survey.

Best sofa shops

Our table shows the scores for the two popular sofa shops that topped our table, and the two at the bottom, so you can see the difference between the best and the worst we gathered data for.

Shop ranking Customer service Quality Range of sofas to choose from Value for money
1st ***** ***** **** *****
2nd *** **** **** *****
8th *** **** *** ****
9th *** **** **** ***

The best retailer scored five full stars across nearly all our criteria, being the only one to get five stars for the quality of its sofas.

But customer service was the area where we saw the biggest differences – only two retailers earned the full five stars while three others got only three.

When choosing a sofa, members felt spoilt for choice in only one of the shops.

The retailer at the bottom of the table also scored the lowest for both customer service and value for money.

Head over to our guide to the best sofa shops to find out which shops we’re talking about.

Five things to consider when buying a sofa

When you’re choosing a new sofa, there’s plenty to think about, from the look of the sofa to actually getting it in through your door. Here are five important points to bear in mind.

1. What colour and style of sofa will go with your existing décor?

Make sure your sofa complements your flooring and walls. You might feel very differently about a sofa once it’s in your living room compared to looking at it in isolation. Order a swatch, if you can, and take your time selecting a colour and fabric.

Style is important, too. Do you want country or Chesterfield, traditional or mid-century? If you’re not sure what the differences are between them, check out our guide to buying a sofa.

Two men delivering a sofa

2. What size sofa do you need?

Do you often entertain guests at home? Or do you only need a two-seater?

Think about how many seats you need – but then measure how much space you have. Crucially, don’t forget to measure your doorways.

3. Do you need a sofa that’s easy to clean?

Important if you often eat on your sofa, or you have pets or children and you don’t want to fuss around with a throw. Some materials are much easier to clean than others. We explain how to clean a leather, velvet or fabric sofa.

4. How to get rid of your old couch

Think about how you’re going to dispose of your existing sofa. Can you get it taken away for free by the company you bought your new sofa from, for example, or by a charity?

Remember that, after ordering your new sofa, you may have to wait weeks or months for it to arrive. You might have to do without one for a spell if you’re too hasty in getting rid of your old one – not ideal if you basically live on your sofa.

On the other hand, you might decide it’s better to be sofa-free for a time than risk overlap, particularly if you’re short on floor-space and won’t be able to manoeuvre your vacuum cleaner around two sofas.

5. What are your rights if want to return your new sofa?

Particularly important if you’re buying online without having seen your sofa (though we’d recommend going to a store and trying out your new sofa if you can).

The good news is that the majority of people we surveyed didn’t experience problems. Of those who experienced problems,  these were the most common.

  • 22% – said their sofa arrived later than expected
  • 19% – had difficulties getting it through the door.

Know in advance what you’re entitled to if you don’t like your new sofa or there’s a problem with it. Of those who experienced issues, 20% told us they’d returned their sofa. 

Head over to our guide to your consumer rights when shopping to find out more, including what to do if an item you’ve bought develops a fault, arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive on time. 

How we rate sofa shops

In May 2021, we asked more than 2,930 Which? members who had bought sofas in the past 10 years to rate the shop they bought it from on its range of sofas, delivery services, value for money and product quality.

Customer score is based on how happy people were overall with their sofa-buying experience and whether they would recommend their sofa shop.

Refurbishing your home? Discover the best furniture and homeware stores.

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