How Long Should a Good Sofa Last?

In most households, a sofa is the primary and most beloved of the seating areas. At the end of a long hard day, be that at work or at school, you can expect a family member to come into the house, drop everything and sink into the comforting embrace of a comfy sofa.

For most people, they will not leave it for a while or unless they are absolutely forced to (and will secretly hope that someone turns on the TV and passes them the remote).

Everyone has their favourite spot on the sofa and entire families know exactly where everyone will sit without saying a word, creating the perfect groove for their body.

Yet, for all our love of these treasure pieces of comfort, how long do they actually last?

They seem to exist in the house as eternal entities that provide constant satisfaction and reprieve, but that can’t be true? There are only so many people collapsing into them dramatically or kids jumping up and down on them before a sofa must give out, surely? In this article, we seek to answer that question and find out exactly how long a good sofa should last.

And as one of the leading furniture shops in Jersey, you’ll be pleased to know we have plenty of experience on this topic.

How Can a Sofa Be Damaged?

Before we get to talking about exactly how long a sofa should last, we will talk about the things that can cause harm or damage to your sofa. There are a great many ways a sofa can be damaged and unfortunately, we, the owners of these sofas, are most often the ones at fault.

Force and pressure

One of the most common reasons that sofas get damaged is that we exude unnecessary
force on them.

This can be done in a number of ways, but the most common is that we drop onto them,
collapsing with our full body weight instead of taking the time to sit gently down.

Although this feels ok, it puts undue force on the sofa itself and is potentially damaging. Another surprising way that this force or pressure is applied is by sitting in the same spot. We, as humans, love our routines and are comfortable forming a rut. Grooves in sofas are a common thing for us to create, but they are actually damaging the sofa through constant wear and can make it sag over time.

Cleaning wrong or lack thereof

If you clean a sofa with the wrong product, it may damage the cushions by either making them shrink or discoloring them. This may not damage the sofa’s structural integrity, but it does make you less likely to want to keep the sofa for long. Equally, not cleaning your sofa is not only bad for your health, but for the fabric’s health as well. The fabric on the sofa will start to discolour and eventually will start to tear or become less springy. Regular cleaning is important for a sofa’s health.

Direct sunlight

Sunlight is one of the most essential life-giving forces on earth, and it is also the bane of anybody with equipment or items they seek to use. Very similarly to how books can turn different colours over time thanks to direct sunlight, so can sofas.

Sofas become bleached or can become spotty with discoloration if they are put in direct sunlight. This can also make the fabric feel less comfortable, meaning that while your sofa can still be used, it is not something you may want to keep.

These are the three main reasons that sofas become damaged and need repairs. Although there are many other reasons a sofa can be damaged, these have a tendency to stick out for the sheer amount of times these issues have damaged sofas.

How Long Do Sofas Last?

A good quality sofa can actually last a very long time, however there is some variation to the amount of time it can last depending on the quality and how it is used.

The average lifespan for a good sofa is between 7 and 15 years. The reason they can last this long is due to families or a person’s due diligence and how much they are used, rather than their overall strength.

For example, let’s say we have two families: the first is a couple who regularly check and maintain their sofa and have time to do so, the second is a family of two adults and two children who don’t check and maintain their sofa as they don’t have time to do so.

The first family’s sofa will probably last for between 7 and 15 years, but the second family’s sofa will probably last less than 5. With more people come more activity, especially with children, and with more activity comes more chances for the sofa to be damaged.

It is unfortunate, but the only way to keep a sofa in good condition is to constantly check, and most people just don’t have time to do that. As such, take the 7 to 15 years lifespan with a pinch of salt and base it around your circumstances if things are different from someone who can check their household appliances regularly.

How To Extend Your Sofa’s Lifespan

There are actually a lot of things that can be done to protect your sofa from damage and keep it lasting for many years:

Avoid sunlight

If you can, put your sofa in a place with little direct sunlight on it. We mentioned what sunlight does to your sofa’s fabrics earlier, and the less sun, the better for your sofa and your comfort.

Prevent your sofa from fading in the sun

Vacuum your sofa

Lots of things can get on your sofa without you realising that it can cause damage. Even if it’s a quick once over once a month, vacuuming a sofa can greatly increase your sofa’s lifespan.

Vacuum clean your sofa

Check your upholstery

If your sofa has specific upholstery on it, then that upholstery probably has specific needs and washing conditions. Make sure you read the labels on your sofa’s fabric and check what it needs to be cleaned before cleaning it.

Sofa upholstery cleaning

Move your cushions

Sofa cushions can be moved and rotated easily. If grooves are developing or sofas are sagging, then it is best to move the cushions or flip them to fix them. Even just swapping around a couple of cushions on a sofa will help with the problem.

Flip your sofa cushions

Sitting on your sofa carefully

Collapsing or flopping down on a sofa is tempting, really, really tempting, but you mustn’t do it if you want your sofa to last. You should sit down on your sofa gently and then slowly seep into a relaxed state instead.
Although these seem like little things, they can actually improve the life of your sofa a surprising amount. Most of the problems arise from sunlight, cleaning, or force, so just make sure your sofa does not experience any of these in excess or in the case of cleaning it is not done wrong.

How to take care of your sofa

Final thoughts

Sofas are decades long companions, if you treat them right. Treating them right is not actually that difficult, the issue is that treating them wrong is actually much easier.

However, you must resist the temptation of jumping on your sofa, put it in direct sunlight, so you can bask, or even thinking it can go without a clean for another week. Instead, you should treat your sofa with the care it is due and, if you do, you will find it is as comfortable in 10 years as the day you bought it.


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