How to choose a good sofa

Forms of sofas

There are sofas:

  • direct;
  • angular;
  • with an ottoman;
  • modular;
  • island.

Straight sofas are a classic. Variations in mass. There are any sizes and colors.

How to choose a sofa: Straight sofa
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Direct sofas, as well as corner sofas, are usually placed along the walls and are often completed with built-in tables, a mini-bar and flip-up shelves. On such couches it is convenient to sleep.

How to choose a sofa: Corner sofa
jiva /

Corner sofas should not be identified with sofas with an ottoman. In the East, this is the name of a variety of broad soft ottoman. In our furniture industry, the ottoman is understood to be the protruding part of the sofa. Often without armrests, but with a niche for storage.

Modern couches with ottomans in the interior successfully serve as corner rooms, saving space for small rooms, and often serve as the main bed for the owners.

How to choose a sofa: Sofa with ottoman
Maxim Kachurovskiy /

Island couches can be round or semicircular, oval and rectangular. These are expensive and status sofas. They usually do not sleep. They are placed in the center of spacious rooms to create a recreation area. It is desirable that the approach to the “island” was from all sides.

How to choose a sofa: Island sofa

Modular sofas consist of several parts and can be combined in different ways. Modules can be used as separate pieces of furniture. The composition can be a module with a sleeping place, but more often such sofas are designed for beauty and relaxation.

Due to the versatility and variety of forms, modular sofas are perfect for studio apartments.

How to choose a sofa: Modular sofa
Scott Allen /

The basic mechanisms of transformation

The mechanism of transformation is a way of laying out a sofa. There are many options.

When you first come to the store, from the variety of transformation mechanisms and their bizarre names, the head goes around. In fact, everything is simple.

Mechanisms can be divided into folding, rolling out and unfolding. The first include “book” and “eurobook”, as well as “click-clack”. To the second – “telescope”, “tick-tak” and “dolphin”. The unfolding mechanisms are the “accordion” and various “clamshells”.

Rotary mechanisms stand apart. They are used in large corner sofas: one half turns to the other, forming a wide sleeping place.

How to choose a sofa: Sofa with swivel mechanism
Sofa with swivel mechanism

Book and eurobook


Sofas-books are familiar to everyone from Soviet times. Raise the seat a little and get a rectangular bed. To lay out such a sofa, it needs to be moved away from the wall. The space under the seat is usually used to store sleeping accessories and other things.


“Eurobook” is an improved “book”. All the same, only the seat is put forward on runners. Simple, reliable mechanism, suitable for daily layout. Such a sofa does not need to be moved away from the wall.



This is also an upgraded “book”, which, in addition to the provisions of “lying” and “sitting”, has intermediate options: “half-asleep” and “half-sitting.” The sofa “click-clack” is performed on a metal frame with wooden armor, which under heavy load often break. It is better to use it in children’s or for rare stays of guests.


Very similar in appearance and principle of operation to the sofas with the mechanism of “lit”. The difference is that they do not have a backrest – only the armrests.

Telescope (withdrawable)

Telescope (withdrawable)

The sleeping place of the sofa-telescope consists of three parts. Two of them form a seat, and one – a back. To expand it, you need to pull the lower part of the seat, fold the backrest forward, and fill the space between them with a mattress. From the disadvantages: low bed and scratches on the floor with frequent use.



This mechanism of transformation is based on the principle of accordion: the sleeping place also consists of three parts, one of them is a seat, and the other two form a back. To decompose the “accordion”, you need to push forward the seat and put the backrest in the same plane with it.

Sofas with this mechanism are produced on wooden frames with ordinary metal hinges and on all-metal frames with wooden armor. The first is often better not to unfold, the latter are suitable for daily use.

Teak-so (pantograph)

Teak-so (pantograph)

This mechanism of transformation is very similar to the “eurobook”. Only for “tick-taka” the seat steps forward with the help of a spring mechanism. This is more expensive, but also a more convenient option: there are no wheels, nothing scratches the floor. “Tick-tak” is perfect for those who plan to use the sofa as a bed.

Dolphin (kangaroo, microlift)


This is a very popular mechanism for transformation. Especially in the corner sofas and sofas with an ottoman, used to sleep every day.

The principle of operation is simple: when laying out from under the seat, a platform is rolled out, which is then lifted by means of a special elevator mechanism, forming a single berth. The more reliable the lifting mechanism, the longer the sofa will last.

French, American, Belgian and Italian cots

French clamshell
French clamshell

“French clamshell” – this is a clamshell triple addition. During the transformation, the sleeper rolls forward and is mounted on the arches. But sleeping on such couch is pretty tough. It is not suitable for daily use. This is a guest option.

American clamshell
American clamshell

“American clamshell” is a little more comfortable. There are only two additions, but because the mattresses are thicker, sometimes even with spring blocks. But for daily sleep is still not the most convenient option.

“Belgian clamshell” – this is not so much the type of the mechanism of transformation, as a sign of the manufacturer. Franco-Belgian furniture company Sedac-Meral produces two- and three-folding clamshells with foam and spring mattresses of different heights. This is the “Belgian clamshell.”

The Italian clamshell
The Italian clamshell

“The Italian clamshell” has two additions and is decomposed together with soft elements of a sofa. Unlike other “clamshells”, in some models of “Italian” there are small containers for storing bedding.

Determine why you need a sofa: for sleep or for rest? In the first case, it is better to take a “book”, “eurobook”, “tick-to-do” or a good “dolphin”. All the rest – guest options.

Here is a table that visually demonstrates the pros and cons of sofas of various types.

The basic mechanisms of transformation


In the production of sofas, metal and wooden frames, as well as frames made of wooden blocks with particle board, are used.

Metal frameworks are reliable and durable, provided that the joints are welded, not bolted. Any upholstery is suitable for a sofa with a metal frame. If necessary, you can replace it.

The lifetime of the wooden frame depends on the breed and the quality of the tree. It influences the price. The most expensive are couches made of oak, beech, walnut and ash. More budgetary options – skeletons of birch and coniferous wood.

In the wooden frame, the main thing is that the wood is smooth and dry. The less potholes and knots, the better.

The combination of wooden bars and chipboard – the cheapest version of the sofa frame. But if the technology is observed in production, and the elements from the chipboard are treated with special paint, such a sofa will also last for many years.


Backrest, seat, armrests – each element of the sofa has a filler. As a rule, it is foam rubber and polyurethane foam. There are also latex and springs.

Sofas, inside which only foam rubber, the cheapest, but the least durable. For the longest time the shape of the sofa with a padded piece of foam rubber will remain. But after three or four years, he will ask.

Most manufacturers prefer a polyurethane foam packing. It almost does not differ in price from foam rubber, but it lasts much longer.

Polyurethane foam is a block (sandwich) and cast. From the first seat, the backrest and other elements of the sofa are simply glued together. When talking about cast polyurethane foam, it is understood that in the factory it was poured into a mold in a liquid form and a molded backrest or armrest of the sofa was received at the outlet.

The most durable, environmentally friendly and expensive filler is latex. Due to its high elasticity, it repeats the contours of the body and instantly restores the shape. At the same time, it does not electrify, is resistant to mold and does not cause allergies. Latex is usually used in expensive furniture with orthopedic bias.

It should be separately said about the spring blocks. Their presence in the couch not only adds points to convenience, but also makes the sofa more durable and wear-resistant. Of course, provided that very high-quality individual spring blocks are used.

The best option – sofas with multi-layer filler and different density factors in different areas. The bottom layer is the most dense, on top is a thin soft material for maximum comfort.


Sofa upholstery is even more than the mechanisms of transformation. To describe everything, you need a separate article. Therefore, consider the most popular options.


Layfhaki for those who choose a sofa

  1. Decide where the sofa will stand. Draw a plan on paper. So in the store it will be easier to navigate. Calculate whether there will be enough room for walking when the couch is spread out.
  2. Define the function of the sofa: a guest or for a daily sleep. Also think about who will be on it to sleep: a child weighing 40 kg or an adult man for a centner. Proceeding from this, select the mechanism.
  3. In the store, carefully inspect the transformation mechanism. Its metal parts should be thicker than 3 mm, neatly painted and reliably connected to each other.
  4. Sit or lie on the couch. Estimate the density of the filler. Pay attention to the sounds that the sofa makes when you move. A creak is a sure sign of a poorly glued carcass.
  5. Pay attention to the smoothness of the seams and rows of staples. These are the nuances that distinguish a bona fide producer from an amateur. Look at the back of the couch. If you plan to put it not at the wall, but in the center of the room, it should also be neatly upholstered.
  6. If the manufacturer’s warranty is less than 18 months, choose another one.