A Sofa: Short of Marriage, The Biggest Commitment You'll Make

The sofa – central to the entire home’s “user experience”

When you walk into someone’s home, what is the first thing you notice? It’s either the sofa, or the counter-tops and stove in the kitchen, depending on the layout of the house and where the front door is.

​If you spend any amount of time in the home, you’ll inevitably find yourself either sitting on the couch, or sitting in a chair, on a bench, or on the ground – looking at the couch. You will then proceed to sit on or within direct line of site of the couch for the duration of your time in the house.

You will not directly see, or in most cases have any chance to appreciate, the mattress, and maybe not even the visible portion of the bed (like, if you don’t go into the bedrooms).

You may admire the dining room table if it’s impressive in some way, or the farmhouse-style sink in the kitchen, or a great area rug – but these things will not define the vibe and experience of the home as much as the sofa.

Beautiful art cannot save the experience of a terrible sofa. Neither can a big TV.

You get the point. No matter how you slice it or dice it:  the sofa defines the user experience of the home.

A long-term AF decision

I do most of my TV watching on a family sofa that is 23 years old. No joke! I surveyed a bunch of friends before writing this piece (actually, before starting Sofa Digest in the first place) and the average tenure for a sofa was 9.32 years!!

​In fact, the only reasons sofas’ lives ever ended anything short of 10 years was ultimately traced back to a bad or short-term-thinking purchasing decision – such as buying a dud of a used sofa or a new-fangled startup brand that did not live up to the hype, or a cheap sofa that was intended to be short-term from the start.

In no case, however, had someone completely done away with old sofas just to get new ones. Worst case scenario they would at least pass them off to family or friends, and run into that old sofa like a distant aunt or uncle who is only seen at the major holidays.

The point is, a sofa will remain in existence, and potentially in your life, longer than your dog, and these days given the disheartening national statistics on the matter, maybe even your marriage.

I once received a text from a friend:  “Dude, shit with my GF just got REAL!” I replied back asking if they’d gotten engaged. He said, “No, we just bought a sofa together, way bigger than marriage.”

Given that you’re going to be stuck with your sofa longer than many of your friendships, you should put as much thought and research into your sofa purchasing decision as you do Instagram-stalking that boy or girl you just matched with on Tinder.


Check out these sofas

Albany Park

Albany Park Vegan Leather Sofa

Best for:

Exceptional quality and value at an entry-level price point

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Nomad Modular Sofa

Best for:

Students, people on the move, those who value convenience more than quality

Pros and cons:
Easy to move modular design
Can be assembled and moved by one person
Aliquid Vitae
Questionable longevity due to modular design (joints and connection points may not hold up over time)
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