Expert’s guide to buying the perfect sofa

Cream, contemporary, Lorenz 4 seater sofa from Aldiss in Norwich and Fakenham

Lorenz four-seater sofa. - Credit: Aldiss

Buying a new sofa is a crucial investment - it’s important that the one you choose matches your lifestyle and meets your needs.

Victoria Jackson is the director of furniture buying at Aldiss, a well-established department store based in Norwich and Fakenham. In this handy guide, she shares everything you need to know to buy your ideal sofa.

Leather, brown Alexander & James Bailey 3 seater sofa from Aldiss in Norwich and Fakenham.

Alexander & James Bailey three-seater sofa. - Credit: Aldiss

How do I choose a sofa?

The obvious things to consider are your budget, your preferred style and how you are planning to use it.

Victoria says: “Think about where you are going to put it – this is usually the living room, but you may be looking for a sofa bed for your spare room, a set of chairs for your conservatory, or even a sofa to use in your kitchen or snug.”

“For example, comfort and durability will probably be at the front of your mind when searching for a sofa for your living room. Whilst a sofa for your conservatory could lend itself to a more contemporary, clean look, and may not need to be quite as durable.”

Victoria suggests that it’s best to either browse a furniture store or do a good bit of online research. Check out your options and initially select the sofas or chairs that are appealing to the eye. Then you can look at them in further detail and find one that both looks good, and completely suits your needs.

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How long should a sofa last?

“It depends on how much you use it!” Victoria explains. “Fibre interior sofas tend to be super comfy, but are soft, and after years of use, they may start to lose their shape.”

“On the other hand, foam interior sofas can hold their shape for longer and need less maintenance. However, they tend to be a firmer sit.”

Another alternative is a mix of both foam and fibre interiors. This kind of sofa will still hold its shape reasonably well and have that cosy, squishy appeal.

Grey, contemporary Fabio 4 seater sofa from Aldiss in Norwich and Fakenham

Fabio four-seater sofa. - Credit: Aldiss

What to look for in a quality sofa

If you’re wanting to pay that bit extra for the best quality, Victoria says it’s important to buy from a reputable manufacturer:

“Having had experience with a lot of different sofa manufacturers I know that some are less reliable than others. I’m careful to ensure we stock only the best products from top manufacturers, such as Alexander & James, who produce a wide range of high-end sofas.”

You should also consider fabrics. A material like velvet, for example, can differ massively in quality – some velvet sofas are quite inexpensive, but there are plush options available. It’s just a case of looking a little closer.

Another way to spot a luxury sofa is if it has feather-filled scatter cushions and bolsters - you can easily know which is which as they are far heavier than fibre. 

What is a good sofa brand?

Aldiss stock an extensive selection of sofas.

“Brands like G Plan, La-Z-boy, Celebrity (specialising in mobility and lift and rise chairs), Alexander & James are to be considered. We are also the largest stockist of Parker Knoll and Ercol in Norfolk,” says Victoria.

How to shop for a sofa online

Shopping for a sofa is particularly difficult at the moment – with Covid-19 restrictions causing furniture stores to temporarily close, we’re not able to physically see, touch, or try out what is available.

“Make sure you do plenty of research and ask an expert any questions you may have before buying online,” Victoria recommends.

“It can help if you already have a good idea of what you want, so take some time to consider how you want the sofa to look and what you need it for.”

Check out the 360° tours of Aldiss’ stores on their website to get a closer look at some of the sofas on offer. You can also book a video or telephone appointment with a member of the team to discuss your options.

Aldiss is one of the leading Norfolk suppliers of a number of top brands, offering furniture, flooring, and home furnishings.

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Contact them at  

Read '7 things to consider when buying a new sofa' for more.


W J Aldiss, Hall Road Retail Park, NR4 6DH 

Call them on 01603 272100 


W J Aldiss, Oxborough Lane, NR21 8AF 
Call them on 01328 862381