The best way to judge the quality of a sofa—as well as its comfort—is to spend some time with it in person. Sit on it for several minutes. Try different positions: Lean against the arm to see if it digs into your neck or back uncomfortably; test each end of the seat, as well as the middle; bounce a bit on the seat to see how firm and supportive it is; stand up and see how much fluffing the pillows require after you’ve sat on them. Hold onto a corner of the sofa and wiggle the frame: It should feel solid and firm, with no give in the joints. Lift up one leg to feel whether the sofa is heavy and substantial or lightweight. Examine all the stitching and upholstery from top to bottom. “The fabric should lie smoothly across the frame, without puckering, and the seams and any decorative welting or trim should be tight and straight,” says Bar-Nahum.
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