family on sofa

Your questions answered – what’s the average lifespan of a sofa?

29th June 2021

On the whole, sofas tend to be built to last. And they certainly should be, given that they’ll probably end up being one of the more expensive purchases you’ll make for your living room. You can expect your sofa to generally last somewhere between 7 to 15 years, although given that it sees such heavy daily use, it will most likely start to show signs of wear and tear long before that.

Exactly how long your sofa lasts will depend at least partially on its environment – a sofa in an all-adult household is likely to last longer than a sofa in a busy family home, which may have to endure the frequent exuberance of young children and pets. Happily, removable sofa covers provide one of several handy ways you can slow this wear and tear, keeping your sofa looking and feeling better for longer – but let’s be honest, ultimately no sofa lasts forever. Here are some of the most noticeable ways yours might start to show its age, and what you can do about them!

The colour of the fabric starts fading

This is a fairly common sign of age for almost every type of sofa, especially if it’s under direct sunlight from a nearby window. We’ll spare you the detailed physics lesson, but essentially the sun’s rays contain ultraviolet light, which eventually starts to break down the colour bonds in an object – and that includes the colour of the fabric on your sofa! If you spot it starting to happen, one way you can slow the process is simply by moving your sofa so that it’s not under direct sunlight anymore, or at least, for less time as the sun moves through the sky.

If that’s not possible, another way to tackle the problem is simply by using removable sofa covers, which can shield your sofa from the hottest rays and keep it looking better for longer.

The fabric starts to fray

Another common and sometimes glaringly obvious sign that your sofa has seen better days, frayed fabric is a particularly frequent sight in busy family homes, as various small things will sometimes take it upon themselves to chew the edges (cats, dogs, young children etc…). Again, there are a couple of approaches you can take to resolve the issue, short of replacing your sofa entirely. Removable sofa cushions in the same colour as your fabric can help restore your sofa to a state that looks almost as good as new. Alternatively, you can have it entirely reupholstered, which is a bit more intensive and requires a bit more investment accordingly, but it produces undeniably long-lasting results.

The structure is starting to break down

OK, so this is probably the most serious one. If your sofa just isn’t that comfortable to sit on anymore, this could be one good indication that the underlying structure is starting to deteriorate. If your sofa outright creaks when someone sits down on it, that’s definitely not a sign that should be ignored! Unlike with the other two symptoms, this one requires particular attention because it could signify that your sofa is becoming actively unsafe. Sharp springs could start to poke up from its interior, which might be dangerous for pets, small children, or even unsuspecting visitors. And while it’s not terribly likely that your sofa would suddenly ‘give way’ while someone is sat on it, it’s still something that you’ll have to consider. Don’t wait too long to do something about it!

One of the best things you can do first is simply to check the manufacturer’s details. If they tell you that your sofa has a metal frame with staples in it, then it probably needs replacing entirely, as they’re nigh impossible to fix. However, if it has a wooden frame with wooden pins, then you might still be able to repair it by having it completely reupholstered. It’s sometimes more cost-effective than buying a new sofa, and it’s a good option to think about if you’re particularly attached to your sofa for whatever reason.

(A quick note here – if you are planning on having your sofa entirely replaced, then try and steer clear of sofas with lightweight wood, or composite frames. Conventional wisdom says that they’re not the most structurally sound, which could end up resulting in a false economy for you.)

That’s all the major points covered – aside, of course, from the damage caused by common marks and stains. We’ve covered some of those in separate posts, including pen marks and marks caused by red wine, specifically. And once again, if all else fails, you can always use loose sofa covers to hide the stain, leaving your sofa looking as good as new!

In fact, if it’s removable sofa covers you’re after, you’re in exactly the right place. Here at Cover My Furniture, we take care to provide a comprehensive range of sofa covers, chair covers and more in a wide variety of colours to choose from, so that you’ll always be able to find plenty of options to suit you.

And if you’re having trouble making a decision, or you’re looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to let one of us know. You can get in touch using the contact form on our website, or through our Facebook or Instagram. We’re always happy to hear from you!

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