The 5 Most Important Things When Buying a Couch Online

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Sometimes we fall down an online shopping black hole: you know, the dizzying experience when you can't help but bookmark a ton of new decor pieces you want. But some commitments are bigger than others. While you might not regret ordering that cute wall hanging off Etsy, purchasing a couch online is a totally different ball game.

But there are a few things you can keep an eye out for when browsing on the Internet for your next comfy couch. We talked to Zoe Garred, Director of Product Development at direct-to-consumer furniture brand Article to learn just a few of the elements to get a few tips

1. Look for telling keywords.

"Keywords like "full aniline leather," leather with no added pigment or corrections, or "Pirelli webbing," a rubber support suspension used in couches, show signs of quality as they're long-lasting materials," Garred says. "Whenever possible, choose pieces constructed with solid wood or corner blocking, which is a piece of wood at a couch's joints to help improve structural stability."

2. Take the right measurements.

"While you should certainly always measure the areas that you'd like to place your furniture, the most often forgotten measurements are door frames, hallways, and elevators," Garred says. "Always measure anywhere the piece has to travel to ensure a smooth delivery."

3. Pay attention to rub count.

"The Martindale rub test simulates natural wear of a fabric and is a great indicator of product quality," Garred says. "For the average home, you'll want to find a Martindale rating of 25,000 rubs or more. If your sofa sees a lot of traffic from pets or kids, I'd suggest looking for fabrics with a higher rub count around 40,000 rubs."

4. Take advantage of fabric samples.

"Fabric samples are a great way to tell the quality of the material and how it may compare to existing pieces in your room," Garred says. "Since lighting varies from home to home, the fabric may appear different in warm light compared to bright light. Look online and through your social media feeds to see how the couch looks in different spaces."

5. Research the brand from multiple sources.

"Check out reviews from past customers on the retailer's website and search for relevant press articles or review-specific websites testing the furniture's construction and comfort," Garred says. "Also, don't be shy about getting in touch with the retailer's customer care team. They should be able to share thoughtful, detailed feedback on the sofa you have in mind."


Eva Recinos is an associate editor at Hunker. You can reach her at eva@hunker.com

View Work