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How can I tell my furniture is good quality?

By all appearances, your furniture is in tip-top condition. There are no stains, it’s rip-free and there are no signs of damage. But what’s going on beneath the surface?

Whether it’s a strong frame or comfortable back support, quality means keeping your furniture healthy for longer – so it’s essential you know what to look for.

Carry on reading to find out what makes a high-quality sofa.

Can you pick it up?

Man checking the quality of his sofa frame

Any sofa worth its salt will have a sturdy frame. If you think of your sofa as a house, then the frame would be the bricks and mortar that hold everything together.

A good way to test the hardiness of your furniture’s frame is to lift it up (carefully, of course). Heavy furniture is usually a good indicator of a solid hardwood frame – and, in turn, is much stronger than, say, plastic or metal, which doesn’t manage frequent use as well. If you can raise your sofa by just a couple of inches yourself, this is a sign of low-quality furniture.

When you lift the sofa, be sure to also check the sturdiness of the frame. If it feels wobbly, it’s a sign that the joints are loose and it could collapse later down the line.

If this sounds like your furniture, don’t worry. Here at Plumbs, we strip furniture down to its frame as part of our reupholstering service. We take this opportunity to examine the frame and tighten joints, so you can enjoy your sofa for years to come.

Is it comfortable?

While the frame is the backbone of any furniture, it wouldn’t provide lumbar support without comfortable cushions.

The best way to test the quality of your seating support is to simply sit down. If your cushions feel flat and no longer spring back when you get up, it could suggest problems with your furniture’s springs.

Discomfort can also be caused by the cushion filling. Generally speaking, heavier cushions are of higher quality, as denser filling can withstand more wear and tear. To improve the quality of your furniture, it could be as simple as replacing the cushion filling.

What’s the rub count?

Quality sofa with plaid scatter cushions

Checking the quality of your furniture’s structure might be easy to test yourself, but what about the fabric?

For this, you need to look at the fabric’s rub count. Measured in thousands, this score tells you how many times a material can be ‘rubbed’ before showing signs of damage. Although the test is undertaken by a machine, it is a good litmus test for day-to-day use. As high rub counts represent longevity, you’ll want to make sure your furniture fabric has at least 25,000 rubs.

If your current fabric is a couple of rubs away from a tear, then you can turn to reupholstery to reinvigorate your furniture. Our fetching Kentash range, for instance, boasts a whopping 40,000 rubs.

Still not sure what to look for in a ‘good quality rub count?’ Take a look at our recent blog post.

Where is it from?

Of course, if you’re ever in doubt about the quality of your furniture, its origin label could shed some light on the matter.

We can’t speak for the practices of other countries, but furniture made in Britain is subject to strict quality checks. Every inch, from the frame to the cushion filling, must pass a laundry list of tests before it is considered suitable for the factory floor.

Thankfully, here at Plumbs we only work alongside British manufacturers who follow these trusted set of standards.

Think your sofa could do with an upgrade? Instead of buying a new suite, head over to the Plumbs website to see how reupholstery can extend your sofa’s lifespan.


Sophie Page
Sophie Page

Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

UK-wide service
UK-wide service
Family business
Family business
Free in-home consultation
Free in-home consultation
Over 800 fabrics
Over 800 fabrics
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Quality guarantee

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