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How long should a sofa last?

Well-maintained pink Chesterfield sofa

Got a sofa that’s looking past its prime? Perhaps your sofa cushions are sagging, or the fabric is looking stained and worn? If this sounds familiar, don’t worry – it’s bound to happen.

While the average sofa should last between 7 and 15 years, signs of wear and tear are likely to appear before then – especially if it’s a well-loved sofa. Luckily, there are ways you can make your sofa appear just as beautiful as the day you bought it.

Take a look at our expert tips, below, to see how you can keep your sofa looking as good as new.

Flat sofa cushions

Okay, while squished sofa cushions may not look attractive, they can easily be reinvigorated – you just need to learn a few simple techniques to get the look just right.

Yellow fabric sofa with flat lumpy cushions

In general, we recommend plumping sofa cushions before they begin to show signs of flatness. For this, it is worth doing a regular plumping routine, once a week, so that cushions stay soft and comfortable. If you notice your cushions have gone lumpy inside, however, then you may need to send them to a reupholsterer; they will be able to quickly re-fill your sofa cushions without damaging the sofa’s beautiful fabric.  

If you have recently bought a sofa and want to know how long the sofa cushions are likely to last, you’ll find the answer on the price tag. The life expectancy of expensive, high quality seat foam (such as down fillers) is around ten years, while cheaper sofas are more likely to use polyester and/or polyurethane foam. These typically start losing their plumpness after around three years.

Old fabric can be fixed

Fabric starting to lose its lustre? Don’t worry – even the most well-maintained sofas are privy to a little wear and tear. Take a look how you can keep your fabric looking fresh, below.

Brown suede sofa with old fabric

Faded fabric

If you’ve noticed that your sofa’s fabric is losing the brightness it once had then, nope, you don’t need to head to Specsavers - the colour is more than likely fading.

To keep your sofa’s fabric fade-free in the future, think about moving your sofa away from natural sunlight, such as windows. If this isn’t possible, consider a loose removable sofa cover when sunny days are forecast.

Worn fabric  

If your sofa’s fabric is starting to fray, you needn’t fret about buying a brand new couch. Instead, seek a professional reupholsterer who will replace your worn fabric with a more durable material, such as linen or microfiber. This way, you can save money whilst still keeping your sofa for years to come.

TOP TIP: Although fabric has a tendency to wear and fade quickly, the sofa frames underneath will likely be as good as new. In many cases, good quality sofa frames last around ten years.

Creaking frame

Creaking noises are a sure sign your sofa is on its way out. As well as sounding old, creaking sofas can be hard and uncomfortable, regardless of how many throws or cushions you add to it.

Old sofa with broken frame

To get an idea of how to fix the frame, the first thing you should do is look at the manufacturer’s details. If your sofa has a metal frame with staples, it is likely the panels/joints have broken and are in need of a full repair. If the frame is wooden with wooden pins, on the other hand, it’s likely to be more structurally sound and needs just a few alterations.

For sofas such as this, we recommend visiting a Plumbs reupholsterer; they will be able to strip back your sofa to its original frame and can switch out any damaged parts which are causing the creaking. Some of the reupholstery techniques we use on sofa frames include webbing (to create stronger base) and springing (to add depth and comfort to sofas). For more information about what we can do for you, take a look at our Reupholstery section.

TOP TIP: When buying a new sofa, try to avoid lightweight, wood-composite types as they are often structurally weak and prone to creaking.

Stubborn stains

While there’s nothing worse than accidentally staining your beloved sofa, there are ways you can keep your sofa in tip-top condition if the inevitable does occur.

Firstly, have you tried spot cleaning the fabric? This is an effective way to get rid of stains which haven’t worked too deeply into the fabric’s fibres. To see how it’s done, take a look at our expert spot cleaning advice.

If, after all your hard work, your sofa remains stained, then it’s finally time to send your sofa to our reupholstery experts.

Think your sofa could do with a spruce up? Browse our reupholstery and sofa cover options to see how you can give new life to your old sofa. For more ways to maintain the look of your furniture, browse our blog.

 

 

Sally is the Digital Marketing Manager at Plumbs. Prior to Plumbs, she ran the digital marketing strategy for Johnson’s Cleaners UK. Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is Homes Under the Hammer. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

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