Buying a sofa is one of the most important investments you're likely to make for your home. In the living room it's a piece of furniture where we lounge, read, eat and drink, entertain family and friends, watch TV and even sleep, so it makes sense that we take the time to invest in one thats going to last some time. 

1. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY (WHERE POSSIBLE)

The average sofa has a seat depth of at least 60cm which gives plenty of room to manoeuvre if you have long legs whilst allowing you to tuck them under if you are shorter. But seat depths do vary so try out different styles to ensure you are getting good back support. When it comes to seat height, most designs are between 45cm - 50cm high. There is no right or wrong height so again make sure it suits you and your family.

Its also important to consider how you like to lounge. If there are two of you and you both like to sit with your legs up, then check the sofa is deep enough to accommodate you both, or consider a chaise or corner sofa if you have the space.

If you prefer to lie down make sure it is long enough for you to stretch out on. Taller people may also want to consider a sofa with a higher back to offer extra support.

2.  INVEST IN A GOOD FRAME

Spend as much as you can afford on good quality as it will see you through many years of lounging. A solid hardwood frame is the best option as whats on the inside is just as important as whats used on the outside.

3. CHECK THE CUSHIONS

When it comes to the back and seat cushions, feather filled cushions are high on comfort but will need regular plumping to maintain their shape, while foam or fibre fillings will flatten and loose their shape over time.

Choosing a combination of feather and foam will give you both squish and structure. A combination of foam and fibre also works well.

4. FOCUS ON FABRIC

Your choice of upholstery will have a huge impact on the room so choose carefully to ensure it fits in with your scheme. Natural materials may fade in sunlight so opt for synthetic fibres if the sofa is near a window. Its also important in a busy family home, or if you're a pet owner, opt for a fabric that is easy to spot clean.

5. MEASURE UP

There is nothing worse than buying a sofa that doesn't fit the space its intended for (remember PIVOT - Friends). Get the tape measure out and measure up, TWICE. Make sure you're certain of the maximum sofa dimensions that will fit and suit your space. Pay attention to the depth of the sofa if you're buying for a smaller room and also the height if you have shelves or window ledges.

A good tip is to cut out the shape of the sofa from newspaper and place it on the floor in the room where the sofa is to go. This allows you to check you have enough space to walk around it with ease and that you have left enough room for other furniture such as side tables, as well as door openings etc.

If you have limited access you may need to opt for a low-back style, one with removable legs or even a modular piece that can be delivered in sections. If space is limited than consider a petite sofa or loveseat.