December 07, 2021 7 min read

Sofas have a wide range of quality levels designed to appeal to both the budget-minded consumer and the stickler for high-quality manufacturing. With multiple quality options available, anyone can find a couch within their price range.

However, there are a few differences in sofas based on quality, and often the problem that customers face is a lack of understanding on what makes a sofa a good quality or the best quality purchase. Nobody wants to get ripped off by paying too much for a low-quality sofa.

Furniture Fair prides itself on having a reputation for outstanding home furnishings at quality prices, and we want to continue building that relationship within the Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, and Louisville area’s by providing a comprehensive guide to help anyone determine the quality of any sofa.

Read on to learn the difference between good quality, better quality, and the best quality couch and the pros and cons for each tier. After reading this article, you will determine the quality of any new sofas you are looking to purchase.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas
Good, Better, Best: Sofas

What Is Good, Better, Best?

The Good, Better, Best Ranking System (hereafter referred to as GBB to prevent eye strain) is a quality-focused checklist that you can use to determine the sofa quality when purchasing.

Keep in mind that GBB isn't necessarily ranking worst to best. Every segment of GBB has pros and cons depending on what you will be prioritizing. Your priority should be finding the perfect couch for your needs since you will be spending a lot of time using it.

If you are looking for the best price, good is an excellent fit. If comfortable sofas with better quality upholstery, construction materials, and a variety of color options, better might be your best bet. If solid wood construction, custom design options, and attention to detail are your number one priority, then the best is your best option.

Using the GBB list will help you determine the sofa quality and discover if the price listed is comparable to the quality. Once you have applied the GBB test, you will be more knowledgeable about the product and better understand furniture quality price points.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas

How to Determine A Good Quality Sofa

A good quality sofa is designed to be affordable, and with an emphasis on low price, comes a focus on lower-cost materials. While most good-quality couches use kiln-dried wood to help pull out as much moisture as possible, good-quality sofas also use lower-quality construction materials like composite boards, chipboards, or cheaper, lighter wood.

Due to the lower-cost materials, the frame of good quality sofas will not last as long as the structure of a better or best quality sofa. However, if you need a cheaper sofa that will last three to five years, a good quality sofa will hold up.

In addition to more cost-effective materials, good-quality sofas also use lower-durability cushion materials. Most good-quality couches use basic foam or polyfill, often made from recycled plastics. These cushioning materials are affordable but will break down eventually.

There are pros to purchasing a good quality sofa. Good quality sofas tend to be in stock more often, mass-produced at higher volumes. Rather than waiting for your furniture to be in stock, you can get your new sofa right away.

In addition to availability, good quality sofas are also more likely to be on-trend. If you like to change out your furniture with the changing trends of the season, good-quality furniture makes it a bit more affordable to do just that.

If you have just started a new life with a partner or in a new city and need to get your feet under you, a good quality sofa can help fill your living room and provide space for you and your friends to sit without breaking your budget.

Typically a good quality sofa does not feature any customization options. If you have a specific look in mind that requires customization, you may want to look into the better or best category, as most good sofa designs are cookie-cutter designed to be the same.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas
Good, Better, Best: Sofas

How to Determine A Better Quality Sofa

If you are ready to invest more into your furniture but still want value pricing, the better quality sofa tier may be right for you, with higher quality premium woods. Cross-laminated construction, more robust frames, and better quality couches are built to last longer.

With better frame construction also comes better spring quality and designs. Choose from better quality foams as well as tighter spring-based seats that are designed to provide comfort and support your body while you binge-watch your favorite show.

Many cushions feature a ten-year up to a lifetime warranty on their cushions and springs. In addition, many sofas are available with performance fabric, adding a layer of protection to the couch and the cushions.

Better quality sofas will last around five to ten years, a considerable jump in life expectancy from the good quality level. In addition to a longer lifespan, better-quality sofas are also within most people’s budget range, making them a great option for style and affordability.

Better quality couches are perfect for newly married couples looking to make their first purchases together who want to buy something of value that will last longer than a “good” sofa. Young families looking for sofas or reclining sofas with a bit more durability from heavy use are also perfect candidates for better-quality couches.

Here are a few pros to sofas ranked in the better quality category. Unlike the good quality sofa brands, better quality sofas have customization options from fabric and leather upholstery options to limited frame and accent hardware choices.

Unfortunately, unlike with the best category, you cannot get true customization from scratch with better quality. However, you can create a longer-lasting, more unique custom piece than the same boring silhouette you see on every showroom floor despite a few limitations.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas

How to Determine A Best Quality Sofa

If quality and longevity are what you prize above all else, this is the category for you. The best category is the category of heirloom-quality furniture or the type of sofa that your grandchildren will cherish long after you are gone.

The best category naturally uses the best materials. From the highest quality kiln-dried hardwoods available and handmade construction techniques passed down from generations of furniture-making experience, the best class is pricey but worth every penny.

With techniques like doweling, corner blocking, and old-fashioned joinery, the best quality sofa frames are the strongest in the market. Best quality sofa frames are safe from any warping, twisting, or shifting that can occur in lower quality frames.

Best quality sofas use a high-quality drop-in coil suspension in their seating design, providing advanced comfort and improved longevity that will not fail after years of use. Seating cushions are customizable to your comfort and support level, with multiple styles available, including hand-tied springs.

Best quality manufacturers have certain limitations on what they will and won’t do with their custom manufacturing programs. Being the best in the industry comes with a reputation, and the best quality designers and manufacturers want to uphold their reputations.

Certain brands have limitations on what upholstery fabrics can be used as upholstery since pattern matching is essential for helping a piece stand out as the best. Fabric patterns on best quality furniture flow uniformly throughout the sofa’s seams, edges, and corners to create a uniform-looking piece.

While there are a few limitations, the customizable options far outweigh the drawbacks. The amount of custom fabrics available for upholstery is in the thousands, and with some brands, everything from the frame to the fabric can be customized.

If you are looking for furniture that will last a lifetime or furniture that you will only need to buy once, buying the best quality will ensure that you have a sofa that will last a lifetime. Keep in mind that with the best quality comes the highest price tag, so be ready to invest in your future living room that is unique and will last forever.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas
Good, Better, Best: Sofas

Which Sofa Is Right For Me?

Now that you know the differences in quality levels for sofas, you might be thinking, “which sofa quality is right for me?” The answer to this question depends on your needs and wants at the time.

If you are just looking to furnish a room fast and not looking for something that will last for decades of use, most good quality sofas will be perfect for your needs. Good quality is ideal for anyone on a limited budget who needs the most bang for their buck.

If you are looking for a longer-lasting couch that you can add a bit more personal flair to while still getting the most value for your dollar, the better quality category may be right for you. Better quality sofas will last longer and hold up to use from families and time.

If you want what you want and you want it to last for a long time, the category for you is the best quality. Complete customization, solid wood frames that are built to last, and centuries of tried and true craftsmanship are all present within the best category, and while not cheap, you will see returns on your investment for decades to come.

Find out which of these factors matches your needs and go with your favorite option from your preferred category. Avoid buyer’s remorse the first time and get the sofa that is right for you and your family or even your fur babies.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas

Ready To Find Out Which Quality Level Is Best For you?

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have gained helpful working knowledge on the three quality tiers that most furniture can be ranked under. Use this guide to evaluate your future purchase and make your next purchase confidently.

Remember that good-quality sofas will last around three to five years and are limited in choices and use lower-cost materials in construction. Don’t forget that better quality sofas last about five to ten years and have custom options using sturdier materials, including performance fabrics.

Finally, keep in mind that the best quality category for couches will be pricey but will last around ten to twenty years and has the maximum level of quality and custom options. Best quality sofas can also be passed down to future generations as heirloom pieces.

If you are in the market for a good, better, or best quality sofa in the Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky area, consider visiting Furniture Fair. With over 55 years of experience selling sofas at every quality level, we would love to help you find your next couch.

Schedule an appointment online, or drop by one of our ten convenient locations and order the perfect sofa for your home.

Good, Better, Best: Sofas