Sofa Shopping Guide Part 3: 5 Things to Think About Before Choosing a Sofa Fabric

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

Fabric is often the last thing we think about when choosing a sofa, but it’s one of the most vital parts of this important piece of furniture. Choosing the right fabric for you, your home, your family and your lifestyle will impact your sofa’s visual appeal and longevity.


We spoke with our upholstery expert, Eric, the General Manager of our exclusive Sutter Street furniture workshop in North Carolina, to get his professional tips on choosing a sofa fabric. Take a look at his top tips, below!


What will you use this sofa for? Think about where you plan on putting your new sofa before choosing its fabric. Is it going in your bedroom? Pick something plush and luxurious, since you’ll really be the only one using it. Is it going in a living room for a family of six? You might want to choose something sturdy that cleans easily, like one of our Performance Fabrics.

Think about your home’s palette. Color is just as important as the type of fabric you choose. Are you in your “forever” home? Think carefully about what will go with your home’s current, and potential future color palettes. 


Consider neutrals for longevity.  “In my opinion, I think you get more longevity out of a sofa if you’re picking a good neutral fabric,” Eric says. “A sofa is really like a canvas for a room. You can put a throw on it, you can put decorative pillows on it — you can go a hundred different directions stylistically if you want.”

Be honest about your lifestyle. “Where are you in your lifestyle?” Eric asks. “If you’re young, with small kids, or if you’re going to have children soon, that might change what you want to put on your sofa.”


Understand fabric maintenance. “Fine things require maintenance,” Eric says.  “You have to maintain the furniture if you want to get the proper longevity out of it. You’ll need to fluff it, flip the cushions and vacuum down in those crevices and creases.”

Read more about our Performance Fabric Collection here to find out which Pottery Barn fabric is right for you.

You might also like:
Sofa Shopping Guide Part 1: Know What You Want
Sofa Shopping Guide Part 2: Measure Your Space

2 thoughts on “Sofa Shopping Guide Part 3: 5 Things to Think About Before Choosing a Sofa Fabric

    1. denise

      and, if you already have kids, think about how easy it will be to clean it–kids will inevitably spill something on your couch/sofa.


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