home furniture

How to choose a sofa?

It's the centerpiece of your living room! Enhanced and accessorized, the sofa is an essential piece of furniture that you use every day. You relax on it after a day's work. You entertain friends. You gather with family. Sometimes, it can even be used as a bed for you or your guests...

So, of course, buying a sofa is no small matter! Whether you're moving house for the first time, or your tastes have changed, or the kids have grown up (and you can now afford more delicate materials), you're looking for a sofa?

Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.

A sofa? Sofas...

Nothing looks more like a sofa than another sofa, right?

Depending on your interior and your needs, you will choose one family of sofas over another:

straight sofa

a classic

Canapé AMPMSimple and effective, the upright sofa adapts to any interior.
Two, three or four-seater versions are available in all sizes... and styles!
Upright sofa

corner sofa

for wide-open spaces

canape d'angle La RedouteMore suited to large rooms than student studios (a question of size), the corner sofa can seat up to six or even seven people.
Ideal for entertaining, it is also ideal for large families.
Corner sofa

modular sofa

evolving in space and time

canape modulable pour salon Nomadic and scalable, it adapts to your needs. How does it work? A half-sofa (with an armrest on one side only) to which you add elements: chaise longue, corner, footstool, footrest.... Virtually made-to-measure, it can be moved or adapted to suit your desires and occasions.
Modular sofa

convertible sofa

for sofa or bed use

Canapé convertible La RedouteWhetheryou're regularly hosting family and friends, or sleeping on your own, the convertible sofa, or sofa bed, is the perfect choice.
Practicality and a high level of comfort are also a must.
Convertible sofa


for relaxation

canapé détente la redouteA bench seat, a backrest and a few cushions - sometimes that's all you need to feel good.
A chaise longue is ideal for reading, making a phone call or watching TV. Practical: it sometimes has a storage compartment.


or daybed

canapé lit de repos sur laredoute.frIn a small apartment or for occasional sleeping, the convertible sofa offers good value for money, and has the major advantage of being compact.
Whether you opt for the clic-clac version, the BZ sofa, the chauffeuse or the futon, there's no shortage of solutions, and depending on your choice of mattress, you'll be able to get good comfort. And even a comfort/price ratio comparable to that of a convertible sofa.


Familiar with the different types of sofa, you can already visualize your needs and the sofa family that goes with them? Perfect!
Now it's time to make your choice.

comment choisir son canape.jpg

Looking for the perfect sofa!

Choosing a sofa isn't just a matter of deciding whether it should be convertible or removable... that would be so simple! No, the aim is to choose a sofa in (and with) which you'll feel comfortable.

Imagine the ideal sofa for your room: its dimensions, shape, color, material... In terms of style, do you like soft, rounded lines or are you a fan of the right angle? Do you prefer a designer, contemporary or vintage sofa? Are you ready for the originality of indigo blue velvet, or reassured by the sobriety of anthracite cotton? Do you prefer firm or plush comfort? And what size sofa is ideal for your living room?

Lots of questions? Don't panic, the choice is easier than it looks. And when it comes to dimensions, there are a few rules: in a small apartment or a small room, where saving space is an art of living, you'll opt for a small sofa. Typically a 2-seater sofa, not too massive, with armrests that aren't so imposing as to weigh down your 15 m².

On the other hand, if you have a 40 m² living room, you'll opt for at least a 3-seater sofa, or a corner sofa (against the wall to maintain the room's impression of volume, or in the middle of the living room to delimit two spaces).

Lovers of high comfort, meanwhile, may be tempted by a reclining sofa with integrated footrest. In all cases, modular sofas can be adapted to any space and any decor. At equivalent prices, opt for this type of sofa rather than an inexpensive corner sofa from a lower range. You'll complete your sofa over time, and it'll be more robust...
Depending on the dimensions of the room, your living room furniture and your tastes, you'll also determine a seat height and depth (to within a few centimetres!). If you like to sprawl on your sofa, relax in a deep seat (over 55 cm). If, on the other hand, you like to sit with your back well supported, the seat should be shallower. In this case, you'll opt for a high backrest. This may reinforce the sofa's imposing appearance, but you'll be able to rest your head on it. You'll be even more comfortable.

Last but not least, the legs are a stylistic element not to be overlooked. They can be straight, sloping or tapered, in wood or metal. They can be high or almost invisible (this is often the case with modular sofas and convertible sofas), and must match the rest of your décor. If, for example, you have a dark coffee table, choose a sofa with dark wood or metal legs.

Good to know, if you're hesitating between two colors or two materials for the same sofa, see if you can order samples of the coverings you're interested in.

guillement_o.jpgIt's important to keep space around the sofa.It needs to breathe.
It also needs to be consistent in style and size with the objects that surround it.guillement_f.jpg

Laurent Pichaud
furniture designer La Redoute

Be careful what you don't see!

Technology must be at the service of your sofa's comfort and durability. Pay attention to what's not visible!

Densité mousse de coussin de canapé
Foam density for back and seat cushions

Consult the density of the backrest and seat cushion foams. The higher the density, the longer the foam will last. If possible, avoid going below 25 kg/m3 for the main foam in seat cushions (a little less for back cushions). And if your budget allows, consider high-resilience foams such as Bultex.
Structure du canapé
Structure type

The structure determines the solidity, and therefore the durability, of your future sofa (yes, it's still called that!). Most often, you'll find a structure composed of plywood and/or particleboard, reinforced with solid wood (sometimes metal). When it comes to reinforcements, solid hardwoods such as beech or birch are ideal. When it comes to suspension, you can choose between springs and straps... Choose straps if you like soft support, and springs if you prefer more dynamic support.
matelas mecanisme la redoute
Convertible sofa mattresses and mechanisms

If you're aiming for a convertible sofa (straight sofa or convertible corner sofa), look at the mattress and mechanism. Look at mattress thickness (generally between 6 and 14 cm), density and composition. There are high-comfort convertibles, just as there are basic convertibles. The same goes for the mechanism: sofas are more or less easy to unfold, depending on the model.
revetement canape

You'll find cotton, cotton/linen blends, several types of linen (crumpled, stonewashed...), leather and velvet. Synthetic coverings such as microfibre are also highly prized for their resistance and visual quality (aged leather look guaranteed!) ... While aesthetics will naturally guide your choice, don't forget that these coverings will be more or less solid and flattering over time. Velvet, for example, is reputed to be more robust than simple cotton. On the other hand, it's not the easiest to care for. Leather is less resistant to odors, dust mites and animal hair... But beware of scratches! Linen is moderately resistant to rubbing. On the other hand, it is little affected by light... Finally, you should know that blends of natural and synthetic fibers result in fabrics that are generally more resistant.


What about maintenance?

Properly cared for, your sofa will keep its shine longer. If it's covered in fabric, vacuum it with a soft brush reserved for household textiles, and remember to give it an anti-stain treatment. If it has removable covers, clean it several times a year.
⦁ How do I clean a fabric sofa with removable covers?
Nothing could be simpler! Just take the covers to the dry cleaner. That's the guarantee of professional cleaning. But be careful! Do not machine-wash the covers: you risk shrinkage and/or discoloration.

⦁ And how do you clean a leather sofa, you might ask?
Whether buffalo or cowhide, simply dust it with a soft, dry cloth and clean it from time to time with a nourishing leather milk. You may have heard that baby milk does the trick. We recommend avoiding it, as it is often insufficiently nourishing for thick leather. Areas in contact with the head and arms may darken due to sebum deposits. To restore the original shade, use a damp cloth impregnated with soapy water (prefer a mild soap such as "savon de Marseille"), followed by a cloth dampened with pure water. Then dry with a dry cloth. Whatever their covering, if your cushions have feathers in the filling, shake and flap them to give them the plumpness and softness of new, as you would a pillow. And of course, never put your sofa in front of a heat source or a window exposed to the sun... It will discolor for good!

entretenir Canape La Redoute
comment entretenir un canape ?


The sofa king and his court

A few accessories to enhance your sofa:


pouf La RedouteThey're there to fulfill their practical function, of course, but also to add a touch of whimsy. They need to be noticed! You can, for example, choose armchairs and footstools that are different from the sofa, to avoid the total look of the sofa set. But you'll need to maintain harmony with your decor... What a program!
Armchairs, footstools


Coussins et plaids sur la RedouteThese great classics have a decorative function. With them, you can add color or play with materials. They provide extra comfort. They're also great for hiding that ugly stain made by your beloved offspring!


tapis la redoute Neither too large nor too small, the rug is an accessory that should also match and enhance the sofa. If the sofa is grey, add a touch of color with the rug. If it is colored, choose a more sober rug.


luminaires la redoute et ampmSmall and placed on a table next to the sofa, imposing like a floor lamp, a discreet reading light, there's nothing like a pretty lamp to light up your sofa.

Coffee table
sofa ends

tables et bouts de canapeWhere there's a sofa, there's a coffee table! Choose the size and shape to suit your sofa: long for a straight sofa, square for a corner sofa, round or trundle for a small interior. Sofa ends are a fashionable alternative. They have the advantage of being mobile, and come in a variety of materials that you can mix and match (marble, wood...). Finally, there are coffee tables... higher, and even adjustable in height: useful for eating comfortably.
Coffee table
Sofa end

guillement_o.jpgA few years ago, the living room was static: the sofa, the armchairs, the
coffee table, well installed, did not move. Today, lifestyles are
more nomadic. We want to move our furnishings according to
life's events... Even the sofa! guillement_f.jpg

Sylvie Hadet
Product manager for sofas, lighting and rugs AMPM

A standard-compliant sofa!

If you want to be sure that the sofa of your dreams is well made,
check that it has obtained certain certifications and meets certain standards:

  • NF Ameublement certification is an additional guarantee. Before it is awarded, furniture undergoes extensive testing to certify its safety, durability and quality. It also takes consumer health into account.

  • The NF Environnement Ameublement standard is designed to limit environmental impact.

  • As far as flammability is concerned, there are no requirements for private individuals. If you're buying for a public facility, however, make sure that the product is classified as M1 (non-flammable).

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