Many of my clients want to know why they can go to one store and see a sofa that costs $599.00 and see another, that looks the same, in a different store that costs $2,999.00. There are many reasons why, Here's a few :
The quality of the frame: The more expensive sofa frame will be built out of better hard woods constructed in more detail resulting in a frame that will last for 20 years instead of 20 months. The frame of a good sofa should come with a lifetime warrantee.
The spring construction: The better sofa should have coil spring construction (Figure 1 below) Coil springs are more comfortable, last longer, and don't put unnecessary stress on the frame causing it to warp or crack over time.
The cushions: The cushions on a good sofa are made of several different types of filling. (listed from the least expensive to the most). High density foam and Dacron wrap $75.00ea, high density foam and down $125.00ea, all down 50/50 $175ea, spring and down $200.00ea. A cheap sofa's cushions are usually made from lower density foams. Although they may seem to feel fine when you first sit on them, in the store. They soon break down, and as a result they have a very short lifespan. There cost $35.00ea.
Attention to detail: The custom sofa, if examined closely, will look better. The patterns will be matched all the way around, including the outside back. All the stripes will match and the cushions will be reversible. The skirts and cushion borders will also match. The platform under the cushions will be in the same fabric and not a lining (ie self-platform). The outside back and arms will be padded and not seem hollow to the touch. The skirts will be lined.
So the next question they ask me is "How do I tell the difference"? There are several ways for the laymen to tell. First, reach under the sofa. If it is hollow then it probably does not have coil springs. Second lift up the cushions and see if the platform is in the same fabric as the rest of the sofa. Last, and the simplest of all, lift up one end , if it seems light then its probably not a very good sofa.