Bottoms up! Let’s pick a sofa or chair shall we?
What prevents you from sinking down in a chair or a sofa?
Not everyone agrees on what type of suspension that is the highest quality and will lasts the
longest, so let me help you get to the “bottom” of this issue. There are many different types of
suspension systems manufacturers use, I favor Sinuous Springs or Eight-Way Hand Tied. My
clients budget decides which suspension I purchase.
Ok , so let’s talk about these common types of suspension.
Pocket coil suspension is a bunch of coils individually wrapped in fabric similar to what you find
inside a mattress. I can’t imagine this suspension working well in a sofa or chair. Bottoms down
on this one however, the good news is that I won’t be dropping any of your bottoms because not
too many manufacturers use this method.
Did you know that there is a suspension similar to how a trampoline attaches to the round
frame? Yes, I found this suspension is indeed used on mid-priced pieces at popular retailers.
This wire grid attaches to the frame with springs on the side. I know you’re thinking, “ that’s
perfect for my boys who bounce all over my furniture” but I’m here to tell you NO! avoid this
one. Remember, trampoline wires aren’t very thick and often break. Why invest in a piece of
furniture with an expected end date?
A less labor-intensive version of spring suspension mounted on a metal frame then added to the
furniture as a single piece. The coil suspension can offer some of the support of the eight-way
hand tied springs without the high labor costs. This means the coil spring system isn’t supported
on the bottom by anything because it is screwed into the sides of the frame thus, sagging is
inevitable. Also, because there is a lot of metal to metal contact squeaking down the road is a
reality. I can’t imagine being a guest in your home and I make your sofa squeak as I seat. No
thank you!, awkward visit for both of us. This system is hard to tell because you can’t feel it
through the material unless you look at the frame. Honestly, who picks a sofa up and looks at
the frame in the store? If you did lift it, you’d notice that this drop in unit is only attached to the
frame in the corners. Yeah, let’s just pass on this heavy weight challenge.
Eight-way hand tied
It’s considered the gold standard of sofa suspension, because it is the most labor-intensive and
costly option. Eight-way hand tie is the mark of a high quality piece of furniture. The bottom of
the sofa springs are supported by webbing and the top of the springs are secured by twine tied
by hand at eight different spots and then attached to the frame. This keeps the springs from
shifting, in turn providing years of unwavering support thus, ensures that the suspension won’t
start to squeak with use.
So besides being told that the furniture piece was been constructed using eight-way hand
tie,(believe me, any vendor who takes the time to use this construction, is proud to tell anyone
who will listen) how would you know? Easy, pick up the cushion and push on the seat deck,
you should be able to feel the individual springs through the fabric. The price of the sofa will also
This common type of sofa suspension can be explained as large zig-zagging pieces of metal set
in rows several inches apart and running perpendicular to the front of the sofa. Commonly found
in low to mid price sofa ranges, sinuous spring systems wire should be at least 8-gauge with at
least two silent-tie wires running across and clipped to each spring. I’ve always thought of a
Large S curve as better support but the truth of the matter is smaller turns in a sinuous spring
are more ideal. So, Sinuous springs vs eight-way hand tied? Well, sinuous is less labor
intensive, offers adequate support so buying a piece of furniture with this system is less costly
and true bank for your buck on a moderate budget. Size matters, check that gauge.
So question is, how comfortable are you with buying furniture online without knowing how to
search for these fun facts?
What is your expectation for your investment? Is this a piece of furniture that’s just decorative or
the main seating piece in your home. Splurge and invest on comfort, long lasting quality piece of
furniture when possible. If eight-way hand tied is not in the budget, buy the next best thing
(sinuous spring suspension). Unless you can afford to replace your furniture periodically, pieces
with webbing or mesh suspension should never be allowed to occupy space in your living room.
In time, they will be uncomfortable and flimsy. Goal in purchasing your sofa is to keep bottoms
Let me help you shop.