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Learn what's goes into a lasting sofa

Sofa, Loveseat, and Chair Frame and Support Construction

The living room is the place we watch our favorite shows, catch the big game with friends, or take a nap on a rainy day. Sofas, loveseats, and chairs are a huge part of our every day lives. Finding the perfect pieces for your space can be a frustrating process, especially when two sofas that look nearly identical are vastly different in price for no apparent reason. With sofas, loveseats, and chairs, some of the biggest factors for lasting comfort are tucked away beneath fabric or leather and cushioning, so figuring out why one may be better than another can be quite the challenge. Here at Hudson's Furniture, we want to help alleviate the stress of the couch buying process and help you find the perfect pieces to complete your living room or family room.

Frame Material

Everything begins with the frame. It’s an assertion we heard several times over when we asked experts and retailers where to begin when searching for a sofa designed to be used daily and to hopefully last for years. The type of wood used for the frame and how each piece is joined not only determines a sofa’s durability, but will also be reflected in its cost.

Kiln Dried

Kiln-drying is standard procedure done to remove all moisture to avoid the wood from warping.

Solid Hardwoods

The denser hardwoods like alder, poplar, maple, teak, and walnut are more expensive, but are generally considered more suitable for durable furniture, and will typically outlast faster-growing and economical softwoods like pine and Douglas fir, doing a better job of holding staples, nails, glue, and joinery in place.


Softwoods like pine and Douglas fir, doing a better job of holding staples, nails, glue, and joinery in place. This is because softwood simply isn't as dense and strong as hardwood. Softwood can also contain knots that can compromise the strength of the wood.

Engineered Woods

You’re not buying something designed to last, but renting disposable furniture that will fall apart in a year or two. With the savings in price, comes a cost to durability. If you decide to go this route, look for 11-13 layer plywood frames rather than 5-7 layer frames.

Joint Construction

Reinforcing the joints of the sofa, loveseat, or chair frame is key to how it stands the test of time, and the memories you create in your space, as these joints are the primary areas of stress on the sofa. Strong joint construction can come in many different forms.


The strongest and most expensive frames are constructed using the labor-intensive and traditional technique of mortise-and-tenon joinery, connecting pieces of wood with precisely routed tabs (tenons) that fit into holes (mortises). Only the best and more expensive sofas (like those from Modernica) are made this way and you’ll hardly ever find a mortise-and-tenon-constructed sofa for under $2,000.


Dowels are likely to indicate that a sofa frame has been constructed to last, especially if they are used in conjunction with other joint construction methods.

Corner Block

Pieces constructed with corner blocks are typically going to be properly supported at their joints.


When combined with other methods of support, staples provide strength to aid durability.


On their own, screws are unlikely to provide ample support, when combined with other methods they can be an indication of quality construction.


Glue alone is not enough to support the joints of a sofa, combining glue with other support methods does add valuable strength though.

Support Construction

You've learned all about what kinds of factors affect quality in a sofa, loveseat, or chair frame and it's joints, but what holds your seat cushion up as you unwind after a long day? This is where support meets comfort and durability. Below, we discuss the major types of support construction, some of the factors that go into their durability and comfort levels, as well as the benefits they bring to your living room or family room.

The best of the best when it comes to sofa support construction is the labor intensive 8-Way hand tied spring system. This system provides the best support and comfort but also typically comes at a higher cost because of the time invested in constructing them.

Another type of sofa support construction comes in the form of steel springs. The main factors that will differentiate the quality and durability of the steel springs is the gauge and reinforcement of the steel. The higher the gauge and the more reinforcement of the steel springs, the more likely they are to hold up over time.

Another form of support is the lattice web system, sometimes simply called webbing seat support. This type of construction is more likely to be found a modern style sofa as it features a slighter build perfect for a sleek silhouette.

Other options, such as a drop in unit of springs, are likely better suited for those looking to keep up with the latest trends, but can also provide lasting support and comfort when properly attached to the frame.

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