HMD designers spend more time overall helping clients choose upholstered furniture (sofa, chaise, chairs) than any other product.

When you think of sofas you should know that price almost always corresponds to quality (notwithstanding overpriced retailers) because construction quality, resilient cushioning and durable fabrics simply cost more to manufacture.  Learn more about the HMD rating system and see an example of quality sofa construction.

Here’s what’s important to know about budgeting for upholstered furniture

  • Paying less for a product (retail quality) means it may wear poorly and need to be replaced in two years
  • Frame and seat construction determine durability while cushioning and fabric largely determine how it will wear or if it will sag
  • Custom upholstery and materials options allow nearly unlimited options for customization


Sofas starting at $399

Sofa with dimensions of 85” W x 35”D x 35”H from a popular retailer who imports sofas manufactured in China

Sofas at this price point can look good in the showroom, sit comfy and be of overall good size, however they are constructed of inexpensive substandard materials that you can expect to sag, split, break and shift in just a few short months of use.  The synthetic fabrics utilized are toxic and emit volitile organic compounds (VOC’s) that can aggravate asthma and affect normal function of the lung.  Untreated cotton upholstery will wick up every liquid that comes near it like a white cotton T-Shirt!

HMD Rating: N/A – doesnt meet HMD standards for specification
Frame: Particleboard, pine (very softwood) and cardboard
Cushion Materials: Polyurethane, polyester and polypropelene
Upholstery Material: 100% Cotton
Seat and Back Support: Straps
Warranty: None


Sofas starting at $1049

84”W x 40” D x 34” W – this price range represents the minimum quality sofas recommended by HMD in our interior design packages.

At this price point you can begin to access ‘Made in America’ quality which means manufacturing  standards are regulated.  This sofa will stand up to the abuse you, your pets and your kids dish out.

The frame is made out of stronger, more durable materials with stronger  joints.  You’ll have the option to choose highly durable and stain-resistant upholstery from a good array of color and textured options. The Eco-friendly foam cushion content has none of the toxic chemicals most sofa’s manufactured abroad contain.

If you maintain and clean this sofa as recommended, it will look good and stay comfy for many years to come!

HMD Rating: Q $
Frame: Moisture-free, kiln-dried hardwood with a manufacturer lifetime guarantee
Cushion Materials: High-resiliency recycled foam, down option available
Upholstery Material: Many to choose from, including stain-resistant and extremely durable synthetics.
Seat and Back Support: Sinuous Metal Spring
Warranty: Limited Lifetime


Sofas starting at $1799

99”W x 44”D x 41.5”H – a very good quality sofa with an HMD QQ$$ rating

Made in America, with pride.  This sofa builds upon the above option by adding more durable joinery techniques making all of the joints stronger and more durable. Finer refinement of the important details are available; larger proportions, nailhead trims, more luxurious upholstery, a leather option.  Sofas starting at this price point also include upgraded seat cushion options like “spring down” which make your cushions appears new (and fluffy) for many more years.

HMD Rating: QQ $$
Frame: Moisture-free, kiln-dried hardwood with mortise and tenon joints and corner blocking
Cushion Materials: High resilient foam, spring-down available
Upholstery Materials: Thousands to choose from, Highly durable and stain resistant
Seat and Back Support: Sinuous spring
Warranty: 5 Year


Sofas starting at $2400

The highest quality sofas are available starting at around $2400

Made in America using best of the best construction methods and materials that have the potential to last a lifetime, seriously!

HMD Rating: QQQ  $$$
Frame: Certified, kiln-dried hardwood with double-doweled joints, and screwed and glued corner blocks.
Cushion Materials: High resilient soy-based foam, many upgrade options to chose from.
Upholstery Materials: Unlimited of options to choose from, including leather, eco-friendly and indoor/outdoor and anything you want to pick and deliver to be included in the custom manufacturing process.
Seat and Back Support: Steel coils, 8 way hand tied seat decks
Warranty: Limited Lifetime, 1 year for graded in upholstery


Sofas for $3,500+

Best of the best custom sofas are available starting around $3,500

HMD Rating: QQQ  $$$$

Made in America and also manufactured in Europe for American buyers these sofas really should be classified as art.

Although they don’t improve on construction methods from the previous price point example they do up the ante on fine details like tufting, the addition of cords, exposed wood finishes finer upholstery materials.  Its the gorgeous hand-crafted details make these fine testaments to manufacturing excellence the showstoppers that they are.

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