The sofa is the centrepiece for your whole living space. This hardworking furniture piece sees a lot of use, with the best examples combining style, comfort and durability.

Better quality sofas have a hardwood frame (ideally with a guarantee). If you invest in this, you can endlessly update the look of your sofa knowing that it’s a solid piece inside.

Cushion fillings are a matter of taste, so you need to consider whether you like a softer or more supportive experience. Feather and down cushions are the most expensive, with foam and fibre at the budget end. Some sofas have a mix of materials depending on the type of cushion.

Velvet upholstery has been on-trend for a while; this luxe fabric is popular for providing a soft tactile surface and some visual allure too.

Specialist sofa-makers have a wider choice of fabrics (like linen, wool, tweed and leather) that you can use to customise a piece to your taste.

High street stores usually have less choice but can be made and delivered more quickly.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. dahlia 2-seater sofa: £1590,

If you like some extra back support, this traditional-style sofa has two removable lumbar cushions that you can position as you like. These, and the main seat cushions, are filled with feather and down for a premium feel. It comes in three sizes (as well as an armchair option) ubt we like the 2-seater, and a huge choice of fabrics from leather and linen to tweed and velvet too. This is a great option if you are looking to customise – there’s lots of bright colours and patterns to choose.

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Habitat juno 2-seater sofa: £595, Habitat

The space-saving sofa from Habitat has a cool contemporary look. With no arms, it can fit into more compact living rooms, taking up just a small amount of space. Comfort hasn’t been compromised with this piece, the plump seat and back cushions are filled with a mix of foam and fibre. It’s upholstered in acor, a type of polyester made to resemble linen, with a choice of four colours. You can upgrade to a choice of two velvet options for an extra £400.

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John Lewis & Partners cape 3-seater sofa: From £919, John Lewis & Partners

The back of this sofa curves gently into the arms, giving it a stylish modern look. We prefer opting for a block colour rather than pattern, but there’s a good choice of patterned and textured upholstery fabrics too, handily grouped into five price bands. Inside, there’s a hardwood frame that’s guaranteed for 15 years, giving you peace of mind. The seat and back cushions are foam and fibre filled, making this sofa comfortable yet supportive.

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Arlo & Jacob johnston small sofa: From £1,000, Arlo & Jacob

The johnston sofa from Arlo & Jacob has a design that’s somewhere between modern and traditional, with slim rolled arms and angled wood legs. Unlike the popular mid-century style of sofa, it has a higher back and is a good choice if you want a sofa that can provide support. The fabric choice includes some artier patterns and motifs that would make a unique statement in the living room. It comes in four sizes and there’s a choice of four wood types for the legs.

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Heal’s mistral 3-seater sofa: £1,529, Heal's

The mistral sofas has a relaxed profile (typical of 1950's style), with a seat that’s low to the ground. It looks most handsome in the wide 3-seater version, which has a continuous foam seat cushion that emphasises its sleek look. An unusual feature are the two bolster cushions that support the angled back-cushions, and give this sofa some interest from the side too. It has a birch wood frame and legs, available in a natural or striking black finish. You can choose from 40 of Heal’s upholstery fabrics.

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Argos Home hector 3-seater velvet sofa: £599.99, Argos

If you love the velvet trend but find it beyond your budget, the hector sofa could be a good answer. It’s made in polyester cut to have the same pile and sheen as the more luxurious fabric, and comes in four colours including a striking green. The wood feet, piped edges and bolster cushions at the edges also speak of a sofa grander than the price would suggest. The fibre-wrapped foam seat cushions are comfortable, and the frame has a 2-year guarantee.

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Next gosford buttoned 3-seater sofa: £1,375, Next

Next’s buttoned sofa belongs to the Chesterfield tradition and instantly gives your room a classy member’s club feel. While this stiff style may not be comfortable for all, the foam seat cushions have been topped with a soft layer to meet modern tastes in comfort. It comes in four sizes, over 50 fabrics including leather, velour and velvet. There’s also a choice of turned legs or brass castors to complete your chosen version.

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Loaf easy squeeze sofa: £1,195, Loaf

This relaxed-looking sofa is supremely comfortable. The oversized seat cushions are feather-wrapped foam which feels great to sink into, and the feather-filled back is similarly luxurious. Loaf’s sofas are made in the UK and have hardwood frames that come with a 10-year guarantee. You get just a glimpse of the weathered oak legs under the sofa’s large volume, increasing the sense that this piece is made for lounging. It comes in five sizes and a huge range of 148 fabrics.

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Barker and Stonehouse harrington large sofa: £1,099, Barker and Stonehouse

This large and deep sofa is one the whole family can gather on. It has a strong timber frame (guaranteed for five years along with the springs and webbing), and soft feather-filled back cushions. This version is in trendy teal velvet, but there are 18 in total to choose from. The seat cushions are filled with a mix of foam and fibre. Two pairs of bolster cushions and scatter cushions (included) help you get even more comfortable.

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The verdict: Sofas

With a high back and soft feather-filled cushions, the Dahlia sofa has a good balance of support and comfort. It has an elegant traditional shape but would fit a range of spaces. The wide choice of fabrics offers further scope for customising to your taste.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.