If I could get a penny for every time I was dead scared of breaking a plastic chair at a friend’s house or party, I’d be filthy rich by now. It’s not only embarrassing to see couches collapsing under my weight in a room full of people but highly risky too.
For obvious reasons, I can’t go on coaxing my average-build friends and relatives to buy furniture exclusively made for a chubby one like me.
But what I can do is make sure the furnishings in my house are well-equipped to let me enjoy endless cups of coffee and conversations with my whole family, comfortably and safely.
To help me with my hunt for the right furniture, I have made a checklist of variables to factor into finalizing my purchase.
Since you and I are presumably on the same boat, I hope the following tips will help you find the right furnishings for your needs. Let’s get to it:
This one’s a given, isn’t it? Max weight capacity is the very first thing I personally look into when shopping for furniture I will spend a significant amount of time sitting on. The higher the weight-bearing capacity, the more comfortable and safer it is.
And since you won’t be the only one sitting on this couch, make a rough estimate of the total body weight of at least three people (assuming your couch can comfortably accommodate three people) to gauge the ideal max weight capacity you should be aiming for.
It’s no mystery that heavy and tall people like me need a bigger than usual couch or sleeper bed to feel at home. However, you can’t just buy the biggest sofa you see on the furniture catalog before considering the space in your house first. If it can’t fit through the door, what’s even the point?
Ideally, you should be looking for a couch with at least 23” seat depth for proper weight distribution.
The average seat height of most modern comfy couches is 18” but you should aim higher if you are really tall person, in order to maintain good seating posture. Another important measurement to factor into would be the back height.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the backrest, the better, especially for the bigger and fluffier tribe. The backrest height of most oversized couch hovers between 26 to 32 inches. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to make sure the stuffing material and fabric are the best quality you can afford.
Also, if you find yourself waking up with back pain more often than not, choose a couch with a decent amount of lumbar support or separately purchase a few lumbar pillows to amp up the comfort level.
Subframe Frame/Upholstery Frame
The mark of a truly heavy-duty couch lies in the material used in the making of it. You will need something as rugged as kiln-dried hardwood steel or steel if for the frame the couch is destined to carry heavy loads.
A lot of manufacturers combine steel with wood to ramp up the weight-bearing capacity of the couch manifold.
If you love the look of wood, it would be ideal to pick a frame is made by pressing together at least 7 layers of wood. Do yourself a favor and avoid low-quality plywood, particleboard, or MDF (Medium-density fiberboard).
Quality of Joints
A great deal of attention needs to be paid to the joints when choosing a couch for overweight individuals. All sofas are crafted by joining pieces of wood or metal together. If the joints aren’t strong enough, it won’t be long before your ultimate nightmare comes true.
In general, sofas that are constructed by joining particle boards or plywood pieces with staples are of inferior quality. Furnishings made with Mortise and Tenon joint are arguably the strongest kind you will find.
To make this joint, a hole is drilled into one piece of wood to fit another piece of wood that’s precisely cut out to fit the hole.
Other joining methods like reinforced joinery, corner block reinforced joint, box joints, double dowel, and dovetail are also profusely used by top manufacturers to construct sturdy upholstery frames.
What you should strictly avoid, even if your budget is low, are couches made with the butt joinery method. It’s basically two pieces of plywood or any other inferior engineered wood held together only with the help of screws and glue, or both.
Furniture shopping isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to do with your free time. But you do need the right ones to live in peace. The struggle of finding suitable furnishings is real because the industry mostly caters to people of average build.
There are very few brands that manufacturer heavy-duty furniture for larger people at a reasonable price. The only alternative is to custom design your furniture which, albeit longer-lasting, can cost you a fortune.
Readymade furnishings are convenient, relatively cheaper, and when you find the one that fits the bill perfectly, it will make your life noticeably better. I sincerely hope this guide leads you closer to the plush, cozy couch and comfy office chair you’ve been dreaming of sitting on for so long. Good luck with your purchase.