Upholstered furniture: classification, selection and production

  1. Features, advantages and disadvantages
  2. Classification
  3. Transformation mechanisms
  4. Colors
  5. Style solutions
  6. Manufacturers rating
  7. Selection Tips
  8. How to do it yourself?
  9. Beautiful examples in the interior

There is upholstered furniture in every home. In modern furniture stores, many high-quality and useful items are sold that perform many functions. Consumers have the opportunity to buy both simple stationary furniture structures, and their sophisticated varieties with folding mechanisms of different types. In today's article, we will find out what upholstered furniture is, how to choose it correctly and do it yourself.

Features, advantages and disadvantages

It is impossible to imagine a home in which there is absolutely no upholstered furniture. This is a whole category, which includes many models that differ in design, size, and functionality.

It will be possible to find on sale the optimal design for an interior designed in any stylistic direction and color scheme.

Before proceeding to a detailed examination of the characteristics of different products, it is worth considering what their positive and negative qualities are hidden in. Of course, both those and others largely depend on the specific modification of upholstered furniture and its production parameters. However, the pros and cons can be considered in relation to the general properties of such pieces of furniture.

Let's take a look at the benefits first.

  • Upholstered furniture is an irreplaceable thing in rest. If the household wants to escape from unnecessary problems and worries, you can just lie down and relax on a sofa or sofa.
  • Correctly selected upholstered furniture can become a spectacular decoration and complement to the existing interior.
  • Today, upholstered furniture can be selected for rooms of any size. If the room is small and there is not a lot of free space in it, you can install transformable furniture here. When folded, it has compact dimensions, and the unfolded structures turn out to be more functional, roomy and comfortable.
  • It is impossible not to mention the versatility of upholstered furniture. It organically fits not only into home interiors. It is used in cafes, restaurants, offices, and any public institutions.
  • Different models of upholstered furniture, for example, corner sofas, can act as dividers for the available space. Many people who have similar products at home use them as a zoning item. Such solutions are more often than usual resorted to when decorating studio apartments where there are no partitions.
  • Nowadays, the assortment of produced upholstered furniture is simply huge. Buyers have a lot to choose from. You can purchase not only a very expensive model, but also a budget design.
  • Modern manufacturers produce furniture designs from a wide variety of materials. If you are pursuing the goal of buying an environmentally friendly design, you are in luck - you can find many copies made from natural wood or metal on sale.

Modern upholstered furniture has a lot of positive characteristics, but not without its drawbacks. Let's get to know them too.

  • There are many products on sale with a brand of upholstery, on which dirt easily remains. Often, the latter are removed with great difficulty.
  • Soft pieces of furniture can be deformed.
  • Seams often come apart.
  • High quality products made from natural solid wood are very expensive.


Upholstered furniture is classified according to many criteria. Let's take a closer look at each of them.


By their direct appearance, soft furniture designs are divided into several subspecies. First of all, these products should be distinguished by the presence of a frame and a general device.

  • Frameless. Popular and fashionable furniture that does not have a frame in its design. This category includes a bean bag (or pear) chair. There is a filler on the inside and a zipper can often be seen on the outside.
  • Modular. No less popular type of upholstered furniture. It differs in that it consists of several separate parts (modules) that can be installed in the order the owners choose.

Such a design can be divided into several separate modules and placed in different rooms - there are a lot of solutions.

  • Sofas. The most common pieces of upholstered furniture. There are double, triple and larger roomy options. By design, sofas are divided into straight and corner pieces. The latter are L-shaped and U-shaped. L-shaped ones are compact in size and are often installed in small rooms, but U-shaped options are designed for very large rooms, since they themselves have impressive dimensions.

Often, corner-type models are equipped with additional elements: shelves, a bar with chrome supports, small countertops and even a music center.

  • Armchairs. The second most popular variety after sofas. Multifunctional models of chairs equipped with a folding mechanism are especially in demand today. Thus, the compact product can turn into an extra bed for one person. Like sofas, these things are made from different materials and have different dimensions.
  • Ottoman. This is a wide variety of sofa without a backrest or with cushions instead. Rarely are models equipped with a pair of armrests. Today, there are also such models in stores in which the back is still present and often has a wavy structure. Instances of the "euro" class are produced, which are supplied with an additional berth, which opens thanks to a folding or sliding mechanism.
  • Sofa. This is one of the types of sofas equipped with large seat widths. This piece of upholstered furniture can be both angular and straight, as is the case with classic sofas. Supplied with a backrest of different shapes. Often equipped with additional mechanisms. When unfolded, it resembles an ottoman or bed.


Different upholstered furniture is designed for different conditions and purposes. Let's consider where and why it is best to place different models of such furniture structures.

  • For the living room, you can choose upholstered furniture not in a single copy, but in the form of a whole set, consisting of a sofa and armchairs. The material of the upholstery can be practically any - in the hall, the products will not be negatively affected from the outside, as, for example, in the kitchen. Here you can put light products.

The main thing is that they match the style and colors of the surrounding interior.

  • An additional armchair, small sofa or sofa are often placed in the bedroom. These products can be supplemented with a fold-out sleeping bed.

It is not recommended to put unnecessarily massive structures with wide armrests here if the room already has a full bed and there is no extra free space.

  • It is recommended to select upholstered furniture made of unpretentious materials on the balcony that will not absorb street aromas. It is advisable to give preference to small but cozy structures.
  • For the hallway and corridor, it is best to buy an ottoman or sofa. It is desirable that the products have non-marking upholstery. Otherwise, the upholstery materials in these places will quickly get dirty, and they will have to be constantly cleaned.
  • For the terrace, stylish wicker furniture or products with wooden frame structures, for example, armrests, are most often selected.

It is not recommended to give preference to overly soiled upholstery materials - choose practical items.

  • For the kitchen, you need to select only wear-resistant furniture structures made of materials that are not afraid of the negative effects of high humidity and temperature jumps. Furniture upholstery should be non-brand, wear-resistant. Ideal for leather, leatherette or woven fabrics, which are easy to clean in case of contamination.


Upholstered furniture is also divided according to functional equipment.

  • Folding or sliding models of an armchair, sofa, ottoman or sofa with an orthopedic mattress are ideal for organizing an extra bed.
  • Furniture items equipped with storage systems made in the form of drawers are very popular. They can store many useful things, for example, seasonal shoes, bedding and even groceries (a useful function if you plan to put furniture in the kitchen).
  • Popular designs with built-in countertops, music centers, bars, safes and other multifunctional components.

Such furniture will be especially relevant if you put it in the living room, where household members gather for rest and relaxation. True, products with the listed equipment are often very expensive.

Execution type

Upholstered furniture may differ in the type of performance. There are a variety of options on sale.

  • With wooden or padded armrests. Models with soft sides are safer (especially if small children live at home), but it will not be possible to put a cup of tea or coffee on their surface. Wooden armrests are more stable and you can put something on them. But they are tough - you can accidentally hit them.
  • Without armrests. There are also such models. They look light and compact, but they are not always convenient to use. If we are talking about a sofa, it will be much more comfortable to lie on if it has at least one side piece.
  • With or without backrest. More often, upholstered furniture comes with a back, but there are also models in which pillows are provided instead.
  • Floor standing and with legs. Upholstered furniture can be equipped with support parts, or it can be sold without them. Legs of armchairs, sofas and other models are often made of metal and wood.
  • Straight and angular. Thus, not only a sofa, but also an ottoman or sofa can be made. Corner specimens always have more compact dimensions.

Manufacturing materials

The frame of upholstered furniture can be made of different materials.

  • Solid wood. The highest quality and most environmentally friendly base. It emits a pleasant aroma, lasts a long time, practical and durable.

True, natural wood must be treated with antiseptics so that it does not dry out and rot. Processing is carried out periodically.

  • Chipboard. Cheap material from which economy class furniture is made. Not designed for very heavy loads.

It is necessary to choose designs from laminated chipboard of class E-1 or E-0 - these are options, in which there is almost no formaldehyde. The latter are abundantly contained in chipboard of other classes.

  • Metal. The most reliable and durable designs. Metal is not afraid of high temperatures, humidity, or serious stress. He is also not afraid of mechanical damage. But products on a metal frame are heavy.

Such materials are used for filling.

  • Polyurethane foam (PPU). It can be block or in the "sandwich" modification. Polyurethane is a good filler that is comfortable and durable.
  • Foam rubber. A cheap filler that crumbles quickly. Furniture with a similar content belongs to the budget class.
  • Latex. Cellular material with a million micropores. Ideal for allergy sufferers. More often, such a filler is installed in sofa cushions.
  • Sintepon. Also a cheap filler. It does not cause allergies, although it is artificial.
  • Holofiber. New generation synthetic furniture softener. Has a soft and breathable structure.
  • Synthepukh. An alternative to natural down. It is a highly crimped 100% silicone treated polyester fiber. Even wet, padding polyester keeps you warm.

For upholstery, the following materials are often used.

  • Jacquard. A fabric composed of synthetic and cotton fibers. Dense, keeps its shape. Unpretentious care.
  • Velours. Velor upholstery is common. The fleecy material is both dense and loose. It is subject to abrasion and gets dirty easily.
  • Flock. A fleecy subspecies of velor. Durable, water resistant, dirt repellent and easy to clean.
  • Velveteen. Beautiful but demanding fabric. Dirt is difficult to remove, the material does not tolerate rough handling.
  • Leather. Practical, durable and chic looking material. It is not afraid of water or dirt, but it is expensive.
  • Leatherette. It will be cheaper and may look like real leather. However, it can scuff and crack over time.

Dimensions (edit)

Let's consider what sizes of furniture are suitable for different environments.

  • For a small room, it is worth buying upholstered furniture of modest dimensions. For cramped conditions, mini products are suitable.
  • Large furniture will find its place in the same large rooms. It should not block the passage and access to other objects.
  • Medium sized constructions are suitable for many spaces. The main thing is to take into account the location of the remaining furniture units and take all the necessary measurements before going to the store. However, even such products are not always suitable for too small rooms.

Shapes and design

Furniture of the following forms is popular:

  • straight and angular;
  • rounded;
  • with wavy lines;
  • with rounded details (armrests);
  • with clear geometric shapes (angular).

Design design can be very different. The main thing is that the product harmoniously fits into the interior and matches the style and colors that are provided for in it.

Transformation mechanisms

Upholstered furniture is equipped with such transformation mechanisms as:

  • Puma;
  • "accordion";
  • "Click-gag";
  • "book";
  • "French clamshell";
  • "telescope";
  • "pantograph";
  • "Eurobook";
  • "Dolphin".

Each system works differently. Some of the most popular mechanisms are "click-gag", "book" and "eurobook".


Upholstered furniture is made in different colors. The most popular products are in these colors:

  • green;
  • black;
  • burgundy;
  • Red;
  • blue;
  • Gray;
  • purple;
  • terracotta;
  • white or beige;
  • cream;
  • Brown.

    Light furniture looks better in small rooms. It should not be placed against the background of an identical color finish, otherwise everything will merge. For example, gray furniture should not be matched with gray wallpaper. The colors must differ by at least a couple of tones.

    It is better to put bright and multi-colored models in rooms with a neutral light finish so that the atmosphere does not turn out to be oversaturated.

    Style solutions

    Upholstered furniture can be made in different styles.

    • Minimalism. The coloring of the furniture should be discreet. Concise and practical models without unnecessary decor and patterns are preferred.
    • High tech. A contemporary style that allows for products with metal, plastic, wood and glass elements. The best upholstery is leather or leatherette. Strict and clear forms are preferred.
    • Provence. Upholstered furniture in a light and romantic design is suitable. Natural materials of pastel shades are desirable. Beautifully shaped backs and sides are welcome.
    • Loft. Practical pieces with upholstery in soothing, neutral tones will do. Black, gray and brown shades look best.
    • Modern. Here there will be a place for products of unusual spectacular shapes with asymmetry.
    • Baroque. Upholstered furniture should be made of expensive quality materials. A pompous, luxurious look is welcome. Upholstery materials such as tapestry or jacquard are suitable.
    • Scandinavian style. Products in cool shades will look good in a Scandinavian interior.Materials must be natural and of high quality (preferably wood).

    Manufacturers rating

    Let's analyze a small rating of the best manufacturers of upholstered furniture.

    • Quite good upholstered furniture is made by factories in China. The following brands are popular: Ashley, Carvelli, DFDM, Keoma, JPL. Chinese brands produce not only cheap but also very expensive and elite products.
    • Nice furniture is made in Russia. The assortment includes both fashionable and simple products of various prices. The following manufacturers are relevant in the Russian Federation: Continent, Dial, Rivalli, Forest Manufactories, Baggsan.
    • The production of high-quality upholstered furniture is established in the USA. American brands Chaddock, Christofer Cuy, ELK group and other well-known brands produce very beautiful and reliable furniture of various styles and colors.
    • Practical furniture of a discreet but attractive design is produced by manufacturers from Poland. The most popular are the following Polish brands: Etap Sofa, Wajner, BRW Sofa, Vero, Unimebel.
    • Finnish manufacturers produce environmentally friendly and reliable furniture. The following brands are recognized as some of the most popular: Violante, Hypnos, Brunstad, Kiteen, Wermo.
    • German upholstered furniture is distinguished by high practicality and restrained design. Let's list the popular manufacturers: Bruhl, Zeitraum Mebel, Freifrau, Toto, Keramag.
    • Turkish brands regularly supply the market with interesting and high-quality novelties of upholstered furniture of both budget and middle class. The most popular are Bellona brand products.
    • Upholstered cabinet furniture from Europe is famous for its first-class quality and chic design. So, the best premium models are produced by Italy. It is worth highlighting the following famous factories: AGM, ALF, Alpa Salotti, Aerre Italia, Alberta, Alchymia.

    Selection Tips

    Let's take a look at a few recommendations for choosing good upholstered furniture for a house or apartment.

    • Buy products made from quality, sustainable materials. The best structures are made of wood. A metal model is also suitable - it will last as long as possible.
    • Consider product design - color and style. Furniture should harmoniously fit into the interior. For example, in a high-tech style, there is no place for an armchair or sofa in a Provencal style with natural prints.
    • Choose practical, cozy upholstery and durable filling that won't sit out quickly.
    • Inspect the product before purchasing for damage and discoloration - there should be no damage.
    • It is better to choose upholstered furniture from well-known manufacturers. Large factories produce the best products that receive mostly positive reviews.

    How to do it yourself?

    The assembly of the structures under consideration is carried out in different ways. Consider the stages of making upholstered furniture with your own hands using the example of an armchair.

    • First, you need to draw up a detailed drawing and diagram of the future product.
    • First, prepare the back, sides and bottom of plywood.
    • Then these parts are connected with self-tapping screws.
    • If you plan to assemble a folding mechanism, it must be made of two frames, consisting of bars. They are attached to a plywood sheet.
    • Install the metal transformer mechanism. On the sides, fasten the steel contours with through loops.
    • Next, the filler is glued (for example, foam rubber) and the upholstery of the chair is arranged.

    For information on how to make a chair on a metal frame with your own hands, see the next video.

    Beautiful examples in the interior

    A stylish cream corner sofa with a built-in shelf will look great against a background of taupe wallpaper and brown laminate flooring.

    The original furnishings will turn out if the green straight sofa is placed in a room designed in white colors.

    A pink, voluminous and high ottoman will look harmonious in an interior with white or beige walls and light brown laminate flooring. One of the walls can be finished with imitation brickwork.

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