When buying upholstered furniture, knowledge about the product is important. At Saybrook Country Barn, we feel that the more you know about what you’re buying, the easier your decision will be. We’ve compiled the following information to show you what to look for when buying upholstered furniture.

Sofa Frame Construction

Hardwood Frame. Solid furniture starts with a solid frame. Look for pieces made from kiln-dried hardwoods such as maple or oak, which won’t warp or twist. Many less expensive lines of furniture are made with less expensive (and less durable) woods such as poplar and birch. Some even use laminated plywood.

Also look for frames made with thicker wood stock: thicker wood makes a stronger frame. Most of our frames start with 5/4″ wood; some use 6/4″ wood. Since wood shrinks as it dries, causing cracks and splits, using thoroughly dry wood also makes a difference. Wood dried in a kiln before being used in framing will have minimal shrinkage over time.

Dowels. Of the many ways to join two pieces of wood, doweling and gluing is the most durable. Look for pieces that are double-doweled at all major joints. A single dowel will not provide sufficient strength, nor will gluing alone. Doweling and gluing will inhibit the joints from loosening and pulling apart.

Corner Blocks. Most upholsterers use blocks at the corners to reinforce the frame. Fine furniture will have corner blocks that are both glued and screwed into place. Beware of plywood corner blocks and those that are only stapled in place. They can pull away from the frame.

In additional to being doweled and glued, arms and wings on chairs and sofas also require additional stability; ours are secured with angled iron braces to keep the furniture from getting the “wiggles”.

Legs. Look for legs that are part of the frame itself. Legs that are attached after a chair is constructed don’t have the strength of legs that are built in.

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Along with the frame, the spring construction creates the foundation for comfortable, durable seating. Key points to consider: What the springs are made of, how they are supported under the seat and how they are secured to the frame.

Steel for strength. The base of the frame is criss-crossed with heavy-duty webbing which is reinforced with steel bands. Double cone coils made of high-carbon steel are then fastened to the webbing – 9 to 12 coils under each seat cushion.

All this results in coils that absorb weight and bounce back every time, providing what is known in the furniture industry as a “comfortable ride”. Inferior furniture will have as few as 5-6 coils per cushion, if they even use coils.

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8-Way Hand-Tied Springs.

Each coil is tied and knotted – by hand – in eight different directions to other springs and to the frame with strong twine. Some upholsterers will wrap the twine around a series of springs (often in only four directions) without ever knotting it…which means if one spring comes untied, the whole series of springs comes untied.

Quality sofas and chairs will have spring-loaded fronts (where space permits), allowing the furniture to flex when sat on, reducing the stress on the fabric stretched over the front edge. Where space is limited, a highgrade poly-foam pad is placed over the front of the frame for maxi-mum comfort.


SuperStrength PolyDacron Cushions. Seat cushions begin with high-density pure polyurethane foam, which holds its shape better than other cushioning materials. The polyurethane foam is wrapped in Dacron wrapping for extra cushioning and then inserted in a muslin bag to maintain its shape. The combination of these high-quality materials makes for seat cushions that offer both support and comfort for years and years. Foam of lesser quality begins to deteriorate quickly, losing its shape and comfort. For those who want a softer, luxurious feel, feather down cushions are also available.


There are as many fabrics as there are customers. Each manufacturer offers hundreds of fabric choices, from durable Sunbrella to fashion forward designer inspired patterns. Our professional staff will be able to help you find fabrics you love that will suit your life style. New and improved fabric protection programs – far superior to Scotchgard – are available to protect your investment against staining.

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Sleep Sofas

You can’t have an amazing sleeper with an average mattress.

Our sleepers feature a patented sleep system with no bars and no springs. With 14 great styles, 7 sizes, from cot to king (including sectionals).

Every Comfort Sleeper comes standard with our Premier mattress, made with luxurious high-density foam and covered with ultra-soft Crypton® fabric that’s waterproof, stain proof, anti-microbial and allergen-free. All Comfort sleeper’s come with an appropriate length mattress, just like you’d find in your bedroom. Use your same sheets, No feet sticking off the edge!

• No bars, no springs, no compromise.
• 10 year mechanism guarantee.
• Available in hundreds of fabrics and leathers.
• Made-to-order in America.
• In your home in about 30 days.


The dealer’s reputation is as important as the furniture’s. Be sure to look for experience and uncompromising customer service. At Saybrook Country Barn we offer over 35 years of experience and top upholstered furniture from reputable companies who have a history of quality workmanship and commitment to customer satisfaction.

We hope this will aid you in your search for beautiful, well-made upholstered furniture. At Saybrook Country Barn we only sell quality products.

Call one of our Design Consultants today for more information: 860-388-0891