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Furniture Secrets- What's Inside The Box? 

Design Time on WMEN TV5

July 2020

TV5 Design Time WNEM

The Inside Story

Design in a room is very important….but just as important is the quality of the pieces that you use in your room! Today on TV5 we talked about what is in your box?

  • What is in your box seat? Foam? or Air? What is in your back cushion? Dacron that may crush down, feathers that you sink into, foam or maybe you don't even know? These are questions you should ask when making a new investment in furniture. 


If you wonder why your family breaks down the furniture so quickly, knowing what is inside the box is very important. One of the main pieces that we will look at is the support system of the Sofa! You are only able to see about 20% of the sofa as the other 80% is hidden inside the fabric! Yes, we want it to look good, but the inside is very important as it is the reason something will give many years of comfortable use, or live a short life of problems!


There are two basic kinds of support systems. The most common springs today are called sag-free. They are springs which are made of tempered steel and run from the front of the frame to the back.

Sag Free Spring System in Furniture

These springs hook into the wood frame with clips.

As you sit on the spring, the cushion goes down, and then comes back up when you get up. The sag-free springs are made of heavy gauge steel. Springs are usually placed 4”-5” apart for uniform comfort and sometimes are doubled up on each end to withstand the wear and tear that comes from everyday use. At least this is how American companies who use Sag-Free wires build it. Imported sofas normally cut corners, less spings, less support, less money, less quality. 

Coil spring construction has been used for a very long time. It was the way Sofa springs were constructed in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s…. but since the onset of imports, manufacturers have looked for ways to lower their costs of production to be more competitive. The coil springs are similar to the round coils found in mattresses. They have heavy gauge border wires which are then hooked to the wood framing of the sofa. The coils are always pushing up, so when you sit on it, it usually has a firmer feel.

Coil Spring System in Furniture

Coil springs do not weaken like sag-free springs because of the cylindrical design, hence sofas last many more years with great support!

One thing to remember is that you sit “on” a coil spring sofa which allows you to get up easier. You sit “in” a sag-free sofa because the coils go down into the frame area.

Along with the springs, the wood framing and the foams need to be quality as well. It is how the springs work with the foams that allow the construction to hold up and give comfortable seating.

We will talk about other components another time but knowing your support system allows you to make better purchases. If you have other questions about construction, feel free to stop in and we will be happy to help you!



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