Your designer sofa is more than just a piece of furniture to curl up in front of the telly or with a good book. It’s a centrepiece you’ve chosen to anchor your living room, so you’ll want to keep it looking perfect for as long as possible.

Find out how to do that with our tips on how to look after a velvet, fabric and leather sofa.

Tips for basic sofa care

The material used to upholster your designer sofa requires specific care, which we’ll look at below. Even if you follow these tips once a week, you should arrange for professional cleaning a few times a year.

Using a soft duster and a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, give your sofa a light cleaning at least once a week. This will get rid of most of the dirt and dust and will keep your sofa looking and smelling fresh.

Orla Kiely Ivy sofa

Fluff the cushions and turn them over, if possible. If your sofa cushions are single-sided, fluff them but don’t rotate them. If you’re concerned about dust and dirt getting onto your sofa, use beautiful scatter cushions, throws or blankets to keep the sofa’s back covers and arms spic and span.

Last but not least, don’t allow your pets on your designer sofa. This is one of the most important care tips for velvet sofas in particular, but it applies to other types of sofas. As well as leaving fur and dirt behind, their claws could damage the upholstery. If you do want your pets to be allowed on the sofa, consider having a dedicated blanket that you use to cover your sofa to protect it.

Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with the basic care tips, let’s delve into upholstery-specific sofa care advice.

Drew Pritchard Atherton Sofa

How to care for a velvet sofa

One of the most important tips when it comes to how to care for a velvet sofa is to avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as sunlight will cause excessive fading of your sofa’s glorious colours. Vacuum the sofa using an upholstery attachment and brush gently with an upholstery brush daily, if possible.

If anything is spilled on your sofa, use a paper towel to soak up as much of the spill as possible, before treating the stain with a velvet dry-cleaning product. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and to try a spot test in an unnoticeable area before treating the stain itself. Alternatively, call in professional sofa cleaners.

How to care for a fabric sofa

If you have a fabric designer sofa, such as the Eichholtz York Large Sofa In Fabric, following the basic care tips above should be enough to keep it in fantastic condition. Looking after a fabric sofa is similar to velvet sofa care and as with velvet, you’ll want to avoid placing your sofa in direct sunlight.

Eichholtz York sofa

If something spills on your sofa, soak up as much of the spill as possible using a paper towel. Mix a little dish soap with cold water and, using a clean white cloth, gently dab the resulting foam on the stained area. Use a different clean cloth to gently dab cold water on the area before leaving it to dry.

Eichholtz boucle fabric Sofa

How to care for a leather sofa

Leather sofas are a popular choice due to their modern and versatile feel. As with velvet and fabric options, one of the most important tips on how to care for a leather sofa is not to place it in direct sunlight, as sunlight will cause it to fade and to dry out.

Other leather sofa care tips include dusting regularly with a soft cloth and in the event of any spillages, using a mild soaping agent to clean the leather before rinsing with cold water and wiping with a dry cloth.

If your sofa is made from waxed, semi or full aniline leather, we’d recommend applying a protection cream prior to using your sofa to increase its resistance to stains and durability. This is particularly important as these leathers are more sensitive to spills and oily substances.

Please see our care guides for additional information on how to care for your designer sofa. At Fishpools, we also offer our Guardsman Policy for your peace of mind which will cover you against accidental damage to your fabric and leather upholstery.