Traditional indoor furniture has surrounded us for years. Almost all our homes have a sofa, chairs, dining/kitchen tables, and a bedroom set. Even though the appearance remains traditional, home furnishings have improved during our lifetime.

Sleeper sofas have been around for years, but they are significantly improved over their predecessors. Today sleeper sofas provide the same queen size sleeping surface as the originals, but the mattress is significantly improved. Instead of the lumpy, folded up mattress that was uncomfortable, technology allows for a mattress that supports the body much more like a bed than a cot. In addition, sitting on a sleeper sofa provides the same comfort as a traditional sofa. Another improvement is accessibility. Current sleeper sofas are easily manipulated but a single person – a significant improvement from the originals. Sleeper sections are available in traditional sofas and sectionals.

Reclining Sofas are now constructed with all the features of a recliner. This includes leg supports, rocking mechanisms, and the ability to recline an individual section. Reclining is activated by the traditional lever or a mechanical release. Special attention should be given to the seat cushions, as some reclining sofas contour the seat cushion to mimic a chair cushion.

Convenience is prominent with new furniture. Cup holders and storage space is integrated into some sofas and chairs. These are often concealed by trim and fabric, but easily swing open to reveal areas to store the remote control and magazines.

Protective coatings are applied to prevent stains, assist in cleaning, and reduce wear and aging of the fabric. These are applied at an additional cost, but they often extend the furniture’s warranty by years rather than months. These coatings may be a water or chemical base, but they are safe for people and pets. A furniture sales representative should provide literature stating the effectiveness, cost, and warranty period of the coating.

Mattresses have improved significantly over the last twenty years. While mattresses are still manufactured in the traditional sizes of twin, full, queen, and king, there are more options beyond size. First, a decision between a coil mattress and a foam mattress must be made. Both operate under the same principles of conforming to the body to properly support it, but different mechanisms are uses. A coil mattress uses a series of individual spring coils arranged side by side to conform to the body. Each coil supports the body in reaction to weight. A foam mattress utilizes one piece of foam that conforms to the body (when shopping, push down on a foam mattress with your hand – when lifting your hand your outline will remain for a moment). The best advice for a decision between the two primary styles is to lay on each and determine which is more comfortable, as they feel distinctly different. Pillow top mattresses are gaining popularity. This style uses an attached pillow on top of a coil mattress to provide additional softness to the mattress. This pillow increases the thickness of the mattress and may require different sheets than what you own. Again, sample a pillow top mattress to determine your preference.