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bagelhead
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Post by bagelhead »

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Last edited by bagelhead on Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rob
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by rob »

Black leather
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niceguy7376
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by niceguy7376 »

Black leather at a price point that you can afford to replace in 4 to 5 years. They will take a beating and hence you will need to replace them.
Mike Scott
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by Mike Scott »

A cheap set with earthtones and mixed color patterns that can be thrown out after the kids are a bit older. A fabric pattern that starts out with muddy foot prints, smeared chocolates and random blood spots is a good starting point. A bit of stale urine and wet dog smell is optional because that will happen naturally if you have young kids and pets. ;)
Rupert
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by Rupert »

Leather or microfiber fabric. The leather might survive your kids. Anything else you can expect to throw out when your kids are house-trained.
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bottlecap
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by bottlecap »

Leather works well. We got ours from Costco and are pretty happy with it.

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BL
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by BL »

A good used sofa with mixed colors might work. Be prepared to discard after a few years if kids and their friends use them regularly. The stitching could go on leather, but maybe that is on leather/not leather combos. Good leather and well made can take a lot of beating.
sls239
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by sls239 »

Our light colored sofa is doing just fine.

There was one incident where DS poked a hole in a cushion to "see what was inside." We flipped that cushion over, NBD.

Regular cleaning has managed to get everything else out. But we don't allow food in the living room - a good rule for us adults too.
nordlead
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by nordlead »

what you can get for free :D

Actually, I have one of these https://www.sumolounge.com/sumosac-gigantor.php?re=na in my family room (along with two small couches) and my kids (and their friends) love it. It is the only furniture I let them jump on, and you can take the cover off and throw it in the washing machine. I've had it for almost 5 years now.

Once the kids get older I want to buy a nice couch and I'll throw that in the basement for their play room and they can use it for the TV down there.
bkslainte
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by bkslainte »

Make sure the pillows are sturdy enough for building forts.
kayo
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by kayo »

bagelhead wrote:Hi,

I've gotten different advice regarding what type of sofa to get for a family with young children, who will spill liquid/foods, jump on and throw around the cushions, etc.

Some people have said not to get a light color. Other people have recommended leather. Sectional corner sofa's vs. multiple separate pieces.

Any Boglehead thoughts? Thanks!
Firstly, a "disposable" one that you don't mind replacing after 10 years.

Secondly, it helps to have symmetric/interchangeable cushions. It's nice to be able to be able to flip over and/or interchange cushions after your child has taken a Sharpie to one of them.

Thirdly, we decided we were happiest with a sofa that has legs, such as seen at http://www.sofalegwarehouse.com/ Our previous sofa had very little clearance between its bottom and the floor. When we would move the sofa away from the wall to retrieve something (or deploy the fold out bed) we always found heaps of dirty marbles and dirty pencils and dirty Legos and dog hair -- bleh!

Depending on your personality, maybe it's better to have a sofa like this per the "out of sight, out of mind" principle. In our case we decided being able to see under the sofa would help us prevent stuff from accumulating under it.

Happy hunting.
sesq
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by sesq »

We are big on microfiber in earth tones.

We also have a cheap (sacrificial) kitchen table from target that we intend to swap out in a few years when my kids are less abusive.
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czeckers
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by czeckers »

When we got married, we splurged and bought a high quality leather sofa and two chairs in black. Now, 14 years and 7 children later, we still use them as our primary living room furniture. They've been jumped on, spilled on, scribbled on, peed on, had food burried in the crevices, etc and look as good as on the day we bought them. The only damage is on the lower portions where the cats used it as a scratching post for a while. They seem to hold up well to the various cleaning solvents we've used to get marker and pen off of them too.

Due to this experience, we went with leather seats when we bought our full size van last year. 17,000 miles, they still look great too.

-K


edited to fix spelling
Last edited by czeckers on Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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czeckers
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by czeckers »

Separate but related topic of tables: We got a dining room table from IKEA that looks like it's an MDF core with a laminate top. The laminate has so far proven to be indestructible with respect to the children. It has resisted being scratched/dented/scraped. Wipes off easily. Even sharpie comes off Goo-gone. Can't say the same for our wood table.

-K
The Espresso portfolio: | | 20% US TSM, 20% Small Value, 10% US REIT, 10% Dev Int'l, 10% EM, 10% Commodities, 20% Inter-term US Treas | | "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
mw1739
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by mw1739 »

I too struggle with this with a toddler and 3 dogs. I would agree with the earlier recommendation of earth tone microfiber. It's worked out pretty well for us on a couple couches.

Also, against my wishes/desires, my wife purchased protection plans for our 2 couches and 2 living room chairs. If we can't get a stain out easily, we call up the warranty company and they send somebody out in a couple days. We've used it a few times so far on tough stains and I've been begrudgingly pleased. One of our dogs tends to sit on top of the seat back, causing the cushion to be permanently crushed, and the warranty company even offered to replace it last time they were out for a stain.
arthurb999
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by arthurb999 »

Brown microfiber that you can take a steam cleaner to.
jlawrence01
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by jlawrence01 »

As Grandma used to say, one with plastic slipcovers.

Seriously, coming from a family with five children, we changed out sofas in the family room every 4-5 years. My parents would generally either buy a sofa second hand or inherit one from a family member. The quality of the sofa really did not matter as they managed to get torn up over time. However, the wood framed stuff with the large pillows that was prevalent in the later 1980s seemed to hold up the longest.

We were not permitted to sit on the living room sofa as it was designated for guests only.
Last edited by jlawrence01 on Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rkhusky
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by rkhusky »

bkslainte wrote:Make sure the pillows are sturdy enough for building forts.
+1

And sturdy enough to be used as a trampoline.
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hand
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by hand »

You also may want to consider where you get the sofa and how much you pay for the sofa.

If you're not in a rush, my experience is that while large furniture may be expensive at retail, it is often hugely discounted on the secondary markets (Craigslist etc.)
If you can get a couch in good condition that works with your decor for $250, do you really care whether it is the most childproof / pet-proof?
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mojave
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by mojave »

Granted this was the 90s but we had a denim fabric couch that I think worked well.
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windaar
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by windaar »

The IKEA Black leather couches are well-built with thick leather and reasonably-priced. Some have unattachable cushions - great for keeping them from being kicked-off all the time.
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Rodc
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by Rodc »

Cheap couch with cheap slip covers that can be machine washed and easily replaced.

Or dark leather.

And yes you want pillows and blankets for forts etc.

(at some point you need to train children to respect fine furniture and to behave in polite society, but there needs to be some allowance for fooling around, so some balance is good.)
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VictoriaF
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by VictoriaF »

bagelhead wrote:I've gotten different advice regarding what type of sofa to get for a family with young children, who will spill liquid/foods, jump on and throw around the cushions, etc.
...
Any Boglehead thoughts?
Instead of selecting a sofa to match your children, select children to match your sofa.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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epilnk
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by epilnk »

I'm very surprised by the answers here. I have two extremely active boys, and our house tends to be the neighborhood hangout. (There are 4 adolescent boys in the room with me as I type this.) The kids are all over the furniture and they are allowed to run wild, within limits. We also have cats.

In the living room we have a good quality, mission-style sofa plus loveseat with brown tweed cushions. Heavy wood arms are not the most child-friendly choice (younger boy has the stitches to prove it) but we bought them in 1998 before we had kids. These sofas still look good, and we have no plans to replace them. There is a little cat claw damage that fortunately is not visible the way the room is arranged.

In the family room we have the comfy sofa in a dark eggplant fabric - your basic lower midrange Macy's sofa, chosen more for sturdiness and padding than elegance. It still looks fine but the cushions have taken quite a beating over the years, especially the removable back cushions. This is the sofa that got jumped on and it is the one whose cushions have spent the most time on the floor, although both sofas contributed plenty to fort construction. This sofa has seen 10 years of hard wear and will probably be replaced next year. We like Ikea for many things but their sofas wouldn't last half this amount of time, not with my kids.

There are pros and cons to leather vs fabrics, natural vs synthetics, and dark colors vs light. However any of these can last a decade or more if you follow one simple rule: food stays in the kitchen or dining room. There is no need to bring sippy cups into the living room, and eating in front of the TV only contributes to bad snacking habits. Exemptions permitted for illness and family movie night.
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Imperabo
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by Imperabo »

Microsuede. I've had a full glass of red wine dumped on it and it cleaned up easily with no stain.
MDfive21
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by MDfive21 »

rob wrote:Black leather
windaar wrote:The IKEA Black leather couches are well-built with thick leather and reasonably-priced. Some have unattachable cushions - great for keeping them from being kicked-off all the time.
that's exactly what i have and i thank my past self every day that my 4 yr old can jump all over it and eat/drink on it. takes a lot of stress out of parenthood to be able to just wipe it down and go.

bought off craigslist for half of retail price. fwiw i would never buy any cloth upholstered furniture used, but leather i have no problem with buying used.
bungalow10
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by bungalow10 »

Definitely leather. Ours is brown and is showing some wear, but anything fabric would have been destroyed by now.

We bought ours used of ebay, a Thomasville set that was less than a year old. It hasn't structurally held up as well as its retail price would have suggested it would, so I'm glad we bought used.
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technovelist
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by technovelist »

You might want to consider these:

http://www.lovesac.com/sactionals.html? ... MgoduwQA1w

They have some with covers that can be removed and washed.

Note: I don't have one of these, but I did go to their local store yesterday at my wife's urging...
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straykat
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by straykat »

We bought fine, craftsman-made sofas and chairs, and my wife has re-covered them a half a dozen times or more and re-feathered the cushions once over 25 years. These have seen hard duty from a passel of boys, their friends, dogs and sundry. Sometimes they were dark pleather, other times beautiful ribbed white duck cloth. They've been moved 8 or 9 times, once inter-continental. Great value, great memories, and still the most comfortable place in the home. So, I say go with a good, classic piece of furniture, cover it to suit your times, and don't be afraid to reupholster as necessary.
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frugaltype
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by frugaltype »

No food in the living room was a rule in our house when I was growing up. For some reason, people did not need to eat all the time back then.
bungalow10
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by bungalow10 »

frugaltype wrote:No food in the living room was a rule in our house when I was growing up. For some reason, people did not need to eat all the time back then.
lol - no food in ours either, that doesn't mean the furniture is treated well.
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epilnk
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by epilnk »

Imperabo wrote:Microsuede. I've had a full glass of red wine dumped on it and it cleaned up easily with no stain.
Or you could just limit the kids to white wine.
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PoeticalDeportment
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by PoeticalDeportment »

Ikea EKTORP sofa in white.

That might seem like a bad choice for kids, right - white sofa?

First off, the entire sofa costs 399.00 - try to find anything near that.

Second, the sofa cover costs $49.00 to replace. We have washed ours several times and it looks bran new after each wash - but even if someone spilled cranberry juice on it and we didn't clean it up for a month, and it was permanently stained - only $49.00 to replace.

Just don't get a sofa where you would be unusually upset if your child damaged it. It is important for kids to learn how to take care of things and keep things nice, but kids will be kids.
umfundi
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by umfundi »

Imperabo wrote:Microsuede. I've had a full glass of red wine dumped on it and it cleaned up easily with no stain.
As my Mother used to say, "Red wine is best with food, white wine is best with furniture."

Our dark blue leather sofa has worn after 20 years, but our kids were never tough on the furniture. Maybe, because we had the leather sofa, we did not notice.

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frugaltype
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by frugaltype »

PoeticalDeportment wrote:Ikea EKTORP sofa in white.

That might seem like a bad choice for kids, right - white sofa?

First off, the entire sofa costs 399.00 - try to find anything near that.

Second, the sofa cover costs $49.00 to replace. We have washed ours several times and it looks bran new after each wash - but even if someone spilled cranberry juice on it and we didn't clean it up for a month, and it was permanently stained - only $49.00 to replace.

Just don't get a sofa where you would be unusually upset if your child damaged it. It is important for kids to learn how to take care of things and keep things nice, but kids will be kids.
If you go this route, I would buy a spare cover to start with, in case they discontinue them.
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czeckers
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by czeckers »

Would you be upset if cranberry juice soaked through the cover and stained the sofa? Why not go with something durable and easy to keep clean like genuine leather to start with?

-K
The Espresso portfolio: | | 20% US TSM, 20% Small Value, 10% US REIT, 10% Dev Int'l, 10% EM, 10% Commodities, 20% Inter-term US Treas | | "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
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Imperabo
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by Imperabo »

epilnk wrote:
Imperabo wrote:Microsuede. I've had a full glass of red wine dumped on it and it cleaned up easily with no stain.
Or you could just limit the kids to white wine.
Actually, it was the tail of labrador that whipped it off the coffee table. I didn't test him for alcohol.
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Mister Whale
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by Mister Whale »

I have one of these: Mytee-Lite 8070. :D It will clean anything out of my upholstery, carpet, car, etc.

Get the sofa that you want. Just be prepared to clean it.
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countdown
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Re: Best Sofa with Young Children

Post by countdown »

' As my Mother used to say, "Red wine is best with food, white wine is best with furniture."
Keith

I love that! Never heard it before, and am going to 'borrow' it :happy

Back on point,
As a grandparent, I agree with inexpensive leather sofa/sectional.....use nice soft throws/blankets for comfort.
Buy the better furniture after the kids are older.
Have also seen some 'good bones' furniture recovered in great indestructible 'sunbrella' fabric. Then recover in more luxury fabric when kids older.
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