Is It Worth Getting A White Couch?

Last Updated December 9, 2022 By Bella Zinti

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After browsing through hours' worth of Pinterest-worthy white sofas, you likely have one lingering question. Is it worth getting a white couch

Though stylish and goes well with almost any home decor, white couches can be challenging to keep clean, making them an impractical purchase for many homes. Below, we've highlighted a few make-or-breaks that'll help you find an answer.

Why You Shouldn't Buy a White Sofa

Unfortunately, a white sofa isn't a sensible choice for the average home. If any of the following statements apply to you, steer clear of a white couch.

You Have Pets

White sofas are an absolute no-go in homes with pets. Even couches that claim to be stain-resistant are no match for muddy paws and slobbery mouths. If you're committed to the light-colored look, opt for something off-white, pale grey, or light tan, and they hide dirt and pet hair slightly better than crisp white.

You Have Small Kids

White sofas can be quite impractical if you have small kids. All it takes is one marker, a potty training accident, or a wipe of a dirty hand to ruin your beautiful white sofa. You'll need to keep a watchful eye and clean your white furniture religiously or select a more sensible color option. Anyone who currently owns a white sofa will tell you to wait until your kids are out of the house— or at least old enough to mind their manners.

You Have Frequent Overnight Guests

A white sofa isn't a suitable choice if your living room sofa often doubles as a guest bed. If you have frequent overnight guests, you'll want to stick with a darker upholstery color that won't show dirt, makeup, and sweat stains as quickly. Even with a fitted sheet, it'll still show signs of age sooner. Plus, your options for a white sleeper sofa are few and far between.

You Eat on the Sofa

Owning a white sofa means you'll have to say goodbye to eating on the couch. Opt for a darker color if you regularly eat takeout on the sofa, munch on popcorn during movie night, or sip coffee while you read the morning paper. All it takes is one glass of red wine or slice of pizza to ruin your investment piece for good.

You Don't Want a Lot of Upkeep

You'll become quite familiar with furniture cleaning products if you own light-colored furniture. Don't purchase a white sofa unless you're willing to put in the time and effort to keep it perfectly clean, especially white leather. In addition to cleaning up spills right after they happen, you'll need to regularly clean the upholstery and vacuum in all the crevices to keep the fabric even colored throughout.

It'll Be Placed in Direct Sunlight

Frequent UV exposure can cause the white fabric to fade into an unsightly yellow shade over time (especially if kept in the same position for years). White sofas should not be placed in areas that receive direct sunlight throughout the majority of the day. Alternatively, you'll need to search for upholstery fabric marked as UV-resistant.

You Spend a Lot of Time on Your Sofa

White furniture isn't suitable for high-traffic areas like your living room or den, especially if you spend a lot of time on the sofa. The more you spend gaming, working from home, binge-watching TV, and the like, the faster the white fabric turns beige. And it should go without saying that you should steer clear from white seating if you're shopping for a studio apartment.

Visible Cracks

Depending on the material, you will have to watch out for cracks. The more you wipe down or wash the surface, the more visible these cracks will be.

White Wash The Space

If a space is not decorated appropriately, white couches can wash out the color in a room. White couches and white furniture are typically used to brighten and lighten a space and make the space feel bigger. However, if you don't want to overdo it.

white interior

Source: Pixabay

Why You Should Buy a White Sofa

Still in love with the idea of a white couch? While they aren't suitable for your home's centerpiece, there are still a few situations when a white couch is worth it:

You're Willing to Care for Your Furniture

If you're going to own white furniture, you'll also need to own an array of cleaning products. You'll need to care for stains and spills immediately and regularly deep-clean your sofa to keep the white fabric looking fresh. Look for styles with removable cushion covers that can be machine-washed or dry-cleaned for easier care.

You're Willing to Use a Protective Slipcover

Though slipcovers aren't used as commonly these days, they're an absolute must for white sofas. Purchase one right away to keep the fabric looking fresh for longer. And don't worry! Despite their unstylish reputation, there are still plenty of good-looking slipcovers to choose from. Keep it on during everyday use, and take it off for special occasions.

It's Going in a Low-Traffic Area

It's simple. The less use a white sofa gets, the longer it stays looking clean. While white furniture isn't suitable for a living room or family room, it can make an eye-catching addition to low-traffic areas around your home, such as an entryway, home office, guest suite, or traditional sitting area. Consider it your new favorite spot around the house to read a book, answer a Zoom call, or snap a selfie.

You Select Your White Fabric Wisely

The best white sofas are those that balance style with functionality. Look for sofas upholstered with a durable, stain-resistant fabric that can meet the demands of everyday use. Nowadays, most linen and velvet upholstery on the market is woven from performance polyester. Long gone are the days when polyester was inferior to the real thing.

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About the author

Bella has a Bachelors degree in interior design, is a master gardener. She designs nourishing outdoor & indoor spaces guided by the practice of Feng Shui.