It might seem silly to have a part of your sofa come apart when you ultimately want a sturdy piece of furniture that will last. It only seems reasonable to want to maintain the integrity of your sofa’s structure, not break it apart.
Why do sofas have removable arms? Sofas with removable arms can be more easily maneuvered through tight spaces, such as doorways. Some sofas that have removable arms may also include the option to allow you to change the sofa’s look. Ultimately, sofas have removable arms for functionality.
Anyone who has moved a couch before knows that it can be a difficult process, especially if you live in a small space. Luckily, sofa manufacturers noticed that moving a sofa is not easy, even for professional movers, and they designed sofas with removable arms.
Why Would a Sofa Need Removable Arms?
The primary reason for sofas to have removable arms is to improve the sofa’s functionality. This improved functionality caused by removable arms occurs in a number of ways.
Removable Arms Make Moving Sofas Easier
Arms on sofas can often be the parts that cause the most problems when moving. The arms are frequently padded and may extend longer or wider than the rest of the couch. Even if doors are temporarily taken off their hinges to accommodate the size of a sofa, the arms can be too big even then.
When you buy a sofa with removable arms, you can take the arms off before you move the sofa. This eliminates some of the bulk from the sofa. It can then fit through doorways much easier. Removing the arms of a sofa also makes its overall weight lighter and easier to carry.
Sofas with Removable Arms Are Multi-Functional
Sometimes you need a sofa that is versatile. For people with kids, sofas can see a lot of wear and a changing space. Removing the arms of a sofa can also give the furniture a new look without the price tag. This can be helpful if you want a new look, your current sofa is still structurally sound, and you do not want to buy a new sofa until your kids are older.
Some sofas have removable arms so that you can convert them into a different piece of furniture altogether. Many people may opt for a convertible sofa if they have a smaller living space or frequently have guests over. Convertible sofas are also great for families that often host sleepovers for their kids.
This sofa converts into a bed, so it has arms that are taken on and off by Velcro. Or, when converting it into the bed form, you can leave the arm rests and use them as pillows.
Should Sofa Arms Be Removed When Moving?
Removing sofa arms to make moving easier is certainly a valid option, but you probably should leave the arms where they are unless absolutely necessary. If you are not careful with the way you take the arms off, you could damage the sofa.
Can You Move the Sofa with the Arms?
Your first concern is seeing if you can move the sofa without removing the arms. Typically, if you do not absolutely need to take the arms off to move the sofa, leave them on. Otherwise, pay careful attention to possible causes of damage.
Upholstery damage is not a huge issue for most people because it usually is not a difficult fix. If you happen to slightly mar the sofa’s upholstery by removing the arms, you can easily reupholster it.
Structural damage is not as easy to fix, and your biggest concern when taking a sofa’s arms off is making sure that you do not cause any structural harm. Look for manufacturer recommendations on how to remove the arms of the sofa or ask for help from the distributer you buy the sofa from.
Consider Hiring Professional Movers
Many professional movers know how to remove the arms off sofas without causing any harm. Hiring movers adds to the cost of buying the sofa, but it may bring you enough peace of mind to be worth it.
Ask around to see if anyone you know has used a particularly good moving company, especially one that has experience moving couches with removable arms.
Buying a Sofa Designed for Removable Arms
In theory, you can take the arms off of any couch. The problems arise when you want to replace the arms after you have moved the sofa where you want it. Some sofas are specifically designed for easy arm removal. Others have a much more complex process involved.
If you are concerned about moving a sofa, ask for employee help when you look for a sofa to purchase. Tell them that you are specifically looking for a sofa with removable arms, and they should be able to point you toward good options.
Tips for Buying a Sofa
Whether you want your sofa to have easily removable arms or not, there are a few things to keep in mind when you go shopping for a new couch. Planning out what you want ahead of time makes the process much smoother.
Measure Your Space
Before you look for a sofa, measure your space. In the room, you want to place the sofa, measure the area you are thinking of. Be sure to account for the length and the width. You probably do not want a couch that sticks out too far to the point that you can hardly walk by.
Next, measure all the doorways that you will have to bring the sofa through. For the easiest process, leave the doors and hinges on. You really do not want to take the doors off unless absolutely necessary, but you may also be concerned about damaging your doors. If you are worried about scuffing the doors, you may end up taking them down during the move.
Depending on the size of the sofa you are seeking, you may be wanting to bring your couch home instead of having it delivered. This is definitely not an option for everyone, but you can try if you want to. If so, you need to measure your vehicle and any other equipment you plan on using, such as a trailer.
Look for a Structurally Sound Sofa
Sofas can be an investment, and you want them to last. Test sofas before you commit to buying based only on appearance and/or price. One of the best tests to do is to push against the back and arms of the sofa. They should be sturdy.
Sofas that will last the longest have a sturdy frame. Upholstery may need updates as time goes on, but if you have a sound frame, the sofa will still hold up. Ask about the frame of the sofa. The best material will be a kiln-dried wood that will not warp.
Consider Your Space Restrictions
In addition to needing a certain amount of physical space for your sofa, you also need to think about the elements of the room that may change what kind of couch you look for.
Many sofas have removable legs, and if you find one that also has removable arms, it would likely be a great sofa for a small living space. Another way to make the best use of your space is to buy a different shape of a sofa.
You may decide that a sectional is the best choice for your living area. Sectionals are also a great idea if you think you might move before you want to give up your sofa, and you can likely rework the sofa into your new space. This modular sofa has three pieces that you can set up to fit your needs.