I prefer foam-wrapped cushions with some down. The down is soft, and the foam retains the shape of the cushion. With pure down, the cushion needs to be fluffed every time you get out of your seat and it looks sloppy.
Murphy 81-inch sofa by Room & Board, $1,399.
Skip plywood or particleboard and look for a hardwood frame with eight-way hand-tied springs (all the springs are tied together, more evenly distributing the weight of the sitter).
Atwood sofa by Gus*Modern, $1,999.
The shape is what really matters here. The fabric, in 99 percent of cases, will be changed, and the insides will be replaced with fresh down and foam. If the shape is good, a little work and the sofa is like new.
Narrow Arm sofa by Calvin Klein Curator Collection, $4,400.
Natural fabrics are best, and I also prefer neutral fabrics on sofas. This purchase will stick around for years, and the last thing you want is to be saddled with a pink floral sofa to work around.
Hi-Bridge 97.5-inch sofa by Ferruccio Laviani for Molteni & C, $11,294.