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High quality furniture is expensive.
I didn’t appreciate this as a kid and always wondered why we just had one couch and two small recliners in our living room.
Now that I’m buying things on my own, it’s tempting to have the exact same set-up in my house. Cheap, practical, but slightly depressing. The main problem is that I’m a big and heavy guy with lots of opinions. For instance, I want a sectional, but I need it to be very durable (since it’s expensive) and high capacity (since I’m fat).
So who besides me needs a heavy-duty sectional sofa? You do. As well as everyone else who is in the market. While there are obviously classy and luxurious sectionals, in general, they are made to be used. If I imaging the ultimate life of a sectional, it will take place in a rec room, family room, etc.
Because they have a hard life, buying a section for heavy people will maximize the time its around, whether you’re heavy or not. Sectionals are typically quite expensive, difficult to move, and very difficult to get rid of when you’re done with it. So let’s put in the effort, find one you love, and make sure that it’s high quality enough that you can use it for many many years to come!
Here’s our line-up:
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What makes a great high weight capacity sectional?
In general, you’re not going to find a sectional marketed as a “high weight capacity sectional sofa.” Instead, you’ll have to look at certain areas to ascertain how strong or weak they are likely to be. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds and, with a little practice, you’ll be able to recognize sectionals with a high weight capacity wherever you are. (This is especially useful when you’re visiting someone and don’t want to break their furniture)
Heavy Duty Frame (Solid wood or metal)
The bones of a couch are what make up the majority of its strength so, when choosing, make sure you get a big-boned sectional. Many couches are simply pieced together with low-quality wood and are not meant to support big and heavy users.
Higher quality sofas will have metal brackets on the joints and a higher-quality solid-wood frame. Many couches actually have an open bottom and you can push the couch back a bit and have a look underneath. You don’t need to be an expert here to see the quality. If it looks nice, it probably is. Budget furniture makers do not go to any extra effort to clean up the bottom/inside of their sectionals.
Another tip is: if the product listing or salesperson doesn’t make a special point to mention the frame, it’s probably not what you’re looking for. The added weight capacity and durability that comes from a solid wood frame is such a selling point that, if it’s there, it will always be mentioned.
Legs (or lack thereof)
I worked for several years at a residential treatment facility for teenage boys. As you can imagine, we went through lots of sectionals, especially in our rec room. In an attempt to make them last longer, one of the first things we did when we got a new couch is to remove the legs.
If we didn’t remove the legs, our couches would inevitably get broken right in the middle of the frame. Removing the legs allowed the couch to sit directly on the ground which supported the entire lower frame and distributed the weight more eve+nly.
Most high weight capacity sofas sit solidly on the ground, to begin with, but, if you want a legged version (because taller couches are easier to get off of) do your best to find one that has middle support. If no support is available you can get an extra leg/support to add or DIY a wooden block to keep the mid-frame from sagging.
Hardwearing fabric with strong fastners
I used to think that couches with those big brass rivets were ridiculous until I learned that they actually peformed a highly useful function. They kept the fabric from tearing.
Most couch fabric is pulled into place and then secured with staples and maybe a small amount of glue. As you can imagine, it is extremely easy for the fabric to tear through the tiny staples which leave you with a torn up and lumpy looking couch.
The key to this is two-fold.
First, look for heavy-duty fabric. It will be less likely to tear, stretch, and deform. Tougher fabrics like leather and corduroy may be less comfortable but they are significantly more hardwearing if you’re a big and heavy person.
Second, if you can stand it, look for something with alternative fastenings. Large brass tacks are a good example of this as they increase the surface area holding the fabric and make it less likely to rip.
Of course, there is always the option of repairing fabric, re-upholstering your couch, or just stapling the fabric back into place. So, in the end, it’s more important that you love the couch that compromising too much and getting a hard-wearing item that will give you 30 miserable years of service.
Molded or resilient cushioning
One of the other reasons that a couch “wears out” and starts looking/feeling terrible is that it was made with low quality cushioning. A couch made with low-quality cotton stuffing or batting may be comfortable to begin with but often compresses significantly from heavy users and fails to rebound.
Also, low quality stuffing has a tendency to harbor dirt and germs which further hinder its ability to do what it’s meant to do: cushion your backside.
Couches with memory foam or high-density foam of any variety will be less plush but will typically retain their shape and rebound better for years to come.
The 3 Best High Weight Capacity Sectional Sofas
We only chose options you can buy online. We have included an option on the ever-ubiquitous Amazon as well as another option which we feel is comparable in both price, quality, and type.
The Best Sectional Sofa for Big and Heavy People
Baxter Studio is one of the few companies that produce a great sectional sofa that not only ticks all the boxes of what we want in a high capacity sectional but does so while also looking great!
Some of it’s best features:
- Metal sub-frame adds serious strength and puts this couch low to the ground
- Manual recliners on each end are sturdy and provide additional seating options
- Includes console with two cupholders
- Durable fabric is hardwearing and easy to clean
All in all, this couch is our number one pick. It looks great, it has an awesome list of features, and people say that it’s incredibly comfortable!
High Capacity Luxury
If you like the features and look of the Baxter Studio Sectional but was something a little more luxorious, Homelegance has the option for you. While it’s similar overall to our first option, this sofa does everything just a little bit better. It has better materials, powered recline options, additional seating and arrangement options, and (what feels to be) a slightly higher build quality.
If those things are important to you, feel free to go learn more about this couch!
Stone & Beam is an Amazon brand that has become something all on its own. This sectional follows all of Amazon’s normal method of production creation: create a very high-quality product and offer it to the public.
There are two real reasons I included this sectional here. First off, it is a high quality sectional with a classic design. Secondly, you can get matching furniture from Stone & Beam to fill your entire room/house. In fact, I like this style and it’s matching so much that the couch that goes with this sectional was of the highest rated options in our Couches for Big and Heavy People article.
Stendmar isn’t a very old or well-known company, but they are at the top of many recent reviews and section round-ups.
My favorite thing about Stendmar is the option for customization. This couch, for example, has multiple foot options and they call every buyer to make sure it gets the exact feet they want. In addition to that, they have offered to add an additional foot in the midsection of the section, increasing the load capacity and making this an excellent option for big and heavy people!
You also have the option of removing the feet all together which would further increase the weight capacity. However, if you’re a big guy like myself I can tell you that this will probably put the seats too low for you taste and you’ll have to drop onto the couch and laboriously regain your feet when you’re done relaxing.
This couch is made using a solid all-wood frame covered with high-density foam. Not only will the frame hold a great deal of weight, but the foam is firm and sure to rebound well over time.
In the end, perhaps there isn’t so much a winner but 4 great sectionals that you can choose from. All of them are high quality and a great deal so your personal preference will be the deciding factor on which once you choose to order. So scroll back up, find your favorite, and go check out the Amazon reviews to help you make a better choice!
Done with that? Ordered your favorite? Perfect! Then let’s move on to caring for your heavy-duty sectional and making sure it lasts as long as you do.
How to deal with squashed cushions on your sectional
One of the biggest reasons that people decide to get a new couch is because their current seating option starts showing its age. Even if it’s still comfortable, you probably don’t want a sectional in you main seating area that looks more like a bean bag that a couch.
Luckily, it is fairly easy to re-shape the cushions and return your couch to its former glory.
Think of the problem this way: you cushion get squashed by the same weight, in the same direction, every day. If you fluff them the exact same way you fluff a pillow they will last longer and be much more attractive.
Check out this method and the amazing before and after:
3 Tips for Sectional Sofa Longevity
Keep it clean
Dirt and grime are probably the biggest killers of couches. I can’t even count the number of times I have seen couches for sale that say something along the lines of:
“Lots of stains. Needs to be cleaned but is still comfortable and has lot of life left.”
Just clean your darn couch, folks! Not only does cleaning your couch allow it to look better for long but it will allow it to function better as well. As dirt and bits of grit are ground into your sectional’s fabric and padding it acts like little tiny daggers, leaving micro cuts and tears in the fabric. This leaves you fuzzy, saggy looking upholstery and cushions that no longer cushion.
Just vacuuming the surface dirt off your furniture is a great way to start but hiring a cleaner to come in and clean your carpet/furniture every year or so is a great way of protecting your investment.
Rotate where you sit
Every time I visited my grandpa growing up he was sitting in the exact same spot on the couch, watching TV. I don’t know if he thought that spot was more comfortable or just closer to the TV but it literally ruined their couch. By the time he died his spot was stained, the cushions where lumpy, and the seat sagged 6 inches below the rest of the couch. The other three cushions, however, looked absolutley pristine.
Just by rotating where he sat my grandpa could have ensured that his couch lasted 3X LONGER! If he had also added something like a heavy duty recliner into the mix it could have been even more significant.
Take note when you sit on you sectional if you sit in the exact same place every time. As a big and heavy guy, I know that my weight has a significant effect on furniture so, if I want it to last, I try and be sure to spread it around.
Don’t move it if you don’t have to
I always feel bad when I move a piece of furniture. Almost like the furniture has settled in to its new home and I’m uprooting it from it’s place in my house. However, to my surprise, there is some actual truth to the the idea!
Moving your furniture more often than needed can bend/loosen the frame joints (especially if the couch has recliners) and stress-tear the fabric. Furniture is most often damaged during a move so, if you can avoid dragging it around your house, do so!
When it comes to pricing and buying high quality furniture, my adivce to people is always “Buy once, cry once” meaning that you should view your couch as an investment rather than simply a a cost
A low quality sectional will be miserable to sit on and won’t last for more than a couple of years, especially if you have kids, grandkids, or four-legged kids. So save up, go and sit on a bunch of high weight capacity sectionals and, if you buy online, be sure to buy from a place which offers returns! Best of luck!