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Scatter Back Or Standard Back Sofa: We’ll Help You Decide


Choosing a sofa can be a delicate and time-consuming business. The usual choices that face you relate to size, fabric and colour. But then you have the old debate on scatter back sofa vs standard sofa. Or if you like, cushion back vs formal back, or pillow back vs high back. See? We can’t even decide on what to call them, never mind which style suits us best.

The immediate visual appeal of a sofa offers a gut feeling over what you really want in your home, but you really have to sit on your options, both figuratively and literally, for quite some time before taking the plunge. With any style of sofa you have to decide if it suits your room, you need to decide if the style will stay in fashion or quickly become outdated, and you have to decide whether the design is practical from the point of view of children in the home, or pets. With a scatter back or standard debate, this is particularly true.

We will take a look at the pros and cons of each design shortly, but first let’s understand the definition of each design. A scatter back sofa has several large cushions loosely stacked as back supports, which don’t necessarily equal the number of seat cushions. Meanwhile a standard back sofa has back support cushions that match the size of the sofa and the seat cushions in size and number, and are usually fixed to the back of the sofa.

The pros and cons of a scatter back sofa

scatter back sofa

A scatter back sofa is ideal if you are a loafer who likes to recline for hours on end and has no great plans to move any time soon. It is for casual sitting and is usually deeper-seated to offer more leg room, which may mean you need a bit more space. You can mix and match the back cushions in colour and fabric to create some versatility, though this may restrict you if you wish to re-decorate in the future.

There is a bit more maintenance with a scatter back sofa, as you need to re-shape and puff up the cushions more regularly, and you might find the sofa doesn’t always look as good as it first did. People do occasionally complain of back pain with a scatter back sofa because you are more likely to be ‘lounging’ with less back support.

The pros and cons of standard back sofas

standard back sofa

A standard back sofa is generally for more formal sitting with more decorum, as the seat backs offer more structural back support and therefore prompt less slouching. There is less maintenance involved in a standard back sofa in terms of re-shaping the cushions, they should retain their shape for longer, but the cushion fabrics are hard to remove and clean, even if you have an option to do so.

There is a perception of standard back sofas that they are more traditional and less versatile, in that they are hard to ‘freshen up’, and indeed, you are somewhat stuck with what they look like.

At Nabru we have a range of both style sofas, but the scatter back option is a little more limited. There are no armless or chaise options with a scatter back as the seat design is different, but we do still offer plenty of choice and you can speak to our expert sales staff to discuss what is possible and what is practical in your home.

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Author: Iain Cowsill

Hi! I'm Iain, owner of Nabru self assembly sofas. Established over 15 years ago, Nabru is the UK's leading name in quality self assembly sofas, sofa beds and corner sofas. Our sofas are guaranteed to fit through your door! Shop our range of sofas at www.nabru.co.uk today.