So, you’re buying a new sofa. But where to start? With so many different options out there, it can feel overwhelming. Our advice? Start by selecting the fabric. It’s one of the most important choices you’ll make. 

Velvet, microfiber, leather—just to name a few. There are many different fabrics you can choose from and they all have their own unique benefits. When it comes to selecting the right one for you, it all comes down to finding a lifestyle match.

To help you select the right sofa, we’ve rounded up three of our bestselling upholstery options—and even included a few furniture picks for each one.



While velvet is often characterized as being too delicate or impracticable, that isn’t always the case. The key is finding a high-quality velvet specifically designed for durability, stain resistance, and of course—that soft and lush feel. At Downeast, this is called performance velvet. And it’s the only kind of velvet we use.

Style Matches 

  • HeleneInspired by Art Deco design, the Helene has stunning curves wrapped in a beautiful performance velvet you’ll be sure to get lots of compliments on (and it wears incredibly well too).  
  • Esme: A modern take on French style, the Esme’s refined high back and sides show off luxurious velvet in a swoon-worthy Saffron color.
  • Caprice: You don’t have to choose between style and functionality. The Caprice is full of elegant details like rich velvet upholstery and a comfortable bench seat.

Care Tips 

  1. Avoid direct sunlight. Excessive sun can lead to fading—especially with more vibrant colors.
  2. Vacuum regularly. A quick pass with a soft brush attachment will keep your velvet looking fresh.
  3. Flip those cushions. Our cushions are fully zipped and reversible, so flip them periodically to reduce wear and tear and help them keep their shape


Performance Fabric 

The ultimate fabric superpower: stain resistance. With stain-resistant fabric there’s no stressing over spills. Suddenly it’s possible to have beautiful furniture you can actually use. It’s revolutionary for families with kids, pets, or people who just want to relax on the couch with a glass of red wine.

 If you visit one of our stores, you can see this special fabric in person. Instead of spills sinking in, liquid pools on top—giving you a chance to wipe it away before stains set in.

Style Matches 

  • Rorik: A comfy sofa with modern and clean lines. Since the Rorik is upholstered in our performance fabric, it’s family friendly and ideal for daily use.  
  • Marcel: Finally, a cream sofa you can lounge on without thinking twice—thanks to our stain-resistant fabric. And with plush, feather and down cushions, lounging is definitely a must.

Care Tips 

  1. Don’t wait to wipe up spills. While performance fabric is protective, it’s best to clean spills as soon as possible.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight. Not only can excessive sunlight fade fabric, but heat can reduce the effectiveness of performance fabric.
  3. Rotate your cushions. Routinely rotate your cushions to keep them in top shape and extend the life of your sofa. 



Perhaps the most iconic option—the classic leather sofa. Leather can be expensive, but with proper care, it can last for a lifetime and even get better with age.

But don’t just pick any leather, look for sofas upholstered in full-grain or top-grain leather. Other leathers are heavily altered to hide imperfections, taking away the beautiful character and dimension leather is known for (and also reducing durability).  

Make sure to look at the back too. Some leather couches are only upholstered on the front, leaving you with limited placement options. You don’t need to worry about that with Downeast—our premium leather sofas look good from all angles.  

Style Matches

  • Rorik: This is the kind of sink-in-soft leather dreams are made of—thanks to cushions of soft down and top-grain European leather available in two rich colors. Plus, it comes with a matching ottoman.
  • Flatiron: A bold statement piece with a modern-retro feel. Smooth, top-grain leather covers the sofa and matching ottoman, creating a sleek and sophisticated spot to sit back and relax.

Care Tips 

  1. Preventative care is key. Keep your leather looking pristine with regular vacuuming, dusting, and even moisturizing it from time to time with distilled water.
  2. Act quickly and be patient. Wipe spills with a clean, white cloth then let it air dry completely.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight. Leather is durable, but it’s not immune to fading from the sun.
  4. Don’t stress over scratches. Gently rub away scratches with the pad of your fingertips. Over time the mark should disappear.


Pick Your Favorite 

You’re well on your way to becoming a fabric expert. And you’re one step closer to finding that perfect sofa. Now the hard part is picking from so many incredible options—and we’ve got a lot of those.

Have more questions? Stop by one of our stores. You can see and feel fabrics in person and our sales associates can answer any questions. You can also email us at

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June 08, 2022 — Kiora Salisbury