By Money Magazine’s Andrea Bartz, Ismat Sarah Mangla, Noah Rothbaum and Wilson Rothman for CNN Money

To get the most for your money, you need to know two things: when the good stuff is worth paying extra for and when the economy choice is plenty good enough.

Sofa Restoration Hardware Grand-Scale Camelback sofa $1,725 to $2,635
Save or spend: Spend

“The sofa is the anchor of your living room,” says interior designer Thom Filicia. That alone may make it worth a splurge.

But also: Above $2,000 you tend to get something sturdier. “The biggest thing to consider is the frame,” says Jennifer Litwin, author of “Best Furniture Buying Tips Ever!”

On cheaper couches, the frame may be made of metal or pressed wood. Kiln-dried hardwood like you’ll find in this sofa from Restoration Hardware is better; it gives, therefore it won’t crack.

Look for a down-foam mix in the cushions. “The best couches feature eight-way hand-tied coils too,” says Litwin.

Ask the salesperson whether the store has a cutaway. But also just lift it – a solidly constructed sofa shouldn’t be easy to pick up.

Jennifer Litwin