Secrets of the Furniture Industry Revealed

The Insider’s Guide to Furniture

The Insider’s Guide to Furniture was created to help furniture shoppers compare brands, evaluate quality and determine values. Learn which questions need to be asked and how to protect yourself against false or misleading claims and advertising. 

Questions about brands & products?

The Insiders Guide to Furniture answers your questions about specific products & brands. My information & advice is based on 45 years of manufacturing, retail & design  experience. I provide detailed explanations about quality, pricing & much more.


Who pays for these articles & reviews?

I do not accept direct compensation or payment from the manufacturers & brands discussed in this blog. All ads that appear are placed through Ezoic, an automated Ad platform. I have no contact with any of the companies or agencies placing these ads. 


Just Curious?

Are 50% off mattress sales real?  Does added fabric protection really work? Why is the leather peeling from my sofa? How long should my reclining sofa last? Is it cheaper to buy furniture online? Should I buy an extended warranty? ASK YOUR QUESTIONS!

Everything You Need to Know Before Making Your Next Furniture Purchase

Insider’s Guide to

Balancing Cost and Quality

  • How much do good sofas cost?
  • How much should a good mattress cost?
  • Does leather furniture last longer?
  • Is solid wood furniture better?
  • Is it cheaper to buy furniture online?
  • Why does furniture fall apart so quickly?




Brands establish a manufacturer’s reputation for quality. Perceptions of brand quality can linger for decades after it is no longer deserved. Trusted manufacturers can go bankrupt, selling off their once proud brand names to the highest bidder.  The brand name lives on. The quality does not.

Broyhill is one prime example. The old Broyhill no longer exists. The brand name & trademark now belong to Big Lots, whose fast growing Broyhill furniture line has no relationship to the old family-owned Broyhill company.




Custom manufacturing is alive and well throughout the U.S.  Although most of the larger wood furniture manufacturers moved overseas in the 1980s and 1990s, there are still hundreds of small upholstery factories and local wood-working artisans remaining. Most custom upholstery is still Made in America.



Who are the the best furniture retailers? Is it possible to negotiate lower prices?  What are the advantages of buying online? Are those huge discounts really bargains?  Should you purchase an extended warranty? What is the most important thing you need to know before buying your next furniture?

eInsider’s Guide to

Furniture for Every Room Setting

Buying furniture is different from purchasing other expensive consumer products. There are thousands of brands. Very few are widely known or trusted. Construction specifications & Quality analyses can be difficult or impossible to find. Incorrect and misleading information is everywhere.

Furniture Sales Tactics

Most furniture shoppers like big discounts. 50% off Sales events are always highly successful for retailers. But is it really a great value for people like you?  

Furniture Warranties

Furniture warranties are legal documents designed to protect furniture companies against you! Warranties are highly profitable for furniture retailers. 

Buying Furniture Online

Online furniture shopping is growing rapidly.  Buying furniture and bedding online has both advantages & disadvantages. 

American-Made Furniture

Imported furniture sales are declining, due primarily to recent supply chain problems.  Furniture factories are moving back to the USA (and Mexico.)

RTA Furniture

Ready To Assemble furniture is a natural fit for online furniture retailers. Shipping costs have skyrocketed recently. RTA items are far cheaper to ship. 

Used Furniture

Buying used furniture can result in  superior quality at reasonable prices. But not always! Learn to tell the difference between a bargain and a disaster!

Maintenance & Repairs

Problems with your furniture? Which parts can or can’t be easily repaired? Leather sofas that receive regular care can last for 20 years and more.

Furniture Cleaning

Looking for the best way to clean your sofa? Search Google!  “What is the best way to clean a  sofa with a wine stain?” Google will have a dozen or more answers.

Furniture History

Who invented Knockdown (RTA) furniture 300 yrs. before IKEA? Who made the first sofa sleeper?What was the most amazing piece of furniture ever made?

Insider’s Guide to

How It’s Made

Quality and construction are mysteries to most furniture shoppers. 

Furniture retailers and manufacturers offer limited details about the products they sell. The information provided is often misleading or inaccurate.

Terminology and descriptions can have vague or multiple meanings that may refer to very different materials, constructions and qualities.

For example, “All wood frames” can refer to solid wood, plywood or engineered woods.

“PU Leather” can refer to 100% polyurethane synthetic leathers, bonded leathers made with no polyurethane or other combinations of polyurethane, polyester and vinyl. 

The Insider’s Guide attempts to provide answers to your furniture construction questions.

Upholstered Furniture

15 years ago a consumer survey reported that most prospective purchasers expected their new sofas to last 10 years.

More recently, a similar survey indicates that the expected lifespan of new mass produced, mid-price couches is now only 5 years.

While upholstered furniture prices have barely changed over the past 15 years, the quality level of some types of furniture has plummeted.

Upholstered Furniture ⇒

Leather and Faux Leather Furniture

“Leather” can be a very confusing term when applied to furniture.

It is applied to both genuine leathers (made from animal hides) and various types of synthetic faux leathers.

In addition there are hybrid “bonded” leathers that combine the worst characteristics of both genuine and faux leathers.

Leather Furniture ⇒

Furniture Innovations

Reclining furniture has rapidly adapted to the new generation who grew up with social media and electronic connectivity.

As reclining furniture adds additional power options and communications functionality, consumers need to be aware of the relative fragility of the underlying seating compared to classic stationary upholstered furniture.

Mattress technology has rapidly advanced over the past decade. There are so many new and different mattress types, it can be difficult choosing which is best for you.


Office Furniture With Desk, Chairs, and Bookshelf

How are furniture designs and styling changing? What are the newest trends and colors? What is the impact of changing technology?


Many home furnishings blogs and articles discuss the characteristics and features of high quality furniture. 

But what is the criteria for judging comparative quality in low and mid-priced furniture?


 Detailed furniture evaluations often require a cost analysis to explain the difference between design and construction factors that impact durability and functionality with others that are strictly cosmetic.


What is the most important thing to know before buying your next sofa? It’s not the frame or foundation. Even the cheapest frames will last 10 years or more. Cushions are usually the first part that wears out. How can you avoid cushions that will wear out in 5 years or less?


Sleepers are different than sofas, even those made by the same manufacturer. That’s not obvious from the product descriptions. In most cases the product description is based on how the matching stationary sofa is constructed, not the actual sleeper sofa.

Mattresses & Beds

Mattresses are one of the most difficult types of furniture to shop for. There are so many different brands and very few points of comparison. This guide provides sources of information and methods for comparing different brands and mattress types.

Reclining Furniture

Reclining furniture is the fastest growing segment of the furniture industry. It is also one of the biggest sources of consumer complaints. Find out how reclining furniture is rapidly evolving and how to avoid the biggest problem areas 

Insider’s Guide’s

Blog Posts

Sofa Durability vs. Cost: How to Buy a Long-Lasting Affordable Couch

Sofa Durability vs. Cost: How to Buy a Long-Lasting Affordable Couch

Question: How long will my new couch last? Answer: A well-known axiom states, "You get what you pay for." That axiom can be dangerously misleading when shopping for upholstered furniture. It is very possible to pay thousands of dollars for sofas that will need to be...


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