What Does the Bottom of a Flexsteel Couch Look Like?

by | Aug 4, 2021 | Ask the Expert | 0 comments

Question:

What does the bottom of a Flexsteel couch look like? Isn’t it supposed to be closed in with fabric?

Sept. 21, 2020

Answer:

Almost all sofas have a black bottom fabric, which is sometimes called a dust cover.

  • The actual purpose is not to keep dust out (it accumulates inside, even with the fabric) but to hide the ugly, greasy springs and rough woodwork that could otherwise be seen from the bottom.

Flexsteel is the one company that is different.

  • They are very proud of their blue steel flat spring foundation. They  want their customers to see and admire it.
  • The spring unit is highly polished and finished. The shiny blue color steel looks extremely impressive.
  • Showing the bottom of a Flexsteel sofa with the sturdy blue spring is a very effective selling aid for retail salespeople.

The blue steel flat spring was invented by Flexsteel over 100 years ago. It remains one of the best and strongest foundations available anywhere.

  • It is still widely touted in their advertising as a symbol of the brand’s quality.
  • The blue steel spring lasts 50 years or more in most cases (long after every other part of the sofa has worn out or broken.)

Although the patents expired long ago, nobody else has ever copied the flat steel spring.

  • They are far more expensive than every other type of sofa foundation (with the possible exception of 8 way hand tied.)
  • There are much cheaper alternatives that will last for 20 years and more.
  • For Flexsteel, the extra cost of the blue steel spring is recovered through its advertising and marketing benefits.

Some of Flexsteel’s lower cost products may have cheaper foundation support systems. Those items generally do have the fabric dust covers.

Semi-relevant factoid:

  • In the 1980s Flexsteel was awarded a U.S. government contract, which was protested by competing manufacturer Drexel-Heritage. The protest was based on the argument that Flexsteel’s sofa did not comply with the specifications requiring “8 way hand-tied springs or equal.”
  • After several months of litigation, the court ruled that Flexsteel’s blue steel spring was “equal or better” than Drexel-Heritage’s 8 way hand tied foundation.

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Jeff Frank

Jeff Frank

Furniture Consultant

Jeff Frank is a 45 year  furniture industry veteran. He created this blog to provide detailed facts, inside information & advice for furniture shoppers. 

 

 

 

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