We are a young couple looking for a contemporary style sectional, that will last us more than 10 years, with a cat-friendly fabric.
It should have a long bench seat and a chaise, or an L shape, with a maximum length of 115” and maximum width of 108″.
Our budget is around $4,500.
We’ve looked at over a dozen different sectionals, but feel like we’re just getting more and more confused.
The ones we like best so far are:
Crate & Barrel: Gather & Barret II
Pottery Barn: York
Interior Define: Charly
Although we are considering sectionals that are only available online, we would prefer something we can actually try out in a store (in the New York City area.)
Which of the brands we have looked at so far do you think is best?
Or are there other sectionals we should be considering?
Trying out sofas or sectionals in a showroom can be deceptive.
For example, a showroom sofa with 1.8 density foam cushions will feel almost identical to the same sofa with 2.5 density foam cushions when both are brand new.
One year later, the 1.8 density cushions will be noticeably softer. The 2.5 density cushions will still feel brand new.
5 years later, the 1.8 density cushions may be completely worn out, and have lost their shape, firmness, and comfort. The 2.5 density foam cushions (or cushions made with pocketed coil spring construction) will still feel brand new.
When I evaluate specific sofa brands or items, my recommendations are based on how the seating will hold up over the long-term.
I ignore how a sofa feels when it is brand new in the showroom.
Many shoppers are afraid to buy sofas or sectionals they did not first try out in a showroom.
Those shoppers may be missing out on some of the best values in high-quality seating.
Even worse, they may end up paying thousands of dollars for seating that looked and felt great in the showroom, but will look old and feel uncomfortable within just a few years.
Evaluating the sectionals you asked about:
Crate & Barrel Gather sectional (with chaise) should work for you.
Frame: The plywood frame should last 15+ years.
Foundation: The sinuous wire foundation is cheap, but will still hold up 20+ years for most people.
Cushions: The pocketed coil spring cushions may feel firmer than many foam cushions (especially after a few years) but they should retain their “as-new” comfort for 10 – 15+ years (more than twice as long as most foam cushions.
Because of your cat, you should ask the salesperson to recommend a “high performance” fabric that is tightly woven.
High Performance fabrics (such as Crypton, Sunbrella, Revolution, Inside Out, and several more brands) are durable, easy to clean, impermeable to liquids, and highly stain resistant.
Avoid loose-woven fabrics if your pet has claws. (Revolution brand fabrics are more loosely woven than most other high performance fabrics and should probably be avoided.)
Check out my review of the Crate & Barrel Gather sectional for more details.
I do not recommend the Crate & Barrel Barrett II.
The Barrett’s foam cushions will last less than half as long as the coil spring cushions in the Crate & Barrel Gather sectional before losing their shape and comfort.
Pottery Barn York, in the 105″ width, might be OK. The foam cushions are larger (in surface area) than the C&B Barrett II above. The larger surface area will help the cushions last longer, although not as long as pocketed coil spring cushions.
Check to make sure that the foam core is at least 5.5″ thick. If the foam core is thinner than that and puffed up with dacron polyester fiber, it probably won’t last more than 5 years.
[Your salesperson may not know the thickness of the foam core without consulting the factory.
It is not the same as the total cushion thickness, which may include feather/down or dacron polyester fiber wrapping around the foam core.]
If you buy from Pottery Barn, get the Chenille Basketweave fabric. It is extremely durable, easy to clean and pet friendly.
Pottery Barn has a lot of fabrics that they call “Performance Fabrics,” but some are 100% cotton (which will not clean as easily as synthetics) and others have double rub counts below 50,000, which gives me concerns about long-term durability.)
Interior Define gives no information about how their furniture is made. (That is usually not a good sign.)
Joybird has received a lot of negative reviews from its customers since LaZBoy bought the company and moved the factory from California to Mexico.
Burrow is a mid-century modern brand, similar in quality to Joybird, that is especially strong in sectionals.
For some alternative choices:
Hydeline’s Soma leather 105″ sofa with chaise. -$2999 in choice of leather colors.
This is a company I found last week when I was at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.
What makes this line special is that they have a real leather sectional (sofa + chaise) with extremely comfortable pocketed coil spring cushions for $3000.
According to the salesperson, the leather has some kind of new finish that is scratch resistant (and pet friendly.) Also, the cushions are extremely comfortable.
Hydeline is a Direct to Consumer manufacturer, so you will need to call them to ask questions.They also have larger leather sectionals that are within your budget.
The Hydeline website has a special outlet section, where they sell the identical furniture for hundreds of dollars less when they have a discontinued style or leather color.
A similar sofa with chaise is available in the outlet section. The discontinued Steel Gray leather is $2797. The Silver Gray leather is $2297.
Costco sells a line of sectional furniture made by the same leather manufacturer as Hydeline.
They sell it under their Prospera Home brand.
The cushion cut-away diagram above shows the cushion construction for both Hydeline and Prospera Home.
The best thing about buying furniture at Costco is their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
You can take the furniture back for a full refund for any reason (including cat scratches) no matter how long you have owned the furniture.
Costco sells many other sectional brands, in addition to Prospera Home.
Look for sectionals with pocketed coil springs. The seat cushions will last twice as long as those with foam cushions.
If the product description does not specify “pocketed coil springs,” you should assume the cushions will have foam cores.
Check out my article, Is Costco a Good Place to Buy Furniture?
Mantle’s Jasper sectional is a true high-end 8 way hand-tied alternative that is within your budget requirements.
Mantle is a North Carolina custom manufacturer and can alter the size to be anything you want.
The cost, as shown for the 8 way hand-tied Jasper sectional, is $3450.
You should be able to get a custom size (to fit your room), a high performance fabric, an upgrade to a 15+ year cushion that meets your comfort requirements, and still stay within your budget.
Mantle has at least 10 different cushion options. Many are built to last 15 – 20+ years.
Mantle’s Ruby sectional has a slope arm similar to the Pottery Barn York, if you like that style.
For more information about Mantle, check out my article, Where Can I Find a Reasonably Priced 8 Way Hand tied Sofa?
Medley Home Rio 112″ sofa with chaise is another high end brand, built to last 20+ years.
This environmentally friendly California custom manufacturer makes one of the sturdiest solid hardwood frames available anywhere.
Their standard cushions are 2.5 density foam and either 6 or 7″ thick, depending on style. They should last a very long time.
Medley Home saves money by using a sinuous wire foundation instead of 8 way hand-tied, but it should last 20+ years without problems.
For other alternative brands, check out my article, 58 Sofa Brand Quality & Value Ratings for 2023.
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