Question:

I am about to buy a new sofa/ loveseat or sectional. We want reclining and fabric, not leather. Which is better, Craftmaster or MotionCraft?

We are about to replace an old manual MotionCraft we bought directly in NC 18 yrs ago (but probably should have been replaced 4 or 5 yrs ago b/c fabric was wearing out). One furniture salesman let us know they got complaints in the last year about the MotionCraft mechanism having problems. Have you heard that at all?

Our last fabric wore somewhat quickly, but we got B grade, going with A grade fabric this time. We were not able to flip cushions b/c we chose unique size sectional pieces and put them together.

I noticed some reclining sofas don’t flip cushions, they are attached. Are there any motorized recliners that flip? Is it better to go motorized or manual these days? Do the flip kind last longer than the non-flip these days? Thanks,

Dana

July 8, 2020

Answer:

As far as I know, Craftmaster no longer makes reclining furniture.

Motioncraft’s quality was superior to Craftmaster when CM did make reclining furniture. (It was also more expensive.)

  • Most mid-range reclining sofas made today have estimated lifespans of 5 years or less. Comfort can decrease noticeably within that time frame.

If the only problem with your old Motioncraft reclining sofa is that the fabric is worn out you may want to consider having it reupholstered.

  • MotionCraft is a higher quality company that continues to make furniture today that is comparable with its quality of 18 years ago. That is not true of most large mass produced mid-range reclining sofa manufacturers.
  • Current reclining sofas from major brands such as LaZBoy, Flexsteel, Lane (and Craftmaster) are significantly lower quality than the reclining sofas produced by those same manufacturers 15 years ago. [Note – this difference in quality is more noticeable in reclining furniture than in stationary furniture made by the same brands.]

The new power mechanisms have great new features that your old manual mechanism does not, but the power mechanisms do break down more easily (and cost more.)

  • Some of the newest models include “triple power.” These have three different motors that independently control the seat, headrest and footrest. Sometimes there is also an independently controlled lumbar support.

You should definitely try to find a reclining sofa with removable (and reversible) seat cushions.

  • The vast majority of mid-priced reclining sofas currently being made have “tight” non-removable seats. When the foam wears out (in 3 – 5 years) there is no way to replace it at a reasonable cost. Replacing removable cushions is simple and inexpensive.
  • The foam used in most reclining furniture is either 1.8 or 2.0 density. This has an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years (or less if the person using the furniture is unusually large or moves around more than normal.)
  • If you can find cushions with 2.5 density foam (or good quality spring down) cushions, your lifespan should double (at least.)

Note – Catnapper often uses coil spring removable seat cushions in their products; however there seem to be a lot of complaints about those cushions. Better quality coil spring (also known as “spring down”) cushions  are almost always available as an optional upgrade on higher quality upholstered furniture and occasionally on mid-range upholstered furniture.

  • The good news on removable cushions is that, in the past year, many of the mid-range reclining companies have come out with new “hybrid” reclining styles designed to look like standard sofas (with legs.) These have “off the floor” reclining mechanisms and frequently feature removable seat cushions. Most of the major brands now feature some hybrid models.

Don’t make the mistake of equating fabric cost with durability.

  • There are many inexpensive fabrics (including microfibers) that are extremely durable and also extremely inexpensive. On the other hand there are many expensive (and very expensive) fabrics that are delicate and easily stained or worn out.
  • Over the past 3 years “high performance” fabrics have become extremely popular. They combine high durability with built-in permanent stain protection. Many of these high performance fabrics are made in the U.S.A.
  • Some of the higher cost “A” level performance fabrics include Crypton, Sunbrella and Bella-Dura.
  • In addition there are lower cost high performance fabrics which are also durable and highly stain resistant. Major brands in this category include Revolution and LiveSmart.
  • Almost every upholstered furniture manufacturer now carries one or more of these high performance brands.

Know someone who might be interested in this post? Please like and share this post with them. If you have questions or comments please leave them below.

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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6 Comments

  1. Gwen Douse

    What major manufactures of sectionals have removable cushions?

    Reply
    • Jeff Frank

      For stationary (non-reclining) sectionals, almost all brands have removable cushions. For reclining sectionals, the larger mass production manufacturers are almost all non-removable cushions. Removable cushions are the biggest single factor in what separates lower quality reclining furniture (that lasts an average of 5 years) from better quality brands (with an average lifespan of 10+ years.)
      Check out my blog article, Who are the best American reclining furniture manufacturers?
      The article reviews 18 American made reclining furniture brands. The first 9 are better quality and are available with removable seat cushions.

  2. Beverly Cook

    Hello Jeff,
    I cannot access your article on the best 18 American reclining furniture manufacturers from this link! It tells me it’s due to a lack of URL code!😳
    I also can’t access it in any of my searches! So fristrating!
    Can you tell me how else to access it, please?
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Jeff Frank

      I just spent 3 days at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.
      I am making major revisions to that reclining furniture article based on changes I observed at the Market.

      So far it looks as though I will be deleting 4 of the companies previously included when I wrote the article over 2 years ago.
      I will be adding 5 new brands.

      Several of the brands that will continue on the list have changed their specifications since the original article.

      Because there are so many major changes, I took the old article offline.
      I am hoping to have the new article completed by tomorrow night.

  3. Debbie

    Did you update this article?

    Reply
    • Jeff Frank

      I am working on it right now and hope to have it finished late tonight.

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