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DreamSofa: Durable Sofas at Affordable Prices. Custom built in the USA

By Jeff Frank

Does DreamSofa make durable, affordable sofas?

I’m looking for two mid-century modern sofas or a sectional for $5000 max.

There seem to be so many brands, and they all look alike.

How do I tell which sofas and sectionals won’t fall apart within a few years?

Where can I find the best quality furniture that I can afford?

Answer:

DreamSofa custom built sofas & sectionals are surprisingly affordable & durable.

DreamSofa is a California furniture design & custom manufacturing firm.

Prices are competitive with mass-produced brands.

Eastern furniture shoppers may not be familiar with the DreamSofa brand, but West coast commercial accounts and  interior design professionals are more aware.

But Apt2B is a well-known national brand.

DreamSofa makes Apt2B’s better quality custom built seating.

Since the company opened in 2013, there have been extremely few negative reviews.

DreamSofa custom-built sectionals are exceptionally affordable & long lasting.

I have reviewed and analyzed hundreds of furniture companies over the past few years.

I also evaluate and recommend specific products based on the individual requirements of readers who ask for my assistance.

In very rare cases, I discover a furniture brand that is demonstrably superior in 1 or 2 specific (usually very narrow) market niches.

DreamSofa stands out in 4 different product niches.

Sofas (fabric) < $3000

Sectionals (fabric) < $4000

Sofa Sleepers (fabric) <$3000

Sectional sleepers (fabric) < $5000

All 4 Categories listed above include Modern, Mid-Century, Classic & Contemporary Styles.

DreamSofa’s custom built sofas, sectionals, & sleepers ship fully assembled.

They do not arrive in flat boxes, requiring assembly, like “Sofa in a Box” brands.

When ordered with the “Plush” cushion option, DreamSofa furniture is more comfortable & will last 3 times longer than Sofa-in-a-Box brands.

One important requirement for any company on my short list of highly recommended brands is that its furniture must be extremely durable.

All seating must have an average estimated lifespan of 10+ years.

All seating priced above $4000 must have an estimated lifespan of 15+ years.

DreamSofa custom built sofas
Dream Sofa Toronto sectional

All DreamSofa seating has solid hardwood frames & hand tied arched sinuous spring foundations.

  • Frames are kiln-dried solid hardwood built to last 15 to 20+ years and backed by a lifetime warranty.  
  • Foundations are “Hand-tied arched sinuous spring seat support foundations.” 
    • Built to last 15 to 20+ years and backed by a lifetime warranty.
    • Sturdier and more comfortable than standard sinuous wire springs.
    • Although this type of foundation is often described as “sinuous springs,” it’s actually much closer in cost and comfort to 8 way hand-tied spring seat supports.

 High-quality hand-tied arched suspension system

a Medley builder installing a hand-tied spring system

Pictured above: Installing a hand-tied arched sinuous spring system

The springs of a couch not only absorb shock but also determine the comfort and firmness of the sofa seat. Hand-tied, arch suspension systems expand on traditional sinuous spring systems by using higher quality heavy gauge springs as a foundation.

We then nod to traditional 8-way, hand-tied coil spring systems by using twine to hand-tie our springs together in a unique pattern, creating a suspension system that offers optimal support. This technique provides a truly supportive, comfortable structure that prevents sagging and squeaking.

DreamSofa offers an unparalleled selection of sofas, sectionals & sleepers.

The line offers more styles, sizes, & options than any other Direct to Consumer brand I am aware of.

Every frame is available in custom sizes.

63 different sofa styles.

Each sofa is available in 4 alternative sizes plus custom sizes.

126 different sectional styles.

Each sectional is available in 5 alternative sizes plus custom sizes.

62 different sofa sleeper styles.

Each sofa sleeper is available in 3 alternative sizes plus 3 alternative mattresses.

126 different sectional sleeper styles.

Each sectional sleeper is available in 3 alternative sizes plus 3 alternative mattresses.

CLASSIC Sleeper Mattress: 4″ foam mattress designed for comfort and support.

LUXE Sleeper Mattress: 6″ Luxe Pillow Top Innerspring Mattress – our top-rated mattress with 4″ innerspring and a plush 2″ pillow top.

DREAM Sleeper Mattress: 5″ Memory Foam Mattress designed for plush comfort and cooling.

Although the Dream Memory foam mattress is the most expensive, my personal choice for comfort and durability is the Luxe Mattress.

DreamSofa custom built sectional sleeper
Dream Sofa Chester Sectional Sleeper

Cushions determine the durability of most low & mid-priced sofas.

When the cushions wear out, it’s time to replace the sofa.

Why do so many sofa cushions wear out after 5 years or less?

“Price” is the biggest single factor in their customer’s decision whether to buy.

Accordingly, manufacturers receive tremendous pressure to “cut costs.”

The easiest place to cut costs is on components hidden inside the sofa, where the customers can’t see.

The result is often cheap engineered wood frames and flimsy foam cushions. Likewise, foam is one of the most expensive components in upholstered furniture.

Cheap engineered frames will usually hold up for at least 10 years.

Cheap foam cushions often wear out within 5 years or less.

Most furniture store salespeople find it easier (and faster) to sell something inexpensive than try to explain why a more expensive piece, that lasts longer, is a better value.

A sofa with 1.8 density cushions may need replacement within 5 years.

An identical sofa with 2.5 density cushions, priced $300 higher, often lasts 15 years or more.

When brand new on the showroom floor, both sofas may look and feel exactly the same.

This is not just a problem for “cheap” furniture.

There are $3000 sofas and $5000 sectionals, covered in beautiful, expensive leather, built with flimsy frames and cheap foam cushions that will need replacement after just a few years.

DreamSofa offers multiple cushion options.

Cloud: 1.8 lbs (soft) – 28 ILD (Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years.)

Wave: 2.0 lbs (medium) – 36 ILD (Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years.)

Performance: 2.2 lbs (firm) – 44 ILD (Estimated lifespan 8-10 years)

Benchmade: 2.5 lbs (extra firm) – 50 ILD (Estimated  lifespan 12 -15+ years.)

Plush: Combines 2.5 lb. 36 ILD medium firm foam with fabric covered steel coil marshall unit coil springs. (Estimated lifespan 15+ years.)

Spring Down: Combines 2.5 lb. 36 ILD medium firm foam with fabric covered steel coil marshall unit coil springs. A topper filled with feathers and down is added above and below the coil springs for increased softness. (Estimated lifespan 15+ years.)

 The Plush is the best value. 

The Spring Down option is more expensive, but adds only a minimal difference in comfort and will not last any longer than the Plush cushion option.

Explaining Cushion Density & Firmness options and comparisons.

Density is the primary factor that determines how long the foam will last before losing its resiliency (ability to bounce back) and comfort.

Higher density foams last longer.

Density is measured in lbs. per cubic ft. (or kgs. per cubic meter for some cushions made overseas.)

Foam firmness is measured on an ILD (Interior Load Deflection) Scale.

Higher ILD numbers indicate firmer foam.

Firmer foam does not last any longer than soft foam with the same density.

DreamSofa custom built sofas
DreamSofa Florence sofa with wood frame & nailheads

DreamSofa’s website offers over 1500 different individual furniture products.

That doesn’t include 6 different cushion options for each item or hundreds of different fabrics.

Fabrics are neatly organized by color and category for fast searching. 

  • Cleanable
  • High Performance
  • Oeko-Tex Certified
  • Kid Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Dog Friendly

It’s very easy to find fabrics that meet your specific requirements.

Full details on every fabric, including fiber content, number of rubs, fabric type, and fabric care are easily found.

The DreamSofa website makes it easy to order furniture without speaking with anyone in sales or customer service.

But it would be a good idea to check in with one of Dream Sofa’s Designers before placing your order.

There are custom options and benefits that do not appear on the website.

DreamSofa’s Warranty and DESIGNxCHANGE programs are unusually consumer-friendly.

By themselves, these two programs are a major reason to buy from this company.

Furniture warranties and Extended Warranties result in thousands of very upset consumers each year.

Furniture shoppers don’t realize most furniture warranties are written for the protection of the furniture retailers and manufacturers, not the people buying the furniture.

They are unaware that most of the “guarantees” that seem to be promised in bold print at the top of the document aren’t really guarantees.

They are nullified by numerous “exclusionary clauses” buried deep  down in the document in small print.

For a thorough explanation of this topic, check out my article, What Do Furniture Warranties Really Protect?

DreamSofa has a lifetime warranty on its frames, foundation & craftsmanship.

Cushions have a 3 year warranty.

DreamSofa customers have 100 Days to return their furniture if not 100% satisfied.

DreamSofa’s DESIGNxCHANGE program is unusual.

As described on the website:

We offer free exchanges during the warranty phase for any cushion that is deemed to be sagging or sinking due to manufacturing defects.

After the initial three-year warranty period, foam replacements are usually priced at $49, and cover replacements at $99, though prices may vary depending on the style.

Each client’s dedicated CARE agent will work with them to find the ideal cushion replacements to address their requirements.

This service allows customers to replace, exchange or order additional foam inserts and covers at any point, enabling them to wash covers or swap out foam cores to achieve a softer or firmer feel.

This Cushion Exchange program is unique in the furniture industry.

It eliminates a major concern that many people have about buying upholstered furniture without first trying it out.

If the cushions don’t feel right, you can swap them out for softer (or firmer) replacements.

Other Dimensions & Custom Options

Standard Chicago Dimensions
Seat Height: 20″
Arm Height: 24″
Seat Depth: 23″
Overall Depth: 38″
Back Cushion Thickness: 5″
Seat Cushion Thickness: 6″
*Our Entire collection is Custom American handmade. All custom dimensions subject to 1″-3″ variation
Seat Customization Options
Classic: 36″ | Seat Depth: 21″ | $99
Luxe: 38″ | Seat Depth: 23″  | $199
Lounge: 40″ | Seat Depth:  25″ | $299
Jumbo: 44″ | Seat Depth:  29″ | $399
Dream: 48″ | Seat Depth:  33″ | $499
Custom: Any | Seat Depth: Any | $699
*Our Entire collection is Custom American handmade. All custom dimensions subject to 1″-3″ variation.

If you like my Insider’s Guide To Furniture please encourage your friends and family to check it out.

My 45 years in the furniture industry have provided me with a detailed knowledge of furniture brands, construction, quality & value.

Over the past decade, I have written over 2,000 articles, reviews, and answers, seen by over 2 million viewers.

If any information on this website is out-of-date or inaccurate, please let me know and it will be promptly corrected.

22 thoughts on “DreamSofa: Durable Sofas at Affordable Prices. Custom built in the USA”

  1. So, this may be an incredibly dumb question, but how do I actually get the 3% discount? Is it a code or do I just need to let the team know sometime during the purchase process that I only discovered the brand because of you/your blog?

    Reply
    • Paul,
      Contact Dreamsofa’s Sales Manager, Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

      He will make sure you get the discount.

      Dreamsofa has a huge amount of stuff on its website. It’s easy to miss something if you try to navigate it on your own.

      On top of that, the company makes lots of stuff that isn’t on the website at all.

      For example, there are no ottomans on the website. Dreamsofa makes matching ottomans for every one of its styles in 6 standard sizes and custom sizes. The ottomans are also available with optional storage or table tops.

      All seat depths can be customized.

      Dreamsofa has several modular groups that don’t appear on the website. They can do U-shape sectionals or add chaises on to L- or U-sectionals

      There’s a special frame and foundation option for 300+ lb. individuals.

      All styles are available with optional slipcovers.

      Those are just a few of the things that aren’t on the website. Contacting Ryan is the only way to find out about a lot of stuff that may be important.

      Reply
  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the detailed article. How do you know Dreamsofa is producing the quality they say they are? My intention is not to sound snarky, after buying what I thought was quality in the past only to have to throw it out/fix it in a few years, you can say I’m skeptical. They can say the frame is gold plated and the seats are stuffed with angel feathers but unless you open it up, you don’t know. The devil is in the details. All hardwood frames – fine but what grade – are there knots? Coil insertions for the cushions, but is the quality of the foam that surrounds them really that good? Have you seen a sample, an invoice for the type of foam they say their using? How many coils in a cushion, what type of steel? Where was the insert made? If they’ve only been around since 2019 – how do I know it will last 15 years? I’m working with them right now but the process is a little painful. Apparently if you like the standard designs you’re good but if you need to make changes its a maze of email confusion. Customization costs are not all spelled out and somewhat ambiguous and some seemed a bit unreasonable. I wasn’t ready for the $400 up charge for a change in feet of the same height – just a different style but it could be I misunderstood the response. I really want to scream as loud as possible: Put.The.Informaiton.On.Your.Website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – seriously no actual seat depth or total height listed for a single sofa/sectional. In the end, I don’t want to go through all of this only to find out 5-10 years down the road that they ‘exaggerated’ a bit. To boil it down, why should I trust them? I’m on my third Pottery Barn sofa. I don’t want to put another piece of garbage in the landfill – along with my hard earned 5 grand.

    Reply
    • You raise very good questions. The purpose of my Insider’s Guide to Furniture blog is to provide answers for these questions, using my 48 years experience in the furniture industry.

      To answer some of your specific questions:

      1) “How do you know Dreamsofa is producing the quality they say they are?”

      I first discovered Dreamsofa in March 2023 after reading two comments in the Reddit blog. Both were criticizing Dreamsofa furniture.

      The first was about cushions that were “rock hard” and extremely uncomfortable. The second was about cushions that wore out after just a few years.

      I was very surprised to learn there was a “direct to consumer” furniture manufacturer that I had not heard of in my previous 45 years in the furniture industry.

      I soon discovered that Dreamsofa was a fairly large west coast manufacturer that made seating primarily for west coast commercial and institutional customers, such as hotels and healthcare facilities.

      Although Dreamsofa’s factory produces over 1000 pieces per week, only a very small number of those pieces were sold to consumers through the website. The website had been set up primarily for the convenience of independent interior design professionals who worked on projects for Dreamsofa’s commercial customers.

      I spent many hours, going through the Dreamsofa website in great detail. At the end of that, I sent a very long email to Dreamsofa’s Sales Manager.

      In this email, I told him that I wrote the Insider’s Guide furniture blog, and that I thought he had, potentially, the best “direct to consumer” furniture website in the entire country, but that I couldn’t recommend it without a few major changes.

      We exchanged numerous emails over the following week. In the end, they agreed to make all of the changes I was proposing.

      Before getting into what those changes were, you should know that I am particularly interested in “direct to consumer” furniture manufacturers.

      In 2007, I set up the first direct to consumer furniture manufacturing company in the U.S. 100% of Sales were made online through the company’s website.

      2007 was the beginning of the big Recession. 20% of all U.S. furniture manufacturers and retailers closed down from 2007 through 2010 because of the Recession.

      This was also several years before any of the big online furniture retailers had established themselves as major furniture sellers. Amazon and Wayfair were not yet big furniture sellers at that time.

      The direct to consumer online furniture manufacturing company I set up in 2007 was Simplicity Sofas.

      Although I sold the company and retired in 2022, the company is still in business, under the ownership of my former production manager who made every piece of furniture sold over the company’s first three years.

      If you want to read more about Simplicity Sofas, check out Will Simplicity Sofas Furniture Really Last Forever?

      I mention that only because I am uniquely qualified to know a good direct to consumer furniture website when I see it.

      The biggest problem I found with the Dreamsofa website was that the listed products and options were set up for commercial customers. The website was not especially good for individual shoppers looking for personal residential type seating.

      The styles shown were not the problem. The 60+ sofa styles and 120+ sectional styles were mostly modern and mid-century, which have been the hottest styles over the past few years.

      The biggest single problem was the cushion options. Dreamsofa offered 4 cushion options, beginning with 1.8 density foam, by far the most commonly available type of seat cushion in Dreamsofa’s price range.

      The upgrades were: 2.0 density “medium-firm” foam, 2.2 density “firm” foam, and 2.5 density “extra-firm” foam.

      1.8 density foam is by far, the most common type of cushion found on sofas and sectionals sold in furniture stores and online retailers in all price ranges.

      If you read a few of the articles on my blog, you will quickly see that I despise 1.8 density foam cushions.

      Most frames and foundations (including very cheap ones) last at least 10 years, and usually 15+. Pairing a 15+ year frame and foundation with cushions that are designed to wear out within 3 to 5 years, is a deliberate marketing strategy to sell new sofas and sectionals every 5 years.

      So the first thing I told Dreamsofa was that they had to guarantee that none of my readers would receive 1.8 density foam cushions. If anyone did order them, they would be given a free upgrade to the 2.0 density cushions (which last 2 or 3 years longer.)

      My next requirement was for Dreamsofa to develop a very comfortable medium-firm coil spring cushion surrounded by 2.5 density foam. Dreamsofa’s 2.5 density extra-rirm cushions lasted 15+ years, but were too firm for residential use.

      Most shoppers buying for their homes would find them uncomfortably hard (such as the Reddit comment that first introduced me to Dreamsofa.)

      I originally suggested a Spring Down cushion option, but that was revised to a less expensive cushion that used the same top quality springs and foam, but substituted lower cost polyester fiber for the feathers and down.

      That made sense for two reasons: It lowered the cost and also reduced “puddling,” also known as “comfort wrinkles” which is the #1 complaint of people who buy high end upholstered furniture.

      Substituting polyester fiber for feathers does not affect the long-term durability of the cushions. Very few people (including industry professionals) can feel any difference in comfort between a polyester fiber topper and one filled with feathers and down.

      Dreamsofa agreed to offer the new “Plush” cushion just for my readers. They did not put it on their website for another 6 months. During those first 6 months they received an average of over 1 sale per day from my readers.

      Over 90% of my readers requested the Plush cushion option. After that, Dreamsofa took the 2.5 density cushion option off the website and substituted the Plush cushions instead.

      Dreamsofa offered to pay me a 3% commission for all the orders I was bringing to them.

      I don’t accept payment from any of the companies I write about.

      Instead, I asked Dreamsofa to offer my readers a Special 3% discount. They agreed, although the company does not offer any other discounts and does not have any special Sale events.

      2) Your question about the quality of materials is also excellent! One of the reasons high quality sofa manufacturers avoid softwoods like Pine is that they are more likely to have knots. A second reason is that softwoods have a higher moisture content and are more likely to warp if a room is too dry.

      The potential problem with “solid hardwood frames” is that some of the cheaper hardwood species, such as Poplar and Aspen, aren’t much harder than Pine. So you see those species in some cheap brands that claim to have “solid hardwood frames.” Dreamsofas frames are made from Maple, Red Oak, birch, and Alder.

      3) How can you tell cushion quality?

      I have written numerous articles about cushions and foams. If you go through my website and do a search for “foam,” you will see articles that go into great detail on how long different foam densities can be expected to last, and the outside factors that impact a cushion’s lifespan, such as the size and thickness of the foam core, the weight of the people using the cushion, the amount of time used, etc. Also, reclining cushions wear faster than stationary cushions.

      There are two common types of coil springs used in cushions.

      Pocketed coil cushions are becoming more popular in lower priced seating. The lower priced coils do last twice as long as 1.8 density foam cushions.

      But to make pocketed coil cushions similar in price to cheap foam, the manufacturers have to skimp on the foam padding above the coils. That makes the cushions uncomfortably firm for many people.

      Dreamsofa uses Marshall coils, which are fabric wrapped coils that are connected together. All the Marshall coils move together when you sit on the cushion.

      You will find Marshall coils in all high end Spring Down cushions. Marshall coils were first developed in 1901 for mattresses used in luxury ocean liners. At that time they were considered the most comfortable (and most expensive) mattresses in the world.

      30 years later, the Simmons Mattress company figured out how to mass produce Marshall coils for their Beautyrest Mattress line. Marshall coils are still used in Beautyrest mattresses.

      How do I know that Dreamsofa is using Marshall coils and 2.5 density foam in their Plush cushions? Because, those cushions were built to my specifications for my readers. And I asked Dreamsofa to send me a sample.

      When I started my Simplicity Sofas factory in 2007, we originally offered 1.8 density foam cushions as the standard. We charged $200 for an upgrade to 2.5 density cushions and $300 for Spring Down.

      3 years later, I dropped the 1.8 density foam cushions. I got tired of constantly replacing worn out 1.8 density cushion cores. Instead, the 2.5 density foam cushions became the standard, with upgrades to 2.5 density foam wrapped in memory foam and Spring Down.

      Replacement of 2.5 density foam cores and Spring Down cores were almost zero during the 15 years I owned and ran the factory. When customers weighed 300+ lbs. I insisted that they purchase the Spring Down cushions. There were no complaints. That’s why I feel confident that Dreamsofa’s Plush cushions will last 15+ years.

      4) Why are customization costs not clearly spelled out?

      Dreamsofa’s website was basically developed as a “cheat sheet” for interior designers who work with Dreamsofa’s commercial customers. It primarily lists the most common items and options needed by those interior designers.

      If they need something different, they have assigned contacts in Dreamsofa’s design department they can consult with.

      Most of the products and custom options Dreamsofa offers are not shown on the website at all.

      For example, the website shows about 200 different fabrics. Dreamsofa actually stocks over 2000 fabrics for its customers.

      A partial list of available product categories & custom options not shown on the Dreamsofa website includes:

    • Increased (or decreased) custom seat depths.
    • Custom heights, widths and depths for arms or backs.
    • Matching ottomans (6 standard sizes for each style + custom sizes.
    • Throw pillows, bolsters, and other types of pillows.
    • Optional cushion sizes.
    • U-shaped sectionals.
    • U and L-shaped sectionals with chaises.
    • Sofas and sectionals can be made as modular units upon request.
    • Modular sofas and sectionals.
    • Ability to convert non-modular sectionals into modular units.
    • Reversible chaise and ottoman options.
    • Wedge and curved corner units.
    • Titan Forge frame and foundation upgrade for individuals weighing 300+ lbs.
    • Contrast welting (The welting (piping) is available in a different fabric than the rest of the furniture.)
    • C.O.M (Customer’s Own Material) fabrics are permitted.
    • Dreamsofa also has a unique DesignXChange program, which I don’t think is listed on the website.

      This program allows you to exchange cushion covers and cushion cores for free if they become damaged or worn out within the first 3 years.

      After that they can be replaced at a minimal charge (less than 1/2 what a retailer would charge.) The base price for replacing a 2.0 density cushion core (after 3 years) is currently $49. Replacing a cushion cover (after 3 years) is $99 for a Tier 1 fabric.

      Not all of Dreamsofa’s designers and pricing people are as good as the top people.

      If you run into a situation where you feel an up charge is unreasonable (such as $400 for changing feet) just let me know and I will get in touch with the Sales Manager and have the charge reviewed.

      You stated that the seat depths and total heights aren’t listed on the website.

      Total heights are easy. Just add 4 inches to the back frame height. All Dreamsofa back cushions (on modern styles with loose cushions) stick up 4 inches above the back frame (unless you request something different.)

      Seat depths are a little trickier. Because the overall depths and seat depths vary from one style to another, here is a chart that identifies the overall depth, the seat depth you will find with that overall depth.

      Seat Customization Options

      Overall depth: 36″ | Seat Depth: 21″
      Overall depth: 38″ | Seat Depth: 23″
      Overall depth: 39” | Seat Depth: 24”
      Overall depth: 40″ | Seat Depth: 25″
      Overall depth: 44″ | Seat Depth: 29″
      Overall depth: 48″ | Seat Depth: 33″
      Overall depth: Any | Seat Depth: Any | $499

      If you ever want to work with Dreamsofa but need help to clear up some confusion, just contact me.

      I am in contact with Dreamsofa’s Sales Manager almost every day. When I make a request, it is normally taken care of the same day.

      If something doesn’t seem to make sense, I’ll find out what is going on. If Dreamsofa has made a mistake, I will get the factory to make a correction.

      Reply
  3. Hi Jeff:

    Thank you so much for your review and comments here, but also not…because it flipped my research on its head. I’ve been slowly searching for the best sofa for my new space, and had it narrowed down to a few:
    West Elm Melbourne
    Room & Board Linger
    Room & Board Metro
    Crate & Barrel Axis

    Now I’m not sure…the Dreamsofa sounds too good to be true. I’ve sat on a lot of sofas and my biggest concerns have been how long they will last, and how comfortable they are. A lot leave me lacking, as I want decent back support and cushions that feel like they will hold up and not lose shape (while not being overstuffed and rock hard). Everything I have looked at seems to circle the $2k range, which is at the high end of my budget, but I’d rather pay a little extra now than find out something is lacking in 2 or 3 years.

    I stumbled across a comment you made on Reddit where you suggested the Dresden for someone, and so started my Dreamsofa research. They have a lot of “models”! I’m a bit nervous about commiting, since I have done a lot ofn sofa sitting in store to narrow down my selections. Is there a Dreamsofa comparable to the above couches I mentioned? I’m terrified I will order one and find the back support to be lacking (too low, or too bouncy, etc).

    Reply
    • Thanks for your questions.

      1)You stated “Dreamsofa sounds too good to be true.”

      Dreamsofa is a Direct-to-Consumer furniture manufacturer. There are very few genuine DTC furniture manufacturers in the USA other than small shops and individual artisans that do not have access to expensive automated equipment, discounted raw material prices, and other advantages of larger furniture manufacturers.

      There are thousands of online furniture retailers claiming to be DTC (Direct To Consumer) companies because the suppliers they buy from ship direct to their customer’s homes.

      That is very different from the small handful of Direct to Consumer manufacturers, of which Dreamsofa is one of the largest in the USA.

      Most DTC furniture manufacturers are very small. It’s difficult to sell enough furniture to establish manufacturing efficiencies if you are selling to only one small customer at a time.

      Dreamsofa is much larger than most other DTC manufacturers.They ship over 1000 pieces each week. Most of their customers are large commercial and institutional organizations, such as hotels and healthcare facilities.

      All of these orders are customized. There is no standard product line. The average size of the commercial orders is much larger than those received from individual shoppers through the Dreamsofa website.

      But the individuals placing small orders for residential furniture are able to take full advantage of the manufacturing efficiencies created by Dreamsofa’s larger commercial customers.

      Dreamsofa’s website was originally set up for the convenience of professional interior designers working on large commercial projects. 100% of the orders placed through the website are for custom pieces. Dreamsofa has thousands of custom items and options.

      Without the website, Dreamsofa’s sales and design staff would have to calculate unique prices for each separate piece on every order.The website takes a few hundred of the most commonly ordered items and a few hundred of the most common options and establishes fixed prices for these items and options.

      There are no discounts or Sale prices! Interior designers who place orders through the website do get a commission, but the price of the furniture is fixed.

      Insider’s Guide readers get a special 3% discount. This is the interior designer’s commission that Dreamsofa offered to me, as the owner of the Insider’s Guide, to refer customers to them. Since I do not accept payment from the companies I write about, I requested that it be given to my readers instead.

      Until very recently, Dreamsofa did not advertise or actively seek residential shoppers. Despite that, increasing numbers of individual shoppers are discovering the website.

      A large part of the reason why Dreamsofa’s prices seem so unbelievably low for high end custom seating, is that these individual shoppers are receiving the same prices as Dreamsofa’s large commercial customers.

      Dreamsofa also has another huge advantage over furniture stores and online retailers in both pricing and quality.

      Furniture dealers sell to their customers at double the price they pay to manufacturers. If a store (or online retailer) sells you a sofa for $2000, they purchased it from a manufacturer for less than $1000.

      The manufacturer’s cost to make a $1000 couch is about $800 with a $200 profit.

      Direct-to-consumer manufacturers bypass the retailer and sell directly to you. They can spend $1200 (50% more) to make a much better quality couch and then sell it directly to you for $1800 ($200 less than the retailer’s price.)

      The DTC manufacturer earns a $600 profit (3X as much as they would make selling a lower quality couch to a retailer or wholesaler) and you get a much better quality sofa for a lower price. That is what Dreamsofa is doing!

      Dreamsofa ships over 1000 pieces each week. Only a small (but growing) percentage of those sales are from their DTC website. The bulk of their business is selling to high quality, durable seating to commercial and hospitality accounts, including healthcare facilities and hotels.

      The Dreamsofa website was initially set up to help interior design professionals who work with those commercial accounts. It was not intended for selling direct to individual consumers.

      What changed was that a little over a year ago, I stumbled across the Dreamsofa website after seeing two negative comments about the company on Reddit.

      One comment was from someone stating that their Dreamsofa furniture was uncomfortably firm. Another stated that the seat cushions wore out within one year.

      I looked at the website and quickly discovered that this was an amazing company.

      It could make and sell high end custom seating at prices that were the same (or below) similarly styled mass produced seating being sold through furniture retailers.

      I also saw the reason for the complaints. There were hundreds of options available, but many were beneficial for commercial customers and completely inappropriate for individuals looking for residential seating.

      For example, the Reddit reader who complained her cushions were “uncomfortably firm” had obviously selected Dreamsofa’s 2.5 density extra-firm cushions. Those cushions are great in hotels where long term durability is more important than comfort, but not what most people are looking for in their homes.

      The interior design professionals who buy from Dreamsofa know that, and they also know that if they make a mistake and get a cushion that is inappropriate, they can call the company and have replacement cushions sent in (at no charge) for up to 3 years after the sale.

      Most consumers buying from the website are unaware of that, and are unaware that they can get free assistance by contacting Dreamsofa’s Sales or Design staffs and asking for advice.

      When I first discovered Dreamsofa’s website, I spent many hours going through everything before contacting Dreamsofa’s Sales Manager, Ryan Giordano.

      I told Ryan that I thought he had the perfect company for selling direct to consumers, but that I could not recommend it to my readers unless he made some changes.

      For example, I told him I did not want my readers to buy Dreamsofa’s basic 1.8 density foam cushions. Ryan agreed to give my readers a free upgrade to the 2.0 density cushions which last twice as long for many people.

      I also told him the 2.5 density extra firm cushion which was Dreamsofa’s top of the line cushion option, wouldn’t work for most furniture shoppers. What he needed was a medium-firm coil spring based cushion that would last 15+ years.

      My original suggestion was a high quality Spring Down cushion, but Ryan suggested an alternative hybrid cushion that would have the same coil springs surrounded by medium-firm 2.5 density foam, but substitute polyester fiber for the feathers and down in the cushions’ topper.

      This had two advantages. It reduced the cushions’ cost and also reduced “puddling” (also known as comfort wrinkles.) Puddling is one of the most frequent complaints heard from customers who buy high end seating.

      The resulting Plush cushion option was authorized only for my readers. It was not placed on the website until more than 6 months later after more than 100 customers that I had referred to Dreamsofa had ordered them and expressed 100% approval.

      Now the Plush cushion option is on the website and the 2.5 density extra-firm cushions are gone (although they can still be ordered by the company’s commercial customers.)

      Dreamsofa also offered me a 3% commission on all the sales I was sending to them, but I declined since I do not accept payment from any of the companies I write about.

      Instead, I requested that they offer the 3% to my readers as a discount. That proposal was accepted.

      Another important part of my referrals to Dreamsofa is that I recommend to my readers that they need to contact Ryan directly, before purchasing.

      Ryan (and his design staff) ensure that my readers are aware of the best styles and options, and are steered away from ordering things they may regret later.

      [If you are interested in buying from Dreamsofa, contact Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com. He will make everything very easy for you.]

      If you buy a Dreamsofa sofa with 1.8 density cushions, it will fall apart just as quickly as anything from West Elm or Crate and Barrel (although it will cost a few hundred dollars less.)

      What makes Dreamsofa such as superb value is that it enables shoppers to buy a good looking, very comfortable $2000 sofa that can stay that way for 15+ years.

      You can’t find that in any furniture store or online furniture retailer.

      Another reason for doing this is because most of what Dreamsofa makes is not shown on the website at all.

      Just a few of these missing items and options include:

      • Modular sofas and sectionals.
      • Matching ottomans (6 standard sizes for each style + custom sizes.
      • U-shaped sectionals.
      • U and L-shaped sectionals with chaises.
      • Increased (or decreased) custom seat depths.
      • Custom heights, widths and depths for arms or backs.
      • Optional cushion sizes.
      • Titan Forge frame and foundation upgrade for individuals weighing 300+ lbs.

      2) The fundamental problem with buying furniture from retail stores such as West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, etc. is that 90+% of their seating is sold with 1.8 density foam cushions.

      The frames and foundations will usually last 10+ years with no problems, but most 1.8 density foam cushions lose their shape, resilience, and comfort within 3 to 5 years.

      A 250 lb. individual can collapse a 1.8 density foam cushion in less than 1 year.

      In many (most?) cases, the stores will not inform you that the cushions are made with 1.8 density foam. They will use alternative terms such as “blend down,” or “high density foam,” or “high resilience foam,” or “polyfoam.”

      Of the four models you listed in your question, only the Linger has a coil spring cushion (that should last 10+ years.) The others all have 1.8 density foam cushions.

      The Linger’s coil spring cushions won’t last as long as Dreamsofa’s Plush cushions, because the Linger surrounds the coils with 1.8 density foam where the Plush cushions surround their coils with medium-firm 2.5 density foam.

      Room & Board has one other collection (Stevens) with coil spring cushions. Crate & Barrel also has two coil spring collections (Gather and Peyton.)

      Those are the only collections R&B and C&B sell that will probably still look good and feel comfortable after 5 years.

      I don’t recommend West Elm because they have a horrendous number of negative independent reviews. I love their styling, but not the construction or customer service.

      There is a reason furniture retailers sell the vast majority of their sofas (priced under $3000) with 1.8 density foam cushions.

      Furniture retailers make more money by selling seating that needs to be replaced every 5 years.

      Most frames and foundations are built to last 10 to 15+ years for average size people with average use.

      Most cushions sold by these retailers are built to wear out within 3 to 5 years for the same average people and average use.

      Worn out cushions are rarely replaced. It’s far more common to replace the entire sofa or sectional when the cushions wear out.

      It’s easy to make seat cushions that will last 10 to 15+ years.

      But there’s a problem! Sofas and sectionals with better quality cushions that last 10 to 15+ years cost at least $100 more per cushion in the retailer’s showroom (or website.)

      More expensive furniture doesn’t sell as quickly.

      Price is, by far, the most important factor in most people’s decision whether or not to purchase furniture.

      When furniture is brand new in a showroom, the cheaper 1.8 density foam cushions can feel just as (or more) comfortable than more expensive cushions that will last far longer.

      When shown on a website, there is no difference at all in the photo that the customer sees.

      It’s far easier for salespeople (and websites) to sell cheaper furniture than to try explaining why a couch that looks the same is worth $300 more.

      Retailers make more money when they turn over their inventory more often. Slow sellers are replaced on showroom floors by items that the store buyer thinks will sell faster.

      Reply
  4. Hi there Jeff,

    My husband and I want to pull the trigger on a DreamSofa with the plush cushions but we are skeptical. We asked for real life pictures of sofas and what we got we are sure are AI generated. When I made a post on Reddit, the gut feeling I got was that some fake accounts were upvoting each other and commenting as a marketing technique and downvoting comments that questioned DreamSofa. Your write up about them is the only thing keeping us interested still. Can you please tell us why a company wouldn’t be able to share real customer photos ? It really does seem too good to be true and we feel hesitant to make a mistake here

    Reply
    • Rachel,
      Sorry for the delayed response. I just found your comment in my spam folder.

      Dreamsofa is an amazing company. I’ve referred over 100 of my readers to them over the past year and have not heard a single complaint (and lots of thank yous.)

      I do not accept payment from any of the companies I write about, including Dreamsofa.

      There is a simple explanation to your question of why all their photos are AI generated (although it’s actually a different technology since it was done before AI became popular.)

      Dreamsofa is a custom manufacturer. Everything they make is a little different. They don’t have a showroom anywhere with floor samples that can be photographed.

      Companies that photograph real sofas for their websites use professional photography studios with multiple fake backgrounds. A team of 3 or 4 people can spend a half hour or more setting up a vignette and preparing a sofa. Bigger manufacturers and retailers often have their own photography studios.

      That preparation can include steaming or ironing and pinning up places that show unsightly wrinkles. They also can photoshop blemishes out of the photos afterwards.

      Dreamsofa is in the process of setting up an Ambassador program that will include gifts or discounts for customers that send them photos of their furniture in their homes.

      You can ask their sales manager, Ryan Girodano about it. He can be reached at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

      I’m going to send a copy of your comment and question to Ryan and let him know its been sitting in my spam folder for two weeks. You should be hearing from him soon.
      Jeff

      Reply
  5. Thanks so much for your detailed reviews, Jeff! My partner and I have found it so helpful as we explore big-ticket furniture items we hope to invest in for a long time. We’ve been in touch with both Ryan and Marissa to get our sofa process started. I’m curious to know if you have any experience or recommendations for their sleeper sofas? Ideally, we’d like to get the sleeper sofa as an option for when guests stay over, but does this mean any decline in the sofa quality itself when we’re not using it as a bed? Would appreciate any thoughts you may have here, and thanks again!

    Reply
    • There are only a few companies making sleeper mechanisms. Leggett & Platt is the largest.

      L&P sleeper mechanisms are everywhere. In a previous article, I noted that the same L&P mechanism was being used in a $10,000 Hancock & Moore sleeper and also in a $800 Ashley sleeper.

      Dreamsofa uses the standard heavy-duty Leggett & Platt mechanisms.

      Dreamsofa has 3 mattress options. The middle option, Luxe, has a coil spring construction. I prefer it over their more expensive Memory foam mattress option.

      Regarding your question about whether there is a sofa quality decline:

    • Dreamsofa’s solid hardwood frames are built to last 15+ years.
    • The sinuous wire foundations also last 15+ years.
    • The Plush cushions also last 15+ years.
    • In a sleeper, the mechanism and mattress replace the foundation.

      Sleeper mechanisms have a 10 year average lifespan if they’re used occasionally.

      Another option for overnight guests would be an air bed.

      Endura Ease makes a comfortable queen size air bed that fits over the decking of a sofa or sectional. That way it takes up far less space in the room.

      You can buy Endura Ease air beds online direct from the manufacturer, Seating Systems. Currently, the price is $280. It comes with an electric pump that inflates the air bed in 5 minutes.

      The Endura Ease link above takes you to the Seating Systems website. Click on the video to see how the Endura Ease works.

      Better quality Air beds have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years, but you can get 4 of these air beds for the same price as the additional cost you would be paying to put a sleeper into a Dreamsofa.

      Reply
  6. After a ton of research and just happening to stumble upon a post on Reddit leading me to your website, I am still conflicted on Dreamsofa. Everything about them almost sounds too good to be true and what little I can find online about them are negative experiences. With a lack of communication after the order was placed to not being able to manage expectations with reasonable shipping times to several other random complaints. Now I fully understand that usually the most vocal online are those leaving negative reviews whether it’s a random product on Amazon or an expensive sofa while those who are happy rarely are online to express it.

    I guess where I am going with this is looking for some words of encouragement from someone online that I don’t even know that they are indeed the real thing. I just find it strange that they seem to do little to no marketing and don’t have a lot of exposure of “in the wild” pictures that I could find from customers, etc. Where at the other brands such as Mantle and Medley Home at least seem to do a better job of putting themselves out there.

    Reply
    • You are right to be skeptical about reviews of furniture brands and products. Many reviews are currently being written by people who get paid for referring customers to the brand they are reviewing. 

      I retired a year and a half ago after 45 years in the furniture industry. You can see a summary of my background and experience in the About Us section of this website.

      I DO NOT RECEIVE PAYMENT FROM ANY OF THE COMPANIES I REVIEW!

      One of my goals in writing the Insider’s Guide to Furniture, is to provide the type of detailed information that shoppers can’t find anywhere else.

      Another is to identify the small handful of furniture manufacturers that offer exceptional values within specific product niches.

      I do not unconditionally recommend DreamSofa.

      What I do recommend very strongly is DreamSofa’s custom-built fabric sofas and sectionals built to last 15+ years.

      I do not recommend DreamSofa products sold with their cheap 1.8 or 2.0 density foam cushion options.

      DreamSofa’s frames and foundations are constructed to last 15+ years.  When you combine that expensive construction with cheap cushions that wear out within 3 – 6 years, that gives you an expensive sofa that will wear out within the same time frame as much cheaper mass-produced sofas. That is not the way to buy DreamSofa!

      For $200 more, DreamSofa can upgrade you to their Plush cushion option. The Plush cushions have a coil spring core surrounded by a medium firm 2.5 density foam. They will keep their shape and comfort for 15+ years (and probably a lot longer.)

      Mass produced sofas are not available with long-term, comfortable cushions. Price is far more important to retailers selling mass produced furniture, than long-term durability.

      When DreamSofa is compared with other custom-built brands that are constructed to stay comfortable and trouble-free for 15+ years, it’s a fantastic bargain. 

      You can see exactly how this value is created if you read my article, Bassett, Ethan Allen, or DreamSofa: Which Brand is the Best?

      In that article, I selected 3 custom-built sofas (not Bassett’s mass produced sofa line) that have almost identical specifications. DreamSofa is priced hundreds of dollars less. 

      Your comment asks why you haven’t heard more about DreamSofa. 

      Actually, you probably have. DreamSofa makes all the high end custom seating for Apt2B, a very well-known national online retailer.

      I don’t recommend the furniture made by Apt2B. All of their DreamSofa-made products are sold with 2.0 density foam cushions (with an average 4 – 6 year lifespan.)

      Most DreamSofa furniture is sold to west coast commercial accounts and interior design professionals. Direct to Consumer sales are only a small part of the business.

      You are correct that they do very little marketing. Marketing is unnecessary for commercial accounts or interior designers. Direct to Consumer hasn’t been a major priority.

      There aren’t really many negative reviews. 

      Most of the ones I’ve seen concerned delivery problems during the Pandemic, when every furniture brand and retailer was experiencing similar problems.

      The few I’ve seen that are quality related, were probably sold with the cheap cushions.

      Customer service has been outstanding, at least for my readers, since I first contacted the company about a year ago. 

      If you contact Ryan Giordano, DreamSofa’s sales manager at ryan@dreamsofa.com and let him know you were referred by the Insider’s Guide, you will get instant communication and assistance.

      Since DreamSofa has a huge number of additional products and options that are not shown on the website, it’s a good idea to contact Ryan, in any event.

      Also, there is a Special 3% Discount, just for Inisider’s Guide readers.This percentage was offered to me, but I asked that it go to my readers instead.

      Reply
    • If you just enter “Insiders Guide to Furniture” for the Discount Code, I’m sure that will work.

      DreamSofa has a huge number of products, sizes, and custom options, including many that aren’t listed on the website.

      Because of that, it’s always a good idea to contact them to let them know exactly what you’re looking for, so they can guide you to the best possible solution.

      Contact Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

      If you ask Ryan for the Discount Code, he’ll be able to give it to you. I can’t remember whether we ever agreed on a formal Discount code, but there have been many of my readers who have bought from DreamSofa and received their discount.

      Reply
  7. Hi Jeff,

    Sounds like we shouldn’t wait for the new plush benchmade cushions? Just letting you know that coupon code isn’t working!

    Reply
    • The plush cushions are available. They’re just taking a long time to get them on the website.

      If you contact Marissa, she will be able to tell you how to order them.

      I’ll check on the discount code.

      Reply
    • Diane,
      I received an email from DreamSofa sales manager Ryan Giordano last night.

      They will soon be adding a new BenchMade “Plush” cushion option to their website.
      “Plush” will be a coil spring cushion with a 2.5 density foam border.

      I’m not sure whether the top layer will be Down/feathers, polyester fiber, or a blend of both – but it terms of comfort it makes very little difference, and no difference at all in durability.

      One interesting note is that most high end Spring Down cushions use 1.8 density foam as the border surrounding the coil springs. Hancock & Moore, a top quality brand making sofas that sell for $10,000+ makes their Spring/down cushions with 1.8 density foam.

      The reason they don’t use a higher grade of foam is that most of the pressure applied to a cushion when you sit on it is going onto the springs, not the foam. So there is no real reason to use a more expensive (and more durable) foam for the border, unless you weigh 250 lbs. or more.

      DreamSofa’s coil spring cushions are using 2.5 density foam, which means they’ll probably feel like new for 20+ years, even for people weighing 250 lbs.

      Reply
      • Thank you, Jeff! I put in a request this morning for an appointment with Marissa or Ryan next week to discuss my order.
        I also ordered a Himolla Aura recliner for my petite self yesterday, and we’re traveling to look at Elran recliners for my husband tomorrow.
        We truly couldn’t have made this journey without you! I tell everyone I know to check this site out before making a purchase.

  8. Hi Jeff,
    I greatly appreciate all that you do for us! I have been obsessively researching a new sofa and recliners for well over a year and you are my most valuable resource.
    My husband and I are now retired and want to finally spend our hard-earned money on good quality, long-lasting, COMFORTABLE furniture.
    I was just about to order a Mantle Jasper but I ducked back in and saw you’ve updated your research this month and have given me a few more options to chew on.
    I’m very interested in DreamSofa but discouraged that the best quality cushions offered are going to be too firm for us.
    You told us to let you know, so I am.
    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Diane,
      I keep telling DreamSofa they need to change the cushion options listed on their website.

      They are a custom manufacturer and can do almost anything.

      The company sells primarily to commercial accounts. Commercial accounts like extra firm seating.

      For my readers I recommend either a 2.5 density Medium firm cushion with a memory foam wrapping or Spring Down.

      Both should be available at the same price as the listed 2.5 density extra-firm. (The 2.5/memory foam will feel a little softer than the Spring Down.)

      Both of these cushions should retain their initial comfort for 15 – 20+ years for average size people. (For someone weighing 250 lbs. they should still last 10 – 15+ years.)

      Reply

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