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How Do I Avoid Junk and Make Sure My Furniture Will Last?

By Jeff Frank


Jeff, First off thank you for this great website. In the past, I have made the mistake of purchasing cheaper furniture (including two Hooker Bonded leather recliners) to only see it wear down and feel that my money was wasted. So, this time I am trying to educate myself on furniture so that I do not make the same mistake.

My wife and I, being born and raised Western North Carolinians, have started to take more pride in NC made furniture and the NC furniture industry (my grandfather actually worked at Century Furn. until he retired).

The reason I am writing is we are looking at purchasing a sectional (fabric) and a leather recliner and I am looking for your opinion on the Craftmaster F9 sectional and a recommendation on a leather recliner.

I will say that we currently have a Craftmaster sofa and loveseat (4 years and going) and love it. It is sturdy and shows no signs of wearing, even with two medium sized dogs.

Because of our great experience with Craftmaster, I am a bit biased to them, hence the question about the F9 sectional. But I look to you for your opinion and advice on our soon to be purchase.

In regards to the leather recliner, I currently have 2 Hooker Rc244-089 recliners, which are on their last leg because of the bonded leather. We would like to replace these “pieces of junk” with one quality leather recliner that will last for years to come.

Any advice and recommendations so that our furniture will last for years to come, would be greatly appreciated.


May 19, 2020


Century makes top quality furniture. Hooker’s reclining furniture is made in China, but the parent company also owns Bradington Young, which makes a similar line of real leather reclining furniture in Hickory, NC. The quality is comparable to Century.

Other top quality U.S. manufacturers of reclining furniture include:

All of the companies listed above, including Bradington Young, are leather specialists.

Check out my article What is the quality of Craftmaster furniture? I rate them above most of the large mid-range furniture manufacturers.

The Craftmaster sectional you refer to may be available with power reclining options. Craftmaster’s non-reclining seating will last far longer and have fewer problems in most cases.

Independent reviews for Craftmaster can be negative, but most of the problems appear to be related to fabrics that “pill” and customer service (which is most likely the fault of the retailer.) If you can avoid those two issues you should be OK.

Another option that you may want to consider is to have your bonded leather recliners reupholstered. Replacing the bonded leather with high quality real leather may be a cost-efficient solution. Any needed repairs to seats or frames would be minimal.

There are quite a few good reupholsterers in North Carolina. If you do not know one closer to you, I can highly recommend Glenn Laughlin in Sophia, NC.

He has been reupholstering and making custom upholstery for over 40 years, including original prototypes for many high end North Carolina manufacturers.

Here is his contact information:

Glenn Laughlin



You can check out leathers at Optima Leather. This is one of the suppliers that Glenn uses. They will send you samples upon request.

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