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Flexsteel & Craftmaster – Which One Is Better?

By Jeff Frank


We’re buying a new sleeper sofa and are having a hard time finding quality within our budget ($2,000 max).

On sale, we see Flexsteel and Craftsmaster, which both seem good. Does either have an edge, do you think?

We like the Flexsteel spring system, but Craftmaster’s frames seem better made.   Sept. 7, 2020


Flexsteel’s blue steel spring will last more than twice as long as every other component in their furniture.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that they can use the famous blue steel flat spring in their sleepers. The place where the spring would normally occupy is taken up by the mattress and mechanism. Sleepers don’t have the same support structure that sofas do.

I assume the other brand you are comparing to Flexsteel is actually Craftmaster. Those two companies are often compared with one another.

I generally rate Craftmaster slightly above Flexsteel, but that is for stationary upholstery. Sleepers are different.

In this price range most sleepers use low cost generic sleeper mechanisms made by Leggett & Platt or Hickory Springs.

Sleeper construction in this price range is pretty basic.

The sleeper mechanism is bolted inside a plywood box.

The arms and back are bolted to the plywood box from the outside.

In comparing sleepers the main differentiation at this price level is how the cushions are made and the quality of the mattress.

Try to get cushions that are upgraded from the standard 1.8 density polyurethane foam.

One factor that can make a difference in which brand you choose is the quality of the mattress.There are many different types of mattresses. Some are excellent, so you will have to determine for yourself whether one mattress is better than another.

Leggett & Platt and Hickory Springs are the two companies that supply sleeper mechanisms to most American manufacturers. These two companies make their profits by mass producing huge quantities of generic mechanisms of low to mid-quality.

If you don’t use the sofas very often for sleeping, the mechanisms can last 10 years or more. If you use them daily the expected lifespan may be closer to 3 – 5 years.

If you want a better quality sleeper you may want to look at American Leather. They are one of the few companies that make their own mechanisms. (They have fabrics in addition to leather.) Their sleepers are typically in the $3500 – $6000 price range.

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