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Flexsteel vs. Jonathan Louis vs. Stanton: Who Makes the Best Sectional?

By Jeff Frank

Which sectional is best?

I’ve narrowed down my search to a Flexsteel vs. Jonathan Louis vs. Stanton.

I’m looking at the Flexsteel Collins sectional. It appears to be made in the USA. Which cushion is better, the Plush or the Feather option?

I’m also looking at the Jonathan Louis Mateo II 3 piece sectionalDo you know anything about the quality/value of the Jonathan Louis brand?

I’m having a hard time deciding on a Stanton model. There are a ton of different ones and they all look to be very similar.

Overall, how would you compare Stanton to Flexsteel and Jonathan Louis?


The best sectional depends on your priorities.

The Flexsteel Collins sectional appears to be made in the USA. It’s better quality than Flexsteel’s imported stuff.

Flexsteel’s biggest weakness over the past decade has been its cushions.

Given the choice between the two cushion options, I would have to recommend the FC Feather blend, but it’s not a cushion you can rely on for more than 5 years.

The FC cushions have a 2.3 density foam core. That’s good.

The problem is that there’s so much feather/fiber filling that the foam core isn’t as thick as the cores on most other cushions.

Also, that thick layer of feathers/fiber will compress, the fabric will wrinkle, and the cushions will need periodic “fluffing.” 

Additionally, you will need to reverse the cushions frequently, so that the filling on one side doesn’t compress so much that the wrinkles can’t be fluffed away.

The FC cushion is better than the alternative.

Flexsteels PC cushion takes a thin layer of heavy duty 2.5 density foam and glues it above and below a central core of 1.2 density foam.

Most of the foam is 1.2 density.

That’s a very cheap foam that is not meant to withstand people sitting on it.

At the last International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC, I had a discussion with Flexsteel’s sales manager about these cushions.

He told me the PC cushions were being phased out and would be replaced by a solid 2.0 density foam core.

Apparently, they haven’t done that yet.

Jonathan Louis uses the standard 1.8 density foam cushions.

Most sofas and sectionals in this price range have these same cushions.

These cushions often wear out within 5 years.

Other than the cushions, the construction is as good as Flexsteel’s imported stuff, but the USA made Flexsteel is better.

If you look at independent reviews, there are quite a few complaints about cushions wearing out after a year or two.

Some examples include:

Complaints Board – Jonathan Louis

Yelp reviews – Jonathan Louis

Pissedconsumer.com review – Jonathan Louis

Stanton sofas are better made than most other mid-range, mass produced couches.

They are better made than LaZBoy, Flexsteel, England, or Craftmaster, just to name a few of their major competitors.

To give you an example of how they are better, here is a diagram of Stanton’s construction:

Stanton sofa constructionStanton sofa construction

Stanton’s “above-average” construction features include:

Solid kiln-dried hardwood frames:

The other brands mentioned above are all using plywood.

Plywood frames usually last longer than cushions and fabric, so it’s rare to see complaints about them.

Kiln-dried solid hardwood frames cost more to make.

Staples and nails hold better in solid hardwood, so there is less chance that the foundation will loosen or break over time.


Stanton is using a basic sinuous wire foundation, but adds additional stabilizing support wires and edge supports.

Not all mid-range sofas have the stabilizing support wires. Very few have hand-tied edge-supports combined with sinuous wire. These add both durability and additional comfort.

Contoured foam for arms:

The rounded foam padding that gives the arm its shape is a step up from many mid-range competitors.

LaZBoy and England, get that rounded shape by using flexible cardboard.

On cheaper sofas, you can sometimes push in on the arm and hear the cardboard flex.

Modular construction:

Stanton’s modular construction is a more expensive way to build furniture than standard pre-assembled frames.

It makes the furniture easier to transport or fit through narrow doors or stairways.

It also saves money if you ever need to repair or replace any parts.


Stanton’s standard cushions are 1.8 density Reflex foam.

Reflex foam is pre-compressed (to remove the air.)

This allows the cushions to last longer than standard 1.8 density polyurethane foams.

Stanton also has a 2.2 density upgrade option.

2.2 density foam seat cushions will last about twice as long as standard 1.8 density cushions.

Stanton’s 1.8 density Reflex cushions should last 4 – 6 years (compared to 3 – 5 years for standard 1.8 density foam.

The 2.2 density foam cushions should last 6 – 10 years.
For all these brands, the cushions are usually the first part to fail.

There is another brand you may want to consider.

DreamSofa is a California custom manufacturer selling Direct to Consumers.

The overall construction is similar to Stanton. Kiln-dried hardwood frames, & edge supported sinuous wire frames.

Where DreamSofa excels is in its cushions.

Dreamsofa offers a choice of 4 different cushions.

Cushion options begin with basic 1.8 density foam, but the best cushion is the “Plush” option, combining 2.5 density foam with coil springs.

The Plush cushions are very comfortable and built to last 15+ years.

DreamSofa also has a huge selection of over 150 different sectional styles.

Each of these styles is available in multiple custom sizes, widths, depths, seat heights, & and more.

Although DreamSofa is not well-known outside of the west coast, the Apt2B brand is very well known.

Apt2B’s top quality USA made custom seating line is made by DreamSofa.

Prices for a sectional similar to those you’ve seen should be around $4000, depending on fabric and custom options.
DreamSofa has a 3% discount for Insiders Guide to Furniture readers.

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