Is Flexsteel’s Vail sofa a good piece of furniture?
Check out my article, 57 Sofa Brand Quality & Value Ratings for 2023.
This article reviews and rates Flexsteel against many of its competitors.
Flexsteel’s advertising and marketing leans heavily on its 100-year-old blue steel flat spring foundation. This is indisputably the most durable seat support foundation ever made.
It can last 50+ years and is more comfortable than cheaper foundation constructions. (It is not as comfortable as 8 way hand-tied.)
Flexsteel’s primary weakness has been its cushions.
Flexsteel’s 1.8 density foam cushions currently have an average lifespan of 5 years or less.
Although the cushions may feel very comfortable when brand-new in the showroom, they can begin losing resiliency (the ability to bounce back) and comfort within one year after purchase.
About three years ago, Flexsteel (and a few of its competitors) came out with a highly touted “new” cushion construction featuring layered foam with a 2.0 density central core surrounded by softer 1.2 density foam layers.
At the time these cushions were introduced, I wrote an article stating that I would not be surprised to see numerous customer complaints about these cushions breaking down within two years.
At the October 2022 High Point International Home Furnishings Market, I visited the Flexsteel space and spoke with one of the Flexsteel sales managers. The layered cushions were discontinued after about 2 years of production.
No explanation was given.
Flexsteel’s current cushions have a 1.8 density foam core with a Trillium fiber wrap. Trillium is a new type of fiber wrapping replacing the usual dacron polyester.
1.8 density foam with polyester wrap has been, by far, the most common cushion construction for low and mid-priced sofas over the past 50 years.
Optional “upgraded” cushion constructions are available, but should not be significantly more durable than the standard cushions.
Like other 1.8 density foam cushions, they should have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years (or less if you weigh more than 200 lbs.)
With cushions that need replacement after 5 years, Flexsteel’s superior blue steel spring foundation is basically wasted.
The Flexsteel Vail sofa is not cheap.
In fabric, the list price is over $4000 and the sale price is around $2300.
At that price there are many better made brands that should last 15+ years.
Some of these better made brands are: Mantle Furniture, Medley Home, Maiden Home, King Hickory, Simplicity Sofas, and Smith Brothers.
All offer superior quality and value for fabric sofas in the $2000 – $3000 price range.
All of these alternative brands are reviewed in my 56 Bad, Better & Best Sofa Brand Reviews for 2023.
Each brand is rated and scored for Quality and Value.
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