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Are Kincaid and Smith Brothers Sofas the Same Quality?

By Jeff Frank


I’m about to purchase a sectional sofa and have narrowed down the choices to Kincaid or Smith Bros of Berne. Both appear to offer the same solid wood build quality, suspension system and warranty on frame and cushions.

I’d appreciate your comments and advice in making my final purchasing decision.  Terry Aug. 12, 2021


I rate Smith Brothers a solid step up from Kincaid.

Both companies have been in business for about 75 years.

Kincaid is now a LaZBoy company.

It is considered the top quality of all the LaZBoy companies, but it is still in the mid-level range of upholstered furniture quality.

Smith Brothers is at the entry level to high end furniture quality.

Kincaid is known for its solid wood furniture. 

But its sofa frames are not solid wood.

They are unitized plywood and engineered wood.

Although these frames will still last at least 10 years and probably 20, they are not at the same quality level as Smith Brothers’ genuine solid maple, double-dowelled, corner blocked, glued and screwed frames which should last 20 – 50 years.

Kincaid offers two different types of seat support foundations.

The standard seat support is a sinuous wire foundation.

These are very durable and very inexpensive.

They can last for 20 years and are cheap enough to be found in sofas selling for $399.

Smith Brothers offers a drop-in coil spring seat support.

Drop-in coil springs are just as durable as 8 way hand-tied and almost as comfortable when used with high resilience (firm) cushions.

8 way hand tied coils add several hundred dollars to the cost of a sofa.

They require several hours of labor by highly experienced (and highly paid) upholsterers.

Drop-in coil springs should last longer than the 8 way hand-tied. (The twine used on the 8-way tends to rot after about 20 years.)

Few people, including furniture professionals, can tell the difference in comfort between the 8 way hand tied and a good quality drop-in coil spring when used together with firm cushions.

Kincaid offers 4 different cushion options.

The standard cushions are 1.8 density foam, with an average lifespan of about 5 years.

If you choose to buy from Kincaid, pay the extra for their top of the line Qualux 2.3 density foam.

This will last twice as long as the standard cushions (and also feel noticeably more comfortable.)

Smith Brothers has also has a 2.5 density Qualux cushion option.

It will last even longer than Kincaid’s 2.3 density.

The difference in comfort is probably negligible.

Smith Brothers also has a couple of other quality features not found on Kincaid.

Spring edge construction.

This feature used to be standard on high end upholstery but is rapidly disappearing.

Spring edge construction produces a comfortable soft upholstered front edge, with the tops of the springs positioned above the top rail of the frame.

This forms a firm but flexible floating edge which adds to the seating comfort.

Self-decking is another high end feature that is rarely found on today’s furniture.

This is the use of fabric used on the seat deck underneath the cushions (where it can’t be seen.)

Self-decking is strictly a luxury frill. It has no functional benefit.

Leather sofas are never self-decked.

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