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Natuzzi Editions vs. Palliser – Which is Better?

By Jeff Frank

Natuzzi Editions and Palliser make very similar furniture.

These brands are leather specialists, competing for customers in the same mid-price range, $2,000 – $3000 for stationary all-leather sofas and $3000 – $4000 for all-leather reclining sofas.

Depending on size, sectionals can sell for double those prices.

Both brands also offer fabric and synthetic faux leathers, including bonded leather.

Do not buy bonded leather from anybody!

Bonded leather is a flimsy material, prone to peeling after only a few years.

Natuzzi Editions and Palliser both offer seating with high-quality leather.

The leather looks good, feels good, and should last 20+ years if properly cared for.

The high-quality leather covers cheap frames, foundations and cushions.

The frames, foundations or cushions will all wear out long before the leather.

Natuzzi Editions is the largest leather seating manufacturer in the world.

Natuzzi Editions furniture sold in the U.S. is made in Asia.

Last year, during the Pandemic, when Asian suppliers were experiencing supply chain problems, Natuzzi Editions announced it would be opening a manufacturing facility in Mexico.

I have not seen anything reporting that Natuzzi is now making furniture in Mexico, so plans may have been cancelled once the Asian shipping problems were resolved.

Natuzzi Editions seating sold in Europe is mostly made in Romania and possibly other Eastern European locations.

Natuzzi Italia furniture is more expensive and better made. It is built in Italy and is not being reviewed here.

Palliser bills itself as a Canadian company, but Palliser seating sold in the U.S. comes from its 3 Mexican factories.

Palliser also has a Canadian assembly plant. This factory assembles parts made in Mexico. The finished products are then distributed to its Canadian customers.

Natuzzi & Palliser combine high-quality leather with poor quality frames, foundations, & cushions.

The excellent leather allows both brands to offer seating that looks and feels great when brand new.

The cheap frames, foundations, and cushions limit the furniture’s expected lifespan.

Although the leather may last 20+ years, the estimated frame lifespan is 8 – 10 years.

The cushions and foundation may wear out within 5 years or less.

Natuzzi introduced the first “affordable” real leather sofas in the 1960s.

The streamlined modern design allows highly efficient, low cost manufacturing.

Costs are further cut by using low-cost materials inside the furniture, where they cannot be seen.

Natuzzi and Palliser’s marketing materials and websites highlight the beautiful, plush leather. They do not detail any information about the frames, foundations, and cushions.

Natuzzi and Palliser frames are constructed with fiberboard, plywood, and softwoods.

They are equivalent in quality to frames used in some sofas selling for less than $800.

Fiberboard and softwood frames do not hold staples or other fasteners well. As a result, the frames are  held together primarily with glue.

Natuzzi and Palliser seat support foundations are made using elasticized webbing.

Webbing can be an excellent foundational support – but not the type of webbing Natuzzi and Palliser use, and not the way they install it.

Top quality, high-end modern style furniture uses webbing that is wide, thick, and does not stretch. Installation requires great strength and skill.

Natuzzi and Palliser use lower-quality elasticized “stretchable” webbing.

Stretchable webbing is far easier (and faster) to install by low-skilled assembly line workers.

Stretchable webbing can “sag” after a few years of use. Larger than average individuals or kids who like to jump on the sofa can cause the webbing to sag even sooner.

Sagging webbing also results in uncomfortable seat cushions that wear out more quickly.

High-quality non-stretchable webbing, used in better quality seating, is securely fastened to strong solid hardwood frames.

Palliser markets itself as a Canadian brand.

But Palliser Furniture sold in the USA is manufactured in Mexico, not Canada.

Like Natuzzi, Palliser’s modern designs allow efficient low-cost production.

They also use high-quality leather in combination with low-cost frames and foundations.

Both Natuzzi & Palliser make furniture that looks good on the outside and feels good when new.

Engineered wood does not hold staples well.

As a result, the frames are basically held together with glue.

The frame quality is no better than many brands selling at less than half of Palliser’s prices.

Natuzzi and Palliser’s seat cushions are fabricated with 1.8 density foam cores.

This is industry standard foam, found in sofas selling for $499 to $3000+

1.8 density foam seat cushions have an average lifespan of  5 years or less in stationary sofas.

The actual lifespan will depend on the amount of use and the size of the people using the furniture

Natuzzi & Palliser both have extensive selections of reclining furniture.

Reclining furniture frames are more delicate than stationary (non-reclining) frames.

Reclining furniture is far heavier than stationary and has fewer supports.

When you start with an engineered wood frame and then add the extra weight of reclining mechanisms, you get a frame that is very delicate and easily damaged.

Reclining mechanisms may have lots of fancy bells and whistles that look (and feel) impressive when new.

But if they are attached to poor quality frames, the mechanisms may fail.

They can be expensive to repair or replace. Parts for older mechanisms may not be available.

Natuzzi & Palliser reclining furniture has a shorter lifespan than their stationary seating.

Reclining mechanisms have limited lifespans, regardless of the number of years specified by the warranty. 

Reclining seat cushions have a shorter lifespan than those on stationary seating and are expensive to replace.

The beautiful, expensive leather that will last 20+ years, is wasted.

Warranties

In one of the videos below, one of Palliser’s employees speaks proudly about the company’s lifetime warranty. Palliser does not have a lifetime warranty. You can read the current warranty document here.

Palliser’s longest warranty (for non-reclining furniture) is 10 years on wood frames, springs or webbing.

What they do not point out is a clause stating that after the first year, this covers only replacement parts. It does not include labor or transportation, if the sofa needs to be taken somewhere for repair. Component parts are very cheap. Labor and transportation are far more.

Natuzzi’s warranty is 10 years for wood frames only. Springs and webbing are covered for 2 years. But because the warranty does not include labor or transportation after the first year, it is actually just as good as Palliser’s warranty.

After the first year, the warranty covers only the parts and materials needed for repairs, but not labor costs.

Palliser cushions are warrantied for 5 years. But there is an added clause that states,

“All cushions will soften with use and will conform to the shape of the user. This softening is considered normal wear and is in no way considered a
manufacturer’s defect.”

That clause describes exactly what cushions do when they wear out.

It may happen after 5 years, or 3 years, or less. Regardless of how soon your cushions soften up, Palliser will not be replace them under warranty.

This is the same for almost all low and mid-priced sofa brands.

Natuzzi’s 2 year cushion warranty has an almost identical exclusion clause.

It does not cover:

Softening of the cushions with use, which must not in any way be interpreted as a loss of resilience due to production faults, defects in materials, or non-conformities of any kind.

Reclining mechanism warranties.

Natuzzi reclining mechanisms have 2 year warranties.

Palliser reclining mechanisms have 7 year warranties, but specifically warn that replacement parts are subject to availability from the suppliers. It is extremely common for recliner parts to be unavailable after 5 years (or even sooner.)

Palliser also has a separate 3 year warranty for recliner motors. The motors will probably fail before the mechanical parts of the mechanism.

Palliser’s longer warranty for reclining mechanisms does not mean they are better quality than those used by Natuzzi.

Extended warranties do not help in any way. All of the restrictions listed above will also be found in extended warranties.

Check out the video below showing how a Natuzzi sofa is constructed.

 

Check out this additional Video of a customer describing problems with a Natuzzi sectional.

Palliser has just as many problems.

Here are a few independent review websites I pulled up.

Better Business Bureau – Complaints

Complaints board

ReviewsTalk

Yelp reviews

Check out these videos of Palliser Furniture made in Mexico:

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