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Best Couch or Sectional For Narrow Doors and Stairways? 15 Brands Reviewed

By Jeff Frank

What is the best sofa for narrow doors & stairways?

I just moved into a new apartment in a building that is over 100 years old.

The doorway is super narrow (29 inches) and the stairway to the loft is only 24 inches wide.

Where can I find a durable, high-quality best sofa or sectional that fits through narrow doors or doorways?

If possible, I want something that will last for at least 10 years. I would prefer a sofa that will last for the next 20 years.


Modular RTA (Ready to Assemble) sofas & sectionals will fit through narrow doors and stairways.

Sofa in a Box (RTA) seating options have exploded over the past 5 years.

There are currently at least 20 ready to assemble sofa brands available. New ones appear periodically.

Most of the brands that make RTA couches also make matching sectionals.

Until the past decade, most RTA sofas were cheaply made, selling for less than $1000.

Modular RTA sofas can now be found at prices ranging from $1000 – $5000+.

Modular RTA sectionals can be found at prices exceeding $8000.

The estimated lifespans for the brands listed below assume average use by average size people.

If the seating is used regularly by individuals weighing 250 lbs., the estimated lifespan should be reduced by 50%.


Allform sofa

Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $2000 – $3000

Albany Park 

Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1000 – $2000


BenchMade sofa

Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $3000 – $4000


Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1500 – $2500


Coddle Toggle sofa

Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1400 – $2000


Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1200 – $2000

Elephant in a Box

Elephant-in-a-box sofa

Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1500 – $2000


Estimated lifespan 3 -5 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1200 – $2000

Home Reserve 

Estimated lifespan – 3 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1000 – $1300


Homebody sofa

Estimated lifespan 5 – 10+ years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $3700 – $6000

Reclining seating is available.


Estimated lifespan 7 – 10 years

Pocketed coil cushions – Can last twice as long as 1.8 density foam.

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1000 – $2000

Inside Weather


Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $2000 – $3500

Interior Define

Interior Define couch

Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $1500 – $3000

Morden Fort

Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $700 – $1000

Simplicity Sofas

Brandon sofa with chaise
Brandon sofa with chaise

Estimated lifespan 15 – 20+ years

Estimated price range for 3 seat sofa $2000 – $3000

Choice of 2.5 density foam or Spring Down cushions.

Most Ready to Assemble modular sofa & sectional brands are Mid-century or Casual Modern in style.

Most modular RTA sofas & sectionals have an average lifespan of about 5 years.

The actual lifespan you will get depends on multiple factors.

Some of the most important of these include:

Foam density and thickness.

Cushion size (larger cushions with more surface area last longer.)

The size (and weight) of the people using the furniture.

Most seat cushions have a lifespan of 5 years or less.

The vast majority of seat cushions sold with low and mid-range quality seating are made with 1.8 density foam.

Cushions that are described as “high-density foam” or “high-resiliency foam” are usually 1.8 density.

Higher density foams last longer.

When a cushion wears out, it will lose its shape, firmness, resiliency (ability to bounce back), and comfort.

For a typical foam sofa cushion, with a core measuring 24″w x 27″d x 5h, the average lifespan will be:

1.8 density foam – 5 years for average size people. (1 – 2 years for individuals weighing 250 lbs. or more.)

2.0 density foam – 5 – 7 years for average size people. (2 – 3 years for individuals weighing 250 lbs. or more.)

2.5 density foam – 15 years for average size people. (10+years for individuals weighing 250 lbs. or more.)

Pocketed coil cushions can be found in a few low and mid-priced sofas & sectionals (including IKEA). These cushions should last 10+ years for average size people.

Spring Down cushions will last 15 – 20+ years with minimal loss of firmness or comfort. (15+ years for individuals weighing 250 lbs. or more.)

Simplicity Sofas is the highest quality & best value for modular RTA sofas, sectionals, and sleepers.

Simplicity Sofas has been making custom-built RTA sofas, sleepers and sectionals since 2007.

The company’s modular design allows it to build sectionals of unlimited size.

All Simplicity Sofas furniture fits through 15″ width doors or stairways.

This Simplicity Ashton sofa with solid oak frame ships unassembled and fits through 15″ width doors and stairways.

Simplicity Sofas furniture is designed and built to last forever.

That is not an exaggeration!

The patented modular design allows all component parts to be easily interchangeable and replaceable if damaged or worn out.

The use of premium quality raw materials ensures that replacement parts are rarely needed.

Check out my article, Does Simplicity Sofas Furniture Really Last Forever?

Simplicity Sofas quality construction includes:

100% solid oak frames.

2.5 density foam for the standard cushions (and there are two upgrade options.)

All cushions should last 15 – 20+ years for most people.

All parts of the furniture can be easily replaced when they do wear out.

Simplicity Sofas solid oak frame

Simplicity Sofas is an exceptional value.

Simplicity Sofas offers a Special 10% discount to Insider’s Guide to Furniture blog readers.

Since 2017, while furniture prices have skyrocketed throughout the industry, the company has not raised prices (or reduced quality.)

Sofa prices still range from $2000 – $2500 (depending on fabric and options selected.)

Sectional prices average $1200 – $1400 per seat.

If you like my Insider’s Guide To Furniture please encourage your friends and family to check it out.

My 45 years in the furniture industry have provided me with a detailed knowledge of furniture brands, construction, quality & value.

Over the past decade, I have written over 2,000 articles, reviews, and answers, seen by over 2 million viewers.

If any company or individual feels that the information on this website is out-of-date or inaccurate, please let me know and it will be promptly corrected.

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8 thoughts on “Best Couch or Sectional For Narrow Doors and Stairways? 15 Brands Reviewed”

  1. I was wondering if you had any insight on Coddle? I’m looking into their Switch model, but wondering if you had any thoughts on them as a whole.Thank you so much

    • You’re the first person to ask me about Coddle. I’ve just spent a couple of hours looking into what they’re doing.

      It’s a very interesting design, and they’re using good quality materials, which is surprising at the prices that this furniture is selling at.

      I’ve sent some question to the company about their construction, and when I get enough information and have had the opportunity to look at their furniture in person, I’lll probably write a full review.

      At this point, if you’re considering the Coddle Switch, my best guess is that it’s an excellent value for the price.

      In looking at reviews, it appears that most of the complaints have been about delivery issues. Apparently, it’s very heavy and requires more than one person to move.

      • I look forward to reading if you do get a chance to do a full review. I might take a chance on them but I’ll have to reach for additional information from the company as I now have concerns regarding fitting it through my entryway. So currently looking at other options in case it won’t work out.

      • If fitting through a narrow entryway is a primary consideration, take a look at Simplicity Sofas.

        Everything the company makes is designed to fit through 15″ width doors and stairways.

        The quality is superb. Every piece is hand crafted at the highest quality level but priced to compete with mid-priced mass produced seating.

          Frames are solid oak.
          The standard cushions are 2.5 density Ultracel foam with upgrades to a softer 2.5 density foam wrapped in memory foam and Spring Down cushions.

        The furniture is literally designed to “last forever.” Each individual component (arms, legs, backs, bases, legs, cushion cores, cushion covers, and more) is designed to be easily replaceable (in the customer’s home) if they ever become damaged or worn out.

        Take a look at my article, Will Simplicity Sofas Really Last Forever?

        Simplicity Sofas gives a 10% discount to my Insider’s Guide readers.

        For more information, contact Simplicity Sofa’s VP Martha Bustamante at dimarmel_inc@yahoo.com or 336-891-0151.

        Note: Dimarmel is the name of the company that has manufactured Simplicity Sofas’ furniture since 2017.

        I founded Simplicity Sofas in 2007 and sold the company to Sergio Diaz, who has been in charge of the company’s production since the day the company first opened.

        During the first three years, Sergio made every piece of Simplicity Sofas furniture himself. He personally inspects each piece before it leaves the factory.

  2. Can you provide any insight on the homebody product? I’m still shopping for a 3 seat low slung comfortable reclining sofa. Homebody checks most of the boxes, their frames are pine which is a bummer but their cushion material seems pretty good and they have a decent warranty.

    • Homebody is a very interesting design and should be very comfortable for a while. From a purely engineering viewpoint, it has some very nice features.

      The big problem is that Homebody is very new. There is no long term track record about how it will hold up after 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years.

      There is a very high possibility that it will be noticeably less attractive and comfortable within 3 years or less.

      This reclining sofa is pretty expensive for furniture that has a good chance of needing replacement within only a few years.

      There is no information at all about the frame on the website, other than the wood is FSC Certified. That means absolutely nothing, as anything from solid hardwood to the cheapest particleboard can be FSC Certified.

      You say it’s Pine. I haven’t checked, but if they are saying so little about the frame, there is a good possibility that is correct.

      There are a lot of reasons why good quality furniture is not made with Pine. When you combine the extra weight of supporting heavy reclining mechanisms with a weak and potentially warping Pine frame, that’s not a good combination.

      Usually manufacturers who save a few dollars by using Pine try to use it in places that are not load-bearing. If this is a solid Pine frame with all the weight on the Pine, that’s not something I would recommend.

      The soft “Cloud cushion” knockoffs are very “in style” right now. I’ll be surprised if they are as popular 5 years from now.

      Be sure you understand that you’ll need to constantly “fluff up” the cushions if you don’t want the couch looking like a complete mess.

      Although these cushions are much better made than some other RH Cloud knockoffs, that doesn’t mean they are going to last for more than a few years.

      There is very little high density foam in these cushions, and the other materials are not made for long-term durability.

      The top 1 inch foam layer says it’s memory foam in the diagram, but is described as latex foam somewhere else in the website. (Latex is better.)

      In either case, you’ve got only one inch of this high quality (expensive) foam, and that’s got holes in it to further reduce cost.

      The bottom one inch foam layer is described as “high density ” foam, which generally indicates a 1.8 density.

      That implies that the thicker, middle foam layer (which appears to be about 3 inches) is not “high density.” It may be “high resilience,” but if the density is less than 1.8 it will probably permanently compress within 1 – 3 years.

      I haven’t seen any reviews indicating that the owners have used their sofas for more than 3 months.

      You also state that the company seems to have a “decent warranty.” To me, it’s pretty standard, which means you are in for some very heavy costs if you decide to return the furniture.

      The return costs are so prohibitive that very few people will actually return the furniture.

      Here is the language of Homebody’s return policy:

      The following terms apply: Returns are accepted within 100 days of delivery. Returned merchandise should be in the same condition as when you received it, undamaged, saleable, and with the original packaging.

      All returned items incur the cost of return shipping. Returns that occur between 14 and 100 days after delivery are also charged a restocking fee. This fee is 20% of the order value prior to any discounts or special offers.

      Any shipping and/or delivery fees are non-refundable. Merchandise is eligible for a one-time price adjustment within 14 days of the date ordered.

      Homebody reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to determine if returned merchandise is in saleable condition.

      The first potential problem is that the furniture has to be “in the same condition as when you received it, undamaged, saleable, and with the original packaging.”

      That will not be easy to do, especially since

      “Homebody reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to determine if returned merchandise is in saleable condition.”

      In addition,

      “All returned items incur the cost of return shipping.”

      Unless you have a commercial shipping contract, the cost of return shipping will be far higher than Homebody’s cost to ship the furniture to you.

      Homebody’s original shipping costs will also be deducted from your refund. Homebody’s heavily discounted shipping charges will be at least $200 and could be far higher, unless your invoice included a separate shipping charge.

      In addition to that, if it takes you more than 14 days to get your return shipped, they tack on an additional 20% re-stocking charge.

      The end result is that very few people actually return furniture.

  3. I really appreciate your advice – clearly a full sturdy wood frame is ideal. For most people though, even $5-6k is double or triple a couch budget.

    Within the budget couch category (IKEA, Burrow, Wayfair/Amazon) or the step above (West Elm, Sabai, Homethreads, Lovesac, Albany Park, etc.) are there any brands you can say are any better or worse than others in terms of quality or sturdiness?

    This is below the budget range where one can expect a solid wood frame or hand crafted anything, but I’m just wondering what someone who can’t afford quality should do? Just buy the absolute cheapest IKEA or Wayfair option and let it break in 3-5 years? Maybe Burrow or Albany Park will last a little longer?

    Any help is deeply appreciated. Even the cheapest couch is most of a month’s salary for me, I just want to stretch my dollar as far as I can.

    • Can you afford $2000 -$2500? Check out Mantle Furniture and Medley Home. Both make sofas that should last 20+ years if you get the upgraded 2.5 density foam or spring down cushions. Medley has a 10% discount for my blog readers.


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