Is the Crate & Barrel Gather Sectional Good Quality?

By Jeff Frank


We are considering the Crate and Barrel Gather sectional sofa with bench seats.

The website doesn’t have any information. The salesperson does not seem to know much about the sectional.

Do you have any thoughts on this sectional sofa?


Crate and Barrel is a retailer. Their seating is made by several different manufacturers and there is no way to know which manufacturer is making which model.

The Crate and Barrel website actually has quite a lot of information about the Gather sectional.

But it isn’t easy for shoppers (or salespeople) to interpret.

The Crate and Barrel website description of the Gather sectional is printed below in black italicized  bold print. 
The comments in GREEN are my detailed explanations of what the Crate and Barrel descriptions actually mean.

Gather 3-Piece Sectional by Crate & Barrel

Frame is benchmade with FSC ®-certified engineered hardwood that’s kiln-dried to prevent warping. This is the 3rd best method of frame construction. It is cheaper and less durable than solid hardwood or plywood, but superior to frames made from particleboard. 

Although this is a cheap frame construction, it should hold up for at least 10 years (and possibly 20+).
The FSC certification for the wood indicates that this frame is made in the USA. That is better quality than many frames sourced in Asia.
The term “Benchmade” is mis-applied. The term is supposed to indicate the frames are handmade by skilled craftspeople. That is not the case here.
Sinuous wire foundation. The sinuous wire foundation in the Gather sectional is poorer quality than many of their similarly priced competitors.
There are large gaps between the individual sinuous wires. There are no edge supports.

Despite these flaws, the foundation should last at least 10 years (and possibly 20+) without problems, unless you have unusually heavy people frequently sitting on the furniture or kids who like to jump on it.

Seat cushions are innerspring wrapped in polyfoam with fiber encased in downproof ticking. This is superior to the 1.8 density foam core cushions that are the furniture industry standard.

Over the past 15 years, the vast majority of cushions sold on mass produced upholstery used 4 – 6 inch thick 1.8 density foam cores. These 1.8 density cushions had an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years before losing their shape, resilience (ability to bounce back), and comfort.

The cushions in the Gather sectional are “innerspring wrapped in foam with fiber encased in down proof ticking.” This construction should give your cushions a lifespan of 8 – 10+ years.

For more information on innerspring cushion construction, check out my articleIKEA Sofas – All the Experts are Wrong. 

Back cushions are full-blown fiber encased in downproof ticking. This is not optimal!

Many brands in this price range have channels sewn into their back cushions to keep the blown fiber from clumping up and making the cushions lopsided.

You may find the back cushions losing their shapes within a year or two.  Fortunately, it is easy and inexpensive to add additional polyester filling to the back cushions if this bothers you.

Includes 3 knife-edge throw pillows. This is the most common and cheapest way to make throw pillows.

Overall, the Crate & Barrel Gather sectional should give you 10+ years of comfortable seating.

Although the frame and foundation are less than optimal for seating in this price range, they should still hold up for 10+ years.

The innerspring cushions are a great feature. They should double the expected lifespan of your sectional compared to standard foam cushions.

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