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Which is the Better Sofa or Sectional?

By Jeff Frank

Question:

I need some help to find a sofa or sectional. I’m an engineer and super interested in the details.

My budget is $4,000-$10,000. I want to get a high-quality three seat sofa or a sectional (sofa with chaise) that is well-built and will stay comfortable for a very long time. I currently live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of space for huge sectionals.

I was considering the DWR Reid sofa or the Room & Board Cade. I like the feel of their webbing suspensions for some reason (tried them both.). I also learned about other brands like Stickley and Baker, but they might be too expensive for my budget.

What are your thoughts on Italian sofas like Minotti and Poliform? Any help would be appreciated!!

Answer:

In my opinion the DWR Reid is seriously overpriced from a construction perspective. The R&B Cade is a better value, but the seat cushions have an average 5 year lifespan before the foam cores will need replacement.

Baker and Stickley make outstanding furniture, but you are paying a substantial premium for the brand names (and the extremely high quality.).

I am not familiar with most European brands and cannot help you with Minotti or Poliform.

The main reason for using webbing in a sofa is more stylistic in nature than to improve comfort. Webbing enables seating to have a flat, streamlined profile.

This is especially useful for European modern styles and seating designed to ship in flat boxes. (The more common (and less expensive) sinuous wire seat supports have arched springs that take up more space than flat webbing.

The problem with webbing is that there are two different types: low-quality stretchable webbing and high-quality non-stretchable webbing. It is difficult to tell the difference between the two from product descriptions.

Salespeople usually won’t even be aware that there are different webbing types or qualities.(They can look very similar.)

Cheap webbing stretches. Better quality webbing does not.

Stretchable webbing can cause your seat cushions to sag within 5 years (or less if you weigh more than 200 lbs. or have kids who like to jump on the furniture.)

Nonstretchable webbing can last 20+ years with no change in seating comfort.

Non-stretchable webbing costs more than the stretchable type. The biggest cost difference is in the installation process.

Stretchable webbing can be installed very quickly by low-skilled workers.

Non-stretchable webbing installation takes more than twice as long and requires more highly skilled (higher paid) workers.

One major reason for the difference in lifespan is that the cheaper webbing is often stapled into cheaper solid softwood or engineered wood frames that do not hold staples well. More expensive webbing is usually stapled into solid hardwood or hardwood plywood.

Some alternative sofas or sectionals you may want to consider:

Mantle Jasper sofa($2000 – $2600) or the sofa with chaise version ($3500+).

Mantle is a Direct-to-Consumer casual contemporary brand featuring 8 way hand tied construction. The pieces are fully customizable, with e variety of cushions. (If you choose foam, get the upgraded 2.5 density, not the standard 2.05.)

This is furniture built to last 20+ years.You can see a more extensive review of Mantle on my blog at Where Can I Find a Reasonably Priced 8 way hand tied Sofa?

Medley Home is another custom Direct-to-Consumer brand, building extremely durable seating that will last for 20+ years. They make several different casual contemporary sofas and sectionals. sofa/chaise casual contemporary looks in the $4000 – $5000 price range.

(Medley Home offers InsidersGuide blog readers a 10% discount.)

Although Medley does not make 8 way hand tied foundations, it is very sturdy. The company is environmentally conscious and has many special eco-friendly options.

Maiden Home is another excellent brand for casual contemporary sofa/chaise looks. Although the brand markets itself as Direct-to-Consumer, it is actually a curated collection of styles made by several different small North Carolina factories.

The Crosby style, is similar in quality to the R&B Cade at a price about $1500 less.Maiden Home’s Carmen sofa/chaise upgrades you to 8 way hand tied at a $5000 price (about $500 less than the R&B Cade.

Note: I do not accept payment from any brands that I review or recommend.

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