Which Sofa Has the Best Quality?

by | Jun 24, 2021 | Ask the Expert | 0 comments

Question:

 HI Jeff, could you share your opinion on big box sofas, like Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn Arhaus and Mitchell & Gold. Also have you reviewed Massoud furniture from Dallas, TX? 

What would you advise is style, comfort and quality are my 3 factors, stay away from big box retailers and stick with Sherrill,Hickory Chair, Motion craft and Bernhardt? I have had pieces from them before but cannot find a showroom in Austin to test. Thank you.

Tina

August 1, 2020

Answer:

All of the brands you have listed are above average.

Motioncraft is Sherrill’s motion (reclining) furniture line. Reclining furniture has very different criteria for judging quality and durability than non-motion furniture. The rest of my answer below is targeted towards stationary (non-reclining) furniture only.

Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Arhaus and Mitchell Gold are basically better quality mass produced furniture which should give you at least 10 years of reliable service, assuming you get their best quality optional upgraded cushions.

  • The problem with these brands is that their products are often offered through big box stores with industry standard 1.8 or 2.0 density foam cushions.
    •  These reduce the cost of the sofas by $100 – $200. When new, these cheaper cushions look and feel great. Unfortunately, they often lose their comfort and resilience within 3 – 5 years.
  • From a style perspective, mass produced furniture is restricted to designs that are cost-effective to produce. Styling and tailoring that requires time-consuming expert craftsmanship is not possible.

Sherrill and Hickory Chair are higher quality products, custom-built by expert craftspeople. Other companies in this category would include Taylor King, Bradington Young, Hancock & Moore, Century Furniture, Highland House, Cabot Wrenn (and others.)

  • Furniture at this quality level should last 20 years or more (although cushions may need to be replaced sooner depending on how much use the furniture gets.)
  • An important distinction of this quality level is that, when it does wear out, it will be cost-effective to have it reupholstered (and cushions replaced) rather than being thrown away.

Bernhardt has several U.S. factories but sources a large percentage of their component parts overseas. Quality is similar to the big box manufacturers, but the greater customization options and use of more expensive materials often elevate prices to the level of better made furniture.

  • From the perspective of customer satisfaction and complaints, Bernhardt seems to have a higher percentage of dissatisfied customers than other companies in their price range.
  • Check out Complaints Board, Pissed Consumer.com,

Massoud is an excellent custom upholstered furniture manufacturer. Their 30 – 45 day production time is much better than many other custom furniture manufacturers. I would not put Massoud at the very highest heirloom quality levels, but primarily because their construction is designed more for cost-effective functionality than expensive frills. For example:

  • Massoud’s foundations use drop in coil springs rather than 8 way hand tied spring units.
    • Combined with the high quality spring down cushions that are standard with Massoud you probably will not be able to feel any drop in comfort.
    • The drop-in coil springs will last just as long as 8 way hand tied and cost hundreds of dollars less. Here is an article with more information on this topic.
  • The kiln-dried hardwood frames are made with corner blocks, glue and staples. Although this is not as sturdy as solid 5/4″ thick solid maple frames that are screwed and double dowelled, you are looking at the difference between a frame that should last 20+ years vs. one that will last 50+ years.

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Jeff Frank

Jeff Frank

Furniture Consultant

Jeff Frank is a 45 year  furniture industry veteran. He created this blog to provide detailed facts, inside information & advice for furniture shoppers. 

 

 

 

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