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Marshfield Furniture vs. Smith Brothers: Which Sofas are Better?

By Jeff Frank


I’m curious about Marshfield sofas and chairs. Are they comparable to Smith Brothers?

A store near me sells both and the sales staff seems extremely enthusiastic about both.

I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews, as you seem to know more about furniture brands than any of the store employees I’ve spoken with.


Smith Brothers is superior overall in quality to Marshfield furniture.

Marshfield is above average for mid-range furniture in overall quality. With average use by average size people, Marshfield sofas should hold up for 8 -10+ years.

Smith Brothers is at the very top of mid-quality and is equivalent to some high end (more expensive) brands. Their sofas should have a 15+ year lifespan.

Marshfield and Smith Brothers have similar pricing.

Both are at the high end of mid-range with some pieces priced at high-end levels.

Smith Brothers has the quality to compete with high-end brands.

Marshfield does not.

One difference in quality between Marshfield and Smith Brothers is the frames.

Marshfield uses 7/8″ hardwood plywood with 7 plies.

Smith Brothers frames are constructed using solid hardwood.

Marshfield frames use cardboard to create their arm curves. That is common among mid-range brands, but is unusual for high-quality sofas.

Smith Brothers uses moulded foam to create arm curves for its sofas. That is in-line with high-end quality standards.

Although Smith Brothers frames are better quality, both frame types will usually hold up for 20+ years.

The bigger quality difference between Marshfield and Smith Brothers is the cushions.

Marshfield uses 2.2 density foam.

These should last a few years longer than the standard 1.8 density foam found in most mid-range sofas.

Smith Brothers’ cushions are 2.5 density Qualux.

Qualux is the highest quality foam brand available. 2.5 density Qualux cushions should hold their shape and comfort for 15+ years for most people.

Marshfield seems to have a higher percentage of customer complaints.

Most of these complaints seem to concern warranty issues and pilling fabrics.

Pilling fabrics should not be a big problem. Pilling is a temporary problem that is usually easy to correct.

See my article, Why is the Fabric Pilling on my Couch? What Can I Do to Fix It?

I disregard most warranty complaints.

Furniture warranties are legal documents, prepared by attorneys representing retailers and manufacturers, to benefit their clients.

Warranties have two primary purposes:

They are a marketing tool designed to give customers the impression that they are purchasing high-quality products from a reputable company.

Warranties are also designed to protect retailers and manufacturers against liability for common product problems and consumer complaints.

Bold print at the top of the warranty document seems to offer broad protection against problems with cushions, fabrics, and other major components.

But buried further down (in smaller print) furniture warranties will include multiple exclusionary clauses.

These shield retailers and manufacturers against the most common complaints that are likely to occur during the first few years.

When customers discover that their warranties do not actually provide the expected protection, many get upset.

For more information on this topic, check out my article What do Furniture Warranties Really Protect?

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