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47 Bad, Better & Best Sofa Brands for 2023

By Jeff Frank

Question:

Is there any way to compare quality and value for different sofa furniture brands?

Answer:

Yes! But there are a lot of sofa brands to compare.

This review currently rates and compares more than 40 furniture brands.

It will continue growing until it includes at least 100 different brands.

Each brand has been given a Quality and Value score.

But it is important to understand that these are only estimates.

Brand quality and value can vary dramatically among different models within a single brand.

A shopper’s choice of custom options can  be the difference between whether a specific sofa will last 5 or 15+ years.

Creating quality and value scores for an entire brand is an estimate based on a moving target.

Furniture manufacturers are constantly adding new products. Technology is continually changing.

Retailers may not be aware of these changes. Websites may not get updated.

Most furniture reviews are written by people who get paid for referring customers to companies they review.

As a result, most reviews are written about a very limited number of brands who are willing to pay for these referrals.

While a few negative points may be included to make the reviews sound believable, the really bad stuff is never revealed for brands that pay reliably.

I do not solicit or accept payment from any brands that I review or write about.

I have worked in the furniture industry for 45 years.

My experience includes extensive knowledge of Manufacturing, Retail, and Product design.

Career highlights include:

Founder & owner of Simplicity Sofas, a North Carolina specialty sofa manufacturer, retiring in March 2022 after 15 years with the company.

8 years as Buyer for a Top 50 Furniture retail chain, purchasing over $200 million of furniture from hundreds of different brands.

Awarded 7 commercially successful patents for multi-functional upholstered furniture designs.

My modular upholstered furniture system (which my company was based on) won the $20,000 Grand Prize in a national competition for Most Innovative Small Business, 2012. 

This is a work in progress. By the time it is completed, it will have at least 100 brands listed.

Important Note: The reviews and ratings included here are for stationary sofas and sectionals only.

They are not relevant for reclining or sleeper models. 

Sleepers & recliners have very different constructions and characteristics than stationary sofas & sectionals made by the same brand.

Reviews for reclining furniture can be found in my blog article: 18 Best Reclining Sofas & Sectionals Made in America.

Reviews for sleepers can be found in my blog article: Buyer’s Guide to Sofa Beds & Sleepers.

All reviews & ratings presented here are based on available information and my personal knowledge & opinions.

The brand descriptions and assessments found here may be based on-out of-date or incorrect information.

If readers or brand representatives are aware of any inaccuracies or new information, please contact me so that it can be promptly corrected.

Sofa Quality Rankings & Value Ratings:

The Brands listed below are organized Alphabetically within three Price Categories: Affordable, Mid-Range, & High End.

Several brands may overlap more than one price category. I have listed those brands in the category I felt was most appropriate.

Affordable sofa prices range up to $1200 for fabric sofas or $1500 for leather match.

Mid-range sofa prices range from $1200  to $3000 (fabric) or $1500 to $5000 (leather) 

High-end sofa prices range from $3000+ (fabric) or $5000+ (leather)

Quality Rankings & Value Ratings are scaled for each Category.

A top 10 / 10 rating for a high end brand does not represent the same quality & value as a 10 / 10 rating for a Mid-range or Affordably priced brand.

Affordable (Cheap) Sofa & Sectional Brands

Sofa prices range up to $1200 for fabric sofas or $1500 for leather match.

AllModern

Quality rating: 4 / Value Ranking: 6 

[Manufacturer and Retailer with showrooms]

AllModern Emerson Square Arm Sofa
Emerson Square Arm Sofa.

AllModern is one of Wayfair’s many brands.

The sofas are sourced from Asian factories.

The AllModern sofa line features mid-century modern and casual contemporary styles

AllModern’s sofas look good in the online photos.

But the expected lifespan is only 3 – 5 years, or even less if used frequently or by larger than average individuals.

AllModern’s basic sofas sell for less than $1000, although leather and various style upgrades can bring prices closer to $2000.

The sofa construction has many compromises made to keep the selling price low.

Frame: Solid rubberwood.

Rubberwood is a hardwood, but it is an unusual species to find on a sofa frame.

Usually rubberwood is used only on smaller pieces such as chairs and occasional pieces. One reason for this is that the board length of rubberwood lumber is smaller than most other hardwoods. Boards rarely exceed 1.8 meters (70 inches.)

The finished woodgrain is not usually considered acceptable for exposed wood furniture. Dark opaque stains are usually used to cover up the mottled grain coloring.

Rubberwood should be avoided by anyone with latex allergies or who is sensitive to chemicals. Touching rubberwood can cause an anaphylaxis reaction for sensitive people.

Also, fresh rubberwood logs and timber are treated with potentially harmful chemicals when harvested, because it is susceptible to fungus and insects.

Foundation: Some AllModern sofas are made with sinuous wire construction. Others are made with webbing.

Avoid any model that specifies webbing. They use the cheap stretchable type of webbing that can cause seats to sag after just a few years of use.

Cushions: The cushions are made with 1.8 density foam wrapped in polyester fiber.

In the photos many of the styles look as though the cushion cores may be less than 5″ in thickness. If that is the case, the cushions probably won’t last more than 3 years before needing replacement.

Cushions are removable, but not reversible.

AllModern saves about $2 worth of fabric by not covering the cushions all the way around. This means you will not be able to flip the cushions to help them last longer.

Ashley Furniture

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 5

[Manufacturer and Retailer with showrooms and also sells through other retailers]

Ashley Bel Campo sofa

Ashley Furniture is the world’s largest furniture company.

It is both a manufacturer and retailer with manufacturing facilities and retail stores worldwide.

As of December 2022, there are approximately 1100 Ashley Home Stores worldwide. 745 are in the U.S.

Most Ashley Home Stores are franchises or owned by licensees who operate independently.

Ashley Furniture is also sold in thousands of stores owned by other retailers.

Ashley stationary sofas usually sell for $399 – $1999.

Because of the huge number of different sofas and sectional styles sold, Ashley uses many different types of materials and construction techniques.

The price of the furniture may or may not affect its overall durability and average lifespan.

It is very possible for a $1500 “leather” sofa to have the same average lifespan as a $799 fabric sofa.

Ashley Furniture offers tremendous perceived value to its customers.

Basically, Ashley makes sofas that look similar to many other brands, but sell for lower prices.

This is accomplished by using low-cost materials and simple designs that can be mass produced quickly and inexpensively in huge quantities.

Ashley also has tremendous purchasing power due to its enormous size.

It is able to purchase raw materials at the lowest possible costs and has built a state of the art distribution system.

Ashley sofas and sectionals are designed to look and feel great in their showrooms.

Big, beefy, overstuffed styles selling for less than $1000 are particularly popular with Ashley’s customers.

They are not designed for long-term durability.

Repeated customer surveys have confirmed that Price is the #1 factor for most customers who purchase furniture.

 Ashley’s success is based on providing low priced furniture that looks great and feels comfortable in the showroom.

Long-term durability and comfort is sacrificed in favor of reducing prices.

Ashley pays for hundreds of product reviews that extoll the quality and comfort of its furniture.

In almost every case, these reviews refer to brand new sofas and sectionals, soon after being received in the customer’s home.

If you check out the thousands of independent reviews from customers who have owned their Ashley sofas for one year or more, the reaction is overwhelmingly negative.

Ashley sofas and sectionals (in all price ranges) are built to last 3 – 5 years for most people.

Customers who are above average in weight and families who use their sofas more than normal can wear out the sofas even faster.

Ashley’s 1.8 density foam cushions will probably collapse within 1 – 2 years if used regularly by someone weighing 250 lbs.

They will collapse within a few months if used by a 300 lb. individual.

Ashley’s seating uses very cheap frames and foundations, but those will usually hold up for 10 years or more with average use.

The most important factor limiting an Ashley sofa’s long-term durability and comfort is the cushions.

Foam is one of the most expensive components used in manufacturing a sofa. 

Higher quality (higher density) and thicker foams increase the cost, but do not change the look or comfort of new sofas when customers try them out in the showroom.

One way that Ashley makes its sofas look bigger and plusher while minimizing costs is to wrap the foam cushion core in several inches of cheap polyester fiber.

By doing this, a cushion with a 5 inch thick foam core can appear to be 8 or 9 inches thick. It also improves the comfort of new sofas temporarily.

Unfortunately, the fiber compresses much more quickly than the foam. This can result in a lumpy or mis-shaped cushion (and reduced comfort) even before the foam wears out.

Wrapping foam with polyester fiber is a common practice for most upholstery brands.

Better quality brands use only 1/2 – 1 inch thick fiber. This improves the look and has very little compression over time.

Cheaper brands may use 2 inches or more fiber. This bulks up the new cushions, but leads to problems, sometimes after only a few months.

Very few of Ashley’s customers would be willing to pay $100 more for a sofa that can be used a few years longer.

In addition, Ashley has a strong financial incentive to providing cushions that wear out quickly.

The company makes more money selling $700 sofas that need to be replaced after 3 – 5 years than it would selling $800 sofas that could be used for 6 – 10 years before replacement.

Ashley has introduced pocketed coil spring cushions for some of its more expensive models.

Theoretically, these coil spring cushions should last longer and retain their comfort better than Ashley’s standard foam cushions. But there is a potential problem!

Recently, Ashley has switched their sofa foundations from sinuous wire to a  wooden platform.

Ashley’s website states that the:

Platform foundation system resists sagging 3x better than spring system after 20,000 testing cycles by providing more even support

Smooth platform foundation maintains tight, wrinkle-free look without dips or sags that can occur over time with sinuous spring foundations

There is nothing untrue in Ashley’s description of the benefits of platform foundations. An additional benefit is that the platform is less expensive than sinuous wire foundations.

But there are potential problems that platform foundations may cause.

One  problem with platform foundations is that it can reduce the comfort of the sofa. The cushion is resting on a hard flat surface rather than a flexible spring system.

Another protential problem is that the platform may cause the cushions (both foam and coil spring) to wear out more quickly than they do when combined with a sinuous wire foundation.

I don’t know of any other manufacturers who have switched from sinuous wire to platforms at this time.

If you read older Ashley reviews, you will find thousands of complaints about peeling bonded leather.

Ashley has been one of the leading manufacturers in resolving this problem.

Over the past few years, Ashley has replaced its bonded leather materials with a new composite faux leather made from polyester and polyurethane.

Although there are no long-term studies on how well the new material wears, there have been no problems as of now, and there is no reason to anticipate that it will be any less durable than other 100% synthetic faux leathers, such as polyurethane or vinyl.

Most people cannot distinguish any difference between the new composite faux leathers and the old bonded leather in either looks and feel.

I suspect that the new composite faux leathers are also cheaper than the old bonded leathers.

Home Reserve

Quality rating: 3 / Value Ranking: 2

[Manufacturer selling direct to consumers]

 

Home Reserve Jovie sectional.

 

Home Reserve is an ingenious piece of engineering.

The concept behind this furniture was to develop a multi-functional seating system that allows you to replace any individual part at any time–a new fabric section, cover set, frame piece, or fresh cushion. Every seat unit includes storage.

The furniture ships in small flat boxes, and can be sent by FedEx or UPS.

I first encountered Home Reserve in 2005.

At that time, I was doing research for the 5th of 7 patents I would eventually receive for multi-functional upholstered furniture systems.

Home Reserve, founded in 2000, was cited as Prior Art. (patents previously received in that field.)

At that time, Home Reserve was selling its 3 seat sofas for $299.

It was the cheapest 3 seat sofa available anywhere in 2005.

Over the past 15 years, Home Reserve has improved its furniture.

A lot of people seem to like Home Reserve and have been very happy with their seating since the company first opened up 23 years ago.

There are extremely few reviews from customers who have owned their Home Reserve furniture for more than 5 years.

In my opinion:

Home Reserve does not come close to justifying the current price of $967 for a 3 seat sofa.

Just two years ago (January 2021), the 3 seat sofa price was $545.

15 years ago, (2005) Home Reserve’s 3 seat sofas sold for $299.

Although there have been improvements, Home Reserve’s seating is not as sturdy or comfortable as any of the other sofa brands listed in this Category, selling at similar prices.

Customer reviews on the Home Reserve website and on many other review websites are overwhelmingly complimentary.

Customer service generally receives outstanding marks for prompt, courteous, and effective assistance.

The company has a marketing program that offers $2500 worth of their furniture to anyone who will write a complimentary review with professional quality videos or photos.

But if you check out independent review sites, it becomes apparent that some customers do encounter serious problems that should not occur with a $1000 sofa.

Check out:

Trust Pilot Reviews

Reddit review

The photo below shows a Home Reserve sectional prior to assembly.

HomeReserve: Adaptable Furniture for Everyday Life

Home Reserve before assembly

IKEA

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 9

[Manufacturer selling through retail showrooms and catalog]

IKEA is a far better value than most people think!

There is a universal misconception that a sofa’s durability is primarily determined by its frame construction.

Most furniture professionals dismiss IKEA sofas as being cheap and poorly made.

There is a good reason for that – Most articles on furniture construction and quality are written by industry professionals who work with high-end products.

Frame quality is critical for top quality sofas, built to last 20+ years. It is natural and proper for professionals who work with high end furniture to emphasize frame construction.

For low and mid-priced sofas, frame quality is almost irrelevant when evaluating a sofa’s durability.

Even the cheapest sofa frames will usually remain functional for at least 10 years.

IKEA’s fiberboard and particleboard frames may squeak or wobble, but they should still be fully serviceable for 10 years.

If a frame does break, it should be covered under IKEA’s 10 year warranty.

Worn out cushions are not covered under any brand’s warranty. Cushion wear is always excluded as “normal use.”

Cushions are the most vulnerable part of mass produced sofas.

Cushion cores can be replaced, but few people choose that option for mass produced seating.

Once the cushions lose their shape and comfort, many people decide it is time to replace the sofa.

IKEA sofas are labeled “Firm”“Soft,” and “Extra Soft.”

All IKEA cushions have the general construction shown in the photo below.

The cushions are fabricated with a top layer of polyester fiber.

The fiber is above the coil springs and two layers of foam.

What is the difference between IKEA’s firm, soft, and extra soft cushions?

IKEA’s website shows the same cutaway picture and description for all sofas, regardless of firmness.

After multiple attempts to find the answer to this question from IKEA sales and customer service people, the only response I got was that “the packaging is different.”

If anyone can explain the difference between IKEA’s firm, soft and extra soft cushions, please let me know.

KIVIK Loveseat, Tibbleby beige/gray

IKEA sofa construction

Looking beyond the fiberboard and particle board frame, there is a lot that I like in IKEA’s sofas.

That includes their cheaper models, priced well under $1000.

Foam cushions found on most low and mid-priced sofas have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years.

After that, they lose their shape and resiliency (ability to bounce back.)

That lifespan can be even lower if used by people who are larger than average or by families with kids who like to jump on the furniture. A 250 lb. person can wear out a foam cushion in 1 – 2 years.

Several of my older blog articles dismiss IKEA as being cheap furniture suitable only for short-term use. 

But I hadn’t been in an IKEA store for nearly 20 years.

Ikea sofas are still cheap. But both the quality and comfort have significantly improved.

IKEA sofas were originally designed for Scandinavian and European tastes.

Those included low seat heights and smaller scale dimensions.

Some of IKEA’s older models, like the Kivik, still have 17″ seat heights, standard for European furniture, but well below the 19 – 20 inch seat height most Americans are accustomed to.

IKEA’s more recent models are 18.5 inches from the floor to the top of the seat cushion and larger in scale with increased seat depths.

10 years ago, IKEA sofas all had cheap foam cushions that flattened out within just a few years.

Most American sofas priced below $1500 (and many priced higher) are still using 1.8 density foam cushions with a 3 – 5 year average lifespan.

IKEA has upgraded to seat cushions made with pocketed coil springs and further cushioned with layers of 2.2 and 2.0 density foam.

The new pocketed coil spring cushions are much better than the 1.8 density foam found in most mass produced sofas.

Coil spring cushions should hold up much better than foam for active families with kids who like to jump on the furniture.

Washable, replaceable covers are another big IKEA advantage over similarly priced competing brands.

Coil spring cushions are often firmer than foam. They should retain that firmness for many years.

Three years after purchase, when many foam cushions already need replacement, IKEA’s cushions should still feel firm and look almost new.

Some people don’t like firm cushions and may complain about the comfort, but they will be a minority.

IKEA’s pocketed coil spring cushions should last at least 6 – 8 years, and possibly 10 years or more.

That is more than twice the life expectancy of more expensive sofas with better frames, but inferior foam cushions.

IKEA sells a lot of leather sofas.

Although the leather may last 20+ years, the cheap frames probably won’t.

In a recent Wirecutter review, the author states:

“We’ve tested the Kivik, which has a simple classic design.

Though its price—starting at about $550—is almost impossible to beat, in this case you get what you pay for.”

The implication is that IKEA furniture is flimsy and won’t hold up.

But, later in the same article, the author comments:

“Two Wirecutter staffers, who have owned Kiviks for 10 and eight years, respectively, both say they have liked this sofa.”

Two individuals from a single office, got 10 and 8 years use from a $550 IKEA sofa. That’s a pretty good value!

 

Wood House Upholstery

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 6

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

woodhouse sofa

Sturdy construction for low end seating.

Wood House rates 1 point better in quality than Ashley because it uses a sinuous wire foundation rather than a wood platform.

Sinuous wire foundations are more comfortable and do not wear out cushions as fast as platform foundations.

Basic styles start around $599.

Like most seating in this range, the cushions will wear out long before the frame or foundation.

The average cushion lifespan is 3 – 5 years (or less if you weigh more than 200 lbs. or have kids who like to jump on the couch.)

Mid-Range Sofa & Sectional Brands

Sofa prices range from $1200  to $3000 (fabric) or $2000 to $5000 (leather) 

 

7th Avenue

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 7 

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers & through Company Showrooms]

7th Avenue Sectional Sofa
                                           7th Avenue Modular Sofa with Chaise 

The 7th Avenue website does not give any information about where the furniture was made, so it is probably an Asian import.

The website indicates that the sofa has a solid hardwood frame and sinuous wire foundation.

The foam density is not listed. When the description says only, “High Resiliency foam,” it is almost always 1.8 density.

The website claims that the cushions should last 10+ years. The life expectancy for 1.8 density foam cushions is usually closer to 5 years (or less for larger than average individuals.) The memory foam layers will soften the feel, but they won’t make the cushion last any longer.

The solid hardwood frame and sinuous wire foundation should both last 10+ years.

The website makes a big fuss about the availability of water-repellent fabrics. Almost every brand now carries a large selection of “high performance” fabrics with “water repellent” capabilities.

Albany Park

Quality rating: 3 / Value Ranking: 3

[Online retailer selling Asian made furniture]

The Albany Sofa by Albany Park
Albany Park Sofa.

I strongly advise checking out independent customer reviews before purchasing from this company.

Over the past few years, over a dozen “Sofa in a Box” companies have appeared.

In general, these companies all supply couches and sectionals that ship unassembled.

Styles are mostly Mid-century American and other casual contemporary high leg designs that fit efficiently into flat boxes.

Assembly is usually simple and takes less than an hour.

It can be difficult for the average furniture shopper to tell the difference between these different brands.

It is tempting to just assume they are all alike and it doesn’t matter which you choose. That can be an expensive mistake.

“Sofa in a Box” companies can be separated into two main categories:

Online retailers who sell and ship Asian made furniture from U.S. warehouses.

Manufacturers (mostly in the USA) that build custom furniture in their own factories and ship directly to consumers.

Although pricing may appear similar, U.S. manufacturers selling direct usually offer better values and better customer service.

Albany Park is an online retailer selling products made in China and Vietnam.

The product specifications appear to be OK. Prices appear competitive. The 10 year warranty and in-home trial appear to offer protection against potential problems.

Reviews on the company website are all highly complimentary and reassuring.

Let’s take a closer look!

Product specifications appear to indicate good quality.

Sturdy kiln-dried hardwood frame.

Back and seat cushions are reversible and fully upholstered in incredibly soft velvet with vibrant West African designs.

Removable seat cushions have pocket coils surrounded by high density foam and mattress quality foam.

Webbing and spring suspension system.

Your choice of stainless steel legs in polished gold finish or mid-century modern solid wood tapered legs.

But when you start looking at independent reviews, quality issues pop up all over the place.

Usually, Sofa in a Box customers are happy with their purchase for the first year (at least.)

Independent reviews from Albany Park customers indicate an unusual number of complaints immediately after assembling the furniture.

Several of those complaints concern structural issues. Many stated that the furniture was uncomfortable. Complaints included lumpy cushions after a few weeks, poor sewing, wobbly bases, feathers coming out of cushions, pilling fabric, a need for constant fluffing and turning of almost new cushions,

Although there is supposed to be a 30 day in-home trial period, returns are apparently very difficult and expensive.

Many reviewers stated that they wanted to return the furniture within the trial period, but were unable to because of various restrictions or demands by Albany Park.

Furniture must be returned in “As new condition” (as determined by Albany Park upon inspection when the furniture reaches them.) Of course, if you have been using the furniture for a few weeks, and have to disassemble it for return, there is a high probability it will not pass the company’s inspection.

Even if it is accepted in “As New” condition there is a  10% restocking charge. That charge goes up to 20% if you cannot use the original packaging. The furniture still has to be returned in “As New” condition.

More than one customer complained they were charged shipping for returning defective merchandise even though the warranty clearly states, “Damaged and defective items are not subject or return fees”

Nothing explains what happens if the returned furniture reaches the warehouse and is then declared “Not As New.”

Several customer reviews indicated that Albany Park furniture is available for lower prices (and better return policies) on Amazon.

They also stated that the Albany Park website would not match the Amazon prices.

Allform

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 8 

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers]

Allform Sofa
                                                                                                                             Allform 3-Seat Sofa with chaise

Sofa prices start at about $1200 (in fabric.) Sectional prices top out around $6500 (in leather.) Prices include Free shipping on all orders. Estimated delivery in 5 – 10 Days.

Allform has received multiple awards and overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The brand has been named “Best Sofa in a Box,” “Best Modular Sofa”, and “Best Small-Space Sofa” since being introduced about 2 years ago.

I agree that Allform is one of the best brands for this furniture category (Ready to Assemble, Casual Contemporary Modular Upholstered Furniture.)

After an extensive search, I cannot find any seriously negative reviews from Allform customers.

My review here is probably the most negative currently written about Allform.

My misgivings are not based on actual customer experiences, but on my concerns about the long-term durability of the furniture..

In my opinion, Allform sofas and sectionals are built to last about 5 years (or less if used by larger than average size individuals.)

That may be perfectly acceptable if you are paying $1200 for a sofa. It is less acceptable when paying $6500 for a leather sectional with the same expected lifespan.

My 5 year lifespan estimate is based on how Allform (and its Bed in a Box competitors) all build their furniture.

Frame construction: Almost every positive review states that the frame is made from, “Maple and poplar kiln-dried laminated hardwood.”  That appears to have changed.

Currently, the website lists two different (and contradictory) frame constructions.*

“Hardwood Frame – We have taken action to make sure our frames feel substantial and durable. Each of our frames features a structure frame design made from pine wood.”

“Each frame is constructed from an Oriented Strand Board (OSB) made from pine wood for maximum strength and durability.”

In the first description, Pine is not a hardwood and is not a durable frame material. It is highly subject to warpage and does not hold staples well.

The second description details that the Pine wood is actually Oriented Strand Board (OSB.)

This engineered wood product is basically compressed wood chips.

OSB does not hold staples well and does not adhere well with water-based glues.

Elsewhere in the website, where eco-friendliness is discussed, it states that water-based glues are used.

The glues used in OSB are not not water-based. In an article titled, “Types of Glue used in OSB,” it states:

“While OSB makes efficient use of wood chips, which would be otherwise be thrown away, concerns arise with the glues used.

The glues have been reported to emanate formaldehyde gas, which is a known health hazard.

My best guess at what has happened is that Allform’s frames started off as hardwood plywood when the furniture was introduced in 2020. During the Pandemic, there were severe shortages of some basic materials, including plywood. Allform probably changed to OSB at some point, and finding that it was cheaper than plywood, never switched back.

Foundation (Seat support): The Flexolator grid units used by Allform are the least expensive type of seat support (foundation) available (other than Ashley’s platform foundation.)

Two advantages that this type of furniture offers are:

Flatter than sinuous wire or coil springs. This allows the boxes to be flatter, saving on cartoning and transportation costs.

Does not sag like cheap webbing.

The disadvantage is that the helical spring coils fastening the Flexolator to the frame are prone to coming loose and falling off. This potential problem is aggravated when stapled to frames made of softwood or OSB.

Cushions: Although the frame and seat support used here have potential weaknesses, seat cushions are the most likely components to fail first.

Allform’s standard seat cushions are made with a 1.8 density foam core measuring 27″ wide x 24″ deep x 5″ high.

That foam specification generally lasts 3 – 5 years before losing its resiliency (ability to bounce back) comfort and shape.

The cushion’s actual lifespan is highly dependent on the weight of the people using the sofa and how often it is used.

1.8 density foam cushions may last less than 2 years if used frequently by a 250 lb. person. They may last less than 1 year for a 300 lb. person.

Allform can probably replace worn out cushion cores for a fee, but few people ever replace cushion cores to extend their sofa’s lifespan.

Foam seat cushions with a 3 – 5 year lifespan do not maintain their “As New” comfort for 3 – 5 years and then suddenly collapse.

Beginning within one year, the seat cushions will gradually lose their firmness and comfort, until becoming uncomfortably soft after 3 – 5 years.

Back cushions can lose their loft, shape, and resiliency within one year. They will need to be “fluffed up” periodically.

Since these cushions are filled with cheap polyester fiber, the cost of adding additional filler is minimal.

In the $1200 – $2000 price range, Allform is actually a pretty good value for this type of seating.  

That value decreases as the price increases. A $6000 Allform sectional will not last any longer than a $1200 Allform sofa.

Arhaus

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 7.5

[Online retailer selling direct to Consumers and through Showrooms.]

Halden Sofa in Natural | Arhaus

Arhaus Halden sofa

Arhaus combines a  hardwood laminate (plywood) frame with a sinuous wire spring foundation. This construction should last 20+ years, but is less comfortable than 8 way hand-tied, when combined with foam cushions.

From a cost standpoint, sturdy hardwood frames generally cost a few dollars more than plywood.

8 way hand-tied coils cost a couple of hundred dollars more than sinuous wire.

Depending on the model, Arhaus cushions may have either a 1.8 density foam core or Spring Down construction.

Spring Down should last more than twice as long as foam.

While the foam cushions may feel very comfortable when new in the store, they will quickly begin to lose their shape and comfort.

High quality Spring down cushions should retain their shape and comfort 15+ years for most people.

Spring Down cushions generally add about $100 to the retail price of a sofa, compared to the same size 1.8 density foam cushions.

Sinuous wire foundations are fine when used in combination with spring down cushions.

Article and Poly & Bark

Quality rating: 6 / Value Ranking: 6

Both Brands are online retailers, purchasing from Asian manufacturers.]

The Article Sven and Poly & Bark Napa leather sofas are almost identical.

Both leather sofa models are probably purchased from the same Asian factory.

Mid-century modern sofa
Mid-century modern sofa – Article Sven and Poly & Bark Napa

Reviews I have seen indicate that most people who have purchased both of these sofas are happy with them after 1 2 years.

The average lifespan appears to be 3 – 5 years.

Cushions will usually be the first components to wear out.

These “full-grain pure-aniline Italian tanned leather” sofas are “good” quality furniture, but not the “top quality”many shoppers think they are purchasing.

Both the Article Sven and the Poly & Bark Napa have the same length, width and height.

They were both available in the same Cognac Tan leather (at the time this review was written.) Both had round arm bolsters.

Neither Article nor Poly & Bark are manufacturers.

Both brands market furniture made in Asian factories located in Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and India.

The Nappa and Sven sofas both appear to be manufactured in the same factory.

Furniture terminology can be confusing or contradictory.

The online marketing materials for these two sofas appear to be intentionally deceptive.

According to many reviews, shoppers who purchased the Article Sven and Poly & Bark sofas believed they were purchasing “high quality” leather furniture that will last a lifetime.

That “lifetime” is more likely to be 3 – 5 years.

If you replace the cushion cores when the original seats wear out, you can get an additional 3 – 5 years of use. But purchasers should not expect these sofas to last 20+ years like true “top quality” leather seating.

Websites for both brands emphasize features typically found in high-quality sofas.

These “high-quality” features include:

Full-grain pure-aniline Italian tanned leather upholstery

Corner blocked kiln-dried solid wood frame

High-density foam with polyester filling.

Feather down topper on seating surfaces.

Feather down and fiber blend seat-back cushions and bolsters

Loose, non-reversible seat and back cushions

Pirelli webbing

Solid wood legs in a walnut finish

But there are ways to cheat on all of these specifications. And these sofas use just about every “cheat” possible.

These deceptions do not make the sofas “bad quality” furniture. But they are definitely not “high-quality” either.

Here is the list of features again – this time with my notes italicized in Green:

Full-grain pure aniline leather: Full-grain, pure aniline leather is touted by many salespeople and interior design professionals as being the “best of the best.”

It is not unusual to see articles written by experienced furniture professionals stating that full-grain pure aniline leather is the most expensive (and best) type of leather available.

Many customer reviews for Article and Poly & Bark cite the “top quality leather” as the primary reason for purchasing these specific sofas.

The full-grain leather used on these sofas is different. It is very cheap leather, not the best of the best.

The leather used on these sofas starts off with low quality (full-grain) hides with massive imperfections.

Cutters remove the worst flaws, slicing and dicing the remaining portion of the hides into small pieces.

Each of these 88″ sofas is upholstered from 44 separate small leather segments!

The poor initial quality of the hides drastically reduces the leather cost. The extensive sewing needed to piece the small pieces together may cost more than the leather hides.

Sewing 44 pieces of thick hides together for each sofa requires a low-cost Asian (or Mexican) labor force.

The leather is minimally processed. The time and expense of separating the top grain from the bottom grain is skipped.

Finishing and protection is minimal. The leather scratches and stains easily (like the expensive high quality full grain leathers.)

Although this is not top-quality, expensive leather, it will usually last far longer than other parts of the sofa.

Kiln-dried solid wood frame with corner blocks.

There is one critical word missing from this frame description: “Hardwood.”

High-quality frames are built with high-density solid hardwoods.

The term “hardwood” is often used to describe hardwood plywood rather than solid hardwood, but in either case hardwood frames usually hold up for at least 10 years.

The problem is that when the term “hardwood” is omitted from the description, the lumber used is usually “softwood.”

Corner blocked kiln-dried solid wood frame:

Kiln-dried solid softwood frames are far less durable than hardwood frames. Softwoods can warp or split, even when they have been kiln-dried.

The frames should still hold up for 10 years or more, but they are not “high-quality” frames.

Pirelli webbing foundation:

High-quality “non-stretchable” Pirelli webbing is frequently used in high-end modern sofas.

It can also be found in older sofa styles with low profiles that cannot fit 8 way hand tied foundations.

The Pirelli webbing used here is the less costly “stretchable” seat support webbing.

If you weigh 250 lbs. or have kids who like to jump on the sofa, it will “sag.” That speeds up the cushion wear and makes the couch uncomfortable.

Check out this YouTube video review of a 2 year old Article Sven sofa.

The reviewer reports that the seat cushions sagged after a year and a half. The cushions were replaced, but sagged again within a few months.

Sagging cushions, that cannot be fixed by replacing them is an indication that the Pirelli webbing has stretched or come loose from the frame.

Stretchable webbing, when stapled into a softwood frame, is especially prone to stretching (and sagging.)

Softwoods do not hold staples well. They often loosen and fall out when too much pressure is applied to the webbing.

High-density foam with polyester filling:

In low and mid-priced couches, cushions are usually the first part to break down.

The term “high-density” foam, without a number, usually indicates the foam is 1.8 density.

Polyurethane foam has a wide range of quality and durability. Asian made foam is usually less durable than the same density foam made in the USA.

A 250 lb. individual can wear out an Asian made 1.8 density foam cushion in 1 – 2 years.

“Feather-down” filling in the seat and back cushions:

“Top quality” high-end sofas often offer feathers and down as a cushion option upgrade.

One of the factors that determines how comfortable a down and feather cushions will be is the percentage of down in the filling.

Down is far more expensive than feathers.

High quality down/feather seat cushions have at least 10% and the best may have 25% or even 50% down.

Cheaper down/feather cushions (such as those found in this couch) probably have only 5% down.

A cushion with 25% will cost far more than the same cushion with only 5% down.

Feathers do not significantly improve the comfort compared with polyester fiber.

They do require more care and better ticking materials than those usually found in cushions with polyester fill.

When that extra care and better quality ticking is not used, the result can be cushions that “leak” feathers.

Using feathers has little effect on the durability, comfort or cost of the cushions.

Other construction details:

Tufted seats:

Tufting is frequently found on traditional style high end seating.

When constructed correctly by a highly skilled upholsterer, tufting can be a great addition to a sofa.

But on lower priced, mass produced sofas, tufting can be a weak point.

 The legs have an 8″ height.

When thin legs get above 6″ they lose stability and are more likely to break.

Sofas with high thin legs often add a 5th leg for added stability.

Bassett

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7

[Manufacturer selling through retailers and with its own showrooms.]

Bassett’s mass produced, imported upholstered furniture is at the very middle of mid-range quality furniture.

Bassett’s American-made custom-built collections are higher quality and more expensive.

Bassett was once one of the largest U.S. furniture manufacturers. That is no longer the case.

Bassett Furniture currently manufactures custom-built upholstered furniture lines in North Carolina.

The company’s mass produced furniture is currently made in Thailand.

Bassett has two different custom-built upholstered furniture lines.

Both are made in Newton, North Carolina.

The BenchMade collection consists of reclining sofas and chairs with high legs that appear almost indistinguishable from non-motion living room furniture.

The Club collection has two very different segments:

One of these is custom-built high quality reclining furniture (but no high leg styles) with zero gravity mechanisms, made in North Carolina.

Bassett’s American Made custom-built BenchMade and Club collections are available with All-leather. All reclining models are powered.

Bassett’s other Club level upholstery segment is mass produced in Thailand.

Bassett’s imported upholstery is mass produced, with an average lifespan that is about half of its custom-built furniture.

Bassett’s imported Club Level reclining furniture uses Leather Match – genuine top grain corrected leather on the seats, inside arms, and inside backs. Everywhere else is 100% synthetic faux leathers.

Note – the Bassett website makes it difficult for non-professionals to distinguish between its American-made custom-built furniture and models that are mass produced in Thailand.

Also, Bassett’s website identifies its leather match upholstery as “Genuine top grain leathers.” It does not mention “leather match” anywhere.

I guessed that this was leather match based on the pricing. This guess was confirmed by checking Bassett’s retailer websites, which identify the material as “leather match.”

The most important single component that will determine how long your Bassett sofa will last is the cushions.

When possible, spend the extra money to get the highest quality cushions available.

These may have higher density foam or coil spring construction.

Bassett’s standard cushions have a 5 1/2″ thick 1.8 density foam core with a polyester fiber wrapping.

It has an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years for most people. It begins to soften within one year, eventually losing its shape and resilience (ability to bounce back) after 3 – 5 years.

BenchMade Modern

Quality rating: 7.5 / Value Ranking: 5

[Online retailer with showrooms selling direct]

Benchmade Modern Catwalk Sofa

BenchMade Modern Catwalk Sofa.

Benchmade Modern makes a style that I call Casual Contemporary (which includes Mid-century-modern).

Each piece is handcrafted in Dallas, TX, or Los Angeles, CA.

The furniture is beautifully designed and styled. It can be custom-built and shipped in 4 – 6 weeks.

My problem with BenchMade Modern is that a $2500 – $3500 sofa should last at least 10 years.

I don’t think this brand (and most of its direct competitors) will hold up much more than 5 years.

The frame is laminated hardwood (plywood). Solid Aspen is occasionally used. That’s OK. The frame should last 20+ years.

Depending on the style, the foundation is either sinuous wire or unidirectional webbing.

Sinuous wire is standard. It’s cheap, but should last 10 – 20 years. It doesn’t add any comfort, but good cushions can compensate.

I am less confident in the unidirectional webbing.

Webbing can be good or bad.

If it is the expensive stuff (that doesn’t stretch) that’s fine. The cheaper type stretches. Stretched webbing can lead to “sagging.”

Several of BenchMade Modern’s competitors use the cheap webbing. It is probably used here also.

I would avoid any BenchMade Modern styles with webbing. (Salespeople probably won’t know the difference between “good” and “bad” webbing.)

Cushions are 1.8 density foam. The lifespan is typically 3 – 5 years.

Burrow

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7 

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumer & through Company Showrooms]

Range 4-Piece Sectional
Burrow’s Field 3-Seat sofa 
Burrow seating is modular. Each seat is a separate piece.

This type of design works better for sectionals than sofas.

Making a 3 seat sofa in three different sections is not cost efficient. It also looks a bit strange with its 8 legs.

Range 3-Piece Sofa Burrow Range 3 seat sofa has 8 legs

Burrow’s marketing strongly implies it is Made in America furniture.

A closer reading of the website shows that it is “designed in the USA”, but the parts are sourced from North Carolina, Vietnam, Poland, Mexico, and India.

Frame: Burrow’s hardwood and bent plywood frame should last 20 years.

Building seating in single seat modules makes both the frame and seat support (foundation) sturdier than similar looking furniture made with multi-seat designs.

Seat Cushions: Standard 1.8 density foam cushions.

I saw some descriptions that said the cushions had 3 layers of foam.

During the Pandemic foam was difficult to get and several manufacturers were trying different foam variations including foams of varying densities.

By now, most companies seem to have gone back to the solid slab of 1.8 density. (The website may need updating.)

Back Cushions: Mixed polyester fiber with crushed foam. This retains its shape better than the standard 100% fiber, but it may still need to be refilled after a few years.

Optional sleep kit: Several of Burrow’s sofas can be transformed into a bed with purchase of an optional “sleep kit.”

The kit comes with eye mask, pillow, quilted blanket, flat sheet, fitted sheet, and memory foam topper.

Most people seem to be happy with the look and feel of their Burrow sofas and sectionals after 1 – 2 years.

3 years after purchase, the cushions may begin to look worn out and sagging.

Burrow’s 1 year warranty is better than many of their competitors, but watch out for the extended warranty.

Burrow’s 1 year warranty is excellent and is printed very clearly in bold letters.

Unfortunately, they also offer 3 and 5 year extended warranties with no additional explanation or description.

99% of consumers reading Burrow’s warranty description will assume that the extended warranties have the same coverage. They don’t!

The 3 and 5 year extended warranties are subcontracted to a 3rd party.

If you are one of the rare people who actually takes time to read warranties, you will discover that the extended warranties have multiple exclusionary clauses that remove liability for most problems that are likely to occur after the first year.

Typically, extended warranties will not cover anything that is caused by “normal wear and tear.”

They will not cover fabric-related problems.

They will not cover cushion-related problems.

Those two areas cover 90% of what is likely to go wrong with upholstered furniture within the first 5 years.

Campaign Living 

Although this is brand is still being reviewed on many current blogs and review sites, the company closed down as of January, 2021.

Craftmaster

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 8

[Manufacturer selling through retail showrooms]

Craftmaster is above average in quality for U.S. made mid-priced sofas.

The diagram below was taken from the Craftmaster website. I have made some observations in Bold Italics.

craftmaster

A – Hardwood Frame Consisting Of Hardwood Rails And Hardwood Laminates. This is standard for mid-priced furniture and should last 10 – 20 years.

B – Heavily Padded Arms. Standard.

C – Tie Wires On Back & Seat Springs For Additional Support. Above average.

D – Heavy Gauge Sinuous Wire Springs For Durability And Comfort. Cheapest type of foundation support but should last 10 – 20 years.

E – Heavily Padded In-Back. Standard.

F – 100% Dacron Polyester Fiber Back Cushion Encased In A Sewn Ticking With Separate Compartments To Prevent Fiber Fall Down. Average.

G – 2.0 Density High Resiliency Foam Core With Dacron Fiber Wrapping. Above average. 2.0 density cushions should last about 1 year longer than standard 1.8 density foam cushions. 4 – 6 years for average size people with average use.

H – Fully Lined Tailored Skirts. This is the correct way to make a skirt. Not everybody does.

I – Padded Edge Roll. Above average.

J – Insulated Seat Pad For Added Comfort. Standard.

K – Joints Are Mortise And Tenon Or Double Dowelled, Glued, & Corner Blocked For Durability. Good joint construction techniques.

L – Wood Legs On Skirted Frames Are Built Into The Frame For Strength & Durability. Exposed Wood, Decorative Legs Are Securely Mounted To The Base Of The Frame. Built-in legs are stronger than screw-in legs, but make it harder to fit a sofa through a doorway. If your sofa does not have a skirt, you probably will not have built-in legs.

Flexsteel

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7

[Manufacturer selling through retail showrooms]

Flexsteel cutaway

Flexsteel’s stationary custom upholstery is made in the USA.

At one time Flexsteel had 8 U.S. manufacturing plants.

Now, only one is left. The Dublin, GA factory still makes custom stationary upholstery.

Flexsteel’s corporate headquarters is still in Dubuque, IA , but the Dubuque factory was closed in 2020.

Flexsteel’s reclining furniture is currently being made in Vietnam and Mexico. 

Stationary seating that is not custom-made is also made in those countries.

Frame: The frame is plywood. It should last 10 – 20 years without any problems.

Foundation: Flexsteel’s blue steel flat spring foundation is the best in the furniture industry. 

It was introduced over 100 years ago. Since that time, very few have ever broken.

The blue steel flat spring is not as comfortable as 8 way hand tied, but it will last longer and is more comfortable than sinuous wire or webbing.

Spring Edge front rail: This is a quality feature often found on high end traditional upholstery but rarely seen on modern styles or mid-price traditional.

Spring edge construction has some minor benefits for comfort and cushion life, but most mid-range brands can’t justify the extra expense, since so few of their customers are even aware of  a spring edge’s benefits.

Cushions: Flexsteel has had problems with their cushions.

About 3 years ago, Flexsteel introduced a new composite cushion construction featuring a 2.0 density central foam core surrounded by softer 1.2 density foam layers.

At that time my Flexsteel reviews questioned the durability of this construction and speculated that Flexsteel customers could be very unhappy about their cushions within a couple of years.

This past October (2022) I visited the Flexsteel showroom at the High Point International Home Furnishings Market. The composite cushions were gone.

Flexsteel is back to solid core 2.0 density foam. 

2.0 density foam should last 1 – 2 years longer than 1.8 density foam, assuming average use by average size people.

The Flexsteel manager I spoke with did not give a reason for the cushion change.

Flexsteel also has a “plush” cushion. This is filled with Trillium. I am not certain whether or not this is an upgrade option.

Personally, I found the Trillium filled cushions to be uncomfortably soft.

Joybird

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 6

[Manufacturer selling Direct to consumers and through showrooms]

Preston Reverse Sectional Sofa
                                                                                                                 Preston Reversible Sectional.

Joybird is a LaZBoy company.

IThe company manufactures mid-century modern style furniture in Tijuana, Mexico.

Joybird has a wide range of sofas and sectionals.

Prices start a bit higher than most of its similarly styled Sofa in a Box mid-century modern competitors.

Frames: Hardwood plywood.  This type of frame should last 10 – 20 years.

Foundation: Sinuous wire – Cheap support system, but should last without problems for 10 – 20 years.

Seat Cushions: The last time I checked, Joybird was using a foam cushion with 3 layers: The top and bottom are 1″ thick low density Comfort foam. The middle 4″ is 2.8 density.

This is a better than average seat cushion for this price range.

Joybird (and LaZBoy) has a proprietary cushion design. The cushion inserts cannot be replaced by anyone other than Joybird when they wear out.

The lifespan for this cushion, assuming average use by average size people, is probably 5 – 6 years.

Joybird also has a soft Trillium seat cushion option.

Trillium is a fairly new material. It is a synthetic fiber that is supposed to mimic the feel of down. I would not recommend this option.

It may last only half as long as the standard foam cushion with the 2.8 density core.

Back Cushions: Back cushion construction varies with the sofa style.

Warranty and customer service: Joybird seems to have more customer complaints than some of its competitors.

Most of the complaints seem to involve shipping and customer service issues, not product quality.

It also appears as though Joybird’s initial customer service action in response to first time complaints is very poor.

Followup complaints receive a much better response rate and are much better at resolving problems in the customer’s favor.

It appears as though the initial complaints are being intentionally ignored to weed out customers who give up easily.

In my long career I spent many years working with customer service departments (both good and bad.)

It is my experience that when furniture customers are ignored after making their initial complaint, about 50% do not follow up.

The limited lifetime warranty is largely useless after the first year.

Although the covered damages appear comprehensive, there are approximately 50 exclusionary clauses near the end of the warranty that remove Joybird’s liability for almost everything that is likely to go wrong with the furniture after the first year.

This is common for low and mid-priced furniture brands.

Kincaid

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 9 when compared with Mid-range brands.

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7 (with 8 way hand tied foundation and Spring Down cushion upgrades) when compared with High end brands.

[Manufacturer selling through Authorized Dealers & Professional Interior Decorators]

60% of Kincaid upholstery sales are 8 way hand tied and 40% use the standard sinuous wirefoundation according to a Kincaid sales manager I spoke with at the October, 2022 International Home Furnishings show in High Point, NC.

Kincaid has been in business for about 75 years. It is now a LaZBoy company and is considered the top quality of all the LaZBoy upholstery brands.

Kincaid
Kincaid Edison sofa

Kincaid is known primarily for its solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture. 

But its sofa frames are not solid wood. They are unitized plywood and engineered wood.

Frames – Kincaid’s frames are superior to most plywood frames in this price range.

Most frames in the mid-price range are 3/4″ – 7/8″ plywood with 5 – 7 plies (layers of plywood.)

Kincaid frames are 7/8″ thick with 13 plies. This is stronger than similar thickness plywood with fewer plies.

Foundations – Kincaid offers two different types of seat support foundations.

The standard seat support is a sinuous wire foundation. These are inexpensive and very durable.

A sinuous wire foundation should last for 10 – 20 years.

Kincaid also offers an 8 way hand-tied option. 

8 way hand tied coils add several hundred dollars to the cost of a sofa.

When combined with upgraded cushions, It may put the cost of a Kincaid sofa into the high end price range.

Cushions

Kincaid’s standard seat cushions are 2.0 density.

Upgraded 2.5 density foam and Spring Down cushions are also available and recommended.

Either of these upgrade options will more than double the expected cushion lifespan to 15+ years.

King Hickory

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 9.5 when compared with Mid-range brands

Quality rating: 6 / Value Ranking: 8 when compared with High end brands.

[Manufacturer selling through Authorized Dealers & Professional Interior Decorators]King Hickory Chatham Conversation Sofa 5965-ELS-F

King Hickory Chatham Conversation sofa

King Hickory is a 50+ year old upholstery manufacturer, located in Hickory, NC.

Sofa construction seems to have changed very little since I first viewed their furniture 40 years ago.

This brand is sold through authorized retail dealerships. It is not available Direct to Consumers.

King Hickory could have been evaluated in this review as either a mid-range or high-end brand.

Its furniture fits into both categories.

Although King Hickory scores near the top of the mid-range price category, it is slightly below average when compared with other high-priced brands.

Fabric sofas begin around $2200 and leather sofas around $4000.

From a pricing perspective, that puts many of their models solidly in the Mid-price range, although the majority of King Hickory products are sold at prices similar to the high-end brands.

Standard construction features include:

Solid kiln-dried hardwood frames, double dowelled and glued. Corner blocks are glued and screwed.

8 way hand tied foundation.

Spring-edge on front rail. (This is a construction detail normally found only on high end traditional style upholstery.)

Choice of 4 optional cushions (Spring Down cushions are highly recommended.*)

*Important Note:  Get the Spring Down cushion upgrade.

Foam cushions reduce my Quality and Value scores by 2 points.

There have been several consumer complaints about collapsing seat cushions. 1.8 density foam can do that. Spring Down will not!

LaZBoy

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 6

[Manufacturer selling through retailers and its own franchised showrooms]

Lazboy
Lazboy sofa

The LaZBoy brand makes mostly reclining chairs, sofas and sectionals.

The LaZBoy company owns several other brands which are more oriented to stationary seating, including England, Joybird and Kincaid. OtherLaZBoy brands, such as Hammary and American Drew are primarily case goods.

LaZBoy brand stationary sofas are basic plywood frame/sinuous wire foundation construction.

Cushions are a proprietary “custom core” construction, which is difficult to compare to other cushion types.

Tailoring is above average for mid-priced sofas.

In general, LaZBoy won’t last any longer than many other brands selling for hundreds of dollars less.

 

Maiden Home

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 9 

[Online retailer sells Direct to Consumers only]

 

The Sullivan from Maiden Home

Maiden Home Sullivan sofa

Maiden Home marketing implies that it is a Direct-to-Consumer manufacturer. It isn’t!

Maiden Home Furniture is an online retailer.

The company contracts with several small and mid-size North Carolina manufacturers for exclusive designs.

Maiden Home furniture actually is an excellent value, but not because you are buying direct from the factory.

Maiden Home offers one of the best collections of style, quality and value for sofas in the $2000 – $3000 price range.

Maiden Home’s founder and owner Nidhi Kapur, did not have any furniture industry experience prior to starting Maiden Home.

As far as I can tell, she does not have any professional interior design credentials either. That doesn’t seem to matter.

She is an absolute genius at recognizing timeless styles, developing affordable designs, and finding skilled craftspeople to produce her curated upholstery collection.

At least a dozen other furniture brands have attempted to emulate Maiden Home’s concept over the past few years. Some are legitimate Direct-to-Consumer manufacturers.

But very few even come close to matching Maiden Home’s combination of style, quality & value.

Maiden Home’s website is simple, informative, and easy to shop. Design assistance is also available.

Assigning quality & Value scores to Maiden Home is difficult.

Because the furniture is produced by multiple factories, materials and specifications can vary among the different models.

Some have 8 way hand tied, Others have sinuous wire or webbing.

Frames are 1″ thick hardwood laminate (plywood). That is above the industry standard of 3/4 – 7/8 inch thickness in this price range.

Cushions vary by style. Many have 1.8 density foam.

In most 3 seat sofas, I consider 1.8 density foam to be substandard, but Maiden Home’s sofas usually have only 1 or 2 seat cushions.

Cushions with larger surface areas increases the durability and lifespan of the foam, since less downward pressure is being exerted per square inch.

Delivery: Custom pieces may be ready for delivery in  6 – 8 weeks from time of order.

Shipping fees: Complimentary shipping and white glove delivery service with any furniture order.

MANTLE FURNITURE

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10 when compared with mid-range brands.

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 10 when compared with High end brands.

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers only]

110" sofa

Mantle  Burke 110″ sofa

Mantle makes high quality 8 way hand tied sofas in the $2000 – $3000 price range.

8 way hand tied sofas priced under $3000 are rare.

Mantle, King Hickory and a few Maiden Home models all qualify for this high value sub-category.

Mantle is owned by the 3rd generation of a family that has been making high end couches and other upholstered seating in North Carolina for over 60 years.

Quality is similar to well-known brands such as C.R. Laine, Bradington Young, Sherrill, Lee Industries, Huntington House, Temple Furniture & Taylor King.

Mantle has two big advantages over the higher priced 8 way hand tied brands listed above:

The company sells direct to the public, bypassing retailers’ delays and pricing markups.

Mantle builds and ships its 8 way hand tied upholstery in only 4 – 8 weeks. (Custom options can increase the production time.)

All the other 8 way hand tied brands listed above sell only through retail dealers.

Sofa prices start above $3000.

Most require 12 – 24 weeks for manufacturing and shipping.

To keep prices low and shipping fast, Mantle offers only 3 styles and fewer than 100 fabrics and leathers.

Each style is available in numerous sizes and configurations, including 1 chair size, 2 loveseat sizes, 4 sofa sizes and 7 sectional configurations.

Additional custom sizes can be ordered.

Special lengths and seat depths are available upon request.

Modified arm and back heights are also available.

 Frames are 7/8″ kiln-dried hardwood plywood with 13 plies. They will last 20+ years and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

Many hardwood plywood frames in the mid-price range are 7/8″ thick, but have only 5 – 7 plies (wood layers.)

7/8″ thick hardwood plywood with 13 plies is substantially stronger and more durable than  7/8″ plywood with 5 – 7 plies.

Foundations: 8 way hand tied only.

Cushions: Multiple cushion options are offered. Standard cushions are 2.05 density Qualux® foam with a 21 firmness rating*.

The standard cushion has a soft (plush) feel and should last 10+ years (for average size people.)

Optional extra-firm 2.55 density Qualux® foam cushions with a 31 firmness rating*.

The 2.55 density extra firm cushions should last 15+ years (for average size people.)

Spring down cushions are not currently on the Mantle website, but are available upon request.

Spring down cushions should also last 15+ years with little or no loss of shape or firmness.

The Spring down cushions are firmer than the standard 2.05 density foam cushions, but softer than the 2.55 density extra-firm cushions.

Mantle sells exclusively through its website.

The company’s customer service is amazingly efficient and helpful.

MEDLEY HOME

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 9.5 when compared with Mid-range brands.

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 8 when compared with High end brands.

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers only]

 

Furniture made for living. Made to last. – Medley

Medley Home Kirnik sofa available in 7 sizes.

Medley Home has two factories.

The factories (workshops) are located in Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR.

Both workshops have a combined size of 30,000 sq. ft.

35 highly skilled craftspeople build custom upholstery and wood products, one handcrafted piece at a time.

The company sells Direct to Consumers only through its website.

Free design services are available.

Styles and designs emphasize durability, comfort and sustainability.

Materials are locally sourced, using environmentally friendly materials.

Medley Home seating is as strong and durable as any of the brands listed in the High-end section of this review.

Frames: Kiln-dried solid hardwoods. Construction includes double dowels, screwed and glued corner blocks. (This is better construction than many of the High-end brands.)

Foundation: Medley’s hand-tied, Arch Suspension System begins with traditional sinuous springs. These are then further reinforced by using twine to hand-tie the springs together in a unique pattern, creating a suspension system that improves both support and comfort.

Seat cushions: Standard seat cushions have thicker foam cores than most other brands in this price range.

Most seat cushions in this price range are fabrricated using 5 – 5 1/2 inch thick 1.8 density foam, which is then built up with several inches of polyester fiber to create cushions that measure  8 – 9 inches in height.

Medley’s foam cores are 6 – 7 inch thick, using 2.5 density polyurethane foam certified by CertiPUR-US® .

Medley uses only 1/4″ of polyester fiber wrapped around the foam.

The result is a cushion whose total height is the same as its foam core.

The cushions look thinner than most mid-range seat cushions, but last more than 3x as long (15+ years for most people.)

Medley Home is extremely concerned for the environment.

One of its cushion options is GOLS-certified organic natural Dunlop latex foam wrapped in wool for softness.

Medley uses Dunlop latex, rather than Talalay latex, for a couple reasons.
It’s denser and more durable.
Also, the latex produced by the Talalay process contains materials other than latex, including curing agents and ammonia that may be used to stabilize the liquid rubber.

All foam used by Medley Home meets or exceeds updated CertiPUR-US®-certified emissions and durability standards.

CertiPUR-US® leaves out unwanted chemicals like ozone depleters, flame retardants, formaldehyde, and phthalates.

Back cushions: Polyester fiber is standard, but an optional Down/feather filling is popular. Back cushions are constructed with baffling, a design that uses vertical walls of fabric to regulate the movement of the down filling and help keep it in place.

Fabrics: The fabric selection includes organic natural fibers, synthetics (including high performance fabrics), and leathers.

Medley’s fabric swatch page includes durability icons (puppies and bubbles) to highlight the most durable, kid-friendly (and pet-friendly) fabrics.

Warranty: Medley Home has one of the strongest warranties in the furniture industry.

Unlike almost all other brands in this price range, their warranty does not include an extensive list of exceptions and exclusions that nullify most of the things you think are covered.

They do not charge extra for extended warranties from 3rd party companies.

Medley Home’s warranty is simple: A lifetime warranty on frames, a 10-year warranty on cushions, and a 5-year warranty on fabric upholstery. No exceptions.

Warranties like this were common 40 years ago. Today, they are almost extinct.

This is the type of warranty a furniture company offers when it is confident of its quality, and genuinely wants to take care of customers who do experience problems.

Natuzzi Editions and Palliser

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 3

[Manufacturers selling through Retailers]

Natuzzi Editions and Palliser are being reviewed together. They make very similar furniture and compete directly for the same types of customers.

Although their prices may seem higher than most other brands in this mid-range section, most of their sales are for leather.

Real leather sofas selling for less than $5000, are usually within the mid-range price category.

Natuzzi Editions is the largest leather seating manufacturer in the world.

Natuzzi Editions furniture sold in the U.S. is made primarily in Asia.

About a year ago, in the midst of the Pandemic, , Natuzzi Editions announced it would be opening a Mexico manufacturing facility. I don’t know whether that was actually opened or was cancelled as  supply chain and shipping problems eased.

Natuzzi Editions seating sold in Europe is mostly made in Romania and possibly other Eastern European locations.

Natuzzi Italia furniture is more expensive and better made. It is built in Italy and is not being reviewed here.

Palliser bills itself as a Canadian company, but Palliser seating sold in the U.S. comes from its 3 Mexican factories.

Palliser also has a Canadian assembly plant. This factory assembles parts made in Mexico. The finished products are then distributed to its Canadian customers.

Natuzzi & Palliser combine high quality leather with poor quality frames & foundations.

The excellent leather allows both brands to offer seating that looks and feels great when brand new.

The cheap frames, foundations, and cushions limit the furniture’s expected lifespan.

Although the leather may last 20+ years, the estimated frame lifespan is 8 – 10 years.

The cushions and foundation may wear out within 5 years or less.

Natuzzi introduced the first cheap “real” leather sofas in the 1960s.

The streamlined modern design allows highly efficient, low cost manufacturing.

Costs are further cut by using low-cost materials inside the furniture, where they cannot be seen.

Natuzzi and Palliser marketing highlights the beautiful, plush leather. It makes very little reference to the inferior frames, foundations, and cushions.

Natuzzi and Palliser frames are constructed with fiberboard, plywood, and softwoods.

They are equivalent in quality to frames used in fabric sofas selling for less than $1000.

Fiberboard and softwood frames do not hold staples or other fasteners well. As a result, the frames are  held together primarily with glue.

Glue is very strong. When a heavy pressure is exerted on a sofa seat, the frame is far more likely to break than for the glue to fail.

Natuzzi’s foundations are made with elasticized webbing.

Webbing can be an excellent foundational support – but not the type of webbing Natuzzi uses and not the way they install it.

Top-quality, high-end modern-style furniture uses webbing that is wide, thick, and does not stretch.

Natuzzi and Palliser use lower-quality “stretchable” webbing.

Stretchable webbing is far easier (and faster) to install by low-skilled assembly line workers.

Stretchable webbing can “sag” after a few years of use.

Larger than average individuals or kids who like to jump on the sofa can cause cushions to sag even sooner.

Engineered woods, fiberboard, and softwood, like those used by Natuzzi, do not hold staples well.

Loose staples can pull out over time, causing the webbing to sag.

Sagging webbing results in uncomfortable seat cushions that wear out more quickly.

High-quality non-stretchable webbing, used in better quality seating, is securely fastened to strong solid hardwood frames.

Palliser is a Canadian brand.

But most Palliser Furniture sold in the USA is manufactured in Mexico, not Canada.

Like Natuzzi, Palliser’s modern designs allow efficient low-cost production.

They also use high-quality leather in combination with low-cost frames and foundations.

Both Natuzzi & Palliser make furniture that looks good on the outside and feels good in the showroom when new.

The leather is of excellent quality.

It will far outlast the rest of the sofa.

Everything on the inside, that cannot be seen, is built as cheaply as possible.

The frames are very inexpensive.

Made with cheap engineered wood and softwoods.

Engineered wood does not hold staples well.

As a result, the frames are basically held together with glue.

The frame quality is no better than many brands selling at less than half of Palliser’s prices.

Palliser’s seat cushions are fabricated with 1.8 density foam cores.

This is industry standard foam, found in sofas selling for $499 to $3000+

1.8 density foam seat cushions have an average lifespan of 5 years in stationary sofas.

Natuzzi & Palliser both have extensive selections of reclining furniture.

This review does not cover reclining furniture. In most cases, reclining furniture has a shorter lifespan than stationary seating made by the same brand.

Warranties

In one of the videos below, one of Palliser’s employees speaks proudly about the company’s lifetime warranty. Palliser does not have a lifetime warranty. You can read the current warranty document here.

Palliser’s longest warranty is 10 years on wood frames, springs or webbing.

What they do not point out is a clause stating that after the first year, this covers only replacement parts. It does not include labor or transportation, if the sofa needs to be taken somewhere for repair. Component parts are very cheap. Labor and transportation are far more.

Natuzzi’s warranty is 10 years for wood frames only. Springs and webbing are covered for only 2 years. But because it also does not include labor or transportation after the first year, it is actually just as good as Palliser’s warranty.

After the first year, the warranty covers only the parts and materials needed for repairs, but not labor costs.

Palliser cushions are warrantied for 5 years. But there is an added clause that states,

“All cushions will soften with use and will conform to the shape of the user. This softening is considered normal wear and is in no way considered a
manufacturer’s defect.”

That clause describes exactly what cushions do when they wear out.

It may happen after 5 years, or 3 years, or less. Regardless of how soon your cushions soften up, Palliser will not be replace them under warranty.

This is the same for almost all low and mid-priced sofa brands.

Natuzzi’s 2 year cushion warranty has an almost identical exclusion clause.

It does not cover:

Softening of the cushions with use, which must not in any way be interpreted as a loss of resilience due to production faults, defects in materials, or non-conformities of any kind.

Extended warranties do not help in any way. All of the restrictions listed above will also be found in extended warranties.

Check out the video below showing how a Natuzzi sofa is constructed.

 

Check out this additional Video of a customer describing problems with a Natuzzi sectional.

Palliser has just as many problems.

Here are a few independent review websites I pulled up.

Better Business Bureau – Complaints

Complaints board

ReviewsTalk

Yelp reviews

Check out these videos of Palliser Furniture made in Mexico:

 

Simplicity Sofas

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10 

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers only]

This Simplicity Ashton slipcovered sofa ships unassembled and fits through 15″ width doors and stairways.

Simplicity Sofas is an unusual furniture company.

This small North Carolina manufacturer sells direct to consumers only through its ecommerce website.

The company’s sofas and sectionals are built to last 20+ years, but are priced competitively with many brands that sell sofas with 5 year average lifespans.

Simplicity Sofas has two unique specialties:

Furniture for small spaces & tight places.

Every piece made, including huge sectionals and queen-size sleepers is guaranteed to fit through 15″ width doors and stairways.

Sofas and Sectionals built to last forever!

This is not an exaggeration!

The company’s patented modular design system allows its customers to replace any part of their furniture that may get damaged or wear out over time.

Simplicity Sofas’ sustainable furniture concept was awarded the $20,000 Grand Prize in a nationwide competition for Most Innovative American Small Business in 2012.

This unique patented design system is best described in Simplicity Sofas’ blog article, Why Can’t Sofas Last Forever?

In the 15 year history of the company, there have been extremely few quality complaints and almost none over the past 4 years. 

Simplicity Sofas’ owner is fanatical about the quality of the furniture. He personally inspects every piece before it leaves the factory.

Over the past year, there have been customer complaints about late shipments and slow customer service. Hopefully that will improve as the company reduces its huge order backlog and recovers from the Pandemic’s supply chain challenges.

Most Simplicity Sofas customers don’t seem to care that the furniture fits through narrow places or ships unassembled.

They purchase based primarily on the company’s reputation for superior quality and value and on referrals from friends and family.

Simplicity Sofas has an unusually large percentage of repeat customers.

solid oak frame
Simplicity Sofas solid oak frame.

Simplicity Sofa prices start at $1800 for a 3 seat sofa.

Due to the heavy order backlog, the company is not currently accepting orders for leather.

[Note: I founded Simplicity Sofas in 2007 and retired from the company in March 2022.]

Smith Brothers

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10 

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

Smith Brothers
Smith Brothers sofa

Smith Brothers has 2 factories in Berne, Indiana.

The company has been in business for 75 years.

The factories are located in the heart of Amish country. Although the furniture is not officially “Amish made,” it is “built in the Swiss-Amish tradition.”

From a quality standpoint, Smith Brothers could qualify as a high end brand, but its prices fall well within the mid-range category.

Frames – Smith Brothers frames are solid kiln-dried maple, double-dowelled, corner blocked, glued and screwed.

Foundations – Drop-in coil springs are just as durable and almost as comfortable as 8 way hand-tied at a cost that is hundreds of dollars less.

The cost difference comes from the need for dozens of hours of high quality craftsmanship needed to install 8 way hand-tied springs, compared with a few minutes of labor from lower skilled workers.

Drop-in coil springs should last longer than the 8 way hand-tied. (The twine used on the 8-way tends to rot after about 20 years.)

Few people, including furniture professionals, can tell the difference in comfort between the 8 way hand tied and a good quality drop-in coil spring when used together with firm foam or spring down cushions.

Spring edge construction results in a soft top edge to the front rail. This not only adds comfort, but decreases the foam compression and increases its lifespan.

Self-decking – This means the same fabric applied to the sofa is also used for the seat deck underneath the seat cushions.

This is purely cosmetic. It will not increase sofa lifespan, but does add to the cost of the furniture. It is rarely seen in recent years and is almost never found in  leather furniture.

Cushions – Smith Brothers uses 2.5 density Qualux foam.

2.5 density foam should last 15+ years for most people. Qualux is the highest quality polyurethane foam available and should last longer than other foams of equal density.

Smith Brothers discontinued its reclining sofa and sectional line, but still makes reclining chairs.

Although Smith Brothers reclining furniture is made to the same quality standards, motorized reclining mechanisms generally have a lifespan of approximately 5 years. Replacement parts can be hard to find after 5 years. Manual mechanisms can last 10+ years. Replacement parts are easier to find.

 

High-End Sofa & Sectional Brands

Sofa prices start over $3,000 (fabric) or $5000 (leather)

All of the high end brands listed in this section manufacture seating that should hold up 20+ years if properly cared for.

Guide to High end Quality Ratings: 10 = Heirloom quality, 9 = Extraordinary quality 8 = Kiln-dried Solid hardwood frame + 8 way hand tied foundation, 7 = Plywood frame + 8 way hand tied, 6 = Plywood & Sinuous wire foundation

American Leather

Quality rating: 6 / Value Ranking: 7

Customizable Furniture | High End Leather Furniture

American Leather sectional

American Leather is probably the most technologically advanced upholstery manufacturer in the U.S. Unlike most high end sofa brands, this company does not emphasize handcrafting. It does have:

Advanced computer modeling  ensuring highly efficient production and very close tolerances.

European upholstery method – Cushions are custom fitted to each frame, ensuring a precise fit for the foam and padding.

Cellular manufacturing – Each piece of furniture is crafted in a “mini factory” with a small team of workers who each specialize on one small part of the furniture.

In the U.S., this method is commonly found in large low and mid-range mass-produced American sofa manufacturers.

It is rare among high end American upholstery manufacturers.

Eco-friendly – American Leather is a founding member of the Sustainable Furniture Council – a nonprofit organization committed to sustainable practices in the furniture industry.

American Leather is especially strong in its motion furniture collections (reclining furniture and sleepers.) The company is making a major effort to dominate high end motion furniture for the U.S. market. Its stationary sofas and sectionals have far more competition, especially from European brands.

Baker Furniture

Quality rating:10 / Value Ranking: 8

Chatsworth Sofa by Stately Homes - BA863S | Baker Furniture

Baker Furniture Chatsworth sofa

Heirloom quality furniture. The relatively low Value Ranking is not an indication of any flaw or problem with Baker furniture. It’s just very expensive.

Baker’s prices reflect the extremely high level of materials and craftsmanship, but you are also paying for the brand name of a widely recognized heirloom quality manufacturer.

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 8

Bradington-Young - Carrado Stationary Sofa 8-Way Tie - Sable Brown - BYX-780-95980015-85PLBNTap

Bradington Young Carado leather sofa

Frames: Hardwood plywood.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Spring Down with optional alternatives.

Back Cushions: Fiber plush back cushions are made up of 2″ hollow siliconized polyester fibers.

Leathers: High quality top grain natural leathers.

Carolina Custom Leather

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

1 Best Source For Custom Leather Furniture From North Carolina

Frames: Solid hardwood. No plywood or particle board. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Spring Down with optional alternatives.

Back Cushions: Fiber plush back cushions are made up of 2″ hollow siliconized polyester fibers.

Leathers: High quality top grain natural leathers.

Century

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Bernard Sofa by Century

Bernard sofa from Century Furniture

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Spring Down, Down/Feather, other optional alternatives.

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Cisco Brothers Dexter Sofa

Cisco Brothers Dexter sofa

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8 way hand tied,

Sustainability & Eco – friendly emphasis

 

Hancock & Moore

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 8

Hancock and Moore
Hancock and Moore sofa

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Spring Down with multiple alternative options.

Back Cushions: Fiber plush back cushions are made up of 2″ hollow siliconized polyester fibers.

Leathers: High quality full and top grain natural leathers.

Huntington House

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 9

3213-20 - Huntington House Furniture

Huntington House skirted sofa

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Spring Down with multiple alternative options.

Leathercraft

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 9

Leathercraft Wakefield Sofa 2120-80-18 | Wakefiled Sofa

Leathercraft Wakefield sofa

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Spring Down with multiple alternative options.

Lee Industries

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 8

Lee Industries chair construction
Lee Industries chair construction

Frames: Hardwood plywood. Mortise & Tenon construction

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions 1.8 density foam. 4 optional upgrades.

Back Cushions: Fiber filled back cushions.

Lovesac

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 2  [Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumer]

Lovesac Sactional Sofa
Lovesac Sactional.

Lovesac’s Sactional is a versatile modular sofa/sectional that can be configured into multiple groupings.

Lovesac is in the high end section of this review site for one reason – it is expensive! From a quality perspective, this furniture is far below every other brand listed. 

A modular 3 seat sofa, such as the one shown in the photo above, sells for $3000 – $4000, depending on fabric & options.

Lovesac’s modular concept is tremendously successful. It has been one of the fastest growing companies in the entire furniture industry over the past several years.

This seating has been designed for functionality, not for comfort.

Lovesac’s marketing heavily emphasizes that the furniture is “Designed For Life,” built to “withstand the test of time.” Its seating is “Built to Last and Designed to Evolve so that they never go out of style and never become obsolete.”

The implication is that the high prices Lovesac charges is for seating that is extremely sturdy and durable.

Although Lovesac’s motto, “Designed for Life” is literally accurate, it does not mean what most people think it means.

It does not mean that the foam won’t lose its resiliency and comfort or the fabric won’t wear out. It means that everything is replaceable!

Individual components, including cushion cores, cushion covers, arms, backs, etc,. can all be replaced when they wear out or get damaged.

This is a tremendous benefit for Lovesac. Profit margins are far higher on replacement parts than on the original furniture!

For example, cushion covers are almost certainly the most common replacement part purchased.

Lovesac’s selling price for replacement covers for a single seat unit in their standard velvet fabric is $300 ($240 on sale.) The cover set consists of separate covers for the seat cushion, back cushion, back and base. This requires about 5 yards of fabric.

Lovesac’s cost for this fabric is less than $5 per yard. The cost of labor for sewing each of the covers is less than $5 each. The replacement covers can be shipped for about $10.

Lovesac’s total manufacturing and shipping cost for a set of replacement covers for a single seat unit is about $55. (That is probably a high estimate.) The selling price is $240 (on sale.) Three quarters of the selling price is pure profit.

The MT Company (Michael Thomas/Miles Talbot)

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 9

the MT Company Living Room Webster Sofa TAL-2340-S | Hickory Furniture Mart | Hickory, NC

M.T. Company Webster sofa

MT has three divisions – Michael Thomas, Miles Talbot and MT Outdoor. Michael Thomas and Miles Talbot started as separate factories owned by a father & son. They combined in a single factory in 2012.

Frames: Hardwood plywood. Mortise & Tenon construction

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Spring down standard on most styles + 5 additional seat cushion options.

Back Cushions: 4 back cushion options.

Eco-friendly emphasis

A. Rudin

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

New Products Product: 2838

A. Rudin 2838 sofa

Frames: Hardwood plywood. Mortise & Tenon construction

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Multiple options.

Sherill

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Sherrill DC 373 sofa

Frames: 5/4″ & 6/4″ Solid & laminated hardwood

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Multiple options.

Stickley

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 7

Orchard Street Sofa – Stickley Brand

Orchard Street sofa by Stickley

The Stickley Brand name adds a premium to the price you will pay. On the other hand, it also has a higher re-sale value.

Frames: Solid hardwood. Many Stickley sofas have exposed wood frames

Foundation: 8-way hand knotted springs. Stickley’s catalog is careful to point out that their sofas are not just 8 way hand-tied, but 8 way hand knotted, a process that takes twice as long but results in a sturdier foundation.

Seat Cushions: Multiple options.

Back cushions: Several Stickley styles have “tight backs” (non-removable back cushions.) Stickley uses Marshall unit coil springs for these backs, an unusual (and expensive) method of getting very comfortable back support.

Stressless

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 4

[This quality rating above is for Stressless stationary sofas. It is higher than the Quality rating for Stressless reclining furniture that accounts for the majority of Stressless sales.]

 

Stressless Buckingham high back sofa

The quality ratings and value rankings shown above are for stationary seating, not reclining seating (which accounts for the majority of Stressless sales.)

Stressless’ power reclining furniture gets much lower quality ratings than their stationary seating.

Stressless’ manual reclining seating can be expected to last far longer than its power reclining models.

Stressless’ modern style stationary seating is very durable and should last 20+ years (especially in leather.) but it is priced very high compared with other brands making similar styles.

Frame: Steam-bent molded plywood

Foundation: Sinuous wire

Cushions: Molded foam

90% of sales are leather.

Taylor King

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 8

Custom Upholstery Furniture | Taylor King

Taylor King custom sectional

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Multiple options.

Back cushions: 50% polyester fiber / 50% down blend (25% down/75% feathers)

Temple Furniture

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7

Temple Furniture -

Temple Furniture sectional

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Foam with multiple upgrade options.

Back cushions: Fiber filled with optional foam upgrade.

Thos. Moser

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10

Thos. Moser Vita Sofa – Two Place

Thos. Moser specializes in heirloom quality modern wood furniture. 

The brand’s upholstery line features exposed wood frames.

Frame, foundation and cushions vary depending on style. Some have feather down cushions and 8 way hand tied foundations.

Everything is custom crafted at the very highest quality level.

Thos. Moser upholstered furniture is functional art.

Vanguard

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 8

Vanguard 2 piece Bennett sectional

Bennett 2 piece sectional by Vanguard

Frames: Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed.

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are Foam with multiple additional options.

Back Cushions: Fiber & Down blend filled back cushions and additional options.

Note: Vanguard’s down/feather blend is 5% down/95% feathers. Most brands in this price range use a 10% down/90% feather blend. Down/feather blends are used in some upgraded seat & back cushions.

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