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66 Best & Worst Sectional and Sofa Reviews Mayl 2024

By Jeff Frank

This article reviews, rates & compares 66 sofa and sectional brands.

Additional brands are added periodically.

Older brands are updated as new information becomes available.

Each brand is scored on quality & value.

The Best Sofa and Sectional brands are divided into two different pricing categories: 

Low and mid-range brands:

Sofas priced below $3000 in fabric and $5000 in leather.

Sectionals priced below $6000 in fabric and $8000 in leather.

High-end brands:

Sofas priced above $3000 in fabric and $5000 in leather.

Sectionals priced above $6000 in fabric and $8000 in leather.

Brands that sell furniture in two different price categories will be listed under both pricing categories.

A top 10 /10 Quality & Value rating for a high end brand indicates better quality than the same score for a low or mid range brand.

Although each brand lists overall scores, quality & value can vary among different models within a single brand.

The quality and value of a specific model can be changed by the availability of custom options.

For example, a low or mid-range sofa with 1.8 density foam seat cushions may have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years.

An optional upgrade to 2.5 density foam or Spring down cushions, for that same sofa, can triple the expected lifespan to 15+ years.

The sofa with the upgraded cushions receives much higher quality & value scores.

Creating quality & 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.

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

I keep up-to-date by visiting the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC every April and October.

Furniture markets are where new products are previewed, usually several months before they appear in stores.

The quality & value scores in this review are based on my personal research & opinion.

My 45 year furniture industry career includes extensive experience with Manufacturing, Retail, & Product design.

More specifically, my manufacturing experience includes furniture design, construction, cost & pricing analysis, production, shipping & more.

My 15 years on the retail side of the furniture industry include working with small stores, large chains, & online Direct to Consumer retailers.

My furniture credentials include:

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

Founder & owner of Simplicity Sofas, a North Carolina specialty sofa manufacturer. I sold Simplicity Sofas and retired in 2022 after 15 years with the company. Since then I have worked full time on this InsidersGuideToFurniture.com blog.

I have written all of the 200+ articles in this blog and over 2000 articles for other blogs and publications.

Awarded 7 patents for modular Ready-to-Assemble upholstered furniture systems & designs.

My company, Simplicity Sofas was awarded the $20,000 Grand Prize in a national competition for Most Innovative Small Business. 

A more complete listing of my 45 years experience can be found on the About Us page of this blog.

This review article is a work in progress. 

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.

When viewing website descriptions for sleepers, it is very common to see the exact same description as listed for non-sleeper sofas.

In reality, sleepers are built very differently, and in many cases will be less durable than stationary sofas made by the same manufacturer.

Reviews for reclining furniture can be found in my blog article: 25 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.

Important Note:

Most Direct to Consumer brands and Online Retailers pay influencers, affiliates, and review sites to refer customers to their websites.I do not accept payment from any of the brands I write about.

Instead, I sometimes request that the best of these brands extend the offers they make to me as Special Discounts to my readers.

There are only a very limited number of these brands. A complete listing can be found at Special Discounts.

Sofa Quality Rankings & Value Ratings:

The Brands listed below are organized Alphabetically within two price Categories:

Low & mid-range are combined into one category.

High End is the other category.

Brands listed with an * offer Special Discount pricing to Insiders Guide Readers.

Special pricing is solicited only from brands that I personally recommend. I recommend only brands and specific products that I believe are better values than similarly priced products & will last at least 10 years.In most cases, recommended brands & products will last 15+ years.

Low and Mid-range quality Sofa & Sectional Brands

7th Avenue

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7

[Online retailer selling Asian made furniture]

7th Avenue’s website claims that the cushions should last 10+ years.

The life expectancy for most 1.8 density foam cushions is usually closer to 5 years.

But if the cushions’ surface area is larger than a standard 3 seat sofa (approx. 24″w x 27″d) the cushions should last longer.

Cushions that are larger than standard size spread your weight out over a larger surface area, reducing the pressure per square inch exerted on the cushions.

So, it is conceivable that these cushions will last 10 years, but more likely in the 5 – 7 year range.

On the other hand, if anyone sitting on the sofa or sectional regularly weighs more than 200 lbs., that will shorten the expected lifespan of the foam cushions.

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.

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 

[Retailer selling online only]

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.”

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.

The people building the furniture would probably be unaware that the water-based glues on hand are not appropriate for OSB.

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.

AllModern

Quality rating: 4 / Value Ranking: 6  [Retailer selling online and through showrooms]

AllModern Emerson Square Arm Sofa Sectional Reviews
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.

Anabei

Quality rating: 4 / Value Ranking: 3

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

Anabei is always on Sale for 60% Off!

Actually, only one fabric is available at the 60% off price.

All the other fabrics are 40% off.

At the 60% off Sale price (for one fabric only) Anabei may seem to be a reasonable value.

You’re paying a cheap price for cheap furniture. 

But there are similarly priced sectionals from other brands that will last a lot longer.

If you’re buying Anabei in any of the similar fabrics, at 40% off, it’s a poor value.

Anabei, in any of the more expensive upgraded fabrics (Boucle, Velvets) is a very poor value.

anabei sectional

Anabei 4 seat sectional

The photo above shows a 3 seat + ottoman Anabei sectional in Ash Plush Weave.

This fabric is priced at 60% Off.

Deceptive Marketing Issues:

Anabei has a huge number of deceptive marketing practices.

Check out Anabei On Sale for 60% Off: Is That a Good Value?

Since Anabei’s website first appeared about 6 months ago, modular pieces and sectionals in the Ash Plush Weave fabric have been advertised at 60% Off.

All other fabrics have been advertised at 40% Off.

Aside from the one fabric available at 60% off, Anabei is outrageously overpriced.

Established furniture companies often show large discounts.

But there are ways to do it legally.

I strongly suspect that if Anabei was a big enough company for the FTC to check out, they would have some problems.

For a detailed explanation of how furniture stores price their products, see my article, Furniture Store Discounts: Are 50% Off Sales Real or Phony?

Deceptive product descriptions.

Product descriptions on furniture websites routinely leave out information or use industry jargon that means something different from what most shoppers think it does.

But Anabei’s deceptive language goes beyond what is normal.The Anabei website includes the following descriptions:

Plush Comfort: Sink into high-resilience foam that instantly regains and maintains its shape. 

Cloud-like cosmetic-down envelopes every surface. Hypoallergenic, featherless down requires no fluffing.”

It took me a while to understand what this “Plush Comfort” paragraph was actually saying. 

At first, I first thought that they were claiming the seat cushions are filled with a highly resilient featherless “cosmetic down” that does not require fluffing and maintains its shape over time.

But that’s not what the paragraph is saying at all. 

Feathers/down and their synthetic alternatives are not high resilience. They do not maintain their shape when used in seat cushions, and they do require constant fluffing.

A more careful reading of the “Plush Comfort” paragraph reveals that the description about “cosmetic down” does not apply to the cushions at all.

The seat cushions are filled with soft “high resilience” foam surrounded by inexpensive polyester fiber.

Anabei is claiming that this foam instantly regains and “maintains its shape.”

While “high resilience” foam does bounce back quickly after use when the furniture is new, the “bounce” doesn’t last forever.

Most 1.8  density high resiliency foams lose their resiliency and ability to bounce back within just a few years.

If you weigh 200 lbs. and use the furniture regularly, Anabei’s cushions may collapse within 2 or 3 years.

If you weigh 250 lbs., there is a good chance Anabei’s seat cushions will lose their shape, resilience, and comfort in less than 6 months.

What is the “cosmetic down” that envelopes every surface and requires no fluffing?”

Anabei does not have a standard wood frame. Instead, it has a lightweight steel frame structure.

This steel frame does not allow the normal type of foam, batting, or other padding materials that are normally stapled over the wood frames.

Instead, Anabei uses a “duvet,” which is basically a “comforter” filled with “cosmetic down” (cheap polyester fiber fill.)

This duvet “envelopes every surface” (wraps around the steel frame) to provide a little bit of padding.

Because you are not sitting on this duvet, the polyester fiberfill padding, which they call “cosmetic down”, will not need to be fluffed. 

Foam and cotton batting, which are typically used to pad wood frames, also don’t need to be “fluffed.”

The reason Anabei is calling attention to the fact that their frame padding doesn’t need to be “fluffed” is because they want you to think they are describing the seat cushions.

 Soft, thin seat cushions in this (Cloud) style have lots of inexpensive fiber surrounding a thin foam core. The seat cushions “will” need to be fluffed constantly.

Apt2B

Quality rating for imported furniture: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Quality rating for USA Made furniture: 9 / Value Ranking: 9

[Online retailer]

Apt2B sells both imported seating & custom-built seating made in the USA.

Apt2B’s imported frames use only a limited amount of hardwood.

Most of the frame is either engineered wood products or softwood.

The USA made frames are solid hardwood.

Apt2B’s Imported cushions are 1.8 density foam.

This is the same type of cushion most of their competitors will also have.

1.8 density foam cushions in mid-range quality furniture have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years.

If anyone in your family weighs close to 250 lbs., the estimated cushion lifespan will be closer to 1 – 2 years.

Apt2B’s USA made cushions are 2.0 density foam.

2.0 density foam cushions have an average 6 – 8 year lifespan.

Apt2B’s custom built seating is made by

DreamSofa in Los Angeles, CA.

DreamSofa does not manufacture the imported items sold by Apt2B.

The basic construction for Apt2B & DreamSofa is very similar.

Both have solid hardwood frames and sinuous wire foundations.

Apt2B uses the term “No-sag springs” instead of sinuous wire, but it’s the same thing.

Apt2B’s cushions are 2.0 density foam.

Although 2.0 density foam lasts longer than the standard 1.8 density foam, 2.0 density cushions will usually wear out before any other part of the sofa.

The DreamSofa factory that makes this furniture for Apt2B offers optional Plush Spring Down cushions.

The Plush cushions, constructed with 2.5 density foam combined with fabric covered coil springs should retain their shape and comfort for 15+ years. See the DreamSofa listing in this article for further details.

Although DreamSofa makes Apt2B’s custom seating, Apt2B’s styles and fabrics are not available on the DreamSofa website.

Best sofa and sectional reviews.

Arhaus

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 7.5

[Retailer selling online and through Showrooms.]

<yoastmark class=

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.

Article Mid-century modern leather sofa | Poly Bark
Article Mid-century modern leather sofa | Poly Bark

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

Ashley Furniture

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 5

[Manufacturer and Retailer with showrooms and also sells through other retailers]"10Ashley 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’s 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.

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!

Ashley’s foundations are cheaper, less durable, and less comfortable than most of their competitors.

ashley
Ashley foundation photo. The green webbing in the top left corner that holds the elasticized fabric to the frame has ripped away from the particleboard.

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.

Ashley’s foundations are cheaper than standard sinuous spring seat supports.

The particle board frame does not hold staples or nails well.

The arched springs have been replaced by a cheap sheet of elasticized fabric held onto the particleboard by elasticized webbing material.

The photo above shows a damaged foundation. The green webbing in the top left corner has broken off of the particle board frame.

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.

The new composite faux leathers are also cheaper than the old bonded leathers.

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 Newton, North Carolina under the BenchMade brand.

The company’s mass produced furniture (Club Level) is currently made in Thailand.

Bassett’s American Made custom-built BenchMade collections are available with All-leather.

All reclining models are powered.

Basset’s lower priced Club Level seating is mass produced in Thailand.

All 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.”

Bassett sectional
Bassett sectional

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.

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.

Imported Club Level seating is only available with the standard cushions.

Bassett’s BenchMade custom furniture is available with 3 optional cushions.

The base grade Support cushions are firm 2.3 density foam.

The Lounge cushion upgrades are 2.3 density foam with a softer feel. I’m not clear on whether the softer feel is caused by additional padding around the foam or whether it is just a softer foam.

The top cushion option has 3 layers of foam. I believe the central core is 2.3 density foam with layes of Reaxion foam above and below the central core. I have not been able to get a definition of what Reaxion foam is or what makes it different from other foams.

Bauhaus

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 7

[Manufacturer selling through retailers.]

This review is for Bauhaus Furniture Group (also known as Bauhaus USA) a U.S. furniture manufacturer, based in Saltillo, MS. that opened in 1988.

It should not be confused with the Bauhaus furniture retail chain founded in Mannheim, Germany in 1960 by Heinz-Georg Baus.

It is also not associated with the The Bauhaus, an avant-garde studio, started by architect Walter Gropius, that flourished from 1919 through 1933. Ikea design strategist Mats Nilson has said that his company’s ideology is inspired by the Bauhaus Studio.

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Bauhaus makes mid-range quality, mass produced upholstered furniture.

Bauhaus is especially known for its modern, oversized styles.

In addition to selling through retailers under its own brand name, Bauhaus also supplies a few large retail chains as an in-house store brand.

Frames: Plywood frames. 5 – 7 plies. Not the most expensive construction but should last 10+ years without problems.

Foundation: Sinuous wire spring seat support. This is one of the least expensive type of seat support possible but should hold up for 10 – 20 years.

Cushions: 1.8 density dacron wrapped foam cushions.

This is the first part of the sectional (or sofa) that will wear out.

1.8 density foam cushions can feel noticeably softer after only 1 year and uncomfortably soft after 3 – 5 years.

Loss of resiliency (ability to bounce back) and flattening is considered normal wear under the warranty, even when it occurs during the first year.

If 1.8 density cushions are used by individuals weighing 250 lbs. or more, they may wear out even sooner than 3 years.

Fabrics: Mostly low cost, durable, stain resistant polyester or olefin fabrics.

BenchMade Modern

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 7

[Online retailer with showrooms]

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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.

Most BenchMade customers indicate that the furniture feels sturdy and comfortable, but at $2500 – $3500, there are other sofas that are just as well made (or better) and priced lower.

The frame is laminated hardwood (plywood). Solid Aspen is occasionally used. That’s OK. The frame should last 15+ 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 – 15+ 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 described as “Medium-density foam core”. That usually translates to 1.5 or 1.8 density. The lifespan is typically 3 – 5 years.

I just received an email from a reader saying BenchMade told him the cushions are 2.5 density foam. If that’s the case, I need to change my quality/value scores.

But I’ve never before come across a brand that describes its 2.5 density foam cushions as “medium density.”

Broyhill

Quality rating: 5 / Value Ranking: 5

[Broyhill is owned and sold exclusively through Big Lots]

This is not the same Broyhill that was founded in 1926 by James Edgar Broyhill.

The old Broyhill closed down in 2013 when parent company Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

In addition to Broyhill, the Heritage Home Group also included famous furniture brands Drexel, Thomasville, and Henredon.

All furniture manufacturing facilities for Broyhill, Drexel, Thomasville and Henredon were closed.

The trademarks for these four company were sold to Authentic Brands Group.

In 2018, Authentic Brands sold the Broyhill trademarks to Big Lots.

Big Lots was well known for selling budget priced furniture under various brand names.

Some of their existing products were relabeled under the Broyhill brand and many new items were added.

Broyhill furniture, as sold by Big Lots, is generic, budget-quality furniture imported from Asia.

Burrow

Quality rating:  6 / Value Ranking: 7 

[Retailer selling online & through Company Showrooms]

Range 4-Piece Sectional
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.

CR Laine

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

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 9 when compared with High end brands.

[Manufacturer selling through Authorized Dealers & Professional Interior Decorators]

Most CR Laine sofas are priced well above $3000.

But it is possible to find CR Laine couches sold for $2700 or even less.

 

CR Laine Sofa and Chair
CR Laine Sofa and Chair

CR Laine is a 60+ 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, except that the 5/4″ solid hardwood frames have been replaced by 7/8″ plywood.

It’s hard to blame them for downgrading their frames. It reduces the price of an average sofa by about $500. Most of their competitors have done the same thing.

The old 5/4″ frames were built to last 50+ years. The new plywood frames should still be OK for 20+ years, so for most people, the $500 cost savings is worth the downgrade.

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

CR Laine fits into both mid-range and high-end price ranges.

CR Laine scores at the top of the mid-range price category.

It also scores well against more expensive, high end competition.

Fabric sofas begin around $2700 and leather sofas around $5000.

Standard construction features include:

7/8″ hardwood plywood frames with 7 plies, double dowelled, glued, screwed, and corner blocked.

Mortise & Tenon construction.

8 way hand tied foundation. Click for a Youtube video showing CR Laine’s 8 way hand tied construction.

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 1 point.

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.

Best Sofa Sectional Reviews.

Carolina Custom Leather

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10 

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 10 when compared with High end brands.

[Manufacturer selling through Authorized Dealers & Professional Interior Decorators]

How good is Carolina Custom?

Last week (Oct. 16, 2023), while at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC. I visited the showrooms for high end leather manufacturers Hancock & Moore, Bradington Young, and Carolina Custom Leather.

It was the first time, I had actually seen and touched a Carolin Custom sofa.

Carolina Custom quality and comfort is indistinguishable from Hancock & Moore, but it’s sofas are priced $2,000 to $3000 less.

Carolina Custom Leather’s furniture has the same specifications as Hancock & Moore.

The frames are 5/4″ solid hardwood.

Foundations are 8 way hand tied.

The standard cushions are Spring Down, with several other cushion options also available.

Carolina Custom Leather’s sofas looked as good and felt as comfortable as Hancock & Moore. I had someone with me who also knows Hancock & Moore. Neither of us could tell any difference in quality.
To qualify as a “mid-range quality leather sofa in this review article, a leather sofa must be priced between $2500 to $5000.

Several of the Carolina Custom Leather Sofas I examined were selling for prices below $5000 at everyday prices.

During the last Memorial Day Sale, I saw a couple of Carolina Custom Leather sofa models advertised for less than $3500.

Truly astonishing quality at that price. Comparable Hancock & Moore leather sofas are selling for $7 to $10,000.

Carolina Custom
Carolina Custom 554 Tanner Collection

Frames: 5/4″Solid hardwood. Frame joints are double-doweled, glued, and screwed. These frames are far heavier than other sofas in the same price range.

One of the marks of true high end furniture is when the solid hardwood frames are 1 1/4 inch thick.

I don’t know of any other leather sofa brand, priced below $5000, that uses 5/4″ solid hardwood frames .

Many old brands, including Bradington Young, Sherrill, and Temple, are selling sofas priced far higher than $5000, constructed with plywood frames.

Yes, 7/8″ plywood frames will still last 20+ years, but not the 50+ years you can get from 5/4″ solid hardwood.

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. Other options are available.

Leathers: High quality top and full grain natural leathers.

Note: Carolina Custom Leather’s reclining furniture is constructed with plywood frame. Solid wood is not suitable for reclining furniture.

Carolina Custom buys its reclining frames from the same supplier that also makes the reclining sofa frames for Hancock & Moore and Bradington Young. All three companies are located within a few miles of each other.

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 sofa construction
craftmaster sofa construction

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.

DreamSofa*

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 10+

[Manufacturer selling Direct to consumers through its website only.]

*DreamSofa offers a Special 3% off Discount to Insiders Guide to Furniture readers.

DreamSofa is a manufacturer selling durable, custom-built upholstery.

The brand has an unusually wide selection of sizes for each style, plus completely custom sizes.

Prices are competitive with mass-produced brands.

The company is a California furniture design & manufacturing firm. Its been in business since 2019.

Although the DreamSofa brand is not widely known outside of the west coast, one of its client brands is far more recognizable.

DreamSofa manufactures all high end, custom built seating for Apt2B.

I have reviewed and analyzed hundreds of furniture companies over the past few years.

Often, I am asked to compare two or more brands against each other.

I also evaluate and recommend specific products based on the individual requirements of readers who ask for my assistance.

In very rare cases, I discover a furniture brand that is demonstrably superior in 1 or 2 specific (usually very narrow) market niches.

DreamSofa stands out in 4 different (major) market niches.

Sofas (fabric) < $3000

Sectionals (fabric) < $4000

Sofa Sleepers (fabric) <$3000

Sectional sleepers (fabric) < $5000

All 4 Categories listed above include Modern, Mid-Century, Classic & Contemporary Styles.

Dreamsofa
Antalya sectional with chaise

DreamSofa furniture is not “Sofa-in-a-Box” seating that arrives in flat packs.

All pieces are fully assembled, sturdy, and built to last 15+ years (if ordered with the “Plush” 2.5 density foam/Coil Spring cushion option.)

All DreamSofa seating has solid hardwood frames & hand tied arched sinuous spring foundations.

  • All frames are kiln-dried solid hardwood, built to last 15 to 20+ years and backed by a lifetime warranty.  
  • Foundations are hand-tied arched sinuous spring seat supports.
    • Built to last 15 to 20+ years and backed by a lifetime warranty.
    • Sturdier and more comfortable than standard sinuous wire springs.
    • Although this type of foundation is often described as “sinuous springs,” it’s actually much closer in cost and comfort to 8 way hand-tied spring seat supports.

 High-quality hand-tied arched suspension system

a Medley builder installing a hand-tied spring system

Pictured above: Installing a hand-tied arched sinuous spring system

The springs of a couch not only absorb shock but also determine the comfort and firmness of the sofa seat. Hand-tied, arch suspension systems expand on traditional sinuous spring systems by using higher quality heavy gauge springs as a foundation.

We then nod to traditional 8-way, hand-tied coil spring systems by using twine to hand-tie our springs together in a unique pattern, creating a suspension system that offers optimal support. This technique provides a truly supportive, comfortable structure that prevents sagging and squeaking.

The company offers an unparalleled selection of sofas, sectionals and sleepers in more size options than I’ve seen with any other mid-price upholstery line.

For a few hundred dollars more, every frame can be ordered in custom sizes.

Dreamsofa also offers dozens of custom options for every style. Most of these are not listed on the website. You can only find them by working with the company’s Sales Manager or one of their design consultants.

Available product categories & custom options not shown on the Dreamsofa website include:

Increased (or decreased) custom seat depths.

Custom heights, widths and depths for arms or backs.

Optional cushion sizes. (For example, the 134 inch side of your sectional can have 1, 2, 3 or 4 seat cushions.)

Titan Forge frame and foundation upgrade for individuals weighing 300+ lbs.

U-shaped sectionals.

U and L-shaped sectionals with chaises.

Wedge and curved corner units. (Ask about the wedge corners. Unlike the small corners (which aren’t big enough to fit anybody), they’re big enough for two kids or an adult and one child.)

Matching ottomans (6 standard sizes for each style + custom sizes.

Sofas and sectionals can be made as modular units upon request.

Reversible chaise and ottoman options.

Modular sofas and sectionals.

Ability to convert non-modular sectionals into modular units.

DreamSofa’s website offers over 1500 different individual furniture products.

63 sofa styles.

Each sofa is available in 4 alternative sizes plus custom sizes.

126 sectional styles.

Each sectional is available in 5 alternative sizes plus custom sizes.

62 sofa sleeper styles.

Each sofa sleeper is available in 3 alternative sizes plus 3 alternative mattresses.

126 sectional sleeper styles.

Each sectional sleeper is available in 3 alternative sizes plus 3 alternative mattresses.

CLASSIC Sleeper Mattress: 4″ foam mattress designed for comfort and support.

LUXE Sleeper Mattress: 6″ Luxe Pillow Top Innerspring Mattress – our top-rated mattress with 4″ innerspring and a plush 2″ pillow top.

DREAM Sleeper Mattress: 5″ Memory Foam Mattress designed for plush comfort and cooling.

Although the Memory foam Dream mattress is the most expensive, my personal choice for comfort and durability is the Luxe Mattress.

Dream Sofa Chester Sectional SleeperBest Sofa Sectional Reviews
Dream Sofa Chester Sectional Sleeper

DreamSofa offers multiple cushion options.

Cloud: 1.8 lbs (soft) – 28 ILD (Estimated lifespan 3 – 5 years.)

Wave: 2.0 lbs (medium) – 36 ILD (Estimated lifespan 5 – 7 years.)

Performance: 2.2 lbs (firm) – 44 ILD (Estimated lifespan 8-10 years)

Benchmade: 2.5 lbs (extra firm) – 50 ILD (Estimated  lifespan 12 -15+ years.)

Plush: Combines 2.5 lb. 36 ILD medium firm foam with fabric covered steel coil marshall unit coil springs. (Estimated lifespan 15+ years.)

The Plush cushions offer the best combination of long term comfort & value.

The Plush construction is very similar to high end Spring Down cushions, except that the feather/down topper has been replaced with polyester fiber.

The polyester fiber topper is less expensive than feathers and down. At the same time it reduces “puddling”, also known as “comfort wrinkles.” This is possibly the single most common complaint from shoppers who buy high end upholstered furniture.

Explaining Cushion Density & Firmness options and comparisons.

Density is the primary factor that determines how long the foam will last before losing its resiliency (ability to bounce back) and comfort.

Higher density foams last longer.

Density is measured in lbs. per cubic ft. (or kgs. per cubic meter for some cushions made overseas.)

Foam firmness is measured on an ILD (Interior Load Deflection) Scale.

Higher ILD numbers indicate firmer foam.

Firmer foam does not last any longer than soft foam with the same density.

DreamSofa Dream SofaBest Sofa Sectional Reviews
DreamSofa Florence sofa with wood frame & nailheads

Fabrics are neatly organized by color and category for fast searching. 

  • Cleanable
  • High Performance
  • Oeko-Tex Certified
  • Kid Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Dog Friendly

It’s very easy to find fabrics that meet your specific requirements.

Full details on every fabric, including fiber content, number of rubs, fabric type, and fabric care are easily found.

The DreamSofa website makes it easy to order furniture without speaking with anyone in sales or customer service.

But it would be a good idea to check in with one of Dream Sofa’s Designers before placing your order.

There are custom options and benefits that do not appear on the website.

DreamSofa’s Warranty and DESIGNxCHANGE programs are unusually consumer-friendly.

By themselves, these two programs are a major reason to buy from this company.

Furniture warranties and Extended Warranties result in thousands of very upset consumers each year.

Furniture shoppers don’t realize most furniture warranties are written for the protection of the furniture retailers and manufacturers, not the people buying the furniture.

They are unaware that most of the “guarantees” that seem to be promised in bold print at the top of the document aren’t really guarantees.

They are nullified by numerous “exclusionary clauses” buried deep  down in the document in small print.

For a thorough explanation of this topic, check out my article, What Do Furniture Warranties Really Protect?

DreamSofa has a lifetime warranty on its frames, foundation & craftsmanship.

Cushions have a 3 year warranty.

DreamSofa customers have 100 Days to return their furniture if not 100% satisfied.

DreamSofa’s DESIGNxCHANGE program is unusual.

As described on the website:

We offer free exchanges during the warranty phase for any cushion that is deemed to be sagging or sinking due to manufacturing defects.

After the initial three-year warranty period, foam replacements are usually priced at $49, and cover replacements at $99, though prices may vary depending on the style.

Each client’s dedicated CARE agent will work with them to find the ideal cushion replacements to address their requirements.

This service allows customers to replace, exchange or order additional foam inserts and covers at any point, enabling them to wash covers or swap out foam cores to achieve a softer or firmer feel.

This Cushion Exchange program eliminates a major concern that many people have about buying upholstered furniture without first trying it out.

If the cushions don’t feel right, you can swap them out for softer (or firmer) replacements.

Important Note about Customer Complaints:

I have seen some complaints, especially in Reddit, from customers saying that they purchased Dreamsofa furniture, that it was uncomfortable or there was some unspecified problem, and that they would not recommend it to others.

Dreamsofa makes furniture for residential, commercial, and institutional accounts.

There are hundreds of different products and custom options available. Without guidance, it is very possible to make a mistake and order something that is not optimal for your personal use.

For example, one Reddit reader complained her Dreamsofa cushions were hard as a board and terribly uncomfortable and that she would never buy Dreamsofa again.

If this Reddit reader had discussed her order with one of Dreamsofa’s design consultants, she would have realized she had ordered the 2.5 density extra-firm cushions that are made specifically for heavy-duty commercial use.

She would also have discovered that Dreamsofa has a special DesignxChange program that allows her to exchange her cushion cores (or covers) for FREE for 3 years after purchase, just in case of problems like this.

Before placing an order with Dreamsofa, I strongly advise contacting one of the company’s Design Consultants or Sales Manager Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

They can help you sort through the hundreds of products and options to find which is best for you.

They are also aware of many available products and custom options not shown on the website.

If any problems do occur, contact Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com for immediate assistance.

Best fabric sofas reviews under $2000.

Best fabric sectional reviews under $4000.

Best sofa sleeper reviews under $3000.

Best sectional sleeper reviews under $5000.

 

England Furniture

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

[Manufacturer selling through retail showrooms]

England Furniture is owned by LaZBoy.

It is generally considered to be their “custom” furniture manufacturer, although LaZBoy also does some custom work on their own products.

Overall, England is comparable in quality to LaZBoy.

But where LaZBoy makes and sells far more reclining furniture than stationary, England sells more stationary than reclining.

Despite England’s emphasis on stationary seating, most customer complaints seem to address issues with their reclining furniture.

There to be fewer complaints about their stationary (non-reclining) pieces.

England Furniture
England Furniture

 

England Furniture’s quality is at the mid-point of standard mid-range mass produced furniture construction.

The quality goes to “above average” if you choose England’s optional upgrades.

These include coil spring cushions & Tornado coil foundation option that combines sinuous wire with coil springs.

Frames: Interlocking plywood. 7/8″ thick with 11 plies (which is above average.)

England does not use glue in their frames. This is highly unusual and could lead to problems over the long run.

The frames should still last 10+ years.

Foundations: Sinuous wire is standard.

There is an optional upgrade that adds coil springs below the sinuous wire. This is an unusual construction, but for $30 it may add some extra comfort.

Cushions: 1.8 density is standard. Get the coil cushion core option. It should last a few years longer.

England excels in Quick Shipping of Custom Orders.

Now that the Pandemic is over, England is back to its 4 – 6 week delivery on Custom Orders.

England stocks over 500 fabrics.

Flexsteel

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 8

[Manufacturer selling through retail showrooms]

Flexsteel has a 100+ year reputation for quality.

Many loyal customers who purchased Flexsteel prior to 2010 still report getting 15 or more years of comfortable use from their Flexsteel sofas.

Unfortunately, over the past decade, the brand seemed to be living off its old reputation.

Since 2010, the company has gone through multiple financial crises and management changes, affecting overall product quality.

4 of the 5 U.S. manufacturing facilities have been shut down, with the bulk of production shifting overseas.

At this time only 5% of Flexsteel’s sales come from furniture produced in the USA. The remainder is split 50/50 between Vietnam.

A small number of component parts are currently being sourced in China.

Production for the Latitudes Collection (Non-custom leather power reclining furniture) was initially moved to China. A few years ago, it was relocated from China to Vietnam.

Custom leather and fabric reclining products are now made in Mexico.

Non-reclining leather and fabric sofas are still being made in Flexsteel’s only surviving U.S. manufacturing facility, in Dublin, GA.

Between 2010 and 2022, overall quality deteriorated.

Major quality problem areas included:

Bonded leather – Flexsteel’s Nuvo leather generated thousands of consumer complaints about peeling or flaking leather, often within 3 years or less. (This was an industry-wide problem, especially for reclining furniture.)

Cushions – Flexsteel seemed to be constantly tinkering with its seat cushion construction. There appeared to be a major emphasis on reducing costs, resulting in severely reduced cushion lifespans.

I recently visited the Flexsteel showroom at the April 2023 International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

I am happy to report that Flexsteel’s quality level appears to be improving.

Once again, there appears to be more emphasis on long-term durability and comfort than on short-term costs reductions.

Flexstetel sofa construction cutaway
Flexstetel sofa construction cutaway

Flexsteel cutaway

Frames: Flexsteel uses 7/8″ plywood with 7 plies. Although this is far less expensive than Flexsteel’s old solid wood frames, these plywood frames should still last 20+ years for most people.

Foundation: Flexsteel’s famous flat blue steel seat support system has been the strongest in the furniture industry for over 100 years.

For average people with average use, the blue steel flat springs should last 50+ years.

If used by 300+ lb. individuals or if jumped on by kids, they will probably still last 50+ years.

[Historical factoid – I was representing Flexsteel to the U.S. government in the 1980s, when they were sued by Drexel-Heritage over the award of a government contract for sofas.

Drexel’s argument was that the contract specified “8-way hand-tied” foundations, which they claimed was superior to Flexsteel’s blue steel flat spring.

Flexsteel won the lawsuit (and the contract) by “proving” that the blue steel spring was “as good or better than” 8-way hand-tied springs.]

Cushions: Flexsteel appears to once again recognize that sofas last only as long as the seat cushions remain firm and comfortable.

All sofas now use 2.0 density foam (an upgrade from the 1.8 density foam used by many of Flexsteel’s competitors.)

In addition, the cushions are larger and thicker than they have been in previous years.

Foam cores are now larger (more surface area) and thicker (6″ or more.) Larger and thicker seat cushions last longer than smaller or thinner cushions.

New Products: Flexsteel is introducing a new Flex CollectionThis is their version of LoveSac’s highly successful Sactional design.

Flex is a modular collection of interchangeable arms, backs and seating units. These can be combined into dozens of different configurations.

Flex has many advantages over LoveSacs Sactionals, including:

Lower cost – Flexsteel’s Flex Collection is far less expensive than LoveSac’s Sactionals. Retail prices should be less than $1000 per seat. In my opinion, LoveSac is way overpriced for its quality level.

Better quality/value – The Flex Collection is a much better value with an overall quality that is as good or better than LoveSac. Flex even includes a modified version of Flexsteel’s famous blue steel flat spring seat support.

Easier Assembly – Flex assembly is simpler and takes less time than Sactionals.

Sizing – I have not directly compared the sizes of LoveSac and Flexsteel modular units, but from general observation, Flexsteel’ seating units seem to be smaller (and better suited to many rooms) than LoveSac’s huge, oversized seating units.

Flex does have some disadvantages when compared with Sactionals:

Limited storage beneath seats

No removable, washable covers. This is not as big a disadvantage as it used to be. Flexsteel offers a large selection of high performance fabrics that are very durable, highly stain resistant, and easy to clean.

When Sactionals were first introduced, many of their early fabrics were cottons. The ability to remove and wash fabric covers was far more important for cottons than for today’s high performance synthetics, which can be easily spot cleaned.

Flexsteel’s Flex Collection should be appearing in retail showroom around November or December 2023.

Another new Flexsteel product line was introduced at the October 2022 Home Furnishings Market and is now beginning to appear in stores.

The Sky Collection features special Cloudlux cushions with Trillium (down alternative) filling replacing the polyester fiber found in most sofas at all price ranges.

Trillium is far more expensive than the polyester fiber it is replacing, but provides more resilience with a softer feel.

Several high end manufacturers have been experimenting with Trillium for their back cushions, but few are using it for seat cushions.

My initial review of the Sky Collection Trillium filled seat cushions, based on trying them out in October 2022, was that the seat cushions were uncomfortably soft.

The excess softness has been corrected. The Sky seat cushions are now very comfortable.

They are also very heavy, which is a good indication that they should last for a long time.

Flexsteel introduced a new modular design, its Flex Collection, at the April 2023 International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

Flex has been designed as a lower priced LoveSac type modular system. The Flex should be appearing in retail stores in September 2023.

Henredon Furniture

The famous Henredon Furniture company is no longer in business.

Henredon closed down in 2013 when parent company Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

The Henredon trademarks were purchased by Authentic Brands Group in 2018.

Authentic Brands has licensed the Henredon name to Costco and some other major retailers, but the products made and sold have no relationship with the old high end Henredon Furniture company.

Quality rating: 3 / Value Ranking: 2

[Manufacturer selling direct to consumers]

 

Home Reserve Jovie sectional
Home Reserve Jovie sectional

 

Home Reserve is an ingenious piece of engineering.

That includes new fabric covers, a single frame piece, or fresh cushions.

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.

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

For anyone interested in furniture similar to Home Reserve, there is a new modular sofa/sectional design, Linsy Rubik that provides better quality at similar prices.

Hydeline*

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 10  [Manufacturer selling direct to consumers]

*Special 5% off Discount for Insiders Guide to Furniture readers.

Use Coupon Code IGF5X or Order Directly from  Hydeline Special Discount Link.

Items already marked On Sale are not eligible for the 5% discount.

Hydeline USA is a Direct-to-Consumer brand of Amax.

Amax is a major supplier of leather furniture to large retail chains.

I visited Hydeline’s showroom in High Point, NC. to examine their furniture in detail. This showroom is not open to the public. 

The Hydeline website includes both stationary & reclining leather furniture.

Stationary sofas, loveseats, chairs, & sectionals are reviewed in this article.

Hydeline’s reclining sofas, loveseats & chairs are reviewed in 25 Best Reclining Sofa Brands.

Hydeline cushion
Hydeline cushion

Hydeline features 8 inch thick pocket coil spring cushions.

The pocket coils are padded with layers of 2.25 density and memory foams with a down/feather topper.

These cushions should more than twice as long as most 1.8 density foam cushions.

Hydeline’s leather, frame & cushions are all built to last 10+ years.

Frame: Hydeline is kiln-dried solid wood and hardwood plywood.

Foundation: Sinuous wire foundation.

Cushions: Pocketed coils/2.25 density foam/memory foam/down/feather topper

Leather: Hydeline uses semi-aniline top-grain leather with leather-match.

Seats, backs & inside arms are made with semi-aniline top grain leather.

Outside arms & backs use a matching split (bottom grain) leather.

All-top-grain-leather is available as a Special Order for a $200 up charge

Hydeline sofa group

Hydeline’s website features a Premium Outlet section with big discounts.

The outlet offers discontinued in-stock models at discounted prices.

Current models with discontinued leathers also appear in the Outlet.

Hybrid pocketed coil springs vs. Foam cushions

Hydeline’s 8 inch thick pocketed coil cushions should retain their “as new” comfort and resilience for 10+ years.

That’s more than twice as long as the standard 1.8 or 2.0 density foam cushions used by most sofa brands.

Best leather sofas under $3000. Best leather sectionals under $5000.
Best leather recliners under $2000. Best leather reclining sofas under $3000.

The two preceding headings reading “Best sectional sofa reviews” and “Best sofa reviews” were added strictly for the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value based on advice from an SEO “expert” so that more Google searches would be attracted to this article.

IKEA

Quality rating: 7.5 / Value Ranking: 9
[Manufacturer selling through retail showrooms and catalog]

IKEA sofas are a better quality than most people think!

There is a universal misconception that a sofa’s durability is primarily determined by its frame construction.
IKEA’s sofas & sectionals are made from cheap engineered wood products.
As a result, most furniture professionals dismiss IKEA sofas as being cheap and poorly made.

Durability for cheap sofas & sectionals is not determined by frame quality.

Although frame quality is critical for top quality sofas, built to last 20+ years, it is far less important in cheap seating, such as IKEA.

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.

The lifespan of cheap sofas is usually determined by their cushions.

Inexpensive foam sofa cushions often lose their shape, firmness, and comfort within 3 – 5 years.
That is long before the “flimsy” frames are likely to fail.

Worn out cushions are not covered under any brand’s warranty.

Cushion wear is almost always excluded as “normal use.”

Although warranties may appear to protect against worn out cushions for several years, there is almost always an exclusionary clause buried deep down in the warranty document, stating that flattened or compressed foam is considered “normal use” and is not covered under warranty.

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

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

Most IKEA cushions have the pocketed coil 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.

"10

Shown above: Cutaway of IKEA sofa frame, foundation, and cushions.

Joybird

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 6

[Manufacturer selling online and through showrooms]

Joybird Preston Reverse Sectional Sofa
Joybird Preston Reverse Sectional Sofa
                                                                                                                 Preston Reversible Sectional.

Joybird is a LaZBoy company.

The 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 Edison sofa
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.

Best sectional sofa reviews.
Best sofa reviews.

The two preceding headings reading “Best sectional sofa reviews” and “Best sofa reviews” were added strictly for the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value based on advice from an SEO “expert” so that more Google searches would be attracted to this article.

King Hickory

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 9 when compared with Mid-range brands

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

[Manufacturer selling through Authorized Dealers & Professional Interior Decorators]

This is pretty good stuff, but if you want leather, check above for Carolina Custom Leather.

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King Hickory Chatham Conversation sofa

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

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

King Hickory fits into both mid-range and high-end price ranges.

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

  • 7/8″ Hardwood plywood frames.
  • Frames are joined using mortise and tenon techniques.
  • Legs are built into the frame where styling allows.
  • Eight way hand tied spring base construction.
  • Double cone, high carbon, tempered steel springs.
  • Spring front edge for extended cushion life where styling allows.
  • Marshall Coil spring backs where styling allows.
  • 2.25 density foam seat cushions. [I recommend upgrading to Spring Down.]
  • Cushions wrapped in a bag filled with fiber for maximum comfort and crown.
  • Back cushions are fiber filled & channeled to prevent sagging.
  • Skirts are fully lined and tailored.
  • Fabrics are matched top to bottom and from side to side on skirts.
  • Front skirt welts are pattern matched.

*Important Note:  Get the Spring Down cushion upgrade!

Foam cushions reduce my Quality and Value scores by 1 point.

There have been several consumer complaints about collapsing seat cushions. Most of those are older, from when the company was using 1.8 density foam in their standard cushions. More recently the standard foam has been upgraded to 2.25 density.

The upgraded Spring Down cushions will not collapse!

Klaussner Furniture

Klaussner announced that it is closing down permanently as of August 7, 2023.

Lane Furniture

Lane Furniture is no longer in business.

The original Lane Furniture was sold by Heritage Home Group to United Furniture in 2013 shortly before Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

Most of the original Lane factories were shut down.

Although United purchased one of the Lane factories in Tupelo, MS., the products produced were not the same as those previously made and sold by Lane. 

United shut down all of its factories, including Lane, in November 2022 and is in bankruptcty.

La-Z-Boy

Quality rating: 7.5 / Value Ranking: 6.5

[Manufacturer selling through retailers and its own franchised showrooms]

Lazboy sofa
Lazboy sofa

La-Z-Boy is a $1.5 billion business.

The LaZBoy company also owns several other brands, including England Furniture, Joybird, and Kincaid.

The company has 3 remaining U.S. manufacturing plants.

These are located in Dayton, TN, Siloam Springs, AR, and Neosho, MO. Headquarters is in Monroe, MI.

The company used to have several other U.S. manufacturing facilities that have been closed.

La-Z-Boy markets itself as a Made in America manufacturer.

But it also has major manufacturing facilities in Mexico.

In recent years, La-Z-Boy has been gradually moving more and more production to Mexico.

In addition, many of the components and fabrics used to make La-Z-Boy furniture are sourced in Asia.

Since 2019, La-Z-Boy has closed 2 of its U.S. factories, while expanding its facilities in Mexico.

A recent article on this topic can be found at Where is La-Z-Boy Furniture Made?.

La-Z-Boy has an unusually broad product selection at a wide range of prices.

Although most of its seating is in the reclining category, La-Z-Boy also has an extensive selection of stationary seating.

These are available in a wide range of prices. Some are far more durable than others.

La-Z-Boy furniture is made in both the U.S. and in Mexico.

It can be difficult to tell which models are made where.

Unless the description specifically states that the furniture is made in the U.S., it is probably safe to assume it was made in Mexico.

La-Z-Boy stationary seating is good quality mid-range mass produced furniture.

The basic construction is plywood frames and sinuous wire seat support foundations.

A large custom fabric and leather selection can increase prices substantially.

Cushion upgrades add about $150 per seat, but can double the expected lifespan of the furniture.

Cushion upgrade options are explained in A Review of La–Z-Boy’s Chair and Seat Cushions.

In the cushion upgrade option article, the ILD number describes the firmness of the cushion. An ILD of 36 is considered medium firm.

A lower number, such as the 27 available on some of the options, is softer.

The ILD firmness number does not affect durability. Firmer foam does not last any longer than softer foam with the same density.

The more important number is the foam density.

Most seat cushions are made with 1.8 density foam. La-Z-Boy’s optional upgrade adds a layer of 2.5 density.

This costs $450 per sofa but may double the expected lifespan of the cushions. It is well worth the extra cost.
The 2.5 density foam upgrade is just an added layer. If the entire cushion was 2.5 density foam, it would triple the lifespan of the cushions.

“High Resiliency” is another factor that determines foam durability.

This is a manufacturing process that adds durability to foam.

The HR process isn’t expensive, adding only about $1 per cushion to the price of the foam. This can add a year or two to the cushions’ lifespan.

Most polyurethane foam made in the U.S. for cushions is HR.

Many of the cheap imported foams are not.

La-Z-Boy has an extensive network of La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings and Décor stores.

The company also has hundreds of La-Z-Boy galleries in larger furniture stores. Most of these offer in-home design assistance.

Avoid La-Z-Boy’s bonded leather fabrics.

This includes the company’s Renew recycled leather fabrics.

La-Z-Boy provides a detailed description of its leathers and “alternative” leathers.

But the article, Leather Selections at La-Z-Boy,has some glaring errors. 

Faux leather is described as, “recycled leather that the tannery did not use because they were shaved away from the original hide grain.”

This is incorrect! The term “faux leather” is typically used to describe any synthetic leather material, including recycled leathers.

Also, “recycled leather” is not made from “shaved” pieces of leather hides.

It is made from the small pieces of complete hides that were left over after being cut up from larger pieces.

The small left-over pieces are chopped up into small granules and mixed with adhesives.

The granulated “recycled leather” is then used as the backing for recycled and bonded leather materials.

The facing of the material is 100% synthetic.

This is the opposite of what the La-Z-Boy article says.

Lovesac

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 3 when compared with mid-priced seating and purchased On Sale at discounted prices.

Quality rating: 3 / Value Ranking: 5 when compared with high end seating.

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumer through its own retail stores and e-commerce.]

Lovesac Sactional
Lovesac Sactional

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

75% of Lovesac sales are made through retail locations. 25% of sales come from e-commerce.

Lovesac is in the high end section of this review site for one reason only – it is expensive!

From a quality perspective, LoveSac is far below every other brand listed in this price range.

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.

Maiden Home

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 8  

[Online retailer sells Direct to Consumers only]

 

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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 (for fabric.)

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 10* when compared with High end brands.

*Value ranking drops to 7 for leather in both Mid-range and High-end. This brand is not as good a value for leather.

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers only]

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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 3/4″ Baltic Birch hardwood plywood with 13 plies. They will last 15+ 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 to 7 plies (wood layers.)

3/4″ thick Baltic Birch plywood with 13 plies is stronger and more durable than  7/8″ plywood with 5 – 7 plies.

Foundations: 8 way hand tied. (The Maiden modular sectional does not have 8 way hand tied foundations.)

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.

Best sofa sectional reviews: Best 8 way hand tied sofas under $3000.

Marshfield Furniture

Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 6.5

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

Marshfield Furniture has been handcrafted in the U.S.A. since 1944.

Marshfield’s collections range from Transitional to Modern, with an emphasis on its own Rustic Lodge styling.

Over 75 frame styles and 400 fabrics are available. All pieces are handcrafted to order.

Marshfield sofa construction
Marshfield sofa construction

Quality is above average for mid-range quality seating.

Pricing is at the high end of the mid-priced range, with several pieces crossing over into high-end levels.

The quality level is not up to the “high-end” brands I have listed in this review article.

It is also not up to the level of several mid-range brands listed, including Mantle, Medley Home, King Hickory, and Simplicity Sofas.

Frames: 7/8″ plywood made with seven laminated 1/8″ plies. Several high end brands also use this type of frame.

The arm curves are created with heavy density cardboard. This is fairly common among mid-range quality brands. It is not usually found in high quality sofas.

Higher quality brands used contoured foam, rather than cardboard, to create frame curves.

Foundation: Frame within a frame construction. Machine-tied drop-in coil unit nested in a heavier gauge coils around the perimeter of the foundation.

This is superior to the sinuous wire springs found in most mid-range quality sofas. 

Drop-in coil springs are less expensive than 8 way hand-tied, but even more durable and almost as comfortable.

Seat cushions: 2.2 density foam. This is superior to the 1.8 density foam used in most mid-range quality sofas. It is not as good as the 2.5 density and Spring down options available with most high quality brands.

Medley Home*

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

[Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers only]

* Medley Home offers a Special 10% off Discount to Insiders Guide readers. 

Use Coupon Code InsidersGuide.

 

Medley home mid century modern sofaBest Sofa Sectional Reviews.
Medley home mid century modern Kirnik sofa

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 fabricated 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.

Mitchell Gold

Mitchell Gold announced the company is closing August 28, 2023.

Surya has purchased the Mitchell Gold brand name and will be attempting to revive the Mitchell Gold product line and manufacturing. It will not reopen the Mitchell Gold retail stores.

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 sectional
Natuzzi sectional

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.

Palliser frame construction
Palliser frame construction

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 this video 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:

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 10 (for leather) Value ranking 8 (for fabric)

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

Omnia is one of the better values for mid-range leather.

This environmentally conscious brand has a large selection of high quality all- leather sofas for less than $3000.

Omnia sofa construction
Omnia sofa construction

Frames: Kiln-dried hardwood and plywood frames:

Foundation: Sinuous wire with reinforcing cross-ties.

Cushions: Standard cushions are 2.0 density. Optional 2.5 density cushions are available in a choice of different firmnesses.

Fabrics and leathers: Omnia has a good fabric selection, but it specializes in leathers, with an extensive selection in top grain and full grain.

Omnia’s highest grade leathers can add $1000 or more to a sofa’s price.

The vast assortment of leathers is sourced primarily from Europe. According to a company spokesperson, Omnia does not use Chinese leathers.

Omnia is manufactured in California, a state with the strictest environmental regulations in the nation.

As a result, Omnia is especially sensitive to ensuring that its products are “green” and sustainable.

The company is a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Rowe Furniture & Robin Bruce

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 7 

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

Rowe Robin Bruce Cindy sofa
Rowe Robin Bruce Cindy sofa

Rowe is a difficult brand to review.

The company boasts a 75 year history, but the company that emerged after the 2007 bankruptcy is very different than the Rowe that existed previously.

Rowe’s Robin Bruce line has similar construction to the regular Rowe line, but features upscale traditional styling.

Price Range

This review article is broken up into different price ranges.

Mid-range upholstery brands primarily offer fabric sofas that sell for less than $3000.

Upholstery brands that primarily sell sofas for more than $3000 are designated “High-end.”

Rowe makes sofas that sell for less than $3000.

But they also make a lot of sofas that sell for more than $3000.

Many of the Robin Bruce “Designer” line sofas sell for a lot more than $3000.

From a construction (quality) view, Rowe (and Robin Bruce) are solidly Mid-range.

Frame: Plywood with mortise and tenon or double-dowel and corner-block construction.

Foundation: Sinuous wire springs

Cushions: These vary by model.

Most models are available with 1.8 density foam cushions standard. Some are 2.3 density. There is a 2.5 density cushion option.

Altogether, Rowe offers 9 different cushion options.

Spring down cushions (a common option with high-end brands) are not available.

One of the reasons I rate Rowe as Mid-range rather than High-end is that many of their standard cushions are not “bagged.”

“Bagging” means that the cushion cores are encased in a fabric ticking.

The fabric ticking “bag” is an important feature. It helps preserve cushion shape, resilience, and durability.

Many mid-range brands routinely “bag” their cushions. All high-end brands do.

If you buy Rowe or Robin Bruce furniture, get the optional 2.3 or 2.5 density cushion upgrades.

The upgraded cushions will last more than twice as long as the standard 1.8 density foam cores.

Note: Rowe’s Haven cushion option is unusual. It has a 1.8 density foam core with 2″ thick layers of 2.5 density memory foam above and below the central core.

Memory foam has a different density scale than standard polyurethane foam.

2.5 density memory foam is actually less durable than the 1.8 density polyurethane foam.

For memory foam a 3.0 density is roughly equivalent to 1.8 density normal foam.,

Conclusion: The Haven is a super soft cushion that won’t last any longer than the standard 1.8 density foam cushions.

Simplicity Sofas*

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10 [Manufacturer selling Direct To Consumers only]

*Special 10% Discount to InsidersGuideToFurniture.com readers (Use Coupon Code IGF10)

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

Simplicity Sofas furniture is designed to last forever.

Simplicity Sofas and Sectionals are built to last forever. This is not an exaggeration!

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

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.

Sofa prices start at $1800 (before Special IGF 10% discount.)

Frames: All Solid Oak  (See picture below.)

Simplicity Sofas solid oak frame
Simplicity Sofas solid oak frame.

 

Seat Cushions: Standard cushions are 2.5 density Ultracel foam with a dacron polyester fiber wrapping. Ultracel is a foam brand, second in quality only to Qualux.

Two upgrade cushion options are available:

Memory foam:  2″ of memory foam replaces the dacron polyester fiber as a wrapping around the 2.5 density foam core.

Spring Down: Marshall unit coil springs surrounded by a 2.5 density foam border. Above and below the springs and foam is a down and feather filled wrapper.

Back Cushions: Foam and fiber sewn into channels to prevent bunching and shifting.

Almost all back cushions in this price range are stuffed with polyester fiber. Occasionally, there are upgrades that substitute feathers/down for fiber.

Simplicity Sofas mixes crushed foam with fiber for its back cushions. This costs more, but allows the back cushions to maintain their loft and shape far longer than fiber (or feather) filled back cushions.

Fitted slipcovers: All Simplicity Sofas furniture is designed to accept fitted slipcovers.

Unlike conventional slipcovers, these do not go over a cheap muslin covering. These slipcovers are designed to fit over fully upholstered Simplicity Sofas seating.

About half of Simplicity Sofas slipcovers are sold with the original furniture. Half are sold many years later. A new slipcover can transform a 10 year old Simplicity Sofa into a piece that looks brand new.

Simplicity Sofas slipcovers are not loose and baggy. They are designed so that they do not look like slipcovers at all.

See the Ashton slipcovered sofa photo above. Skirts are optional.

Special Features:

Designed for Small Spaces and Narrow Places. Every Simplicity sofa, sectional and sleeper is guaranteed to fit through 15″ width doors and stairways.

Individual components are easily replaceable. Arms, backs, bases, legs, cushion covers, and cushion cores are all easily and inexpensively replaceable. Replacement parts can be installed by consumers without professional assistance.

Cushion covers are made with extra-strong, hidden zippers that run all the way across the back and half way up the sides. This allows cushion covers and cushion inserts (foam cores) to be easily replaced without professional assistance.

Modular design system is eco-friendly and sustainable. A detailed description of Simplicity Sofas’ modular design system can be found at Why Can’t Sofas Be Designed to Last Forever?

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

Simplicity Sofas has an unusually high percentage of repeat customers and referrals from previous customers.

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

I do not receive payment or compensation of any kind from any of the brands reviewed or mentioned on this website, including Simplicity Sofas.

Best RTA (Ready to Assemble) sofa and sectional reviews.

Smith Brothers

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 8  

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

Smith Brothers sofa
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 limit the lifespan to 10 years or less. Replacement parts can be hard to find. Manual mechanisms can last 10+ years.

Stanton

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8 – 9 * 

[Manufacturer selling through retailers]

Stanton furniture is made near Portland, Oregon and is mostly sold in Northwestern states.

Stanton sofa

Stanton 484 Sofa

Stanton sofas are better made than most other mid-range, mass produced couches.

They are better made than LaZBoy, Flexsteel, England, or Craftmaster, just to name a few of their major competitors.

To give you an example of where they are better, here is a diagram of the Stanton construction:

Stanton sofa construction
Stanton sofa construction

Stanton’s “above-average construction features include:

Solid kiln-dried hardwood frames: The other brands mentioned above are all using plywood.

Plywood frames last 10 – 20 years. Solid kiln-dried hardwood frames cost more to make and should last at least as long. Staples and nails hold better in solid hardwood, so there is less chance that the foundation will loosen or break over time.

Foundation: Stanton is using a basic sinuous wire foundation, but adding additional stabilizing support wires and edge supports.

Not all mid-range sofas have the stabilizing support wires and I don’t know of any others with the hand-tied edge-supports combined with sinuous wire. The extra Stanton features add both durability and additional comfort.

Contoured foam for arms: The rounded foam padding that gives the arm its shape is a step up from many mid-range competitors.  LaZBoy and England, get that rounded shape by using flexible cardboard. On cheaper sofas you can sometimes push in on the arm and hear the cardboard flex.

Modular construction: Stanton’s modular construction is a more expensive way to build furniture than standard pre-assembled frames, but it makes the furniture easier to transport or fit through narrow doors or stairways. It also saves money if you ever need to repair or replace any parts.

Cushions: Stanton’s standard cushions are 1.8 density Reflex foam. Reflex foam is pre-compressed (to remove the air.) This allows it to last longer than standard 1.8 density polyurethane foams.

Stanton also has a 2.2 density upgrade option. 2.2 density foam seat cushions will last about twice as long as standard 1.8 density cushions.

My estimated lifespan for Stanton’s 1.8 density Reflex cushions is 4 – 6 years.

The 2.2 density foam cushions should last 8 – 10 years.

These estimated lifespans assume average use by average size people. A 250 lb. person who uses the sofa every day could wear out 1.8 density foam in less than 2 years.

*Prices: My value rating above is 8 – 9. This reflects the difference in value between Stanton’s standard list prices and the Sale prices for their sofas.

At the $2000+ price level you can get superior sofas. Check out How Much Do I Need to Spend to get a High Quality Sofa? 

Several brands in the $2000 – $3000 price range will last 20+ years. Stanton has an average lifespan of around 10 years with the high density cushion option.

I have seen Stanton sofas sold at sale prices up to 40% off.

At 20% off list price, Stanton sofas are an excellent value. At 40% off, they become an outstanding value.

Thomasville Furniture

Thomasville Furniture is no longer in business.

Thomasville Furniture closed down in 2013 when parent company Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

The Thomasville trademarks were purchased by Authentic Brands Group in 2018.

Authentic Brands has licensed the Thomasville Furniture brand name, but the products made and sold have no relationship with the old Thomasville Furniture.

High-End Sofa & Sectional Reviews

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: 7 / Value Ranking: 7

American Leather is among the highest quality USA made Motion furniture brands.

This review is specifically about American Leather’s stationary sofas and sectionals.

Only 20% of American Leather sales are for stationary seating.

American Leather sectional
American Leather sectional

American Leather is possibly 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 by a small team of workers who each specialize on one small part of the furniture.

Most American Leather cushions use 2.0 density foam, which is above average, but cannot be expected to last 15+ years like Spring Down or 2.5 density foams.

Upgraded (longer lasting) cushion options are available for some styles. 

At the last High Point International Furniture Market (October 2022) I was especially impressed with American Leather’s Comfort Air Chair collection.

Comfort Air chairs are expensive, but they are possibly the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in.

American Leather is an eco-conscious company. It was 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

Baker Furniture Chatsworth Sofa
Baker Furniture Chatsworth Sofa

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.

Bradington Young

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Bradington-Young sofa
Bradington-Young – Carrado Stationary Sofa 8-Way Tie – Sable Brown

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.

Hancock & Moore is probably the best known brand for high end leather shoppers.

Bradington Young is often recommended as an alternative for those looking for high end quality at a lower price.

Bradington Young is especially strong in their reclining furniture offerings.

See my review article, 25 Reclining Sectional & Sofa Brand Reviews for 2024.

Century

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Century Bernard Sofa
Century Bernard Sofa

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.

Cisco Home (Aka Cisco Brothers)

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Cisco Brothers Dexter Sofa
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

Drexel Furniture

Drexel Furniture is no longer in business.

Drexel closed down in 2013 when parent company Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

The Drexel trademarks were purchased by Authentic Brands Group in 2018.

It is possible that Authentic Brands will license the Drexel brand name, but the products made and sold will have no relationship with the old Drexel Furniture.

Hancock & Moore

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 8

Hancock and Moore leather sofa
Hancock and Moore leather sofa

Hancock & Moore is possibly the best known brand for high end leather upholstered furniture in the U.S.

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.

Henredon Furniture

The famous Henredon Furniture company is no longer in business.

Henredon closed down in 2013 when parent company Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

The Henredon trademarks were purchased by Authentic Brands Group in 2018.

Authentic Brands has licensed the Henredon name to Costco and some other major retailers, but the products made and sold have no relationship with the old Henredon Furniture.

Huntington House

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 9

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Huntington House skirted sofa

Huntington House builds high quality custom-built seating.

It’s better known for fabric than leather.

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
Leathercraft Wakefield 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 was founded over 50 years ago. In 2016, the company was purchased by American Leather.

Lee’s specialty is hand-crafted fabric and leather seating, custom-built one piece at a time. The company sells through retail stores and interior design professionals.

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.

Seat cushion recommendation:

To get the maximum benefit from this furniture, it’s necessary to upgrade the cushions to one of the coil spring core options.

  • The standard  NaturalLee 1.8 density foam seat cushions may lose their resilience and become  noticeably less comfortable within 5 years.
  • The Haven upgraded cushions have the same 1.8 density polyurethane core and are also subject to early break-down issues.
  • The Down cushion upgrade is high maintenance. Like all soft feather/down filled cushions, made without foam or springs, they require constant fluffing after each use to keep their shape and to present a good appearance.

I highly recommend the Spring Fiber or Cloud Nine upgrade seat cushion options.

The coil spring cores should keep these cushions in shape and comfortable for 15 – 20+ years. It is well worth the extra cost.

Back cushion recommendation:

The Plush back cushions will outperform the standard naturalLee and maintain the shape of your back cushions for several years longer.

Fiber filled Back cushions usually compress and flatten out far sooner than coil spring core seat cushions, but they’re easy and inexpensive to fix.

Any local re-upholstery shop should be able to refill the fiber in your back cushions in less than an hour.

The MT Company (Michael Thomas/Miles Talbot)

Quality rating: 7 / Value Ranking: 9

MT Company Miles Talbot Webster Sofa
MT Company Miles Talbot 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

A. Rudin sofa
A. Rudin sofa

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

Sherril sofa
Sherril sofa

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

Foundation: 8-way hand tied seat support.

Seat Cushions: Multiple options.

Stickley

Quality rating: 9.5 / Value Ranking: 7

Stickley Orchard Street Sofa
Stickley Orchard Street Sofa

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: 9 / Value Ranking: 6

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.

Most Stressless sales are for reclining sofas and chairs.

A Stressless reclining furniture review can be found in 24 Best Reclining Sofa Brands.

Power reclining furniture for Stressless 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.

reclining sofa
Stressless Buckingham sofa

Frame: Steam-bent molded plywood

Foundation: Sinuous wire

Cushions: Molded foam

90% of sales are leather.

Taylor King

Quality rating: 9 / Value Ranking: 8

Taylor King sofa
Taylor King sofa

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)

Best sofa reviews. Best sectional reviews. Best sofa sectional reviews.

Temple Furniture

Quality rating: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Temple Furniture sectional
Temple Furniture sectional

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.

Thomasville Furniture

Thomasville Furniture is no longer in business.

Thomasville Furniture closed down in 2013 when parent company Heritage Home Group declared bankruptcy.

The Thomasville trademarks were purchased by Authentic Brands Group in 2018.

Authentic Brands has licensed the Thomasville Furniture brand name, but the products made and sold have no relationship with the old Thomasville Furniture.

Costco is currently selling inexpensive seating under the Thomasville brand.

Thos. Moser

Quality rating: 10 / Value Ranking: 10

Thos. Moser sofa
Thos. Moser sofa

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: 8 / Value Ranking: 8

Vanguard 2 piece Bennett sectional
Vanguard 2 piece Bennett 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 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.

184 thoughts on “66 Best & Worst Sectional and Sofa Reviews Mayl 2024”

    • If you’re looking for a low cost modular group, I prefer Belffin and Linsy Home over Cozey.

      None of these brands can be expected to stay comfortable more than 5 years, but Cozey may be closer to 3 years.

      Cozey’s biggest problem is the seat cushions, which not only have cheap 1.8 density foam (which is standard for this type of furniture), but the foam cores are thinner than most other brands.

      Cozey’s sinuous wire foundation appears to have less support on the edges than most other brands.

      I wrote a review of Cozey about a year ago. See Which Canadian Couch is Best: Fuji vs. Cozey vs. Nook?

      Reply
    • I can’t recommend Chita couches. The seat cushions are not made for long term use.

      These cushions are soft with a 1.8 density foam core. The average lifespan for these cushions is 3 to 5 years before losing their shape, resilience, and comfort.

      Reply
  1. Jeff,
    Thank you so much for gathering and compiling all of the information listed here.
    We are looking for modern leather sofas, any specific vendors come to mind.
    Thank you,
    Uncle Pete

    Reply
    • It’s easier for me to reply to questions like this in the Ask the Expert part of the blog.

      Before responding, I usually first ask questions such as:

      1) What is your budget?

      2) How many seats do you need?

      3) Do you want a chaise or ottoman?

      4) Do you need modular seating (with each seat a separate unit)? If you do, Why?
      (The cost per seat increases substantially for good quality modular designs.)

      5) Style?

      6) What are the maximum sizes for your sofa?

      7) Do you have any narrow doors or stairways? (If yes, what are the measurements of the narrowest place the furniture will need to fit through?)

      8) Will anyone using the furniture be unusually tall or weigh 250+ lbs.?

      9) Do you have kids or pets?

      10) Reclining or stationary?

      11) Leather or fabric?

      Please resend your question (with addditional information) to me there.

      Reply
  2. Is there a particular retailer in the chicagoland area that carry a lot of these recommended sectional brands that you would recommend? So far every larger furniture store seems to carry mostly crappy 1.8 density sectionals. The best retailer i could find was Steinhafls.

    Reply
    • Steinhafls sells mostly cheap imported sofas and sectionals. They do have a few better quality brands such as King Hickory (if you get the upgraded spring down cushions) and Omnia Leather (if you get the upgraded 2.5 density cushions.)

      Hickory Heritage looks like it has good specifications (2.4 density foam cushions, 8 way hand tied foundations) but I’ve never heard of this brand and can’t find any information about it.

      There are 2 reasons why all larger stores carry mostly seating with 1.8 (or occasionally 2.0) density foam cushions.

      1) Retail furniture stores have to sell furniture for twice as much as they paid for it.

      In general, if one of these stores sells a sofa for $2000, they purchased it from a supplier for less than $1000. For every dollar the retailer pays to the manufacture, the price in the showroom goes up by at least $2.

      A more detailed description of how this actually works can be found in my article, Furniture Store Discounts: Are Sale Prices Real or Phony?

      2) Furniture retailers make more money by selling seating that needs to be replaced every 5 years.

      Most frames and foundations are inexpensive to build and last 10 to 15+ years for average size people with average use.

      Most cushions sold by these retailers are built to wear out within 3 to 5 years for the same average people and average use.

      Worn out cushions are rarely replaced. It’s far more common to replace the entire sofa or sectional when the cushions wear out.

      It’s easy to make seat cushions that will last 10 to 15+ years. Just use 2.5 density foam or high-quality coil spring cores.

      But there’s a problem! Sofas and sectionals with better quality cushions that last 10 to 15+ years are expensive. They increase prices by at least $100 per cushion in the retailer’s showroom (or website.) More expensive furniture doesn’t sell as quickly.

      Price is, by far, the most important factor in most people’s decision whether or not to purchase furniture.

      When furniture is brand new in a showroom, the cheaper 1.8 density foam cushions can feel just as (or more) comfortable than more expensive cushions that will last far longer.

      When shown on a website, there is no difference at all in the photo that the customer sees.

      It’s far easier for salespeople (and websites) to sell cheaper furniture than to try explaining why a couch that looks the same is worth $300 (or $500) more.

      Retailers make more money when they turn over their inventory more often (Total sales divided by inventory costs.) Slow sellers are replaced on showroom floors by items that the store buyer thinks will sell faster.

      There are always a few customers who are willing to pay more for longer lasting furniture.

      Room & Board has two collections (Linger and Stevens) that have coil spring cushions surrounded by 1.8 density foam.

      Crate & Barrel also has two collections with coil spring cores and 1.8 density foam. (Gather and Peyton.)
      The last time I checked, Pottery Barn didn’t have any seating with coil spring cushions.

      Direct-to-Consumer manufacturers (like Dreamsofa.com) have big advantages over furniture retailers.

      When Room & Board sells you a sectional for $4800, they purchased it from a manufacturer for less than $2400.

      The manufacturer’s cost to make that sectional is about $2000 with a $400 profit.

      A direct-to-consumer manufacturer can spend $3000 to make a better quality sectional and sell it to you for $4000.
      The manufacturer makes $1000 profit ($600 more than selling to a retailer.) You save $800 while getting much better quality furniture at the same time.

      Direct to Consumer manufacturers are also custom manufacturers. That allows them to offer higher quality cushions commensurate with their higher quality frames and foundations.

      Since everything is custom made to order, they don’t have to worry about slow moving inventory like furniture retail stores.

      Reply
  3. Hi there any recommendation on the faible cb2 sectional or the deseo from cb2. we really like the modern style of the faible but we are worry that the sofa sink in after a while.
    thank a lot

    Reply
    • There should be better quality and better value sectionals, similar to CB2’s Faible and Deseo, available.

      To give you specific recommendations, I need to know:

      1) What is your budget?

      2) How many seats do you need? (not including corner seats that cannot be used for sitting.)

      3) What configuration are you looking for (L-sectional, U-sectional, sofa with chaise, etc.)?

      4) Style?

      5) What are the maximum sizes for your sectional (width and length)?

      6) Do you have any narrow doors or stairways? (If yes, what are the measurements of the narrowest place the furniture will need to fit through?)

      7) Will anyone using the furniture be unusually tall or weigh 250+ lbs.?

      8) Do you have kids or pets?

      9) Reclining or stationary?

      10) Leather or fabric?

      Reply
      • Thank a lot for the help
        1) What is your budget?
        about $5-7K
        2) How many seats do you need? (not including corner seats that cannot be used for sitting.)
        5-6 (maximum 150” width )
        3) What configuration are you looking for (L-sectional, U-sectional, sofa with chaise, etc.)?
        L-sectional
        4) Style?
        Modern similar to faible or
        5) What are the maximum sizes for your sectional (width and length)?
        (maximum 150” width and 90 length)
        6) Do you have any narrow doors or stairways? (If yes, what are the measurements of the narrowest place the furniture will need to fit through?)
        No
        7) Will anyone using the furniture be unusually tall or weigh 250+ lbs.?
        No
        8) Do you have kids or pets?
        Yes Kids and Pet
        9) Reclining or stationary?
        stationary
        10) Leather or fabric?
        fabric

      • Nick,
        It’s difficult to write long, detailed responses on this comments section.
        I will respond to you with an email through the Ask the Expert section of the website.

    • Hallagan Furniture has been manufactured since 1899 and is currently owned by the 4th generation of the original family.

      Prior to your question, I had never heard of this company. Apparently, it is sold primarily through small furniture stores and individual interior designers, mostly located in upper New York state.

      There are surprisingly few reviews for a $5+ million brand that has been around for over 100 years. At least half of the reviews I found were at least 15 years old.

      Most of the reviews emphasize the furniture’s sturdiness and comfort. Hallagan is one of very few brands making 8 way hand tied sofas for less than $3000.

      Styles are dated. The emphasis is on older traditional and transitional styles, rather than the modern and mid-century styles that are currently so popular in this price range.

      There are a few reviews criticizing fabric and cushions, but from what I can see in the factory photos, the furniture appears to be well-built, and the few complaints should not be over emphasized.

      Very few people write positive furniture reviews unless they are actively encouraged or given incentives. The lack of reviews for such an old company is actually an encouraging sign that most people like their Hallagan furniture.

      The website does not say what density foam is used in the seat cushions, but it is Qualux, which is a premium quality brand.

      If Hallagan is using Qualux’s 2.55 density foam, the cushions should keep their comfort for 15+ years with no problems. If the foam is Qualux’s 1.85 density, the cushions should remain comfortable for about 5 to 7 years before needing replacement.

      Reply
  4. In your article of worst and best sofa there was no mention of Lexington home brands. I am looking at their PDS II series and was wondering about your opinion. Specifically, how does it compare to Century, CR Laine and Dreamsofa?

    Reply
    • Lexington used to manufacture a line of furniture I designed back in the 1990s. At that time, I felt their upholstery was not as good quality as their wood furniture.

      There have been a lot of changes since then, including a couple of ownership changes.

      Since starting this blog two years ago, I very rarely get any questions about Lexington, so I haven’t taken the time to do any thorough research.

      My general feeling is that the quality is similar to Dreamsofa at higher prices, but I haven’t done the research to verify that.

      C.R. Laine and Century rank above Dreamsofa in quality, but they are also more expensive.

      Where Dreamsofa’s seating should last 15 to 20+ years, Century and C.R. Laine are built to last 25+ years (with upgraded cushions.)

      Another company you should look into if you like Century and C.R. Laine is Carolina Custom Leather.

      Check out my article, Hancock & Moore quality for under 5K: Is Carolina Custom Leather Really That Good?

      The article is a comparison of leather furniture, but Carolina Custom can also make everything in fabric.

      Lexington, Century, C.R. Laine, and Carolina Custom are all carried by Furnitureland South, the world’s largest single furniture store with 1.3 million square feet of showroom space. They sell over 1000 different brands.

      I have a special arrangement with FS, allowing my readers access to inside pricing that is normally reserved for professional interior designers.

      If you live within 1000 miles of High Point, NC, there is a good chance you will be within Furnitureland South’s free shipping zone.

      The combination of interior designer pricing and free delivery can be substantially less than other stores.

      In addition, my readers get free design advice from Jason Campbell, a senior design consultant at Furnitureland South, whom I’ve known for many years.

      Jason will be able to suggest other brands of similar quality.

      If you want to contact Jason, he can be reached at:

      Jason Campbell, Design Consultant, Furnitureland South
      jasoncampbell@furniturelandsouth.com
      Mobile: 336.324.7678 | Phone: 336.822.3243

      I will forward a copy of this message to Jason, so he will know who you are if you decide to contact him.

      Reply
  5. Hello again Jeff. I just wanted to add to the discussion regarding Taylor King. I asked specifically about sofas customized under the “Taylor Made” program in late January 2024. The customer representative replied “The Taylor Made program uses domestic hardwood plywood that is 1 1/8″ thick.” I was under the impression the sofas had solid hardwood frames and I believe a furniture salesperson told me the same. Is this a new change at the company to your knowledge?

    Reply
    • Many of the large, high end upholstery manufacturers have switched over from solid hardwood to plywood.

      Top of the line 5/4″ Maple frames, built to last 50+ years, currently cost over $400 to the manufacturer. 1 1/8″ plywood frames are closer to $150 and will last 30+ years.

      Of course you need a $200,000 computerized CNC machine to make the plywood frames efficiently, so the smaller shops are still using solid wood.

      Most of the mid-range quality upholstery manufacturers are using 7/8″ thick plywood with 5 to 7 plies.

      1 1/8″ plywood costs more and is made with 11 to 13 plies. It’s considerably stronger than what is used in mid-range, mass produced furniture.

      Reply
  6. Wow! This is so thorough and informative! I appreciate it. Have you reviewed Made Right CA yet? I believe it was started by the founder of BenchMade Modern.

    We were looking at Interior Define which was recently purchased by Havenly, but they are made overseas and have a long wait. We are worried we wouldn’t ever see a couch! We also looked at a West Elm couch but they have limited sizes and customization. I was not impressed by their comfort. Castlery is another one that keeps popping up in ads ; )

    Have you reviewed any Canadian companies? Kavuus and Cozey? I will check our DreamSofa ; )

    Reply
  7. hi, any comments on blu dot? though I already have something from them so perhaps it’s moot, but I’ve been pretty happy with it so far

    https://www.bludot.com/the-new-standard-78-sofa.html

    product details shows a lot of the info. i have it with maharam mode though I got it for only 1400 as it was used for promotional material

    also DWR, though they don’t make sofas themselves, but carry a lot of modernist designers which means the price tags can be enormous.

    Reply
    • I haven’t written anything about Blue Dot yet. It looks well made. The company has a partnership with Steelcase, which is an indication of top quality.
      How long have you been using your Blue Dot? I’m wondering how long the cushions will hold up.

      DWR is a retailer, selling furniture made by multiple manufacturers. I have no idea how they justify some of the prices. There’s no information about how the furniture is made.

      Reply
  8. Thanks, Jeff, for writing such an informative article. I was looking for a tufted sofa, but the quality-oriented direct-to-consumer manufacturers I reviewed (Maiden Home, Mantle Furniture, and Medley Home) don’t offer that style. RH does offer tufted sofas, but comments I’ve read about their product quality make me nervous. A tufted sofa they offer, the Italia Chesterfield, is said to be made in “North America” (could be Mexico?) with the following features:
    – Frame handcrafted of kiln-dried solid hardwood and engineered wood
    – Reinforced joinery with corner blocking and mortise-and-tenon construction
    – Hand tufting on back and inner arms
    – Woven webbing suspension
    – Standard fill seat and back cushions feature high-resilience polyurethane foam wrapped with polyfiber
    – Down-feather fill seat cushions feature high-resilience polyurethane foam topped with a feather and down blend

    I realize that RH doesn’t make sofas itself, but does this sound to you like RH (or its manufacturer) is taking shortcuts in the manufacturing process compared to some higher quality manufacturers you cite? Obviously, RH is more expensive, which is okay if the quality matches the price. But I don’t want to pay a premium if RH is cutting corners in the manufacturing process to save a few bucks.

    Reply
    • Dreamsofa is a Los Angeles direct-to-consumer manufacturer that has a wide selection of tufted styles. So does Cococo at a higher price range.

      Dreamsofa will be much better quality than RH (assuming you get the top grade Plush cushions with coil spring cores surrounded by 2.5 density foam) and the prices will be far lower.

      Dreamsofa furniture, with the Plush cushions, is built to last (and stay comfortable) for 15+ years.

      RH is great on style, but they are among the most overpriced furniture retailers anywhere, and their quality is not commensurate with their prices.

      The biggest problem with RH furniture is with the cushions. In most of its seating, RH is using the same cushion construction you can find on $1500 sofas, and they will last just as long (3 – 5 years.)

      RH’s hugely popular (and expensive) Cloud Collection, featuring soft cloud-like cushions, was a big hit, and has been copied by dozens of cheaper imitators.

      But after being in the customers’ homes for 3 years, the cushions don’t have the same comfort they did when new in the showroom.

      The woven webbing suspension can also be a problem. There are two very different types of webbing that look almost identical.

      The cheaper webbing stretches. It’s quick and easy to install by low skilled workers. If you weigh more than average or sit down heavily or jump on the furniture, or if some of the staples come loose, the webbing can sag – and so do your cushions.

      High end seating, including most of the modern style leather furniture coming out of Italy, uses a more expensive non-stretchable webbing.

      Although the webbing itself doesn’t cost much more than the stretchable kind, it requires a lot of strength, skill, and time to install. Also, more webbing is used. There are fewer gaps between the strips. This type of webbing will last 20+ years.

      It isn’t as comfortable as 8 way hand tied, but it’s useful in flat profile styles where there isn’t much room for a foundation and an arched foundation such as sinuous springs won’t work as well.

      With Restoration Hardware, and the furniture being made in Mexico, my guess is that they’re using the cheaper webbing.

      Take a look at Dreamsofa. There are a huge number of different styles, sizes, and custom options available.

      Don’t try to shop this website without expert guidance. Dreamsofa has an entire design staff ready to help you.

      After quickly browsing through a few styles, contact Sales Manager, Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

      Tell Ryan exactly what you’re looking for! Dreamsofa can customize anything!

      If you try this on your own, it can take hours to research the website thoroughly, and even then you won’t know everything the company can do. There are almost as many styles and options that are not shown or mentioned on the website.

      For example, there are no ottomans shown on the website. Dreamsofa has 6 standard sizes, and can also do custom sizes.

      The website doesn’t show modular sectionals. They can make any of the regular sectionals into modular units and there are entire modular styles that are not shown anywhere.

      The website indicates that for sectionals with chaises, you have to pick a right or left facing. They can also do reversible chaises, but it’s not shown on the website.

      That’s just scratching the surface of what they are able to do.

      Reply
    • Hi Jeff, great reviews and analysis, really helpful for the consumer. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

      What are your thoughts on the Fjords sofas & sectionals lines?

      Reply
  9. I was looking at a Stanton sectional. I see in your review you list two cushion options. However the sectional I was looking at as down as the cushions. Do you have any insight on the lifespan/quality of these cushions?

    “Feather Blend Seating – Stanton feather blend seating provides the ultimate in luxurious seating comfort. The feather blend consists of the perfect combination of high-grade fiber and hypoallergenic feathers. We have found this to be the perfect blend of comfort and support. Feather blend seating layers cradle the body, removing pressure points and providing a high level of comfort on top of the pre-compressed foam support core in the center of the cushion. 3 YEAR WARRANTY”

    Reply
    • Sorry for the delayed response. I just found your comment in my spam folder.

      Cushion lifespan is primarily determined by foam density, thickness, surface area size, the amount of use, and the weight of the people using the furniture.

      Stanton’s standard cushions are 1.8 density Reflex foam. Reflex foam is pre-compressed (to remove the air.) This allows it to last about a year longer than standard 1.8 density polyurethane foams.

      Stanton also has a 2.2 density upgrade option. 2.2 density foam seat cushions will last about twice as long as standard 1.8 density cushions.

      Assuming a standard 3 seat sofa, the estimated lifespan for Stanton’s 1.8 density Reflex cushions is 4 – 6 years.

      The 2.2 density foam cushions should last 8 – 10 years.

      The Feather Blend part of the seat that you are asking about has no bearing on how long the cushions will last.

      It’s purpose is to give the cushions a slightly softer feel. But you should also be aware that adding the feather/down topper also increases the chances of the cushions “puddling.” This is wrinkling on the surface of the cushions.

      Puddling is one of the most common complaints from customers who buy high end seating, especially with leather.
      Puddling is not considered a defect. It’s just what happens when you make the cushion softer.

      The estimated lifespans cited above assume average use by average size people. A 250 lb. person who uses the sofa every day could wear out 1.8 density foam in less than 2 years.

      Reply
  10. Have you heard of the Younger + Co brand (https://youngerfurniture.com/collection/sectionals)? We looked at a sectional tonight (The Slim) and were highly intrigued, but before we purchased, I wanted to consulate this super helpful tome of knowledge. I did not see a listing for the brand nor did my research turn up if they were owned by a parent company. Online reviews seems fine, but figured I would sanity check here real quick.

    Appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks much!

    Reply
    • Younger Furniture has built high quality custom furniture since 1989.

      The quality and many of the styles are very similar to DreamSofa.

      Younger’s factory is about 20 minutes from my home. I visited their showroom last October at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

      Younger’s furniture is constructed with solid hardwood frames and sinuous wire foundations. Both should last 15+ years.

      Dreamsofa also has solid hardwood frames and sinuous wire foundations.

      Younger’s standard seat cushions are 2.5 density foam. They should last 15+ years.

      Dreamsofa’s Plush cushion option also lasts 15+ years. They have coil spring cores surrounded by 2.5 density foam.

      DreamSofa’s prices are lower because they sell direct to consumers rather than through retailers.

      If the difference in price is not significant for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Younger.

      Dreamsofa’s website shows about 120 sectional styles. Each sectional is available in multiple sizes and dozens of custom options.

      Many additional styles, configurations, and options, that are not shown on the website, are also available.

      Although the Dreamsofa brand name is not well-known on the East coast (the factory is in Los Angeles) they make all of the high end custom seating for the better known Apt2B brand.

      For more information about Dreamsofa, including special pricing, you can contact Sales Manager Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

      Reply
  11. Wow, this is incredible! Thank you so much for this plethora of information that feels like a gold-mine! I was on Reddit and found your comment about the differences in high/low quality furniture which led me here. After about a week or two, I’ve gone through this entire article lol. Before finding this, I was thinking of buying from Wayfair, Big Lots, or Rooms to Go, but became skeptical about those places because I wanted it to be a substantial piece of furniture and of great quality. Now I have the confidence to know what I want and what to look out for thanks to you. For taking the time to write this out in detail (with links!), it’s been quite helpful for amateurs like me, so thank you again!

    Reply
    • Thanks Zena,
      If you send me an email on the Ask the Expert page, with details on exactly what you are looking for, I will be able to give you specific recommendations.

      Sorry for the delay on answering this comment. Sometimes I don’t look at comments for a few days.

      I usually respond to questions on Ask the Expert within 12 hours.

      Information that will help me make a recommendation includes:

      1) What is your budget?

      2) How many seats do you need?

      3) Are you looking for a sofa, sectional, or something else? If a sectional, what configuration (e.g. L-sectional, U-sectional, sofa with chaise, etc.)

      4) What style do you prefer?

      5) What are your size constraints? (Maximum length and width.)

      6) Do you have any narrow doors or stairways the furniture needs to fit through?

      7) Is anyone in your family over 6 ft. 4 inches tall or weigh over 250 lbs.

      8) Do you have kids or pets?

      Reply
  12. Thank you for the informative article. It is very refreshing to read reviews by someone who can speak to the particular construction and design details, when most other sofa reviews online just assign a nebulous rating. Would you ever consider adding high end or European makers to your website such as Ligne Roset, B&B Italia, Roche Bobois, Edra, Orior, Knoll, Herman Miller, Hay, etc.?

    Reply
    • Only 10% of the furniture buying public can afford to buy the furniture brands you’ve listed for their homes.

      A large percentage of high end furniture is purchased through interior design professionals, rather than through stores or online retailers.

      Some of the brands listed concentrate primarily in office and contract seating, rather than residential.

      Requirements are very different for non-residential furniture.

      Most articles about furniture design and construction are written by interior design professionals who deal primarily with high end furniture that few consumers can afford.

      When their articles and blogs advise readers that frame quality is the most important determinant of durability and that 8 way hand tied foundations are the best, the brands you’ve listed are the type of furniture they are describing.

      My articles and reviews try to help furniture shoppers understand that the furniture they see in stores and online is very different than the type of high end seating your question refers to.

      And it shouldn’t be judged by the same criteria.

      Blogs written by interior design professionals about high end brands also tend to focus more on changing styles, colors and textures than I do.

      My articles and reviews are primarily directed at how affordable furniture is constructed, with an emphasis on long term durability and value.

      I try to help people avoid spending thousands of dollars for furniture that will be worn out and discarded after just a few years.

      When the brands you’ve listed become worn out or damaged, they don’t get discarded. The initial price justifies paying for repairs or reupholstery.

      Reply
      • Four Hands is a retailer and wholesaler located in Austin, TX.

        Since the company buys from many different manufacturers and suppliers, I can’t give an overall evaluation of quality or value.

        I can only comment on specific pieces that I’m asked about.

  13. Wow what a fantastic lineup of reviews. Do you have any comments on Whataroom sofas? I came across them recently and they seem good but really I know nothing. We are in the market for a sofa/sectional with a chaise. My husband is 6’1” and about 250 pounds so that’s the limiting factor. It doesn’t have to last forever but 10 years would be nice

    Reply
    • I hadn’t heard of What a Room until 1 month ago. You are the 4th person who has asked me about them since then.

      What a Room is a San Jose furniture store that sells low end custom furniture. They are not a manufacturer.

      What a Room subcontracts the manufacturing to a local custom upholsterer and then adding their markup (about double what they pay to the manufacturer) on top of the manufacturer’s wholesale price.

      What a Room’s cushions are all 2.2 density foam. That’s better than the 1.8 density foam used for the least expensive sofas and sectionals. But the thickness of the foam is important too.

      2.2 density foam cushions have an average lifespan (for average size people) of 6 – 9 years for cushions with 5 inch thick foam cores.
      In the photos, What a Room’s cushions appear to be thinner. That would reduce the cushion’s lifespan.

      If your husband weighs 250 lbs., that will also reduce the estimated cushion lifespan, possibly by 50% (to 3 – 5 years.)

      What a Room’s prices look low because they don’t include any fabric. Every fabric in the line is a $150 up charge from the prices shown on the website.
      The entire fabric selection consists of old, inexpensive fabrics. All are available to manufacturers for less than $5 per yard.

      For example, I was buying the Bennett line of fabrics for my factory from 2017 through 2022 and paying $4.25 per yard.

      The Bella fabrics (velvet) are very durable and soft. It’s a great fabric. I was buying that same fabric in 2007, and it had already been around for several years. I believe the current price is $4.50 per yard.

      What a Room does not carry any of the newer “high performance” fabrics. These are very durable, with built-in permanent stain protection technology.

      Over the past 5 years, “high performance” has become the most popular fabric category. (What a Room’s “Performance” fabric category does not include any “high performance” fabrics.)

      If you are interested in What a Room, you should definitely look at DreamSofa, a Los Angeles high end custom manufacturer.

      DreamSofa is a very different type of company. They are a manufacturer, selling direct to consumers. All frames and foundations are built to last 15+ years for most people.

      Dreamsofa has cheaper 1.8 and 2.0 density cushion options, but I don’t recommend them since they probably won’t last more than 5 years.

      But the top grade Plush cushion option (coil spring core surrounded by 2.5 density foam) will last 15+ years, even for someone weighing 250 lbs.

      Because DreamSofa does not sell through retailers, it can sell better quality seating than What a Sofa at similar prices.

      Reply
  14. Hi!
    I’m looking for a modular sofa. I want something I can create that “adult play pen” configuration as well as just a sectional for when we have guests.
    My biggest thing is, I’m a major napper/lounger so I’m probably looking for a couch that doesn’t have those significant dips between cushions that would make it uncomfortable on your back to nap on. What would you recommend? I don’t know that I’m worried about it lasting a lifetime as I’m sure my style preferences will change, but ideally 7-10 years would be wonderful.

    Reply
  15. I want to thank you for this site. It has been really informative and I’ve enjoyed learning so much. A great resource and I appreciate you taking the time to put it together.
    I purchased a W. Schillig Moonshadow sectional a few years ago. I believe it was third-hand but still in really great shape. Could you comment on its longevity/craftsmanship? I have a cat that loves to claw furniture, and she has already gotten her claws into it and caused minimal damage. This piece seems really well-made to me; I’m not sure how old it is, but I’d like to keep it as long as possible and figured I’d reupholster it down the road. Is this a realistic expectation, do you think? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Sorry, it took me so long to respond. I just found your comment in my spam folder.

      The Schillig Moonshadow is a wonderful piece of furniture. It’s been around quite a while. Originally, it was only in leather. They started also making it in fabric in 2010, so if your Moonshadow is fabric, it was made after 2010.

      It is definitely worth reupholstering, but make sure you get someone really good. This is not an easy piece to work on.

      Good luck!

      Reply
      • Thanks for your reply–better late than never! It is indeed upholstered in leather, so this bad boy is at least 13 years old. Comparing it to a Dillard’s sectional I own, (unfortunately purchased before I read this blog or I wouldn’t have purchased it haha) it boggles my mind. The Dillard’s sectional at 5 years old looks pretty dilapidated, but the Moonshadow looks and feels like it was just delivered to my house (minus a few cat claw marks). The seats are supportive and comfortable; meanwhile we are slowly sinking into our Dillard’s sectional–and that is WITH books under the cushions. Lesson learned!
        Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

  16. Great review of many companies! Thank you! I have one comment and one request:
    -We have had some Burrow couches for a few years (maybe 4 years?) because we had trouble getting couches into our basement (sharp turn then staircase). Easy assembly. There are parts of the frame that have significantly warped over time. I overall don’t find them comfortable and would not buy again.
    -Room and Board is getting a lot of buzz in some groups. Can you please review their couches?

    Reply
    • I rated Burrow as having an average lifespan from 3 – 5 years.

      In the furniture industy, products that get “a lot of buzz” are getting that buzz from style/design related factors. Furniture never gets a buzz from long-term durability, which is what I’m more concerned about.

      The Restoration Hardware Cloud Collection has had a tremendous amount of “buzz” over the past 3 years for its introduction of “soft” luxurious down-like cushions. My analysis was that the soft cushions everyone loved were going to wear out within 3 years, which is what is happening now.

      Room and Board is a retailer. They buy from many sources. Some of their seating is better quality than others.

      Most of R&B’s sofas and sectionals are constructed with 1.8 density foam cushions. Those have a 3 – 5 year lifespan before they start to lose their shape and comfort.

      Some have 2.0 density foam cushions. Those will last a bit longer (5 – 7 years.)

      R&B’s Gather and Peyton are two models with coil spring cushions. Coil spring cushions should last twice as long as the foam cushions.

      The Gather comes in two different seat depths. There have been several complaints about the comfort of the smaller depth. Customers seem to like the larger Gather and the Peyton (which is only available in one seat depth.)

      Reply
      • Hi Jeff! This is a fantastic review. I cannot thank you enough for putting it together. It’s clearly helping so many people!

        One quick question: are you referring to Gather and Peyton from Crate and Barrel in the message above? I have been looking at the Gather. I prefer the smaller size, but would love to know your thoughts!

      • You may also want to take a look at my article, Crate & Barrel Gather: Long lasting furniture

        I’ve also found that, for many of my readers, Dreamsofa and/or Mantle can be better options than the C&B Gather.

        If you want a specific recommendation, I need some additional information:

        1) What is your budget?

        2) How many seats do you need? (not including corner seats that cannot be used for sitting.)

        2a) Do you need modular seating (with each seat a separate unit)?

        3) What configuration are you looking for (L-sectional, U-sectional, sofa with chaise, etc.)?

        4) Style?

        5) What are the maximum sizes for your sectional (width and length)?

        6) Do you have any narrow doors or stairways? (If yes, what are the measurements of the narrowest place the furniture will need to fit through?)

        7) Will anyone using the furniture be unusually tall or weigh 250+ lbs.?

        8) Do you have kids or pets?

        9) Reclining or stationary?

        10) Leather or fabric?

        If you reply with answers to my questions, you will get a faster response if you send it on the “Ask the Expert” part of my website.

  17. Thanks Jeff for all the information!

    I am seriously looking into dream sofa for a chaise sectional. I ordered some swatches which I hope will arrive soon. That said, I am getting a bit nervous as the dream sofa website has some red flags.

    There are a lot of photos of chairs, benches, etc. on pages about the company, which don’t appear as options to purchase.

    All the photos appear digitally generated with no actual furniture photos.

    Also, they have a page saying “come visit us” and noting the Rose Design, which Google Maps says is temporarily closed and the last review is from 2 years ago.

    Seems like you are in contact with them regularly, have they explained why they are still sending people to a closed storefront?

    Looking for some reassurance as they seem to have the options I want.

    Reply
    • I don’t know whether any photos are digitally generated, but I can tell you that DreamSofa has a huge number of designs and custom options that are not shown on the website, but are available for their customers upon request.

      For example, DesignSofa makes all of the high-end custom products for Apt2B.

      Apt2B designs their own styles. Some of these are similar to styles shown on the DreamSofa website. Most are not.

      If you want to get an Apt2B design, but in a different size or with special custom options, DreamSofa will be happy to make it for you.

      I asked the same question about the Rose Design retailer when I first started getting interested in the company.

      As I understand the situation, the Rose Design store closed down some time during the Pandemic, but there are plans to reopen it some time in the future. Rose Design is not owned by DreamSofa. It was just located near the factory and showed several designs.

      You’re the first person who has asked me about Rose Design, so I’m going to look into it a bit further and I’ll update this comment if I find any other information.

      Reply
  18. We’re about to pull the trigger on a DreamSofa sectional and can’t decide on the cushion. I know you recommend the Plush but we are very concerned it will be too firm for us. We like a sink-in, lived in, comfortable cushion. This would be for our family room, everyday use by us and our teens – does not need to be pristine and crisply perfect. In emailing with Ryan from DreamSofa he said the Spring Down option will break down over time (the down will), which would lead to some wrinkling in the fabric due to loss of volume, etc… I think I’m just trying to figure out which option will be more comfortable and less firm. Have read on reddit people who get the wave cushion and even say that is firm at first but eventually breaks in to be comfortable – but the wave does not have an innerspring that you recommend. Feeling really conflicted on what to choose!

    Reply
    • The Plush cushion is definitely the way to go. It lasts twice as long as any of the foam cushions, and it retains its comfort throughout its 15 – 20+ year lifespan.

      Foam cushions don’t do that. They begin breaking down the first day you start to use them. They don’t suddenly collapse. Very slowly, they lose more and more resilience, and get less and less comfortable, until you decide they need replacement.

      The Spring Down vs. Plush issue is interesting (to me.) Before I agreed to recommend DreamSofa to my readers, I told them they would have to add a 15+ year medium firm (very comfortable) cushion as an option.

      I recommended Spring Down, which has been fairly standard for high end upholstery brands during my 20 years working with high end manufacturers.

      DreamSofa’s Sales Manager Ryan came back with a suggestion for a cushion that had all of the comfort and durability of the Spring Down, but without the down and feathers.

      His argument was that the down and feathers would compress over time, creating wrinkling (known as “puddling” to people who work with high end furniture.) Also, it would cost less, although that wasn’t the primary reason for the change.

      After a brief argument, I started realizing that more and more high end upholstery manufacturers had started substituting polyester fiber for 50% of the down and feathers they used to have in their high end Spring Down cushions.

      Some of these manufacturers relabeled the cushions as Spring Down blend, but a lot of others didn’t even bother inform their customers of the change.

      It does save a few dollars to replace down and feathers with fiber, but the primary reason for substituting the fiber was that it reduced puddling, which has always been one of the most common complaints from high end customers.

      The Plush cushions are priced about $100 less (per piece) less than Spring Down, and there is no noticeable reduction of comfort. It actually improves the long term durability very slightly.

      The Plush cushions have 2.5 density foam, but they are not extra-firm. The entire point of creating these cushions was to make a medium firm cushion (that would stay medium-firm for a very long time) and that would be comfortable for almost everybody.

      Ask Ryan about DreamSofa’s DESIGNXCHANGE program. This unique program allows you to change out cushions free for the first three years if you decide you don’t like the cushions you have. The program was actually created for interior design professionals, but you can take advantage of it.

      My strong suggestion is to get the Plush cushions, try them out, and in the very unusual case where you really don’t like them, DreamSofa will ship you Wave cushion cores as a replacement.

      Reply
      • I emailed Ryan back expressing my concern about the firmness of the Plush and he did recommend the Wave but, again, if we decide we’d rather the more softness of the Wave then are we better off going elsewhere for purchasing a sofa? I do like the DesignXChange program and I’ll inquire with him about that. We ideally would have a sofa with a more soft/cloud like sink-in feel – and we don’t mind it looking relaxed either as long as it really doesn’t look disheveled after just a couple years use. We have a pottery barn York sofa that is 8 years old and the back cushions (filled with down/feathers) are absolutely crushed, always. The seat cushions are okay but have permanent dents from where we sit. We just love the cushion-y comfort!

        On another note – do you have thoughts on choosing bench cushions or wider cushions versus many smaller width cushions? We like the look of less cushions but maybe they’re less durable over time or more likely to sag?

      • The 2.0 density Wave cushions feel wonderful when they’re brand new, and for at least 3 years after. But they eventually begin to lose their resiliency (ability to bounce back) and comfort. They need to be replaced at 5 – 7 years for most people.

        Replacing cushions is a big hassle with most furniture. Retailers have to communicate with the manufacturers. Manufacturers have to disrupt production to make replacement parts. You get charged a big amount to pay for all the inconvenience and time needed to complete the replacement process.

        When dealing with a Direct to Consumer manufacturer, it’s much simpler. The DTC manufacturer knows exactly what you bought and what is needed to replace your cushion (or cushion cover or other part.)

        It’s a very simple and quick process. They minimize the expense because they want you to be happy with their furniture and recommend it to others.

        On the other hand, I like cushions that don’t need to be replaced – ever.

        High quality coil spring cushions, especially those with 2.5 density foam, are very comfortable when new and they stay that way for 15+ years.

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