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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Quality rating: 8.5 / Value Ranking: 7.5

[Retailer selling online and through Showrooms.]

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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 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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”

  1. Hi Jeff, I found your blog a while ago when I stumbled upon a comment you made on Reddit about sofa fabrics. I’ve learned so much from your blog when I was looking for a couch to buy.

    I ultimately went with medley because of the great value and you rated them so highly. We ordered our couch back in May and now 6 months later we still haven’t received it with another missed ship date.

    I want to caution other people from buying from medley because of delay after delay. A factor I wish I had considered was size of the company. It seems like this is a smaller company who struggles to deliver on time and if I had known before, I would’ve opted for a different company to purchase from.

    • Thank you for telling me this.

      I am going to contact Medley Home right now, and have them contact you about what is happening with your order.
      It’s 5 PM the day before Thanksgiving right now, but if you do not hear from them by next Tuesday, please let me know.

      One of the services I provide to my readers is making sure that they get top quality furniture and service from any brand I recommend.

      Update (5:05 PM Nov. 22, 2023) – I just sent an email to Hattie at hattie@medleyhome.com She is in charge of Medley Home’s customer service.
      It’s 3 hours earlier in California, so hopefully she will see my email before the end of today.

      I didn’t have your name, but provided Hattie with your email address so she should be able to identify you from that.

      Please keep me updated on what you hear from Hattie.

    • Yes, I have done several reviews of cheaper modular sectionals. Some of those reviews were published on Reddit.

      In general, all of the lower cost modular sectionals have the same problem. To get to a competitive price, they have to use cheap foam for the seat cushions.

      The cushions wear out within 3 years in most cases. Sometimes within one year.

      Often, they leave out key components such as seat foundations.

      All modular sectionals with storage (and some others) have cushions supported only by thin pieces of plywood. This wears out the cushions even sooner, and results in an uncomfortably hard and uncomfortable seat, often within one year.

      A few brands, such as Home Reserve, have tried super firm cushions, that last a little longer, but are uncomfortable for many people.

      If Linsy Home and Honbay are what fits your budget, my best advice is to look at Costco and IKEA.

      IKEA has a few collections, including the Kivik and Finnala, that feature 6 inch thick pocketed coil cushions, padded with 2.0 and 2.2 density foam.

      The Kivik and Finnala are comfortable for most people, and the pocketed coil cushions last twice as long (6 – 10 years) than the cheap foam cushions used by Linsy, Honbay and other brands selling cheap modular sectionals.

      IKEA’s frames are poor quality, but will usually hold up for at least 10 years.

      Some of the other cheap sectionals, such as Belffin, have attempted to use pocketed coil cushions, but because they don’t use enough high quality foam padding, the seats have been uncomfortably firm.

      Belffin eventually changed to cheap foam cushions. They don’t last as long, but they felt a lot better when the furniture was new.

      Costco sometimes offers pocketed coil sectionals which rival IKEA for comfort and quality, but Costco has two other advantages:

      1) Costco has possibly the lowest profit margin (markup from manufacturer’s cost) of any furniture retailer.

      2) Costco has the best warranty in the entire furniture industry. Their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee states that you can return their furniture for a full refund, for any reason, no matter how long you have owned the furniture.

      With that gurarantee, if you buy a cheap sectional, and it doesn’t hold up, it can be returned for a full refund. (The return procedure is surprisingly easy.)

  2. Hi, as a second time couch shopper in a NYC apartment, looking for couches is extremely overwhelming. I really appreciate your expertise!

    My wife and I are looking for a sectional under 101 inches and under $2500 and having a hard time finding something interesting, comfortable, and durable. We found the Peyton on Apt2B but there are no reviews to be found.

    Do you have any knowledge of this sofa? Or recommendations for alternatives? Thanks for all your help!

    • Sorry for the delayed response. I just found your comment in the Spam folder.

      Apt2B furniture falls into two categories. The lower priced products, including the Peyton, are imported. The problem with these items are that the seat cushions are made with 1.8 density foam and have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years. If you weigh more than 225 lbs., the lifespan of the cushions decreases to 1 to 2 years.

      There are many other brands that make similarly styled sectionals at similar prices with similar cushions.

      If you need to stay under $2500 you have two good options:

      IKEA’s 99″ Finnala sofa with chaise is priced around $1599 The price varies depending on fabric.

      What makes IKEA superior to the Apt2B sectional is the pocketed coil seat cushions. These will hold up for 8 – 10 years, twice as long as the 1.8 density foam cushions found on most sectionals in this price range.

      IKEA’s frames are poor quality, but should still remain functional for at least 10 years.

      Another possible choice is Costco’s Raylin sectional with chaise – $1299

      This sectional measures 121″, but if you don’t use the corner piece (and put it somewhere else in the room) the sectional will fit below 101″.

      The Raylin also has pocketed coil cushions.

      There are two excellent reasons for buying from Costco.

      1) Costco’s profit margins (markup above manufacturer’s cost) is the lowest in the furniture industry. (IKEA also has lower than average profit margins.)

      2) Costco has the world’s best return policy for furniture. The 100% Satisfaction Guarantee states that Costco furniture can be returned for a full refund, for any reason, no matter how long you have owned the furniture.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    Excellent content. Will you be commenting on any Black Friday deals (especially if some sofas/sectionals deals pertain to your list)?

    • Black Friday is a good time for Sales from stores and online retailers.

      What you need to be aware of is that most Sales for seating offer a “real” discount of around 10%, even when they appear to be offering 40% or 50% or higher discounts. See Furniture Store Discounts: Are 50% Off Sale Prices Real or Phony?

      Mattresses are a special case. I have a separate article devoted to mattress “discounts.” See Comparing Mattress: Are 50% Off Discounts Really Bargains?

      Many of the brands I recommend most frequently are DTC (Direct to Consumer) Online Manufacturers. That is not the same thing as Online Retailers who “ship direct from the factory.”

      DreamSofa, Mantle Furniture, Medley Home, and Simplicity Sofas are all DTC manufacturers. (Hydeline is both a DTC manufacturer and an online retailer.)

      DTC brands may offer special discounts occasionally, but so far I’ve never seen one that exceeds the Special Discounts they offer to my readers.

      No furniture companies allow customers to use two different discounts for the same purchase.

      There are several reasons why I recommend DTC custom manufacturers so frequently.

      1) DTC custom manufacturers make higher quality furniture, built to last 15+ years.

      Most sofas and sectionals sold by stores and online retailers are made with 1.8 or 2.0 density foam cushions.

      Many factors determine the actual lifespan of foam cushions. (See What is the Difference Between Foam Firmness & Density?)

      But most 1.8 density foam cushions will have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years. 2.0 density cushions will last 1 or 2 years longer.

      Some better quality retail chains may offer a few models with superior cushions that will last 10+ years, but most will have 1.8 or 2.0 density foam cushions.

      The DTC furniture manufacturers all offer seat cushions with either 2.5 density foam or coil spring construction, built to last 15+ years.

      All of the DTC manufacturers also offer highly durable frames and foundations, built to last 15+ years.

      2) DTC manufacturers offer better value.

      Bypassing retailers allows them to sell at lower prices and make higher profits at the same time.

      Important Note: There are many online retailers who try to fool shoppers into thinking they are manufacturers. One way to tell the difference is that genuine manufacturers offer a wide range of custom options (beyond the choice of a few fabrics.)

      There are a few retailers who do have lower profit margins than other furniture sellers. Costco and IKEA are two companies with substantially lower overall markups from manufacturers’ cost.

      On the other hand, there are some retailers that have higher than normal markups from manufacturer’s costs.

      Restoration Hardware and Macy’s are two of the biggest culprits. Macy’s Sale prices tend to look spectacular during major Sales events like Black Friday, but they’re discounting from “Regular prices” that are 10 – 20% higher than most furniture retailers.

      3) Special Discounts.

      Several of the brands I frequently recommend offer Special Discounts that are not available to the general public.

      DTC manufacturers sell primarily through interior design professionals and professional “influencers” who get paid for referring customers. Most influencers are paid “per click” while interior designers are paid for actual sales.

      I do not accept payment from any of the companies I write about. Instead, I ask that these companies take the money they would normally pay to me for referring customers and instead offer it as a discount to my readers.

      I solicit these discounts only from brands that I already recommend and that make high quality furniture, built to last 10+ or 15+ years.

      No discounts are solicited from brands that do not meet my criteria for outstanding quality and value.

      I receive compensation from ads placed on my website. These ads are placed through an automated service, Ezoic. I never see the ads and don’t even know who is placing them.

      I’m told the ads are largely generated by the reader’s profile and interests, and usually have very little to do with the subject matter of my reviews and articles.

  4. Hello. On the DreamSofa, you recommend “Plush” cushions. On the website, I see “Cloud”, “Wave” or “Performance” for the cushion choices. Is “Wave” close to “Plush” as you described? Do you still recommend DreamSofa?

    • In my opinion DreamSofa offers the best value in the furniture industry for high end custom-built sofas and sectionals made to last 15 – 20+ years.

      If you buy this brand with 1.8 or 2.0 density cushions, you are wasting your money. There are much cheaper brands that will last just as long.

      DreamSofa has two cushion options that will last at least 15 years. The BenchMade extra-firm cushions are more suitable for heavy-duty commercial use.

      The Plush cushions are fabricated with coil spring cores surrounded by 2.5 density high resiliency Reflex foam. They are extremely comfortable and will maintain that comfort for 15 – 20+ years.

      This is, by far, the best value if you are purchasing furniture from DreamSofa.

      The Plush cushion option is only $100 more than the 2.2 density Performance cushions, which last only 1/2 as long. They are only $200 more than the 2.0 density Wave cushions and will last 3x as long.

      Cloud cushions are 1.8 density. I do not recommend those under any circumstances and have negotiated a Free upgrade to the Wave cushions for my readers.

  5. Hi Jeff! I love this extensive couch review blog post and I’m so happy I came across it (thru this Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/furniture/comments/12pdqh1/which_brand_would_you_recommed_for_buying_a/). I’m a first-time couch/sectional buyer and want to know my money going to a quality item. This is the most expensive furniture I’ve bought to date and from reading your blog, I’ve narrowed it down to these brands and choices:
    DreamSofa in Calgary: https://www.dreamsofa.com/product/panel/calgary-catalina-linen-panel/ (good $$ value compared to the other ones I chose)
    3 from Joybird in Holt (w/ bumper and petite+storage ottoman), Bryant and Miller: https://joybird.com/modular-sectional-with-bumpers/holt-modular-sectional-with-bumper/ ;; https://joybird.com/ottomans/holt-petite-modular-sectional-with-storage-ottoman/?fabric=essence-ash ;; https://joybird.com/modular-sectionals/bryant-modular-sectional/ ;; https://joybird.com/sectionals/miller-sectional/ (I feel like joybird has the best in choices and $$ value)
    Mantle Furniture in Burke: https://mantlefurniture.com/products/burke-sectional?variant=40368617324725&fabric-color=XHTWALM&wood-finishes=Cashew (~$5k a little on the pricey side)
    3 from CiscoHome in Louis, Rebecca and Agosto: https://ciscohome.net/collections/sectionals/products/louis-2pc-sectional ;; https://ciscohome.net/collections/sectionals/products/rebecca-deluxe-2pc-sectional ;; https://ciscohome.net/collections/sectionals/products/agosto-2pc-sectional (they dont have prices on the website so im guessing these will be high $$ value)

    As you’ve stated, my concern is the quality of cushions over time. I feel like some of my choices have down alternative (like the cloud couch) and I forsure don’t want that but I do have a hard time eliminating which ones might be an issue with the ones I’ve chosen above. I’m also very cognizant about value/quality and just want peace of mind that the money I’m spending is justified on the product I’ll be using everyday (a BIFL purchase). Thank you so much for your time and knowledge on this subject, know that your effort here has been so useful to me and so many others (as seen in the comments). Please let me know what you think!!

    • When Joybird first appeared in 2014, it was an innovative Direct to Consumer manufacturer providing good quality products at very reasonable prices.

      Since being acquired in 2018 by LaZBoy, having the production moved from Los Angeles to Tijuana, Mexico, and opening up retail stores, it isn’t the same company.

      Prices have drastically increased while quality has steadily decreased. 

      The company uses 2.0 density foam for its cushions (which is theoretically better than the 1.8 density foam used by many of its competitors) but the cushions are still likely to wear out in less than 5 years for many customers (and often long before that.)

      If you check independent review sites, Joybird has a high percentage of very poor reviews for both customer service and product quality. For example:

      Better Business Bureau – Joybird #1
      Better Business Bureau – Joybird #2
      Yelp Reviews – Joybird

      Cisco Home (Also known as Cisco Brothers) is a high quality custom manufacturer, with a factory in Los Angeles.

      I think that, after you research the pricing, you will find that Cisco is considerably more expensive than the other brands you are looking at.

      Mantle Furniture makes very comfortable, high quality 8 way hand tied seating. 

      Mantle can get expensive, especially when you upgrade to their 2.55 density Qualux foam cushions, which should last for 15+ years.

      Qualux foam is probably the best quality seat cushion foam currently available. Mantle’s standard cushions are 2.05 density Qualux.

      Although the 2.05 density Qualux foam will probably hold up nearly twice as long as Joybird’s Mexican made 2.0 density foam, Mantle’s optional 2.55 density Qualux cushion upgrade will last twice as long as its standard cushions.

      It’s worth the extra few hundred dollars to get the upgraded 2.55 density Qualux cushions that will remain comfortable for 15+ years.

      DreamSofa is, by far, the best value among high quality, custom-built sofa brands.

      Their furniture is built  to look and feel good for 15+ years (if you get the top quality Plush cushion option!)

      DreamSofa’s Plush cushions have a coil spring center core surrounded by 2.5 density medium firm foam. They should maintain their “as new” comfort for 15+ years.

      Even with the top grade Plush cushions, DreamSofa may be less expensive (and far more comfortable) than many of the Joybird styles that will last less than half as long.

  6. Hi Jeff! Any thoughts on Four Hands? They look to be a small, NC based company, but I can’t find any info on their website about their building techniques.

    • Four hands is not a small NC based company. The company is primarily a wholesaler providing curated designs to large retail chains, independent regional stores and interior designers. It also owns a Four Hands retail store in Austin, TX.

      Commercial customers have access to nearly 6,000 products, made worldwide (mostly in Southeast Asia) which include pieces for living and dining room, art and lighting, and more.

      In April 2023, Four hands introduced its “Crafted in the USA Collection,” made in North Carolina and Mississippi.

      The collection consists of 50 pieces, mostly upholstered furniture. Some pieces are slipcovered. Others are not. There is very little information available about who is making this furniture or any construction details.

      • As I responded to Jamie,

        Four hands is not a small NC based company. The company is primarily a wholesaler providing curated designs to large retail chains, independent regional stores and interior designers. It also owns a Four Hands retail store in Austin, TX.

        Commercial customers have access to nearly 6,000 products, made worldwide (mostly in Southeast Asia) which include pieces for living and dining room, art and lighting, and more.

        In April 2023, Four hands introduced its “Crafted in the USA Collection,” made in North Carolina and Mississippi.

        The collection consists of 50 pieces, mostly upholstered furniture. Some pieces are slipcovered. Others are not. There is very little information available about who is making this furniture or any construction details.

  7. Hi Jeff, thank you for this excellent resource, I have learned so much about sofas. I am in the market for a modular sectional similar to the Lovesac Sactional as I’m not in my permanent home yet and would like to add/reshape the couch to fit future rooms. Additionally, I like how the modular couches can be rearranged to form a bed to sleep guests occasionally. That being said, I have not found modular couches to be as comfortable as sectionals with chaise, especially the back but I thought the Lovesac Sactional was decent comfort in the standard cushion. But the price is high and I’m worried about the durability.

    A sleeper sectional would be ideal but every sleeper I’ve tried in stores has had very uncomfortable seating (I assume due to the mechanism under the cushions. I like the comfort of the Crate and Barrel Axis(saw your concern about the flexolator suspension), and the Ethan Allen Spencer with firm cushions(expensive and very long lead time).

    Do you have any recommendation for me around $3000 for a modular sectional that can be converted into a bed or a comfortable sectional sofa sleeper?
    Around 110″ x 80″ footprint max, less than 6 weeks lead time.

    I am also considering a sectional with chaise(RAF) and just having an air mattress on hand for guests.

    • Modular seating is more expensive to make than non-modular seating of the same size.

      Any modular seating you find with a sleeper that’s available for less than $3000 won’t be comfortable, and won’t last longer than about 3 years. There’s also a problem in that the size you’re looking for 110 x 80 isn’t very common for mass produced sectionals or sofa with chaise.

      The closest I can come to a durable, comfortable 110 x 80 sofa with chaise is about $3500. For that price, there’s a Direct to Consumer custom manufacturer, who can make you a sectional that will look and feel comfortable for 15+ years. They can also do a built in queen sleeper for another $1000.

      You can cut down on the cost of the sleeper with an Air bed. The Endura Ease queen size air bed is very comfortable and takes up far less space in the room than a normal air bed. (Part of the Endura Ease fits over the sofa deck, so it doesn’t stick out into the room as far.)

      On the Endura Ease website, there’s a link to “Watch Video” that shows exactly how this works. The price is $280, which includes an electric pump which inflates the bed in about 3 minutes..

  8. Hi Jeff, thank you so much for this resource! I fell in love with a couch at Living Spaces but after reading reviews/online the quality is a red flag. Looking for matching alternatives.

    Specifically I’d like your input on a new line from Apt2b — the “Huxley” collection. They have a well-reviewed Monroe sectional thats quite close to what im looking for, but the dimensions (and price…) of the huxley fit my space better. However, the no reviews for Huxley are a red flag. Is this line likely to be the same quality as the Monroe? Would I be better off with the monroe instead of risking the Huxley?

    Monroe: https://www.apt2b.com/products/the-monroe-3pc-sectional-pecan-raf?variant=40318073864281
    Huxley: https://www.apt2b.com/products/huxley-3pc-curved-l-sectional-sofa-two-arms?variant=40158426824793&no-animation

    Living spaces couch I liked: https://www.livingspaces.com/pdp-chill-iii-3-piece-sectional-with-right-facing-bumper-chaise-254973?_br_psugg_q=chill+iii&query=chill%20iii

    Thank you so much!

    • Both the Monroe and Huxley are made for Apt2B by a Los Angeles, CA custom manufacturer, DreamSofa.

      DreamSofa also sells Direct to Consumer. Their website lists over 100 sectional styles and they can also make custom designs.

      This is a high end manufacturer. If you get one of their top cushion options, either the 2.5 density foam or the “Plush” (Coil spring core surrounded by medium firm 2.5 density foam), their sectionals will look good and feel very comfortable for 15+ years. The Plush cushion is not listed on the website. They make it for my readers because I requested a comfortable, medium firm cushion that would last 15+ years.

      Since DreamSofa is a custom manufacturer, they can also do a lot of sizes, shapes, and other options that are not listed on the website.

      Apt2B has its own designs that it buys from DreamSofa and uses its own fabrics. Since Apt2B buys so much, they get very good pricing. This is high end seating. The frames and foundation are built to last 15+ years.

      The only problem with Apt2B is that their sectionals are available only with the 2.0 density foam cushion option. This has an estimated (comfortable) lifespan of only 6 – 8 years, about 1/2 as long as DreamSofa’s top cushion options (which are priced on the DreamSofa website with a $200 upcharge.)

      The best way to shop the DreamSofa website, is to pick out sectionals that come close to what you are looking for, and then contact their Sales Manager, Ryan Giordano, at ryan@dreamsofa.com.

      Ryan can then tell you what is possible to make the sectional exactly what you really want.

      The end result will probably cost more than Apt2B, but the 15+ year Plush cushions make it worth the extra cost.

      Living Spaces sectionals are far lower quality, in both frames and cushions. The average life expectancy is about 3 – 5 years. If anyone who uses the furniture regularly weighs 250 lbs. or more, the life expectancy is closer to 1 – 2 years.

    • Hi David,

      I purchased the Costco Raylin sectional in September 2022 and the fabric has worn horribly and is already creaking. It pills and looks pretty bad. Also, my 5 year old mainly sits in the back corner and it is worn down much more than the others cushions. I will say that the plus is I was still able to return it for a full refund—Costco even reached out with options to return at no charge or to keep it and get “compensation” either in the form of a store credit or refund to the original purchase method. I’m not sure what that would have come out to because we decided to return.

      Wanted to give my input in case you were still considering!

      Also, thank you SO much Jeff! Your posts have been incredibly helpful as I look to replace the Costco Raylin.

      • This is why I recommend Costco so enthusiastically.

        Most low priced sofas, sectionals, and recliners (and a lot of mid-range upholstered seating as well) fall apart or lose their looks and comfort in less than 5 years. Many fail within 1 to 3 years.

        Although Costco’s furniture is covered by a standard warranty similar to other furniture sellers, it is superseded by the store’s 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranty.

        This guarantee states that Costco will “guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell,” and also “refund your purchase price.” There is no time limit on this guarantee!

        Furniture warranties are written by attorneys hired by the furniture companies to protect “them” not “you.”

        Customer service personnel are trained to delay initial action in most cases. Half of all customer complaints are not followed up if the first attempt is not successful.

        Warranties are loaded with hidden exclusionary clauses that absolve the furniture companies from liability for the things most likely to go wrong.

        Does your frame have a “limited” lifetime warranty? That sounds great, until they point out the clause that says after the first year, you are responsible for all shipping and labor costs. Those costs can amount to hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.

        Are your 5 year warranty cushions getting flat and out of shape less than 6 months after you started using the furniture? Your customer service representative will point out that flattened cushions are considered “normal wear” and not covered under the warranty.

        Extended warranties are the single most profitable item that furniture stores (and online retailers) sell.

        You pay the furniture retailer for the warranty and simultaneously relieve them of the costs for servicing your furniture after the first year.

        They keep 1/3 of what you’ve paid. The rest goes to a 3rd party subcontractor who becomes responsible for any servicing or repairs. They need to make a profit from 2/3 of the amount you paid.

        If furniture retailers felt they could earn a profit by servicing your warranty for the amount you pay, they would not need a 3rd party subcontractor.

        Yet, the 3rd party subcontractor needs to earn a profit on 2/3 of that amount.

        The best (and only) way for them to make that profit is to do as little servicing and repairing as possible. They also need to pay their customer service and repair people as little as possible.

        Customers often complain about how long it takes to get their furniture serviced under extended warranties. 3rd party repair companies reduce costs by hiring the minimum number of repair people needed. (Sometimes they are below the minimum.)

        If you complain, they’re really not very concerned because you’re going to get mad at the store where you bought the furniture, not at them.From the store’s perspective, a few angry customers are well worth the money they earned by handing off responsibility for solving your problem to another company.

        For a detailed examination of what furniture warranties do and don’t cover, take a look at my detailed article, What do Furniture Warranties Really Protect?

        The article examines some real warranty documents line by line, showing how furniture companies remove themselves from liability for things you thought were covered.

  9. Hi Jeff!

    Fantastic living resource you’ve put together here! I have the opportunity to purchase two different sofas at a significant discount off retail. One is the Maiden Varick in performance velvet for under $1000. The other is from the now-closed Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams designer collaboration, called the Saturday Sofa, with their “signature blend poly” seat cushion in mohair for under $3000. The Saturday Sofa is made in NC and has a single bench cushion, much like the Varick. I know that the Varick has 8-way hand tied springs, but I don’t know how the cushions for each stack up against each other.

    What are your thoughts between the two, especially considering the difference in price?

    • Both are excellent values, but the Varick for less than $1000 is an astonishing price, assuming the sofa is new.

      The cushions are similar on both, except that the Varick is supposed to have “tie-downs” which prevent the long bench cushion from “smiling” (turning up at the edges when someone sits in the middle.)

      For me, it’s not a difficult decision. The Varick at less than $1000 is the clear winner.

      • Thank you for your reply! I took your advice and grabbed the Varick today. It was a customer return, no damage, from one of those transport liquidators? And it was actually $750 : ) I definitely feel like I got quite a steal!

  10. Hi Jeff,

    Your site is awesome. I found you through some reddit comments and I’m so glad we came across your blog.

    We’ve been couch shopping for a minute now and almost purchased an IKEA Finnala Sectional for our large space. the only thing holding us back is the dimensions. The height feels rather short and the seat depth is rather shallow and we feel it would be dwarfed by our 500sq ft living room with 12 ft ceilings.

    We were looking at the one sofa set at Living Spaces with 2.0 cushion density:


    When the thought came to mind: what really is stopping us from just buying a sofa with a good foundation/frame and fantastic upholstery and just replacing the cushions with 2.2/2.5 density foam cushions ourselves as the original cushions give out; assuming we ensure we purchase one which would allow us to access them and had cushions in a generic shape? (the Japandi from Living Spaces up above fit this criteria and after a brief look on Amazon, we estimated we could get 2.2 density foam cushions for $210)

    Assuming we’re not off our rockers, do you have any recommendations for furniture companies that blow it out of the water when it comes to quality upholstery? We mean in terms of look, feel, durability, and color choice.

    (For instance, my parents had this Macy’s Radley sofa in chrome beige and despite being a light color, it was insanely easy to keep clean!)

    • The LivingSpaces Japandi 93″ sofa at $1095 is a good value for what it is.

      The problem is that what it is includes cushions that will probably wear out within 3 years.

      Solid core 2.0 density foam cushions have an average lifespan of 4 – 6 years. But those cushions have a 5 inch solid 2.0 foam slab with a 1 inch thick Dacron polyester wrapping around the foam core.

      That’s not what you have here!

      The cushions are described as “high-density foam cores wrapped in down-alternative blown fiber-filled bags.”

      The “down-alternative blown fiber filled bags” that replace the Dacron polyester fiber wrap are much thicker than 1 inch. They may be anywhere from 2 – 3 inches thick and there is a “bag” on each side of the foam center core.

      That means instead of having a normal 5 inch foam core, the 2.0 density foam will actually be only 3 or 4 inches thick.

      Although “down-alternative blown fiber-filled bags” are commonly used for back cushions, it is very rare to see them in seat cushions.

      Fiber-filled bags have almost no resilience.

      That’s not a big problem for back cushions which don’t need to withstand much pressure.

      It’s a much bigger problem when there is a lot of pressure, like when someone sits on them.

      Those fiber filled bags collapse very quickly. The cushions look terrible and need to be “fluffed” every time you get up.

      The thin foam core wears down much more quickly, making the cushions uncomfortable in a much shorter time span than if a thicker foam was used.

      There are two reasons for making seat cushions this way.

    • Foam costs far more than blown fiber. By reducing the amount of foam, the manufacturer saves about $10 per cushion, which translates to about $30 per cushion at the retail level.
    • The seat cushions will feel softer (and more comfortable) when the sofa is new. That extra comfort will be gone within one year.
    • Currently, “soft” seat cushions are a big fad, which I believe will end within a few years when enough people discover how quickly they wear out.

      Very few people buy replacement seat cushions for sofas that cost less than $3000.

      The cost is higher than you think. Good quality 2.5 density foam cores can run $200 per seat if installed by a local upholsterer.

      If you try to replace the cores yourself, using foam purchased through Amazon or some other online source, there is a high probability that the new cushion cores won’t fit properly.

      For example, if your seat cushions measure 24 inches wide x 27 inches deep x 8 inches high, a replacement foam core measuring 24 x 27 will be too small. The foam slab must start off larger than the final cushion size in order to fit into the cover properly.

      The fabric cover is always sewn smaller than the foam dimensions to give the cushions a crown (high rounded look.)

      If the total height of the cushions is 8 inches, you will probably need a 5 inch thick piece of foam. If the cushions are 8.5 inches thick, you may need a 5.5 inch thick foam core.

      Getting the old cushion cores out is usually fairly simple, but re-stuffing a new cushion core properly will be impossible for most unskilled people if the cushion zippers do not go all the way across the back and part way up the sides.

      Most zippers on inexpensive sofas are much smaller and go only part way across the back. At the factory, cores are stuffed through small zippers using hydraulic mechines.

      Stuffing cores by hand requires tremendous finger and wrist strength. When the zippers are small, it can take an experienced professional 10 or 15 minutes per cushion to get the corners filled out properly so that the cushions don’t look lumpy and lopsided.

      If your budget allows you to go up to $2000 for a sofa, take a look at DreamSofa.com

      These are high quality custom-built sofas. If you get the top grade Plush cushions (coil spring cores surrounded by 2.5 density foam) the sofa will look good and feel comfortable for 15 – 20+ years.

      Most sofas built to last for 15+ years start around $3000, but DreamSofa (a Los Angeles Direct to Consumer manufacturer) is an unusual value.

      You can also check out the Hydeline Alby sofa, on Sale for $1397. This is a Closeout sofa in an Almond White fabric, made with pocketed coil cushions padded by 2.25 density and memory foam layers. It is extremely durable, and will remain very comfortable for 10+ years.

  11. Hi Jeff,
    This has been an amazing resource. I am looking for a modular couch (around 90″ in width) for my apartment and saw in a reddit post that you recommended the Belffin model from amazon. I saw here that you no longer endorse them as they changed their builds (how so?). I am looking to stay under $2000 ideally and to find a couch that isn’t a complete fur magnet (two double coated dogs). Any insight would be extremely helpful.

    • Justin,
      The biggest problem with the Belffin is that they changed the cushions from pocketed coil to foam.

      The original pocketed coil cushions lasted 6 – 10 years, but were uncomfortably firm for many people when new.

      The new foam cushions will feel very comfortable for 1 year and then rapidly deteriorate until they are uncomfortable within 3 – 5 years.

      If someone in your family weighs 250 lbs. or more, the foam cushions will probably wear out within 1 year.

      If you would like me to make specific recommendations for you, I need some additional information.

    • Does the couch need to be modular, or are you looking for a sofa with chaise or a sectional?
    • How many seats do you need?
    • Does the sectional need to be modular (each seat is an individual piece), or will a non-modular sectional work?
    • What configuration do you prefer? (L-shape, U-shape?, L-shape with chaise, etc.)
    • Without that additional information, my best advice is to go to Costco.

      Some Costco sofas and sectionals come with pocketed coil cushions, which should last 6 – 10 years.
      They are thicker than the Belffin, so shouldn’t be as firm.

      Most of the Costco sectionals will have foam cushions.

      Costco’s website will have some sectionals that can be ordered online, but the individual stores may have other styles that are not shown online.

      Although the foam cushions may wear out within 3 – 5 years, Costco has a 100% Satisfaction Guaranty, which allows you to return your furniture for any reason, no matter how long you have owned it.

  12. Jeff – This guide is so great! It’s really got me reconsidering my sofa choice though. My top choice for the past couple of weeks has been the La-Z-Boy Paxton sectional. I’ve owned La-z-boy’s before and been fine with the quality, but the more I read about them the less I like the idea. Ideally, I’d get it a L shape with a chase on the left side with a width of ~127″ and the right side being somewhere around 150″ and the fabric I like is on sale for practically half off. I’d need a performance fabric because I have a couple of dogs. After reading your guide I’ve been considering the dream sofa and getting something custom. Are there any other brands you think I should consider based on the size of sectional and configuration? I’d be willing to spend up $6,500 on the right thing, but I’d really like it to last as long as possible. I also prefer deep couches with soft cushions.


    • What price did LaZBoy quote for a 127 x 150 Paxton sectional with a chaise?

      The $8744 price on the link you sent me seems to be for a smaller 6 pc. sectional without the chaise.

      The size you’re looking for (with the chaise) looks as though it will cost at least $2000 more. That doesn’t include the upgraded cushions.

      LaZBoy’s standard cushions have an average 5 year lifespan. Their upgraded cushions should last closer to 10 years, but with an additional cost of about $200 per seat. I think you’ll need 7 seats to meet your size specifications.

      DreamSofa should be several thousand dollars below LaZBoy for a 127 x 150 sectional with chaise. If you get a top grade high performance fabric, and the Plush cushion option (coil spring core surrounded by 2.5 density foam), the sectional should last 15+ years.

      The Plush cushions are medium-firm. DreamSofa can give you softer cushions, but they won’t last 15+ years.

      Depending on how many special modifications you request, there is a good chance that DreamSofa’s price will be at or under the $6500 price you are looking for.

      Contact DreamSofa’s Sales manager, Ryan Giordano at ryan@dreamsofa.com. Tell him what you want. Ryan will design a custom sectional that meets your exact requirements.

  13. Hi Jeff – thank you for this incredible resource! I live in NYC and have been sitting on all the couches I possibly can to determine comfort, but have learned so much from this post. After trying in the showroom, I had been considering the Room & Board Metro and Crate & Barrel Axis or Lounge, but am reconsidering based on your comments about flexolators and durability. Right now I am highly considering the Jones or Varick from Maiden Home, and am wondering if you have looked into the brand any more than previously mentioned? Design-wise I prefer the Jones, but it looks like the Jones has inner spring coils vs. eight-way hand-tied springs for the Varick. In your opinion, is this enough to go with the Varick? I can’t seem to find anything on foam density.

    I also wanted to ask about another brand that had not been mentioned here – Castlery. Do you have any insight on their quality? I am looking at the Jonathan sofa but cannot try in person.

    Thanks so much for any thoughts!

    • The Maiden Home Varick and Jones are superior in quality to the Room & Board and Crate & Barrel couches you have listed.

      Between the Jones and Varick, my personal preference is the Jones. These two couches have fundamentally different constructions. 

      The Varick’s 8 way hand tied foundation is superior to the Jones’ rubberized webbing. The Jones’ Spring Down cushion construction is superior to the Varick’s soft 1.8 density “high resiliency” cushions.

      The Jones Spring Down cushions should provide you with very comfortable seating for 15+ years. The rubberized webbing foundation won’t add any comfort, but it should also hold up for 15+ years.

      The Varick’s seat cushions are softer. For maximum comfort, soft cushions need the more expensive 8 way hand tied foundation.

      The problem is that, although the 8 way foundation will probably last 20+ years, the soft 1.8 density high resiliency foam cushions will need replacement within 6 – 8 years. 

      Foam cushions don’t suddenly fail all at once. They begin breaking down the first day you use them.

      Within a year or two, you will notice a slight decrease in comfort. That slight discomfort will steadily increase until the cushions become so uncomfortable that they need replacement, probably within 6 – 8 years.

      At that point, most people decide to buy a new couch rather than replace the seat cushions.

      My priority is recommending furniture that you will enjoy for a very long time, at a reasonable price. I feel the Jones meets that goal and the Varick does not.

      Many interior designers and retailers will probably disagree with me. They can point to the 8 way hand tied foundation as the traditional “gold standard” that separates high end seating from lesser quality. 

      They have a vested interest in selling furniture to you that needs replacement after a limited time period. If the furniture still looks good and remains comfortable for the next 15 – 20+ years, that reduces the retailers’ sales and the interior designer’s opportunity to work with you again.

      Note: Adding an 8 way hand tied foundation to the Jones would result in very little benefit for the extra cost. The Spring Down cushions’ Marshall coil springs are self supporting. You won’t feel the foundation underneath. 

      In contrast, with a soft, high resilience foam cushion, you will feel whatever foundation is underneath that cushion. That’s when 8 way hand tied seat supports are needed.

      I don’t have an opinion on the Castlery Jonathan. The description sounds as though it may be OK as an under $2000 couch, but there are too many questions I have that the company hasn’t given me an answer on. I will need to see an actual sample before I can make a judgement on this sofa.

    • If you read the previous comment and response, while I feel that the $2599 price is an excellent value in the Capricorn fabric, that fabric sounds very delicate and difficult to clean.

      I feel safer recommending this sectional with a high performance fabric, like the Crypton Nomad, at the $600 higher price.

  14. Thoughts on the Coburn Four Piece Sectional from Arhaus?

    Not jazzed on the price-tag but compared to their other offerings, seems like a decent deal. What am I missing?

    • At the $2599 Sale price, it sounds like a good value.

      I can’t tell how much foam is in these cushions, but if the foam cores are at least 6 inches thick, it should last for quite a while.

      I don’t know anything about the Capricorn fabric. There is no information about fabric content. It may be a special deal that helps bring down the price.

      It appears that Capricorn is not a highly stain-resistant fabric. There are special cleaning instructions that are different than for other fabrics available with the Arhaus Coburn.

      Pieces upholstered in Capricorn fabric are code S: Spot-clean using water-free cleaning solvents only. Do not use water or dry clean.

      Pieces upholstered in Capricorn fabric can be spot cleaned by removing residue with a straight edge, such as a butter knife or spoon.
      Then, blot clean using an absorbent undyed cloth.

      To prevent rings, blot from the outside of the soiled area, moving towards the middle. Never scrub.

      Allow to air-dry; and brush with a soft-bristle brush to restore fabric.

      • Thanks for the reply! The sale price is appealing but unfortunately my fiancee won’t have any part of that Capricorn Gray color so we’d likely be going for the Nomad Snow Crypton fabric @ the $3,199 price tag. (https://www.arhaus.com/products/coburn-four-piece-sectional?variant=41456571711659)

        Any insight on this particular fabric / couch at that price point? From what I remember, when we were in store they were touting it as highly stain-resistant but curious for an unbiased take.

      • Your fiancee has excellent judgement.

        The Crypton Nomad fabric is highly durable and extremely stain-resistant. It’s well worth the extra $600 cost.

        I feel much more comfortable recommending this sofa with the Crypton Nomad fabric than the cheaper version with the Capricorn fabric.

    • The Restoration Cloud Sofa is one of the biggest upholstered design innovations of the past decade.

      RH gets a huge profit margin for its Cloud Collection, and there are dozens of cheaper copycats.

      My prediction is that the “Cloud” craze will be completely gone within 3 years, including all the cheap knockoffs, and that thousands of people will be furious that they were conned into paying thousands of dollars for furniture that was unusable within 3 years.

      High end sofas featuring soft feather/down seat cushions used to be very popular prior to the 1950s when foam cushions first became widely available.

      At the time the “Cloud” Collection was introduced, feather/down cushions were being used in less than 1% of sofas sold in the U.S.

      That does not include the feathers and down used in Spring Down cushions, which are still very popular. The amount of expensive down used in Spring Down cushion toppers is negligible.

      There isn’t much filling used in those toppers, and what is used is only 5% to 10% down. The rest is cheap feathers that are almost as cheap as polyester fiber.

      The increase in comfort it provides, compared with cheap polyester fiber, is minimal. Many manufacturers have switched to Down-blend, in which half of the down and feathers are replaced by cheap polyester fiber. Very few (if any) customers can tell any difference in comfort.

      There are two major reasons why feather/down cushions lost their popularity.

      1) Down is very expensive. Comfortable high end feather/down cushions were filled with at least 25% down, and the most comfortable used goose down, not the cheaper duck down that is found in many of the feather/down cushions still being made.
      Each cushion made with 25% down/75% feathers currently costs hundreds of dollars more than the same size foam filled cushions. 50/50 down/feather cushions cost hundreds of dollars more.

      High quality down is an amazing thing. It has a high level of natural “loft.” It pushes outward and resists compression when you sit on it. That is important for both comfort and long-term durability.

      On the other hand, feathers are cheap. Depending on the type of feathers, they can cost about twice as much as polyester fill (which is extremely cheap) and they have a similar level of loft and comfort (with the negative factor that they sometimes work their way through the cushion covers.)

      Because of the cost, it is extremely rare to see feather/down cushions today with more than 10% down. They are nowhere near as comfortable as the old 25% down cushions. (They are a lot less expensive.)

      When Restoration Hardware first introduced its Cloud collection, all the ads and marketing materials and influencer reviews described it as having 100% down cushions.

      Gradually, that description shifted to 100% down/feather cushions.

      Here is the most recent description from RH: 

      Ultra-comfortable seat cushions feature a soft feather and down wrap around a high-resiliency foam core for softness, support and stability; coordinating back cushions are a blend of feathers, down and polyfiber

      That product description was not easy to find. You will not see it in any of the paid customer and influencer reviews.

      Did you notice that RH has decided to put some foam into their seat cushions?

      It probably won’t be enough to ensure that the cushions are comfortable for more than 3 years.

      I could not find any source that stated the percentage of down in the cushions. I would be astonished if it is more than 10%. I would not be surprised to find out that only 5% of the RH Cloud cushion fill is actually down.

      2) The second reason feather/down cushions lost their popularity is that they are too much work to maintain. 

      Cloud-type sofas with soft cushions are very high maintenance.

      Cushions stuffed only with feathers and down have zero resilience. They do not “bounce back” when you stand up. That means the cushions need to be “fluffed” every time you (or your family members or guests) get up after using the sofa.

      That gets very annoying very quickly for a lot of people.

      To see what the Restoration Cloud looks like if you don’t fluff it, see Impractical Home Decor – The Cloud Couch (Youtube video)

      If you look through reviews and complaints from Cloud purchasers, you can see dozens (hundreds?) of complaints about cushions that stopped feeling comfortable within a year.

      That wonderful softness quickly disappears when you have cushions filled with fluff that doesn’t resist your weight.

      High quality feather/down couches have 8 way hand tied spring foundations to soften the feel of the non-resilient cushions. Nobody uses sinuous wire foundations with real feather/down cushions.

      The RH Cloud uses a “pocketed spring” foundation. That’s better than the sinuous wire or just plain plywood panels (for knockoffs with storage underneath the seats) but it’s far firmer and less comfortable than 8 way hand-tied.

      The RH Cloud can become noticeably less comfortable within a year or two. The cheaper knockoffs can become uncomfortable within months (or weeks.)

      Note: According to the latest RH material, they have made a major change to their seat cushion construction.

      This change is not being widely publicized. Most people still think the cushions are “100% down” or “100% feather down.” which most people think is the same thing.

      My opinion is that the small amount of “high resilience foam” they are adding to the cushions will decrease the amount of “fluffing” needed, but won’t be enough to expand the lifespan of the cushions beyond 3 to 5 years.

  15. I was wondering if you happen to know if all Costco Thomasville and IKEA couches use the pocketed coil springs in their cushions? I’ve been eyeing the Thomasville Lowell and it actually doesn’t specify on its page what the cushions are made out of, like some of the other Thomasville couches do. I’m trying to contact Costco as well to find out. Here is the link to the couch:


    Thank you!

    • No, not all Thomasville couches and sectionals use the pocketed coil springs in their cushions.
      Less than half of IKEA seating groups use the pocketed coil cushions.

      In my opinion, the reason cheap foam cushions are so much more popular than pocketed coils is that they feel more comfortable (softer) when brand new in the showroom.

      That’s more important to most retailers than long-term durability.

      The fact that cheap foam cushions can become uncomfortable within 3 – 5 years is actually a benefit to many retailers.

      It brings shoppers back into the store to buy a new couch 5 years later, rather than 10 years later for seating with more durable cushions.

      There is very little cost difference, from the manufacturer’s viewpoint, between 1.8 density foam and pocketed coil spring cushions.

  16. Thanks for your thorough reply! (I don’t think I’m actually replying to your comment, couldn’t figure out how). I asked about Macy’s Radley vs Ikea’s Kivik and Costco’s Tisdale. I’m wondering if there is one you would recommend between the Kivik and Costco’s Tisdale, or are they fairly comparable in quality?

    I like Costco’s return policy, and probably prefer that couch overall (particularly the modularity). But the ability to remove and wash the Kivik’s covers might push me in that direction. Thanks!

    • Between the two, IKEA Kivik has a lot of reviews from people who have owned it for 8 – 10 years and still like it – very rare at that price.

      What keeps it comfortable longer than most other sectionals at similar prices are the 6 inch thick pocketed coil cushions.

      The Thomasville Tisdale also has pocketed coil cushions. I haven’t actually seen this as I don’t have a Costco near me.

      If the seat cushions are 6 inches thick, then it will have seat cushions very similar to the Kivik.

      The only potential concern is that this sectional has storage underneath. That might make it firmer (less comfortable) than the Kivik, but I don’t know that without sitting on it.

      Since it comes from Costco, if you try it out and find it’s not comfortable, you can send it back for a full refund.

  17. Thank for providing this amazing resource! I was wondering if you have an opinion on the Radley sofa sold through Macy’s:


    I really like the style and how many color options there are (I favor the red). I also like the “wedge” piece in the corner, which seems to make that space more usable. I’m just not sure about the quality of the sofa.

    I’m looking at sectionals in the $2,000 or under range (may be willing to go up to $3,000 if we found something we loved that would be far better quality than these), and the other ones I have my eye on are Costco’s Thomasville Tisdale (I love the modularity and it looks large and comfy) and Ikea’s Kivik sectional.

    Costco’s Thomasville was my frontrunner, but the ability to remove and wash the covers on Ikea’s Kivik is swaying me in that direction. The Thomasville looks more comfortable with thicker cushions, but hard to tell when just browsing online. I saw that you had recommended the Belffin Modular Sectional in a Reddit comment and I am intrigued by that one as well (love the modularity), but again, doesn’t look quite as comfy/loungey as these others.

    Thank you!

    • The first thing you need to know about Macy’s is that the high crossed-out price is completely fictitious. Furniture is almost never sold at the high comparative price listed, but a few retailers, including Macy’s and Restoration Hardware artificially inflate their prices more than other furniture sellers.

      I managed a Macy’s furniture department for one year a long time ago.

      The Radley 3 seat sectional + chaise priced at $1999 appears to have a 44% discount. It’s actually about 10% off from what you would expect to pay in a furniture store at a normal mark up.

      If you look next to the crossed out price, there is a little link labeled “details.” If you click on that link, and then click on the next link labeled, “pricing policy,” it explains, in great detail, about how “Savings are Based On Offering Prices, Not Actual Sales.”

      The reason Macy’s details this pricing policy where other furniture sellers don’t, is that the company was determined to have violated truth in advertising regulations. As part of the settlement, Macy’s was required to specifically detail their pricing policy.

      Macy’s Radley is not well-built furniture. It will have an average lifespan of 3 – 5 years before the foam cushions lose their shape, resilience, and comfort.

      Frame: The website describes this as “Hardwood & pine frame.” The description “hardwood” without saying “solid hardwood” indicates that this is hardwood plywood. That’s not necessarily bad, as long as they are using 7/8″ thick plywood with 5 – 7 plies. A lot of the Asian imports (similar to Radley) are using 3/4 inch plywood.

      The way to tell the difference is by picking up one of the pieces (without the cushions.) If the piece feels lighter than you expected, they are using 3/4 inch plywood.

      Also, the legs are described as “Mocha-finished.” This indicates that the legs are plastic, not wood. It probably won’t make any difference to you, but from a design viewpoint, it means that they are trying to save every possible penny in this design and there will also be other quality compromises.

      One of these compromises is that they are using Pine in the frames. Pine is a softwood. It holds more moisture than hardwoods, which causes it to warp over time, especially if the house has low humidity.

      Good quality seating is not made with softwood. In this case, it probably doesn’t matter. That’s because the frame should still be fine for 5 – 10 years. Before you have problems with the frames, the cushions will be worn out.

      The cushions are a standard 1.8 density foam with a polyester wrap.

      A 150 lb. person who uses the furniture an average amount of time will probably get about 5 years use before the cushions are completely worn out. The cushions will be noticeably softer after 1 year of use, and then gradually lose their shape, firmness and comfort each time they are used.

      A 250 lb. person will destroy the cushions within 2 years or less.

      The fabrics are OK.

      Important Note: Macy’s Radley has received mostly positive reviews. That’s because most reviews are written shortly after the furniture has been received. The Radley will look and feel fine for at least a year or two. Beginning in year three is when most problems will begin to occur.

      Macy’s salespeople will try very hard to sell you an extended warranty. This is usually the most profitable item a furniture store can sell and salespeople get a very large commission each time they sell one. Each year there are thousands of consumer complaints about extended warranties that do not cover things customers assumed were covered.

      You can get more information about this in my article, What Do Extended Furniture Warranties Really Protect?

      IKEA’s Kivik should last at least twice as long. The difference is that IKEA uses pocketed coil cushions, which should remain comfortable for 10 years.

      I explain why IKEA’s pocketed coil cushions are so much better than foam in my blog article, Are IKEA Sofas Any Good?

      IKEA’s frames aren’t very good, but they should give you at least 10 years of problem free use. If there are problems, IKEA is pretty good at replacing parts. (Macy’s customer service is notoriously poor.)

      Costco’s Tisdale is also a better option than the Macy’s Radley. The best thing about Costco is their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
      If you don’t like the furniture for any reason, you can return it for a full refund, no matter how long you’ve owned it.

      Belffin’s construction has been changed. I no longer recommend it.

  18. Hi Jeff, are there any sectionals you recommend that are not online only companies? Dream Sofa, Medley and Mantle all seem good and in my budget but I’m nervous making such a big purchase without sitting on the sofa first.

    • Sitting on a sofa in a furniture showroom can be deceptive.

      Low and mid-priced seating sold by stores is built to look and feel good when it’s brand new in the showroom. There is far less concern about how it will look or feel 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years later in your home.

      High quality cushions are rarely found in stores. Most salespeople find it difficult to explain why a sofa priced $300 higher is a better value than a cheaper sofa that looks and feels very similar.

      They don’t have the expertise or product knowledge to explain convincingly why the more expensive sectional will last more than twice as long as another that has a lower price.

      When brand new, high quality cushions can look and feel virtually indistinguishable from standard (inexpensive) cushions.

      1 year later there will be an obvious difference in both looks and comfort.

      3 years later, the cheaper cushions will show serious wear and loss of comfort, while the high quality cushions will still look and feel brand new.

      10 years later, the cheap sofa will have been discarded many years previously. The high quality cushions will still maintain their “as new” comfort.

      Shoppers who buy high end custom seating often order sofas or sectionals that feel completely different from what they may have tried out in the store.

      Many, who buy through interior design professionals, or from small custom shops, never see or sit on anything before purchasing.

      Shoppers who buy lower quality, mass produced seating with fewer options, are more likely to need the reassurance of a showroom tryout, not realizing the furniture will feel very different after a short time in their home.

      DreamSofa, Medley Home, and Mantle are all custom furniture manufacturers who sell direct to consumers. Bypassing retailers allows these companies to make bigger profits, while simultaneously offering a substantial discount to their customers.

      That’s different from the many “online retailers” whose websites try to make you think they’re manufacturers, but who actually buy from multiple suppliers and resell the products through their websites.

      There are far more “online retailers” than genuine manufacturers selling direct to consumers.

      Unlike most furniture stores, DreamSofa, Medley Home, and Mantle sofas & sectionals all offer high quality 2.5 density foam or coil spring cushions.

      These are cushions that will retain their “as new” look and feel for 10, 15, or 20+ years.

      Most stores and online retailers sell most of their sofas and sectionals with 1.8 density foam cushions.

      Although the lifespan of seat cushions varies based on multiple factors, most 1.8 density foam cushions will feel noticeably different within one year. Within 3 to 5 years, the cushions will lose their shape, firmness, resilience, and comfort.

      Some mid-range brands have upgraded to 2.0 density foam. That adds a year or two to a cushion’s expected lifespan.

      DreamSofa, Medley Home, and Mantle are companies that actually manufacture the furniture and sell direct to you. They make custom furniture that can be adjusted to fit your requirements. Adjustments may include:

    • Cushions that will still feel brand new after being used 15 years or more.
    • Increased seat or back heights for taller people.
    • Increased seat depths for people who prefer deeper seats.
    • Modifications to length and width to perfectly fit your room.
    • High quality custom seating is not unusual. There are many U.S. upholstery manufacturers who have been doing this for 50 or more years.

      What is unusual, is making and selling high quality custom seating at prices that are competitive with mid-range quality brands. That can only be done by manufacturers selling Direct to Consumers.

  19. Hello, Jeff, what a gift you are to all of us! Unfortunately, we are one of the 4,000 MGBW customers with an open order, currently held at a Ryder last mile delivery warehouse that will not release it to us under the conditions of the bankruptcy filing. I’ve never been in this situation before, but I assume we’ll never receive the furniture we paid for and it may be years before we receive any sort of funds reimbursement, if at all. I think I need to move on and place an order elsewhere. Do you have a recommendation that would come close to the MGBW Clifton sectional? Thanks so much, grateful in Boston

    • Sorry for the delay in responding. I had an unusually large number of emails and comments over the past few days.

      Sorry to hear about your problems with MGBW. Since your sectional is already finished and was on its way to you, hopefully there is something that can be done to complete the shipment.

      If you do need an alternative, try DreamSofa

      DreamSofa is a custom manufacturer in Los Angeles. Although most people have not heard of the brand, many have heard of Apt2B.
      DreamSofa makes all of Apt2B’s high end custom upholstery.

      They have over 150 different sectional styles, all available in multiple sizes, fabrics, and custom options.

      In addition to what the website is currently showing for sectionals, DreamSofa has a Florence style sofa with a wood base similar to the Clifton. I’m sure they can make that into a sectional.

      If you contact Ryan Giordano (Sales manager) at ryan@dreamsofa.com or Marissa (Senior Design Consultant) at marissa.b@dreamsofa.com they should be able tell you what the closest equivalent is.

      In general, MGBW may do a slightly better job of tailoring, but DreamSofa is better built, with solid hardwood frames and multiple cushion options.

      If you get their Plush cushion option (coil spring construction surrounded by 2.5 density foam) you’ll have a cushion which should be just as comfortable as the Clifton and last twice as long.

      The Plush cushion option is not yet shown on the website but is priced the same as their BenchMade option.

      DreamSofa’s prices are probably slightly below MGBW, even with the top grade Plush cushions.

      To learn more about DreamSofa, check out my article, DreamSofa: Durable Sofas at Affordable Prices.

  20. Thanks so much for this FABULOUS resource! We’re trying to make a decision on an L-shape sectional (110×110 max dimensions) before I have baby in a couple of months, and looking to prioritize a) kid-friendly durability, b) multiple people sitting on it, and c) at least one person of heavier weight (240-250 lb person). We don’t want to exceed $3500 (would love to go lower if possible) and want a couch that can last us in the 4-5 year range.

    We’ve narrowed down to options that we were able to try in person, and wonder if you might have specific guidance as we decide:
    1. English Anderson
    2. Joybird Lewis Corner Sectional.

    A huge thank you again for such a helpful resource. You’ve streamlined what was a very stressful process!

    • Joybird used to be a great company, before LaZBoy bought them and moved the manufacturing from California to Mexico.

      Now, they’re still making sales from their previous reputation, but the quality isn’t as good, and it’s higher priced than many brands making similar style furniture.

      England’s Anderson should work for you if you get the upgraded coil cushion and coil spring foundation options.

      With the optional upgrades, the sectional should give you comfortable seating for 6 – 8 years.

      There’s also a feather blend pillow option. That’s not necessary.

  21. Hi Jeff,
    I just have to THANK YOU for taking all the time to get this info onto a site. I was about to spend on an Albany Park or Lovesac and I can’t believe how much I have learned about quality, cushions, foam…everything. You have really helped me identify much higher quality options in the same price point. I love the Dreamsofa and am waiting on swatches now. Thank you again–I will forward your site to everyone I can.

  22. Do you happen to have any recommendations for shipments outside of contiguous US? Namely for Puerto Rico. Lots of great options for US – not much for non US!

    Assuming less luck on that side.. any great constructions from Pottery Barn / Mitchell Gold / Roche Bobois / CB? Any opinion on favorite curved couch types?

    – Looking at Giselle 3-sectional (Mitchell Gold) & Big Sur 178″ (Pottery Barn) among the popular stores.

    • It’s been a while since I tried shipping to Puerto Rico. Shipping rates and regulations are constantly changing so anything I knew in the past probably wouldn’t apply anymore.

      Pottery Barn vs. Mitchell Gold vs. Roche Bobois: That’s a tough comparison.

      Pottery Barn’s Big Sur is not a curved sectional. It’s a pretty basic mid-range quality sectional with a pretty high price depending on which fabric you select.

      If that’s what you really want, take a look at DreamSofa.

      DreamSofa has over 150 sectional styles. Their frames are better quality than Pottery Barn. Their “Plush” 2.5 density foam/coil spring cushions should last twice as long and the price should be substantially lower.

      DreamSofa’s brand name is not well known outside of the west coast. A lot more people have heard of Apt2B. DreamSofa makes Apt2B’s high end custom built seating.

      Roche Bobois has been making high end “high-style” curved seating for a long time. Their furniture’s expensive, but I don’t hear many major complaints from their customers.

      Mitchell Gold is a very difficult company for me to review. They used to be a mid-range quality manufacturer, but in recent years have dramatically increased the prices of their furniture.

      As a mid-priced company, Mitchell Gold had the best styling in its price range. I consider owner, Mitchell Gold, to be a genuine furniture design genius.

      Giselle is a Roche Bobois style piece at Roche Bobois pricing. Is the quality as good? I’m not sure.

      I’m also not sure of what Mitchell Gold’s real price is. They have “Comfort Club” prices which seem to be substantially lower. I don’t know what it takes to qualify for “Club” pricing.”

      I look at the Giselle at $12K in fabric or 18K in leather, and have difficulty believing that Mitchell Gold’s quality is good enough to justify those prices.

      But if Club pricing can knock several thousand dollars off those prices, then it may not be quite so outrageous. It is a beautiful looking piece.

  23. Hi Jeff,

    I’ve narrowed down my search to a Flexsteel vs. Stanton, and local option from furniture row.

    Flexsteel: https://www.flexsteel.com/flexsteel-sectional/7107-sect-11/iteminformation.aspx
    This one appears to be all made in the US. I was leaning towards plush cushions but also have the feather option – I’d prefer whichever one lasts longer.

    Stanton’s I’m having a hard time deciding on a model- there’s a ton of different ones and they all look to be very similar. Overall, how would you compare these to the Flexsteel above?

    Lastly is a local model from Furniture Row in Denver: https://www.furniturerow.com/pd/Mateo-II-3-Pc-Sectional/prod3090100
    It is a Jonathan Louis couch that I believe to be this one: https://www.jonathanlouis.com/collections/living-room/s0246-matthew
    Do you know anything about the quality/value of the Jonathan Louis brand? This would be a bit of a cost saver for us, but I don’t wan’t to sacrifice quality if we are still spending upwards of $5K.


    • This Flexsteel model does appear to be made in the USA, which means it’s better quality than Flexsteel’s imported stuff.

      Flexsteel’s biggest weakness over the past decade has always been its cushions. Given the choice between the two, I would have to recommend the FC, but it’s not a cushion you can rely on for more than 5 years.

      The FC cushions have a 2.3 density foam core. That’s good. The problem is that there is so much feather/fiber filling that the foam core isn’t as thick as the cores on most other cushions.

      Also, that thick layer of feathers/fiber will compress. The fabric will wrinkle and the cushions will need periodic “fluffing.” Also, you will need to reverse the cushions frequently so that the filling on one side doesn’t compress so much that the wrinkles can’t be fluffed away. 

      That cushion is better than the alternative. Flexsteel’s PC cushion takes a thin layer of heavy duty 2.5 density foam and glues it above and below a central core of 1.2 density foam.

      Most of the foam is 1.2 density.That’s a very cheap foam that is not meant to withstand people sitting on it. It’s usually used for arm padding. 

      This past April, at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC, I had a discussion with Flexsteel’s sales manager about these cushions. He told me the PC cushions are being phased out and will be replaced by a solid 2.0 density foam core. Apparently, they haven’t done that yet.

      Jonathan Louis has the standard 1.8 density foam cushions that most sofas and sectionals in this price range have. 

      It gets the same customer complaints about cushions wearing out after just a few years (or less.) See customer reviews below.

      Other than the cushions, the construction is as good as Flexsteel’s imported stuff, but the USA made Flexsteel is better. If you look at independent reviews there is are quite a few about cushions wearing out after a year or two. Very few people send in complaints after that.

      The public has been trained to assume that worn out cushions within 3 – 5 years is normal.
      Complaints Board – Jonathan Louis
      Yelp reviews – Jonathan Louis

      Pissedconsumer.com review – Jonathan Louis

      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 how they are better, here is a diagram of the Stanton construction:

      [Picture missing]

      Stanton’s “above-average” construction features include:

      Solid kiln-dried hardwood frames: The other brands mentioned above are all using plywood. Plywood frames usually last longer than cushions and fabric, so it’s rare to see complaints about them.

      Kiln-dried solid hardwood frames cost more to make. Staples and nails hold better in solid hardwood, so there is less chance that the foundation will loosen or break over time.The sofa doesn’t actually need a frame this strong unless you plan on reupholstering the sofa after 10 years or so.

      Foundation: Stanton is using a basic sinuous wire foundation, but adds additional stabilizing support wires and edge supports.Not all mid-range sofas have the stabilizing support wires and there are very few  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 the cushions 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. You should get it.

      My estimated lifespan for Stanton’s 1.8 density Reflex cushions is 4 – 6 years (comared to 3 – 5 years for standard 1.8 density foam.
      The 2.2 density foam cushions should last 6 – 10 years.

      For all these brands, the cushions will probably be the first part to fail, long before the rest of the sofa wears out.

      There is another brand you may want to consider.

      DreamSofa is a Los Angeles, CA  custom manufacturer selling Direct to Consumers. 

      The overall construction is similar to Stanton. Kiln-dried hardwood frames, edge supported sinuous wire frames.

      Where DreamSofa excels is in its cushions. 

      It offers a choice of 4 different cushions, beginning with the basic 1.8 density foam and going all the way up to a “Plush” cushion that combines 2.5 density foam with coil springs.

      The Plush cushions are very comfortable and built to last 15+ years. The extra cost for the upgrade is $200. That’s not much to double the sofa’s lifespan.

      On top of that DreamSofa also has the largest selection of sectional styles that I know of. The website shows over 150 different sectional styles.
      Each of these styles is available in multiple sizes and can be customized (modifying the width, depth, seat height etc. if the standard options aren’t exactly what you want.

      If you’re hesitant because you’ve never heard of DreamSofa, it may reassure you to know that they also make all of Apt2B’s high end custom furniture line. 
      (The Apt2B brand is much better known throughout most of the country. Most of DreamSofa’s customers are west coast commercial accounts and interior design professionals.)

      Prices for a sectional similar to those you’ve seen should be around $4000, depending on fabric and custom options. 

      Also, DreamSofa has a 3% discount for Insiders Guide to Furniture readers.

      [I do not get paid for sending customers to DreamSofa.]

      My readers do get special priorities. For example, the DreamSofa customer service staff know that I don’t want my readers getting the cheaper foam cushions. That makes no sense to me when the Plush cushion option is more comfortable, lasts twice as long and costs only $200 more.

  24. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks so much for this article – I reference it almost daily as I’m shopping for a new sectional.

    I’ve had my eye on these 3 from Crate & Barrel, and curious if you had any opinions on them.

    Barrett II Reversible: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/barrett-ii-reversible-sectional-sofa/s563207
    Peyton Reversible: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/peyton-3-seat-reversible-sectional-sofa/s613360
    Notch Reversible: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/notch-reversible-lounger-sectional-sofa/s681544

    All input and suggestions are welcome, thanks again!

    • Jon,
      The Barrett II and Notch both have the same weakness, 1.8 density foam cushions that will last only 3 – 5 years before losing their shape, resilience (ability to bounce back) and comfort.

      The Peyton has innerspring cushions which should last 10+ years.

      Also, the $2299 price on the C&B website appears to be a mistake. It’s the same price as the Peyton 3 seat sofa and $400 less than the smaller Peyton 2 piece sectional with chaise.

      My advice is to grab it as fast as you can before they discover the pricing error.

  25. I just want to say how thankful I am to Jeff and the team.

    This website is an INVALUABLE resource to cut through the marketing BS and morass of buying a piece of furniture.

    I’ve found buying a low slung 3pc reclining sofa to be basically the hardest consumer purchase I’ve ever had to deal with.

    Without this website I would have made several grievous errors, before I found this site I purchased a no-name brand couch from Macys (cancelled that order) and a Palliser couch (cancelled that order as well).

    I’ve settled on 3 finalists for my purchase, my budget is about 6k and I’m looking for a couch that’s about 120″ across with 3 reclining seats in a low profile, modern-ish design.

    I wish I could afford the American Leather low slung reclining sofas but I was just quoted 16k which is way beyond my budget.

    I’m considering the Omnia Bergamo 32″ with grade 2 leather, Pottery Barns’ Ultra Lounge or Tucker or a Bracci reclining sofa (not sure about their pricing).

    Jeff, if you happen to see this comment I would really appreciate your input. Either way thank you so much for this website! It’s truly a life saver!

    • Actually, I am the entire team. This is what I’ve done since retiring a year and a half ago after 45 years in the furniture industry.

      I don’t follow most European brands, so I’m not personally familiar with Bracci.

      But I know someone who is familiar with the brand and likes it very much.

      I have a special deal with Furnitureland South, the largest single furniture store in the world. (1.3 million sq. ft. of showroom.)

      The store sells over $200 million annually from a single location (in High Point, NC), but they ship everywhere.

      Furnitureland South provides my readers with special discounts which are approximately the same as they offer to interior design professionals.

      Another part of my deal with FS is that my readers get free access to one of their best design consultants (whom I’ve known for over 10 years.)

      Jason Campbell will be able to give you more suggestions. I know he recently recommended Bracci for someone who liked American Leather, but didn’t like the prices.

      Jason is very good about promptly returning calls and emails. Just let him know I referred you to get the special discount.

      Contact Jason Campbell at jasoncampbell@furniturelandsouth.com
      or by phone.
      Mobile: 336.324.7678 | Phone: 336.822.3243

      Furnitureland South carries over 1000 brands. The last time I checked checked Omnia wasn’t one of them.

      I like Omnia’s furniture, but can’t understand why they don’t offer a Spring Down cushion option. If they did, I’d recommend them a lot more.

      The Pottery Barn Ultra Lounger does not look like a good value. I don’t like 1.8 density foam.

      But what really concerns me is that the frame is Pine. High quality furniture doesn’t have Pine frames.

      Pine is subject to warping over time and just isn’t as strong as hardwoods. That’s especially critical with reclining furniture, where the frame is supporting heavy reclining components.

      • WOW! I can’t believe you replied! I feel like a pro baseball player just signed a ball for me LOL. Thank you so much Frank! I’m literally on the cusp of ordering the Omnia Bergamo Sardinia reclining couch but now that I’ve seen your response about Bracci I will reach out to Jason to check pricing. I saw one of their pieces in a local store and it was extremely comfortable and high quality but the price was crazy (12k+). A family member is in in “the trade” and was able to get a nice discount on the Omnia 32″ couch w/ console. Pricing is fairly reasonable at about 6k delivered, it’s their grade 1 leather which gives me some pause but my budget is maxed out at 6k. Thank you very much for the info on the pottery barn furniture, your concerns are my concerns, although I really like the design I am crossing their products off my list.

  26. What a fantastic and informative article. I notice that you say spring cushions last longer.

    I just came across Franklin Furniture and they use springs/foam.

    Any thoughts on them?

    • I was unaware that Franklin is using springs in their cushions.
      The last time I stopped by their showroom (October 2022) they were just coming out with their proprietary WOW gelfoam cushions.

      Could you send me a link to the Franklin furniture you are looking at with the springs?

      Jackson Furniture, a rival of Franklin, has been using spring cushions for several decades.

      They are different from the newer pocketed coil springs and the high end spring down cushions.

      I haven’t check recently, but Jackson used to have an unusually high number of complaints about its coil spring cushions.

      You need to be careful about evaluating spring cushions.
      There are several different types and many of them are designed to be cheaper than foam.

      Pocketed coil springs from China are starting to become more popular, but primarily at the lower end.

      If you go on Amazon and look at very cheap sofas ($299 – $699) you’ll see a bunch of them have pocketed coil springs.

      The problem is that these cushions are 4 inches thick, 3 inches of coil spring and 1 inch of padding. It’s not enough.
      The cushions do last longer than cheap foam, but they are uncomfortably firm. So firm that they are sold primarily online.

      In a furniture showroom, most people who sat on one of these cushions wouldn’t buy it.

      About a dozen years ago, IKEA started experimenting with a 6 inch thick pocketed coil cushion in its Kivik series.

      That was a big success. Most of IKEA’s new sofas and sectionals now use the 6 inch thick pocketed coils. But some people still feel the 6 inch pocketed coil springs are too firm.

      Hydeline has been using a 9 thick inch pocketed coil cushion. 3 inches of coil spring, with 6 inches of padding, including a 2.25 density foam layer, a memory foam layer and a down/feather jacket on top.

      I find it extremely comfortable and so far they have never had a cushion failure.

      It can be difficult figuring out who is using which pocketed coil cushion.

      For example, Barcalounger has been using them in their higher priced products, so I assumed it was similar to Hydeline’s.

      More recently, I have seen Barcalounger using them in recliners selling for $500 – $700. I don’t think its the same pocketed coil, but I can’t tell until I look at the next High Point Furniture Market in October.

      • This is the wording on the sofa I was looking at (Rowan 101″).

        WOW seating system

        “A unique combination of premium seat springs and gel injected seating foam that come together to deliver a soft but firm seat cushion for the best seat in the industry.”

        Is that just clever marketing and it’s actually a foam cushion with sinuous springs beneath?

        I was also checking them out bc they seem to have a warranty on cushions.

      • I just looked back at my market notes, which read “WOW cushion polyurethane gel – No coil spring option.”

        I also looked at several Franklin pieces, which all said, “100% WOW gel-blended foam.”

        Then I took another look at your quote. The “premium seat springs” that the marketing blurb is referring to is the sinuous wire spring foundation that is underneath the deck supporting the cushions.

        90% of upholstery in this price range uses similar sinuous wire spring foundations. It’s cheap, but usually lasts longer than every other part of the furniture.

        Marketing people are always looking for a way to describe these generic sinuous wire springs in a way that makes them sound special. This quote seems to have done that very effectively.

        Cushion warranties are useless.

        No matter what the big print seems to guarantee, there is always a hidden exclusionary clause somewhere that will say that “flattening” or “sagging” cushions are normal wear and are not covered by the warranty.

        Yes, that is normal wear, but it also an indication your cushions are starting to wear out.

        Top quality 2.5 density foam cushions and spring down cushions will show almost no flattening or sagging for at least 15 years (for average size people.)

    • Younger Furniture is a custom upholstery maker located in Thomasville, NC. They make high quality seating, but I don’t know how their prices compare with other high end custom manufacturers.
      I’ve tried to stop in at their showroom at the last two High Point Home Furnishings Markets, but there was nobody in the space both times.

  27. My partner shared this article with me and its been extremely insightful in helping me navigate our sofa buying journey and what to look for. Given how expensive they can be, we are looking for one that will last a while and be comfy and cushy for us. I’m pleasantly surprised with IKEA’s rating as I had initially dismissed them as an option, but may be worth a rethink!

    Originally we were also enticed by the trendy cloud couch because we loved how it felt and the look..until we learned about how high maintenance they are. We’re now looking for a happy medium of couch cushions that use both down and foam. Was wondering what your thoughts are on the below 2 sofas we were deciding between that fit this description? Since you mentioned cushions larger than average should last longer, hoping these might be good options!

    Sundays Get Together Couch: https://www.sundays-company.ca/products/get-together-4-piece-condo-modular-sectional-cream-linen
    Crate & Barrel Gather Couch: https://www.crateandbarrel.ca/gather-deep-2-piece-sectional-sofa-with-right-arm-chaise/s285081?oc=1,2045

    • Both of the sectionals you have listed meet the requirements for my “good quality” category. That means most people can expect to get 10 years of comfortable use from this furniture.

      I do not recommend these sectionals if they are going to be used by individuals weighing 250 lbs. or more.

      The C&B Gather’s frame quality is sub-standard – but even poor quality frames should hold together for at least 10 years unless you have someone weighing 250 lbs. or more who will be using the furniture frequently.

      The best feature of the Gather is the innerspring cushions. They should last twice as long as most foam cushions.

      Sundays’ Get Together sectional has a better frame, but the cushions are 1.8 density foam.

      Usually, I do not recommend 1.8 density foam cushions. Most have an average lifespan of only 5 years or less.

      In this case, however, the cushions are extra-thick and oversized. Both of these features increase cushion lifespan, so you should get 8 to 10 years of comfortable use.

      The exception is that if used by people weighing 250 lbs., the foam will break down in half the time.

      If used by someone weighing 300 lbs., 1.8 density foam cushions may need replacement within 3 years or less.

      If you need a Cloud-type sectional that will last 20 years, the best brand in this general price range is DreamSofa.

      DreamSofa is a high-quality custom manufacturer located in California.

      The quality is superior to the other two brands, and there are lots of fabric choices and custom options available.

      Since the company is a Direct to Consumer manufacturer, the price may be close.

      Frames are kiln-dried solid hardwood.

      If you get their top quality Spring Down cushions, DreamSofas’ sectionals should last 20 years. If you prefer super-soft cushions, those are also available.

      For 250 or 300 lb. individuals, the optional Spring Down cushions don’t break down the way foam cushions do and should remain comfortable for 15+ years.

      DreamSofa’s website lists over 150 sectional styles. Each style is available in at least 4 standard sizes.

      The Cloud style isn’t shown on the website, but they have made Cloud style sectionals for other customers and can send you photos.

      If you speak with Marissa, the company’s top design consultant, and tell her exactly what you want, she can put together a Cloud sectional proposal for you.
      Contact information is:

      Email: marissa.b@dreamsofa.com.
      Phone: 855-373-2676

      Insiders’ Guide to Furniture readers get a special 3% discount. Use Code DS7782.

      For more information about DreamSofa, see my article, DreamSofa.com – High-Quality Custom-Built Sofas, Sectionals & Sleepers at Mass-Produced prices.

  28. Hello there,

    We could use a bit of advice. I think I am slowly being talked out of Ashley just doing more reading. Do you know of anything similar to this design but would be of higher quality and built to last longer maybe?


    We currently can get this one on sale for $1199 out the door, so it was super tempting, but I had heard about Ashley and their long lasting appeal is not great. This would be for theater seating, but not legit theater seating. So something similar to that.

    I assume you would say stay away from Ashley.

    • Is there some reason why you have to have a theater type reclining sofa?

      The problem is that good quality theater seating is much more expensive than the same quality in non-theater seating.

      My best suggestion for you is Costco’s Ridgeway leather reclining sofa priced at $1199.

      Here’s a comparison between Costco’s reclining sofa and the Ashley:

      Ashley is Faux leather. Costco is Leather Match (top grain leather on the seats, backs, and inside arms. Vinyl on the outside parts.

      Frames & Mechanisms: Ashley gives no specifications for their frames, but most have a seat weight capacity of 300 lbs. or less. The headrest is “adjustable”, but not “powered.”

      Costco’s frames have a weight capacity of 350 lb. per seat. Headrests are adjustable and “powered.”

      Cushions: Ashley’s cushions are “high-resiliency foam wrapped in thick poly fiber.” This is not a good spec. Most cushions are described as “high density” which indicates a 1.8 foam density. Reclining seat cushions with 1.8 density foam have a 3 – 5 year lifespan before the foam compresses and is no longer comfortable.

      In this case, Ashley is describing their foam as “high resiliency.” That terminology is used when foam is less than 1.8 density.

      Also, Ashley is stating that the foam is “wrapped in thick poly fiber.” That sounds good, but it isn’t. Good quality foam cushions are wrapped in 1 to 1.5 inches of polyester fiber. Ashley often uses 2 to 3 inches of fiber. This gives the brand new furniture a big puffy look in the showroom, but the excess fiber quickly compresses, leaving lumps and reducing comfort.

      Costco’s reclining sofa has pocketed coil cushions. These retain their shape and initial comfort for 10 years. The only drawback is that the pocket coils feel firmer than foam and some people may find them to be too firm.

      Accessories: Ashley wins here. They have Drop-down center table with 2 cup holders, flip-up light and hidden AC power and USB ports.”

      Costco has only USB ports.

      Warranty and Service: Large reclining pieces are, by far, the biggest source of complaints from furniture shoppers. Reclining sofas often last about half as long as non-reclining sofas made by the same manufacturer.

      Warranties, including Extended warranties are almost useless if there are any problems after the first year. Although the big print at the top of the document may seem to protect you against accidents and common problems, there will be numerous exclusion clauses (in much smaller print) that disqualify almost everything likely to go wrong with your furniture.

      Ashley has a horrendous reputation for customer service. If you do a Google search, you will find thousands of complaints about Ashley. Many of those are about customer service.

      Costco has the best warranty of any furniture retailer. Their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee states that they will take furniture back for any reason and give you a full refund, no matter how long you’ve owned the furniture.

  29. Hi! I would appreciate your insight here. I am looking for a low budget couch. I had picked one out from Ashley Furniture in the showroom but I didn’t purchase it yet. I realize now it has a platform foundation and lower density foam cushions. In this particular piece the bottom cushions are removable. Would it be enough to replaced the bottom foam with a higher density foam to address sinking and over all stability. If so what denisty foam would you recommend? My husband weigh 220 and I weigh 185. Here is the link to the couch. I did look at one website to purchase foam online and I also linked it below.


    • You would be very unhappy with the Ashley Donlan sofa.

      Within 6 months, it would be noticeably less comfortable and the cushions’ shape would begin to distort.

      Within two years, you would be ready for another sofa.

      Standard 1.8 density foam cushions typically hold up for 3 – 5 years for average size people. For someone who weighs 220 lbs., the cushions’ expected lifespan is about half as long.

      If the foam is less than 1.8 density (1.5 density is usually the next step down) the expected cushion lifespan could be 6 months or less.

      The HQ – 36 is an excellent foam (2.8 density) and should theoretically hold up for 10 – 15+ years, but it’s not going to be as simple (or inexpensive) to replace the foam as you think.

      The foam itself will cost around $150 – $175 (including the Dacron polyester wrapping, which is essential.)

      One problem is that you may order the wrong size foam. You can’t just measure the outside dimensions of your cushions.

      Fabric covers are usually cut smaller than the foam cores. Doing that gives the cushion a “crown” which makes it higher in the middle than the edges.

      If the replacement cushion cores are too small, the cushions will never look or fit right. If they are too large, they will need to be cut down by a professional upholster (or re-upholsterer.)

      In any case, you will probably need the services of a professional to remove the old foam and install the new foam.

      Most companies that mass produce inexpensive sofas use small zippers on the back of the cushions. The length of the zippers will be only 1/2 to 1/3 the total length of the back.

      The zippers are small because the cushions are stuffed by large automated mechanical machines with mechanical fingers that can work with small zippers easily.

      If you get a custom sofa made in a small shop without automated equipment, they will always make the zippers larger.

      Since you don’t have access to one of these machines, you will need a professional upholsterer.

      It’s not easy work, requiring extremely strong fingers and hands. Stuffing a new foam core through a small zipper can take 15 – 20 minutes per cushion for a professional.

      Getting the foam to fit into the corners correctly so that the cushion isn’t lumpy is almost impossible for most non-professionals.

      In addition, you won’t have a fabric ticking sewn over your replacement cushions. The last time I checked into an Ashley sofa, they did not use fabric tickings either. (It adds about $1 of cost to each cushion.)

      One purpose of this fabric ticking is to help the cushion cores slide more easily into and out of the upholstered cushion cover. Without this ticking material, stuffing a new foam core into the cover is even more difficult.

      The bottom line is that you may have to spend another $200 (in addition to the foam) to get the replacement cushion cores into the Ashley covers.

      Fortunately, there are better options for you:

      1) If you can afford $1197 (including shipping costs) the Hydeline Albert fabric sofa will give you 10 – 15+ years of comfortable sitting.
      Hydeline is a leather specialist. For some reason, they have a few sofas made up in fabric in their Outlet section. (There are some alternative styles also available at $1197.)

      Hydeline sofas have solid hardwood frames and sinuous wire foundations. But the best feature is their pocketed coil cushions.

      The Hydeline cushions have:

      A top layer with feathers/down or dacron polyester fiber for softness. (Hydeline currently uses feathers/down for their top layer. I’m not sure how old this piece is or whether they were using feathers/down at the time it was made. Hydeline’s customer service may know.)

      2.25 density foam layer (lasts twice as long as 1.8 density foam.)

      Pocketed coils. (This is the most important feature of the cushion.) Pocketed coils do not wear out the way foam does. They retain their firmness and comfort for a very long time.

      The pocketed coils are surrounded by 1.8 density foam. Because this foam layer is only supporting your knees, it does not need the extra density of the top layers.

      All Hydeline cushions are weight tested to 350 lbs.

      2) IKEA has some sofas in the $799 – $899 price range with pocketed coil cushion cores. These cushions are not as thick as Hydeline and do not have as much padding. As a result, they will feel firmer and less comfortable.

      IKEA’s frames are garbage compared with Hydeline, but they should still hold up for 10+ years.

      Depending on which style you prefer, you should check out the Kivik ($749 – $849 depending on fabric selected) and Uppland ($799 – $899 depending on fabric selected.)

      All IKEA sofas come with removable, washable covers.

      Note: There are many inexpensive sofas made with pocketed coil springs selling for $200 – $800. The cheap pocket coil cushions will probably last 5 years or longer.

      The problem with the cheaper pocket coil cushions is that they have about 2 inches less foam padding than IKEA (and 5 inches less foam padding than Hydeline.) This makes them uncomfortably firm for most people.

      If you get stuck, they are a better solution than Ashley.

      Jeff Frank

  30. Thank you for all the insight you provide. With so many options, it’s overwhelming. Your website has helped expose us to different brands but also which questions to ask.

    Do you have any thoughts or experience with Sundays? They’re a Canadian company with several Canadian showrooms but ship for free to the US. They seem to have some buzz on the social media. It’s how my wife found them. They’re about to have a NYC pop up showroom.

    We are a family of five (3 toddlers). My wife likes the look of the Restoration Hardware cloud couch. We are looking for a sectional. I’d prefer something that has washable covers.

    We are considering 7th avenue, maiden home, and Sundays. We considered Lovesac but have ruled out for now.

    Do you have any other recommendations for washable-cover sectionals in the <$7k range.

    Thank you!

    • Sundays is a retailer that purchases products from several different overseas manufacturers.

      The specifications for the Movie Night 5 pc. modular sectional are very vague in important areas. For example, I didn’t see any description of either the frame or foundation.

      I’m not terribly worried about that because even cheap frames and foundations usually last at least 10 years.

      There is a cryptic reference to the frame construction that states:

      “The frame is made with a larger amount of multi-density foam than most sofas. This makes it comfortable and soft, but we recommend taking care with the arms, back and frame to maintain longevity.”

      I have never previously seen a furniture company warn its customers that their frames need to be handled gently.

      The biggest potential drawback is the cushions. The cushions are filled with feathers, not foam, which gives them a softer feel.

      This is not common for mid-range quality furniture. It is frequently found in high end seating, but the feathers are usually mixed with at least 10% down.

      The down gives the feathers more “loft” and keeps them from compressing too easily. Down is very expensive, which is why it has been omitted from these cushions.

      “Feather” cushions (including very expensive down & feather cushions) have no resilience (the ability to bounce back into their original shape.)

      Because of this, you will find that you have to “fluff up” the seat and back cushions every time you (or your kids) get up from the furniture.
      Otherwise, it will look very messy (similar to having an unmade bed sitting in the middle of your living room.)

      Many homeowners find the continual need to fluff up the cushions quickly becomes very annoying.

      The “high performance” CreamLinen LiveLife fabric is an excellent choice for small children.

      Every furniture seller now carries one or more brands of “high performance” fabrics with built-in stain resistance. Crypton, Sunbrella, and Revolution are the best known brands, but there are at least two dozen others, including LiveLife.

      Regarding alternative choices:

      7th Avenue & Maiden Home are of similar quality. (Maiden Home offers more flexibility and better customer service.)

      Pottery Barn has a large selection of slip-covered sectionals. Many of these should fit within your budget. The quality is similar to Maiden Home.

      The weak point for 7th Avenue, Maiden Home, & Pottery Barn is the 1.8 density foam they use for their cushions.

      Small 1.8 density foam seat cushions have an average lifespan of about 5 years (or less) before the foam wears out.

      Larger size 1.8 density foam seat cushions spread out your weight over a larger surface area, so they don’t wear out as fast.
      You should get 8 – 10 years from large 1.8 density foam cushions.

      Higher quality seating usually offers alternative cushions that last much longer.

      For example, cushions made with 2.5 density foam or Spring Down construction should last twice as long as 1.8 density foam cushions.

      Mantle Furniture is a high end Direct to Consumer North Carolina manufacturer.

      All Mantle furniture features 8 way hand tied foundations.
      It is extremely comfortable and should last for 15 – 20+ years with a high performance fabric.

      Mantle’s Maiden Modular sectional is 141″ x 80″ and is priced at $7534 before a 10% discount for first time purchasers.
      (Use coupon code Mantle10.)

      Maiden is Mantle’s most expensive style. Other sectional styles, shapes & sizes are available at a lower cost.

      Mantle can also do custom sizes (for an additional charge.)
      Be sure to specify that you want a “high performance” fabric.

      The Maiden cushions are extra thick, so the standard cushions will last for a very long time.
      If you choose one of Mantle’s other styles, I recommend that you upgrade the cushions to 2.5 density foam or Spring Down construction if you want the furniture to last 15 – 20+ years.

      I’m not sure whether Mantle’s cushion covers are removable for cleaning. You will need to check with their customer service.

      If removable covers are not a standard option, they may be available for an additional charge.

      Another outstanding brand for sectionals is DreamSofa.com.

      This is a high quality California manufacturer that can custom-build almost anything you want.

      They have a huge selection of sectional styles and configurations, available in multiple sizes.
      DreamSofa’s website lists 4 cushion options, but they also make other cushions that are not listed.

      If you upgrade to the top grade BenchMade cushion category and specify 2.5 density, medium firm foam or Spring Down cushions, you will have a durable and comfortable sectional that should last 15 – 20+ years.

      It won’t be quite as comfortable as Mantle, but it should also cost less.

  31. You mentioned that Costco’s Prospera line is more durable than their other leather sofa lines. Do you know whether any of their fabric sofa lines are more durable than others?

    • Prospera Home is Costco’s in-house brand for the same manufacturer sold direct to consumers under the Hydeline brand name.

      Both of these brands are leather only (although they have made a few fabric pieces in the past, which may appear in their discontinued “outlet” sections.)

      Both Prospera Home and Hydeline are made by Amax, a very large Chinese manufacturer. Amax also sells the same leather stationary and reclining seating under its own brand name.

      What makes this leather upholstered furniture more durable than other, similarly priced, leather seating is the pocketed coil spring cushions, topped with 2.25 density and memory foam layers.

      Standard 1.8 density foam is also used in the Prospera Home /Hydeline cushions, but only in non-load bearing locations.

      It is important to understand that “pocketed coil” cushion construction, does not automatically mean the cushions are better quality.
      If you search Amazon, you will come across many cheap sofas and sectionals, some selling for less than $500, that feature pocketed coil cushions.

      Pocketed coil cushions are available in different qualities with multiple levels of durability and comfort.

      Fortunately, it is fairly easy for most people to tell the difference. Just check out the cushions’ thickness.

      Prospera Home, Hydeline & Amax pocketed coil cushions are 9 inches thick.

      That leaves plenty of space for a top layer of feathers & down, followed by layers of memory foam and 2.25 density foam.

      Below those layers is a 5″ high pocketed coil unit surrounded by non-load-bearing 1.8 density foam.

      This cushion construction adds up to a very comfortable cushion that should last 15+ years for most people.

      IKEA’s pocketed coil cushions are only 6 inches thick.

      IKEA cushions use a 4″ thick pocketed coil springs topped by 1 inch layers of 2.0 density and memory foam layers.

      IKEA has been using pocketed coil cushions in their low priced Kivik sofas and sectionals for over 12 years. Several of their more recent models (but not all) also incorporate the same pocketed coil cushions.

      There are numerous reviews citing IKEA Kiviks (the first model featuring pocketed coil cushions) that are still in good shape and regular use after 8 – 10 years.

      There are also reviews from some IKEA customers complaining that the pocketed coil cushions feel “too firm”.

      In my opinion, after personally testing both types of cushions, the Prospera Home/Hydeline cushions are far more comfortable than IKEA’s. They should also last longer than the 10+ years being reported for the IKEA pocketed coil cushions.

      Pocketed coil units can also be found in very cheap seating.

      Pocketed coil cushions, sold with cheap sofas & sectionals, may have an overall thickness of only 4 inches, with a 3 inch pocketed coil unit, topped with a small amount of cheap foam.

      The result is a cushion that probably lasts 3 – 5 years (twice as long as a 4 inch thick cheap foam cushion), but feels extremely firm and is uncomfortable for most people.

  32. 1) Is DreamSofa too good to be true? I am seeing some concerning patterns related to online comments and reviews which make me think many are manufactured. On online message boards, I am seeing what looks like organic discussion, but the comment history of respondents is suspicious (only comments pertain to dreamSofa, and multiple cut and pasted comments).

    2)Lovesac – my wife is hooked on the machine-wash-ability, having kids and pets. Are there any options that offer machine washable options that in your view are a better value proposition?

    Based on your reviews I have really taken to the Mantle Burke sectional but my wife is now hooked on the idea of something that is modular/easy to wash or something that is cheap and easy to replace. I don’t mind spending $5k but if the frame lasts 20 years but my kids destroy the fabric in 3 that is not a value proposition I can absorb. I have soured on Lovesac after reading through your posts based on what you are really getting (compared to traditional American made furniture), but even at marked up prices for a new cover, paying $250 to resurface a section of the couch seems to be a great deal compared to replacing or re-upholstering the whole thing.

    • 1) When I research reviews, I always ignore all reviews posted on the company website.

      The vast majority of DreamSofa’s customers are commercial and institutional buyers who do not post reviews and interior design professionals.

      DreamSofa has few residential customers buying direct. The website is not set up for them. For example, the company’s listed cushion options are terrible for residential customers.

      The top cushion option is Ultra-firm, has a low comfort rating and is recommended for heavy duty commercial use. Very few residential customers would ever buy a cushion like that.

      Interior design professionals know that they need to order alternative cushion options that are not listed, but consumers ordering directly may not understand that none of the cushion choices listed are good options for residential use.

      I have let my readers know that the company can also do 2.5 density foam cushions with medium firmness or Spring Down cushions that give wonderfully comfortable seating for 20+ years at the same price, but those options are still not listed on the website.

      So, your instincts are exactly on the mark. You should ignore the website reviews (and any review site where the seller has the option to revise or delete any reviews it doesn’t like.

      Despite that, I have done extensive research on this company, including spending a lot of time asking questions on construction, quality, marketing, and other issues that are not addressed on the website.

      Although the company has not focused on selling direct to residential customers in the past, it has an amazing selection of high quality, affordable products – if you know what to ask for.

      2) LoveSac has a very ingenious design. My only negative feelings about the product is that it can only be used in huge rooms, and is mid-range quality furniture, priced like high quality furniture.

      For those who can afford it and have the space, it’s good stuff.

      FYI – Costco is now selling LoveSac furniture. They do not list the prices, but it is possible that they may be lower than the official LoveSac prices.

      Costco also has good prices on modular leather sectionals for under $5000.

      For slipcovered modular furniture, you may want to check out Pottery Barn. That has been their specialty for many years. I’m not sure how their prices compare with LoveSac, but the quality is better and the pieces are more normally sized.

      The best modular sectionals with removable covers within your price range will be from IKEA.

      Check out the IKEA Jattebo 6 seat sectional.

      It has everything your wife is looking for, fits within your budget, and it should last for 10+ years.

      Some of IKEA’s furniture, including this Jattebo sectional is better than a lot of people think.

      Read my article, IKEA Sofas: All the Experts are Wrong! to find out why.

      • Thank you for the thorough response.

        I’ll check out your recommendations.

        I picked up on the low comfort rating on DreamSofa’s website for the 2.5 foam and thought it odd. The website is actually very consumer friendly- so it is somewhat odd that they don’t have the more consumer friendly options available or highlighted.

      • DreamSofa’s website is very consumer friendly, but it wasn’t actually designed for consumers.

        You really need to speak with one of their design assistants (customer service personnel) before making a final purchase decision.

        DreamSofa has agreed to a 3% discount for my Insiders Guide to Furniture readers.

        Use Code DS7782 at checkout to get the discount.

    • Medley Home’s website gives detailed descriptions of each of its leathers.

      If you need help understanding those descriptions, you can ask me specific questions or you can contact Medley Home’s customer service.
      They will probably be able to answer your questions.

      • Sorry to be vague! I wanted to know whether you think Medley’s value for money differs between their leather and fabric offerings, as you mention that some other brands (Mantle, for example) are good value in fabric but not in leather.

      • Medley Home’s leather is an excellent value.

        I looked at a sample three seat sofa (Rio) and found that their base quality leather is priced approximately 38% higher than their basic fabric. That is a reasonable increase in price.

        In contrast, when I originally wrote the Mantle article, their leather prices were more than double the base fabric price.

        I just rechecked and found that Mantle has reduced its leather prices. There is only a 45% increase now.

  33. After going through a good majority of your reviews I came upon a brand called Hydeline as it popped up on my Facebook…. go figure. I came back to your reviews page to see if you had reviewed that but found you had actually mentioned it in the comments. Based on what I’m seeing and hearing from both online reviews and your reviews it seems to be one of the best values for a leather sofa. I ended up going with a sofa and chaise for right around $2,100. Hydeline is running a pretty good Father’s Day special right now but I found the better deal to be on amazon.com where you can click for the $300 coupon and also get the 5% cash back on my Amazon card. I was happy to find that you had commented on this brand as I was very skeptical as there are just so many different online brands that you don’t know about. I thank you for taking the time to write these reviews to help individuals like myself making form decisions.

    • Thanks. I was unaware of the $300 coupon on Amazon.

      I’ve written about Hydeline in several recent reviews and articles.
      I first ran into the brand only a few months ago at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

      Hydeline is the Direct to Consumer brand for leather seating made by Amax, a large Chinese manufacturer that sells to many of the larger retailers under store brand names.

      For example, Costco sells some of the same products as Hydeline under their Prospera Home brand.

  34. Hi there! I have been looking for a new sectional and found your reviews to be very helpful! Wondering what your thoughts are on the Room and Board Metro sectional?

    It looks like it includes some of the things you suggest and others you don’t. For example; it has the flexolator suspension that you don’t recommend, but says it’s dual. Is that better? or just special wording to make it seem better?

    On the other hand, it does say it has spring and down cushions, which if I’ve understood you correctly is good?

    I attached the detail from the couch here if there was anything I missed. Also to note I am a 170lbs woman with a 60lbs dog that just likes to lay around so not too much weight but also when family comes to stay I don’t want to shorten the life of the couch since my brothers/dad are much larger.

    Construction: benchmade hardwood frame with dual flexolator suspension
    Cushion Style: 2 seat, loose; loose back
    Cushion Characteristics: plush yet supportive sit with a relaxed look; will slightly soften and settle with use; some feather loss is normal
    Seat Cushion: spring & down
    Back Cushion: fiber down blend
    Cushion Care: down cushion care video
    Certification: CertiPUR-US® certified foam
    Accent Pillows Included: 2

    • If the Room & Board Metro actually did have Spring Down seating, that would more than compensate for the Flexolator foundation.
      Unfortunately, the Metro does not have Spring Down cushions; it has “blend down” cushions.

      Spring Down seat cushions (like those used on the similarly styled Crate & Barrel Gather sofa) usually remain comfortable for 15 – 20+ years.

      The R&B Metro has Blend down foam cushions, a 1.8 density foam core with a jacket above and below the foam filled with 50% polyester fiber, and 50% feathers/down. The feathers/down mixture is usually 95% feathers and 5% down.
      The result is a filling consisting of 50% polyester fiber, 47.5% feathers, and 2.5% down.

      The difference in lifespan for foam cushions wrapped with polyester fiber or feathers/down, or some combination of the different wrapping materials is negligible. Although some people claim that the feathers/down feels “softer,” I have never been able to tell the difference, unless the down content is at least 10%.

      Between polyester fiber and feathers, I have always found the polyester to be more comfortable over the long term.
      Feathers tend to “clump” and is not unusual for the smaller “pin feathers” to leak out through the down-proof ticking.
      Down is a superior fill, but it is also far more expensive than either polyester or feathers. That is why so little of it is used.

      2.5% down in the filler wrapping around the foam is not enough to do anything. It’s basically there for the marketing value. It sounds as though it should feel better.
      From a cost standpoint, the feathers/down being used add only a few dollars compared with a filling that is 100% polyester fiber.

      A few other comments:

      Cushions on a two seat sofa have a larger surface area than the same size sofa with three seat cushions.
      That means the pressure per sq. inch exerted on the foam is reduced so that the cushions should last longer.

      For example, an average size cushion on an 80″ three seat sofa measures 23″ wide x 27″ deep, giving each cushion a surface area of 621 sq. inches.
      The same size sofa could also have two seat cushions, each measuring 35″ wide x 27″ deep, so that each cushion has a surface area of 945 sq. inches.

      The larger the sofa size you get, the greater the surface area of each seat cushion, and the longer it should hold up.
      A 90″ sofa with two seat cushions should last longer than an 80″ sofa (of the same style) with three seat cushions.

      If anyone who will be using the sofa regularly weighs 250 lbs. or more, the expected lifespan of the cushions will probably be halved in comparison to a situation in which nobody weighing more than 200 lbs. will be sitting on it.

      I’m not sure what a dual flexolator is, probably an improvement to fix the most common problems of the standard flexolators.

  35. Hi Jeff – thanks for so much insight! Do you have any on Living Spaces sectionals? I’m looking at this one in particular: https://www.livingspaces.com/pdp-everett-reversible-sofa-chaise-275028 – well a slightly customized version of it, but so far I see the density is 1.9 and that now makes me reluctant based on your reviews; their fabrics feel fairly cheap as I’m going for a softer hand like velvet. However, I don’t want to spend more than $3K. Really $2K but I’ll say $3K to be open minded. I know the budget puts a strain on my options. Thanks again!

    • Living Spaces is the 23rd largest retailer in the U.S. with about 600 stores. They buy huge amounts of furniture from Asia, but they also buy from U.S. factories.

      The biggest problem with the sofa/chaise in the link will be the seat cushions. They will probably go flat within 3 years. 5 if you’re lucky. If you weigh 250 lbs. or more, they’ll be flat within a few months.

      The back cushions will go flat within 1 year, but its pretty simple to just shove more cheap fiber inside them when that happens.

      The back cushions are resting on almost nothing. There’s no springs and no foam supporting the back, just a thin paper-like material.

      I found a video showing how this particular sectional is constructed. They did not show the foundation at all. That’s scary. It’s an indication they are using something even cheaper than sinuous wire (which costs very little, but usually lasts 20 years.

      The entire 95″ sofa and chaise weighs 140 lbs. That probably includes the box. A mid-range quality piece that size should weigh at least 180 lbs.

      Check out my article, What is the Best Sectional Under 3K?

      Every brand listed there is a better choice, but I’m sure they are all several hundred dollars more than the Everett.

      If price is the main criteria, go to IKEA. They have pocketed coil cushions that many people report are doing fine after 10 years.
      The frames are garbage, but even garbage frames usually last 10 years.

      If you are willing to spend $200, the absolute best deal right now is the Hydeline Elm sofa and chaise. It’s discontinued in 2 of the leathers (Steel Grey and Silver Grey.) Hydeline’s Outlet has these on sale for $1997.

      Costco is selling the exact same sectional (sofa/chaise) as the Sorena under their Prospera Home brand for $3799.

      This is actually excellent quality furniture that should last you 10+ and possibly 20 years.
      The frame is solid hardwood.

      The leather is semi-aniline top grain. It’s not the cheap corrected top grain leather that is found on most leather sofas selling for less than $3000.

      But the best part is the seats. They are pocketed coils with layers of 2.25 density foam and memory foam and a topper of goose feathers and down.

      It’s actually an improved version of IKEA’s pocked coil seats, but with better foam and a topper of goose feathers and down.

      IKEA’s cheap version is lasting 10 years. Hydeline’s improved version should last even longer.

      You can read more about the pocketed coils in my article, IKEA Sofas: All the Experts Are Wrong.

      Hydeline is a Direct to Consumer manufacturer. They have great customer service. The customer service manager is Jess. If you call, she will pick up.

      You can tell her I referred you. [Note: I do not accept payment or compensation from any of the companies I write about or recommend.]

      I tried Hydeline’s furniture out last month at the International Home Furnishings show in High Point, NC.
      Extremely comfortable and solidly built.

      I strongly advise you to grab one of the discontinued Hydeline Elms before they’re all sold during the Memorial Day weekend.

  36. This article has been inspiring! I commend all your efforts both in the furniture industry and the blogging space.

    My family is getting ready to move to a new home in July, which will be our first single family house.
    This will be the first time I’m ready to financially invest into decent furniture above the “Affordable” category you have listed.
    We are currently looking for a U-shaped sectional (3-4 person config) with chaise/bumpers on either side or L-Shaped version.
    While I have no real preference aside from longevity and “performance fabric” options to help with our child’s dirty hands/spills, my wife is looking for something with a generous seat depth and a plush feeling.

    Although I’m trying to get to a level of trust of ordering a sofa that I haven’t tested before (like some of the ones you have listed here), I still would like to get some of your opinions on the following options im looking at (in no particular order or budget) before i continue shortlisting and purchasing within the next few weeks:
    Crate & Barrel’s Gather vs. Lounge…. Room & Board’s York sectional…. Inside Weather’s Bondi… Maiden Home’s Dune vs Crosby vs Jones… Mantle’s Maiden vs. Burke…Sherrill’s 2051/2052 vs …. A. Rudin No. 2735.

    Any that you wouldn’t consider (and reasons)? Is there any fabric that you would consider the best for a life with toddlers/young children?

    Lastly, for the goal of a 10+ yr longevity, should the minimum requirements be:
    > 2.0 foam densityor springdown cushions
    8 way hand tied spring system
    kiln-dried hardwood frames?

    Any help pointing me in the right direction(s) would be extremely appreciated.
    Thanks in advance and moreso thanks for everything you’ve given the masses thus far.

    Good luck on your journey to 100 brand ratings!

    • Wow! A lot of questions to answer here! You don’t list any specific budget range, but if you are looking at Sherrill and A. Rudin, I will assume you are not too constrained.

      1) Anything from Sherrill, A. Rudin or Mantle is excellent quality and should last 20+ years if you upgrade to 2.5 density foam or spring down cushions.
      Mantle’s Maiden is more expensive than Burke because it is modular and has more material, but both have the same basic construction and quality.

      Ask for a high performance fabric. These are very durable and easy to clean. There are many different high performance brands.

      Some of the best known are: Crypton, Sunbrella, Revolution, Inside Out, Bella-Dura. There are several other brands as well.
      Every company selling upholstery currently carries at least one or two high performance fabric lines.

      2) The Crate & Barrel Gather sectional is reviewed in my article, Is the Crate & Barrel Gather Sectional Good Quality?

      I reviewed the C&B Lounge Sectional in an earlier comment to another reader. Here is a segment of that respnse:

      Crate and Barrel’s 93″ Lounge Deep sofa is a good value at $2000. If you need an extra-deep (46″ depth) sofa, there will not be very many alternatives.

      The biggest weakness is the Flexolator foundation. This is the cheapest and least durable foundation available. It is made with numerous small coil springs that attach the central platform to the frame. If you jump on the furniture or a large person sits down heavily, one or more of these small coil springs can become dislodged.

      Usually, Flexolator foundations are found in sofas selling for under $1000. The main advantage of the Flexolator foundation over the far more common sinuous wire foundation is to provide a flatter seat support. It reduces the box size that the furniture can fit into.

      In some cases, especially during the Pandemic when shipping prices soared by 400%, the cost savings could be significant, but shipping costs have now returned to pre-Pandemic levels.

      It is possible that Crate and Barrel has replaced the Flexolator foundation with sinuous wire, but not updated their website description. If that is the case your salesperson may or may not be aware of the change.

      The C&B Deep Lounge sofa has 1.8 density foam cushions. The description says they are “soy-based” polyfoam, but that is standard construction. Most foam cushions are now made with 20% “soy-based” materials.

      1.8 density foam, when used in a small cushion (such as a normal 3 seat sofa) has an average 3 – 5 year lifespan. The weight of the sitters and the amount of time spent on the sofa affect the actual lifespan. A 300 lb. individual can flatten a small 1.8 density foam cushion in less than 1 year.

      In this case, the model you are looking at has cushions with a larger than normal surface area. That increases the lifespan. If the foam cores are at least 5.5 inches thick (the core thickness is not specified) you should get 5 – 10 years use from the cushion, assuming average use.

      If the cushion does wear out prematurely, you should consider replacing the cores with 2.5 density foam.

      3) Check out my article, Can you Recommend a Durable & Comfortable Sectional in New York City? for reviews on York, Gather, Lounge, Interior Define, Joybird.

      The article also includes a review of Hydeline and Costco’s Prospera Home brand, which are both made by the same manufacturer.

      If you are considering leather, right now there are some tremendous bargains in leather sectionals in Hydeline’s Premium Outlet section. I think the discontinued sale prices may be even lower right now than when I wrote the review, and there are additional sectionals on sale.

      If you are considering anything in leather, don’t wait too long. These discontinued Hydeline bargains may be gone by the end of the Memorial Day weekend (or sooner.)

      4) Maiden Home is generally very good quality, but they buy from several different manufacturers so quality is not the same across the board.

      I don’t have time right now to look specifically into the three models you have listed and I haven’t reviewed them previously.

      Anything from Maiden Home will probably last 10+ years without any problems.

      5) Fabric for kids and toddlers – Leather or high performance fabrics would be best. Microfibers are sturdy, stain resistant and cheap, but not as good as the new high performance fabrics. Avoid cotton, linen, rayon.

      High performance or microfiber velvets can be durable and stain resistant, but they can also act like magnets for dust and pet fur.

      New high performance brands are appearing every few months. If you read any articles about these fabrics, you may come across discussions about whether fabrics made using PFAS chemicals are safe.

      (PFAS) are a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water.

      Over the past year, all major high performance brands have eliminated PFAS chemicals from their fabrics.

      6) 2.0 density foam is not sufficient to guarantee a 10+ year longevity. Try for 2.5 density foam or Spring Down cushion construction.

      Foam durability is based on a combination of factors: Density, foam thickness, size of cushion, and the size of the people sitting on the furniture.

      For example, a 250 lb. person could wear out the foam in a 2.0 density sofa seat cushion within 3 years or less.
      Kids jumping on the furniture can also wear out foam more quickly.

      Cushions with coil spring construction usually show little or no wear from above average size adults or jumping kids.

      7) 8 way hand tied springs are the most comfortable type of foundation and usually last 20+ years.

      Sinuous wire foundations are hundreds of dollars cheaper and don’t add any comfort, but will also usually last 20+ years.

      Pirelli webbing can be good or bad. Avoid the stretchable webbing found in less expensive seating (most sofas under $2000) but the non-stretchable webbing used in high end modern styles is extremely good and should last for 20+ years.

      Avoid Flexolator foundations. Jumping kids can shake loose the small springs that hold the Flexolator’s steel frame to the wood sides, causing sagging and other problems.

      Flexolators are usually found in cheaper seating, but I have also seen them used in some Crate & Barrel models.

      8) Frames: 20 years ago, all high end seating was made with 5/4″ solid hardwood lumber. Now, the vast majority of high end manufacturers build frames with 4/4″ hardwood lumber or 7/8″ plywood with at least 7 plies (or 1″ plywood with 5 plies.)

      The difference is the old 5/4″ hardwood frames lasted for 50+ years. The new 4/4″ and plywoods last for only 20+ year, but cost hundreds of dollars less per sofa.

      Cheaper frames may be made with OSB (Oriented Strand Board), Softwood plywood, 3/4″ hardwood plywood, chipcore, particleboard, or other engineered woods.

      These cheaper frames will still last 10+ years for most people, although I would avoid their use for anyone weighing 250 lbs. or more, or with families of jumping kids.

      Amazingly, these cheaper frames can be found in $600 IKEA sofas and $3000 Natuzzi leather sofas.

      In summary: 4/4″ Kiln-dried solid hardwood and 7/8″ 7 ply hardwood plywood frames will both last 20+ years and both are OK.

      I think I’ve covered all of your questions.

      • Good morning Jeff. Thanks so so so so so much for that detailed response…

        Quick update. As expected, I’ve lost a battle with my wife with regards to ordering a couch without having physically tried it out first. Also, with limited time to take advantage of MDW deals, she has a need to feel the upholstery to make sure it isnt too “rough” for her.

        As such, we’ve been honing in on the Crate&Barrell Gather (deep version with bench seating rather than 2 cushions aside from chaise).. either in U shape with standard with chaise or L shape with double wide chaise on one side to allow for a separate single seating component in the living room to compliment.

        Either way, my questions to you are the following:

        1) Performance Fabrics – I’ve been guided by the salesperson to choose their Douglas (100% polyester) fabric for High Performance that fits the “soft” bill for my wife. Out of the options presented, I did not see Crypton, Revolution, Sunbrella. On their website’s search tool, Revolution only seems to come up for outdoor furniture. In your opinion, will Douglas provide comparable quality as your recommendations? Or is there another option for me? Should I be looking for other particular features before pulling the trigger on the Douglas brand?

        2) Knowing that the Gather (deep) in the bench and wide chaise format with high performance fabric is the configuration we’ll likely settle on.. are there any other similarly priced options (3,500-4,000) with showrooms that you would recommend before we pull the trigger?

        3) Any final warnings I should heed before purchase?

      • Andres,
        1) I know of Douglas, but am not familiar with their fabrics. They may their own line of high performance fabrics.In general, 100% polyester fabrics are durable and easy to clean.
        2) There aren’t that many deep seating options available at that price, especially if you need to try it out in a store. Once you get to the custom brands that can make anything you want, there are more options available, but the price will be several thousand dollars more.
        3) Good luck!


  37. Your scope of expertise is really impressive; thank you for all of the info. Do you have any thoughts on Apt2B sofas with chaises? I love their styles and fabric selection and they seem to get good reviews, but I would love an expert opinion. Thank you.

    • Apt2B is a retailer. They do not identify the manufacturer and do not give specific information about type of wood, foam density, type of foundation, etc.

      Usually this indicates 1.8 density foam and a sinuous wire foundation. The frame says solid wood, but most frames in this style will last 15+ years, regardless of whether it is solid wood, plywood, or engineered wood.
      The sinuous wire frame doesn’t add any comfort but should last 15+ years.

      The limitation on the lifespan of Apt2B sectionals is usually the 1.8 density foam cushions. Typically, they wear out, losing their firmness and comfort, within 5 years.

      If someone in the family weighs 250 lbs. or more, or if you have kids who like to jump on the furniture, the cushions may wear out in half that time.

      Prices are on the high side for this type of seating. For example, the Catalina sofa with chaise is 81″ wide and sells for $3078 when it isn’t on sale.

      Compare that with the Mantle Burke sofa with chaise.
      It’s 100″ wide and sells for $3590 at regular price.

      Here’s what you get for the extra $500:

        8 way hand tied foundation – the most comfortable type of foundation made and will last 20+ years.

        Standard 2.0 density Qualux foam cushions with an average lifespan of 8 – 10 years.
        I strongly advise spending a little more and getting an upgrade to the 2.5 density foam or Spring Down cushions. These will give you 15 – 20+ years of comfortable seating.

      If Mantle is over your budget, check out Costco’s Kyler sectional with chaise. The cushions are 2.2 density foam, which should last a few years longer than those on the Apt2B.

      Another big benefit of Costco is their 100% Total Satisfaction guarantee.
      They are the only store that will still take back furniture, with no questions asked, no matter how long you have owned it.

      IKEA has several lower priced options, including the Finnala, which is available in multiple sizes.

      What makes IKEA sectionals attractive are their pocketed coil seat cushions, which should retain their firmness and comfort for 10+ years about double the Apt2B cushions.

      IKEA’s frames are very poor quality, but should still hold up for at least 10 years. (The frames are backed by a 10 year warranty in case they give out before the 10 year mark.)

      Apt2B reviews appear to be very good, but the vast majority are on the retailer’s website (where negative reviews can be edited or deleted) or sponsored pages where the reviewer gets paid for referring customers.

      Also, out of the hundreds of reviews, I did not see any from people who have owned the furniture for more than two years.
      Reviews from people who recently received their furniture are overwhelmingly positive, regardless of brand.

  38. I would appreciate your thoughts and opinion of Best Home Furnishings. They started with the chairs but now have sofas as well. Thanks.

  39. What a great resource- thanks for all your work on this! Any thoughts on Sabai? It seems to be one of the only brands in its price range that offers lots of replacement parts, but I can’t find much info on the brand.

    • [Follow-up comment about Sabai]

      Most of my comment below is negative. When I look at how the furniture is made, I see a lot of potential problems that might occur 5 years down the road.

      But, after doing some additional research, there are several good points that should be considered.

      Sabai is only 3 years old. I found only one review from someone who had owned their Sabai furniture for 2 years.

      But there were dozens of other reviews from people who had owned the furniture for a year or less.

      In all of these reviews, there wasn’t a single one that had anything seriously negative to say about the company or the furniture.

      That’s unusual! I read thousands of reviews each year. It’s rare to come across an “affordable” furniture brand with such unanimously positive reviews.

      Sabai’s owners appear to be genuinely concerned about both the environment and making furniture that their customers will love over an extended time period.

      I hope the company succeeds.

      Sabai is a small company. The owners have designed a single basic Ready to Assemble sofa/sectional design and market it by emphasizing “sustainability,” “non-toxic,” “ethically-run,” and “earth friendly.”

      Unfortunately those are marketing terms, which do not necessarily indicate anything new and different, or even anything good about the construction of the furniture.

      It does not assure either comfort or durability.

      Regarding durability, Sabai’s FAQ section states that, “We test our sofas more for long-term use and they all go through BIFMA 5.4 tests that include putting 240 lbs. per seat.”

      240 lbs. per seat is a minimal weight limit for sofas. Sturdy sofas are built to withstand at least 350 lbs. per seat.

      This is an indication that the frames are built using cheap “engineered wood products” such as chip core, fiberboard or LVL (laminated veneer lumber.)

      Because these engineered wood products use wood “waste” that is compressed together, they are considered “environmentally friendly,” but they are not nearly as sturdy as solid hardwood or multi-layer hardwood plywood.

      Actually, unless the sofa is used by someone weighing 250 lbs. or more, or if you have kids who like to jump on the furniture, the frame will probably far outlast the foam cushions.

      There is no density listed for the cushion foam. That is normally an indication that the foam density is 1.8 (or less.)

      The average lifespan for 1.8 density foam cushions is 3 – 5 years.

      Sabai points out that its “sustainable” design allows you to replace cushion covers or inserts if they wear out. (Cushion inserts are currently $72 per seat.)

      The problem with this is that cheap foam cushions don’t suddenly wear out and need replacement 3 or 5 years later. They gradually lose their comfort and ability to bounce back.

      After 1 year, the seat cushions will be noticeably softer and less comfortable, but not quite bad enough to replace. They will gradually get worse and worse, until 3, 4, or 5 years down the road, you will decide it’s finally time to replace the cushion inserts (or the entire sofa.)

      If you weigh 250 lbs. the 1.8 density cushion foam will be completely worn out and need replacement within 1 year.

      Also, the cushions do not appear to have much dacron polyester fiber wrapped around the foam. Without this fiber, the fabric does not fit evenly and you get wrinkles.

      All sofas eventually get wrinkles as they are used, but Sabai’s videos show unusually wrinkled cushions for a brand new sofa. After a few years, the cushions will probably appear extremely wrinkled and worn out.

      Another factor that affects comfort is that Sabai seating has no springs. The foundation is a flat, fabric-covered piece of engineered wood.

      As the foam wears down, that hard wood platform will become increasingly uncomfortable. It will also break down the foam more quickly.

      Another concern I have with Sabai is that in May 2022, they changed their assembly from “No tools needed” to “Assembly requires mini ratchet wrench.”

      This is an indication there were some problems with the original assembly method. Probably the connections loosened up over a short period of time or could not be tightened sufficiently.

  40. Hello,
    I’m interested in a few sectionals from Arhaus, Pottery Barn, and Crate and Barrel. I’d like to get a better quality piece, such as Lee, Maiden Home, or Medley, but I really need to try it out since I have a bad back, which is why I’m leaning towards one of the stores above. It looks like Arhaus is pretty good quality and you mentioned that they use sinuous spring foundations, but the Dune line seems to use a Flexolator. Would you avoid that one or do you think it would still hold up and be fairly comfortable? Thanks!

    • If you need to try out the furniture before buying, you will have to cross Maiden Home and Medley off your list. They are both Direct to Consumer lines and do not have showrooms or sell through retailers. (It’s also one reason why they are such good values.)

      The Arhaus Dune is good quality other than the Flexolator. But if you are gentle with the sectional, you should be OK.

      “Being gentle” means you can’t let kids jump on the furniture. If you need to move the sectional, disconnect the pieces first and pick them up (don’t slide) to move them.

      I also would not recommend the Arhaus Dune (or any piece using a Flexolator) for anyone weighing 250 lbs. or more.

      If the cushions start feeling “lumpy” or a dip develops in one of the cushions, that is a sign that one or more of the small helical springs has fallen off.

      If that happens, have the sofa repaired immediately. Otherwise, more of the springs will fall off. It is a simple and inexpensive repair.

      Flexolators are used in seating with a styling that requires an inexpensive flat foundation. The only alternative cheap flat foundation is webbing. Cheap stretchable webbing has more problems than flexolators.

      (Expensive non-stretchable webbing lasts 20+ years, but costs far more and requires a skilled (and strong) worker for proper installation.)

      The reason I don’t like Flexolators is that they are attached to the frame using about two dozen or more small helical springs. It is not unusual for one of those small springs to work itself loose over time. Once one spring is off, more springs may soon loosen up.

      Sinuous wire foundations don’t cost much more and rarely have problems over the lifespan of the furniture.

      Jeff Frank

      • Thank you so much for the detailed response. I’ll try the Arhaus Dune in person to see if it’s comfortable. We had ordered a Crate and Barrel Axis that was very uncomfortable for me, but I don’t know if it was because of the cushions or if I should avoid all sofas with a Flexolator. If you don’t mind me asking one more question, does the Flexolator affect comfort as well or primarily the durability? Thanks again!

      • Flexolators do not add any comfort to the sofa. The angle between the seat and back is more extreme. With a sinuous wire foundation, the springs flex (in a concave curve.)

        When you’re sitting, the middle of the cushion is higher than the back and there is a gentle sloping towards the back. This softens the angle between the seat and back cushions compared with the Flexolator’s cushion angle.

        The variation in comfort is slight. Most people probably would not notice any difference.

        The primary advantage of sinuous wire is that it’s cheap, easy to install by low-skilled workers, and rarely fails for the lifetime of the sofa.

  41. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! It really helps to narrow down such a huge industry with the quality/value matrix. I feeling much more empowered to make an informed decision after working this and other articles.

    Much appreciated!

  42. This is extremely helpful, thank you so much! I really like Maiden Home as well as Medley, and I had not come across those websites until now.

    • There are about 15 – 20 furniture brands that are constantly reviewed and recommended.

      Those are the brands that pay Google for advertising or have trade programs that pay reviewers and influencers to send them customers.

      I do not accept payment from any brand mentioned in my Insiders Guide to Furniture blog.

      Any ads that appear on this website originate from Ezoic, an automated Google advertising platform.

      I have no contact at all with any of the companies placing these ads.

    • Raymour & Flanigan is a retailer. They buy from many different brands at different quality levels.
      Some of their furniture is sold under the Raymour & Flanigan brand name. Those are usually Asian imports.

      From a customer service perspective, they seem to be average.

    • Jessica Charles is one of the Rock Island family of top quality furniture manufacturers. Other Rock Island brands include Century Furniture, Hancock & Moore, Hickory Furniture, Highland House, Maitland Smith and Pearson Furniture.

      If you are interested in Jessica Charles chairs, you may want to look at the Rock Island Factory Outlet
      The outlet center has some great prices on Jessica Charles chairs.


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