Top critical review
138 people found this helpful
Gorgeous furniture for a great price, strange cushions. UPDATED
on July 30, 2013
AFTER ONE WEEK: Overall this is a fantastic buy and I'm super pleased with our purchase. The value for the price is amazing. The day after I ordered I had a little anxiety and compared the cheap sectionals at area furniture stores that cost a couple hundred dollars more. All had something wrong with them or were ugly and uncomfortable, and either didn't include an ottoman or their version didn't open. Plus, with Prime, free two-day delivery - which would have cost another hundred dollars at area stores. Eventually we have our eye on a pair of tufted leather sofas, but since that would cost more than my car at this point and we're still paying off student loans, this is a fantastic and affordable way to update the embarrassing and uncomfortable hand me down furniture we've had since college.
I got the brown version. It looks great in the room. It's the sort of couch that is more comfortable to sit on than to snuggle into - it is constructed with that new flexible webbing that high end upholstery has started using instead of springs in the base, but the cushions have springs in them! The cushions have a metal spring interior support and are wrapped in about an inch of foam and batting. This means it's a very comfortable couch to sit on - easy on your back with a lot of support, but if you snuggle into the corner to take a nap or read about half the time you might uncomfortably end up feeling one spring on your hip bone. You can easily lift your body up, readjust, and find a comfortable place to be, but it is NOT going to feel like those cushions on $6000+ sectionals that are made of high density foam wrapped in down, and which you can flop down anywhere and never find an uncomfortable spot.
I understand why they went with springs instead of foam and polyester - cheap foam breaks down a lot faster than metal will, so the springs make it more durable. I'm still subtracting a star because I would rather replace flattened foam in five years than lose the comfort, but if you're looking for something gorgeous to fill a space and you either have low back problems and need more support or you're not a couch potato and don't care to splay out to nap, read or watch a movie, this might be perfect for you. It's a good buy either way, it's just not perfect.
People should be aware that bonded leather isn't like regular leather - it's more like recycled leather. There are two kinds of bonded leather - the kind that is made of thin splits of suede that are essentially coated in plastic to strengthen it, and a second kind made of leather fibers from scrap leather that is pressed into a fabric backing, coated in plastic to strengthen, and is then embossed with a leather texture. The first kind is more like "real" leather, though it is weak and not durable because any scar on the cow will eventually tear in the bonded leather. The second kind seems more fake, but inherently has a lot more strength because of the underlying woven backing. I could tell when I assembled the sectional that this is the second type. It still smells like leather to me - not as strongly as an uncolored leather sofa, but that same leather/chemical scent of a colored one is there. It also has a faint chemical scent of foam and polyester batting. If you are someone who is extremely chemically sensitive, I'd choose something else or at least assemble it in a garage or shed and let it off-gas for a while. I get headaches from strong chemical scents - I avoid cleaning aisles at grocery stores - but this hasn't bothered me.
I have a yorkie and a declawed ragdoll cat, and so far neither the yorkie's nails while playing tug of war or the cat's fur has marked it. Random bits of white fuzz do seem to accumulate on it though, so a 2 minute wipe with a slightly damp cloth once every 5-7 days seems to help. Also, just like any plastic or oil-based protective coating, you should NEVER put oils or leather conditioners on it. Leather conditioners will eventually break down the coating and the leather will fall apart.
I found it easy to put together. In the hour and a half between when the delivery guy left the boxes in my foyer until my husband got home, I dragged the old furniture out, dragged the new boxes in, assembled the furniture, wiped the strange coating of white powder off of it with a damp microfiber towel, made an easy pasta dinner, and sat for ten minutes, all by myself. The only part that was difficult was getting the long back support of the sofa part on - I couldn't get the pieces to align at first so the bolts on both ends would go through at the same time. When I pushed that piece up against the wall for a little bit of leverage it went together easily.
My other tip for assembly - there are these long double-ended bolts that hold the back to the base. If you screw the bolts as far as you might naturally- until they are flush, like I did at first, then it will seem as if they are not long enough. Instead only screw them in 5-6 rotations - that will give you enough back support and still leave plenty of room to fasten them together.
The feet are made of plastic, not wood. It doesn't matter because you can't see or feel them after assembly, but they do feel cheap.
The throw pillows, while ugly, are surprisingly comfortable. I'd planned on tossing the ugly things out, but after my husband remarked for the third time how surprisingly comfortable they are I'm now planning on just making different covers for them - perhaps seasonal ones.
6 MONTH UPDATE:
I'm subtracting a star from my review. After a few months one of the cushions started to wear much differently from the others, despite regularly rotating the 4 cushions that can be rotated. It was almost as if the metal springs in that cushion was stronger than in the others. The metal started to show through the foam, and left a faint circular impression on the surface of that cushion, as well as become increasingly uncomfortable.
I ended up fixing it by purchasing an inexpensive 6" memory foam queen sized mattress, which I cut into cushions. I pulled the existing cushion inserts out of the covers and took them apart. I tossed the batting, layered the inch of foam underneath the mattress foam, and inserted the layers of foam into the cushion covers. Then turned the sectional pieces on their backs, unzipped the covering on the bottom, and pushed the steel springs from the original cushion inserts (still wrapped in a white cover they came in) into the bottom of the sectional, where I supported them from the bottom with a frame I built out of 1x2" pine furring strips. I put quite a bit of pressure on the bottom of the springs with the new wood frame so that there would be very firm support under the new softer foam. I left the elastic straps in for additional support.
Now the sectional is extremely comfortable, and the pressure marks on that strange cushion are gone. Pretty inexpensive for an upholstery project, and cheaper than a more expensive sectional would have been, but if I wasn't the handy type who had previously reupholstered a few projects I probably wouldn't have had the courage or knowledge to try fixing it at all. And at just a few months in, I shouldn't have had to.
So my updated recommendation: If you're the type who's unafraid to dive in and make it work for you, or you're buying furniture for staging or a spare room rather than living with, go for it. If you're timid and just want something comfortable that works well without fuss, plan on spending at least five hundred more to get something of more consistent quality.
Two Year Update:
At this point I wish we'd ordered a sectional from a certain well-known Swedish chain store instead. It would have cost a little more but I think it would have been worth it based on their reviews. I'm subtracting another star. The arm rest in one corner must be made of cardboard bridging two thin wood frames, because someone put too much weight on it one day and it sounded like something popped. Feeling through the leather it's clear that the frame is fine, but something connecting the frames is very soft. Also, the back cushions are attached to the frame with velcro. At first this seemed nice because I don't have to fuss with the cushions much. But two years later it's still startling when someone flops into the cushion, moving the velcro a bit and getting startled with the ripping noise. Also, near the velcro the cushions are starting to tear.