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RE: Good Starter Sofa,Couch and Loveseats (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: laura11106 on 01.06.2010 at 05:46 pm in Furniture Forum

You are into the most crowded segment of the upholstered furniture industry. There are hundreds of companies that make upholstered furniture that retails at the price range you are looking at.

Don't expect to find 8 way hand tied coils at your budget. But you should be able to get a sofa and love seat with kiln-dried hardwood frames, high-density foam cushions and sinuous coils for $1500.

There are so many companies out there that can fit your requirements that I don't know where to start recommending.

I will warn you, however, of a few things to avoid. Stay away from Ashley Furniture, probably the largest single manufacturer and retailer of upholstered furniture, unless you really want one of their $399 sofas. Their more expensive offerings are still junk underneath.

The other warning I have is to stay away from leather at that price range. Leather offerings at that price come in 2 different categories: first are the sofas that are made with "bycast" leather that is basically little pieces of scrap leather that has been chopped up and glued back together. The mill cost is for bycast is about the same as a medium-low grade of fabric. The second category of leather to stay away from is genuine leather sofas. For a manufacturer to afford to put real leather on a sofa at that price means that they have to cheat on the insides. You will be getting a $399 quality sofa with a nice piece of leather on the outside.
I am not terribly impressed with IKEA's upholstered furniture offerings. I think their case goods are a much better value.

Microfibers can be great. Just remember that there are different grades. See if your salesperson will let you feel a swatch of the fabric. Some microfibers are very thin while others have some weight to them. It can be very difficult to tell the difference when the fabric is made up on a sofa, until you have had it in your home for a year or two and start noticing the thinner fabric wearing out.

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clipped on: 01.07.2010 at 06:20 pm    last updated on: 01.07.2010 at 06:20 pm

RE: Good Starter Sofa,Couch and Loveseats (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: laura11106 on 01.07.2010 at 12:43 pm in Furniture Forum

In general department stores mark up their furniture about 10% more than furniture stores. I would buy from a department store only when they have a particularly good sale going on.

It can be difficult to tell the quality of a cushion just from looking at it. At your price range, you are probably going to have to settle for a basic foam cushion. If you have a knowledgable salesperson, ask if any of their furniture comes with ultracell cushions. That is a brand name foam that is particularly durable and comfortable.

If not, I would suggest unzipping a seat cushion and take a look at what is inside. At a minimum you should have a fairly firm piece of foam at least 6" thick with a polyester fiber wrapping around the cushion.

You should also check out the back pillows. Preferably they should have a zipper. If you look inside and see a white ticking that holds the cushion filling that is usually a good quality back cushion. The lower quality back cushions will just have shredded foam or fiber blown right into the back cushion fabric and then the fabric is sewn up.

A couple of brands you might look for:

Mitchell Gold - They may be a bit above your price range but make an excellent product.

Flexsteel - You have to be careful with Flexsteel these days as they import some of their product from China now. When looking at a Flexsteel sofa, turn it over and look at the bottom. If there is no dustcover and you can see the blue steel spring, you are looking at an American-made product with a hyperbolic spring that is possibly the most durable ever made. American made Flexsteel products put a lot of quality inside their products where you can't see it. Their tailoring isn't always the best, but its still a good product. Stay away from imported Flexsteel products (they will have dust covers on the bottom.)

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clipped on: 01.07.2010 at 06:20 pm    last updated on: 01.07.2010 at 06:20 pm