Couch shopping is hard. It’s a major purchase, it gets a lot of use (maybe too much use in this house), and it’s long-term. I don’t know many people who run out and buy a new couch every year. I sure can’t. Couches are meant to be an investment. And everywhere you look, white couches are showing up in houses. The only white couch I remember as a kid is the formal couch that was in the formal sitting area in my Grandma’s house. It certainly wasn’t used daily. I’ve had two white couches for years. One is Pottery Barn and the other is Ikea. If you’re deciding between those two, read on for my couch comparison.
Couch Comparison – Pottery Barn vs Ikea
We had brown pleather (is that a real word?) couches for years. I didn’t like them one single bit. However, they were a dream at the time when we had two tiny kids and a giant dog – lots of messes are made on couches by tiny creatures and slobbering dogs. Eventually, the time came for new couches.
Pottery Barn Outlet Store Jackpot
I tagged along with a friend to the outlet stores because she was on the hunt for a Pottery Barn rug. I was just wandering around the store and there it was! A white Pottery Barn couch – in the outlet for about 1/3 of the price of a new one!! Apparently it was a special order for someone else who returned it. I quickly called the husband because you kinda gotta be on the same page when spending a chunk of change. I thought about it over lunch and pretty much raced back to the store to buy it. My dearly beloved had to drive back to the outlets the next day (after a snow day and on very messy roads) to get it. And did I mention the outlets are nearly 2 hours away?
Anyway, we brought it home and my initial thoughts were that it is too big for our space. It’s the Cameron Square Arm in the Grand size (Pottery Barn Cameron Sofa). At 96″ long, it is pretty darn big. But, of course, outlet purchases are non returnable and I knew I couldn’t afford to buy one at non outlet prices. So it stayed.
And I’m so glad it did. I love this couch. It took a little while to break in and feel comfortable, but I love it. My husband is still a bit on the fence, but he’s pretty happy with it too.
The best part for me is the washable slip covers. I was nervous the first time about how easy it would be to get back on, but it is surprisingly quick. I wash them in cold and dry until they are about 50% dry and then I air dry them the rest of the time. So far, I haven’t had any issues with shrinking. One warning to you though. The covers actually say do not remove? I have no clue why. To me, if they come off and are washable, then I’m washing them. I’ve washed them countless times and no problems with shrinking.
One lucky day, my neighbor texted me about an IKEA couch she saw on Craigslist. I called right away because it was listed for just $150. Lucky me! When we went to check it out, it was in perfect condition. I think the guy bought it for his apartment but ended up living with his girlfriend most of the time. I don’t think anyone every really sat on this couch. It wasn’t exactly the cover color I prefer, but for $150, it was a steal. Imagine my husband’s delight when I asked him to go pick it up. Three flights of stairs and not just straight stairs – those kind that break midway down and turn back the other way. You know, super fun for carrying a couch down. The more I write, the more I realize that my husband deserves a prize.
This couch turned out to be the perfect size for the other side of our living room and I love it too. It’s from the Ektorp series (Ikea Ektorp) and it’s much smaller than it’s Pottery Barn friend, but that’s ok. We replaced two old wing backs with this couch and it gives us more seating options plus more than one person can stretch out.
The IKEA couch also has a washable slipcover and it is just as easy to clean as the Pottery Barn couch. I follow the same washing and drying routine and it always goes back on like a champ.
It’s been a few years since we bought both of them and overall I love them both.
Here’s a little breakdown of my Pros/Cons for both:
Pottery Barn – Pros
- The Grand size is huge (96″ wide). My husband and I can both share the couch without feeling like we are smothering each other. And three people can sit with plenty of room and not feel “too close”. Four people if you like that “close” feeling.
- Removable slipcover – this is a must for me if I’m going to own a white couch. This couch has had plenty of messes made on it and it always comes clean. And it’s super easy to wash and put back together.
- This is a quality couch that I think will last for years. The construction is solid and the fabric is a thick canvas material that doesn’t fade or pick. I haven’t noticed any sagging or lumpiness in the cushions.
Pottery Barn – Cons
- Comfort – this couch was a bit stiff at first. It took several months before I was officially in love with it. There is definitely a “breaking in” period with this one.
- Price – this would have to be the biggest factor when considering to buy Pottery Barn. It’s considerably more than the IKEA couch by a long shot.
IKEA – Pros
- Price – definitely an affordable couch and it’s still good quality. Even after years of use, I don’t feel like it sags or doesn’t hold it’s shape.
- Washable Slipcovers – Again, a must for me. Kids and dogs and life = messes. This one also cleans up like a champ. No stains after several years and these couches get tons of use.
- Size – this is not necessarily a pro for me, but if you don’t have a lot of real estate in your house to work with, then this one is perfect at 85″ wide.
- Slipcovers are much cheaper for this one than replacing a Pottery Barn slipcover.
IKEA – Cons
- Size – again, this could go under both pros and cons because it is a foot shorter than the Pottery Barn Grand.
- Comfort – there is a difference in the way it feels if you are sitting for an extended period of time (or binge watching Netflix like me). There is not as much support in the cushions as the Pottery Barn couch. If I’m stretched out on it, I can feel the cushions sliding a bit and it eventually gets uncomfortable. However, for the price, it’s still an amazing couch.
Would I buy both of them again? Absolutely! I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with either of them and both of them have enough pros to make it a solid purchase.
Happy couch shopping!
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