Tuesday, July 1, 2014

the great debate, Pottery Barn sectional vs. Ikea Ektorp

I thought I'd address this today since it is one of the most commonly asked questions I get.

"Where did you get your sectional?"

Oh yes, the great debate of the Pottery Barn sectional vs. the Ika Ektorp. 

Well, years ago we had the Ikea Ektorp sectional with the svanby beige slipcover.
It was a big purchase in the sense that I had to talk my husband out of his beloved {and expensive I might add} leather sofa we currently had.
I was looking for a lighter look and I loved the idea of a slipcovered sofa because of the washability and a sectional seemed to fit perfectly in our space.

So, I brought him to Ikea, 
{a task in itself} 
to try out the Ektorp sectional.
He liked it OK.
He thought it wasn't too comfortable but for under $1000.00 you just couldn't beat the price.
So, I won and we bought it.

Before we go into this further I'd like to give my review on the Ikea sectional.

I liked it. For looks I give it a 9 out of 10 stars.
The kids had spilled ketchup on it, soda, you name it, and the covers came off easily and washed right out. 

The cover we had, like I previously mentioned, was called the svanby beige, which I am not seeing online anymore. 
It was a cotton linen blend that recommended dry clean only.
However, I washed and dried mine.
It shrank in length a little but to tell you the truth, I thought it was a bit long to begin with , so this was a win win.
I also found the cover easy to get back on the couch after it came out of the dryer.

Comfort level I would give it a 7 out of 10. A little hard, but still comfortable.

Here are some photos of the Ikea Ektorp sectional.

Fast forward a couple years and after listening to my husband complain that it wasn't that comfortable, I started searching for another option with the same look.

That is where I stumbled upon a Pottery Barn sectional on Craigslist, too good of a deal to pass up.

So, we gave the Ikea sectional to my sister in law and brought in the new Pottery Barn sectional.

Here is my review of the Pottery Barn sectional.

Looks I give it a 10 out of 10.

Comfort level I give it a 9 out of 10.

The slipcovers wash and wear great. 
However, they are a pain to put back on! 
These ones I wash and hang to dry.
It is a workout in itself to get the covers on.

The color we have is cream twill and it is exactly the same color as the svanby beige by Ikea. 
The cushions are wrapped in down which is a nice feature and makes it even more plush.

There is about a $3,000 price difference in the two sectionals, and I'd like to show you photos now of our Pottery Barn one to see if you can tell the difference.

Can you tell the difference?
It's really hard huh?
When we got the new sofa no one even noticed.

I hoped that this helps a little if you are debating which sofa to buy.
They are both good in my opinion, and have a very similar look.
If you have the extra money to shell out, I am sure the Pottery Barn one will last a lot longer and it is a bit more comfortable in my opinion.
However, for the money, the Ikea one is just fine!

Link to Pottery Barn sectional here, 
Link to Ikea sectional here. 



Calypso In The Country said...

I always like to hear pros and cons on furniture...especially when there is such a difference in price! Your room is gorgeous as always...

Happy Happy Nester said...

This blog post is so helpful!!! I'm totally debating getting a new sofa. I've come to appreciate Ikea since my friend from Sweden would let me tag along on her biweekly trips. So now I have more ikea decor in our house. I do want a comfortable sofa since our current one is not. I'll check out both models! Thanks so much.

René said...

Thank you for this! We've had the Ektorp sofa for years and I believe it was made for families with kids! We have the white slip cover which I've always washed and also the svanby beige which I was about to take to the dry cleaner for the first time. So glad to hear that you wash yours - going to try it! P.S. Your family room is beautiful!

[email protected]ébec said...

We have two Ektorp love seats in our living area and I love them. We have the white slipcovers which are easy to find in the AS IS section of Ikea so I have a back up set when needed. Like you I throw it in the wash on a fairly regular basis. It is dog proof, kid proof and trend proof. :)
My only complaint was when they changed the frame and cushion design in the last few years. I actually have one that is over 10 years old and it is soooooo comfortable that the kids run to it first. It gets a 10 out of 10 while the other gets a 7 out of 10 for comfort. Funny how a simple change really effected the feel but the cushions now have a down wrap on them which seems to make them a bit more firm? I have always loved the Pottery Barn version but like you I don't think I or anybody else would notice the difference. It is a classic style and one that is so easy to dress up or down with cushions and throws. I agree with René...beautiful family room.

Seawashed said...

This is a great post...so helpful. I cannot see the difference at all! But the Pottery Barn sofa should be more comfortable for the price. I just noticed that Rachel Ashwell has a sofa(not sectional) that looks exactly like the Ektorp too and it costs almost $7,000. I will stay with my Ektorp which has served our family well.

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Kelly - Talk of the House said...

Thank you for the in depth review of both. Your room looks wonderful with either piece in it. :) We just bought two of the ektorp chairs (which are still in their boxes) and I am glad to know that the slipcovers are easy to wash. Our current sofa in the room that these are going will be leaving when our son moves, so the ektorp sectional was on my radar as the replacement. Your post helps me with the decision.


Very good info....I feel your pain with the slipcovers...I almost dread washing mine [mitchell gold] because it is so much work to get the suckers back on.

maureen said...

I also have the Ektorp (sofa and loveseat) from Ikea in white. After struggling to get covers back on after they were dry I read somewhere to put them on while they are still somewhat wet. They slip right on like butter. I have a front loader and simply set for an extra spin cycle and when they come out the are ready to put on and are mostly dry about an hour after I put them back on. The cushion covers themselves are not a problem to put on dry, just the frame cover!

Lee said...

Melanie I too did this test. I eventually bought the Ikea Ektorp sofa with the white slipcovers taht are under a hundred dollars. I truly think there is no comparison. If you want the slipcover look and comfort but not pay tons of money Ikea is the way to go. I love my Ektorp and have a few other chairs with slipcovers that wash beautifully and if you hang them outside really don't wrinkle much, but you can use a steamer if you wish. I love Ikea. Even though I do love Potterybarn so much. But to be honest if you want the slipcover look Ikea is the best bet and you can get three covers for the price of one pottery barn slipcover.

Ginger @building sand castles in the wind said...

I'm new to your blog and forget the slip covers I just love the look of your room! Gorgeous!


bsurrounded said...

I hope I won't regret my decision. I love the slip cover look and have had several custom slipcovers made for dining room and living room chairs. However, i decided to go with an upholstered sectional in ivory. I paid to have it fabric protected, but have already had them come out to clean spots off twice in a two month period. So I bought a Rug Doctor Spot cleaner that has great reviews and am hoping for the best. This is my first experience with a light, solid colored sofa. Love your home.

bsurrounded said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy said...

A couple of years ago when I was considering an Ektorp I e-mailed you and you told me your honest opinion on your Ikea sofa...we went to the closest Ikea (Atlanta) about 2 1/2 hours away and I had my husband test it out...he wasn't very happy about the white slips s but said if I wanted it to go ahead and get it. I debated back and forth for a while and ended up getting a neutral sofa in a local store that I'm very happy with but still want my white slipcovered Ektorp! Maybe I'll get the loveseat for my sunroom.

Thanks for your take on both sofas...I would never shell out the $$ for the PB one over the Ikea one.

Angela Santiago said...

Thank you for your review! I'm also thinking of buying a new set of sofa. After I read your review,I've decided to buy the Pottery Barn. Thanks! =)

John The Baker said...

We've had the Ektorp sofa a year ago and it still great in condition. Glad that I bought it.

Unknown said...

Your place is looking AMAZING now it's furnished!!.. Love the living room, the teal wall looks great.. Ralph & I have just started, hoping to get our kitchen ordered in the next few weeks..You're more than welcome to pop in anytime, I'm sure you'd have plenty of good advice!!

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I would go for the Pottery Barn because to me it's the comfort. Who wants to sit on a sofa that's uncomfortable. If it will be just for show -- Ikea gets it but it you will use it all the time well it's a no brainer. Your room is beatiful.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking on CL for a PB sectional to replace my Ikea Ektorp. I just can't take it anymore, the Ektorp is very uncomfortable and we can feel the box frame when sitting on the cushions which are poor quality. The cushions move around and there are noticeable gaps between them because they are not full. The sectional looks nice but the comfort level is poor. Anyone trying to decide between the two should definetly save their cash and purchase the PB or Crate and Barrel brand.

Peggy said...

We have had the Ektorp loveseat for just over 4 years now. I have to admit it probably only gets a 9 out of 10 comfort now but it has been used and abused by 3 teenage boys, their friends, and my husband. Countless hours have been spent on it playing video games, watching movies, and rough housing! The only issue we had was a male in our household who will remain unnamed put the the spare over in dryer on normal... yes it shrank.. and then they forced in on causing some seams to pop. I haven't fixed it yet but thankfully it doesn't show. I definitely would recommend this love seat to anyone who has children who are less than gentle on furniture. It fits the budget nicely, wears well, and oddly enough ours is more comfortable now than it was when we initially purchased it.

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Unknown said...

Thank you. Can you please tell me the paint color in your living room?

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yulie said...

Does anyone know if the Ikea Ektorp slip covers will fit on the PB basic sofa? I have the PB sofa but the slip covers are just too expensive to replace!

Unknown said...

I have the PB basic sleeper and use the Ektorp blekinge white slipcover as I couldn't afford, nor rationalize the expense, of replacement PB covers. Fit isn't exactly the same but pretty close, just gives it a slightly shabby chic look.

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Unknown said...

i think i may have purchased an identical sectional like yours, would you be able to tell me if there was any labels on your potterybarn sectional that you got? i couldnt find any labels on mines so now im thinking maybe i got a fake one. the back pillows are all down filled and the bottom cushions are wrapped in down too but i cant find lablels on anything.

couchandsofa said...

love sectional.Pottery Barn sofa is the best to me as My main considerations are comfort and not having to babysit the sofa (“fix” it every time it has been sat on — by sliding the seat cushions back under the back cushions, etc.). Of course it also has to be beautiful. And next time, no microfiber!

Liam Flynn said...

I also love sectional sofas! They are the best way to utilize limited space in a living room in my opinion. Keep up the great work on the blog!

BTW, check out my favorite sectionals of the year located here:


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