Mattresses in a box have exploded in popularity in recent years, standardizing the concept of buying all our furniture in a set of boxes and having it delivered to your home for free. One of the newest industries that has caught the attention of Millennials and Gen Xers? Banks in a box.
Many young Americans live their lives by constantly moving – so they need furniture that can work in many places. Because these consumers rely heavily on online ratings and reviews, [online furniture stores] will continue to gain traction, provided more consumers shop and report a satisfying experience, says Pat Bowling, vice president of communications for the Home Furnishings Alliance of America. Selling upholstered furniture online is particularly appealing to consumers in rural areas where choice may be limited, as well as those living in smaller areas where there are physical limitations to accepting a full-size sofa.
So the banking sector has been reinvented; we can now easily join and buy a bank at an affordable price. And instead of waiting weeks or even months for delivery, it is delivered in an instant in boxes that can be easily transported through the house, regardless of narrow stairwells or narrow doors. More good news: These modular sofas can grow with the consumer. Of course, your first apartment may be reserved for loved ones, but the possibility of adding a deck chair or a seating area in a few years is all the more reason to buy it from the start.
Which brings us to the best sofas in a box you can buy right now. After searching the market, we found five brands that are absolute winners. From design and quality to customer service and warranty, these are our favorites.
From the company that brought you the custom-made Helix mattress in the box, here is Allform, a sturdy and stable modular sofa that can range in size from an armchair to an elongated section. Launched in May 2020, Allform sofas are made in the USA and, we believe, stand out from the crowd for two reasons. First, the high-quality fabrics and premium leather are scratch-resistant, removable, and stain- and splash-resistant, making them ideal for families, pet owners, and virtually anyone who sits on their sofa 24/7.
It’s not a sofa in a fancy living room, says Adam Tishman, co-founder of Allform. We are product obsessed; our whole experience is about making people comfortable when they sleep. So when we wanted to build a sofa, we wanted it to be stronger and more comfortable than any other. This sofa is meant to be used by you, your family members and your pets. And after testing the sofa ourselves, we can confirm that you shouldn’t play with the fabric – it easily withstood four children who jumped on it 24 hours a day, resting, nibbling and building castles.
Our second favorite thing about Allform? Those big seats! Specifically, they’re 5cm wider and 5cm deeper than most sofas on the market, making them feel like regular, non-modular sofas – not to mention that they’re perfect for tall people or those taking a big nap on the sofa. And the pieces are also incredibly practical. The benches have a hardwood frame and steel suspension (which, by the way, is covered by a lifetime warranty), are made from 95% recycled materials, and the seat is made from soft foam and fiber cushions that are soft and comfortable, yet durable.
To find out more: The sofas ship for free for about a week, free fabric samples are available here, the brand offers a 100-day trial period with free returns, and the sofas can be customized in more than 500 configurations (from the three-seat option to the U-section). Putting it together without tools is a bit cumbersome, and it takes some muscle power to put the pieces together, but with very clear instructions, the process should be finished in about an hour, depending on the size of your sofa. Attention: The boxes are bulky, but luckily they are also labeled by room (chair, recliner, etc), so they are large but also fairly organized.
Price: Sofas start at $1,145.
The elephant in the box
The elephant in the box
Elephant in a Box, an idea from a Harvard Business School graduate and two MIT graduates, was marketed in 2020 as a solution to the traditional process of buying a sofa set, which they found expensive, stressful and uncomfortable. Frustrated with the weeks of waiting for a traditional sofa without a seat, the founders began to consider replacing the standard wood and steel base of the sofa with the cellular construction commonly used in airplanes and race cars.
Results? Light and durable, flexible, portable and easy to carry. One of the main advantages of the honeycomb foundation is its accordion design, which makes it easy to assemble (without tools) and allows you to fold and unfold the sofa again and again, whether you’re moving it from the living room to the basement or from one house to another. Another design detail we appreciate: The bench can carry up to 3,000 pounds (that’s almost three times the weight the other benches in the box can carry).
The elephant in the box
The elephant in the box
We want to revive the joy of buying furniture, says Daniela Terminel, CEO and co-founder of EIAB. I’ve lived in New York for 11 years and moved 14 times – it’s not easy, and our mission is to save time, energy and money by reinventing the mechanics of interior design to make buying, installing and moving a pleasure.
To find out more: Sofas are delivered free of charge within two to four days, they come with a machine washable cover (replacement covers in different colors can be found here), fabric swatches are available upon request, and a 30-day trial period includes free delivery (with or without a box) if you are not satisfied with the product. The brand’s latest addition is the workbench, which features an armrest with a hidden extendable table.
Price: Sofas start at $849.
If there was an OG in the bank area, it would be Burrow. The direct-to-consumer retailer, which launched in 2017, offers consumers the most options of any brand on our list. The best-selling Nomad sofa, for example, has reversible cushions and is available in nine configurations – from loveseats to two-pieces – and in three types of fabric (productiv, premium leather and velvet), three wood or metal versions of legs (we have a soft spot for brass) and three styles of armrests. You can also upgrade your sofa with a mobile chair ($300), a footstool ($295), a sleeping set ($200) or a set of lumbar cushions ($135). Did we mention that each piece also comes with an integrated USB charger for your phone!
We tested the Burrow Slope Nomad sofa bed and found that not only is it very easy to put together – it comes with easy-to-read instructions and lots of pictures – but it’s also incredibly durable, even with a feisty cat in the house. Burrow boasts that he spilled red wine and spaghetti sauce on his work clothes without getting them dirty, and this claim holds up. Our critic spilled all sorts of things on his couch, from coffee to marinara sauce to hot sauce and even spicy olive oil, but with a few wipes, a damp cloth or a general stain remover, everything was out in a few minutes.
To find out more: The brand recently launched a collection of modular, minimalist and ultra-flat seating called Range, which, like the Nomad, is highly customizable. There is also a lot of new furniture, such as a bar trolley, side table and rugs. Burrow offers free samples and free shipping on all of its furniture, with delivery usually within a few weeks. The 30-day return policy includes a 10% re-assessment with the original boxes (up to 20% without packaging).
Price: Sofas start at $995.
Since launching in 2014, Michigan-based furniture brand Floyd has been producing simple yet intuitive sofas for its iconic fan. Seriously, though. If you’ve ever met a Floyd sofa owner, you’ll know it right away – because they are eager to share the joy of owning a Floyd sofa. And we’re here to explain why all the hype is actually deserved.
First of all: Floyd’s mission is to combat the large amount of waste in the furniture industry by creating a quality sofa from honest, non-toxic materials that is so compact it can be delivered in a flat package, reducing the brand’s carbon footprint. Floyd’s main goal, however, is to prevent the constant stream of cheap furniture from ending up in landfills.
Until a few decades ago, furniture was considered an object to be kept and even passed on to the next generations. But with the advent of Fast Furniture, the cultural norm of our furniture consumption has shifted dramatically toward disposable furniture and planned obsolescence, says Alex O’Dell, co-founder and COO of Floyd. Floyd designs its products with the intention of being able to evolve with you over time, thanks to its modularity.
And then there’s the modern and comfortable design of The Sofa’s only sofa. The furniture is available in three configurations – two chairs, three chairs and three adjustable chairs that can move in either direction – and in five shades, from bold (saffron yellow) to soft (creamy oatmeal). The soft yet durable fabrics resist stains, while the soft yet durable cushions stay in place even after being mistreated by pets and children.
Finally, assembly and disassembly. In a word, simple. The only tool needed is the included Floyd tool, which also happens to be a bottle opener. The brand has designed the sofa so intuitively that even a novice can assemble it in less than 45 minutes. And according to hundreds of critics and an overall rating of 4.8 stars for The Sofa, that’s exactly what the brand has managed to do. It is a sofa that can easily move through your home or accompany you in your life.
To find out more: The brand offers a 10-year warranty, free samples and a 30-day return guarantee in the original packaging. There is a 10% shipping charge and the sofa is delivered by FedEx or UPS, or for an additional $49 you can proceed to the room of your choice.
Price: Floyd’s bank starts at $195.
Los Angeles-based design company Capsule is known for its beautiful elevated sofas, designed by a team of promising designers. Modern and infused with California details, the pieces will be at home in Architectural Digest and beyond – and yet the prices are surprisingly affordable, thanks to the company’s direct-to-consumer sales model.
Our favorite and one of the brand’s bestsellers is the spacious Kellan sofa ($2,299, originally $2,499; capsulehome.com or $2,799; wayfair.com), designed by Eric Lin. This sleek cabinet with tapered legs, floor to ceiling, features reversible cushions with removable covers and comes with disposable cushions – ideal for large families, guests or anyone who wants to make themselves comfortable while watching Netflix. A smaller, more affordable option from the brand is the Pasadena ($399; capsulehome.com or $469.99; wayfair.com), which includes two USB ports for charging phones, not to mention two cushions on the armrests.
To find out more: Capsule offers a 90-day return policy (original packaging encouraged but not required), free samples can be viewed here, and while shipping is fast (two to ten business days), there is a fee based on the total of your basket (highest offer is $300). If you want to buy Capsule on Wayfair, you can get it with free (and fast) shipping and a 30-day return policy.
Price: Sofa capsules start at $399 on the website, while at Wayfair they start at $469.99.
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