ikea vs. crate barrel sofa bed — which to buy?

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So we-are-this-close to closing on our tiny upstate cottage. Between that and the wedding plans, our spending money is just about wiped out. But there a few a necessities that we have planned to get so we can start enjoying the place right away. Namely, a bed for us, and a sofa-bed for guests. Since the house in a rural setting, we’re going to embrace the country-feel and move away from the clean modern lines we have in our NYC apartment. We’ve been eyeing these two Shabby Chic knocks-offs at Ikea and Crate & Barrel. Their lines are nearly the same, but the Ikea one is about $1,000 cheaper. Now, I realize that a sofa is ONE thing in a home worthy of splurge, but I just can’t wrap my head around it right now. Will we regret going with the cheaper Ikea version and saving money? We won’t be there full time, so it’s not like it’s going to get a ton of action. And, we could always order a new slip cover to change the look of it. Do any of you have Ikea sofa beds? What’s your experience with them? — Angela M.

From our partners

I don’t have it, but I have friends who have EKTORP and like it plenty. I’ve never found a sofa bed that’s truly comfortable to sleep on, so I’d say just go for the cheaper one. $1000 is a big difference! Think of all the other stuff you could do in your new cottage with that.

LeeAnn

For a part-time sofa, my money’s on the Ikea. If you’re worried about the comfort of the sofa-bed, you can always buy a mattress topper. Some of them aren’t unwieldy and can be easily packed away when not in use. A topper might make give sheets a tighter, better fit as well.

Christina

I have found the EKTORP sofa to be hard and uncomfortable to sit on. But for a $1,000 difference, I might deal with it — and I have no experience with the C&B version, so it might be just as uncomfy. As the early commenter said, there are lots more things you can do, or need to do, with $1,000.

If it’s not a full-time house…go the Ikea route and buy a nice smooshie mattress topper for the pull out.

We have a C&B hide-a-bed right now that isn’t any better than the IKEA pullout I used to have. For a part-time sofa, I’d go with the IKEA.

Are you planning on having lots of overnight guests? I have the Troy sleeper from Crate & Barrel and the bed/mattress is super comfy… for a pull-out. Though the mattress topper idea may be the way to go to help with that problem.

I think if it’s not going to see much action, then go with Ikea. Generally, I always recommend not going too cheap on furniture, because the better one will really last much longer and you’ll end up spending the same in the long run. But, if something isn’t getting much use, then the less expensive will probably be ok.

laura_s

I LOVE my ektorp. It has gotten even cozier with age and still maintains it’s shape. Definitely go for the Ikea couch – you won’t regret it!

We’ve had an Ektorp sleeper sofa for about six years, with fairly frequent use. All reports on it are that the bed part is very comfortable, and I like the couch quite a bit. We got a couple of sets of slipcovers so we can change the look and give it a washing regularly (a requirement with lots of pets).

TRWexler

If you’re not using it full-time, an Ikea sofa would probably be fine. Our chocolate lab jumped on our Ektorp about 6 months after we got it and one whole side of it collapsed.

If it’s not you everyday sofa I would go with IKEA.

Liz

Sleeper sofas are never comfortable – IKEA or otherwise. I would buy a regular couch and invest in an air mattress. I don’t know what your storage space will be, but i especially like the air mattresses that blow up into a full standing bed. A feather bed or a little foam on the mattress will make for an excellent guest bed.

I had an Ektorp and would not buy one again. The entire underside is made of cardboard and the cushions became so smooshy that you constantly had to rearrange them to sit on it comfortably.

Suz

No sofa bed is comfortable. Get a plain Ikea sofa and an Aerobed. They are amazingly comfy for sleeping on.

The Ikea makes a great choice. They are not only comfortable, but well made and will hold up over time.

Andi

There is a whole website dedicated to slipcovers for IKEA furniture.

http://www.bemz.com/ check it out- they are great

Mary T

We recently bought an IKEA Beddinge convertible sofa for our guestroom (which doubles as my office). You have different types of mattresses to choose from so we tested them all until we found one that was comfortable and affordable. So far it’s been plenty comfy for our guests! Cute, too.

http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/IkeamsSeplace?storeId=12&langId=-1&catalogId=11001&seplaceType=product&pageNumber=-1&orderBy=score&category=%23%7EProducts&query=beddinge

I have the loveseat size Karlanda sofa bed from IKEA. I really love it – good size for 2 people to sleep and reasonably comfortable – i keep a mattress pad on hand for when i have guests. i like that you can change out the covers to suit your style

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[...] you know, I’ve been on the quest for an affordable sleeper sofa bed. Yesterday, reader Diane emailed us about this clever sofa bed, [...]

MichelleBee — I guess the Ektorp you got was not a sleeper sofa. I’ve been comparing a Raymour & Flannigan (on sale) which is probably better made, but what I liked about the Ektorp were the three seat cushions instead of two and that it’s slipcover is washable. It’s for my basement. But two boys (12 and 9) play down there sometimes, including, among other things, wrestling. So now I’m afraid to buy the Ektorp. I hate having to rearrange cushions all the time.
Anyone else have any thoughts on the non-sleeper Ektorp.

Sue

We bought an “as is” Ektorp sofa from Ikea going on 5 years now. It is our main sofa in our TV room and it has held up very well. There are five of us plus a dog and a cat, who probably use it more than us. The sleeper is a typical sleeper comfortable for a night or two. But, the couch is very comfortable. The kids love it and we are actually getting ready to buy another one, but in the larger size. If I remember right the Ektorp has a 10 year warranty and Ikea is good about standing by their products. Crate and Barrel is beautiful stuff, but I think way over priced. Go with Ikea!!!

Angela M.

Hi everyone! Just a quick note to let you know we did buy the Ektorp and so far (eight months later) we are very happy with it. It is pretty cozy. It’s easy to imagine it looking a bit frumpy before long, but for a weekend couch, it does the trick.

Peeps

I don’t know about the Ecktorp models from a few years ago but whatever materials are being used in this couch now makes it an unbelievably UNcomfortable sitting or lounging experience. We’ve had our sofa for 3 months now and its awful to sit on and trying to find a comfortable position, whether laying down or sitting up is painful after about 10 minutes.

The upshot is price and durability and looks but if you actually want to sit on it for any period of time or you ever take naps on couches and like to lounge spend more money on something else.

I think IKEA furniture has great style. I had bought removeable, washable and replaceable slipcovers and found the material of slipcovers is fantastic. Now i am thinking to buy sofa sleepers from it.