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Sactional vs. Karlstad

We are getting excited to build the movie room in our basement.  Currently the TV is in our dining room while we renovate but watching a movie from a wooden chair just isn't that comfortable.  When we move the TV back to the basement, we're going to get a new couch/sectional so we can watch movies the way they're supposed to be watched - in comfort!

When we wrote about the great beam debacle, we were debating making a wall around the old support beam like this:

We were worried we'd never fit a couch down the stairs so we looked into options that could fit around small corners.  It was then that we found out about a cool product...


No, we're not just mispelling "sectionals"!  Sactionals are modular couches made by Love Sac.  They sell two pieces - bases, which work as ottomans or seats, and sides, which work as the back of a seat/couch or as arm rests.  You can pretty easily rearrange all your bases and sides to make dozens of different configurations!  Here are some examples.

We kind of fell in love with these sactionals!  The idea of being able to reconfigure them on a whim is really appealing.  We could make a guest bed, make one long couch if we have a party in the basement,  or make a double chase for watching movies.  My favorite is the playpen!  On top of that you can take the fabric off any cushion, base, or side and machine wash it.  Plus it would have fit through our weird basement entrance but we changed that up so it's not really a problem anymore.  But after doing the research on this sectional option, we were still interested in considering buying one for the basement.  The problem with these Sactionals?  They're pretty expensive.  Like $2,500 for the Metro 5 series we wanted with 6 bases and 8 sides (which would make a 2+2 sectional with an ottoman).  They said they sell their floor models at a discount and we happened to really like the fabric they had in-store so we asked if they could put us on a list.

A few months later

We have been renovating our basement and everything has been torn up and under construction when last week we got a phone call.  It was the Love Sac store, the floor model was about to be changed out and it would be up for sale.  We were the only ones on the list so they called to offer it to us!  After we asked a millions questions and got prices for all sorts of options we were left with this decision - We could have $1,000 off the retail price for the floor model if we bought it that week.  Yikes!  We didn't even have anywhere to put it and it wasn't the ideal time to spend money on a couch.  But with such a good deal and our love of that floor model, we begged some friends to let us store the sactional all boxed up for a few months until the basement is finished and with an ok from them we went to the Love Sac store to make sure we still like the sactional and possibly to buy it.

It didn't go well. Problem 1)  Mike didn't really like the feel of the sactional this time around.  Because the backs can also be armrests they sit strait up (as opposed to angled back) and they're not as tall as a back rest usually goes.  With some extra pillows and angling the cushion he could get comfy though.  Problem 2) The cushi0ns were tuffed unlike most of the other Sactional cushions.  That meant the covers couldn't be taken off to wash, which had been one of the biggest selling points.  The floor model was also missing some of the buttons from the tuffs, was this a sign of how well it would wear?  The employees said it was easy to fix if the button came off.

We still really liked how modular it was and we hadn't found any great alternatives that would fit in the spaces so we were ready to pull the trigger.  That's when we came across problem 3) The price rang up as $2,150, not $1,550 like we were told over the phone.  Apparently the person we talked to over the phone was still pretty new and was ringing up something completely wrong.... like not even close.  Not even a sactional, just the covers!  It's amazing what $600 does to tip the scales of "should we buy this".  To the manager's credit, he was super nice and said he would call the corporate office to see if he could give a bigger discount but we'd have to wait a few days until the offices open.  We weren't expecting them to come back and say they were going to give us an extra $600 off because an employee told us the wrong price, though.


While we waited to hear back from Love Sac, we decided to explore different options since that that support beam won't actually be an issue for bringing couches down the stairs.  A lot of the other sectionals we found were around the same price range as the discounted Sactional and even more were the wrong size.  We were looking for a couch that was no more than 100 inches on the left side.  With our online research one option stuck out as a good deal - Karlstad by Ikea.

The Karlstad 2-3 sectional in Isunda Gray with an ottoman comes out to $1,150 - a thousand dollars cheaper than the reduced price of the floor model Sactional.  Now, traditionally we haven't thought much of Ikea's sofas so we didn't have high expectations but it was suprisingly comfortable!  Mike even liked it more than the Sactional.  The covers are all removable but dry clean only.  That's kind of a pain but at least they can be cleaned!  We were a little bumbed to find out you can't make this sectional modular even though they sell the love seat and sofa separately.  Mike thinks he could hack it and add feet to make each section free standing so we could turn it into one long couch if we ever want to.  Hmmmm.  On top of all that, we won't have to buy it until the basement is done and we're ready for it.  There were a lot of pros for the Karlstad.

We don't really like the legs so we'd either stain them like YHL did, paint them, or put on different legs completely.

So, if we don't get the Sactional now this whole purchase will be on the backburner until this winter when the basement is done.

Do you have any experience with Sactionals or Karlsatad?  Any advice on this decision of ours?

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  1. I’ve never heard of the Sactional but they sound pretty cool – especially since you can make them into virtually anything you want! The fact that the covers don’t come off, it’s already missing buttons and it’s not as comfortable… that would make me weary. I’ve tested the Karlstad out and thought it was extrememly comfortable. Plus, I love how YHL’s looks now that they’ve tweaked the legs a bit. And the fact that it’s $1000 cheaper? Sold! So obviously my vote is for the Ikea sofa! Can’t wait to see the basement finished up!

  2. I have had experience with both furniture.

    Ikea why it may look very trendy and seem comfortable is terrible quality from what I have experienced. My whole apartment my freshman year was Ikea, and after a year I really found out the old saying “What you get is what you pay for”, to be right on par. The wood is usually particle board, and my sofa did not fare well to normal daily wear and tear. It really depends on the fabric and price point, again what you pay is what you get.

    Now I did not know about Lovesac until last year when I received a sac as a gift. Totally best piece of furniture in my house, guests LOVE them. I finally splurged and got a 2 base, 4 side Sactional for my living in choc. rhinoplush and after 6 months I do not have one complaint. I’m a furniture design major, and the pieces are well constructed of solid wood, and quality fabrics. Plus Ikea can’t compete with a lifetime warranty, or the fact when my dog destroys it I can just throw it in the washing machine…

    hope it’s not too late!


    • Thanks for the info John. We’ve both been against Ikea’s furniture but we were pleasantly surprised with the Karlstad couch. It’s made of solid wood, has comfy cushions, and the fabric can be taken off and washed – which was a must-have for us. The Sactional we liked had tufts that were sewn through both sides of the cushion so the covers could NOT be washed, that was a big disappointment for us. Plus it just wasn’t comfortable for us. Our space requirements would only fit the Metro series of Sactionals which is the smaller modules, I think the bigger ones were more comfortable but we just couldn’t fit them. I’m glad you like yours though! I guess it’s worth mentioning that we have a nicer set of furniture in our living room but for the basement, we’re totally OK with getting something cheaper.

  3. I know this is way late, but the tufted covers for the 5s sactionals ARE removable. They use a button toggle to do the tufting. You just unzip, undo the toggles, and throw them in the wash. Then you have to retoggle them. More of a pain than a regular cover, but you still get the tufted look.

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