You’ve seen the ads.
A large family changes around what initially seems to be a normal couch. What starts out as a small three-seat sofa transforms in size and style to accommodate the needs of their brood. And as life is lived on it, with wine being spilled on a light sofa and a dog tracking dirt all over a darker one, the mother and father throw pieces in the washer. As the couch changes, so do the kids, who by the end of the commercial, are seemingly adults.
This is the ad for Lovesac Sactionals. You can find it on YouTube, alongside a bevy of videos on how to put them together and reviews on how the couches hold up, done by a diverse group of families. These couches have been around for more than 17 years (the brand will celebrate 25 years in business this year) and are one of the best-selling in the country. I’d seen their ads many a time and always thought, a couch that can be washed and changed? Too good to be true.
You see, in my young life, I’d already gone through three couches and and quickly learned that the ordinary sofa doesn’t hold up well as life changes and families grow. My very first couch in my very first apartment was too stiff and small for me. My second lasted more than six years, only to crumble under the weight of my oldest son, who jumped on it to the point that the cushions were sunken and the arms were broken (it threw up lost tiny toys as it was hauled out to the curb). By the time our second child had come, my third couch barely survived a year. The wood in the arms was loose, the cushions wouldn’t stay in place, and in no time, it had been christened with enough pee stains and kiddie vomit for it to tap out.
So I thought, if I’d gone through three couches in less than 10 years, perhaps it was time to see about a couch “designed for life.”
I spoke with CEO Shawn Nelson shortly after ordering mine, and he let me know it wouldn’t necessarily be a love at first sight thing.
“You won’t appreciate them until you’ve had them for five years, 10 years. Mine are 15 years old, my pieces,” he told me. “They’re older than all my children. Because until life happens, and your kids puke on it or a red wine goblet blows up all over it, or until you move, relocate, take your sound system with you, until these things happen, you can’t fully appreciate it.”
I was a bit intimidated, because Lovesac couches aren’t priced like your average offerings out there. Their cheapest options are their original Sacs, which are massive bean-bag like seats that can be for one person to as many as four people. Their most expensive offerings, the Sactionals, can be more than $10,000 depending on how many seats and sides you want in your home. The company occasionally has sales (especially around holidays), which is when many people opt to purchase a Sactionals.
I kept it simple and opted for a four-seat Sactionals with five sides in a dark blue carbon crossweave shade and texture. It seemed to be the size of most of the couches I’d had online, but when it came, it certainly was bigger. The cushions were wider, the seat back pillows larger.
To note, it also didn’t come as one whole couch. It came in more than a dozen boxes at our door, letting us know we were going to have to put in some serious work to put it together. So my husband and I spent two evenings in a row organizing our pieces first and then putting them together. We pulled covers over cushions until our fingers were tired and watched enough how-to YouTube videos to be expert craftsmen. We were a bit annoyed, to be honest. However, the end result all those months ago was impressive. We plopped down on the firm-but-not-too-firm-to-be-cozy couch and nodded in approval. “It’s nice!” my husband said.
In just a few days we’d said it a number of times, including after my husband crashed on it after rising for his 6:30 a.m. shift with our 2-year-old. I said it as I laid out on the chaise part after a long day of work(-ing from home). We said it as we found ourselves on completely different sides of the couch, marveling at all the space we had. “This is nice.”
In the time since, the couch has been peed on a few times. We’ve managed to be able to do just like the commercials. We’ve pulled off the covers and thrown them in the washer, and by the next morning, they were dry and ready to get back to duty. No signs of urine. No smell of baby spittle. When guests would come in their street clothes that had been on the subway, I no longer felt like my only option was to douse our sofa in Tide fabric spray. I could comfortably clean the couch and it would come out of the washer ready to hold up to the next test. Even with my oldest son jumping on it, you don’t hear any creakiness, because it’s not made of the same cardboard and springs of other options on the market.
“In our world, it is 100% solid hardwood frames, hardwood plywood. Instead of just staples and glue, it’s wood screws,” says Nelson. “Imagine, because we don’t have 16 lines of sofas of different styles, this is the only thing we make and we make millions of them. We know every joint, every screw placement.”
So yes, I’m impressed. Granted, it hasn’t been five years and seen us through multiple stages of childhood yet, but it’s been a number of months and it still feels like it came right out the box(es) yesterday. The price is not something to be scoffed at, but as the CEO shared with me, it’s an investment. The money you can spend on multiple couches, you can use on one. And when you need a bigger sofa for a bigger family, you just add more seats and sides. If you want to switch out a cushion, you can. You can also buy new covers to change up your look. It’s a washable, changeable, rearrangable wonder.
I know spending money on a couch is not as sexy as a big vacation or bag, but when the needs and comfort of your family is front of mind, you’ll find that ever-changing Sactionals are a must-have for your ever-changing life.
“The Sactionals you bought years ago will be even cooler than the day you bought it,” Nelson says. “If you think about it, what else do you own in your life that that’s true for? Most things just deteriorate, wear out, kind of degrade over time. You’ll see your Sactionals will get better and we’ll help them. We will cause them to get better over time. We’re very proud of that.”