Product Type: Ikea home furniture
Newest Review: ... while later by which time it was well and truly mushed into the sofa! As with all Ikea furniture the Karlstad sofas are self assembly,... more
Comfort in a box; grow your own sofa...
Ikea Karlstad Sofa
Member Name: DonPaolo
Ikea Karlstad Sofa
Advantages: Affordable, smart, easy to assemble, comfortable, hard-wearing, changeable covers
Disadvantages: Some covers can't be washed, cushions get squashed and covers loosen over time, Velcro!
When I first moved in with my girlfriend just over 2 years ago, we had a 'furnished' flat where the only seating available was offered by 2 small, hotel-lobby-style armchairs. We weren't ready to buy a proper suite, and didn't have the room either, so looking for a basic sofa, we went to Ikea.
There is a decent selection of options in Ikea, most of which are quite simple and modern in their style. We liked the Karlstad range as it provided large seating space without being too bulky, and the seats were very comfortable. The range includes armchairs, 2 and 3-seater sofas, corner units, sofa-beds and chaise longues. We chose the Karlstad 3-seater model, with pale beige fabric covers, which was around £350 at the time. A range of colours and fabrics are available, and depending on the cover you choose, this same sofa currently retails between £289 and £540. These prices make the Karlstad a very accessible option, and it was ideal for us at the time, looking for a comfortable and affordable basic sofa.
It took us by surprise, but the Karlstad comes in traditional Ikea flat pack format, so we took it home on the day to avoid delivery charges. After a great deal of rearranging and dropping of the back seats, we were pleasantly surprised when the whole package fitted snugly in the back of the little Ford Escort we had at the time.
@@@ - The dreaded assembly! - @@@
I generally find Ikea products to be simple and quick to assemble, with good clear instructions, and this sofa was no exception. Putting aside the cushions and legs for a moment, the body of the sofa comes in 4 parts; the seat, the back, and 2 sides. As you attach these parts, you also put on the fabric covers you have chosen, stretching them over the main structure and fastening them on. At this point I was slightly disappointed to learn that they attached by Velcro, which seemed to me a little tacky (I was expecting zips, perhaps).
Overall, putting the Karlstad together was pretty simple. I managed it alone in about 40 minutes, although these things can be quicker if you have a glamorous assistant, provided they don't get in the way! The trickiest part of assembly without doubt is ensuring the covers are neat and straight, and that the edges of the sofa match up with the seams of the fabric, but this is worth the effort to create a tidy result.
@@@ - I'm going for a nice relaxing sit...- @@@
The finished sofa is very comfortable; the cushions are thick and soft, but substantial enough that they don't squash into nothingness when you sit on them. Most importantly for me, as I am tall, the seats are very deep, so I can sit right back on them and have my legs properly supported. My mum is only 5 foot 2, and if she sits right at the back of the sofa, her feet and lower legs dangle over the front like a toddler (we give her extra cushions).
@@@ - Fast forward 2 years... - @@@
We've owned the sofa for over 2 years now, and taken it to 2 different homes. We have recently bought and moved into our own home, and placed an order for 2 'proper' sofas which are due to arrive in the next fortnight.
It is the end of an era for the Karlstad, but its time has definitely come. It is still comfortable, and still looks quite good, but we are now ready to move on. The covers have become slightly loose in parts, with the Velcro fastenings needing to be straightened up, and the fabric stretching slowly over time. The cushions are also looking more squashed and messy (they need to be 'plumped' every so often to keep them looking good and feeling comfortable.
Over time, you will undoubtedly spill various things on your sofa, and if the worst comes to the worst, the covers can be removed, and you can buy new sets separately, allowing you to change colours or just spruce it up a bit. Crucially, some of the covers can be machine washed, which is ideal, but ours don't fall into that category sadly. However, despite my best efforts with pasta, red wine, curry and the like, ours is still remarkably clean, as we have managed to use spot removers such as Vanish or similar to remove any marks. Needless to say though, it does not look as good as it did when we bought it.
@@@ - Overall Thoughts...- @@@
Our Karlstad sofa has served us well over the last 2 plus years. It is very affordable, and is comfortable and hard-wearing for the price. Of course it isn't of the highest quality compared to high street furniture stores; I look at it and I know that it's made of MDF, Velcro and fluff, but when the finished article is completed, it does look smart and feel good.
The styling is simple and modern, and it can complement most rooms well, giving plenty of seating space without being unnecessarily bulky. It was absolutely ideal for us at the time, and I hope we can find another place for it in the next few weeks; maybe in the spare room...
Summary: A great sofa for an affordable price, ideal for people starting out.
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