A brutally honest, unbiased review of the York Pottery Barn Sofa and what you should know before you purchase one.
We’ve been living with our two Pottery Barn sofas for exactly 2 YEARS, so I’m finally sharing all of the nitty gritty details about them with our real-life review!
I avoided showing these sofas in our family room since they arrived because I knew I’d immediately get questions in my inbox about them, but I wanted to give it time to have a fully formulated opinion about our experience before ever recommending them to anyone.
Our Slipcovered Slope Arm York Pottery Barn Sofa purchase happened after years of debating, waiting, and saving up for what we dubbed our “dream sofa”.
It’s been 2 years now since we bought these with our own money and we still love these sofas!
We are not quite as happy with our choice of Sunbrella fabric and realized we probably would choose Crypton if we could do it over. Here’s how we clean the Pottery Barn couches.
If it’s a piece of furniture on your wish list too, I thought it would help to share everything you should know before deciding if it’s the right sofa for your household.
Why We Bought 2 York Pottery Barn Sofas
We got two sofas because we found having only one sofa in our living room left no extra seating room for when we had family and friends over.
How Our Sofas Transformed Our Living Room
First, I need a minute to just marvel over how far this living room has come since we moved in.
4+ years ago…
Holy cannoli, Batman!!!!
Okay, I got that out of my system. Let’s dive in.
Our Brutally Honest Pottery Barn Sofa Review
Pottery Barn York Slope Arm Sofa Specifications
York Sofa Style
We chose the Pottery Barn York Slope Arm Sofa mostly because of its deep seat and sleek design with the option for a bench seat cushion. It’s simple with clean lines.
The York sofa style lends itself to transitional decorating, so if you feel your style is not-quite-traditional but not-quite-modern, this sofa has a great shape for suiting both. The slope arm detail gives it a slightly feminine characteristic.
Slipcovered Sofa vs. Upholstered Sofa
We had the option of choosing between the upholstered York Slope Arm sofa and the slipcovered. I prefer the slipcover because it gives us the flexibility to change it for a new color or fabric material, if we want something new without buying an entirely new sofa. The slipcover also lends itself to a more relaxed look.
Sofa Fabric Choice
Even though we had 105 sofa fabric options to choose from, I knew immediately that I wanted a high performance fabric to stand up against coffee and red wine spills or dirt from our kids and our dog. So we chose the Sunbrella Performance Chenille fabric in the color Salt.
You can order fabric swatches from Pottery Barn’s site to see different fabric options in person.
York Sofa Dimensions
One of the biggest factors that sold us on this sofa was how deep the seat is. We chose the 81″ width, which has a seating depth of 22″. The sofa is 36″ high, which makes it the perfect sofa for taller people. If you prefer to “curl up” on a sofa, you can’t beat the York.
Other Similar Sofas We Considered for Their Sleek Styles
Our Living Environment Affecting Durability
We have two young children ages 5 and 11 and a small Yorkie mix dog, so our crew puts this sofas to the test BIG TIME.
Our kids have already climbed up on the sofas with dirty feet and hands, and our dog loves sitting on the back cushions squishing them out of shape when I’m not around to tell her no.
Pottery Barn Sofa Pros
Because the cushions are down blend, they are easy to “fluff” right back into shape. The loose cushions can be flipped to promote longevity, and the sofa is made of a non-sagging steel.
We have owned 3 sofas in the past 6 years, one being the IKEA Farlov (which I posted a full review about our IKEA Farlov sofa years ago). I’ll share more about the Farlov comparison later in this post, but the Pottery Barn sofa is by far the absolute most comfortable.
Robert and I have sat tested many sofas over the years, and we kept coming back to this one. If you like a sofa you can sink into but has just enough support, this one is “just right” that Goldilocks would approve of.
Many a naps have been had on these sofas because the bench cushion especially is like laying on a super soft twin mattress.
Customizable Design Options
I love that the York sofa line comes with so many options to customize it for your space.
Like many other Pottery Barn sofa collections, it has:
- 4 different widths
- Chair, loveseat, and sectional options
- 105 fabric options
- Slipcover/upholstery/leather options
- Flexibility in the number of back and seat cushions you prefer
- Comes with lumbar pillows
- Slope arm option for an elegant style
- Orr a square arm option for a more modern look
Easy to Clean
We had a couple of small drink spills with juice and coffee but they scrubbed right up with water, so the Sunbrella fabric is better than most upholstery fabrics.
Having a white sofa is quite a risk, so if you want white upholstery, it’s important to choose a performance fabric.
Pottery Barn Sofa Cons
Okay, here’s the tough part. It’s not for the low budget crowd. BUT this is one of those you-get-what-you-pay-for situations.
Considering the quality of materials and the fact that the cushions are down blend with Sunbrella fabric, it’s worth the price in my opinion. I count it as an investment.
This was our third sofa in nearly 5 years because the first two cheaper sofas had polyester fill cushions that eventually broke down and sagged and springs popped loose. Our last one even contributed to a bad back issue for Robert requiring visits to the chiropractor.
Long Delivery Wait
To be fair, we ordered these sofas in the midst of a worldwide supply chain slump. So the lead time issue was likely much worse than it would be in “normal” times.
We ordered these sofas in January 2021, and they arrived at the beginning of September 2021. It was frustrating but ended up being worth the wait.
A long time to wait is expected for made-to-order pieces
Awkward for Sitting Up
We have the York deep seat option, which is best if you like to lie down on your sofa. In situations when I don’t want to “curl up” and would rather sit, I do have to tuck a couple of pillows behind me to sit upright.
However, Pottery Barn does make a non-deep seat sofa option.
In social situations where you want to be a little more formal when guests are visiting, the deep seat version is a bit awkward.
Upholstery Needs Occasional Cleaning
I’ve noticed the slipcover begins to look dingy after 2-3 months, so going over them with an upholstery cleaning machine (I have this upholstery cleaner) without steaming using water only can help.
I wash our covers at least twice per year. According to the care instructions, they’re dry clean only, but I’ve never had a problem cleaning our Pottery Barn slipcovers in the washing machine on cold using Oxiclean White Revive.
UPDATE: I’ve heard from friends who have experienced Sunbrella and Crypton fabrics on other furnishings that they’re much happier with Crypton. The Sunbrella does okay and mostly cleans up spots with water, but they do still look dingy without a regular swipe of the upholstery cleaner once a month.
See that one little spot on the cushion? The Sunbrella fabric isn’t completely invincible, but it does clean up fairly easily with just water and a rag.
Pottery Barn York Sofa vs IKEA Farlov Sofa
We owned the IKEA Farlov sofa with a white slipcover for about 2 years when we first moved into our house, and the style and shape is very similar to the Pottery Barn York Sofa, so now that we have lived with both for a while, here’s how they compare.
The IKEA Farlov has foam cushions that are much more firm than the down blend Pottery Barn York cushions. The Farlov is still rather comfortable for the price, but the Pottery Barn definitely beats it by far.
Depending on the type of fabric you choose, the IKEA Farlov is approximately $1400 cheaper than the Pottery Barn sofa.
Over time, my white cotton IKEA slipcover shrunk and became dirty looking to the point where I couldn’t clean out some of the stains.
The Sunbrella fabric of the Pottery Barn sofa is much more durable over time without the shrinking issue, especially since they don’t require washing like the IKEA slipcovers do.
Because the IKEA Farlov isn’t custom, we were able to buy ours right in the store and take it home the same day whereas we had to wait 9 months for our Pottery Barn sofa to be delivered. So the IKEA Farlov is best if you need a new sofa in a hurry.
The Pottery Barn sofa definitely looks more “high end” in person than the IKEA Farlov simply because the quality of materials is much better. The down blend cushions look more “fluffy” and the fabric looks more luxurious than the cotton slipcover of the Farlov.
The IKEA Farlov sits about 2 inches lower to the floor and the Pottery Barn sofa is also 4 inches deeper, so the Farlov isn’t quite as well suited for tall people.
With the IKEA Farlov sofa, the fabric choices are limited to 4 types/colors (though you can buy upgraded replacement slipcovers for the Farlov from Bemz or Comfort Works). The Pottery Barn sofa has 105 fabric choices with different levels of durability performance to suit your household’s needs.
Are Pottery Barn sofas good quality?
All in all, we have very little regrets with our York sofas so far. I would have just chosen Crypton fabric instead of Sunbrella.
They are certainly an investment, one which we didn’t consider lightly. But I would rather buy a more expensive sofa once and have it last a couple of decades versus buying a cheaper sofa three times in the same time frame.
Quality wins out every time when it comes to sofas, especially in a family that uses and abuses them. Our family is still pretty happy after years of use and plenty of real life happening on them.
Pottery Barn Tyler Recliner Review
You can read our Pottery Barn Tyler Recliner review here from a couple of months ago too. We still absolutely love them!
Okay, one more before and after for the road…
Do you have a living room sofa you absolutely love and recommend? Or do you a Pottery Barn sofa you don’t mind sharing your experience about? Anything else you would add to our Pottery Barn couch review? I’d love to know!
If you do eventually decide to go with a Pottery Barn sofa, it’s best to hold out for a 20-30% off sale since they have several sales annually.
And if you have any questions about it, ask away.
I’ll be sure to report back as we wear in these sofas more with time, but so far, we’re in love!
If you want to save this post to reference later, you can pin it here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Pottery Barn’s sofas are estimated to last between 7 to 15 years. The higher priced Pottery Barn sofas are extra durable because they are made from down blend and solid wood frames. That’s why they’re a popular choice for interior designers.
Pottery Barn has a 30-day money back guarantee on your order, if you’re not satisfied. But Pottery Barn does not offer warranty plans on their products, including furniture.
Leather couches tend to last longer than upholstered couches because they are sturdier and easier to maintain in case of stains.
West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and Ethan Allan are are brands of similar performance and price point to Pottery Barn with classic style options.
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