Ashley Furniture is an American family-based company with over 70 years of success in the furniture industry. Ashley is a behemoth in the space and is, today, the #1 Furniture Manufacturer in the World.
Consumers can shop for Ashley's furniture via its website, through retail partners, or in person at one of its more than 1000 Ashley HomeStore brick and mortar stores.
The company sells a variety of leather and faux leather sofas and chairs at prices well below other big box furniture stores. Ashley's sofas also come in various designs and colors to offer customers a range of options.
After examining reviews on different platforms, including Houzz and Consumer Affairs, a consistent message was clear: Ashley's return policy and protection plan are not thought of very highly.
And when I dug into the materials and construction used for Ashley's furniture, I became even more convinced that Ashley's furniture quality is subpar.
Ashley Furniture is one of the country's oldest furniture retailers and is today the #1 Global Furniture reseller. Its products are available in its stores and even online at places like Amazon. Ashley's furniture is built for budget conscious consumers and while affordable, the quality is subpar.
What's The Background Of Ashley Furniture?
Ashley Furniture got its start back in 1945, when Carlyle Weinberger founded the company, primarily as a sales organization selling wooden tables and furniture of other local furniture makers.
In 1970, Ashley opened up a manufacturing facility in Arcadia, Wisconsin, which is today the headquarters of the company. By the mid-1980's the business started to flourish, sourcing furniture and supplies from Asia, while significantly expanding their retail distribution.
Today, the company is the worlds largest furniture retailer and one of the biggest US based furniture stores. Ashley's furniture is sold through independent retail partners and via its Ashley HomeStore chains. Today there are over 1000 Ashley stores operating in more than 60 countries.
Is Ashley Furniture Legit?
Ashley has been selling furniture for over 75 years and is one of the largest global manufacturers and furniture retailers.
Today, the company employs over 35,000 people and has annual revenues in excess of $4.5 Billion.
Furniture can be purchased either online at AshleyFurniture.com or via one of its more than 1000 Ashley HomeStores locations. Ashley also sells via other independent furniture store and even online at Amazon.com.
Ashley is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and although there have been over 800 complaints over the past three years, Ashley has an A+ rating with the BBB.
This essentially means that Ashley has done a good job in resolving any of its customer complaints.
However, Ashley has a 1.05 rating out of 5 stars on the BBB website on over 600 customer reviews. This is definitely a major concern.
Does Ashley Make It Own Furniture?
Ashley has eleven manufacturing and distribution facilities in the US, along with other manufacturing facilities in China and Vietnam. While Ashley has continued to expand its US manufacturing prowess, a large percentage of their sofas and couches are imported from China and Southeast Asia.
What Is The Quality Of Ashley's Furniture?
While most consumers look to Ashley for the affordable pricing, the unfortunate reality is that the pricing is low due to the inferior quality.
The majority of Ashley's so-called leather sofas are using a leather match material, meaning that Ashley uses real leather on high traffic areas (like seating) and then uses bonded leather on other areas to cut costs way below competitors.
What Sort Of Suspension System Does Ashley Use For Sofas?
Ashley notes the following on its sofas in terms of the type of suspension system used for its couches.
Platform foundation system resists sagging 3x better than spring system after 20,000 testing cycles by providing more even support
Personally, I had never heard of this before and it seems that Ashley has some sort of proprietary suspensions system they use for their sofas. I found this post which referenced a conversation with an Ashley salesperson:
they described it as "Trampoline material" instead of springs as main support under the cushions. They also said it was developed by an engineer at Ashley so no one else has this.
We know they definitely aren't using any 8-way hand tied coil suspension and it is likely a very cheap webbing type of material. Notably, this should not inspire confidence for anyone buying an Ashley sofa.
What is Ashley Leather Match?
Ashley uses what is known as "leather match" in the manufacture of its leather couches. This is where real leather is used in the seating area, and on the other parts, it uses polyester and PVC materials, aka 'bonded leather'.
Leather Match: Upholstery that features top-grain leather in the seating areas with skillfully matched vinyl everywhere else.
The reason that a company will do this, is because they don't need as much leather and it helps them make their prices affordable while attempting to deliver a a decent, comfortable, affordable sofa.
Leather Match isn't exactly a deal breaker.
The company is still using actual top grain leather on the seating areas. Unfortunately, in my experience, any company making a sofa with a leather match tends to try and cut other corners to save costs as well.
However, anyone on a budget can certainly consider a 'leather match' sofa.
How Long Do Ashley's Sofas Last?
Ashley Couches are of decent quality and made with good-quality materials. The couches are made from real leather and some parts with other materials while others are made from bonded, leather match, or faux leather among other materials. The ones made from leather are estimated to last for about 5 to 10 years, depending on usage.
Reviews of Different Ashley Leather Sofas
Only four types of Ashley sofas are made from leather material. Of course, there are others made from Faux leather and other materials, but I am only going to focus on these four:
- Altonbury Sofa
- Morelos Sofa
- Dual Backtrack Reclining Sofa
- Correze Power Reclining Sofa
From the descriptions on the company website, all the above are made from the same 'pickup leather' material. Therefore, we expect the leather quality to be the same across these products.
Altonbury Leather Sofa Review
According to Ashley, the Altonbury sofa is made from 100% leather on the arms, inside back, and cushions. The rest of the couch is made from PVC and polyester, with PVC as a more significant percentage of the design
More facts about the Altonbury Leather Sofa
- The sleek design is available in blue and walnut and can easily blend with any living room décor.
- The cushions are soft and comfortable; however, the sofa's back cushions are attached to the back of the couch.
- This is quite common with cheaper, mass-produced furniture. Unfortunately, this is not preferred since replacing or repairing the cushions is nearly impossible in this scenario.
- Currently, the sofa retails below $1k, way cheaper than most leather sofas you can find on the market.
In reviewing buyer reviews, I was somewhat surprised to find that there are more recommendations for the Altonbury sofa than negative reviews.
However, one buyer on Cymax Business points out one weakness that seems to have been an issue with other Altonbury sofa owners.
"They look beautiful and are comfortable. A huge issue is with the seat cushions. No matter how slow you stand up, the cushions start moving out of place."
Another owner notes;
"Enjoyed my new sofa. Soft leather and comfortable. Needs Velcro under the seat cushions to prevent it from sliding."
After further research, Ashley still does not answer questions from potential buyers on the type of leather it uses to make the product.
Whether it is top grain, full grain, or genuine leather? Their only answer is that the inside back, arms, and cushions are made from 100% leather.
But, which type of leather?
Digging deeper, we do believe that Ashley's leather is a corrected 'top-grain' leather, certainly not a very high quality leather. Probably a cheaper lower tier Chinese leather. This post on Quora from the great Jeff Frank is a great read.
Despite all of the concerns about the inferior quality, most people still have good things to say abot the Altonbury, claiming the sofa is durable, comfortable, and stylish. And considering the price point, it might not be a terrible buy for the budget conscious.
Morelos Leather Sofa Review
The Morelos is another stylish sofa brand by Ashley Furniture. I took a deep dive to investigate this sofa and whether or not it might be a good buy.
I noticed that the ratings in most marketplaces that sell this product are above average. However, I avoid the ratings on any seller's website, which are easily subject to manipulation.
But I did get a lot more info on Amazon, where the Morelos (and other Ashley furniture) is also sold. Of course, Amazon reviews can also be manipulated, but Amazon had somewhat neutral ratings for the Morelos sofa - only 3.8 out of 5 stars.
The consensus at Amazon on the Morelos sofa?
Overall, not actually that bad. The bulk of the negative reviews had to do with shipping problems with Amazon. Some complaints about a toxic smell, and not surprising there, as there are plastics used for a lot of material of this sofa.
One major complaint about a lack of comfort due to Ashley using different stuffing in the cushions due to supply chain issues. However, there are many buyers that really like this couch, calling it comfortable, stylish and attractive.
With the above ratings, I'd say that there is probably a place for the Morelos sofa with some buyers.. The price is very affordable, currently at less than $900.
Without a doubt, this sofa lacks a lot of the higher end quality features that we like to see in a sofa, but for the price, it could be a decent short term seating option.
Important facts about Morelos Leather Sofa
- Customers speak highly of the design, comfort, and quality.
- The Morelos looks good and attractive in any living room.
- Easy to re-stuff by opening the zippers on the cushions.
- Highly affordable.
- Cheap frame with low quality suspension systems
- Back attached cushions
Diving deeper into the Morelos Leather Sofa, some buyers seemed dissatisfied with the stuffing, which is uneven on one of the cushion's sides. This is also not a surprise since Ashley is using a low density foam for its cushions wrapped with more polyester fiber to try and improve comfort.
The backs are stuffed with twice as much material as the pre pandemic showroom floor version, and it’s not as compressible as the old material. They are using a much higher density foam for the bottom seat cushions, so the back won’t let you sit as far in, (2-3inches) and the bottom is like sitting on a hardwood floor.
Dual Backtrack Reclining Sofa Review
One consistent theme with the leather sofas from Ashley Furniture is that the owners seem to be pretty happy. The same is true when diving into the reviews on this Dual Backtrack Reclining Sofa. I do yet get worried that Ashley could be gaming the reviews of its partners.
Looking into the design of the Dual Backtrack, the sofa comes with an attractive chocolate finish and is designed with a unique style. You can easily recline with a one-touch button.
Facts about Dual Backtrack Reclining Sofa
- It comes with innovative features and design that makes it easy to use.
- Awesome zero-gravity mechanism for ultimate rest and comfort.
- Uniquely designed with an air message system, something that is rare with other brands.
- The built-in table at the middle seat when it backdrops makes it stand out.
Everything from the design of this reclining sofa looks amazing. Most people who have owned it are satisfied with the quality, comfort and design.
One major complaint I found on Amazon is the incessant squeaking of the sofa, however one buyer found that dryer sheets on the sofa, seemed to take care of the problem. Go figure!
However, overall, the Dual Backtrack appears to be a decent reclining option for those seeking more of a budget based reclining sofa.
Correze Power Reclining Sofa
The Correze Power Reclining Sofa is another reclining sofa from Ashley Furniture. This also proves to be one of the options that most owners of it are satisfied with. There are also good ratings of between 4.0 and 4.9/5 stars on the different platforms that sell this product.
It is also important to note that the sofa carries similar features with Dual Backtrack in terms of features and functionalities.
The reviews from different buyers show amazing satisfaction with the Correze. This shows the sofa is well-engineered to provide the comfort and luxury that you should get in a reclining sofa.
Just like the other brands above, this is constructed with the same materials, and also features hardwood and high-quality plywood materials.
If you only love some specific colors, the disadvantage of this recliner is that it only comes in gray. There are no color options that are available for you to choose from.
The major difference between the Correze Power Reclining Sofa and Dual Backtrack is that the middle section of the Correze does not recline. In the latter, the middle section collapses to form a table that also features some cup holders for ultimate comfort.
In addition to that, the Correze sofa takes a longer time to assemble than the Dual Backtrack. In terms of price, Correze is also more expensive than Dual Backtrack, by roughly $500.
Ashley leather sofas have been reviewed positively by thousands of owners and buyers and our verdict is that they are of decent quality. Another thing that has popped out most of the time from the owners is that the materials used keep the spills from damaging or soaking into the inner parts of the sofa and can easily be wiped clean.
I was a bit surprised to find that most Ashley Furniture customers like their leather sofas. This despite the furniture being made from leather match and bonded leather, along with cheap frames and inferior suspension systems.
I worry that a lot of the reviews might be coerced, especially right after purchase when it's hard for much to go wrong. I expect that in 5+ years, those same customers might be trying to buy a new couch.
For someone looking for a nice design at a price point well below the industry norms, Ashley could be a good choice. Just don't expect the furniture to stand the test of time.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the Ashley leather sofas, feel free to email us anytime at email@example.com.
And if you have experience with an Ashley sofa, please let us know in the comments below.