Burrow Sofa Review (Are They Good Quality?)

burrow-review

Burrow likes to advertise that they started the company in order to differentiate themselves from the 'low quality' furniture that was available out there.  They claim that by integrating a 'smarter supply chain' they are able to offer higher quality furniture at a more affordable price. They also strive to offer 'quality with convenience', as their modular furniture is designed to fit in tight doorways, making it also easy to move. 

Summary:

Burrow was founded by two former Wharton classmates - Stephen Kuhl and Kabeer Chopra.  The company offers what it claims to be 'quality with convenience', as its sofas are delivered in boxes, allowing for an easy-to-move, modular design. Burrow has been called the 'Casper of Couches' but we decided to see if it could live up to the hype. 

Key  Points

  • Affordable Price Point
  • Stylish, Modern Furniture
  • Modular Design
  • Complaints About Assembly
  • Concerns About Quality Control 
  • Many Negative Reviews Online
  • Nomad Sofa Features Built-In USB Charger
  • One Leather Design (the Burrow Nomad Sofa)
  • Cool add-ons like the Burrow Sleep Kit

overall 

3/5

Quality

Value

Warranty

Reviews

Burrow - A Background

Burrow Co-Founders Stephen Kuhl and Kabeer Chopra

The two found issues with a few discount furniture stores (West Elm, Pottery Barn and Ikea to name names) and decided to venture out and launch their own online furniture company.  

They also wanted to create a high-quality sofa, yet in a modular design. They felt that there was a lack of high quality furniture that could be moved from place to place.

Thus, the goal from day one:

"reverse-engineer a luxury sofa to separate into modules"

The company was incubated at Y Combinator, a popular start up school of sorts for those just getting their feet wet.   

What does stain resistance mean? What does durability mean? Modularity is this thing easy to move is easy to receive. All those things become really important as part of the overall package. And if you're going to build the best furniture brand of the future, You should incorporate all those different pieces into it, as well as providing, next level customer service.

- Stephen kuhl, Burrow Co-Founder

Is Burrow Legit?

Burrow is a well known online furniture retailer that has been in business since 2016.  

burrow-logo

The company is headquartered in New York City. They do have a flagship showroom in Manhattan (Burrow House) which is open for in person shopping. 

burrow-house

The Burrow House New York showroom. Image courtesy Burrow.

However, if you aren't in NY, you will have to purchase the sofa online. Note, that Burrow is available for anyone looking for design help and you can schedule a consultation here

The company is listed on Trust Pilot and has a score of 4.7 (out of 5 stars) on only 31 Reviews.  There are 11 complaints with the Better Business Bureau.  

What Is A Modular Couch?

Burrow says that "Modular design is the innovative foundation" of their furniture.

Modular in the furniture world is a term used to describe individual pieces that can be combined together to create a larger furniture piece.

Modular furniture has become popular in recent years for several reasons.  First, many apartment dwellers, with tight spaces (and narrow hallways) are seeking higher quality, non-Ikea based furniture.

In addition, modular sofas are a great solution for those that want sofas that are easy to move and expandable. 

For younger consumers, modular furniture can be a great option, given its versatility.

Do Burrow Sofas Have A USB Charger?

Yes, Burrow definitely has the smart home in mind, as the Nomad sofa (fabric or leather) has a built in USB charger to make charging your electronics that much easier. 

The USB charger is located in the right arm of the sofa, nestled in-between the arm and seat cushion.

usb-charger


Are Burrow Couches Easy To Assemble?

In the case of each Burrow sofa, it is delivered with pieces in different boxes (in three or four boxes for a standard sofa).

As shown below for the Nomad sofa, it comes in four boxes, one which contains all of the arms, and then three other boxes which contain the seats for the sofa. 

nomad-box

The Nomad sofa comes in four boxes

The seating sections have little spikes that insert into the other seating area, with a locking mechanism, as shown below.

burrow-locking-mechanism

Frame locking mechanism on a Burrow Sofa

As shown in the video below, which shows the assembly of a Field Sofa, the build is quite easy and takes less than 15 minutes. 

But, I have heard many complaints from Burrow consumers about struggling to line up the attachment parts of the seating areas.

Also, a lot of complaints about wood on the frame not being sanded properly, having a lot of splinters sticking out. 

Can I Add To My Burrow Couch?

Burrow's modular designed are built for flexibility, thus in most cases, you will be able to add components to your sofa.

Burrow creates what are known as A-Seats and B-Seats for each sofa.  

Burrow makes thousands of what are known as A-Seats and B-Seats. B-Seats are the core seat (an arm chair is made with a B-Seat and a set of arm rests). A-Seats attach to the B-Seat to create 2, 3, 4...10-seaters.

Thus Burrow's modular design does allow you to transform a sofa into a sectional sofa (with the addition of a chaise) or add on new seating modules to make your sofa bigger. 

Are Burrow Couches Durable?

One of the benefits of a modular couch is easy assembly, the ability for it to fit in small places and the ability to easily move the furniture. 

But, once you take a structure (a solid frame) and break it down into modular components, with multiple connection points to secure, there are more possibilities of something going wrong.

Sure, a furniture company might make a traditional couch frame with cheap engineered wood that snaps after a few years of use. But, with modular components, there is more to worry about. 

Thus, I thoroughly analyzed each and every Burrow Review, seeking complaints about modular component problems.

My conclusion?

I have heard a lot about the modular seating components on Burrow's sofas moving around. Burrow's typical response to these consumers is to take it apart and put it back together again. 

Thus, if you are buying a Burrow sofa, expecting durability, I would probably not expect the piece to last a very long time. 

Where Are Burrow Sofas Made?

Burrow's sofas are made in the USA. They have manufacturing facilities in North Carolina or Mississippi, however, the majority of their sofas are made in North Carolina.  

All the wood in Burrow sofa’s is also made in the USA, according to Burrow mostly in Mississippi and Louisiana - in responsibly managed forests

Is The Burrow Nomad Sofa The Only Leather Option?

Yes. Burrow currently only has one leather design - The Nomad, which comes in three different colors (Camel, Slate or Chestnut) along with varying modular designs including a traditional three seat sofa, love seat or sectional sofa. 

Burrow also provides the option of six different leg designs, three wood and three metal. You can also customize the arm style of the sofa: either slope, arch or block.

nomad-arm-styles

Burrow offers three different arm style options on the Nomad sofa.

Who Makes Furniture For Burrow?

Burrow is based in the US, and they have manufacturing facilities in North Carolina and Mississippi. Thus they are making all of their own furniture.  

They source as many raw materials as possible from US suppliers. They also source most of the wood, fabric, foam and many other items from US companies.  

Leather is sourced from Italy but not much information is provided on the quality of the leather aside from the fact that the leather is sourced:

"from a renowned tannery in Italy that’s been in operation for over a century and supplies leather to some of the world’s most distinguished luxury brands"

"There are three main differences that set us apart. First and foremost, you can get a Burrow sofa much faster than anything at either of top competitors, and you’ll be able to easily move it into and out of your home...Second, if your space changes, our modular design allows you to adjust the size of your sofa to adapt to your new space. Third, with our simple, online customization experience, you can create over 1000 combinations of our sofa with just a few easy selections. All of this without sacrificing quality for cost."

What's The Quality Of Burrow Sofas?

When we examined the materials used for Burrow's leather sofas, the good is the fact that they use top-grain leather

But, I was couldn't find details of the leather used at Burrow. Aside from the fact that they state it is a 'beautiful, natural material that develops a unique patina'. 

I dug into articles from the founder to find more information. The Article Nomad Leather sofa is assembled at its factory in North Carolina. They also work with an Italian leather tannery

But, I could not find anything on the website about the quality of leather they are using and how the sofas are assembled.

This concerns me and it would be helpful if Burrow put more information on their website.

Details on the materials used to build the frame and more videos/articles about their leather sourcing would be helpful.  

(Update, I did find this older blog put together by Burrow, which does detail more information on wood sourcing and sustainability measures)

arch-nomad

This Business Insider article (although likely a paid sponsor) says that the Burrow Nomad is not cheap, but after almost two years, the durable full-grain leather still looks as good as new. 

From what I can gather, Burrow's quality is OK, but for the price point, you sort of get what you pay for.  

Is Burrow Really Scratch Resistant?

Burrow does have a fabric sofa called the Nomad that it claims is scratch resistant.

The fabric is made with an ultra tight weave and colored with a special dye which makes it not only scratch resistant but stain resistant as well. In addition, the Nomad is non-toxic with zero chemical additives.

For anyone with a pet, looking for a new modular sofa for your living room, the Nomad fabric option could be one to look at. 

burrow-scratch-resistant

But, if you're looking at a Burrow Nomad leather sofa, which uses top-grain Italian leather, the sofa would not be scratch resistant. More on the different types of leathers used for sofas here

Turn Your Nomad Into A Sleeper Sofa

Burrow offers a few additional add-ons with each leather sofa.


One that looks quite intriguing is a sleep kit ($295), which certainly appears aimed at apartment dwellers in tight quarters. It features:

"..a memory foam topper, a custom sheet set, a quilted blanket, a pillow and pillow case, and even an eye mask"