smart-furniture-review

A reader contacted me recently asking about Smart Furniture. They were looking to purchase a new Herman Miller leather office chair, but they were not familiar with the company.

I had not heard of Smart Furniture either, so I decided to do some digging.

As follows is my review of Smart Furniture.

I hope you find this helpful.

If you have any experience with Smart Furniture, please leave a comment below or feel free to email me personally at tom@bestleathercouches.com

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Summary:

Smart Furniture is a curator of some of the most well known office and living room furniture brands. They offer a low price guarantee, however most pieces can be purchased from the brand partner's website at the same or an even lower price.  

Key  Features:

  • Good option for consumers looking for high quality furniture 
  • Does a nice job curating modern furniture pieces
  • Some complaints about shipping times and customer service
  • Might make more sense in most instances to purchase directly from the furniture brand's website

overall 

3.5/5

Quality

Value

Warranty

Reviews

Note that since this review is about an online furniture store that sells other brand furniture products, our rankings are not comparable to other furniture manufacturers. Our review of a company such as Smart Furniture is more focused on product selection, quality of curation and their ability to service any customer issues. If you have any questions, please reach out to tom@bestleathercouches.com

What's The Background Of Smart Furniture?

Smart Furniture got its start back in the late 90s. Founder Stephen Culp started tinkering with furniture design out of a garage in Palo Alto

Culp has quite the background. Not only is he is a successful entrepreneur, but he is a lawyer, a US Navy Reserve member. He even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

His initial goal from day one was to allow for mass customized furniture through a 'Design On Demand' e-commerce platform. 

'Smart' in the context of 'Smart Furniture' meant simple, yet efficient. It brought a fast, personalized, and effective approach to the furniture buying process

if you were thinking smart technology like smart sofa with speakers or smart lighting that is not the case, but here are other smart furniture options

Of course, the market has evolved since its founding over 20 years ago, but today, Smart Furniture is still intently focused on high quality, with a focus on stress free shopping and great customer support

After several years in California, Culp moved the company moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee where they are now headquartered. Smart Furniture today employs more than 100 workers. 

Is Smart Furniture Legit?

Smart Furniture has been in business since 1998. I did some digging and found a profile at Trust Pilot with only four reviews.  A few unhappy consumers as well. From one review:

Long story short, they are drop shippers, they have terrible customer service, they dont answer calls, they dont follow instructions and when you do get someone on the phone usually its farm animals, dogs, or somone eating loudly on the phone.

Well, this is only one review at Trustpilot of course. But, we get some intel that they are likely dropshippers.

This is very likely true, since Smart Furniture is not making their own furniture and instead selling furniture for other brands. Not a deal breaker as a consumer, but good to be aware of. 

Based on some research, it looks like Smart Furniture generated about $8 Million in revenues in 2020, but I'm not sure how accurate this total is. LinkedIn also shows over 100 employees, but other sites show only 16. 

Is Smart Furniture Veteran Owned?

Founder Stephen Culp is a former United States Navy Reserve Officer.

Based on my research, it does not appear that Culp was called to active duty.

I could be wrong, so if I am, I hope someone will correct me. The only reason I bring this up, is because I see consumers reference Smart Furniture as a 'veteran owned company'. 

This does not appear to be true.  

Nothing to belittle Mr. Culp's time and service, but this is a bold statement, and one that should be corrected. 

What Brands Does Smart Furniture Offer?

Smart Furniture offers some well known brands including some premium brands such as Herman Miller, Knoll, Kartell, Steelcase, BDI and Human Scale among many others. 

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steelcase-logo

Note that Smart Furniture is an 'authorized retailer' of these brands. These relationships are, however, not exclusive arrangements. 

This means that the furniture can also be found on other websites, including in many cases, the brand's own ecommerce platform. 

Does Smart Furniture Offer A Low Price Guarantee?

Smart Furniture says that for brands including Herman Miller, Steelcase, Kartell, Blu Dot, Gus Modern and BDI they do offer a 'low-price' guarantee

This means that they can offer 'the lowest price allowed by the manufacturer'. I can't imagine that a company as small as Smart Furniture has any exclusives with the likes of say Herman Miller.

So, my assumption is that other furniture retailers have the same implicit offer.

But, I decided to put this one to the test.

Here's a Herman Miller Embody Office Chair which is available for sale at Smart Furniture for $1745. 

herman-miller-embody-chair

A Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

It is also available for the same exact price on the Herman Miller website

And in fact for most brands sold at Smart Furniture, they are competing with the brand's own websites.

For example, with this Steelcase Gesture office chair, Smart Furniture sells it for $1257, but is for sale for $40 less at Steelcase.com.

steelcase-gesture

Steelcase Gesture Chair

Thus, I wonder why a consumer might buy a branded item from Smart Furniture when they can purchase it direct from the manufacturer, often at a discount. 

What's The Quality Of Smart Furniture's Products?

The positives are that Smart Furniture is curating furniture from high quality brand partners.

So there is some assurance that you are getting a good, well-constructed piece of furniture

The majority of furniture sold by Smart Furniture is for the home office, living room, dining room or bedroom. 

In terms of office furniture, the major brand partners include Herman Miller, Steelcase and Humanscale, among others. All are considered to be high quality office furniture brands.

A Humanscale Freedom leather chair. I can just see myself sipping a cup of coffee in this one. (link) 

For someone without any brand allegiance, Smart Furniture can be a good option to explore different manufacturers and various furniture types. 

Since we focus mostly on leather sofas here at BestLeatherCouches.com, I need to bring attention to Smart Furniture's sofa offerings.

Their major brand partners for living room furniture include Gus Modern, Four Hands, Innovation-USA, Modloft and Blu Dot. 

Does Smart Furniture Sell Leather Furniture?

Smart Furniture does sell several leather sofas and chairs.

Based on my research these appear to be the most popular:

Foundry Sofa By Gus Modern

foundry-sofa

This one retails for $3995, and has a Mid-Century Modern design that looks very similar to other offerings we've encountered before. There's actually a better writeup at the maker's own website (Gus Modern). Made with solid hardwoods and top grain leathers. Good start. 

Is the price tag justified though?

(PS let me know if you have one tom@bestleathercouches.com)

Stressless Leather Chair and Ottoman By Ekornes

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Stressless Mayfair Chair and Ottoman by Ekornes

One of Smart Furniture's Best Sellers, this leather ottoman and chair by Ekornes retails for $2795.  It gets glowing reviews from Smart Furniture's customers, with one buyer calling it 'the most comfortable chair' they've ever sat in, with 'extremely durable leather'. 

Smart Furniture Office Chair Reviews

Working from home is now the norm for most of us. Hopefully your boss gave you a stipend to invest in a new office chair or desk. 

A high quality office chair can do wonders for your well being. If you are still using an old faux leather chair with little back support, it might be time to up your game. 

Thankfully, Smart Furniture is an authorized retailer for many of the biggest and best brand names in the office chair business.

They offer hundreds of curated designs that should take your WFH space to the next level.

Here we provide a review of Smart Furniture's best-selling office chairs.


Herman Miller Aeron Chair Review

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Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

The Aeron Herman Miller chair is considered one of the best office chairs that money can buy. The chair retails for $1645 at Smart Furniture, so it isn't cheap, but it's a chair that will last forever. Even Smart Furniture offers a 12-Year Warranty on this chair. Buy with confidence. 

Herman Miller Sayl Chair Review

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Herman Miller Sayl Chair

A more futuristic look on a typical office chair, the backing on the Sayl chair from Herman Miller offers wider open holds on the back rest of the chair. Along with a more modern triangular design. This chair is about $600 cheaper than the Herman Miller Aeron chair. Buyers love this chair. Here is one example: 

"You can literally sit in this chair for hours and nothing starts to ache. I did buy the extra lumbar support and I'm so glad I did! It is the epitome of comfort."

Herman Miller Embody Chair Review

herman-miller-embody-chair

A Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

About $100 more than the Aeron chair at Smart Furniture, the Embody chair has a narrower look, but better upper back and shoulder support as compared to the Aeron. The Embody chair also according to some reviewers has a more forgiving seat versus the Aeron. 

What Do Customers Say About Smart Furniture?

Smart Furniture offers product reviews on its website, but I tend to avoid reviewing those, unless it is for more details about a specific product. Note that companies can and often will control the narrative in terms of reviews on their website. 

There are only three complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, and most of it is regarding some shipping or customer service issues. Not a major concern there. Since they are selling other branded products, the biggest worries we would have are in regards to slow shipping or not honoring a manufacturer's warranty. 

I haven't seen enough evidence to show me that Smart Furniture is slacking on either of these fronts, so I'm quite comfortable with what our research has shown in terms of customer satisfaction.

Does Smart Furniture Offer Discounts?

I highly encourage readers to check Smart Furniture's Sale section, as they often provide some attractive discounts on Herman Miller and other high quality living room or office furniture. 

Smart Furniture also offers an email list and they will occasionally send out promo codes to customers. 

What Sort Of Warranty Does Smart Furniture Offer?

Smart Furniture has a 45 day no questions asked return policy.  However, for an order over $2000, there is an 18% restocking fee. And you need the original packaging. Ouch. Don't really love that policy. 

In terms of warranty, this is all dependent on the manufacturer's warranty and Smart Furniture will pass along any of these specific terms.  Be sure to check the product page for more information on the specifics of the warranty.

For further details, here is additional contact information for the support team at Smart Furniture:

Email: Link Here

Do you have any experience with Smart Furniture, good or bad?

Please let us know in the comments section below. 

About the author Tom

When I started shopping for a leather couch two years ago, I was confused and overwhelmed by the information available to me. I decided to launch Best Leather Couches in order to create the best resource for shoppers looking for a new leather couch. I hope you enjoy the site. Feel free to drop me a line anytime at tom@best@leathercouches.com

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