Furniture shopping is one of the many shopping experiences that's evolved in recent years. If you wanted to buy new furniture a decade ago, it was customary to spend an afternoon at a furniture store or showroom, spending countless hours lying down on different couches and making yourself right at home on the sales floor in an effort to find the perfect couch.
Now, more and more people are saving themselves that trip and opting to make couch shopping a digital experience. Whether for time-constraint reasons or budget restrictions, renters and homeowners now tend to look for furniture that doesn't feel like an enormous investment — or, more importantly, a hassle to shop for.
Flat-packed sofa-in-a-box products aren't an entirely new concept (hello, IKEA), but with the popularity of bed-in-a-box mattresses, applying the same easy-to-assemble concept to one's living room furniture feels like a natural progression.
When it comes to buying a new couch online, it's a good idea to research the brands you're interested in. While putting together this guide, we read through user reviews from each brand to make sure that the majority of their customers (from what we can discern) have had a positive experience with their products.
While the couches' style, size, and feel are certainly important buying factors, these are pretty subjective to each person's taste. Also, unless you're buying a Cloud Sofa or a Nugget Couch, keep in mind that a brand-new sofa will usually feel firm and require some breaking in — sofa cushions are usually made of high-density foam, which is supposed to be more supportive than squishy. If you must have softness from the first sit, look into couches that have memory foam in their cushions, but just know that these may be more expensive.
Here are a few important fine-print details you won't want to overlook:
These brands all have slightly different product offerings and shipping policies, but the sofa-in-a-box products themselves are all standouts. Get comfy and read on to learn why!
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The Starting Price: $1,295 for fabric-upholstered loveseat
The Sum-Up: This USB-equipped sofa-in-a-box is perfect for those who are ready to commit to a grown-up couch
A post shared by Burrow (@burrow)
Burrow is one of the most prominent brands in the sofa-in-a-box space, and it's not hard to see why — their products look like anything but starter furniture. They offer three different upholstery material options for their flagship Nomad sofa (olefin fabric, performance velvet, and leather, in a variety of size configurations). You can choose the arm height, material color, and birchwood leg finish, along with the option to add on a reversible chaise or ottoman. Plus, each sofa model is equipped with a built-in USB charger for added convenience.
Burrow’s seating is a true sofa-in-a-box, as the sofa arrives flat-packed in sections and can be snapped together without tools. One reviewer even noted that assembly is “easier than IKEA.” Shipping is included in the price, and if you don’t love it, you can return it in 30 days for a full refund as long as you have the packaging it came in. So, be sure to hang onto that until you reach an official verdict on your new couch.
The Starting Price: From $1,431 for loveseat
The Sum-Up: Allform specializes in modular, durable, life-proof seats in a range of space-flattering shades
A post shared by Allform 🛋 (@allform)
Another sofa-in-a-box brand for lovers of the clean-line look, Allform offers one flagship chair, sofa, and sectional silhouette meant to be total design chameleons, blending into any space. The seats are available in fabric and leather, in nine different colors total, with three leg finishes.
Erica Murphy from the Best Products team had the chance to assemble and test out the Allform Sectional in her own space. Even without having much furniture-assembling experience, she was able to navigate her way through putting it together with the provided instructions and tools. She also noted that it was easy to swap the sectional sides when needed.
Out of the box, the feel of the Allform Sectional was an adjustment, but the style was a total match. “The sofa does need some breaking in for the seat cushions, but the back cushions are super comfortable and supportive at the same time ... As far as the look of the sofa goes, I love it!” she says.
Allform's shipping is included in the total cost, and while they do not have white-glove delivery, they do offer a 100-day trial on their products.
The Starting Price: $1,200 for the Dynamic Sofa
The Sum-Up: As the name hints, this sofa brand is all about durability — it's one of the strongest and lightest flat-packed sofas you can find, holding up to daily wear and tear better than the rest
A post shared by Elephant in a Box Sofa (@elephant.inabox)
Elephant in a Box sofas are the gentle giants of the sofa-in-a-box space. The smallest sofa available weighs just 121 pounds and can be assembled by one person in mere minutes. Oh, and the brand claims that their couches can support up to 3,000 pounds! This is due to its frame's unique honeycomb structure that can fold in and out like an accordion. This internal structure is made of engineered cellulose fiber, which is also why the couch is so much lighter than its competitors.
If you need to move your couch from one room to another, instead of navigating it through a doorway, you can simply remove its cushions and base platform, and then scrunch it up to carry to its destination.
These sofas have 100% polyester upholstery that's available in either gray or navy blue. There isn't a lot of design variation available apart from its low, boxy silhouette, which may be a point of contention if you're looking for a sleeker look. But just like the frame construction, the upholstery is also designed to hold up to spills, pet scratches, hyper kids, and anything else that might bust a seam or cause permanent damage on other sofas.
This sofa will arrive packaged in its collapsed form, ready for you to assemble with no special tools or know-how needed. There is no white-glove delivery available, but the brand does offer free shipping and a 30-day trial window.
The Starting Price: $995 for the Essential Loveseat
The Sum-Up: This DTC sofa-in-a-box company centers sustainability by making beautiful, easy-to-assemble seats from sustainably sourced or recycled materials
A post shared by Sabai Design (@sabai.design)
Launched in 2019, Sabai's furniture offerings may be limited, but the customization options more than make up for it. The brand's Essential Sofa is engineered for convenience and comfort, from its slim, tapered legs (available in two finishes) that make for easy under-couch cleaning, to its removable back pillows, to the choice between three seat cushions or a single bench cushion. The couch is available in eight different upholstery/color options, all of which are water-repellent and scratchproof. Reviewers love this sofa for its roomy size, stylish look, and firm but comfortable feel.
Sabai's sofas ship to your door in boxes, without any plastic packaging. The unit interlocks easily and can be secured with the included mini wrench. The company offers free shipping in the continental U.S., as well as a 30-day trial window. (Just make sure you keep your packaging.)
The Starting Price: $1,399 for the Toggle Convertible Couch
The Sum-Up: Frequent overnight hosts and Netflix bingers will love these cushy couches and their convertible sleeper option
A post shared by Coddle - Responsive Furniture (@get_coddled)
When it comes to futon-style couches, Coddle has one of the very few convertible sofas-in-a-box models in its product category. The brand now has a few different couch models: the Toggle, the Code, the Fold, and the Switch Sleeper Sofa. However, the Toggle is the brand's flagship sofa-in-a-box — it comes in just one size, but in seven different upholstery options and can fold into different configurations. Beneath its quilted cushions, the Coddle Sofa comprises four layers of memory foam that make it a comfy seat or temporary bed. It also comes with two charging ports on either side of the couch.
Tester Danielle St. Pierre tested out Coddle's Toggle sofa and found the setup process to be incredibly quick and easy, taking about 15 minutes to snap together. Though the couch doesn’t have armrests, she likes that the ends of the couch can be angled to tilt up at a 60-degree angle to provide added neck support while lying down. “Overall, I give this couch 8 out of 10 stars for comfort, and would recommend it for anyone who’s looking for a multifunctional couch,” she says.
Coddle's sofas arrive flat-packed, and they can be assembled by hand without tools. Coddle has temporarily suspended their white-glove delivery, and now offer contactless drop-off delivery. The brand offers a 30-day trial window for free returns.Related StorySleeper Sofas to Give Guests a Cozy Place to Crash
The Starting Price: $1,295 for the two-seater sofa
The Sum-Up: This sofa-in-a-box is Instagram-level stylish but made for real-life
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Direct-to-consumer brand Floyd only offers one sofa-in-a-box fittingly called “The Sofa” — but that doesn’t mean this sofa-in-a-box brand falls short of options. “The Sofa” comes in three streamlined silhouettes — a loveseat, sofa, and sectional — and in five stain-resistant fabrics. Users really like the sofa’s comfy feel, durable build, and stylish look.
It arrives flat-packed in four to seven boxes (depending on the chosen style), and it's easy to assemble and take apart for homes with narrow corners and tight doorways. White-glove assembly isn't available at this time, and there is a shipping fee, but it's covered by a 30-day trial period.
The Starting Price: From $2,340 for certain loveseat styles
The Sum-Up: If you want a sofa made just for you (and your space!), this brand is the best for precise, custom sizing
A post shared by BenchMade Modern (@benchmademodern)
For those who want to leave nothing to chance, BenchMade Modern offers a truly custom product. Once you've decided on a silhouette, you can choose from more than 200 upholstery and leg-finish options, as well as the precise length and depth of the couch. And to prevent any unpleasant surprises on the day of delivery, you can request a free, life-size cutout of the couch that you're considering so that you can ensure it'll fit perfectly in your space (and right through your doorway!).
As far as shipping, BenchMade's products don't arrive flat-packed in boxes as other products on this list do, but they arrive off the delivery truck palletized and plastic-wrapped. These products arrive almost completely assembled too. Shipping starts at $99 or $299 for white-glove delivery. They also offer a 14-day fully refunded return policy.
The Starting Price: From $129 for certain loveseat styles
The Sum-Up: IKEA is simply the best sofa-in-a-box brand for budget seekers
A post shared by IKEA USA (@ikeausa)
As customary of IKEA's furniture, pretty much all of the megastore's couches come sofa-in-a-box style. While the materials may not be quite as resilient or luxe as the other brands on this list, the accessible cost makes this brand a mainstay. They also have a wider range of couch styles and configurations if you're looking for something beyond the mid-mod aesthetic.
If you buy large IKEA furniture online, delivery starts at $49. In lieu of white-glove service, IKEA has a partnership with the on-demand helpers at TaskRabbit to coordinate furniture assembly. If you do the job yourself, you'll likely need a small toolkit to screw the pieces together ... and possibly another set of hands to help. Thankfully, opened IKEA packages can be returned within 180 days of purchase, as long as you have the receipt.
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