by

Hema

2018/08/18

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IKEA Gronlid Review - Ektorp's New Comfort Contender

IKEA has just released the new Gronlid sofa and it seems that this new contender might just give the classic, reigning champion of comfort, the Ektorp, a run for its money.

The moment we caught wind of this, we raced down to IKEA for a mandatory tush test and we have all the details in this review.

Let’s break it down, bit by bit.

Aesthetics

Design-wise, I personally feel the Gronlid mirrors the Ektorp quite closely. Chuck thinks the Gronlid is what we’d have if the Ektorp and Vimle had a baby. We agreed to disagree.

Armrests

IKEA Gronlid Armrest vs IKEA Ektorp Armrest

The armrests on the Gronlid are a traditional round arm shape, just not as chunky as the Ektorp. This gives the Gronlid a much more clean and refined shape, overall.

IKEA designers Ehlén Johansson & Francis Cayouette also thought of the little things. Notice that the piping style is much more subtle compared to the more traditional one on the Ektorp.

The armrests are quite a distance from the seat, creating a seat cubicle that you can retreat into. The only thing is, when you actually want to use the armrests, it can be a tad bit uncomfortable.

Colour Choices

IKEA didn’t give us much choices on the covers for this one. They seemed to have gained inspiration from nature (again) and frankly, it gets a bit dull after a while.

Here are some of the colours offered at IKEA USA:

IKEA Gronlid in Sporda Medium Gray
IKEA Gronlid in Sporda Medium Gray

The Sporda Medium Gray is absolutely perfect if you’re a parent (pet-parents included). You probably have to worry less about colour marker stains when your toddler gets his Picasso on.

IKEA Gronlid in Ljungen Light Green
IKEA Gronlid in Ljungen Light Green

The Ljungen Light Green is a sweet, teal colour and it would go great with a mostly white decor or even those with a more natural, wooden feel.

IKEA Gronlid in Sporda Natural
IKEA Gronlid in Sporda Natural

The Sporda Natural works with almost any decor, a default, practically. If you want your living room sofa to stand out, maybe it’s not the Sporda Natural you need.

IKEA Gronlid in Ljungen Medium Gray
IKEA Gronlid in Ljungen Medium Gray

The Ljungen Medium Gray is a perfect choice for young parents who want a modern touch in the living room and at the same time, cut cleaning time from your toddler’s little “projects” on the sofa.

In a nutshell, the colour choices available for the IKEA Gronlid are all of what I call “IKEA colours”, borrowed from nature and distressingly overused.

The only colour option worth mentioning, in my opinion, is a cute toffee brown colour they’d had for a bit, and is, unfortunately, no longer offered.

IKEA Gronlid in Inseros Light Brown
IKEA Gronlid in Inseros Light Brown (no longer available)

The Inseros Light Brown is my personal favorite as it’s one of those colours that IKEA comes up with on one of it’s creativity/individuality spurs (which don’t come often).

But, to pull the plug on it so soon?

Sorry IKEA, that’s going to cost you a point.

(April 2019 update: Comfort Works now makes custom slipcovers in a variety of fabrics for the IKEA Gronlid sofa and sectional collection!)

AESTHETIC SCORE: 6/10

Comfort

In terms of comfort, the Gronlid is a clear winner in the IKEA family. We’ve taken into account all the comfort factors that we could think of for the Gronlid.

Cushion Thickness

IKEA Gronlid Seat Cushion vs. IKEA Ektorp Seat Cushion

The cushions on the Gronlid speak for themselves in terms of comfort. Essentially, they make you feel like you’re sitting on square clouds.

The seat cushions are domed on the top (kinda like the Vimle) because of the extra fiber stuffing and that itself earned the Gronlid an extra point on the comfort scale.

Maybe there is some truth to Chuck’s Ektorp met Vimle theory.

Seat Depth

IKEA Gronlid Seat Depth vs. IKEA Ektorp Seat Depth

The seat depth on the Gronlid is about 20% deeper compared to the Ektorp and this extra space is great when you want to lean back to the maximum or if you need space for your laptop, for those days where you’re just lying in wait for inspiration.

You can also let the little ones nap on these with lesser worry of them rolling out of the sofa.

The only setback is that it’s a little hard to get out of because of the extra deep seats but, maybe IKEA just wanted people to stay relaxed a little longer.

Loose Back Cushions

Boy lying on IKEA Gronlid Loose Back Cushion

The movable cushions on the back give you the freedom to adjust them to your preferred comfort level when you chill out on the Gronlid. It’s also great if you need something to prop your head on when taking a nap.

Nap-ability

Boy Napping on IKEA Gronlid

Yep, we did try taking a nap on the Gronlid we’d found at IKEA and it was possibly the best IKEA nap ever! The cushions are so soft yet they provide flawless support. The fiber layers in the seat cushions conform to your body and keep you fully supported during naptime.

COMFORT SCORE: 9/10

Hackability

The Gronlid, as almost all IKEA sofa are, leaves the designing to you. You can mix and match the components in the Gronlid series to get the perfect look for your living room.

Here are some of the looks we’d managed to find:

IKEA Gronlid 4-seater with chaise
Image Courtesy of Livingroomdesign.com

IKEA Gronlid 3-seater
Image Courtesy of Ikea.com

IKEA Gronlid 2-seater
Image Courtesy of Ikea.com

The Gronlid series comes with the usual shebang of sectionals: footstools, corner units, chaise lounges. But, it’s chunkiness gives you limited flexibility in combining the different components available. Just a 3-seat section is good enough to occupy an entire wall on its own.

Maybe we shouldn’t get too carried away with the sectionals.

HACKABILITY SCORE: 3/10

PricingIKEA Gronlid with Price Tag

Now, it all comes down to this – the price point. Surprisingly, for a super comfortable and cozy sofa, the IKEA Gronlid 3-seater is USD 499, just USD 120 pricier than the Ektorp 3-seater, at USD 379 (both in their cheapest fabric option, of course).

But, if you plan to deck your 3-seater out with a chaise here and a footstool there, maybe the Gronlid series isn’t a wise choice because with these additional bits, it might burn a hole through that credit card.

Personally, I’d choose the Gronlid blindfolded, based on the comfort factor alone. But, I’d stick to the essentials, mainly because the bare minimum is already good enough.

PRICE SCORE: 7/10

Final Verdict

Overall I’d say it’s a decent sofa range, just that the colours are not great and I’m still a little sour that they no longer have the Inseros Light Brown.

As for comfort, the IKEA Gronlid definitely gets a gold star in our book, you just can’t get over the feeling of the cushions that are unbelievably soft yet provide great support. The loose cushions are a great touch and it gives your sofa the fluidity to be a daybed, when needed.

Hackability isn’t so great with this series. The price point is within the affordable range and given that you’d be paying a little more for a bigger and better sofa, it makes sense for the Gronlid to cost a little more than the current bad boy on the IKEA block – the Ektorp sofa.

OVERALL FINAL SCORE: 6/10

Speaking of which, the much awaited Gronlid sofa covers have arrived! Currently our collection includes:

Alternatively, you can check out our existing IKEA covers here.

Don’t agree with our review or have a different thought? Let us know in the comments below!