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Why I’ll never buy a Pottery Barn sofa – Review

It’s quite hard to decide with so many reviews giving Pottery Barn such low ratings. But with some objective reasoning, I’ll settle this once and for all.

A few months ago, we reviewed whether the Pottern Barn sofa collection was worth recovering or not click here to find out. 

Today, I’d like to review this more personally, and actually come to a sound conclusion by the end of this post.

Pottery Barn PB Basic 3 Seater Sofa Slipcover
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As with any product, how much an item costs is almost definitely the first thing you’d consider before making the purchase. Sure it’s subjective and relative at times, depending on your disposable income.

At the end of the day though, what we should really look out for is whether it’s “value for money” and whether it has a good price-performance ratio.

Let’s quickly break down average spending if you were to go to Pottery Barn for a sofa.

– Cameron Roll/Square Arm Sofa: $889 – $2,329
– Beverly Upholstered Sofa: $899 – $2,299
– Carolyn Loveseat: $899 – $1,199
– PB Comfort Roll/Square Arm Upholstered Sofa: $1,099 – $3,099
– PB Basic Slipcovered Sofa: $1,099 – $2,999

This is just to name a few of the more affordable ones as the rest are definitely beyond $1,100, which is way above (my) budget. On average and depending on fabric selection, the minimum you need is a $1,000 and could possibly end up spending around $2,000 if you’re going for a slightly fancier fabric.

Many people would say that you pay for what you get, and I truly believe that Pottery Barn sofas would definitely be of decent quality. By that, I mean I’d expect it to last for a good 10-12 years.

For the most part, I just don’t really like the “classic” round-arm look so as durable as they might be – I’m quite hesitant to part with my money just yet (I would go for their discontinued Solano series, however).

Online credibility

Now with Google and social media becoming our main communications and news feed, it’s very easy to purchase things from the Internet as well as review them. As per my previous investigation on Pottery Barn Reviews, I had found that Pottery Barn was a pretty decent furniture retailer a few years back but because of poor customer service, their name had gradually deteriorated.

pottery barn review google search results

Reviews play an integral role in determining whether or not to make a purchase with a brand or not. If Pottery Barn doesn’t improve their digital reputation in the years to come, people will pretty much boycott the brand altogether unfortunately.


The Pottery Barn sofa series are all very standard and while most people would call it classic, I’d call them a little dated.

Pottery Barn Solano

There was a discontinued series called the “Solano” which I’d definitely call a timeless piece, regardless of which century you’re in I feel strongly that it’ll work in that living space. Take a look:

Isn’t it a beauty? A simple, single seat cushion with square arms, but because it’s fairly rounded it just looks very comfy overall. The closest thing to this would probably be to hack a Karlstad and get a large single cushion instead but alas, the Karlstad has been discontinued and is now an endangered IKEA sofa.

Apart from the “Solano”, I’d probably go for the PB Comfort Square series which look fairly close to the IKEA Kivik. If you’ve checked out our Kivik sofa review, you’d know that we’re a strong advocate and when it comes to price and performance – the Kivik is an incredibly strong contender.

The Pottery Barn PB Comfort Square Arm sofa is pretty similar but the most obvious difference would be the width and height of the armrests: The Kivik has very wide and low armrests which can easily accommodate another person to sit on the sofa should the need arise.

Kivik 3 seater in Kino Orange fabrics
Kivik sofa with a Comfort Works slipcover

Cost of maintenance

So if you do end up getting an upholstered sofa from Pottery Barn, you’ll realise that it’s going to need cleaning by year 4 or 5 depending on how OCD you are (I’m fairly domesticated with a no food policy on the couch).

Well with upholstery, you’re pretty much out of luck – you either get something to hide the stains (like a custom slipcover) or you’ll basically have to throw out the sofa. Such a waste right?

Most people would get the slipcovered alternative, so when the sofa has become thoroughly soiled – all we need to do is pop out the original slipcover to have it dry cleaned or machine washed, whatever the care instructions are.

The thing is, a typical slipcover from Pottery Barn are just as pricey as the sofa. Taking the PB Comfort Sofa as an example, its slipcover can range from $560 to $1,660 which is about half the sofa’s price. At $560 it’s still reasonable, but at $1,000 you can definitely purchase another decent sofa elsewhere.


All in all, even though a Pottery Barn sofa might not have the most contemporary look, and may have questionable post-sales service – it still is not too bad a product, seeing how popular it actually is. It’s even made its way to Australia!

So while I’ll probably never buy a Pottery Barn sofa, I’d definitely consider one second hand simply because it most likely won’t cost as much.

And if you ever need a replacement slipcover for your Pottery Barn sofa, slipcover makers such as ourselves would be readily available to provide some at a very affordable rate.

Wondering what our slipcovers feel like in person? You can order up to eight fabric samples for free to try them out for yourself and see how you like them.

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Danee Kaplan
Danee Kaplan
5 years ago

I have a PB couch that is 18 years old. It was made when Mitchell Gold still made their couches. It is still as comfortable and sturdy as it was on day one. We washed the live out of the first slip cover= it was a dark tan and we… Read more »

5 years ago

I bought the slip cover version of a Pottery Barn sofa and it looks frumpy and oversized and does not appear to be sized to fit the sofa at all. This is an expensive sofa and I look at it with regret everyday. If I were to buy another Pottery… Read more »

5 years ago

Pottery Barn has been one of my favorite stores for many years. I have spent thousands of dollars there and up until now have had great service and been happy with the quality. I bought a sofa from PB in December 2016. It was delivered about six weeks later. The… Read more »

Diane Leake
Diane Leake
5 years ago

Hi, Folks! I have had a PB Charleston sofa for 18 years. It has the best bones of any sofa I’ve bought. For that reason, it is well worth it to me to buy a new slipcover. Had the cat not clawed the back to shreds and the dog not… Read more »

5 years ago
Reply to  Diane Leake

Those are some true words, Diane. I dropped you a reply on the other post as well as an email, but if you haven’t seen them – just drop us an email at and we’ll sort you out with some custom slipcovers!

5 years ago

I bought a Pottery Barn sofa about 3 years ago. The sales person told me I could order new cushion covers if mine wore out. Well, they are already worn out and splitting at the seams and it turns out PB doesn’t sell the cushion covers. The actual cushion is… Read more »

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