Friday, September 21, 2012

Part Two of PB Basic vs. Ikea Ektorp

Whew! Whoa! Whaaaat! I got lost in our remodel and left blogland for quite some time. Here I am and I am ready to write.
I have had my Ektorp for almost a year now. It is holding up quite well. Kids, dogs, friends, hubs, everyone sits on it and enjoys it. It is easily mistaken for our old pb basic sofa. I am happy to report that the stiffness of the cushions is a thing of the pass. They have softened with time and we all enjoy sitting on it.
Overall, the construction of the two sofas appears to be where the similarities make them well, two very different sofas. I can't tell you what my pb sofa looks like on the inside. The guts of her are protected by upholstery and stuffing. The ektorp's guts are there and exposed for all of the world to see. Her skirt flutters upward with a slight breeze and ugh! She is cheap and easy! Nothing to hide! She is vulnerable and I don't like it. So why did I invest in more pieces you ask? Because I am cheap but in no way easy. Oh no, not easy at all.

Pottery Barn basic chair

Ikea Ektorp

Solid wood PB basic leg (Does she sugar those beauties?)

Ikea Ektorp (plastic darling. Nothing but plastic.)

The soft drape of the basic white twill cover.

Ikea Ektorp. The skilled seamstress called-in sick that day.

The plastic legs show now that I washed the cover once and followed the instructions. Bummer.

Naked PB Basic

Naked Ektorp

That is visible plywood(?) and this "upholstery" is dang near see through.

PB Basic. No plywood, or hinges, or guts. She is classy. I like to have girls like this over to Highland.
(Ummm, yes, that is a sock on the floor. My dog has a fetish, okay? The funkier the better.)

Yes, those are her springs and hinges that you see. And yes, that "fabric" tears very easily.
The ektorp cover shrunk-up tightly after the first wash. My basic and charleston covers never did that. It is so tight, the cusions are bending inside them. When I called ikea and asked about this, I was told the covers are not under the 10-year warranty; only certain parts of the frame. When my first cranberry twill cover from PB faded excessively, it was replaced immediately. PB even had the defective one picked-up for me at their cost -not mine. Ikea said "too bad, so sad, sista!"

Isn't that a pretty label? Yep. I love her.

 Okay, okay. So you get it. The PB Basic sofa and cousins are the better buy. It really is that simple. If you want comfort, quality, and excellent service, then buy the PB Basic. Everything about it is better. Everything. Splurge on the down cusion option which is simply a dream. We have the down cushions on our Charleston. Like naps? Oh yeah. If I had all of the money I needed, I would buy anything but ikea furniture. I've been to the stores several times. I've looked at the pieces. I've flipped them over and wiggled them and tested them the way my pets and children would live on them. But, Ikea furniture fits into this mom's budget so I buy it and I like it. I can buy THREE ikea Ektorp sofas for LESS THAN the price of ONE PB Basic sofa. I can buy 12-14 (seriously?) new Ektorp covers for the price of ONE PB Basic cover. (BTW, the ektorp chair and sofa covers fit on the PB pieces ;). They are tight, but they do fit.) I haven't tried purchasing a pottery barn basic cover and putting it on an ektorp. That is a great idea though. It would probably produce some great results. I might have to do that. I confess that I love the pb basic covers. Even the least expensive twill covers are so much better in quality than the ektorp covers.
Now, listen closely, buy ektorp covers and keep them on your pb basic pieces. When you are having a party or guests, put the pb slipcovers on. Keep them nice and tidy for the good days. You know, like your good china or guest towels. I don't have either, but I'm sure some of you do.
Friends, you get what you pay for.
Buy the Ektorp if you are broke and/or have kids, dogs, friends, and you eat, drink, sit, live on your furniture. I recommend them. However I strongly recommend the pb basic simply because of the quality of construction. They are made in the USA too. Buy the Pottery Barn furniture if your budget allows.
Will you sweat bullets if someone wants to watch a Tinkerbell movie and eat Cheetos at the same time? Seriously. Don't sweat the small stuff just buy OXYCLEAN.

Thanks for stopping in!


  1. Hi Emily, excellent posts about PB and Ektorp. You made me laugh with the comment about her sugaring her legs! I'm in a similar situation--three kids, lots o' cats, my PB Basic small sectional sofa is in constant use and the slipcover is SHOT after 6 years. Used to be cranberry, now it's pink, with the white piping showing through on the edges of the cushions, and a few random, kid-generated holes. Can I really get an Ektorp slipcover and make it fit the PB Basic? (I can do a little sewing if needed...) I just need a new-looking slipcover for a few months, to get us through the spring while we show the house and move over the summer...then maybe I can afford to replace the real PB slipcover, but I don't happen to have $1500 lying around doing nothing at the moment. And since I have the right-arm sectional, nobody on ebay carries the floor model slipcovers, they're all left-arm. I can't believe the PB slipcovers are so darn expensive, but you do, in fact, get what you pay for ... learned finally after 43 years! Thanks!

    1. Thank you! I have not tried the sectional cover from PB on my Ikea sectional. I would be cautious about purchasing one unless you were absolutely certain. I use the ikea covers on my PB Basic pieces and they fit but they are snug. Remember: PB will not accept a return on a slipcover purchase. Compare the measurements closely...I think it will work. Please let me know if you go for it! I just checked online for sales on the PB slipcovers...not a chance! I wish they had REAL SALES instead of what they do. It just doesn't feel like a sale if the item is still $1000! Thank you for visiting!

  2. I bought a PB from Craigslist for $20. The structure of chair is in excellent condition but it needs a new slipcover bc the guys cat scratched at it a ton and it looks bad on the legs. I read this review and thought I'd give the ikea slipcover version a try and see if it worked. It did not. The arms were about 6 inches too short (measuring front to back) and it definitely was not going to squeeze on there. Now I'm back trying to find an affordable slipcover. I may try but I've seen some interesting reviews. Just wanted to give you and other readers a heads up that Ikea EKTORP is not a sure thing.

    1. I'm glad you commented. I've been away for a long time. I'm planning on starting a new blog soon. Meanwhile, we are deep into the remodel of a new home.
      Since this post I've bought and sold all of my ikea pieces with the exception of a sofa and a loveseat. They will soon be sold simply because I would like a new look. The covers do not now and probably never will again fit a PB basic, I think PB got wise to this and changed the design just enough...or something. This is probably worthy of another post. To sum it up if you purchase an ikea cover for a PB basic please please please purchase at your own risk. It may not fit. My old PB basic chair that I've had for years still can squeeze into an ektorp cover. It's tight but it works. Kinda like when I put on skinny jeans. Thanks for reading!