Note: I have no relationship with AllForm whatsoever other than being a customer. They didn’t send me a free couch (I wish!), they didn’t ask me to write a review, and I’m not an affiliate of any type. I just couldn’t find many non-sponsored reviews from actual humans when I was debating my purchase, so I thought this might help someone.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and no one would blame you if you have, given all the turmoil of the past couple years), you’ve probably seen the “couch in a box” ads all over the internet. The premise is kind of cool – it’s now possible to order an entire sofa (even a large one) without leaving your house, and they come in multiple boxes you can actually lift and carry. Considering we had to take our front door off its hinges to bring our old couch into the house, I was pleased with the idea of something a bit easier on the back and knees.
I spent the better part of a month researching the various companies and their sofas to decide which one I liked best. It’s difficult to find reviews from “normal” people who just bought a sofa on their own; usually you get a lot of influencers going Omg look at my free couch! I love it!! but you can’t really determine much from those, or at least I can’t.
AllForm scared me a bit because I found very little information outside of their website, but in the end, I liked the look of the sofa we chose, they were going to be able to ship a lot faster than many companies, and they had U-shaped sectionals, which is what I wanted. I decided the risk was worth it and (spoiler alert) I’m thrilled with it after basically living on it for a few months.
The Order and Delivery Process
Ordering on AllForm’s website is very straightforward. Choose your sofa and configuration, choose your fabric and legs, optionally add pillows and such, then complete checkout. Nothing out of the ordinary for any person who has ever bought something online.
I ordered the 8-seat U sectional (in light grey with walnut legs, in case you’re curious) and two matching ottomans on August 27. The sofa shipped on August 30, I believe, and we got it (all 11 boxes of it) on September 3rd. One ottoman arrived on September 7 and the other on September 11, all shipped via FedEx.
Looks fun, right? I have to admit, it was a little overwhelming once our old sectional was out and the boxes came in from the garage.
True to my tendency to be unlucky, I didn’t find the instruction book until I opened the very last box (the one with the legs, so try that one first), but I had a PDF version from the AllForm website so it worked out fine.
By the way, it appears AllForm always has a 20% discount available, so if you are considering one, don’t pay full price!
Assembling the sofa requires no tools, but it takes a very strong couple of people and/or a crowbar to open the boxes. I’m convinced whoever packed our order was later fired from the factory for wasting an entire bottle of Gorilla Glue on every single box; Scott nearly pulled his shoulder out of the socket yanking on the flaps while I bearhugged the boxes and tried to keep them on the floor.
Once we finally got into the boxes, we formed a sort of assembly line to move all the cushions to our bedroom where they’d be out of the way. You haven’t lived until you’ve had 16 cushions that need a place to hang out for awhile, especially when you have dogs in the house!
For the U sectional, the basic assembly steps are as follows:
- Assemble each seat by attaching two pieces with bolts that twist into place
- Attach the seats to each other
- Assemble the corners (the worst part of the whole thing)
- Attach the legs
- Combine all the sections like Voltron into one gigantic sofa
I didn’t take many photos of the assembly because we were too busy sweating, cursing profusely, and begging the dogs to go away, but here are a few:
Assembling the couch took us the better part of 7 hours. I have no doubt it could be faster, especially with one of AllForm’s smaller sofas, because much of that time was spent reassuring our obviously mistreated floofs, taking breaks for food, arranging for someone to rehome our old sectional (which was still in the front yard at that point), checking social media, etc.
The only hard part was assembling the corners – I thought we were going to end up divorced for an hour or so, but luckily our marriage (and the corners) made it through just fine. After the first one, we figured out the second corner much faster. Still, it was a J O B and not one I would want to repeat anytime soon.
Once the sofa was finally assembled, throw pillows put on, etc. I noticed it didn’t really look light grey, or at least not like the light grey I expected based on the website photos. So much that I emailed Customer Service to ask if they changed the fabric:
I did receive a small partial refund due to the discrepancy, which was nice since the alternative was to return and order a different color (you have 100 days to decide if the sofa you bought is a keeper). While I’m still not totally convinced I love the color we got compared to what I thought we were getting, I’m not emotionally prepared to go through the assembly process again, so we’re sticking with it.
Judging by photos I’ve seen of the other colors in people’s homes, the others seem to be a much closer match – the light grey is the only one that (unfortunately for us) seems to be super different in real life. I strongly recommend ordering the swatches from AllForm if you want to be totally sure what you’re getting; I did that after the fact to verify the light grey, and I got it within a couple days.
Life with the AllForm Sofa
Once the sofa was finally put together, it was time for the real test: Would it be comfortable enough to replace our previous sectional and Scott’s beloved recliner?
I’m a huge fan of mid century modern furniture and decor, but unfortunately most of the furniture isn’t something you want to sink into. However, I’m pleased to report the AllForm sofa is extremely comfortable and we’ve had zero trouble settling right in:
Things I Love
The overall look and feel: This thing is great. We have more seating, but somehow it takes up less space than our old sectional. And despite the fact that we had to assemble it, it doesn’t feel cheap or like a Walmart futon. It fits right in with all my other MCM furniture and decor, and every single person who has been in our house wants to know where we got it. The AllForm sectional has definitely upgraded our living room.
The reversible cushions: Any of the cushions can be flipped over, so I rotate them every few weeks to make sure our butts aren’t denting any one cushion in a permanent way. This is a real danger because we literally spend every evening just sitting there loving how comfortable the couch is.
The trial period: At the time of this writing, we are still within our 100-day trial. I could call AllForm right now and start a return if I wanted, though I don’t plan to do that as mentioned above because I don’t want to dismantle my entire house again. They send someone to pick up the sofa if you don’t keep it, so you don’t have to worry about saving all the boxes or trying to organize pickup yourself.
The fast shipping: What a bizarre world we live in, when you can receive a giant sectional via FedEx in about a week! Not to mention the lack of visiting furniture stores during a pandemic – definitely a plus.
Things I Don’t Love
The ottomans: I actually didn’t love the two ottomans, once we lived with them for a few months. I mean they were fine; they slid right into the gap in the U to create kind of a giant daybed feel, and the dogs loved them, but I hated how it looked. I opted to return the ottomans for a refund and bought an extra seat for the back part of the sectional instead, so the coffee table I bought would fit with room to walk around it.
Cleaning the sofa: AllForm’s fabric sofas are pretty stain resistant – I managed to drop a glass of tea on it in the first week, so we got to field test that claim early on. Liquids sit on the surface and you can wipe them right off if you catch them when they happen. Unfortunately if a stain sets in, you can’t use water based cleaners on the fabric, and you can remove the cushion covers but you aren’t supposed to wash them, so we are still experimenting with the best solution for that. The dogs definitely make such a light fabric a challenge!
I’ve never owned anything that couldn’t be sprayed down with any random upholstery cleaner or all purpose spray, so I will update this post later if I find a great S label cleaner that works.
The price: Even with the small discount I mentioned before AND 20% off at the time I ordered, AllForm sofas aren’t cheap. However, the price is absolutely worth the product we received; I just had a hard time making the leap from generic mass-produced furniture you can get for a little of nothing to something nicer. I have no doubt this thing will last a long time, provided we find a great way to clean it.
The cardboard: Disposing of 13 enormous cardboard boxes and all their packing material is not an easy task. We live in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t really a recycling center anywhere, so we ended up leaving the boxes in the garage for two months until we got fed up enough to haul them off.
Our Overall Impressions of the AllForm U Sectional
Overall, we are very happy with the decision to purchase from AllForm. The couch is not absolutely the most perfect possible one on the planet, but it meets our needs and we still talk about how great it looks and how comfortable it is nearly every day.
It took some time to adjust to the U shape – end tables don’t really work, so I had to do some creative online shopping to find ways to hold drinks, charge devices, etc. when sitting on such a massive piece of furniture. In the end, we went with two console tables down the sides and two super narrow tables near the arms on each end.
Scott was highly upset about losing his recliner for awhile, but he rarely mentions it these days. Judging by the number of times I’ve caught him dozing off on the sofa (pretty much every day since we got it), I don’t think he’s suffering. I can’t express how glad I am to have that eyesore out of my house!
I can recommend AllForm without hesitation. They make great products, they’re efficient, the customer service team is responsive, and they have helped revolutionize what it means to buy furniture (and not the crappy particle board kind) at a time when going to a furniture store seems like the worst possible thing one could do. If you’re in the market for a sofa in a box, AllForm is a worthy contender.