Allform vs. Burrow. Which is the best "Sofa in a Box?"

Allform vs. Burrow. Which is the best "Sofa in a Box?"

Customer Question

What's your opinion on Burrow and Allform sofas? Which do you think is the best for long term? Which has the best seating cushions?

Allform is the latest competitor in the "Sofa in a box" category. (The others are Burrow, Article and Campaign.)

Allform began shipping in May, 2020. There aren't any reviews I could find describing long term durability. In general, you can expect about 5 years of use from this category of sofa.

From looking at the photos, Allform appears to have better tailoring than Burrow, but that can be the result of carefully built (and re-worked) samples made specially for photography. Examining photos of sofas that have been in use for 1 year or more would give a more accurate idea of the tailoring quality.

The lifespan limitation on all of these sofa brands is usually the cushions. 

  • These will begin to lose their shape, resilience (ability to bounce back), firmness and comfort within one year or less. After the first year the cushions will continue to gradually soften until they become unsightly and uncomfortable. 

  • The cushion cores will need to be replaced in 3 - 5 years on average, depending on how big you are and how often you use the sofa.

Allform uses a hardwood plywood frame. Burrow has a solid Birch frame. One of the other competitors (Campaign) uses a steel frame. It really doesn't matter. All the frames will last 10 years or more.

There are 4 areas in which I believe Allform is better than Burrow. 

1) Cushion construction

  • Allform uses a standard 5" thick 1.8 density foam core wrapped with polyester fiber. This is the most common cushion found in the furniture industry. 

    • Depending on your size and how often the sofa is used (and whether or not you have kids who like to jump on the furniture) you can expect 3 - 5 years use before the cores need to be replaced. 

  • If you replace the cores with 2.5 density foam, they should last an additional 10 years or more.

  • Burrow is using a new composite multi-layer cushion core. These new composite cushions have only been around for about a year, but are becoming more and more popular with lower priced seating. 

    • Although Burrow does not specify what is inside their multi-layer cushions, the standard composite cushions being introduced, are made with a 2.0 density central foam core, surrounded on the top and bottom by 1.2 density foam layers.

  • These composite cushions have two big advantages for the furniture company. The first is that salespeople and advertising materials can say that the cushions are 2.0 density. This implies they are better than the standard 1.8 density cushions. 

  • The other advantage is that the composite cushions are cheaper to make. 1.2 density foam is much cheaper than 1.8 density. No sofa manufacturer would dare make a cushion using only 1.2 density foam. It wouldn't hold up for a month.

  • I strongly suspect that these composite cushions will fail long before 1.8 solid foam cores, but it will be a couple of years before that will become apparent.

  • Composite cushions are a recent introduction. Older Burrow sofas will have the standard 1.8 density foam cushions.

2) Seat depth

  • Allform sofas have a seat height of 17" and a seat depth of 24". This seat height is standard for European seating (including IKEA) but is 2 - 3 inches lower than most American style seating." When combined with the flat suspension system, the 24" seat depth is generous and should be comfortable for most people. (Article also has a 24" seat depth.)

  • Burrow seat depth is 21" - 22". Although this is standard for American style seating with seat heights of 19" - 20", it is a bit skimpy for the lower seat height. (Campaign has a 23" seat depth.)

  • All of these "bed in a box" brands use a flat flexolator type suspension system (foundation.) There are two reasons for using this type of foundation: 

    • It is the lowest cost suspension system available.  

  • It allows the sofa to fit into the smallest possible box (which has a significant effect on shipping costs.)

  • The flat seat suspension reduces comfort. Higher quality (more expensive) seating pitches the seat so that the front is higher than the rear. 

    • This has a significant effect on overall comfort. It also allows the seat depth to be slightly reduced.

  • Pitched seats are impractical in this category of furniture. Besides increasing cost, the boxes would have to be significantly larger.

3) Legs

  • Allform has 6" high legs. That is about as high as you can go on a sofa without running into potential stability problems. As you increase the leg height beyond that, there is a greater chance of the sofa wobbling or feeling as though it isn't level.

  • Burrow (and Article and Campaign) have 7" legs.

  • Another factor in the stability of these sofas is the extra legs that all of them have. 

    • These extra legs are not needed to support more weight. They are part of the modular design that allows independent seat units to be connected together.

  • The more legs you have, the greater the possibility that one of them won't be perfectly level. Uneven floors magnify this potential problem. 

4) In-home trial period

  • Burrow (and Article and Campaign) all have 30 day in-home trial periods.

  • Allform has a 90 day in-home trial. This does not indicate superior quality. The longer period is probably a marketing strategy to differentiate a new brand against its better known competitors.

Below are some videos that will give you more details about the various "Sofa in a box" brands. The first is an independent comparison between Burrow, Article and Campaign.

  • When looking at video reviews, be aware that many of them are designed to sell the furniture. (The reviewer is paid if you buy through their website.) As a result, these "sponsored" reviews will be far more likely to highlight good features than to reveal negatives.

  • Reviews of furniture that has been used for several months (or several years) will have the best information.

Allform Sofa Video   

Article Sofa video 

Burrow Sofa Video 

Positive Burrow Sofa Video review (after 1 year) [Important note - This video was made in May, 2020. The Burrow sofa shown would have 1.8 density cushions.]

Negative Burrow video - Seat cushions losing shape after 3 months. [Note - This video was made in January 2021. The cushions may be the new composites.] 

Burrow vs. Article vs. Campaign Video