Why are the cushions wearing out so quickly on my Macy's sectional? What can I do about it?

Why are the cushions wearing out so quickly on my Macy's sectional? What can I do about it?

Customer Question

We recently purchased a Radley sectional from Macy’s. The fabric and cushions were in poor quality (cushions sinking, fabric buckled) and we called Macy’s to complain.

A representative from US Quality, Macy’s third party, came out to view our concerns and determined the entire sectional need. A few months later We received a replacement sofa from Macy’s.

After 2 months of gentle use we noticed the same fabric buckling and cushions sinking. We called Macy’s and their third party inspector came out again. This time the third party contractor said the cushion quality was poor and that caused the fabric to buckle and the cushions to sink. He said nothing can be done unless we replaced the cushions with high density foam.

My question is are you familiar with the Radley from Macy’s and are you familiar with any of these cushions going bad so quickly?

The Radley sectional is made for Macy's by Jonathan Louis International. This is a California company whose furniture is manufactured in both the U.S. and Mexico. Your Radley sectional was probably made in Mexico.
Your third party warranty inspector is exactly correct. Low density foam cushion cores break down quickly. The way to fix this is to replace the foam with better quality (higher density) foam cores. Your inspector may get into trouble with his company if you let them know he told you that.
Replacing cushion foam will not be covered under any furniture warranty. 
  • Furniture warranties, including 3rd party extended warranties, are legal documents, written by attorneys for the furniture companies. 
  • Warranties are crafted to protect the furniture company against potential damage claims. 
  • The purpose of furniture warranties is not to protect consumers.
For more information about furniture warranties, check out my article: Furniture Warranties: Tricks, Traps and Warnings.
If you Google "Jonathan Louis reviews and complaints", it quickly becomes obvious that complaints regarding cushions that wear out quickly are extremely common.
On the Jonathan Louis website, the cushions are described as "high resiliency." This is a very interesting description. Normally, seating in this price range has "high density" cushions. 
  • By industry convention, the term "high density" without any additional number, indicates that the foam is 1.8 density. 
  • 1.8 is the lowest foam density that can be considered "high density."
The term actually used, "high resiliency," is an inexpensive process which allows foam to "bounce back" better than cushions that are not HR. Because the process is so inexpensive, most seat cushions are HR. 
  • By using the term "high resiliency" instead of "high density," there is a strong possibility that your cushions have a foam with a density that is less than 1.8. The most common density for cushions that are not "high density" is 1.5.
  • 1.5 density cushions will typically "wear out" (lose their resiliency) within one year for average size people with average use.
Your least expensive solution will be to replace the cushion cores. Most mass produced seating in this price range uses small zippers in their cushions.

  • You won't be able to simply buy new foam and replace the cushions yourself.
  • A professional upholsterer (or reupholsterer) will be needed to replace the cushion cores.
Replacement foam costs (and long term durability) are determined by density:
  • 1.8 density foam cores (the standard for furniture like yours) will typically begin to soften within one year and need replacement in 3 - 5 years. The exact lifespan will vary based on how large you are and how frequently the furniture is used.)
  • 2.5 density foam cores will cost more (probably $50 - $100 per seat cushion) but will retain their firmness for 10 years or more for most people.
  • There are also other foam densities between 1.8 and 2.5 that will hold up for intermediate time periods.


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