Albany Park has produced what just might be the best entry-level sofa on the market. We have seen no other sofa deliver the same quality, comfort, and style at this price point.
The Park Sofa by Albany Park is a three-seater sofa that's part of their Park Collection. Unlike many furniture companies that have dozens or even hundreds of styles and models, Albany Park has designed and delivered a tight, curated collection of living room basics. Their fresh take on classics makes it easy (or at least easier than it would otherwise be) to find a sofa without decision fatigue. Albany Park is the internet-based, consumer-focused brand of Edloe Finch, a larger furniture company that has served the traditional furniture market for a slightly longer period of time.
The Park Sofa is made with a wood frame, metal legs, high-density foam cushion wrapped in synthetic "feathers" for softer edges and surfaces, and comes wrapped in a variety of velvet, "vegan leather," and standard fabrics. Unlike many other sofas in this price range – the Park Sofa has a webbing and spring support system in its base, providing a firm yet natural feeling under the seat cushions.
The kiln-dried wood frame is pretty rigid and light for a sofa in this price range. Many other affordable sofas will be made from plywood or other cheaper woods that end up being significantly heavier.
If you're shopping for furniture, the number one thing that you will notice is that many furniture brands have shipping lead times of 10-20 weeks. This can be somewhat shocking in today's era of two-day (or otherwise very fast) shipping.
By having a more limited range of styles and options, Albany Park is able to stock its furniture more reliably, and therefore offer quicker ship times to its customers.
Many of its models ship within just a week and arrive in less than 2 weeks from the time of ordering. But its most popular style and color combinations can take 3-5 weeks to ship.
When we ordered our Park Sofa in vegan leather in April, it shipped in less than a week. When we filmed our review in early June, the lead time was up to 3 weeks, and at the time we're publishing this review the lead time is up to 5 weeks. This is probably due to the spring and summer moving season as many families with kids move house at this time of year when school is out of session.
On their website, Albany Park says that this sofa takes "literally 5 minutes" to assemble. This is flatly false! In their video, a) the sofa was already unpacked and the packaging already disposed of, b) the pieces were neatly laid out in the middle of an empty room, and c) the legs were already attached to the frame, which was by far the most time-consuming part of the process.
Overall, assembly of the Park Sofa was a delight. We've assembled dozens of sofas over the past few years, and this one was near the top for simplicity and overall experience.
One thing to note is that the packages in which the Park Sofa are shipped are not small. You will probably need 2 people to move them, especially if there are a lot of stairs in your life. This count really count against Albany Park, however, because there is no way around this fact for pretty much any sofa. The only sofa we know of that does get around the two-person problem is Burrow, which is assembled in smaller modular pieces – but this comes with a major tradeoff in the form of overall structural strength and integrity.
The Park Sofa has a wonderful mix of "midcentury modern" vibes, but with a bit more warmth and coziness. It is sleek, elegant, and far from overbearing, yet also warm and calls out to you "come sit on me!"
Our family leans towards a more minimalist vibe and hates furniture that "takes over a room," but we also hate "clinical" or cold-feeling minimalist furniture. The Park Sofa threaded the needle perfectly.
We really loved the feel of it! It feels roughly like real leather on a nice sofa would feel – smooth, cool to the touch, a little bit of rich texture, firmer than fabric. We did not feel like we "stick" to it or that we got too hot when sitting on it.
If you've sat on faux leather seats in cars (most cars made in the past 20 years do not use real leather), then you have sat on "vegan leather" before, so that should give you confidence in the feel and comfort of the material.
Vegan leather is made out of polyurethane. Polyurethane is a very, very common type of plastic that you find in all sorts of everyday items, from product packaging to the faux leather (aka "leatherette") seats found in most cars these days.
Vegan leather is not 100% environmentally friendly because polyurethane is usually (but not always) derived from petroleum products – it is a common byproduct of refining oil. BUT – making polyurethane requires significantly less energy and water than raising cattle for real leather. Not to mention it doesn't require killing cows – a win for cows everywhere. Also, there are new forms of polyurethane being produced these days that are not dependent on petroleum supply chains, although they are more expensive to produce (for now), and so you don't run into them as often.
There are many different grades of vegan leather (and of polyurethane materials in general), and of course the nicer grades will last longer. So what grade is the vegan leather on the Park Sofa? It wasn't possible to fully verify, although the manufacturer said that it is a high-grade version, and suffice to say that if it is anywhere near on par with the faux leathers used in automobile upholstery, it is going to last for a long time.
We did try a number of stain tests on it, and liquids did not absorb into the fabric but rolled right off and were easily wiped up. Pet hair and anything non-liquid were also easily removed.
Vegan leather is a solid choice and we were very happy with it. It is a major, major improvement for the environment even though it isn't 100% sustainable, and it is at least as durable as most other common furniture upholstery materials, if not even more durable. It was comfortable to sit on, and we are overall "sold" on vegan leather going forward!
We really loved having this sofa in our living room during the testing period! Often at the end of our reviews, we pass the sofas on to our friends or family, otherwise we'd end up with like 100 sofas in our house and be unable to walk anywhere. But we recently moved houses and the Park Sofa looks really at-home in our new living room, and we're intent on keeping it with us as our own sofa for a while to come!
Students, people on the move, those who value convenience more than quality
Young professionals, first-time home buyers, those who value quality and comfort above convenience