Monday, March 29, 2010

White Sofas & Children - IKEA Ektorp Sofa Review

How long have I had these sofas and chairs?

Um…..I just checked. It’s only been about 3 months.

I was super excited to get the IKEA Ektorp sofa, loveseat, and two Tullsta chairs. You may or may not recall all my trials and tribulations with trying to get them. (I blogged about it here, here, here, and here.) You see, I don’t live anywhere near an IKEA. We had to have those babies delivered. The delivery company dumped them off in my driveway. (Yes, they came down the driveway and fortunately made it back up.)

I use to try the sofa out every time we visited the IKEA near Biker Boy’s parents. I liked it. I always request to visit IKEA when we visit.

You wanna know how I feel about the couches after 3 months? I still LOVE them. Oh, I sure do. I’m lovin’em just like bacon and chocolate, except that I can’t eat them. Biker Boy likes them too and thinks they are way more comfortable than our previous hand me down set.
old couches

new couches
 I use to be that mother wondering how other mothers had kids and white couches. I’m glad I went the white route. Care to know the secret? It’s the slipcovers. White couches with slipcovers. Fortunately my couches came with a free second set of slipcovers. Because, goodness, laundry never gets done the same day it’s started here. Those couches would be naked a day or two if I had one slipcover. And please don’t tell me you can get laundry done, folded, and put away in one day. I want to naively live in my bliss that other people (with little children) don’t get it done either.

Why slipcovers? Because they’re washable. We’ve already had an unfortunate grape juice incident on the couch. Some child, who only gets juice when they’re sick, left a drippy sippy cup on the couch. Even after we went over all the “new couch rules.” I’m happy to report, you’d never know there was grape juice on a cushion. It’s perfectly the same color white as when we got it. White is good! (Hint – bleach!)
Can you see the grape juice on the middle cushion?  Nope?  That's because it washed right out.

White is also good when you have a white dog. You don’t notice the hair as much. Except you do notice gray cat hair. I forgot we had a cat, as she doesn’t often come out of our room. But I do notice her hair on the couch. (She must come out!) That’s where a lint brush comes in handy!
old couches

new couches

You wanna know something else? When we don’t have guests over….the couches are usually covered in blankets. The dog likes to sleep on the couch, so we keep blankets over it. They’re easier to clean every week . White sheets might be better, but I already had these blankets. We use what we have.
REALITY CHECK: normal - blankets, toys & books

Oh, the couches are super comfy too. Not too squishy and not too firm. Just right. Like Goldilocks and The Three Bears right! Our bums and backs and everything else are happily cushioned and supported. They fit us just right.

And yes, with kids they aren’t super clean. There are a few marks on them, but they’ll come off when I wash. And it’s probably only me that notices them. (Like where Chewy set her boot on one of the chairs.) But when are couches in a house with kids perfectly spotless? I’m not going to freak out about every little mark. Nope, I’m not. Maybe I will over a big mark.
Future plans - move one to a reading area and use one for a built-in desk here

So, overall, I’m as happy as can be about the Ektorp line from IKEA. Happy Dance kind of happy! If you’re a mom who doesn’t think she can have white couches until the kids leave home…..think SLIPCOVERS! You can have white couches. And I live in an area surrounded by tons of dirt. With two little kids and a dog. If I can do it, You can do it!
Future plans - utilize coffee table as a bench elsewhere, get a round coffee table (less bumps and bruises) and a more neutral/beachy about 10 years.

Layer it on me. What kind of couches do you have or dream of? Slipcovers, prints, microfiber, leather, vinyl, or what?

Psst....find my washing review of the Ektorp slipcovers here and my 2 year follow-up here.  Also find a post with all my visitors' comments on the Ektorp line here.


  1. Hi Chrissy,

    Just wanted to say thank you for posting this information -- and pics! I'm trying to convince my husband to go white covers on this particular sofa line. I really love it. Anyway, thanks again! Your home looks beautiful!

  2. Hi Chrissy!
    Nice to meet you! Its funny cus I was just googing white ikea sofa and washable slipcovers and it brought me to you!
    I want a couch real bad!!
    Im going for white on white in my living room and Im excited about eventually getting a white couch with washable slipcovers from Ikea!
    But Im glad I found you and Im looking forward to getting to know you better Chrisyy..
    Have a great weekend!

    Deborah :)
    come visit me at my blog!

  3. So glad you both stopped by! I'm not at all disappointed in my white Ektorp couches. I still love them! It does help to have a second set of covers. I take the "old" ones off and put the new ones on and then I can just wash the "old" ones when I have time. Let me know if you get some and what you think of them!

  4. Hya Chrissy,
    Love your post, lots of honest humour and helpful information. I found your blog while looking for a review of the comfort of the Tullsta chairs. But you don't really mention them much. Now that you have had them a while, what's your opinion of them, comfort wise, or do you not use them much yourself? Thanks.
    Warm regards,
    Rachael (Dublin, Ireland)

  5. Hi Rachael,
    Thanks for stopping by! The Tullsta chairs aren't our everyday chairs, so they don't get as much use as the couches. They are comfortable, just not something you can curl up into. The couches have more of a backrest and more "squish", for lack of a better word. These chairs are more on the firm side with a lower backrest. We do sit in the chairs from time to time and pull them into our couch sitting area when we have guests. They're comfortable enough to sit in while watching a movie, but more difficult to pull your legs up and lounge in them. Our cat seems to love the chairs! I love how they look and how easy they are to clean. I'm not at all disappointed I got them. They're smaller than the Ektorp chair to fit in smaller areas, which was what I needed. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  6. Hi,

    I just found this when looking for reviews of the furniture. I would LOVE to hear what you think about them 10 months later. If you wouldn't mind stopping by my blog (www.alittlespinach) and letting me know, I would greatly appreciate it. :) We are looking at picking up the sofa and two chairs this weekend.

  7. Oh...
    I just noticed that you left another postitive comment a few weeks ago. Good.. I'm a little nervous with two kids, two cats, and one dog.
    You mention squishy. Too squishy or good squishy? Thanks!! :)

  8. Thank you so much for getting back to me. We are picking up the sofa and two chairs (different chairs than the ones you have) tomorrow. Very excited.

    Small world. We live in the other valley - Apple Valley. I used to teach also... special ed in Minneapolis. I've been home for about 6.5 years now though.

    You've escaped the snow? Jealous.

    So thankful that I found your blog. :)

  9. Sooooo.... Close to a year later, how do you like the couches? I am considering them for my basement playroom which doesn't get used a ton but may as my kids get older and want to watch movies down there, etc.

  10. A year later....I am still in love with my Ektorp couches! They are comfy and still in great shape (even with kids jumping on them and a dog sleeping on them). Biker Boy and I were just talking recently that this was purchase that I don't have any buyer's remorse or regret over (cause that happens to me a lot). All I can say is "I love my couches."

  11. Oh my gosh. I just found an Ektorp sofa on CL today that we will hopefully be picking up tomorrow. I've been lusting after this line for so long...your post makes me even more excited to get it.

    And since I'm getting it at a bargain price, I will be able to get whichever slipcover I want--yay for customization! Though I might just stick with the white--so cozy looking...

  12. homewest....How Exciting! Have fun picking up your new-to-you couch! Slipcovers are such a great option to change up your couch. Maybe in a few years I'll go for something different! I love hearing about everyone's Ektorp couch excitement (and non-excitement). Keep it coming!

  13. Love your post! we are going to buy the Ektorp loveseat this weekend... soooo excited.. and great to see your feedback a year later and how you still love them. We already have a white sofa which i put a blanket on, so i'm not sure about getting another white sofa hmmmm... but i like how you can clean it more easily with bleach/vinegar. i was going to go with the green one, but might change my mind to the white one. i just don't want to put a blanket on the Ektorp.. oooh decisions decisions lol!

  14. Sarita - thanks for stopping by! Have fun getting your new loveseat and picking out a slipcover. I've actually gotten more brave and keep the blankets off the couches more. I only throw it on the loveseat at night for the dog to sleep on and throw it on the big one when it's muddy or yucky outside (like the 14 inches of snow we have now!) Good luck with your decision and have fun shopping at IKEA!

  15. Hi! I too am considering this couch because of the slipcovers. Tell me, though, are they easy to install? And how many pieces are there? Are there separate cushion covers?

  16. Hi Heather, thanks for asking. There is one big base cover for the couch and separate covers for each cushion. So on the large sofa...there is a total of 7 pieces. Each piece fits pretty tight. I get warm putting them on! It takes some shaking and pushing to get the cushion covers on. It also takes going back and forth between each side to get the whole couch cover (base) on. It's not too difficult, but I also wouldn't want the slipcovers to be too loose. So it's worth a little effort to get them on. Ask if you can try it out at a store if you're concerned about how they go on. Hope all goes well with your couch shopping!

  17. Wow, I love this review. My hubs and I got the chair and ottoman and I LOVE it. It doesn't get much use but I am dying to get more pieces. Like the couch or sofa bed loveseat. Are you still loving it?

  18. Thanks Danielle! I still love my Ektorp pieces to bits. I don't regret purchasing them at all.

  19. I still somewhat love my Ektorp sofa. We've had ours for 3 years though, and the cushions are definitely nowhere near close to the perfect firmness that they used to be. In fact, the only flaw I see with these Ikea couches is that they don't sell the cushions separately. It's feels like such a waste to have to replace the whole frame/couch, just because of that.
    Otherwise the slipcovers on that couch rock.

  20. Thank you so much for the great feedback on the couch...i really want to purchase a white couch. can you tell me how you wash them... do you use any specific temperature or detergent. thanks so much

  21. Thanks for stopping by. I did a review of washing the couches here:
    I have been using All Free and Clear with the added oxi-clean or I use powdered Tide and add some oxi-clean. I spray any stains before putting the slipcovers in the wash with a liquid stain remover (Oxi-clean, dreft, or resolve). I wash on hot and I air dry the slipcovers. It works for me. Good luck!

  22. Thank you so very much for your super quick response. Now all i need is a trip to Ikea!!!

  23. Julie, have a great trip to IKEA! I wish I lived near one...though I would probably go a little too often!

  24. Hi Chrissy, Is it possible to get the name of the store where you got your old couches? I really like the style of them. I love couches with one cushion. :) Thanks for posting. :)

  25. Hi Karalyn, thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry, but I have no idea what store the old couches came from. They were hand me downs from my husband's grandma. All I know is that they were purchased in Minnesota somewhere. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

  26. I am so glad that I found your blog! I have been looking to get a new couch in this exact style, and at a reasonable price, and when I found the Ektorp series from Ikea I thought it would be perfect, but I have been concerned about the quality, as opposed to paying 3x more on another Ashley sofa.
    I'm glad to see that you still love your couches 2 years later, and I have to say that I love the wrinkled, comfy, worn-in look. It looks like an actual family lives there, while still looking like a picture from a magazine!

    1. Hi all
      I'm very intetested in purchasing the IKEA Ektorp slipcover in white couches. Loved what I have been reading. I have 4 kids. Did anyone ever scotch guard their couches?
      Please email me.

  27. Hi there:

    Thank you SO very much for posting this!!! As you can see from my recent post (, I'm in the midst of the white slip covered sofa debate and we're planning a big Ikea trip tomorrow, so I'm furiously looking for all input from others who've gone before. So glad to hear it's possible!!! Thanks so very much :)

    Blessings to you,

    Lauren @SummitStreetJoy

  28. Hey Lauren, Thanks for stopping by! I didn't regret white and if you're pretty set on it, you won't regret it either. It seems crazy to get white sofas, but I am so happy I did. Just know they will get dirty...but you can flip cushion covers or wash them. And you can't beat how inexpensive the white Ektorps are compared to the colored versions. Good luck with your shopping, I'd love to hear how it turned out!

  29. Hi,
    I have never scotch guarded my couches. I've been happy without it so far, but am interested to hear abou tit. Here's hoping someone who has done it sends you an email or pops in and lets the rest of know what they think of scotch guarding the slipcovers. Thanks for stopping by!

  30. Your main fabric looks like it pulls a bit at the pleat. Did the slipcovered shrink? I'm about to buy these and will be hesitant if they shrink. I have the chair and have always put my slipcover back on slightly damp.

  31. The slipcovers came tight and they are still tight. I have not had mine shrink, but I have never dried them in a dryer. I always dry them outside in the sun or indoors on racks. It's a workout to put the slipcovers on...and sometimes I'm too lazy to pull them straight. Plus I don't iron them, so it gets the wrinkled lived in look. I also store my covers after they dry (I have 2 goes on and the dirty ones wait to get washed and put away). The pleats may look off because of how they dry, I often forget to straighten them as they are drying and they end up looking a little funky. Then I store them, which probably doesn't help. If you have the chair, I assume you would treat the couch the just do as you do with the chair. Good luck! And thanks for stopping by.


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