I need some kind of couch or couchlike thing for my awkward apartment
June 14, 2013 4:51 PM   Subscribe

It's hard to be comfortable in a dwelling with no couch. You try to watch TV with a friend and you're sitting on the floor and it's just lame. However, I live in an apartment where the front door opens onto a narrow stairway that goes up at a right angle. I had a couch when I moved in, and the moving guys tried every possible angle but they just couldn't get in into the apt. It's on the third floor -- can't get it into a window, wouldn't fit through anyway.

I'm open to any reasonable solution that isn't insanely expensive. It doesn't have to be strictly speaking a "couch." Anything that basically serves that function will do.

I considered getting a futon & frame and did some shopping around. However, once you buy a simple frame, a decent-quality futon, and a cover, you're getting close to a thousand dollars or even more. (This is excluding utter crap, bottom of the line futons.)

At least that's what I was able to find in the world of futons.

Does anyone know of a place that sells acceptable ones at a more reasonable price?

I visited Ikea, but the only futons they had were super ugly.

I've been keeping an eye on Craiglist for a frame, but man what a pain in the ass Craiglist is. And while I'd consider a used futon frame, there's no way I'd buy a used mattress.

I also considered outdoor furniture. Like maybe someone makes a light, compact, "patio couch?" But as I've never owned a patio I'm not sure where to even start with that.

I'm open any advice or suggestions for a solution to this problem so that my gf & I can sit comfortably and watch Walking Dead in peace.

I'm hoping to not have to spend more than a $300 to $400, but I'll spend more if there's simply no other option.
posted by trevor_case to Home & Garden (35 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I would buy two or three Ikea poang chairs. They're cheap and comfy and last forever. I would can scatter them around the room, then pull them in front of the TV when you're going to sit down with other folks to watch something.
posted by lyra4 at 4:54 PM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

You might look for sectionals. I had one that was basically a bunch of easy-chair-sized pieces. I just replaced it, and noticed that most are now broken into bigger sections than that, but perhaps you could find a used one.
posted by outfielder at 4:55 PM on June 14, 2013

Big latin-american-type hammock, with either a floor stand or suspended from eyebolts?
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:57 PM on June 14, 2013

A lot of Ikea couches are flat packed. The Kivik series comes in sections that you assemble and then clamp together.
posted by payoto at 4:57 PM on June 14, 2013 [7 favorites]

Ikea has a few different sectionals (Kivik, Soderhamn) which are chair-sized pieces.
posted by AnnaRat at 4:58 PM on June 14, 2013

Wicker furniture? Lightweight, for getting up to that third floor; can be gotten in single-seat or triple-seat widths; can be easily changed just by switching out the cushions.
posted by easily confused at 4:58 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Ikea Poang chairs. We have a big cushy sectional sofa but the single Poang chair is the seating option that gets fought over. The matching ottoman is perfect for reading.
posted by Flannery Culp at 5:00 PM on June 14, 2013

Have you looked at Ikea online, rather than in person? They might not have had everything in the display area. I mean, they have really cheap not-bad looking sofa beds. Plus as payoto mentioned, almost everything there is flat-packed. Get the dimensions of your stairway, and see what would fit. Most of the Ikea futon-sofa things have covers, too, to change up the look
posted by clone boulevard at 5:01 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

A big beanbag. You can get it upstairs in chunks, if need be.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Try Japanese futon love seats/sofabeds if they are available in your area. They are very easy to assemble and come flat, and mine was definitely not $1000. Added plus, usually you can customize the cover. Mine has survived delivery and moving to two different spots now.
posted by so much modern time at 5:06 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I came in here to recommend a sectional couch, but I also have a Poang chair and I agree that it's super comfy, though not good for snuggling.

We also have a giant beanbag that is great for one person, okay for two people. There are several on Amazon.

And, I used to have an Ikea futon - this one I think - that was quite comfortable as a couch and as a bed.
posted by insectosaurus at 5:13 PM on June 14, 2013

Don't all the IKEA sofas (not just the futons) come flat-packed? If so, you might be able to ge one in. I lived in a basement apartment with a steep, right-angle entrance, and the flat stuff made it in.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:15 PM on June 14, 2013

Ikea used to have these couches, a friend had one. It was basically a small base-unit with detachable metal ] brackets that came up a bit over the side cushions. EVERY cushioned piece pulls off.

He moved it in and out of some tight spaces because you were basically moving several small coffee-table sized sections with the ] units sticking up on the side(which were removable, too) and then all the cushions.

It was also extraordinarily comfortable.

There must still be stuff like that out there. Look around for something where all the cushions including the arms are modular and just slide off as giant cushions. I can't even find anything similar anywhere in the sofa section of their site, but i swore i saw a very similar one at the store last time i was there. Go poke around.

Also, as noted, almost all their sofas are flat packed anyways.
posted by emptythought at 5:15 PM on June 14, 2013

L.L.Bean Ultralight Sectional Sofa

You can buy the sections individually if you call. Each piece comes in it's own box, they're super light (I can carry one up three flights of stairs by myself), reasonably comfortable, and sturdy as hell. It's how we put a sofa in our cupola room, which was only accessible by a pull-down ladder.
posted by anastasiav at 5:16 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sectionals, yes. If you want custom made and cheap, people use pallets (*, *, *, +)
posted by travelwithcats at 5:28 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

A twin bed or day bed.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:31 PM on June 14, 2013

Craigslist futon + new mattress should be pretty reasonable & sanitary-
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:38 PM on June 14, 2013

Couches from Amazon also come unassembled, and there is a wider range than Ikea. The box dimensions should be in the listing.
posted by anonymisc at 5:38 PM on June 14, 2013

Our Ikea Karlstad will totally fit up any staircase. It breaks up into these pieces:

2 x sides
1 x back
1 x seat
4 x legs
2 x back cushions
2 x seat cushions
assorted bolts

The back and seat are the biggest pieces, but both are about 72" long (no taller than a tallish human), 30" wide, and 8-12" deep. I'm probably overestimating those, but if you can walk up the stairwell those can fit through. You'll have to unpack it before taking it up the stairs, but it'll get up there.
posted by The Michael The at 5:49 PM on June 14, 2013

i hear ya. i had this great custom sofa bed of my nana's i was all excited about but it wouldn't fit through the door. so, i got a nice futon frame & futon mattress and that ran $800 years ago. not sure you can get a decent one for less these days. i still have it and love it.

before that i had an outdoor settee/loveseat from pier 1 imports. check out their selection at that link which looks like it is in your price range. there are some nice ones at the bottom. i loved the one i had and it's great for two people seating and i'm rather sorry i got rid of mine eventually.
posted by wildflower at 6:18 PM on June 14, 2013

In that exact position, we bought Poangs and a footrest, and didn't even buy a couch the next time we moved. Perfectly comfortable cheap solution. Our parents had a problem with couchlessness for some reason, but our friends didn't care.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:26 PM on June 14, 2013

Home Reserve sells fairly inexpensive couches that ship essentially in flat packaging. they can be taken apart and reassembled, and (because of this) you can swap out coverings and cushions and stuff more or less at will. can't say anything about durability, though, but they do offer a 10-year warranty.
posted by mrg at 6:29 PM on June 14, 2013

Only because the door was left wide open for non couch solutions:

Ball pit.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:00 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Couches that come with recliners on the end are separatable. Then they can be reattached to each other. There's that.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2013

LL Bean loveseat. assembly required - call to see how it ships. free shipping.

Or post on freecycle and/or CL free looking for a futon. Wash the futon cover, replace the mattress.
posted by theora55 at 7:32 PM on June 14, 2013

Like payoto, I was going to suggest an Ikea flat-pack couch.

If this apartment is temporary, get the cheapest one you can put up with, build it in the apartment, and either leave it behind when you move or be willing to concede defeat on reconstructing it in your next place.

If this apartment is Home Forever, get the nicest one that comes flat packed and don't worry too much about getting it back out of the apartment because it's never going to be an issue.
posted by Sara C. at 7:38 PM on June 14, 2013

I've bought the Monroe Sofa from Home Reserve twice, and the corner ottoman once. The cushions feel a bit stiff at first, but if you walk on them occasionally, it really helps.

The sofa arrives in two big boxes, so if you live in a walk-up, it might be difficult getting them upstairs.

The website provides very useful measurements. I would measure the designated space to see which style would fit best.

The interior storage compartment is very spacious. My ottoman and sofa had so many books, etc. stored inside, that when it came time to move, I found I had grossly underestimated the number of boxes I needed.

If you're tall, I would definitely consider getting the corner ottoman. Their furniture is designed for small spaces, so the depth of the seat may not be ideal. I think a good rule of thumb would be to find a sofa at Ikea that has similar measurements, and use that as a guide as to whether or not a Home Reserve sofa could work for you.
posted by invisible ink at 7:47 PM on June 14, 2013

Buy a futon frame that you put together. Shouldn't the flatpack box (or parts) be able to fit through?

Then you just put it together in the apartment, and can take it apart when you need to take it out.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:55 PM on June 14, 2013

Folding saucer chairs - this one's a double.
posted by lakeroon at 9:41 PM on June 14, 2013

Can you do round? This love chair will seat two adults cozily.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:56 PM on June 14, 2013

Thirding Home Reserve. I have the Tux Loveseat which comfortably seats two and has tons of storage. I also have a standard ottoman from there which added additional seating and storage. The Home Reserve sofas are a lot easier to put together (and take apart and re-assemble) than Ikea's, IMO.
posted by sm1tten at 7:36 AM on June 15, 2013

An Amazon.com somewhere are a cheaper version of Lovesac beanbags. I am too lazy to search right now, but they have ones that are in much more of a couch shape than your typical Lovesac, for around $300. They got great reviews, sound comfy and would solve your problem.
posted by catatethebird at 7:58 AM on June 15, 2013

One of these was my "couch" for about four years, until my fiance and I upgraded to a grown-up couch just recently. The Comfy Sack (we have the 6-foot round one) is super-comfortable and super-squishable (for getting it through doorways, etc), and it shipped to me as a set of vacuum-packed foam bags (something like 25 pounds each, with each about the size of a kitchen trash can) and a small flat box with the covers. Mine cost about $300, and it looks like the price is still right around there (currently selling for slightly less, actually!).
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 10:01 AM on June 15, 2013

You could try a couple of these Thai triangular floor cushion things. You'll still need a couple of pillows with them.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:26 PM on June 15, 2013

Thanks for the help, everyone.

You guys had a lot of great suggestions.

I discovered that the Kivik couch from Ikea that someone suggested can fit through my stairway.

So problem solved.

posted by trevor_case at 10:20 AM on June 17, 2013

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