The search for feather-weight furniture
October 1, 2019 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Moving into a 4-story walk-up apartment and I'd love to find some furniture (especially a sofa) that comes in pieces that weigh less than 40 pounds so that I can get it up the stairs.

I love this modular, easy to assemble Floyd sofa, and there are a few other brands that have a similar idea, but they are all well over $1,000.

Obviously there's always Ikea but it's hard for me to tell from their website exactly how heavy/bulky the different parts are for each sofa without clicking through every single one. The Delaktig sofa seems like it could do the trick -- the heaviest pieces are around 40 pounds and it's under $1,000. I don't love the style, but could live with it.

Aside from Ikea it seems like it's hard to find/search for furniture that's modular or light weight but also fairly affordable. I'm also open to any Ikea hacks or simple DIY suggestions (love this DIY sofa from HomeMade Modern for example) but it would have to be something very simple you could build in an apartment with minimal power tools.
posted by forkisbetter to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think the basic problem is that Ikea has such massive market power that there's not a lot in their price/quality bracket; if it's a similar price as Ikea, then it's not as good, and if it's as good as Ikea, it's substantially more expensive.

I don't know how frequently you are planning on moving, but is hiring people to deliver (and later to move if needed) a possibility? It seems you are limiting your choices an awful lot to save a 50 or 100 buck delivery charge (and tip!).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:38 AM on October 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

I live in a house with a REALLY narrow set of stairs up to the attic that precluded us moving any furniture up there that couldn't fit through a narrow doorway and then pivot around a tight corner. After some research, we got this Novogratz sleeper futon for $300. It arrives folded in half in a box, so we managed to juuuuust squeeze it up there and get it set up and it's worked nicely so far.

It's maybe a little bit heavier than 40lbs, but not so heavy that one person couldn't move it (slowly, but surely) up a set of stairs. It might end up being a two-person job to move it more because of the bulk/size than the weight. Also: assembly wasn't super difficult, but was just tough enough that it would have been A NIGHTMARE with only one person.

Looks-wise, it's super cute if you like the mid-century modern aesthetic and it comes in a lot of colors. Comfort-wise, it is emphatically Not Soft At All, but is alright if you prefer your furniture on the firmer, springier side.
posted by helloimjennsco at 11:11 AM on October 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

My sister went for wicker furniture for her living room when she lived in a similar situation.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:14 AM on October 1, 2019

Seconding wicker furniture! There is some very stylish patio furniture out there. The cushions are removable so moving the frame is really the only tricky part.
posted by annaramma at 11:28 AM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry to threadsit but I am aware that movers are a thing that exists! It's really more helpful to keep responses relevant to the actual question!
posted by forkisbetter at 11:56 AM on October 1, 2019

Best answer: Is there a Structube near you? They have flat pack furniture that may work. It looks like they may be boxed in one package, but that doesn't mean you couldn't open and take pieces up one by one.
posted by Ftsqg at 12:19 PM on October 1, 2019

The individual boxes in the Friheten are > 40lb, but I can attest from assembling one in an attic space with a steep set of stairs to get to it that the individual bits are much less than 40, although obviously you'll have to do more trips. I liked the look of it (and storage/bed aspect), and it is pretty OK as both a sofa and a bed.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:22 PM on October 1, 2019

Best answer: The couches here at Home Reserve are assemble at home; they don't have the leg type you seem to gravitate towards, but you could ask them to see how heavy the boxes are if you see something you like. I have some friends that got a sectional there. Their cheapest sofa is well under $1000 and cheaper than your IKEA pick.
posted by foxfirefey at 1:40 PM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We lived on the third floor in a walk-up, and moved in and then out with just friends.

Our couch-style futon moved very easily: the frame folded in half, the mattress was heavy, but could be shifted by two people. Our classic papasan chair also moved very easily.

What I was really grateful for was that instead of a traditional wardrobe, we had a completely modular system from Ikea which broke down into frames and baskets. Actually, we're still using that. Maybe one day we'll upgrade.
posted by jb at 2:03 PM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like Burrow's flat pack sofas, though they are very firm. Comes in four 50-pound boxes, so maybe not as lightweight as you're hoping. I'm looking at my local Craigslist right now and there's a new-looking Burrow sectional for $400. Maybe check out Craigslist if you haven't already. I like suggesting it because it's better for the environment (and cheaper).
posted by pinochiette at 3:53 PM on October 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you did want to get that Ikea sofa, the dimensions of the heaviest package (9.5 x 4.25 x 75.75) and the assembly instructions suggests that if you open it, you'll end up with four individual pieces inside, plus all the fixings. The largest two of those individual pieces are going to be no more than 15lbs each based on the proportions of the assembled sofa.
posted by plonkee at 10:13 AM on October 2, 2019

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