There are manufacturers of upholstery that Ill speak highly of and some unfavorably about. I am not sponsored by any of the manufacturers and will just be giving detailed experiences with cleaning and the results of the cleaning. So without further ado lets dive in and explore the most durable upholstery.
The current style/trend for upholstery is white upholstery. Designers love the clean look of the white upholstery in the living room or bedroom with a white/grey rug and a coffee table underneath it. Do a simple google search “living room designs” and you’ll see pretty much all white upholstery, rug, and coffee table. Its a great look, but if you have kids, pets, or someone who’s messy this design only holds up for a few days before it starts to show its wear.
The two brands that I want to focus on have a high price tag, looks great, and an aura high quality: Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. With a quick visit to there website you’ll instantly see the design that Ive described above. Also, you’ll notice their upholstery has a vary clean and modern look that would fit perfectly into anyones home. But lets dive into why I am writing this blog about the durability of their upholstery.
If you have a wine or coffee spill, pet has an accident, kid uses it as a canvas or just basic usage wear (head and arm rest skin oils) Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn make their upholstery for the most part not cleanable. For instance, sine the fabric is white underneath the upholstery they normally will use an off white foam, yellow foam, or blue foam with a wood frame. If the foam or wood frame get to wet from a professional upholstery cleaning the extraction can then pull the color of the foam or wood into the fabric. Which when this happens its pretty much irreversible. Also, the white fabrics these upholstery manufactures use are more sensitive to PH issues. When the PH is off the upholstery can turn yellow. This sometimes is fixable.
Here are some pictures of this kind of issues happening:
Ive been cleaning upholstery for over 10 years and probably have cleaned about 8000+ sofas, sectionals, chairs and etc. When I first started off and noticed these brands having this type of issues with the cleaning I went into Crate & Barrel to ask what’s the best way to clean their upholstery. The sales associate said you need to ask a professional… lol. I said to the sales associate I am the professional and explained the problems I was having with there upholstery. To which the sales associate said they had no idea on how to clean it.
There are 3 main types of cleaning processes that can be used on upholstery, steam cleaning, Chem-Dry (chemistry that is dry) and dry cleaning. Steam cleaning uses a lot of water and normally is coming out at 200-400 PSI. For white upholstery water is your enemy. Chem-Dry we use about 70-80% less water then steam cleaners. B/c of the less water we are safer when it comes to cleaning this type of upholstery but it still does not mean we can’t cause issues especially if there’s spot thats not coming out easily. Dry cleaning which is least aggressive cleaning process can be used on white upholstery but it wont remove much and its a toxic chemical.
So back to cleaning these upholstery brands. A few things we like to ask before we start cleaning them is how old are they and has it ever been cleaned before? The older the upholstery the more likelihood it will turn yellow. If its been cleaned before its also good to know when and what process that was used to clean it. Once the questions have been answered we will do an inspection of the upholstery. We like to look to see if there're any yellowing, color bleeding, and if the cushions have an extra layer between the fabric and the foam. If it has that extra layer it does mean we can be a little more aggressive on the cushions. But that does not mean we can be aggressive on the body of the sofa or sectional b/c they do not put that extra protection on the body.
Lastly, the most cleanable white Upholstery manufacturer that I’ve seen is La-Z-Boy. The materials and foam that they use never seem to cause issues with our cleaning. Ive been vary aggressive with some of the cleanings on their upholstery and have had great results with zero yellowing or discoloration. From a cleaners stand point I would recommend this brand if you have kids, pets, or a messy home.