WhatASleep.com.au is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to the buyer) from the links on the page. Learn more.
Koala Sofa Review (2021) — Worth buying?
The experience of buying a sofa is not always pleasant. Countless trips to the furniture showroom, endless waiting for the delivery to arrive and then the struggle to get the sofa through the narrow staircase or doorway. Phew!
Enter sofa-in-a-box. Taking a cue from the bed-in-a-box mattress trend, famous Australian furniture brand Koala has tried to apply the same principles to the sofa shopping experience — flat-pack shipping, no-tool easy assembly, free trial, free shipping and hassle-free returns. This surely sounds convenient but the real question is: Is the Koala sofa – comfortable, durable and worth your money?
In this review, we’ll look at the ins and outs of the newly upgraded Koala lounging sofa, which has resolved the noticeable pilling and fabric sagging it suffered from in the first iteration. But is it any better or the best in the market? Let’s find out.
Note: The rest of the sofas in Koala’s line-up, such as Cork, Compact, and Modern, follow more or less similar construction and differ mainly in aesthetics and fabric used.
- Dimensions & Pricing:
|Size||Dimensions (WxDxH)||Total Weight||Shipping Boxes||Price|
|3-seater sofa||233 x 94 x 85 cm||72 kg||3||$1,200|
|2-seater sofa||233 x 94 x 85 cm||63 kg||3||$950|
|Ottoman||90 x 70 x 45 cm||19 kg||1||$350|
- Frame: Mix of engineered and natural wood (Laminated veneer lumber, pine and plywood)
- Legs: Beech Timber
- Cushion: Multi-firmness/Multi-Layer polyurethane foam (CertiPur-US certified)
- Cover: 70% polyester and 30% acrylic blend textured fabric
- Weight Capacity: 600 kg
- Cleaning & maintenance: Only vacuum and spot cleaning. The covers aren’t removable.
- Warranty: 5 years (against manufacturing defects)
- Available in two colours — Brushtail Grey, and Bonnie Doon Blue
- Configuration: 2-seater and 3-seater with an option to buy a matching ottoman.
- The sofa is delivered in three flat-pack boxes weighing between 15 and 30 kg.
- Easy assembly and disassembly; no tools required.
- The outer fabric is scratch- and stain-resistant and easy to clean.
- The sofa comes with a 120-night risk-free trial.
- Free return pickup option for metro areas. In the case of rural suburbs, the sofa is packed and shipped to the nearest warehouse at the buyer’s cost.
- Free swatches of fabric samples available.
- Free Australia-wide shipping with 4-hour delivery in metros.
- Designed in Australia, made in China.
Who might like the Koala Lounging Sofa
Who might not like the Koala Lounging Sofa
Ordering & assembly experience
We ordered a 2-seater couch with an ottoman for the review and opted for 0% APR finance from Afterpay. The whole process from buying to delivery was smooth. The couch was delivered to my doorstep on the very same day by TNT although an hour late. But I won’t complain given the unprecedented Covid-19 situation we are in the midst of.
Similar to the Koala sofa bed, the couch arrives in three flat-pack boxes that can be easily maneuvered through tight staircases and hallways. The boxes are heavy but an average adult would be able to move them with relative ease.
Assembling the sofa is pretty easy though taking the pieces out of the boxes took time. The boxes were clearly labelled and an easy-to-follow instruction guide made the assembly experience mostly stress-free. The screws or what Koala calls “gumnuts” and legs were conveniently placed in a zip pocket at the sofa base. All the holes and joints are lined up perfectly, which allowed me to finish the assembly in under 20 minutes. Just remember to secure the gumnuts gently from one side and tighten it using the washer from the other side. Or you may have trouble in aligning the holes.
What do you do with the huge pile of cardboards left behind? The good thing is that these boxes are recyclable but you may need to cut them into smaller pieces to fit in the bin.
My two-week review of the Koala sofa:
For a full month, I worked from, I ate on, and I binge-watched my favourite shows on the Koala couch I had ordered, and I am a happy man.
The Koala sofa is an interesting mix of support and comfort at the right places. The bottom or seating cushions are a bit firm and buoyant while the back cushion is softer, which allows you to lean back comfortably without sinking in too much. Together, they provide good lumbar support. Using the ottoman while reclining felt more relaxing, so I suggest getting one at the time of purchase, especially if you sit on the couch for long hours.
The armrests are wide, flat and of a good height. You can lean back on the armrests comfortably with a pillow or cushion while napping.
The outer fabric is double-stitched and has a course/dense texture. It isn’t rough to touch but it isn’t smooth either. Koala claims the fabric is specially designed to be scratch- and stain-resistant. While I haven’t tested the scratching part, I happened to spill some spaghetti sauce on it accidentally. Glad enough, the stains came off easily with an upholstery shampoo.
After using the sofa extensively for a month, I didn’t notice any sags, pilling, discolouration or creaky sounds, and I think the sofa would hold up well for years.
Overall, the Koala sofa was comfortable. It’s easily one of the best sofas I’ve owned. It’s durable, well-designed, stain-resistant, and I can easily move the couch with me whenever I change home.
Convinced? Get Koala Couch
Common complaints: Does the Koala sofa fabric pills?
To get to the bottom of the matter, we analysed hundreds of customers reviews of the Koala sofa on the official website as well as on productreview.com.au. While most customers were happy with the purchase, some customers did observe pilling all over the fabric.
However, we found that the pilling issue was limited to the older version of the sofa, purchased before mid-2020. Koala has now upgraded the fabric and its body(it uses wood instead of metal) to address the pilling issue.
That said, every sofa fabric tends to form lint, more so in the initial years. However, if you place a request, Koala sends out a free fabric shaver to effectively remove fuzz, fluff and pills off the sofa.
Finally, is Koala sofa worth buying?
All in all, I was impressed with the Koala lounging sofa. It’s built durably, it is easy to assemble and disassemble, and it’s reasonably priced than other sofa options in Australia.
It isn’t a luxurious plush sofa but it’s supportive and comfortable for everyday use. Sometimes simplicity is key and that’s why I think it’s worth the money.