A Review of the Ektorp Sectional in White

WM pink and gray Rev3

We bought our white IKEA Ektorp sectional a year ago in May. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly (she says, as if she usually makes decisions lightly) so I was confident I would be happy with our purchase. Everyone else I knew wasn’t so sure. The biggest warnings I received were about stains, maintenance, and quality/comfort. I thought I’d tackle those issues today and give you my thoughts.

Ektorp Sectional review

You do realize this is me, right? And that I’m going to get analytical and detailed? Just making sure.

Why We Bought the EKTORP Sectional

When we first got married and lived in our first house, we borrowed my mom’s Ethan Allen card and bought a very expensive leather sectional in a buttery chocolate brown leather. Imagine the Ektorp sectional, but much larger and with fuller pillows. It was extremely comfortable and fit the open floor plan of our new construction home well. The leather was also perfect for dealing with dog hair, but not that great for snuggling. It was slippery.

The sectional did not fit in this house no matter how hard we tried. We sold it on Craigslist for a song (I’m still bitter) and bought the infamous green sofa. By the time Mikey was 3 years old, it was obvious he had moderate-severe allergies. The pediatrician gave me a list of things to do and things to avoid. Upholstered furniture was at the top of the list. I was already frustrated with the green sofa because of the dogs. I felt that no matter how much I vacuumed, no matter how much I kept them off the sofa, it was always dirty. I began washing it regularly even though the instructions clearly stated DO NOT WASH.

One day I was reading a design book and an idea for the family room finally came together. I eyeballed the IKEA sectional for years, and now I had several reasons why one would work for us. The Mister liked the idea, but he did not like the idea of buying one in white. I did, and here were my reasons.

  1. The size was right. IKEA produces smaller furniture, ostensibly for apartments or small dwellings. More on this in a minute. It could be a con for some of you.
  2. I wanted something I could wash. Allergies are best controlled when upholstered items are washed frequently in hot water.
  3. I wanted something I could bleach if necessary. Bleach is hard on fabrics and people and the environment, but in the event of a stain catastrophe, I wanted the option to douse that slipcover in enough chemicals to power a Yugoslavian car across the Trans Sahara highway.
  4. I wanted something I could change without having to buy a new sofa. I’m fickle, and the low price of slipcovers, plus the many options online, made buying an Ektorp appealing. I’m not married to a white sofa for the next 7 years.
  5. Cost. At roughly $800, the price couldn’t be beat. I could have had something custom made at that price, and it may have been better quality, but the slipcovers were dry clean only. For me, the slipcovers had to be able to go in the wash. I don’t need another errand or another expense.

Ektorp Sectional review, 1

Stains: Kids, Pets, and White Sofas

I have never been one to put off having nice things because I have kids. I don’t believe children are as destructive as the rumors suggest. Sure, some kids are animals, but I think they’re the exception rather than the rule. Also, it pays to use common sense. I don’t give Nicholas a tall glass of red punch and tell him to lay back and relax. After a year, our sofa has two stains, maybe three. One is a pen from homework on the arm, and over time and several washings it has almost disappeared. (Actually, it’s gone. I just checked.) The other is on a seat cushion and is a chocolate stain from a wayward lick off an ice-cream cone. It has Nicholas all over it. It has faded, but is still noticeable. I just take care to put the slipcover on so that the seat cushion faces down. No one knows it’s there.

The biggest stains come from the dogs. They are dusty from being outside. They are almost too old to climb up on the sofa, but occasionally they do. The dust easily washes off with the exception of the skirt of the sofa where they rub themselves like cats. You can see it in the picture above where Mikey is sleeping, which is why I posted it. That is the dirtiest the sofa will get. I’ll go into my maintenance routine in a bit, but this is the longest I have gone without washing the slipcovers. When I wash the slipcovers–hopefully this weekend!–that brown swash of dust will disappear and all that will be left is a faint shadow. You wouldn’t notice it unless you were looking for it, but I know it’s there.

Ektorp Sectional review, 3

Maintenance: You Can’t Escape It

The Mister didn’t want a white sofa because it would show the dirt. I have never, ever understood this argument. It’s the same argument people used to discourage me from putting in cream floors in the kitchen, light cabinets, and white paint in the boys room. Of course the dirt will show! But here’s the thing. Even if you buy a black sofa and therefore never see the dirt, newsflash Inspector: THE DIRT IS STILL THERE. I would much rather see some dust from the dogs after 2 weeks and think to myself that it’s time to wash the slipcovers than to laze around for months like Pig Pen on a faux-clean sofa.

I once took Mikey on a play-date to the home of a woman with slate floors in her kitchen. At the time slate floors were hugely popular because they hid the dirt. I had my flip-flops off and went into the kitchen to get some crackers for Mikey. My feet stuck to the floor. Stuck, as in I couldn’t move. The floor looked clean, but it wasn’t. When I got home, my feet were the blackest they have ever been in my whole life, and I used to play outside barefoot in the 70s. So, no, I don’t mind the dirt showing.

I wash the slipcovers every two weeks if I’m having a good run. Lately, with the Mister traveling, I’m off my game and it’s been at least a month, probably 6 weeks. I get this question all the time: No, I don’t mind washing the slipcovers. Not even a little. The end result is worth it to me. I have many friends and family say they would never, ever put in the time to wash the covers as regularly as I do. I get it, but it really isn’t much work–at least I don’t think so. It’s much less work than doing laundry! There’s no folding! Everyone knows it’s the folding and putting away that sucks about doing laundry.

Here is my routine.

  • I remove all the slipcovers from the back cushions and put them in the wash. That is the first load.
  • I wash them on hot with regular detergent and booster, if I have it. While they are washing, I take off the seat cushion slipcovers.
  • When the back cushions are ready to go in the dryer, I transfer them over and set the dryer on low. I set the timer. Very important!
  • I put the seat cushions in the wash. This is the second load
  • I remove the back cushions from the dryer while they are still damp and hang them to dry on my drying rack. I do the same with my seat cushions.
  • The body slipcover is the largest. I make sure to evenly spread it in the washing machine and check on it once the load is running to make sure there is enough water and everything is submerged/getting washed. This is my third load.
  • When ready, I put the body slipcover into the dryer and run it on low until it is lightly damp. The timer is crucial! I once let it go too long and the slipcover shrunk. I had a party in 30 minutes, so I didn’t have time to rewash it and therefore ripped a seam of the slipcover getting it back on. Not cool.
  • I put the sofa back together. Sometimes I put the covers on as they are ready, other times I do it all at once.

Ektorp Sectional review, 2

Quality and Comfort

The Ektorp is far more comfortable than I imagined it would be. The back cushions are excellent. The seat cushions could be gushier, but have more loft than I anticipated. I really thought we would be getting pancakes. I love the feel of the canvas, but I love stiff fabrics. The canvas means you snuggle in like velcro. It’s great for napping, clearly.

Caveat, and this is a big one. The dimensions of the Ektorp are roughly 4″ shallower in depth than a standard sofa. It’s why it works in our smaller, older home. However, this may be a problem if you are tall/have long legs. I don’t reach 5’4″, so clearly this is not an issue for me. My husband is a little over 5’10, so while that means he towers over me by over half a foot, he’s only slightly above average height. He felt the sofa was a little narrow for him (it was perfect for me) but it doesn’t bother him because of the way he sits. He lays facing the TV with his legs stretched down one length of the sectional, almost like it’s a chaise. Does that make sense? It must be a guy thing because it’s the same way my brother in-law sits in his sectional and the same way Mikey sits in our sectional. I like to curl up in the corner like a mole in a den.

Ektorp Sectional review, 5


I love my Ektorp sectional and am much happier than I anticipated. Absolutely no regrets. However, I have no problem washing the slipcovers frequently and I am petite. I think those two factors are what anyone considering buying this sectional should consider, because there’s no way to avoid either one.

Okay! Are you still awake? Hello? This must be how John and Sherry feel. I hope this review helped. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.


This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.


Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

  • Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
  • Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
  • No links to giveaways, please.
  • Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    This was excellent information to have on an Ikea product. My husband and I are both Tall People, so the dimensions might be a bit of an issue for us, but we’ll be looking for a new seating option in an awkward space in the next year (oh and on the budget of one person who just quit her job to go freelance and one person who quit his job to go back to school, yup), so the unusual dimensions of Ikea products will be something to keep in mind as a pro and a con. Do the back pillows stay in place reasonably well? Our biggest beef with our previous couch was that the back pillows got lumpy and wide and were constantly falling down and being uncomfortably in the way.

    I am ONE HUNDRED PERCENT BEHIND YOU on the whole light surfaces thing. The hideous laminate we have on our kitchen counters (which I cannot wait to replace) is essentially food camoflage. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve set a clean mixing bowl on that counter, only to discover I’d plopped it SMACK into a spill that my part-time-dog-trainer husband left while filling a Kong for an overnight dog-sitting guest. (We’re talking the real yucky stuff. Tripe. We’re both vegetarians.) I happen to be super-obsessive about keeping the counters clean so I can’t wait to trade it out for something I can TELL when it’s dirty! That being said, hee, I’d go for a darker color than white on our couch. We have two cats, one of whom has dark hair and loves to snuggle, so it’s pretty apparent when she’s been hanging out somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I vacuum our furniture on the regular, but I know it’d make me crazy for something I JUST WASHED to look immediately dirty when she wants to cuddle. The maintenance doesn’t sound terrible on that couch, though, so it’s something I’ll fully keep in mind.

    Can I have light countertops NOW please?

      • says

        Yes, that’s what my husband called it: reasonably comfy. Also, he made that dog hair argument when I was debating a dark slipcover for about 10 seconds, and he was right on that one. It would drive me bonkers.

        • says

          Kate B

          Great question on the back pillows! That was my biggest beef with my Ethan Allen sectional. Within a couple of months you could tell where we sat most often because the pillows were all crumpled and defeated while the others looked tight and fresh. It was SO annoying. It got to the point where I would try to sit in new spots so the wear wasn’t obvious, which just ended up ticking me off because isn’t the point of a sofa to sit where you want?

          Anyway, I updated the post to include a picture of the back cushions–last picture! That is the messiest they get, and that is the most used spot on the sectional. As you can see, it doesn’t look any different than any of the other pillows and while the back is a little wonky, it’s nothing a light fluff wouldn’t take care of.

    • Bridget says

      Great, informative review !! Do you know which white fabric you purchased ? The blekinge or the stanasa? Thank u!!!

  2. says

    I love the *idea* of your beautiful white sofa. It’s bright and clean and refreshing. However, I am that lazy-type of cleaner and have the self-awareness to know that it would never *stay* bright and clean and refreshing. In short, your feet would be very dirty at my house! :)

  3. says

    That is a huge reason why I wanted white counters this go round in the kitchen. The salesperson still warned us and I thought of all the places I WANT to see the dirt, the kitchen counter is at the top of the list. We also have an Ikea couch for the same reasons – small house and washability :) And it’s more comfortable than our pricier sofa was.

  4. says

    After changing the covers last night on our Karlstad, I woke up thinking, “I need to write a post about why I’m so glad we bought an Ikea sectional.” And you scooped me! Still going to write it (have some slightly different reasons), but I’m with you. One of the best purchases we’ve made.

  5. says

    Thanks for the review! We “inherited” our current couch from a family friend, and while it’s the right size for us, I think it’s ugly and far too high maintenance (it was a custom couch, so NONE of the cushion covers come off). The only option I have to clean it is to use the furniture shampooer I bought specifically for the couch (which brought up the price of it to the same as an Ektorp couch anyway…sigh). The thought of being able to just throw the cover in the wash is enough to convince me that’s what we’ll be buying next time. :-)

    • says

      Being able to throw the covers in the wash was critical for me. Honestly, it made up 75% of my decision making process. See sharpie marker post.

  6. Kimberly C says

    I could not agree more! I have the same couch also in white and I LOVE it! I think that being able to put the covers in the washing machine is a game changer. I have had it for 3 years and the only stain is where my roommate spilled red wine on it and let it sit while I was out of town for a week. Other than that every stain has washed out nicely. I think the couch is very comfortable but I am also 5’2″. I would recommend this couch to anyone. I will say I totally agree that I like to see my dirt and clean it. I don’t have kids or animals so I probably only have to wash them every 3-6 months or when something gets spilled. And I also love that the white is the cheapest color slipcover to replace. If a stain sets in your only out $100…

    • says

      Yes, the chocolate stained because I didn’t put it in the wash right away. Completely my fault!

      You are right–the only reason I wash the covers as much as I do is because of the dogs. Even with two rambunctious boys I wouldn’t need to wash it nearly as often.

  7. says

    Haha! It’s totally how we feel! Is it hilarious that I was intently reading your post thinking “this is the best review of a sofa I have ever read! I am loving every word!” and then I saw my name?! Best moment of my day and it’s only 10:05 am. You have officially confirmed that I’m a crazy blogger. As if there were doubts… haha!

  8. says

    I can’t believe you just wrote this, I feel like you were talking to me. I have loved your sofa, and I need, want a new sofa in our small house. We have a futon thing now, and I really want it gone!
    Yes, I’m totally decided now, when I have the money that’s the one!

      • says

        Hi again,I just went to the website, it says its 95 min width ( length ), is that from each side or the whole couch… Sorry couldn’t quite figure that out. I’m going to go to ikea soon!

        • says

          That’s my fault. I kept using the word narrow when I meant shallow! I’ve edited the post. The seat cushions are about 4″ more shallow than standard cushions.

  9. says

    I’m not even in the market for a sectional/couch and I enjoyed the review. I’m probably more the equivalent of the lady with the slate floors, and my husband is in charge of laundry, but I’m a big believer in slipcovers, which is why we have them for our kitchen dining chairs and our barstools. It’s such a good feeling to get them out of the wash and put them back on the furniture — it’s like starting afresh!

  10. says

    When the Babe and I got our house just for the two of us (single mom, four year old), we got an Ikea loveseat with a red slipcover. A few years later when Gentleman moved in, we bought another loveseat and changed to the much cheaper “natural” slipcovers. I’m on my second set now, and they get washed every 2-3 weeks. I’m by no means a clean freak but when the dirt, dog skid (as we call it), and pencil marks start to annoy me, it’s into the wash they go. Since they’re each only one piece and I recently got The Magical Washer, I can put both slipcovers in the wash at once.
    I don’t worry about the Babe and her friends having snacks while watching a movie, or jumping up on the sofa to celebrate a Mario Kart win. I don’t worry when we have folks over for cocktails and someone drops a spot of dip. I don’t see us having anything other than a slipcovered sofa going forward; it just makes sense for us.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one whose friends thought it was nuts to have white upholstery!

    • Lindsay says

      Love, love the way you write! You should be an author if not already. We’re getting an ektorp and sounds like us.

  11. says

    great review, jules. i second all of it. we’ve had our ektorp sofa in white for 7 years. i wash the slipcover once a quarter and/or when my MIL comes to visit. but i have only kids and no pets. am curious how your zippers are holding up? all of my zippers broke (in the wash) within the first year of ownership so now we have to safety-pin everything, which is a drag. it still looks good, though, and i do still like it overall.

  12. says

    We have the Ektorp non-sectional sofa in white and. we. love. it. It took forever to get my husband to agree to it, but once we stepped foot inside an actual Ikea store and I made him sit on it, he was sold. For the record, while I am 5′ 2.5″ (don’t you knock my half inch – when you’re this short, every tiny bit counts!), my husband is 6’3″ and not a small guy, and he has no problem or complaints about the size/width of the sofa. :)

    Next on my list? A matching armchair. :)

    Great review Jules. You inspire me to wash my slipcovers slightly more often… 😉

  13. Karen F says

    great timing – we literally bought a new Ikea Ektorp sofa 2 weeks ago! I really wanted one with washable slipcovers, but white wouldn’t look right in our living room. So, we got beige slipcovers, which are dry clean-able (and ultimately, replaceable, if needed). The sofa I replaced was a pottery barn sectional, which was terribly uncomfortable! And it had washable covers, but they just got really stained and gross after a while (I think we had it for ten years, so there you go). I couldn’t wait to get rid of that thing! I think my Ikea couch is much more comfortable than the PB couch it replaced. I’m happy to hear you like yours just as much a year later!

  14. says

    Love this review. My MIL is considering getting this same sectional for pretty much the same reasons you stated here. I have to say that, as somebody over 6′, I’ve sat on the store Ektorp and noticed right away that it wasn’t deep/wide enough for me to want the same in my own home. It’s totally fine for visiting somebody, but just not deep enough for every day. Love that you mentioned the depth factor!

  15. says

    I am in awe. To think of you washing and reassembling all those slip covers so frequently just astounds me. I bet the living room smells so fresh all the time.
    OK…off to finish my project so I can link up!

  16. Jaimie says

    I am not in the market for a new sofa, but I still found your review interesting!

    Anyway, I agree with you about not worrying too much about indestructible-everything in a home with children. We have two young kids and I haven’t found them to be particularly hard on our things (it helps that we have a “only food in the kitchen” rule).

  17. Kate says

    W also have the white ektorp and I love it. But laundry doesn’t bug me. I also sit like your husband. My 6’1″ husband isn’t a fan, but he sits in his chair anyway.

  18. Susan G says

    Loved this! (And love when John and Sherry do it too.) I bought the Ektorp couch and chair a few months ago and am very happy. I had the Pottery Barn versions before that (bought used) with white slipcovers. They were bigger and maybe cushier, but the cost to replace just the slipcovers (they had ripped) was more than twice the cost of the Ektorp furniture, two sets of those slipcovers, and the $200 shipping charge. No Ikea in my town. I am also small and prefer the shallower depth – and the couch is actually slightly longer than the PB one was. Overall I’m very happy.

  19. Sandy W says

    I have the Ektorp love seat and I love it. I bought an extra slip cover so that when one is washing, the other goes on. The extra cover was very inexpensive. I have the white and the brown.

    • says

      Brilliant! What a great idea, I am stealing it. Knowing me, I would get sidetracked during the washing process and we’d end up sitting on a sofa with no slipcover for days. Two slipcovers solves that problem as I can just replace the cover as soon as I take it off. Also, the idea of two different colours is intriguing.

  20. Val says

    I have this exact sofa and while I mostly agree with you, I do find myself getting annoyed with the white slipcover from time to time. Mine is pushed into a corner, so pulling it away from the walls to remove the cover is a bi-atch. And like you said, washing it is pretty much an all day event. Which means it has to happen on the weekend. This is our only sofa and the only seating in our den. So I get to spend a Saturday doing laundry with nowhere to sit down and watch TV. I know, I know, this is insanely lazy. Surely you could find SOMETHING in your house that needs taking care of while the sofa is closed. But…I work forty hours a week…I’m tired, I want to sit down…and be lazy. Waaah…

    After it is clean and back in place though, I feel like a Domestic Goddess of Supreme Awesomeness. And it has totally saved my bacon a couple of times — stains that no normal sofa would have ever survived. So I think I’ll keep it. I toy with the idea of getting a second white slipcover so I can have one on it and one in the wash, one that is clean and ready to go if people are coming over and the dog just yakked on it — but where would you store that giant thing?

    • Rebecca H says

      I have two covers. I keep the extra in one big plastic tote box in the garage. The only problem is I’ll strip the dirty and put it in the box while I put the clean ones on and then be too tired to wash it! We have the sofa, love seat, and 2 chairs. That’s like 5 loads of laundry! We were having house guests over and I went to change the covers but the extras were still dirty. A lot of laundry had to happen that night.

    • Susan G says

      I ordered a second set – since I have to pay Ikea’s ridiculous shipping it seemed like a good idea to get them all at once. In plastic zip bags they actually fit very nicely underneath the couch.

  21. says

    I have always liked that sofa, and dream of getting to have a white one. We have a leather sectional that is great for kids, but I am not a fan of the dark color. I wash it down once a week.

  22. Erin (@mrs_danderfluff) says

    This is exactly the kind of review I scour the Internet in search of any time I’m going to make a purchase of more than, say, twenty dollars. (Currently the subject is a new rice cooker.)

    So for cheap, obsessive researchers like myself, this post is a dream!

  23. says

    Great review–I did get to the end of the article, if not the comments. My grandmother had her floors re-done in her kitchen later in life and she was so upset that they hid the dirt. She was a meticulous housekeeper. But I get it now–a floor that hides the dirt also hides the clean!

  24. says

    Seeing the dirt is the exact reason we LOVE the white laminate countertop and white painted cupboards in our vintage kitchen. We don’t care if it will hurt resale [if we decide to do that in the future], we refuse to have anything that will camouflage dirt [a.k.a. germs].

  25. says

    bah! We have that same green sofa in a sectional setup. My husband HATES it, I love it. You had me totally sold until you said petite. At 5’10” and a 6’5″ husband, we’re always struggling to find something big enough to lounge on that also doesn’t take up the whole room. Still, I love the review – sounds like IKEA holds up far better than I ever gave it credit for.

  26. says

    I have been watching other people buy Ektorps and review them well for a few years. Soon I will have a (rental) house of my own, and maybe next year enough spare money for a new couch. Your review was useful – it’s another one in the ‘yes’ column for the Ektorp, and from someone I a) trust to tell me the truth, and b) already know has a higher tolerance for housework than I do, so I know about where my comfort level would be in comparison to yours. (For example, I am TOTALLY ok with the black colour of my current bonded leather couches, have never wiped them down, and will only ever do it in the future if I feel like it. Sorry. You may not want to sit down when you visit me.)

  27. says

    We’ve been considering sectional options for our basement TV area – so this is super helpful! Overall, I’ve had pretty good luck with IKEA products over the years. Plus, I love their Swedish Meatballs 😉

  28. jasi says

    love my ikea karlstad (karlanda) sofa. we live with the white slip cover and i might get a new one just out of convenience. the kids haven’t messed it up at all- it was the move and while all the stains of everyday living came out great in a top loader, it’s impossible for me to soak in a front loading machine. keep your top loaders!!!!!

    but yeah, kids are not that messy. animals- i don’t know. and definitely, seeing the dirt is a plus. gross, crusty stuff that looks clean is STILL gross and crusty. dooce just removed a black toilet for pretty much the same reason.

  29. Liz says

    Hi! Could you tell me what your thoughts are on the construction of the sectional? My heart is set on the 2+2 in white but the hubs is weary of how the frame and such will hold up. To me, it’s a great deal & hello..Washable! To him, it’s too cheap to be good quality (typical!). No kids yet, but we do have a very rambunctious dog…has it help up well to children and everyday wear and tear? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated:)

    • Gail Crosby says

      We have been researching many couches. If your husband is concerned about construction then check out the stores “Design Within In Reach” and “Room and Board”. They cost a lot more however they are keen on construction and give information on how it’s made and with what materials. They have “tailored looking couches” meaning you really cannot tell that they are slipcovered. But the prices are a lot higher than Ikea. We recently bought our living sofa from “Design Within Reach”. Now we are planning to buy a new couch for the TV room. For the TV room we are going to look at Ikea because of Jules review and because we bought a couch from “Crate & Barrel” 5 years ago and after having our dog & cat sleep/lounge and us eating/sleeping on it in front of the TV, the couch is a wreck. The back cushions are out of shape and cannot be repaired. Plus slip covers can sometimes cost almost as much as a new couch from most stores. So a cheaper Ikea couch in the TV room should do us just fine as it will probably only last a couple of years anyway with our pets. So my advice: Go cheap for pets and children and expensive when you want a couch with limited usage. Hope it helps you decide.

  30. Shellie says

    Hi there,
    Has anyone had experience buying a slipcover for the ektorp 2 or 3 seater within the last year for an older model couch? I heard that Ikea changed the dimensions of the ektorp line in August of 2012 and now the couches are a bit bigger. Problem is, I need to find a new slipcover for my `5 year old sofa and loveseat!

  31. Gail Crosby says

    Thanks so much for your blog on the white slip covered sectional. I have been looking for one and really didn’t want to spend much on a couch that my husband always invites our dog & cat to sit on. This sounds perfect and we will be going to Ikea for the TV room couch. Thanks again Jules

  32. Melissa McIntyre says

    Over here from Nester’s site today…THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for this review! I had been considering Ikea for our new sofa, but all the reviews (from people I don’t know at all) are mixed. Some say great, others cry cheap. I’m like “okay, define cheap” This sounds like something right up our alley, not a cheap piece of junk yet not “top of the line don’t anybody sit on it because I might have a heart-attack because we paid too much” so thank you!

  33. Bostoner says

    Yeah, just to confirm–thanks for the great review. Ektorp is on sale (with the “Family” discount) until the 29th this month in my area, and I was just looking for a long-term review before making the leap. I have a cat (and maybe soon a dog), but I’m getting mine in the blue velvet … it’s my dream couch. :) Glad to know it holds up, and that everyone clearly loves sleeping on it! My SO is tall. I wonder whether the ottoman would solve the depth/narrowness problem, at least for one person? I kind of wish Ikea offered a sectional that included the chaise.

  34. Elyse says

    HI! Great article! I have a question please about the measurements of the Ektorp 2+2 corner sectional if that is what you have… I am so sorry to bother about it- the length of each side of the sofa is ___? Is each side 96″? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

    • Jennifer says

      I was wondering the same thing, regarding the measurement. Ikea’s website says the width is 95 inches, but that doesn’t seem plausible. Is each side 95 5/8, or somewhere in between. Thank you!

  35. Christy says

    I’m also leaning toward an Ektorp, but I just wanted to say how much I love that the Outlander series is displayed in the above photo! :)

  36. says

    I own an Ektrop and has been with us for over five years.. we moved from apartment to house and I have been looking into the Ektrop sectional.. and am glad that you love it. I too love the idea of slipcovers.. I also don’t want to spend 2000 dollars on a sofa..

  37. Roxy says

    Just came across your post while i was looking for info on washing the ektorp sofas. I’ve had them for right under a year, and yes this is the first time i’m washing them. However, I don’t have any kids and my dogs aren’t allowed on the couch. So thats how i’m justifying not washing them very often. Even so we’ve had spills and I’ve just spot cleaned and its been fine. People that see my white couches always remark with something like, “I love the way your couches look, but I’d never be brave enough to have white couches.” I don’t understand this reaction. The sofas are not a big deal to maintain. You can wash them for goodness sake! And if you’ve washed the heck out of them for a while and its just not doing it for you, then guess what!? You can buy a new set of covers for $50-100. Let’s be honest, these couches are the bomb-diggity for the look and the price. You can’t beat it. And I also agree with you in regards to people wanting sofas, floors, Etc. that hide dirt. If i see the dirt I can clean it. Therefore my house is ACTUALLY clean not a nastily hidden Feaux-clean. Anyway! Love your blog. I will be adding you to my reading list!

  38. Ann says

    Thanks so much for the review of the IKEA slipcovered sofa! I have been looking on line for like 6 months and have read reviews on so many brands. IKEA’s don’t have the best reviews, but neither does pricey Pottery Barn. My condo livingroom is rather narrow and the gigantic furniture PB makes might not fit through the front door. So I’m thinking one from IKEA would work. And they deliver! Upstairs! I have a floral sofa right now, actually a loveseat, that I bought in 1988. (Yes, I am frugal and make things last.) After it looked a little worn, I bought a book called Slipcover Chic and learned how to design/sew a slipcover by creating a muslin pattern first rather than ruining your expensive fabric via trial and error. I ended up with a really delightful loveseat and club chair with customized slipcovers. They both have generous, ruffled skirts, hand made welting on the cushions and wash up very easily. But it took months to design and sew them–something I don’t think I will ever do again. My slipcovers didn’t get very dirty at first (no kids and only 2 cats then) but fast forward to today, I have 9 cats, all with claws, and they are shredding the slipcover arms. So I need to buy an inexpensive slipcovered sofa because they will most likely destroy every sofa or chair I buy and they will need replacing again (and again). I crave the all white, crisp fabric like your sofa has. Mine needs to withstand coughed up hairballs and a little spraying once in a while (if not downright peeing). Can’t wait to read the rest of your blog. You are funny!

  39. Carolyn Lepiscopo says

    Thank you so much for your post on this!!! My husband and I are highly considering purchasing one of these and your thoughts are very helpful! Question: Can you tell me if you have the “Stenasa White” which is 53% linen and 47% rayon or the “Blekinge White” which is 100% cotton. Both say they are machine washable. Just curious if you happen to know the different this might pose in washing or durability? Thanks for any info you might be able to give. :)

  40. Shly says

    I have been eyeballing this couch for years and after shopping around to other places I love that it is affordable and has the slipcovers. I have a cat and a black dog though and I am not sure that the white would be a good idea hair wise. How difficult is it to deal with the pet hair on it?

  41. Cathe says

    So happy to have found this review. My better half and I are empty-nesters and both have adult kids–mine all live in NYC so their visits are frequent weekend ones and holiday ones. We just purchased a home…and rather than downsizing, the home is larger. (go figure). That being said, I need a loveseat for my new kitchen area sitting room and a couple of sofas for the family room. Now–I’m obsessed with slipcovered sofas and chairs. Obsessed! ( I was highly insulted when an SA at a local furniture store told me that “slipcovered sofas are on their way out–Hmmm. not in MY world honey). So. We have a white-slipcovered sofa from Ethan Allen that cost a fortune and I’m constantly fussing with the back cushions. We also have a white-slipcovered Cindy Crawford sofa that I really, really like a lot. I had been eyeing and researching the Ektorp sofa and loveseat but I also know that many of Ikea’s pieces are less than stellar–but I keep going back to that Ektorp. Well, your review helped me make up my mind. Went to Ikea today and will be making the purchases!

  42. Melissa says

    I have the same question as another reader, “Can you tell me if you have the “Stenasa White” which is 53% linen and 47% rayon or the “Blekinge White” which is 100% cotton. Both say they are machine washable. Just curious if you happen to know the different this might pose in washing or durability?”
    THANK YOU for a very helpful blog!

  43. says

    Just today my husband and I were talking about getting a new couch and I have heard so much about this sofa and slipcovers. You didn’t mention how long you left it in the dryer and so I was curious how long you dry the cushions and how long you dry the slipcover itself? I know it’s subjective as all covers are different but I was curious.

    I’ve also heard other talk about putting it on wet and I assume no one has any problems with anything getting moldy (i.e. putting something wet on the furniture) as they haven’t mentioned it.

    Thanks for any help regarding timing that you can give!

  44. Lorraine says

    Can someone who has the Ektorp sectional comment about the actual dimensions? The ikea website says 95 5/8″ and I agree with some of the other commenters here that that somehow doesn’t seem plausible. Eyeballing pictures of it on the ikea website as well as on various blogs…. it seems smaller. (And I’m *hoping* it’s smaller :) ) Is there are previous model (e.g. something I might find on Craigslist/ebay etc.) that was a bit smaller?

  45. Nicki says

    Thank you sooo much for your awesome review! I live on a small island and there is now a company that will ship Ikea furniture to us! I have been eyeing this sofa chaise for months, but face the same concerns that you mentioned. For me, I will be paying quite a bit for this sofa due to the shipping fee…but it’s still much less than other stores on island and is way prettier. Thank you for taking the time to cover all of the bases!

  46. Drew says

    Hi! Thinking about getting the white slipcover. IKEA care instructions say do not bleach and I wasn’t sure if I read correctly in your review if you bleach it or not and if that effects/affects it at all? Thanks!

  47. Carolyn says

    I just bought the white Ektorp sectional yesterday, what a mission going to IKEA! Anyway, I ironed covers and got it all put together by 9 last night. This morning I walk out and see faint chocolate ice cream smears from the kids!! Ugh!! Just looking around online to figure out best way to spot clean, or if I should just wash two bottom cushions. I got this couch for a reason, and this is exactly it, so I hope it comes out!! I absolutely love the way it looks in my small living room. Perfect dimensions, and seating for more than the one kid who lays on the couch!

  48. Allison says

    Love the review! It is very helpful in making the decision to go with the Ektorp!
    I like 2 of your other readers have the same question,“Can you tell me if you have the “Stenasa White” which is 53% linen and 47% rayon or the “Blekinge White” which is 100% cotton. Both say they are machine washable. Just curious if you happen to know the different this might pose in washing or durability?”
    Thank you.

  49. sharon says

    Do you have to iron the slip covers? I loved your story. I too take a long time to make up my mind, but once I do its hard to change it. I went today to look at this very couch. I think I may take the leap thanks

  50. Liz says

    I have the same questions about the diffidence between the two white covers. Based on the cushion piping shown on these pictures, it looks like the Blekinge covers, the Stenasa white has more pleats in the skirt and on the corners of the cushions, and no piping on the seat cushions. We are thinking about switching to the Stenasa White because the zippers on the Blekinge are not holding up to all the washing. Has anyone done this or know if the whites are the same color? We also have a white pottery barn loveseat in our livingroom and the Blekinge white matches the color perfect (not to mention the Stenasa is $200 more) but the Stenasa looks like it is made better. Any one splurged on the Stenasa white covers?

  51. Kerry says

    I love this review. i have been mulling over buying the Ektorp three seater for too long now. I have lots of cats and despair of ever having a clean sofa. Luckily I love doing laundry (only household chore I enjoy). Will be putting in my order over Christmas.

  52. Lainey says

    re: “Stenasa White” which is 53% linen and 47% rayon or the “Blekinge White” which is 100% cotton.

    Most people have the Blekinge, I believe the Stenasa is fairly new (but I could be wrong).
    The Blekinge is a cotton twill, almost a denim. VERY durable and hardy.
    The Stenasa is a blend of linen and rayon, both of which shrink and can be hard to handle. Myself, I would steer clear of the Stenasa without actually testing it – maybe buying the footstool to start with the Stenasa cover, and putting it through its paces. Then, if it handles like you want, purchasing the couch with that cover.

    I have the chaise combo with Blekinge, as well as a footstool and chair. AND two long haired black cats. One loves to sleep on the back cushions. I keep a rubber glove handy (I cut off the long arm part and use that elsewhere) and quickly slip it on and swipe over the cat hair – picks it up quickly and easily. Saves constantly pulling out the vacuum.

  53. Jenna says

    I’m looking to replace my green ektorp slipcover and I noticed two white slipcovers on the ikea website. Blekinge and Stanasa. Do you know which you have?

  54. Libby says

    I have the Stenasa white slipcover and have been googling to see if others are having the same troubles I am and stumbled upon these comments, so I thought I’d chime in. While I absolutely LOVE the look and feel of this cover, I am having a lot of issues with the way it washes. It seems that the fabric easily bleaches/discolores with any stain pretreatment or even just excessive exposure to regular detergent. I soaked a cushion cover in Oxyclean and it bleached it completely stark white (IKEA was kind enough to exchange it since still within the 90 day return period). I’ve since washed the other seat covers using only detergent and have noticed only slight discoloring, but they’re definitelty lighter. I’m terrified of when I get a big stain because it seems any preteatment or soaking causes the fabric to completely bleach. I just recently tried washing the large sofa cover in my front load washer (using only detergent) and it seems that the detergent didn’t properly disperse in the wash causing it to “bleach” the cover in a few areas. Since this cover is more of a natural white linen color vs a snow white (like the Blekinge), these spots are completely noticeable. I’m hoping IKEA will let me exchange it since I’ve washed it according to the washing instructions and still experienced issues. It’s a shame because look-wise, this is by far my most favorite Ektorp slipcover (and I’ve owned probably 6 or 7, including the Blekinge). Hope this information helps those of you who have been asking about this cover. It’s beautiful and in my opinion much nicer looking (think Ballard/Pottery Barn) than the Blekinge, but washing it is a nightmare, “bleaches” with even the most mild detergent. : ( Looks like it’s back to Blekinge for me!

  55. Stephanie says

    Did you purchase the cotton cover or the rayon/linen blend—both are washable so would love thoughts

  56. CHANDLER says


  57. Kay says

    When washing your covers, do you have front loader washers or top loaders. I have a top loader and am concerned about putting the covers in it. Maybe a gentle cycle? Also, the couch I bought was used with a white cover that has a textured pattern on it. It’s not just plain like canvas. Does anyone know which fabric that is? I need to replace the cover as it is worn. Thanks a lot for any help!

  58. pati tedeschi says

    love love love ikea ektorp….both of mine (3 seat sofa, blekinge white) and 2×2 corner sectional, blekinge white and “demin” looking one) all have washed wonderfully and held up great, my sofa are old enough to have the “down toppers” on the seat cushion, so so comfy……but this week as I went to order new slipcovers EVERYWHERE in the US is sold out….I know IKEA has become cotton democratic, but I can not find a straight answer to “are blekinge coming back”? does anyone know? I hate the idea of not being able to replace or renew!! and the white linen one does NOT wash as well, its shrinks! There is also a rumor floating that the corner sectional is being discontinued, so maybe no extra covers in the future…….would love it if ikea would give a straight answer, but noooo, so im asking the masses who own ektorp……any thoughts? great blog by the way!

      • Pati says

        Jodie, I don’t know if you found out anything but at my local Ikea (Stoughton, MA) not only is it not stocking any neutral colors, but they aren’t selling the 3 seat sofa, the corner 2×2 or the chaise sofa either…..this is not looking good….I am going to grab one of the few remaining “off colors-ugg, red/beige stripe” just incase I ruin the white one….it’s all so disappointing….I think its so long 49.00/99.00 covers…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>