One Year With Ikea’s Second-Cheapest Sleeper Sofa
I made a joke, a few weeks ago, about how I was sitting on “Ikea’s Cheapest Couch,” but when I went back to the Ikea website to confirm it, I realized that I had actually purchased the second-cheapest couch—although the cheapest one, the Balkarp, is really more like a futon.
I cannot imagine that the Balkarp is all that comfortable, because the Solsta isn’t all that comfortable either; it is a wood frame, plus two strips of padding for the seat and back and two thin strips of padding just for the top of the sofa arms (not the corners or sides), wrapped in canvas.
There is really only one way to sit on the Solsta, and you can tell because, over the past year, I’ve created a body indentation in exactly that position. You cannot recline longways on the Solsta, because that means leaning up against the unforgiving corner of a 2′ x 4′, and even stacking multiple pillows against the Solsta’s arm doesn’t relieve the pressure of the sharp right angle.
Notice how I am not actually reclining on this couch. I am holding myself carefully in place so I do not hurt myself while sitting on this couch. Also, I am 5’3″ tall and this couch is too small for me.
One of the reasons I purchased the Solsta was because it advertised itself as a “sleeper sofa,” which means you can unfold the padded parts from the sofa and lay them out and sleep on them. This is only slightly better than sleeping on the floor. I have slept on my Solsta and I have had guests sleep on my Solsta, and both times I have dragged my camping futon out of the closet to place on top of the Solsta “bed” (literally a layer of foam padding, not a bed) to make the thing reasonably comfortable.
Notice I wrote “both times” instead of “the dozens of times I had guests stay the night,” because the other thing I quickly learned about the Solsta was that it wasn’t a multi-person-friendly couch. You saw the picture. I can sit on it, and maybe one other person can sit on it, and that is it. Those wooden arms encircle the couch like sharks, and you don’t want to get too close to them.
Also, the canvas is starting to discolor in places, which is unfortunate because it was barely a a color to begin with. (Tell me: what color is that? Is it gray? Blueish gray? Does the color invite you to ignore the couch instead of engaging with it, because engaging is literally painful?)
I have many goals for 2017, but one of my biggest goals is to get this couch out of my home. I spent one year with the Solsta, and one year is enough.
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