Reviewing the New IKEA FÄRLÖV Sofa Series – Back to Basics

Update (May ’17): Replacement Farlov sofa covers available now on our shop! Click the image to get yours today 🙂

Custom replacement Farlov sofa covers in velvet Emerald by Comfort Works

The Farlov Sofa showed up as a tiny blip on our radar when sent us a link of it on the IKEA USA website in January this year. There was no indication of when it would be available in our local store and there wasn’t much news on it online either. Even now, the first image on Google is a tiny, low res product photo from IKEA Egypt.

Ikea Farlov, is that you?

Imagine my surprise when I dropped by IKEA to buy a squeegee (as you do) and spotted this shiny new fresh face among the Ektorps, Kiviks and Norsborgs.

Overview

The Färlöv series has 5 family members so far:

1) Armchair
Ikea Farlov Armchair

2) 2-seat / Loveseat

Ikea Farlov 2-Seater

3) 3-Seat / Sofa

Ikea Farlov 3-Seat Sofa

(looks like they pulled a Kivik on us again – 2 sofa models that look similar but the 3-seater is just wider than the 2-seater)

4) Sectional Sofa in either the 3+2 or 2+3 Configuration

Ikea Farlov Corner Sectional Sofa

5) Footstool / Ottoman with storage

Ikea Farlov Footstool

Comfort

It looks like it should be something you can just sink into, and I tried to do that, I really tried. I only realized why when I came home and looked at photos of the Färlöv sofa on the website – the cushion in the showroom was flat, what we in the slipcover business call a standard box cushion. Meanwhile the photos on the IKEA website show that the Farlov’s seat cushions are supposed to have a slight dome-shape. The Farlov hasn’t been out for long, so even I know that the cushions aren’t supposed to flattened so quickly, especially in comparison to the other show units.

I’m awarding some points for the sheer depth of the sofa itself. Like the Soderhamn, it has a large back cushion layered with a smaller lumbar pillow. Very tall people will love this sofa because you can sit all the way inside when you read your Hemingway and Tolkien novels.

The sofa cover’s material though, is something my mother would like (and I say this with love). It’s a blend of cotton, polyester, and 16.5% linen, so it’s not bad for an Ikea slipcover!

Rating: 7/10

Aesthetics

Only two fabric colours are available at the moment, namely Flodafors Beige and Flodafors White. Whoever designed this clearly thought that if someone wanted a traditional slope armed sofa, they’ll only want traditional colours for their slipcovers, so white and beige it is!

Just… no. You know IKEA designers, we’re always yelling at you for coming up with crazy fabrics for your Klippan, but a little creativity would have been nice for the poor Farlov, but no, you put it in the beige/white corner.

And then I remembered why the Farlov sofa looked so familiar. A slope armed slipcovered sofa with corner pleats and double layered back cushions? Why, that sounds like…

Restoration Hardware's Belgian Classic Slope Arm Slipcovered collection
Restoration Hardware’s Belgian Classic Slope Arm Slipcovered sofa!

The Ikea Farlov sofa series is a DUPE for Restoration Hardware’s Belgian Classic Slope Arm Slipcovered collection. Slightly different armrest shapes, but the general look is there. Okay, I take it all back now. The RH sofa starts from US$2095 and that’s probably just with a basic poly-cotton slipcover.

Another close relative is the Pottery Barn York Slope Arm slipcovered sofa collection, which starts from US$1499 in the loveseat size.

*Those* throw pillows with *those* slipcovers?

The original Farlov sofa cover options are lackluster, but the sofa’s shape and style is pretty on point and classy. I especially like the banana-shaped armrest fronts like the super chic Ikea Holmsund sofabed. If you’re interested in custom slipcovers for the Farlov in a variety of fabrics, we’re making Farlov Sofa Covers!

Rating: 8/10

Price

Currently, the Färlöv armchair is priced at AU$449 on IKEA Australia’s website, but it’s US$399 for our American friends. This puts it on the pricier end of the IKEA sofa spectrum and on par with the Stocksund armchair, another favourite among those who love the traditional style of their sofas. Meanwhile, the Färlöv 3-seat sofa is AU$899 in Australia and US$699 in the US. It’s almost twice the price of the people-pleasing Ektorp sofa.

That being said, it’s incredibly affordable compared to the Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware sofas mentioned in the previous section. If you’re a fan of the modern farmhouse trend but don’t have an Amex Centurion card, then the Farlov is your best bet.

Rating: 8/10

Durability

I’ve said it already, but it bears repeating. The seat cushions for the Färlöv sofa and armchair in the showroom paled in comparison to almost all the sofas on display. I use the word “almost” because I’m still refusing to sit on the hideous Vallentuna. The foam insert was already flat – how is that even possible? We can only hope that the slipcover is super durable.

On a separate note, we’ve been seeing a rise in the the use of polyester-cotton blended with other materials in Ikea’s slipcovers, resulting in what feels like a thicker, sturdier material. We already saw the exit of the well-loved Blekinge White, could this be a sign of things to come?

Rating: 6/10

Hackability

Slipcovered? I’m already imagining this with a ruffled back cushion for someone’s walk-in wardrobe. Or give it some contrast piping to emphasize the armrest fronts and seat cushion.

From the Farlov assembly instruction manual

Legs? It’s the same old bolt size that’s used in many of the Ikea sofas, so it’ll be easy peasy to DIY some velcro and put a snug fit velvet slipcover on the Farlov armchair, then swap out the original legs for our replacement sofa legs for a super sleek look. Done and dusted!

Rating: 7/10

Overall Conclusion

Verdict: 7.2/10 – Not too shabby(-chic)!

The Farlov series from IKEA is for those who want to graduate from the basic Ektorp. While it’s a little pricier than many other IKEA options, its traditional shape is timeless and slipcovered style makes it easy to keep clean and really go the distance.

Have you checked out the IKEA Farlov sofa yet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Summary
Reviewing the New IKEA FÄRLÖV Sofa Series - Back to Basics
Article Name
Reviewing the New IKEA FÄRLÖV Sofa Series - Back to Basics
Description
The IKEA Farlov Sofa showed up as a tiny blip on our radar when a friend sent us a link of it on the IKEA USA website in January this year.
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Publisher Name
Comfort Works
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Article written by

Besides being a content guru, Felicia's previous work in PR and media makes her the go-to person for all PR related inquiries. During her spare time, she keeps herself busy selling homemade soap online or taking pictures of her cats.

49 Responses

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  1. Mayra
    Mayra at | | Reply

    I too saw this series at Ikea and it looked upscale and elegant compared to other series. Our local Ikea only had the sectional on display and many people were flocking to it. I like the Ektorp’s style but the seat cushions were not as comfortable as the older versions and I liked the Stocksund sofa, which seemed more comfortable. Well, your review is on point with the seat cushions for this series, as they felt flat or uncomfortable, although they didn’t look flat. The seats were not as comfortable as you would hope after reading the description from the Ikea website. It is a beautiful looking series for sure! I’m liking it but I haven’t decided between style over comfort. I wish the seat cushions were more comfortable.

  2. Dida
    Dida at | | Reply

    Couldn’t the cushion issue be solved by getting a cut piece of memory foam??? I have had the Karlstadt sofa for 8 years….this looks cozier and not as boxy…I love the design but at this price point a tweek to the cushion is totally doable!

    1. Chris
      Chris at | | Reply

      Hey Dida,

      Indeed it could – would have to get the foam custom made though, which might end up being a couple of hundred extra.

  3. Karen Sommers
    Karen Sommers at | | Reply

    Love the style. I really wanted a similar style before recently Purchasing Ektorp 3 seater. I also purchased 2 sets of Blekinge White slipcovers from EBay. I wanted a durable cotton and needed “inexpensive”. I hope to purchase Linen covers soon. ? I really would have preferred the style of Farlov. I am sad to hear the cushion is not comfy. I read a review on Instagram by @withlovedani (https://instagram.com/p/BRE7Lp4DofB/) which echoed the cushion issue. She also did not like the IKEA fabric and plans to purchase a linen slipcover. I know IKEA is trying to “responsibly” source their cotton. Maybe hard to do? I would much prefer pre-shrunk natural fibers for washable slipcovers. I think natural fiber washable slipcovers along with classic styling and value have made Ektorp a popular choice. I hope IKEA returns to natural pre-washed fabrics. I also hope that IKEA returns to better cushion quality. I noticed that my Ektorp cushions are not reversible. I had read that Ektorp cushions are reversible – so I guess this is another recent change. Overall the Ektorp was still a good value for a sofa with washable slipcovers and the ability to purchase new slipcovers at reasonable prices as desired. Hope to purchase a linen slipcover soon!

  4. Karen Sommers
    Karen Sommers at | | Reply

    Do you plan to make slipcovers for the Farlov? Thank you.

    1. Chris
      Chris at | | Reply

      Hey Karen,

      We do indeed plan on adding the Farlov to our collection of slipcovered sofas! Not quite yet though as it’s still brand-new, but maybe in a few weeks time. I think we could drop you an email if you’d like once we launch this?

  5. Bel
    Bel at | | Reply

    Well, after your review and the one mentioned above on Instagram, I took the plunge and bought it yesterday. It’s not out of the box yet, we are moving so it might not get put together for a week. Our store didn’t have a floor model out, so I couldn’t try it. They did fetch me the fabric samples and, at least with the small pieces I got to see, I like the texture and it didn’t feel awful enough to cover it with a sheet! At least, in sample size. I have wanted the Ektorp for a while, but my husband is 6’1″ and all legs. He said he felt like he was sitting on doll house furniture. I read many reviews of the Ektorp that were owned by tall people and they said they didn’t have an issue, but I also just kept thinking it was a little more “country” (using that term very loosely) than I wanted. When I stumbled upon the Farlov (not sure how I ended up finding it, it wasn’t on IKEA’s website) I fell in love! I thought I could try wrapping batting around the cushion insert if I need it plumping. Or maybe I will try the foam cushion as suggested. I am going to give it a great effort to make it work! I will be looking for slipcovers if this turns out to be too scratchy! Thanks for your review! It really helped me a lot!

  6. Bel
    Bel at | | Reply

    Edit: The Farlov was indeed on the IKEA website, I meant, I didn’t find it looking on there, I stumbled upon it through my online quest for furniture for our new house!

  7. Claire
    Claire at | | Reply

    I seem to be in the minority here – husband and I thought it was so comfortable in the store that it took great effort to get up and carry on with our shop! I easily could have gone to sleep on it. We’ve just assembled our own and find it very comfortable so far too.

  8. Amy
    Amy at | | Reply

    I would love for y’all to do this in a linen or velvet. It’s a gorgeous sofa and you did a great review! I will just have the bench seat refilled with a better material! Thanks! Let me know when you make the slipcovers!

    1. Chuck Lau
      Chuck Lau at | | Reply

      Will do Amy! Hope you’re subscribed to our newsletter 🙂

  9. Jennifer H
    Jennifer H at | | Reply

    Hello! I’d like to be added to your contact list once you decide to make a farlov slipcover.
    Do you have a timeframe in mind when this will be? I’m so happy to have found your website. Have a great day, thanks!
    Jennifer

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      No problem Jennifer,

      We’ve added you into our contact list and due to the popularity of the Farlov, we’re anticipating its arrival within the next 6 months or so 🙂

      Usually adding a new model could take up to a year or more, but the Farlov seems to have quite a demand.

      Exciting times, you have a great day too!

  10. Heather
    Heather at | | Reply

    Just tried it today and think it’s super comfortable. We are replacing our beloved ekeskog and I was thrilled to see another deep comfy sofa that doesn’t show leg (I have nothing against legs just matching is an issue:)). Please do the dark slip cover in the picture I would love to have one if it isn’t too expensive to ship to Canada!

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Great to hear that Heather!

      We’ll definitely try to get covers in soon – but I think IKEA would be coming up with the dark-coloured slipcover not too long from now, so do look out for that as their prices are quite hard to compete with!

      Hope this helps!

  11. Patricia Williams
    Patricia Williams at | | Reply

    I would purchase this sofa if I knew you would be making a dark navy velvet cover for it. Is that being considered?

    1. Chris
      Chris at | | Reply

      Hey Patricia,

      Unfortunately we’re not considering a dark navy velvet at the moment, we do have a very nice indigo if I could tempt you into it? Alternatively, check out our Kino Navy as that’s gorgeous – I expect it’s exactly what you’re thinking of when you say dark navy.

      Had you have a chance to check out our samples? Here’s the link: https://comfort-works.com/en/fabric-samples/fabric-samples-24

  12. Emily Loverin
    Emily Loverin at | | Reply

    Thank you for the review! Need something to stage our rental house for sale and use afterwards in the basement for the kids. I was on the fence, but with different slipcovers on the horizon, I’m going to test it out this week in the store.

    Not sure how to sign up for the mailing list??

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Hey Emily!

      No worries – sorry if the subscription box isn’t very intuitive, you can actually head over to https://comfort-works.com/en/

      Scroll all the way down to our photo and you’ll see the box to “Stalk Us” 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  13. LMH
    LMH at | | Reply

    Hello, I would buy this sofa if I knew I could get a washable linen blend slipcover for it. Is that on your radar?

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Hey there!

      We’re definitely trying to get some new machine-washable linen blends in, is there any colour in particular that you’re after? 🙂

  14. KB
    KB at | | Reply

    Here’s an idea: Not only sell custom covers for the Farlov and also sell a cushier new foam insert for the bench cushion . . . I’d so go there.

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      That’s a great idea actually!

      We’ve been tinkering around it for a while now actually, but packaging is a little bit difficult as foam is kinda bulky so shipping does get pretty expensive – ideally we’d want to make this complementary option as affordable as possible as well 🙂

      So we’ll still be working on this, hopefully we’d also be able to provide inserts soon as well.

  15. KB
    KB at | | Reply

    Chuck. To answer your question re: colors. In addition to washable white covers, I’d be interested in a stone color — a soft taupe/gray — also washable. (We have dogs . . .)

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Thanks Krista!

      Maybe you can check out our fabric collection firstly? Here’s the link: http://comfort-works.com/en/home/fabric-samples-24

      Highly recommend the Kino heavy duty fabrics if you have dogs 🙂

  16. Tamara
    Tamara at | | Reply

    Just tested this at IKEA and found it very comfortable and super cute. But may go with Holmstad which isn’t comfortable so I have the bed option for kids use and farlov chairs for my husband and I. But, comfort of farlov sofa may win over need for couch option…. of Holmstad.

  17. angela
    angela at | | Reply

    I actually liked this sofa a lot however, I totally agree about the seat cushions. They looked lumpy in the warehouse. By doing a quick google search it looks like you can buy replacement foam and I measured for about $150 shipped for the 3 seater couch.
    As far as the fabric, I did not love it but I think for people with kids/pets it makes a fairly durable couch. I have two white golden retrievers and their hair shows on anything that’s not white which really makes me want a light covered sofa (and I just love white sofas!). I have been on the hunt for a deep bench seat cushioned couch in a light color with low arms that is not cotton. I think cotton attracts the dirt and just can look dingy quickly animals and kids. This fabric is super thick and has a sheen to it that I don’t think will look that dirty that quickly. I ran my fingers over it with my nails over and over to see if it would catch and pull and it did not. It’s pretty heavy duty. I think it’s a fantastic option for people with kids and pets.

  18. Paulla Dacklin
    Paulla Dacklin at | | Reply

    I just bought two of the larger Farlov sofas for my beach house. Got rid of the hideous sleeper sofas in favor of something that you could actually sleep on. After much cursing surrounding the put together involving four adults including a pressboard failure whilst trying to attach the arm rest section, they look fabulous.

    We purchased the two sofas with the beige slipcovers and one extra white, tried out one each to see which looked best. Concluded that the white looked best in our great room, but will keep the beige ones on for when the home is rented. So back to IKEA to purchase another white slipcover.

    I am going to shorten the slipcover length so that it hangs about one inch past the bottom edge of the of the sofa so that the legs are exposed for a more modern and clean look. I plan on doing this myself using my home sewing machine.

    I am not using the lumber pillows and have two fairly large down pillows and two medium down pillows that seem to work well for back support. I will use the lumber pillow fabric to create arm rest covers.If I decide later that lumbar pillows are a must I will buy lumbar down inserts and make my own pillows using either Pendleton a blanket or yardage.

    The fabric is sturdy and already I had the opportunity to clean a the skirt that a guest managed to get chocolate cake on. I just sponged the spots with a damp washcloth that had a small amount of soap and it came right out. I love the fact that they can be cleaned in the washing machine. My trick is to put the slip covers on while they are still a bit damp which seems to help with the wrinkling.

    I love the firmness of the bench seat and slept there myself to test the comfort.The bench length of 75 1/2 inches will work well for all but the very tall.I put a napped Pendleton blanket on the bench which softened the effect and was very comfortable. I will use twin sheets to cover the bench cushion when it is in use as extra sleeping.

    The Farlov was a great choice for the scale and space of the great room and for the use as extra sleeping. A similar effect to the sofa used in my inspiration article, which came from PB. (Dec/Jan 2014 House Beautiful, “Global Vision “)

    Very happy with the Farlov sofas.

  19. Chris
    Chris at | | Reply

    We’ve just launched our own line of custom Farlov covers, check them out today if you’re interested 🙂

  20. Bel
    Bel at | | Reply

    YAY!! I was just in my living room, looking at my Farlov (which I LOVE ❤️ btw) but thinking about what I want for the slipcover (because the fabric does leave something to be desired). So I started looking at some throw pillows and throws, to camouflage it.

    Then, I thought, let me go read some more comments at the Comfort Works review, and here is the good news!! Oh my gosh! Now, which one to choose???? I am totally thrown for a loop now! Lol

    Thank you for getting on this so quickly. We love this sofa. It is big enough for my tall husband to feel comfy and deep enough to be able to curl up on, and not even have to move my plethora of throw pillows, that I love on a sofa. Everyone who has seen it can’t believe it is IKEA and I believe it will become the cult favorite, maybe replacing the oft blogged about and most familiar, Ektorp!

    So excited! Thanks again!

  21. Lindsey
    Lindsey at | | Reply

    Thanks for your honest & thorough reviews!!

  22. Lizz
    Lizz at | | Reply

    Angela, do you have a link for the replacement foam?

    I sat on this sofa today, found it supercomfi, nice one to watch TV on and fall asleep, for sure!

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Funny you should ask about replacement foam Lizz!

      We just wrote a post about it: https://www.comfort-works.com/news/where-to-get-replacement-cushion-foam-inserts/

      Hope this helps 🙂

  23. Sarah
    Sarah at | | Reply

    Will you be making slipcovers for the sectional version? The fabric offerings are both nice colors but the texture feels cheap.

    1. Chris
      Chris at | | Reply

      Hey Sarah,

      We will definitely add this to our collection, but once the sectional version is launched worldwide. Currently it’s limited to the USA. If you’d like, we could drop you an email once we do add this 🙂

      1. Erin
        Erin at |

        I am also interested in the sectional slipcover. White is great for our beach house, but when we let it out to renters, we want something more practical than white. Based on the posts so far, it looks like you have lots of interest in the newest IKEA line of sofas/chairs.

  24. Lisa
    Lisa at | | Reply

    I love the look of the farlov, but am worried that it will be difficult to remove and wash the slipcover due to the length of the single bench cushion (I have dogs and kids, and will want to wash the cover with somewhat relative frequency). Can anyone give an opinion as to how heavy or difficult changing the cover is? thanks much!

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Hey Lisa!

      Personally I prefer changing one larger cushion cover compared to two smaller seat cushions because the bigger the slipcover, the higher the allowance normally 🙂

      So while I haven’t had hands-on experience with the Farlov, I’d say it’s a pretty easy job changing the slipcover due to the way it’s constructed (1 x frame cover, 2 back cushion covers, 1 bench seat cover, 2 throw cushion covers).

      Of course, it’s easier and better to have a friend or two to help – many hands make light feet after all.

      Hope this helps!

  25. Nilo
    Nilo at | | Reply

    Ohhh we don’ t have it in Spain. Only for 2 and 3 places
    Will it come?

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Hey Nilo!

      We do have the 2 and 3 seater sofa covers, is this what you’re looking for: https://comfort-works.com/en/farlov-sofa-covers-462

      Let me know!

  26. Rose
    Rose at | | Reply

    I just bought the Farlov sectional and I found your site looking online for a blue velvet slipcover. I’m so sad you don’t have one available yet for the sectional style.

    I loved the Farlov’s deep seats and shape immediately, but I’m less in love with the Flodafors White material. I have held back on buying an extra slipcover set for the Farlov so far. I asked the IKEA store rep about more options and she said they will likely introduce another option next year. I told her I wanted a finer, white material for summer with higher cotton/linen content and a cozy blue velvet cover for winter months and the IKEA rep told neither were very unlikely. Very disappointing news.

  27. Toni
    Toni at | | Reply

    I’m an American living in Germany, and while couch shopping I saw the Farlov in IKEA last week. After shopping around at a few stores just to compare different factors, I decided to buy the Farlov 2+3 sectional.

    I am 6 feet tall and my husband is 6’2″. He likes to relax in our living room and his chief complaint about our current couches is that they aren’t deep enough to be comfortable. Well, the Karlov sectional is plenty deep. I know he’s going to love relaxing on it.

    Didn’t have any complaints about the cushions. Granted, I’m not a fan of the single cushion but if flatness ever becomes an issue I can either buy or splice together enough batting-wrapped foam to fix it. I also love that I’ll be able to wash the slipcovers. That was a definite deciding factor for me.

    Farlov has a 10 year warranty, so I’ll definitely be updating it as time passes with different slipcovers. I’ve never bought an IKEA sofa before so I’m excited.

    One more thing, it was actually a bit more than I wanted to pay, but I’m still pleased that it met all my needs. Can’t wait for delivery next week!

  28. Cindy Harvey
    Cindy Harvey at | | Reply

    We purchased the sofa and loveseat in March and LOVE these sofas. They were firm when we first got them, but they’ve softened up (without flattening). We always wanted to buy the Ektorp for the look and price, but every time we tried them out, they felt like doll furniture and hard as a rock. We like our sofas on the supportive side, but the Ektorp never felt comfy. The Farlov depth is also amazing! I love using throw pillows, and with the Farlov I can do that AND still have room to sit down. 🙂 Not crazy about the slipcover fabric texture…not cozy. I got covers in both the white and beige, but I had linen covers made as well, and they look very upscale. VERY pleased with our purchase.

  29. Jennifer
    Jennifer at | | Reply

    Will you be developing a sectional cover anytime soon?

    1. Chuck
      Chuck at | | Reply

      Hey Jennifer!

      It won’t be so soon but it’s definitely something we’re looking into 🙂

      Stay tuned!

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