Is Sabai Furniture Worth It In 2024? (Our Editor Reviews)
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My mornings are sacred to me — sipping coffee, sitting in the sunlight while listening to gentle music. I’m surrounded by my cat and two house rabbits, and not yet immersed in the chaos of the day. A comfy place to sit is a must, and I have recently been redesigning my living room with this in mind.
I spent countless hours poring over what I wanted for my room, which is a couple hundred square feet with two right-angled corners on one end, and a rounded half circle of windows on the other. It’s a unique space, and I found myself considering secondhand curved sofas, attempting built-ins, and even foregoing furniture altogether in favor of floor cushions. For reasons of budget, longevity, and general space constraints I couldn’t crack the code of what I needed.
What has continued to draw me to Sabai is the brand’s commitment to sustainability, circularity, and simple, modern design. Not to mention how washable and repairable the furniture is — with a cat, two rabbits, and a penchant for spilling everything, I knew I needed a couch that could stand up to my lifestyle.
“What draws me to Sabai is the brand’s commitment to sustainability, circularity, and simple, modern design. Not to mention how washable and repairable the furniture is.”
Why did I choose Sabai over Burrow?
My former Burrow couch, which I purchased in white, was an ambitious idea that ultimately wasn’t a wise choice for a rough-and-tumble person like me (although I managed to clean out most spills). Truthfully, it was a beautiful couch and I spent many hours gaming, working, and catching up with friends on it. But I got rid of it in 2023 during a breakup where I gave up custody of some furniture in the process. New beginnings, amirite?
When searching for a new couch, I actually didn’t want to return to Burrow — not because I don’t appreciate the brand’s design, but because I’ve seen its sustainability initiatives and manufacturing transparency slowly disappear from the site over time. What a bummer.
Sabai, however, has not backed down from its commitments to both people and planet, which I admire! This sustainable brand continues to maintain its B Corp status and eco-friendly initiatives.
Sabai is one of the most sustainable furniture brands I’ve come across, and they’re constantly releasing new initiatives like Sabai Revive (which is a buyback program as well as a marketplace for secondhand Sabai furniture) and Repair Don’t Replace, where you can purchase individual components as you need. The recycled fabrics are untreated and do not offgass, with the Recycled Velvet being OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and Global Recycling Standard (GRS) certified, and the Upcycled Poly being Greenguard Gold Gold certified. If you prefer all natural fabrics, Sabai also offers OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified hemp on its Evergreen collection.
My review of the Sabai Elevate sectional and Evergreen chair
I initiated my search with the criteria of comfort, safe materials, and perhaps most importantly — a couch that was pet-friendly. and While I’m always skeptical about brands I see advertising on social media, Sabai is the real deal when it comes to these criteria, having rave reviews across its site, on Reddit, and of course, from my colleague and friend Kayti.
Feeling convinced that Sabai was the right choice for me, I decided to test out two of the brand’s newer design ranges: the Elevate sofa in recycled velvet and the Evergreen chair in hemp (a new material the brand recently started working with!).
How to order Sabai furniture (and delivery)
I started by ordering swatches to determine which fabrics and colors I wanted; they’re free and ship quickly so you can get to the fun part of deciding what works for you as soon as possible! I also spent several hours with a tape measure and painter’s tape marking out dimensions while I made my decisions.
The furniture arrived in about four weeks from ordering, since it’s made-to-order, and came in seven different boxes which my FedEx driver couldn’t bring upstairs alone. (See below for how creative I got bringing it up to my apartment.) While it was cumbersome, I was pleased to find no plastic in the packaging at all.
“The furniture arrived in about four weeks from ordering, since it’s made-to-order, and came in seven different boxes which my FedEx driver couldn’t bring upstairs alone.”
“Assembly took longer than expected since it was just me alone; I’d recommend assembling larger pieces, like the sectional, with a friend.”
Assembling Sabai furniture
Notably, there are no assembly instructions included in the boxes. Instead, you’re directed to a landing page where all the assembly instructions are available! I found the virtual instructions to be clear and concise.
Assembly did take a bit longer than expected since it was just me alone, and I’d recommend assembling larger pieces, like the sectional, with a friend. I took two different afternoons to set up the sectional and the chair just due to the physical and mental energy they took.😅 I hit some snags securing the ottoman to the sectional — trying to lift the whole couch and hook up a fastener underneath was no easy task for a solo assembler (see photos below).
A couple of bolts on the chair didn’t drill as securely as I thought they should, but once the slipcover was on I didn’t notice any abnormality. Perks: All tools were provided, and they were significantly better than the tiny hex key wrenches that IKEA provides — they come with torque handles so you don’t have to work as hard at spinning the bolts into place. I did eventually get tired and popped the hex bit into my drill and used that to speed up the process of installing the legs of each piece.
Once the furniture was assembled, the only smell was the faint odor of wood — pine, maybe? I was able to instantly leap onto the sturdy sectional and take a snooze, and my cat joined me, too. No chemical smell of offgassing here!
“All tools are provided, and they’re significantly better than the tiny hex key wrenches that IKEA provides — they come with torque handles so you don’t have to work as hard!”
How does Sabai hold up to daily use?
I’ve now had my Sabai sectional and chair for over a month and in that time, have spilled drinks four times, fallen asleep and drooled on the pillows at least as many times, and hosted several pizza and movie nights with my friends on this couch.
The Elevate sectional is holding up well, and any spills are slow to absorb into the cushioning below so I can usually just wipe clean with a warm, damp cloth. For spills that have a longer time to sit, I bust out my Rug Doctor Pet portable spot cleaner and let the cushions dry in the sun. Overall, everything wipes clean easily and quickly which is perfect for a clumsy person like me. 😅
My cat loves to nestle into the corner of the sectional, which gets warm and toasty (but not hot) when the sun hits it just right. And during her morning zoomies, she launches from the ottoman with her extra-sharp nails fully extended. I’m happy to say she’s only left little prints of scratches in the velvet which are easy to buff out with a damp cloth. I’ve had no issues with snags, tears, or holes so far and will update if I do. If you do have cats or dogs, I recommend either the recycled velvet or upcycled poly material, which are both stain- and scratch-resistant.
My late-night work sessions are held exclusively on the cozy Evergreen chair, which is super roomy for a single person and I love the firmness of the arm rests for holding tea and laptops. (I also spend my mornings looking out the windows in my chair while snuggled up with my cat, we can’t get enough of it!)
Is Sabai furniture worth it? (My verdict: yes!)
Overall, I’d choose Sabai again in a heartbeat. Each piece gets a top rating from me on comfort; the Elevate sofa is a bit more firm while the Evergreen chair is plush and pillowy, both cozy in their own way.
I will note that, as I’ve experienced with many couches, the back pillows of the sectional have a way of scooching their way down behind the seat pillows, requiring occasional adjustment. This doesn’t happen as frequently as it did with my Burrow or IKEA couches, though! To lessen this, i actually installed the seating platforms one notch higher than recommended in the assembly instructions, so the pitch of the couch is more flat than angled down and back. (The Elevate collection also does have a mildly low back, so if you’re looking for full back support this might not be your cup of tea.)
Looking back, I wouldn’t change the color or style selection of my hemp chair, mostly because I much prefer that chair for reading or working (not drinking wine or coffee) so spills aren’t as big of a concern. Plus, the slipcover would be easy to wash or replace if anything ever got too grimy. The Evergreen chair would make a perfect addition to a reading room or nursery thanks to its generous size, classic style, and cozy warm pillows.
And while I love the navy of my Elevate sectional, sometimes I wonder if I went too dark for my sunshine-y living room. I know the mustard yellow would have been too light but what if — just what if? — I had opted for the stunning amber red? It might have been more complementary rather than contrasting. I will note that you can get slipcovers and replacement pieces for the Classic and the Evergreen collections, so perhaps down the line the brand will also offer upgrades for the Elevate sectional, too.
A lighter color might have also helped make the rather large sectional appear smaller and less imposing in the space. Sabai furniture, to me, seems bigger than it appears on the site, so pay close attention to the measurements listed! The good news is that this sectional will last me many, many years and accommodate larger spaces if I ever move from my Los Angeles apartment.
When it comes to quality furniture you’re not going to find another brand that meets the same sustainability and quality standards as Sabai for the same price. The three style ranges also offer some diverse price points, with the Classic being the most affordable, then Evergreen, and then Elevate at the most expensive. Payment plans are also available!
“Sabai is an excellent choice for those seeking sustainable, sturdy, and life-friendly (aka washable and repairable) furniture.”
All that being said, none of my concerns are truly dealbreakers or drawbacks. I’m over the moon to host friends in my space with my new furniture, and feel oh-so grown- up with these sturdy, stunning pieces. They make me want to gradually upgrade the quality of all my furniture!
Overall, Sabai has emerged as an excellent choice for those seeking sustainable, sturdy, and life-friendly (aka washable and repairable) furniture. The Elevate sectional and Evergreen chair have not only met but exceeded my expectations — my home is so cozy, and is getting increasingly difficult to leave. 😆
Feel free to drop your questions in the comments below, and know that I’ll update this review if any important considerations come up in the future. Stay cozy!
- Sabai furniture is sustainably manufactured in the US, and is made-to-order so you can expect to receive your furniture in a 3-4 weeks, but check with the brand on shipping times first! While you do have to assemble it yourself, it’s not terribly difficult (I’d recommend having two people, it’s harder alone.)
- The upcycled poly and recycled velvet fabric options are great options for homes with kids or pets, as they’re stain- and scratch-resistant.
- The new Evergreen series offers a big cozy chair that would be perfect for dens, reading rooms, or nurseries. It’s seriously dreamy and comes in an all-natural hemp fabric.
- For the price tag, you won’t find a brand equivalent to Sabai’s design, sustainability, and longevity (via repair and upcycling initiatives). I especially recommend for apartment dwellers, although the Elevate collection is refined and spacious enough for a larger living room.
Emily McGowan is the Editorial Director at The Good Trade. Born and raised in Indiana, she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her in her colorful Los Angeles apartment journaling, caring for her rabbits and cat, or gaming. Say hi on Instagram!