What We Like
A wide variety of colors and fabrics to choose from
Comfortable and functional
What We Don't Like
Some of the fabric options attract pet hair
Slow turnaround on orders
If you’ve been coveting the modern-meets-retro furniture choices that are popular these days, the 86-inch Joybird Preston Sofa will no doubt pique your interest. It’s the definition of classic meets contemporary and is available in a wide variety of fabrics, colors, and wood stain options. We wanted to see whether this sofa really was as striking as it looks online and if it proved to be a functional seating option, too. Read on for all the details of the Preston’s style, comfort, and overall value.
Setup: No effort required
Joybird is just one of several direct-to-consumer online furniture stores that have been making a splash in recent years. It offers the convenience of shopping from home and getting it delivered to your home. When the Preston arrived on our doorstep, we were surprised to find that there would be no setup required. The delivery person simply screwed the legs onto the bottom of the sofa, and we were good to go.
At 175 pounds, the Preston felt surprisingly lightweight. We expected this sofa to be heavier, but it didn’t take much effort to move it to the area we wanted it in the living room. One person could easily push this couch, but we opted to use two to avoid dragging it across the floor.
Design: Interactive, custom designs
All of the furniture Joybird sells is customizable, so we were able to choose our fabric color and the color of stain for the legs. There’s also the option to upgrade the material. Joybird offers a ton of colors, ranging from understated grays to bold greens and blues. In terms of fabric texture, there’s everything from knit velvet to performance textured chenille and woven yarn—although not all colors are available in all fabrics. There are even special “pet-friendly” options. Since it’s not possible to go view the sofas in person, Joybird will send you a free swatch kit so you can decide in the comfort of your own home.
We opted for a color called Lucky Turquoise, which comes in a woven, textured, chenille-like fabric, and went with the mocha stain for the legs. The Preston arrived a few weeks later, and it surpassed our expectations. It wasn’t just the fabric we were impressed with, though. Every feature on this couch was perfect, from the sleek piping on the cushions to the tapered wooden legs. The fabric felt both durable and soft and made this piece look very high-end. It sits much higher than expected, which helped draw our eye to it, and we found ourselves running our hands along the seats, mesmerized by the feel of the fabric.
The sofa was absolutely beautiful and surpassed our expectations.
There are a couple of issues with the design, but they are pretty minor. The first is that the beautiful chenille fabric we chose holds pet hair like you wouldn’t believe. We tried using a lint roller to remove it, but it really stuck to the fabric. It took a furniture vacuum attachment to remove it.
The other design issue has to do with the couch’s weight. The lack of heft makes it difficult to keep the couch from shifting. We’ve had to readjust it constantly because it gets pushed by the dogs and kids as they walk past. This couch would work better pushed against the wall, especially in a house with lots of people.
Comfort: A couch fit for lounging
The Preston is a lounging couch, but not necessarily one that allows you to snuggle into the huge armrests and take a nap. The cushions are firm, and the upholstered arms were too high for us to comfortably rest our heads, but the couch offered consistent support, whether we were sitting on the end, the middle, or somewhere in between. The cushions along the backside of the couch are equally solid. The cushions are filled with 2.8 pounds of high-density polyurethane foam, and many online reviewers say that they get softer once they’re broken in over time. This couch is perfect for hanging out and chatting because it’s long enough for two or three people to sit on without venturing into someone else’s personal space.
We didn’t have any issues with the chenille fabric feeling stiff or uncomfortable, and our dog must find the Preston pretty comfortable, too, because we kept catching him splayed out across it. Luckily, we haven’t had any issues with the couch cushions being warped or damaged by a 100-pound dog. The cushions bounce right back.
It’s long enough for two or three people to sit on without venturing into someone else’s personal space.
Size: Sleek but massive
We went with the 86 x 35 x 33-inch sofa, but the Preston is also available in a 68 x 35 x 33-inch sofa, a 95-inch “Grand” sofa, a 95 x 62 x 33 reversible sectional, a 98 x 98 x 33-inch corner sectional, a 102 x 60 x 33-inch sectional, and a 101 x 83 x 33-inch sectional with bumper. You can also get a matching Preston chair, ottoman, and bench.
The lack of heft makes it difficult to keep the couch from shifting.
We placed this piece in a massive open space—one that contains our dining room, living room, breakfast nook, and open kitchen—and it still commanded plenty of attention. One of the nice things about the Preston, though, is that while it’s a pretty big couch, the design is so minimal and sleek. Still, we imagine that this sofa could easily dwarf smaller accent pieces or look out of place in a small space because of the length. This is definitely not the right couch for a studio apartment or a room with a ton of other furniture.
Price: A well-justified splurge
The 86-inch Preston starts at $1,749, but it goes on sale pretty often, so it can be purchased for several hundred dollars less. If you want specially treated fabrics, expect to spend between $150 and $250 more depending on what you choose. That’s no small sum, but this sofa is so pretty and so well-made that we feel it justifies the price tag. The fact that Joybird doesn’t even start building these pieces until they’re ordered further solidifies that this splurge is one that’s worth it.
Plus, if you’re unsure about spending the money, Joybird offers free returns within 14 days, as well as a limited lifetime warranty. There’s also a 365-day home trial, so if you aren’t satisfied within a year of living with it you can return it for a full refund.
Competition: A slew of online retailers
Interior Define Oliver Sofa: There are quite a few online furniture retailers who offer similar products. Interior Define has the Oliver, a sofa that’s customizable and employs Mid-century modern elements. Unlike Joybird, Interior Define’s color palette is limited to muted tones. The Oliver is a bit longer than the Preston we tested—98 inches versus 86 inches—and it has three back cushions and three seat cushions rather than two. At around $1,600, the Oliver is pretty comparable in price. There isn’t much, other than those eight extra inches, that tips the scales toward the Oliver, especially if the Preston is on sale.
Burrow Nomad Sofa: Another comparable option is the Burrow Nomad Sofa. This sofa is 86.5 inches long and customizable, but the fabric choices are limited. The design is a bit more classic, thanks to the scooped armrests and the divets in the back cushions. The Nomad retails for around $1,400. Besides an extra half-inch, not much makes it stand out against the Preston.
Want to take a peek at some more options? Check out our roundup of the best couches.
- Product Name Preston 86” Sofa
- Product Brand Joybird
- SKU 5538-31
- Price $1749.00
- Weight 175 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 86 x 35 x 33 in.
- Upholstery Color 57 options including Cody Sandstone, Merit Dove, Royal Cobalt, Royale Evergreen, Key Largo Bubblegum, Tussah Snow, and Taylor Golden
- Upholstery Material Depends on the color, but options include woven chenille, knit velvet, and performance textured chenille
- Wood Stain Mocha, Medium, Coffee Bean
- Frame Material Kiln-dried hardwood
- Fill Material 2.8 lb. high-density polyurethane foam combined with layers of fiber
- Warranty Limited lifetime; 365-day in-home trial available
- Weight Limit 1,000 lbs.