Simplicity Sofas' furniture construction is more of an art form than an industrial process. Our furniture is built by hand, one piece at a time, very much the same as it was 100 years ago. After fabric is cut and sewn, a single master craftsperson upholsters the entire piece from start to finish, unlike many modern factories where different workers can be assigned to inside arms, outside arms, inside backs, outside backs, etc.
Simplicity Sofas customers can choose from more than 100,000 different product options which can all be hand-built in 30 days or less using a manufacturing process developed by the company which it terms "extreme modular customization."
All 100,000+ different product options are constructed using a total of only 40 different modular frame components.
Frames – Sofa frames are made using solid oak with a very few exceptions. The Jenna style uses a small piece of plywood in the arms to help smooth out the shape of the radical curve. Plywood is also used in the sectional bases which require precise computerized routing which cannot be done with solid wood. (Sectional backs are solid oak.) The wide Ashton arm has a plywood front panel. There may also be other non-oak solid woods used for corner blocks and plywood used for frame reinforcement components. The Timothy and Christie sleep sofas use all-plywood frames because of a need to reduce weight in these heavy pull-out sofa beds.
All frames are corner-blocked, doweled, stapled and glued. The sofas and love seats all have horizontal support beams between each seat. For example on a full-size (3 seat) sofa there will be two horizontal support beams for both the backs and seats reinforced with corner blocks. The mid-size and apartment-size sofas will have only one horizontal support beam for the seat and back. All frames are backed by an unlimited lifetime warranty.
Spring Support System – Our sofas use a Permalator spring system which is manufactured by the Flexalator division of Leggett & Platt, the world's largest manufacturer of spring systems for furniture. It has been used in the furniture industry for more than 100 years.
Most people are more familiar with the sinuous wire spring system (also known as "no-sag) which is by far the most common spring system currently in use and which is very similar cost-wise to the Permalator. The permalator and sinuous wire systems share the same high durability characteristics. (It is very rare for either system to break down over the life of the furniture.) The permalator, however, is typically used in furniture styles that require a flatter spring profile. Sinuous wire springs have an arch which interferes with the attachment hardware of our patented designs. The permalator is flat, composed of a coated wire grid attached to the frame with helical coil springs and takes up very little vertical space. This makes it ideal for our QAS (Quick Assembly System) hardware and mechanisms.
Some customers have asked whether we can offer an 8 way hand-tied coil option. Unfortunately those units require a lot of space between the deck of the sofa and the floor. Our furniture does not have enough space to fit an 8 way unit. From a comfort standpoint the Permalator is indistinguishable from the sinuous wire support.
Keep in mind that the spring system contributes only a very small percentage of the overall comfort of the furniture. The cushion quality is by far the most important factor followed by the pitch of the sofa, cushion depth, spring system, and even the fabric selected. All combine to determine the complete comfort of the furniture.
The sectionals use a different support system, an elastic webbing which has also been used in the furniture industry for well over 100 years. This webbing is commonly used in contemprary-styled high end furniture, particularly for chairs. Since our sectionals are comprised of small, individual seat units where the individual frame dimensions are similar to those of chairs the webbing provides the best combination of comfort and durability.
Both of our spring systems are covered by unlimited lifetime warranties. This means that if one of our frames fails at any time for any reason (including customer abuse) we will replace the furniture at no charge.
1) 1.8 density Ultracel™ foam cushions.
This is our standard cushion. The foam has a life expectancy of 5-7 years (when used an average of 1-2 hours per day.) These cushions have an unlimited 5 year warranty. (If you have any problem with the foam part of the cushion we will replace it free of charge if we are notified within 5 years of the date of purchase.)
2) Spring-down cushions. (This is an optional upgrade for $75 per seat cushion.)
Although these super-premium cushions are still "firm" they are more "plush" than the Ultracel foam cushions. Our Spring-down cushions are backed by an unlimited lifetime warranty (except on the fabric.) If you ever have a problem we will replace it free of charge.
Spring Down cushions are designed for a softer initial feel but to be highly supportive once compressed. To achieve this, the heart of the cushion is a pocketed coil spring unit (also known as a Marshall unit) made with 14 gauge tempered steel springs that are individually wrapped in a fabric cover and mechanically tied together to create a complete innerspring core. The spring core is then wrapped top and bottom with an Ultracel® foam cap and surrounded with a foam border to completely encase the spring unit. Next the foam is wrapped in a 1" thick layer of 2 oz. polyester fiber. The final cushion is then encased in a tightly woven channeled envelope of high quality down proof ticking, and filled with a 50% blend of feathers and down, and 50% super slick conjugated fiber. The final cushion provides a smooth elevator type of ride as each material layer yields as the weight is distributed. The first level of comfort comes from the slow release of air from the down proof ticked envelope. The second level comes from the compression of the feather-down and fiber layer and the air stored within. Lastly, you will feel the support of the innersprings as they equally distribute your weight across the cushion.
***NEW ECO-FRIENDLY SUPER-PREMIUM CUSHION***
3) 2.5 density Ultracel™ BioComfort® HR (High Resilience) foam cushions. (This is an optional upgrade for $75 per seat cushion.)
Our 2.5 density Ultracel™ BioComfort® foam cushion is one of the finest quality cushions available in the furniture industry at any price. It is also Eco-friendly, fabricated using a soybean derivitive that reduces the need for petroleum-based ingredients. (Details furnishied below.)
This is a super-premium cushion. The 2.5 density foam has a life expectancy of 15 years (when used an average of 4-5 hours per day.) These cushions are backed by an unlimited lifetime warranty (except for the fabric.) If you ever have a problem we will replace it free of charge.
Why Ultracel™ Foam is Superior to Conventional Polyurethane Foams
Ultracel™ foam is a revolutionary material that offers superior support and long lasting resiliency. Ultracel is more resilient and durable than other conventional foams, and will maintain its shape under compressions better than other polyurethane foams. Ultracel foam offers up to 25% more support than conventional foams. Extensive lab testing has shown that Ultracel material suffers from less unsightly flattening and sagging and is less likely to be subject to body impressions, even with regular use over time.
There are two primary kinds of foam - conventional and high resilience (HR). The density of a foam (a weight for a given volume) is not a measure of firmness, but rather a measure of support. Different levels of firmness can be created for the same density of foam. Nevertheless, density and firmness do tend to parallel one another, and so typically, HR foams have been chosen for support, while conventional foams were chosen for comfort. Ultracel beats both at each other's game.
Indentation Forced Deflection (IFD) is a measure of how much weight is necessary to compress a given piece of foam by a given amount. In fact, there are two measures taken, one is what does it take to compress the foam 65% (inner support) and the second by 25% (surface firmness). The ratio of the two measures is the most telling. Ultracel foam consistently provides superior support compared to both conventional and HR foams across the board, regardless of density!
Ultracel also performs better than conventional foams in resilience tests. In this test, a steel ball is dropped on a piece of foam from a given height and resilience is expressed as the percentage of the original height that is reached on the first bounce. The "spring" or "bounce back" is what people associate with comfort and Ultracel is 25% more resilient than conventional foam.
In a variety of other tests, for example dynamic fatigue by roller shear and 90% compression set, Ultracel continues to outperform both conventional and HR foams. The result is a better foam that is typically only used by high end furniture manufacturers.
BioComfort® Eco-friendly foam
BioComfort® foam is an Ultracel™ product made from BiOH polyols, a soybean derivative. The BiOH polyols reduces petroleum-based polyols in the polyurethane foam manufacturing process with the end result being a product that remains exceptionally high in quality, but is much more environmentally friendly.
BioComfort® foam is made from the oil of the soybean which is a renewable resource making it safe to the environment. It is fabricated using a state-of-the-art carbon filtration system to reduce the emissions from the production of polyurethane foam. The overall system can be described as an activated carbon system working to absorb contaminants from a stream. This system uses activated carbon pellets that are 100% recyclable.
Both our Ultracel and Spring-down cushions are available in 4 configurations: Roll-front, Box Cushions, Roll-front T-cushions and Box T-cushions. These different shapes alter the styling of the sofas. They have nothing to do with overall quality or durability although the roll-front cushions do tend to "wrinkle" more easily than the box cushons with some types of fabrics.
Our standard cushion shape is the roll-front cushion (also known as a bull-nose cushion.) The roll-front cushion is generally considered more "casual." Our roll-front cushions are 7" thick at the corners and 8 1/2" thick with a slight crown in the center of the cushion.
Optional Box Cushions. Box cushions are slightly more expensive ($50 per sofa and $25 per chair or sectional unit) because of the extra labor required to sew the double welting all around the cushion. Box cushions are generally considered to be more "formal" than the roll-front cushions.
Optional T-Cushions. When ordering T-cushions you must specify whether you want a "roll-front" T-cushion ($50 per sofa) or a "Box" T-cushion ($100 per sofa.) A "Box" T-cushion will give the sofa a more formalized "traditional" look. A "Roll-front" T-cushion makes the sofa look larger and plusher. One advantage of the T-cushion is that it adds more leg room when lying down on the sofa since the cushion extends out in front of the arm.
Back cushions have a different construction than the seat cushions. When the Ultracel seat cushions are ordered the back cushions consist of 3.25lbs. of virgin conjugated polyester fiber (the highest grade available). When the spring down cushions are ordered the back cushion is made with 50% down/feathers and 50% virgin conjugated fiber.
Here is a diagram of our Spring-down cushion.
Here is a diagram of a foam cushion. The cushion below specifies a polyurethane foam. Our standard cushions have the same construction except that we substitute a long-lasting (and significantly more expensive) Ultracel HR high resilience foam in place of the polyurethane. Our Ultracel cushion comes with a lifetime warranty.