West Elm: Ultimate Brand Review And Rating

Alex Back | CEO & Founder
A cozy living room features a large beige sectional sofa adorned with assorted pillows and a throw blanket. A wooden coffee table sits in the center. The space is decorated with wall art and sconce lights. Text reads, "West Elm Ultimate Brand Review & Rating.

West Elm is a branch on the Williams-Sonoma tree, which means you can expect high-end style and sophisticated sofas. But what you might not expect are surprisingly competitive prices. West Elm has also carved out its own path by blazing a sustainable trail, which is fantastic. On top of that, there’s a lot to like about West Elm’s couch collection. In this in-depth West Elm review and brand breakdown, I take a look at the current state of West Elm couches and reveal their PotatoMeter rating.

Potato Meter
Overall PotatoMeter Rating

West Elm has stylish, modern furniture with the quality and backing of the Williams-Sonoma brand. They have surprisingly competitive prices considering their selection and their quality. They also get some points for focusing on sustainability and supporting a worldwide community of artisans.

But operating under the umbrella of Williams-Sonoma does have downsides. Most of West Elm's couches are imported from overseas, they don't have any meaningful warranty program, and the lead times could be better than they are. West Elm's prices are more affordable than other brands with similar styles, but there's also not a strong reason why you should choose West Elm over another brand that has better lead times and a stronger customer focus.

Online Shopping Experience Rating: 85%

West Elm has plenty of brick-and-mortar stores, which means they don’t have to rely exclusively on their website for all of their sales. Therefore, I wasn’t surprised when certain aspects of the online shopping experience weren’t top tier. But overall it’s a nice presentation that could stand to be improved with a little more polish.

West Elm’s Ease of Navigation

  • The home page is stylish and beautiful thanks to plenty of full-width images, videos, and a clean aesthetic. It has the same welcoming charm as a Martha Stewart magazine.
  • The menu is responsive, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. It takes up nearly the entire screen and it’s so tall that I had to scroll down to see all of it. There are also as many as 5 columns, lots of lines of small text, photos, and other sections vying for your attention. Because it’s so big it’s also hard to get rid of it if you accidentally open it by hovering over one of the options.
  • I like that there’s a page specifically for West Elm Sofa & Sectional Collections in addition to pages for Sectionals and Sofas on their own.. The Collection page presents the products in a nice, professional way that really shows off the wide variety of options available for each collection.
  • The West Elm sofa category page has some incredible filters, as well as a list of practical options to choose from at the top of the page. For instance, you can immediately filter by Sleepers & Futons, Slipcover Sofas, Under $999 Sofas, and Quick Ship Sofas via nice pictures. This is all very effective and functional.
  • The other filters on the category page are also excellent. I love that they include a seat firmness filter, which most companies neglect.
  • Product pages are less elegant, though they’re functional enough. A nice image of the West Elm couch takes up most of the view while the customization options are available on the right side. This method is good, though it’s so tall that you have to scroll down quite a bit before you see the exact price and where you can add it to your cart.
  • The fabric options are handled exceptionally well. Clicking on a fabric gives you a ton of information about it, as well as a nice, larger image of the fabric. West Elm also separates their fabrics in a number of ways. You can choose to sort the fabrics by shipping timeline or by fabric type. You can also filter fabrics by color, fabric, and features. They’ll also call out which fabrics are on Sale or Quick Ship.
  • I noticed that choosing some Quick Ship fabrics still resulted in my choice appearing as “Made to Order.” This is alarming since “Made to Order” products are not eligible for return, whereas West Elm does say that “Quick Ship” products can be returned (see the Customer Focus section for more info). Make absolutely certain that you’re ordering a Quick Ship option that does not say “Made to Order” if you think you might want to return the West Elm couch..
  • It was easy and convenient to find all the details and dimensions and care instructions right below the main top-level ordering info. This was all displayed and formatted nicely.

West Elm’s Information Available “At-A-Glance”

  • On category pages you can see the couch name, the number of fabrics available for it, the range of widths it’s available in, a quick note about special features (eg Contract Grade or New or More Sizes), and the price.
  • There are also stickers to let you know if a product is a bestseller, though they put this sticker on so many products it loses some of its impact.
  • The Sofas & Sectionals Collection category page also shows photos and prices for a variety of configurations. This was helpful for understanding the options for each major collection at-a-glance.
  • This is a decent amount of info and I felt like I had a good sense of a product without having to click into each one.

West Elm’s Product Images

  • On category pages the main product images are lifestyle images of the West Elm couches in homes. It creates a very chic look, but there are often coffee tables or other items obstructing the view of the couch. On several occasions I was shocked by what the actual couch’s legs or other features looked like once I clicked on the product listing.
  • Hovering over the lifestyle images on the category pages results in an image of the West Elm couch on a white or gray background. This helps get a better sense of its actual features. Some couches also show an image of their practical features like a sleeper sofa being extended or an open storage couch. This is very helpful to see.
  • Hovering over a different fabric option shows the couch on a white or gray background in the new color. However, it’s not as elegant as it could be. Sometimes the couch is at a different angle or it’s a different number of seats compared to the main image. In one case it just showed a close-up image of a fabric square instead of the couch.
  • On product pages there’s the same lifestyle image used as the main image. There’s a carousel on the left hand side that has a mix of studio style photos, lifestyle photos, photos of specific features, and occasionally a 360 view or video. It’s a mixed bag because certain West Elm couches have far more images than others. The couches with lots of images are great, which makes it more frustrating when another couch only has a couple of images.
  • The carousel is a bit tricky to use. You have to click an arrow to see more photos, but the arrow is obstructed by the live chat icon. I kept accidentally starting a live chat when all I wanted to do was see more photos. I had to scroll down further on the page and then try again in order to get unobstructed access to the photo carousel.
  • Choosing a new fabric does change the main couch image, but not any of the others. The fabrics and colors are not rendered very well, so they look fairly fake and computery compared to being real images. It made it hard to get a true sense of how the fabrics would look on the actual West Elm sofa.
  • There are no customer reviews, which means there are no customer photos. This is a major detriment and it makes it hard to get a sense of how the couches will actually look in a real home environment.

West Elm’s Quality of Product Information

  • Choosing a fabric does impact the price of the couch, but the fabrics themselves don’t show any pricing information. You only find out the price has increased when you scroll down to add the West Elm couch to your cart. This is always a frustrating way to approach this pricing system. They categorize their fabrics in so many useful ways except in terms of price.
  • Clicking a fabric details a ton of useful info, including the double rub count, the makeup of the material, whether it’s GreenGUARD Gold certified, etc. This is all excellent.
  • The dimensions are all broken out individually and are very easy to read. But there’s no diagram to really add context to what each dimension means. Not everyone intuitively knows what “seat height” means without seeing it on a diagram. Some West Elm couches do allow you to overlay the very basic measurements over the main image, but it’s rare.
  • The details are actually quite good for a company of this nature. They list the spring support system, the cushion construction, and the frame composition. However, they don’t go into any detail about the frame construction itself or the density of the seat cushions. That info is always super valuable to have, but they do not provide it here. Overall the information is better than many other companies, but still falls a bit short of the mark.
  • There are no customer reviews, which is a detriment to shoppers. You always have to take customer reviews with a grain of salt, but they can still be an incredibly valuable resource for specific information from real experiences. The absence is disappointing.

West Elm’s Extra Bells & Whistles

  • They do have 360 view available for some West Elm couches, but this feature was also broken when I tried to use it on some of their couch options.

Shipping & Lead Times Rating: 84%

West Elm’s lead times could be better than they currently are. They’re not downright awful, but they’re also not competitive with brands in a similar price range. If you like their in-stock options then they can still be a good company to choose. But their Made to Order couch lead times are slower than average.

West Elm’s Made to Order Products:

  • It takes about 8-10 weeks to construct their made to order couches. This is the baseline and the timeline could be longer depending on the specific product. Check the product listing for exact info. I’ve seen some lead times as long as 14-16 weeks.

West Elm’s In Stock Items:

  • Their Quick Ship couches only take a few days to ship out from the warehouse. In some cases they can take up to 2 weeks or longer depending on availability. Make sure to check the product listing for a specific delivery timeframe.

West Elm’s Shipping Time:

  • Once shipped, the delivery timeline to your home is roughly 2-3 weeks.

Customer Focus Rating: 82%

Our goal at is to provide customers with the information they need to find the best couch for their home. We take customer satisfaction very seriously. So how does West Elm stack up to the competition when it comes to customer friendly resources and offerings? Truthfully, they could be much, much better in this regard.

West Elm’s Warranty:

  • I scoured West Elm’s website and I could not find any specific warranty information. That’s never a good sign. The best I could find is that they say they’ll try to replace or refund products that have manufacturer’s defects. But there’s no timeframe listed for this potential service and there’s no further information about how any of this is handled. This always makes me very wary.
  • A 3-year Allstate Protection Plan is available for $299.99 that covers accidents, spills, and incidentals. This is a nice option to have, though I’d like to see a legitimate West Elm warranty offering, too.

West Elm’s Return Options:

  • Quick Ship upholstery items can be returned within 7 days of receiving the order. Depending on the reason for return, customers may be responsible for return shipping and processing costs. These costs are not outlined, but we can extrapolate that they’ll be hundreds of dollars based on the shipping costs alone.
  • Another section of their Help Center states that Quick Ship upholstery items can be returned within 30 days for a full refund, though delivery fees are non-refundable. They also state that after 30 days they’ll only replace or refund products that have manufacturer’s defects. This is much better than the 7 days they mention elsewhere, but I’d recommend you decide about your return within 7 days just in case.
  • “Made to Order” items are NOT eligible for return. That includes any couch order where you chose a fabric option that wasn’t specifically listed as “Quick Ship.” Even then, some Quick Ship couches were labeled as “Made to Order” when I went to add them to my cart. So be extra vigilant when shopping.

West Elm’s Delivery Options & Costs:

Unlimited Flat Rate shipping is your only option for delivery. It’s a full, white glove delivery service that will bring the couch into your room of choice, perform all necessary assembly, and remove the packaging material. The price for their Unlimited Flat Rate shipping is established based on the distance from the warehouse to your home and the amount of items in your order. Here’s what you can generally expect from the pricing:

  • 0-50 miles = $279
  • 51-99 miles = $299
  • 100-199 miles = $379
  • 200+ miles = $429

West Elm’s Financing Options:

  • West Elm has partnered with Affirm to offer monthly financing plans starting at 0% APR. However, they do not specify the monthly repayment timelines available in their plans until you checkout.

Is Assembly Required?

  • No, West Elm’s unlimited flat rate shipping is a white glove service that performs any necessary assembly. These are fully-assembled pieces so the assembly process is generally just attaching legs or connecting sectional pieces together.

West Elm’s Customization Options:

  • Customizations are generally limited to your choice of fabric. A select few couches allow you to customize the depth and/or the cushion style (for example, multiple seats or a bench seat).

Does West Elm Offer Free Fabric Swatches?

  • Yes, you can order up to 15 fabric swatches for free. You can either add fabric swatches to your cart on individual couch product pages or you can order through their fabric swatch page.

Durability & Quality Rating: 88%

Durability is a major factor when it comes to purchasing a couch, especially when you’re ordering online. So do West Elm couches hold up over time? Their quality is on par with companies in a similar price range, but they’re not quite as premium as their website, branding, and style might lead you to believe.

West Elm’s Quality of Materials:

  • All of West Elm’s upholstery fabric options have at least a 40,000 double rub count, which is the baseline to be considered commercial grade. Many fabrics have a 50,000 double rub count. Several options have a 100,000 double rub count, which is excellent. Any fabric you select should be high quality, though I’d suggest aiming for 100,000 double rubs if you have kids or pets.
  • Their leather options run the full gamut in terms of quality. They have faux leather all the way up through full-grain leather. The majority of their offerings are top-grain leather, which is great for this price tier. They also have a huge range of leather options, which is a nice surprise for this type of company.
  • Seat cushions are generally high-density foam cores that are fiber-wrapped. For their couches with down cushioning, the down is 70% feather and 30% poly fiber blend in down-proof ticking. These are good options for this price range.
  • Sleeper sofas have a gel mattress that features a two-layer construction of high-density foam and gel-infused memory foam. This is a higher quality option than many other sofa beds in this price range.

West Elm’s Cleanability:

  • West Elm does a great job of detailing the specifics of their fabrics. Many of their fabrics are listed as machine washable and dry clean safe. Check your specific fabric for cleaning info. Overall, your West Elm fabric should be very cleanable.

West Elm’s Quality of Construction & Manufacturing Origin:

  • West Elm’s couches are constructed in China, Mexico, Vietnam, and Cambodia, though some say that they’re “Assembled in the USA.” They’ve clearly been very specific in their choice to use the word “assembled” here.
  • The majority of their couches have a high-gauge sinuous spring support system. This is good and what you would hope for in this price range. Certain collections use webbed seat supports, which are not as durable or long lasting. However, in some cases the cushion material and style dictates the support system used, so webbed strap supports are sometimes necessary for specific couches.
  • Most couch frames have solid wood and engineered wood frames. In many cases the wood is also kiln-dried for added strength. This is also good and expected for the price. But I’d also expect every single frame to have kiln-dried wood, not just a select number.
  • I couldn’t find any specific information about the actual frame and joint construction. However, many of West Elm’s couches are considered contract grade. That’s a promising sign for the strength and integrity of the construction process. But imported couches have a tendency to not feature exceptional frame construction practices. So I remain hesitant about the quality of the frames.

Brand Vibe Check Rating: 93%

Vibing with a brand is important. Brands can also promote certain lifestyles and sustainability goals. That’s why it’s my goal to help you find a company and brand that you vibe with so that you’re as comfortable with your new couch as you are on your new couch.

West Elm’s Key Differentiators & Unique Facts:

  • West Elm is owned and operated under the umbrella of Williams-Sonoma, who also own Pottery Barn. You’ll certainly notice similarities between the Pottery Barn and West Elm brands and offerings.
  • West Elm launched in 2002 and opened its first store in 2003. But what makes West Elm special is that, in 2013, they agreed to invest $35 million on hand made goods from the US and overseas as part of a collaboration with the Clinton Global Initiative. They’ve since expanded their Fair Trade program and it’s become a core component of their identity.

West Elm’s Sustainability:

On their sustainability goals, West Elm president Alex Bellos says, “We’re also built on a foundation of conscious retail, whether that’s in our factories abroad or how we work with our artisans here. We want to help small businesses grow their business and also to drive career success for our own employees.” Let’s take a look at how those goals are being implemented.

  • West Elm’s website boasts that they’re, “the most sustainable home furnishings retailer—the only home retailer on Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies list for the past four years.” This is an impressive achievement and one they can back up with specific information. I’ve listed a few noteworthy examples below, but be sure to check out their sustainability page for a full breakdown.
  • 52% of their wood is sustainably sourced from FSC-certified forests.
  • 66 million plastic bottles are kept out of landfills by using REPREVE recycled polyester.
  • “We are committed to reaching and maintaining 100% responsibly sourced cotton. We define responsibly sourced cotton as GOTS-certified, OCS-certified, Better Cotton or recycled cotton.” They saved 2.3 billion liters of water in 2019 alone by sourcing organic cotton (that’s 607.6 million gallons for us Americans).
  • They were the first-ever home retailer to join Fair Trade USA, ensuring workers fair wages, healthy working conditions and community development.
  • West Elm also provides a Responsible Retail Glossary so that you can better understand all of the sustainable/eco-friendly icons they use throughout their site. This is a fantastic page that really shows how much effort they’ve put into this sector.

West Elm’s Overall Brand Presentation:

  • West Elm really feels like it’s part of the Williams-Sonoma family, which is a good thing. I like to think of West Elm as Pottery Barn’s kid sister. West Elm has the same high-end style, but in a lower, more palatable price range. The benefit of this is that West Elm gets to look a lot like Pottery Barn and take advantage of the same retail network. But where West Elm shines is in its sustainable mission. If there’s any way to differentiate yourself from an older sibling, this is the best way of doing it. Overall there’s a lot to like about West Elm and they present themselves incredibly well. It’s a polished, aspirational-yet-attainable brand.



  • Large selection of stylish sofas
  • In-stock couches ship quickly
  • Competitive pricing, especially on their leather options
  • 3rd party warranty option
  • Strong sustainability initiatives
  • Has brick-and-mortar locations


  • Couches are all imported
  • No standard warranty
  • Can't return made to order couches
  • 7 day return window may not apply even to In-Stock options
  • Shockingly low 1.1 star rating on TrustPilot

Still feeling couch curious...?

More Brand FAQs

What are West Elm’s top couches?

West Elm’s Signature Best Seller:

  • The Harmony Modular Collection (ranging from $800 – $9,500 depending on size), is an absolute crowd-pleaser. Sure, it’s a bit of a Restoration Hardware Cloud Couch dupe, but it’s available in far more fabrics and it’s much less expensive. It’s easy to see why this couch is so popular.

West Elm’s Couch That Intrigues Me The Most:

  • Dalton Motion Reclining Sofa (starting at $3,396). It’s rare to see modern, reclining couches that looks this good. I’m very intrigued by how comfortable it is and how the recliner mechanism impacts the overall aesthetic. This is definitely one I’m keeping my eye on.

West Elm’s Hidden Gem:

  • Laurent 2-Piece Bumper Sofa (starting at $2,098). I’m a bit of a sucker for an odd, rounded couch with chunky bouclé fabric. The Laurent fits the bill. It’s a fun piece that’s well-constructed and looks very chic.

How much do West Elm’s couches cost?

West Elm presents itself as a high-end, luxury brand similar to Crate & Barrel or Restoration Hardware. But their prices are decidedly mid-tier, which is great for customers who like high style but don’t like high prices. That’s not to say you can’t spend a ton of money at West Elm, but they have a great number of affordable options.

West Elm’s Average Range:

  • West Elm might be less expensive than you think. For standard 3-seater style sofas, the average range is about $1,500 – $2,500. Granted you can certainly spend more on their larger sectionals, but you can also find some absolute steals for around $1,000.

Most Expensive West Elm Couch:

Least Expensive West Elm Couch:

  • Oliver Sofa (starting at $649). This Mid-Century Modern charmer is unbelievably inexpensive given the quality and style.

Does West Elm have good reviews?

West Elm, like many other brands in this style space, does not feature any customer reviews on their website. This is a disappointing aspect of their online shopping experience and a true detriment to customers. This is in contrast to what West Elm’s president, Alex Bellos, says about the company’s focus: “The most important lesson I’ve learned is that with every decision you make, you have to think of the customer. You can be trying to make your sales goals, but at the end of the day, that’s not going to work if you’re not focused on solving a problem for your customer.” So is West Elm have its customers’ best interest at heart? Here’s a look at what people are saying in West Elm reviews.

Overall West Elm Reviews:

  • West Elm has very poor brand reviews from unaffiliated, 3rd party sources. West Elm has a 1.1 star rating on TrustPilot with 1,070 total reviews. 92% of those reviews are 1 star ratings. It’s not any better at the Better Business Bureau where West Elm has a 1.03 star rating with 744 customer reviews. This is a very bad sign.

Top West Elm Product Reviews:

  • West Elm does not have customer reviews on their product pages. In light of this, I will instead list a 5 star and a 1 star 3rd party review that each mention the same product.
  • West Elm 5 Star Review: “I ordered the Cooper Mid-Century Office Chair, Saddle Leather, Nut, Dark Bronze about 6 months ago. Great desk chair for daily work and it looks beautiful too. My favorite piece is the Austin Chestnut Leather chair and ottoman. Perfect for a reading room. So comfortable you can fall asleep in it.” – Ben M.
  • West Elm 1 Star Review: “My wife bought me a Cooper office chair less than four years ago as a 60th birthday gift. I started finding small ball bearings about the study and finally realised that they are falling out of the wheels. Now the bracket beneath the seat has failed, every weld and every joint has fractured. It seems impossible to take apart and West Elm say they do not supply any parts. A £675 chair is now a piece of scrap. No after sales service and no advice about repairing the chair. Would not go near them again.” – Graham

West Elm’s Customer Service Reviews:

  • West Elm’s customer service is very poor. Almost every 1 star review is extremely critical of West Elm’s customer service. Everything from poor problem resolution through lack of responsiveness is cited. This seems to be a major issue with the company.

What kind of style is West Elm furniture?

West Elm has a very standard, modern offering of couches. You’ll find modern, contemporary, coastal, and Mid-Century Modern options in their collection. There’s nothing necessarily groundbreaking here, but it is competitive with other high-end, luxury offerings. Though they also offer some unique, practical options, too.

West Elm’s Range of Couch Options:

  • West Elm has all varieties of couches from daybeds up through sectional sleeper sofas. Their specialty is standard sofas and sectional sofas, but they have all kinds of options for every kind of household.
  • West Elm also has a large number of storage couches and couches with storage chaises. This is a nice feature to have, especially for families or people who love a million blankets.
  • West Elm also has a good selection of reclining couches, which is rare for this style of company.

West Elm’s Range of Couch Styles:

  • West Elm’s bread and butter is modern and contemporary couches, but they also have a good number of Mid-Century Modern options to choose from. You’ll find some nice transitional and coastal options, as well. It’s a nice mix of options and is exactly what you’d hope to see from a modern retailer.

Does West Elm Have Other Products Besides Couches?

  • Yes, West Elm has a massive collection of furniture, decor, and housewares for the entire home.

What are some alternatives to West Elm?

West Elm has that high-end style with mid-tier prices. If you like the look but are still curious about their competitors after reading this West Elm review, here are some great alternatives to consider with a similar vibe: