Play couches are a versatile and fun addition to playrooms and family spaces. These modular pieces of furniture are designed to encourage creativity and imaginative play. While many play couch brands offer quality products and enjoyable play experiences, it's essential to be an informed consumer. Here are five things that some play couch brands might not be forthcoming about:
1. They can stay in the box for a while: Play couches can stay in their box for several months after going in them despite most brands saying to open them right away. This is for a few reasons. Play couches that are made overseas have already been in the box for months when they get to you so their 'time in the box' has been used up in transit. They want to handle potential warranty claims while they still have stock. They don't want you to keep it in their for a really long time and end up with a play couch that does not fully decompress.
2. Limited Versatility: A typical 4 piece play couch actually has very limited versatility. Most families end up needing to purchase more play couches or add-on shapes to end up with enough foam to make interesting builds. This will increase the overall amount spent on play couches as well as the extra space taken up in your home. It is usually better to invest in more pieces in a single play couch to start to have many more build options within the same footprint.
3. Permanent Wrinkles: Some play couch brands compress their couches with the fabric covers on for shipping. While this may seem convenient, it can result in permanent wrinkles in the fabric. Brands may not always disclose this, and parents might discover unsightly wrinkles when they unpack the play couch. To avoid this issue, look for brands that ship their covers separately or provide clear instructions on how to prevent fabric wrinkles during unboxing and setup. This way, your play couch will maintain its aesthetic appeal for longer periods.
4. Quality Varies Widely: Not all play couch brands prioritize quality. Some may cut corners in manufacturing, resulting in play couches that don't hold up well over time. These cheaper alternatives may use subpar foam and fabrics, which can lead to sagging, tearing, or discomfort. To ensure a durable and long-lasting play couch, it's essential to research and invest in a reputable brand. Look at the density used in the foam. A foam with a lower density, such as a 1.3, will sag after a year or so compared to foam that is higher and at least a 1.7. Look at reviews on their website and off their website. If they don't transparently state what foam ILD and density is used- ask!
5. Safety Standards Vary: Safety is paramount when it comes to children's furniture. Some play couch brands may not disclose whether their products meet recognized safety standards. This can include factors such as fire resistance, lead or heavy metals in the fabric or using CertiPur® Certified foam. In fact, play couches do not meet safety standards for children under 3 years old due to the foam being considered a small part, therefore a choking hazard.
In conclusion, while play couches can be a fantastic addition to your child's play area, it's essential to be an informed consumer. Research different brands, read reviews, and ask questions. By doing so, you can make an educated decision and select a play couch that aligns with your family's needs and values.