simple is beautiful

The Ektorp | Three Years Later

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's been years since I posted about our Ektorp sofa, over three years actually, and yet this seems to be one of the most frequently "googled" reasons that readers find their way to this blog.  Three years ago when we bought our Ektorp we wanted an inexpensive sofa with clean lines and preferred something washable.  We were a family of four (two active boys) plus a dog (who doesn't get on the furniture, but still) with a budget of around $500 the Ektorp seemed like the perfect scenario.  So we bought it.

When we purchased our sofa, it came with a white slip cover.  I usually use it spring-late summer then switch to the Svanby Beige (which I don't think they carry now?).  I like both slip covers equally and really could not choose a favorite.  The white is lovely and fresh for spring/summer and the beige has a little more texture and the warmer color is nice for cozier months.

Let's start with the Ektorp in general.  On any given day (at least before college started) our family room looked like this.  Our son and his 6'+ friends like to hang out here.  (I love this, BTW.)  Even though the Ektorp isn't marketed for larger people, you can see that they all appear to be pretty comfortable, right?

Let's talk about cleanliness, shall we?  If you have a sofa that does not have slip covers, this is not meant to make you feel dirty.  It is simply to demonstrate how gross humans are.  All of us.  I took this picture after a certain family member mowed the yard then sat down on the sofa.  Some would say that they do not want a sofa that shows dirt.  They make dark slip covers for those who prefer not to see it.  I say show me the dirt because I want to clean it. Luckily this dirt was easy to wipe off, but sometimes we have spills and general yuck after about 6 weeks of use so I throw the slip cover in the wash and in a matter of hours we have what seems like new furniture.  To me this is invaluable!  Tip: Wash slip cover in one load, then cushion covers in the next load.  It is just easier and it gives the slip cover a chance to dry if you remove it from the dryer while it is still damp (which I recommend).  If you do this you will avoid having to iron.  Another tip:  Do not let the hot iron touch the non-woven fabric on the slip cover.  It will melt :).

(the looks she gave me Halloween night when the kiddos kept knocking on the door)

Pets on furniture.  Mattie Gray is not allowed on the furniture, but she is usually as close to us as she can possibly be which means that she might rub against the sofa.  Again, machine washable speaks to me. I tried washing the Svanby Beige slip after reading this post.  It worked just fine.

Here is a close-up of the Svanby Beige.  It has a more pronounced twill pattern than the white slip does and the color is warmer for fall/winter.

Storing the extra slip cover.  I was worried about where I would store the additional slip cover when I bought it, but then thought about a space saver bag.  I found this extra large one at Bed, Bath, & Beyond which is perfect.  It holds all the pieces and slips easily under our bed.  After your slip has been in storage you might need to iron it :(.

Would I change anything about the Ektorp?  The only thing I would change would be to have an option for one or two cushions across the bottom and back rather than three.  Something like this or this.  We will most likely give our Ektorp to the college student and upgrade eventually, but overall, my entire family loves this sofa!  No one paid us to say that.

And while we're on the topic of slip covers, have you ever heard of Bemz?  They make slip covers for most IKEA furniture with lots of patterns/colors to choose from.


  1. Good morning! I so enjoy your blog and seem to love each and every thing you do. If you're ever brainstorming for blog topics, I would love to see your favorite sources for inspiration, etc. (like the other day when you mentioned kitchen updates: where do you look for what you might like, what blogs do you like, etc.?). I'm also headed to Home Depot today hoping for a topiary! Also wanted to just mention--I'm guessing you mean "inexpensive" in your first paragraph about your sofa....Thanks for all your great ideas!

  2. Hi Alice, thank you for reading the blog and for leaving a thoughtful comment! I will be happy to put together a post on favorite sources of inspiration. Good luck finding a topiary today!

    P.S. Funny, Mr. proofread this post last night and found that same typo. I thought the correction was made...thanks!

  3. Hi Rene,
    We too have an Ektorp sofa and love it! After 8 years and 3 kiddos, it is still as good as new. People always say I'm crazy when they see I have white sofas, but I throw those slipcovers in the wash and they are good as new and smell fresh too! Thanks for sharing the Benz source...that is new to me!! ~Rebecca

  4. Hi Rene', I found your blog a while back and enjoy reading here often. Thank you for this timely post on the Ektorp. My husband and I are heading down to Charlotte this sat. to buy two for our family room. I have researched them for a few months, but still had some doubts. Seeing your kids and friends on the sofa reaffirmed that it will work for our family. (I have a 6'4" son in love) I was just at Home Depot yesterday and forgot to look for a topiary! Another reason to go back. :) Thank you! Karen

  5. I always wondered how well they hold up! I have the Jennylund slipcovered chair in my office and I know what you mean about the ironing. I melted a bit of the cover underneath -oops! Love seeing the boys on the furniture! My house will be looking like that in a few years. I have two boys 8 and 10 - they grow up way too fast, don't they?...

  6. This was really helpful. I've always been curious about size of this sofa. My guys are 6'2 and 6'1 with big buddies too, and when I took my husband to sit on this one he thought it felt small. Although we had raised them with a giant sectional so I think they're all distorted. :)

  7. Thanks for writing this post. It was very helpful.

  8. Have you seen the new Stocksund sofa at Ikea? I've only seen it online, but it has two cushions and an english roll arm. Looks pretty!

    1. Yes! I like it overall, but would change the legs. Just seeing it on-line the legs look a little dinky to me.

  9. We love ours too, Rene. I haven't ever bought another cover, I usually warm up our white with fur throws and cozy pillows, (and now new pillows, can't wait to play with them, thanks!) but you have me thinking another cover would be fun for winter. :)

  10. We also have the Ektorp sofa and love it. It is going on 4 years now. I started out with the white slips then changed to the gray after we painted the t.v. room. My two boys live on it! ( as does our German Shorthair ugh!!) I would like to try the sleeper sofa next time since our guest room is now a weight. Any scoop on it?


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