Koala Modern Sofa Review: Modular design reigns supreme moving forward

Modern thinking has long aligned furniture and home design with wellness, and with work-from-home becoming a better established approach to daily life it’s important to look at the ways we can design our spaces to better complement stress reduction, mindfulness, and an overall feeling of wellbeing. Koala slots into that mentality nicely, seeing as it blends convenience with seamless home design… just in case you were wondering if our infant health & wellness section has suddenly turned into a furniture review section for no good reason.

It would be cliché by now to call Koala more than just a mattress brand. Over the past few years, the Australian brand has gone far beyond the mattress in a box phase that made them so wildly popular to begin with. Now, Koala is a full-blown furniture powerhouse, from work desks to sofas, all with that extra convenience of delivery and generous trial periods helping bolster the brand.

Last year, Koala dropped several new sofas to up their already solid presence in the lounge room: the Compact Sofa, the Timber Armchair, The Coastal Sofa, and this incredibly stylish Modern Sofa. Same-day delivery is 4 hours for metro areas, trial periods are 120 nights, and the prices are reasonable considering the premium and sustainable materials used.

Most importantly, Koala take the same in-the-box approach to their furniture, meaning that instead of showroom as-is delivery, the furniture comes in a bunch of boxes. You simply construct the modular design, and the Modern Sofa fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Slotting one piece into that, pushing them together, re-arranging them at will. The convenience is supreme, making Koala couches a no-brainer for those who prefer apartment-living or are moving from place to place constantly. No tools were needed to put it together, just a bunch of slotting backs onto bases. The simplicity means the sofa can be completely constructed in just under an hour (I timed it – unboxing took the longest).

Design

Available in two colourways – Arvo Storm or Hawky – the Modern Sofa is a customisable 3-seater or 4.5-seater. The minimal design mirrors pretty much all of Koala’s output to date, wisely leaning towards a neutral aesthetic to fit a larger variety of home designs. I have the Arvo Storm designed in an L-shape, which is mismatched with the rest of the furniture in my lounge room but still manages to look like it fits naturally.

The interchangeable module sofa pieces can be linked using small metal hooks on each piece, broken apart and put back together in a traditional U shape, or an L shape with an attached chaise.

Koala has a reputation for environmentally friendly and progressive use of materials, and the Modern Sofa is no exception. The wood made to use the sofa is certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards, sourced from responsibly managed forests. The seat cushions use of a CertiPUR-US certified polyurethane foam support layer combined with a polyurethane foam comfort layer and a wrap of polyester wadding layer. You can easily tell the exceptional build quality as soon as you sit down.

The Modern Sofa is firmer than I would have expected (and liked) but there’s still a nice bounce to the cushions, maintaining a comfortable feel to either sit or lay on. Due to the materials used, it’s also incredibly easy to clean and maintain. I replaced a down sofa with this, so not having to constantly fluff cushions up – no matter how softer they were – is very welcome. The only issue I can see people having is if they expect a deeper texture that they could sink into; the Modern Sofa is nothing like that, preferring soft and supportive over plush. This makes it much more ergonomic for those mid-afternoon naps.

The cover is held onto the sofa with velcro, so it can easily be removed and repositioned in need be. Although two months in, I haven’t had to this once.

The solid beech legs sit quite low, so the sofa has a lower profile than I’m used too. Moving the sofa around briefly on timber flooring had no negative effect.

Verdict & Value

You’re looking at $1,900 for a 4.5 seater and $1,450 for a 3-seater. As forward-thinking and modern Koala are, the premium they charge is still quite steep. Although considering a reasonable budget for a sofa would be somewhere around $1,000 – $1,500 anyway, it’s well worth saving for a few more weeks and going for something that is both super convenient and charmingly modular, and sustainable with a smart use of premium materials. Koala’s mattresses clearly aren’t the only big tick in the brand’s favour, and as they move further into furniture, one can’t help but think we’ve seen the end of stressful showroom-hopping for good.

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Product supplied by Koala for review.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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