sf_treat_gw

Lee Industries Sofa--worst ever furniture

sf_treat
12 years ago

I can use everyone's assistance in helping me solve my problem. We have had a Lee Industries sofa for one year, with Barbara Barry fabric on it. The whole thing was about $4K, I think. The ties have broken twice and it just seems like a very junky piece of furniture. I believe we have the receipt somewhere but maybe not. My kids are never on it, but the foam is ruined (it has down too) and it squeaks and twangs every time I get up from it. My husband and I do not sit next to each other while watching TV, because the middle seat is so uncomfortable. The store from where we purchased the sofa has gone out of business, but we did not buy it at a going out of business sale. Am I just out $4K, or how do I go about getting a refund, or partial at least? We are not wealthy and this is a big deal.

If I cannot do anything, I at least wanted to post my experience with their furniture so other are a bit cautious.

Thanks.

Comments (174)

  • HU-882595530

    Probably nothing. I am today tearing out the springs in my Cloud Nine cushions. I replaced Plush with Cloud. Both terrible. Putting in a quality foam with Dacron and feather/Down to simulate my former JM Paquette sofas The new “green” cushions are a Joke. Old Lee cushions were better about 5 years ago. Good luck. Do not buy Lee. You’ll be sorry

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    The spring fiber may hold up a little better since it's doesn't have any down. The only time I've had an issues with Cloud 9 was with a very large chaise cushion that couldn't be flipped. Many other high-end sofa companies only offer innerspring wrapped in down - it's a very popular choice and you should be happy with it. Keep in mind, with any cushions you need to make sure you fluff and rotate regularly.

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  • Katite Mackey

    Hi- Love the advice on sofa's in this string. I am looking for a comfy sectional for our basement. One arm needs to fit along a 111" wall and the other arm cannot be much more than 95" long. After scouring the Lee Industries sectionals I am considering the "5296-23RF cornering sofa" with the "5296-38LF one arm 3 cushion sofa". With a seat height of 18" and seat depth at 22" I hope this will be comfy for lounging and watching TV. I have made note of plush back and Cloud 9 seat options. I am wondering if I should consider requesting single bench cushion for each piece? This would be nice for sleep overs. I also wonder if anyone has advice on finding suitable ottomans to go with a sectional like this.

  • HU-798375599

    I looked at a Lee sleeper today but I thought the arm was a little flimsy and the 3 cushions which formed the bed weren’t flush. Also, why isn’t the fabric the same on the entire cushion and/or pillow? Has anyone seen this?

  • HU-882595530

    Wow. You can read this and still buy Lee Buy a Vanguard and save your money. Verellen is better. Look at Duke Sectionals.

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    Katite - A 22" seat depth is a good depth for sitting upright without feeling shallow. If you think you want a deeper seat, which may be more conducive for laying down and creating the "loungey" feel go for 23 or 24 inches. Even an inch difference of seat depth is noticeable.


    I'm not sure about the sleeper - what do you mean the fabrics aren't the same? Are you looking at the sleeper collection? Those are actually designed to come apart to fit through tight spaces, so the arms are separate pieces, maybe that's what you're noticing?


    I recognize there are some unsatisfied Lee customers, but there probably aren't very many upholstery companies with 100% satisfied customers (even Vanguard). I've sold a lot of Lee and I've had one person not happy with their piece, the majority are extremely happy.

  • HU-798375599

    The material isn’t the same throughout the sofa back and the pillows can’t be reversed for the same reason. It’s “meshy “.

  • Airillusion

    HU-798375599, where did you get your information on the pillows not being able to be reversed? If from experience, which style sofa, cushions and fabric did you order?


    I have one of the English roll arm loveseats (2452-02) and took the advice on here about getting the Cloud Nine seat cushions with down back cushions and a stiffer type of fabric (we got the Sag Harbour Mist which is grade V). We received it in early February and are very happy with it. With the style we got, all cushions are reversible.

  • HU-798375599

    I saw the differences myself when shopping for a sleeper sofa. I don‘t have the style info because the store I saw it in discounts furniture and all info isn’t available. I saw this in sofas and sleepers. Fabric not the same throughout. Cushion backs and behind cushions not consistent.

  • Airillusion

    A discount furniture store had Lee?! Are you sure the manufacturer was Lee Industries and maybe not some other company named Lee? Maybe they have a discount furniture line. I got mine through an interior designer who showed me samples at a design center. Even in the Denver area, there weren't any regular furniture stores (aside from Crate and Barrel) that carried Lee, only the design center and a interior decor store, but they didn't even have any on the floor.

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    I have an answer on the sleeper sofa cushions - the new Lee Sleeper Collection offers a solid surface with a foam mattress - it's a super comfortable sleeping surface. You are correct, the seat cushions are not reversible. They have a bit of a "shape" to compensate for how the mattress folds up into the frame to provide a level seating surface. The mesh material provides a little friction so that they don't slip as they sit on the mattress platform.

  • HU-798375599

    Thanks for the info. It was off putting until you told me. It’s not inexpensive and it appeared to cheapen the sofa.

  • sjoyce1

    Do not buy LEE!!!! We bought 2 Lee sofas from CAI Chicago. The below pictures are showing the sofas right after they were delivered! They delivered them in this condition! CAI Chicago has done nothing! We've been trying to return these for 3 weeks! Nothing! Lee says they can't do anything. Contact CAI Chicago. Besides the point that we ordered sofas with legs and the CAI Chicago salesperson ordered the sofas with skirts! Do not buy LEE!!!!



  • RLRMDR

    Thank you to the Stated Home for your invaluable input with regard to Lee Industries furniture. Today I visited a high end interior design company in my area who is having a sale on some of their floor samples. I saw two Lee Industries swivel chairs (Style 1931-01SW) covered in a Grade U fabric that I was considering purchasing. However the cushions say they are the "Haven Package", and it appears that these cushions may not hold up well based on what I've been reading in this thread. I also saw a slipcovered sofa (Style C3293-03) with Standard Natural Lee cushions covered in a Grade K fabric, and now wonder if I should continue my search since this sofa and chairs will get a good deal of use in our home. Even with the sale prices, this is still a several thousand dollar purchase, and we are not in a position to replace furniture every couple of years, so I'd like whatever I end up buying now to last. I would greatly appreciate your advice in this regard. Thank you again.

  • sjoyce1

    Absolutely do not buy the Lee products. You will not be happy with the quality. They do not stand by their products. Once you buy, it’s your problem even if shoddy quality.

  • HU-798375599

    I thank you both. I keep looking at a Lee sofa bed, but I won’t buy it.

  • Mary Hales

    Has anyone used the new Lee performance 100% linen called Sahara? I am looking at that and also Revolution fabrics (Macarena wheat) but having a terrible time deciding. I have four kids and want something that won't get ruined and won't pill. Anyone with any real time experience with these fabrics?

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    RLRMDR - The haven cushions are very comfortable and can hold up well, they just need frequent rotating and fluffing. I think on chairs it will be less of an issue because the chair arms tend to help hold the shape of the cushions - but they will flatten out some. NaturalLee is a great cushion fill - just flip every couple weeks and you should be fine. Also keep in mind that if down the line you don't like the cushions, you can just purchase new cushion inserts of whatever type you want and it will perk your furniture up without the cost of buying new.

  • Anne Duke

    After looking at new fabric furniture, we’ve decided to reupholster our 25 year old (yikes) Lee sofa. It’s faded in sections due to sun, but other than that it’s in mint condition. We’re probably ditching the chair because it’s oversized, but it too is in excellent condition. I’m sad to hear that their furniture has gone downhill.

  • rhonda hoffman

    This thread is so concerning!! I purchased a custom sofa 1935 from a trusted retailer (whom I love and do not fault). I moved out of state immediately after purchasing so now afraid I have to deal with this on my own. I ordered the sofa in Crypton Drake Latte with cloud 9 package and paid $6K for the sofa. Like many others, it doesn't get a lot of use b/c there are just 2 of us. I'm awaiting a response on what to do. Compounding all of this is the fact that my husband is not a fan and thinks the sofa is hot and horribly uncomfortable...





  • sjoyce1

    Rhonda, please let us know what response you get from Lee. They would not help us at all.

  • fishinatutu

    I’ve sold Lee for 20 years, I have friends that have sofas for over 20+ years and recovered them over and over. Their customer service is top notch. If your castors are digging into your floor- do you have soft wood, or pine floors- anything will dig into those floors. Just because it is wood does not mean it will hold up like steel- steel cars scratch too. A relaxed looking sofa with hand washed fabric is super soft, and down cushions will be super soft, but that soft look will be relaxed and to some look sloppy. Your salesperson did a bad job of not getting to know you, what makes you happy and what sets you off. Custom furniture takes work, time and no it is not cheap. This is a southern company that has impeccable customer service and manners. Be patient, document who you talked to, when you talked to them, they work with hundreds of people everyday, making replacements for great pieces. If your not happy because your salesperson did take time with you and didn’t ask what you like I’m sorry, truly, there are a lot of people just working for money and not making clients truly happy. Lee will repair, but it costs money, if it’s new and there are craftsmanship issues out of the initial receiving they will work to make it right. If you wait to discuss you pay. 30-90 days is Truly a realistic expectation. Be patient, and let them work their magic, they are fabulous!!!!! I could tell you 50+ great stories of their work.

  • HU-882595530

    (828) 464-8318 Liz Van Horn did return call. Took a couple weeks. She researched issue and talked to retailer. We did manage to get reduced restocking fee from 35% to 10.

    So not bad in end but only due to retailer with integrity. Lee refused to help even though their were defects. We are purchasing a Cornerstone Sectional. Less money due to substantial discounts from our designer. Think this is the one.

    My previous comments stand though, Lee has changed, stopped making some cushion options, quality has diminished. Good luck everyone.

  • ckbucks41

    So sad. The quality has gone downhill. Cut and paste comments on this thread to validate your problems. Send to the company and cc to the BBB

  • HU-882595530

    Good on you. We suffered for months Retailer was kind and compassionate even though we customized our sofa dimensions. Nice enough sofa if it was half the price Then it would become a throwaway piece

  • clt3

    Just an FYI, my casters were not digging into my floor, they were digging into the wood of the bottom section of the chair. No washers, no lock nuts, nothing. As they spun around, as casters do, they were gouging out the wood! It is simply a bad design. I have since purchased 28 new casters at my own expense and mounted each of them with 4 screws instead of the single post on the original model. Do they look great? No. But they are covered by the skirt of the skirt. Simply bad design and engineering.

  • Amanda Foshee

    Thanks to this thread, I opted against purchasing a Lee Sectional. We went with a MT (miles talbott) 1100 series sectional and are very pleased with the end product. I appreciate everyone’s feedback & hope all issues are quickly resolved.

  • Airillusion

    Sounds like most people having problems ordered their sofa through a retailer. I ordered mine through an interior designer at the beginning of this year and couldn't be happier. I'm a very picky customer so am usually disappointed with a purchase. This one I am not.

  • sjoyce1

    We purchased through designer and it was a nightmare. Lee didnt stand by their product. The CAI showroom at Chicago merchandise mart didn’t stand by their product and our designer said there was nothing she could do. And we purchased 2 matching sofas.

  • StephanieM

    I am also unhappy with the three Lee Industries chairs we purchased about a year ago. Most of my issues are with the fabrics. The largest armchair had fabric which seemed to soil from the outset. It was supposed to be a mint colored fabric with a print but it looks brownish. It looks absolutely terrible & embarrassing. The other two chairs have also soiled terribly over the past year. When they were first delivered I talked to the furniture store about the fabric and they kind of blew me off. My chairs look extremely worn and dirty after one year. When I compare them to much less expensive sofas and chairs that I own, there is literally no comparison. The largest of the Lee Industries chairs is also overly stuffed, feels cheap, and is uncomfortable:(

  • sundaysun

    I'm really disappointed to read this! I was about to order a new customized Lee sofa to replace the one I've had for over twenty years and had recovered twice. One of the best home purchases I've ever made,an on-sale floor model! My daughter romped all over it, my husband slept on it for five years (don't ask and yes, we're divorced now.) And it's still in such fantastic shape I feel guilty switching it for one that better fits my new living room. But so many complaints make me think that the quality must have plummeted with change in ownership. Now what?

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    Sundaysun - don't get too discouraged, there are more happy Lee customers then those with terrible experiences. I have been selling Lee for years with 99% happy customers. I agree that some of the complaints on this thread are valid, but some of the issues are with the retailers who should be doing everything in their power to make their customer happy and seem to not want to bother. Any issue I've ever had with a Lee piece they have worked with me to remedy the situation. I believe they still make a good product and would recommend them 100%. Just make sure your retailer knows your needs and can recommend the right fabric and cushions.

  • Mary Warram

    I agree...I bought through my interior designer. We have a sofa and an apartment sofa #2375-03 and 2375-11. Unfortunately I purchased the wrong cushions for our lifestyle. We have a dog and a child who both loved

    sitting/laying on top of back cushions. They are now so mushed no amount of fluffing will help. As for the sofa itself, I feel it is good quality but wish I had ordered different cushions. Started reading this thread because I am ready to change out my slipcovers, looks like I may have to order new cushions too. Our sofa is approx. 5 years old. Thankfully our child is older now and sits the right way on the couch...the dog, well that is another story ;-)

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    If you just need new back cushions they shouldn't be too expensive. The main issue is with shipping and I find if a local retailer can order them and add it on to something else they are getting shipped it shouldn't be too much. Go with the NaturalLee, they hold their shape the best - it sounds like you have down, which are super soft and cozy, but certainly high maintenance.

  • b. wise

    Well, I would point out they're no longer a family business and were purchased by a PRIVATE EQUITY firm in 2016. "Here’s the quote from a charlotte NC newspaper “Lee Industries of Catawba County has a new owner: American Leather Holdings of Texas. Furniture Today says American Leather in bought the upscale furniture maker based in Conover on Sept. 28 in a deal engineered by private equity firm Capital Partners Inc., which owns American Leather.”


  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    Yes, they were purchased by American Leather, another great furniture company that has actually resulted in a lot of improvements. Even though it is no longer family owned, it is family run - the same members of the family are very much involved with the company.

  • sjoyce1

    Too bad the family members do not stand by their products. It is disgraceful.

  • PRO
    Guild Hall Home Furnishings

    Lee Industries is one of the best upholstery lines I sell. I have carried it for almost 30 years and have the fewest problems of any line. I also have it in my own home. I have noticed no decline in the quality and have not heard they were sold to American Leather. I find it to be a wonderful company and a great and consistent product. You can buy with confidence.

  • Sherry Cohen

    Thank you for all of the posts on this thread regarding LEE. I was getting ready to put out 12,000 on various Lee upholstered pieces. I CANCELLED everything immediately after reading all of these HORROR STORIES. NOONE should have to deal with a manufacturer who does not have the integrity to stand behind their products. I have purchased Lee Inds products in the past but looks like the past is over for Lee and the current management has different ideas about how to treat consumers. There are plenty of other manufacturers out there. I do not intend to pay for trouble.

  • HU-798375599

    I find it hard to find well made comfortable furniture for less than hefty prices. I think $5000 + $225 delivery excessive for a sleeper sofa. Lee’s was made without fabric on the pillow backs or cushion backs. it was not the $5000 one but for heaven’s sake, how about using fabric everywhere. I ended up with a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sleeper for $3000+ that came stained and skimpily padded. Now another 8 week wait for my special order. Fingers crossed for the quality on the next one. I’m ready to lose my $800 special order deposit to start the search again. Depressing all the way around. Good luck to all

  • Susan Davis

    What brand besides a Vanguard do you recommend? I need large deep sectional ( tall family). I too was going to go with a Lee model with that new performance fabric. I want comfort and it to last! I can’t afford to reduce every other year. I like to get something to last plus 2 over sized swivel chairs. Please help! Is Lane better?

  • elkirk55

    I have two ten year old Lee slipcovered sofas I feel they have really only had light use as they are at my cottage . The quality is very poor . Unfortunately the material does not hold its colour so if you have a mark on one cushion you have to wash all of them or the colour will not match . Cushions are sagging and when you call the company there is no help. I would stay away from Lee furniture !

  • Linda HH

    I own a Lee custom sectional I bought in 2007, and it is very comfortable, and is in great shape. I used a beautiful custom mohair fabric in deep teal, which was upholstered using good craftmanship. The back cushions are down wrapped (foam?) and have an unstructured look, something I wanted instead of something formal. I do fluff the cushions after use, and when I clean up my house. The only cushion problem has been from my small dog perching on the top of the same one every time she hangs out in that room. I did hear about the change in ownership and the decline in quality, which worries me, so I will not risk ordering another oversized sectional for a new home, only to be disappointed. Instead, I will be purchasing another customer configured sectional from Century, which was suggested as a replacement for Lee. I hope Century's upholstered products are of time tested quality, because the couch will be expensive and well used. Has anyone made that same choice?

  • meaghanfschmidt

    @Airillusion - do you have a picture of your Sag Harbor Mist couch? I may order a sectional and looking to see how the fabric will look on a larger scale item


  • Airillusion

    @meaghanfschmidt - here is a picture I snapped just now. I got it on a loveseat. I got the Cloud 9 package which means the back cushions are down so they do need the weekly fluffing, which I honestly don't mind. I also flip my cushions weekly (most of the time) but we have had this loveseat for one week shy of a year. We have had quite a few spills on it (soy sauce, chocolate, soda) and it has all come up. I fill a spray bottle with water and a dash of clear liquid dish soap, spray that mixture on the sofa, then blot with a towel and it has all come up. I also feel like the fabric doesn't attract dog hair as much as other fabrics. My dog has mostly white hair so it would blend in but when I'm wearing black pants and sit down on the sofa, I don't get up with extra dog hair on me.


    Even though I flip the cushions weekly and fluff the back cushions weekly, I still don't find them to be too out of shape by the end of the week. I feel like the fabric is stiff enough to keep them mostly in shape, with just a small molding of where our backs meet the cushion.


  • meaghanfschmidt

    THANK YOU!!!! very pretty @Airillusion. Going back and forth between this fabric and a Cypton Pendelton Stone (lighter gray with Herringbone). I noticed alot of back and forth in this thread on the discussion of what the back pillows vs. seat cushions are filled with. I was just going with the standard. Is that any issue? Keep in mind I am getting a sectional and have 3 kids (8, 5, 3) and no dog yet:)

  • Airillusion

    Honestly, I'm not really sure what the standard is like. We looked at the Cloud 9 package and the Natural Lee cushions. The Natural Lee cushions would have been less maintenance from the sounds of it. Are you going through a designer? If you trust him/her, you might want to go with his/her suggestion.


    I was deciding between the Sag Harbor Mist and a Crypton one as well. Not sure which one but it was a darker gray herringbone pattern so it might be the same one. I ended up ordering the swatches on the Lee website and putting them both through intense testing (staining them with blood, food items, mud, etc. then cleaning them off). Both cleaned off excellently. I thought the Sag Harbor Mist was prettier and the weave looked tighter, while the Crypton seemed a little slubby, which I thought my dog's claws might catch on (though she is not allowed on the couch, she does a lot of things with her paws and so sometimes her paw swipes the couch). So far she hasn't damaged the Sag Harbor Mist material.

  • PRO
    The Stated Home

    I recommend the Cloud 9 - though they are wrapped in down, the innerspring core helps them keep their shape. The Haven (foam core wrapped in down) are the cushions that tend to flatten out and need a lot of maintenance. The Cloud 9 is my most popular cushion. The Natural Lee (standard cushion) is a good cushion and will feel a little softer, but I like the innerspring core for longevity. Lee offers a Cloud 9 "package" which comes with down back cushions, but you don't have to get the "package" and can get either the Natural Lee fiber back cushions (least amount of maintenance) OR the Plush (Down-Alternative) back cushions (as the Plush 9 package, this will give you some softness similar to down, but with less fluffing). As for the fabrics, the Crypton will have the added stain resistance so may end up being a little easier to clean then the Sag Harbor (though I do love that fabric too).

  • Airillusion

    I honestly woke up this morning to dried sausage juice stains on my Sag Harbor Mist loveseat and they came up right up. I used a a spray bottle of water with a squirt of clear dish soap and blotted with a paper towel. So the Sag Harbor Mist is doing pretty well with clean up. I've cleaned chocolate stains on it that were not fresh either. Just be liberal with the water/dish soap and gentle with the blotting.


  • HU-773394016

    I actually work at Lee industries as a cutter. I have 30 years experience in the furniture mfg business, and with 90% of most businesses, ownership changes hands. As these changes happen, this could also changes warranties, fabrics, customer service, etc.

    As a cutter, I pride myself in my expert skill, when it comes to my craftsmanship.. And, it is a skilled craft. With custom furniture, it takes time. Order entry, printing tickets, quality checking to make sure ticket info is exactly correct, the fabric may have to be ordered, or, it may be on back order. The fabric then needs to be inspected and checked for shading. When it hits the cutters table, we make sure to take great care when cutting your beautiful piece, checking again for flaws, defects, etc. please note that linens, such as Sahara, farrow, salt washed Belgian, France, and triple washed fabrics will ALWAYS have slubs as this is the nature of this fabric. The piece then moves on to the sewer.

    If your furniture arrives in your home with character flaws, please know that the piece has been inspected by the minimum of 8 different people at various levels of the piece coming together.

    We truly are a high end, custom furniture company.

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