19 July 2013

IKEA Vrijdag: Manstad Bank/Sofa

IKEA Vrijdag is back from it's holiday! In honor of the feeling that sometimes you need a long nap after your vacation, today's review is the Manstad Slaapbank/Sleeper Sofa.

Manstad Slaapbank/Sleeper Sofa

In general, I am pleased with the Manstad as our sofa. The sofa itself seats 4 adults comfortably and features a roomy chaise lounge with storage underneath.

Storage area under the chaise lounge

The sofa is easy to open into a sleeper bed - the extra portion pulls out and pops up to make a bed big enough for two.

Manstad in sleeper-mode

Interestingly enough, it seems that IKEA is no longer producing the Manstad Slaapbank/Sleeper Sofa (or at least not this particular model), but this review by Apartment Therapy in 2009 provides some of the dimensions and the 2009 price listing in USD. Unfortunately, without the IKEA website, I have no idea what the materials are other than cotton for the covering fabric and particle board for the wood-ish base. I also assume acrylic paint and acrylic lacquer for the inside of the storage area and a poly-something-or-other-fiber fill for the cushions - these assumptions are based on my experiences of looking at IKEA's materials off their website.

The Manstad is a massive piece of furniture. At our local IKEA, it is kept in a separate warehouse used for the really big items, so we didn't see any bit of our sofa until it was delivered in its four separate boxes (five boxes if you count the little box of hardware in one of the larger boxes). Assembly is a two-person job because of the size of the individual pieces, and the process is much faster and less frustrating if you use a power drill rather than the tiny allen wrenches in the hardware kit. For such a large piece, the directions are actually fairly simple to follow - but give yourself at least 2 hours because of the number of pieces that have to go together, and possibly longer if you use the tiny allen wrench.

We recently opened up the sofa and tightened everything back up - IKEA recommends a "tightening" a few months after initial assembly and everyone in the house under 4 feet tall tends to jump on the back/arms, so our Manstad was due for a tune up - which also means that we have more technical pictures than usual. The arms of the sofa, the back of the main sitting piece, and the back of the chaise lounge are all separate and don't connect perfectly. There's nothing that directly connects the back piece to the arm piece - both are independently connected to the bench. As the couch ages/continues to be used as a trampoline by the Little Man, it may become necessary to perform some "creative surgery" to connect the two pieces to each other.

This is the bottom of the bench section, which is laying on the arm. To the left
of the photo is the back section. Mark's hand is showing how the back is just
lying on the arm without any connecting piece between the two.

There are also these goofy metal pins that connect between the two back pieces (the back of the main bench and the back of the chaise lounge) that just rest in holes between the two backs. I think they're meant as an additional support to keep the pieces together, and it's hard to tell how much support they actually provide. But as the pieces started to separate a bit before our tune up, we could see the pins through the space between the two backs.

The support pin.
The support pin holes.  

The storage area under the chaise lounge is great. I use it to store bedding and blankets for guests, but I also vacuum it out every couple of weeks. The opening connection between the chaise lounge and the bench allows Little Man's (and our) snack crumbs to fall through and Zappa and Sebastian's shedding to make its way into the storage. I clean it out regularly to avoid being disgusted later.

I'm also subject to a cat-inspection every time
I open up the storage area.

The fabric covering has been a bit disappointing. Because it's 100% cotton, IKEA's old website listing basically said in a taunting, sing-songy voice, "Haha! You can't clean this!" - or at least that's how I read it after the first major "incident" the couch suffered. Nevertheless, we have Little Man, so this couch has been the victim of all sorts of liquid spills and cleaned out of shear necessity, and the fabric has just not held up as well as I would have hoped. The coloring has already faded on the bench area due to the cleaning, and it seems that the arm of the chaise lounge (closest to the window) has already been discolored by the sun. There may come a time soon that I'll resort to finding/making some sort of slipcover.

Overall, we give the Manstad Slaapbank/Sleeper Sofa 3.5 Swedish meatballs on our 5 meatball scale. Points are deducted for the separation that occurs due to the lack of connecting pieces between the backs and arms of the sofa and for the lousy performance of the covering fabric.

Life in Dutch Rating of the Manstad Slaapbank/Sleeper Sofa:


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