I Sat on (Almost) Every Sixpenny Sofa—Here’s Which One I Picked
Published Mar 31, 2023 12:23 PM
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Modern-day sofa shopping is really a bunch of guesswork. If you’re intrigued by any of the buzzy startup brands in the field (who isn’t?), you’re typically committing to buying something online, without a chance to experience it in person until it’s at your front door. So when I was invited to the Sixpenny Loft in Brooklyn, currently open only to the trade, I jumped at the chance to try every sofa in the brand’s lineup. (Or, I should say, almost every one—the Esmé, Devyn, and Amelia styles weren’t present that day.) It’s my job, but also I was in the process of moving to New Jersey, where I’d need to upgrade my seating situation. Win-win.
Ultimately, the Gabriel came out on top, and my husband and I have had the four-piece chaise sectional for just about a month. Although we had to wait 12 weeks for its arrival, the actual white-glove delivery ($100) took mere minutes. The crew unwrapped each segment outside, then slotted them together in the room of my choosing; they even double-checked that I was happy with the placement at the end. What do my husband and I think of it after a longer test-run? Read on for my review of our pick—and what I thought of all the other options—below.
Our Pick: The Gabriel Sofa
Comfort: Sixpenny describes the Gabriel as having an “unexpectedly squishy plop,” which I couldn’t have said better myself. Its main selling point for me and my husband was that level of comfort combined with a narrower seat that better fit my pass-through living room than, say, the Neva. That remains true even a month in. However, the shorter depth and lower back does encourage sitting more upright (versus in a full-on sprawl)…maybe it’ll help my posture?
We’ve found the cushions in general to be on the bouncier side, which I attribute to choosing the poly fill over the classic feather down (allergies!). They’ve taken a minute to break in, but I can happily report we’ve watched many consecutive episodes of BBC’s Planet Earth since then without complaint.
Looks: The Gabriel’s lumbar cushions and corner splits in the skirting give it a country-chic vibe, but Sixpenny’s low-key cotton and linen upholstery fabrics—I chose the nubby washed cotton linen in Dried Lavender—chill it out just enough.
The Other Contenders
The Aria Sofa
Comfort: Not too hard, not too soft. With the Aria’s armless frame, matching lumbar pillows, and tight-fitting upholstery on the base, you get a little more structure and style than the über-comfortable Neva, but without sacrificing cushiness or seat depth (a generous 36 inches).
Looks: Simplicity rules here. This is one of those sofas that goes with anything. One notable difference is the seat: The Aria has multiple individual cushions instead of a single long one. And you’ll want to consider the size of your space before choosing the Aria; this option isn’t conducive to tight quarters.
The Gio Sofa
Comfort: I’d call the Gio one of the most formal styles in the collection, but surprisingly, the cushions have a nice amount of give. As a tall gal, I appreciated the high, supportive back. But given there are no side pillows to soften the turned-wood arms, this isn’t seating you’ll want to get horizontal on.
Looks: All the little details—the ridges, the tapered legs, the rounded corners—dress up the more casual cushions, making the Gio a good choice for a space you’re trying to elevate. It’s also the Sixpenny sofa with an exposed wood frame.
The Loula Sofa
Comfort: The Loula might look like a grown-up twist on a beanbag, but I found it to be on the firmer side. Like the Gio, this is a statement sofa versus a lounge-all-day one. My favorite part: The high, curved sides surround you like a snug cocoon.
Looks: This sofa is not meant to blend in. The Loula’s dramatically drapey side and back cushions give it major presence—literally and figuratively (at its widest point, the seat is even deeper than the very roomy Neva). Which is probably why I didn’t blink an eye seeing it upholstered entirely in recycled faux fur (!) in the showroom.
The Neva Sofa
Comfort: If you’re in the market for a sofa that envelops you like a big, fluffy cloud, the best-selling Neva is it. However, like the Aria, you’ll need a good amount of space for this guy—the 35-inch-deep seats are optimal for curling up to watch Bravo, but not so much for apartment living. Length factors in too when you get into sectional land: The four-piece Neva is 24 inches longer than the equivalent Gabriel.
Looks: The Neva’s slim arms and sharp trim are welcome counterparts to its puffiness. Speaking of, it requires some maintenance; the cushions are so malleable, they show every indent. You’ll need to give them a good fluff every now and then.
The Olea Sofa
Comfort: You’ll sink right into this sofa, in a good way—it rivals the Aria in comfort. However, the loose cushions and lower back aren’t as forgiving, and I missed having arms to lean on.
Looks: The Olea’s coin-shaped cushions act as both backrest and decor, so no need to add throw pillows into the mix. Like the Neva, they’ll need frequent fluffing. Not a fan of traditional skirting? The fabric sits flush with the base, enhancing its contemporary curves.
The Ziki Sofa
Comfort: I tested out a dining chair at the showroom, which revealed Ziki to be one of the firmer styles I sat on, but take my experience with a grain of salt. The construction is different for the sofa, specifically the depth, overall shape, and width. You won’t fall asleep on it anytime soon, though—more likely, you’d use it to entertain friends for hours. Hosts with the most, you’ve met your match.
Looks: What you might lose out in comfort, you gain in appearance. With a single bench cushion—that’s it!—all eyes are on the Ziki’s sloped, minimalist profile. The subtly flared skirting keeps the clean lines from being too severe.
This article originally stated that the Gabriel’s arms are sloped (they are, in fact, straight) and did not previously mention that the author tested the Ziki dining chair, not the sofa. We corrected these statements on April 5.