Back in the day, if you asked me whether I would consider online retailers for furniture, my answer would be a resounding “no”. As the years go by, and as direct-to-consumer brands look more and more serious, I’m beginning to withdraw that statement.
Companies like Article, Joybird, Interior Define, and Apt2b, are making a strong case that there is no need for the hassle of going to the local interior store and painfully look for pieces for your new home for hours on end.
Furniture shopping is becoming more convenient, and it is really surprising to see that this isn’t a big deal for most, even though, in my opinion, it pretty much is.
If you’ve come across any of these four or you’re stuck on your quest of deciding which of these four is the best suited for you, then stick around as we go through each one, and compare them side-by-side!
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How Does It Work – Online Furniture Shopping?
Okay, so I’m guessing the first question on everyone’s mind is how does this all work? Do individual parts get shipped to you and the assembly is done DIY?
Well, no. All four furniture online retailers have some sort of setup and shipping service which can be opted-into and includes full delivery into your house, with unwrapping and full assembly of individual furniture pieces, should they require it, which in most cases, they do.
We’ll go over each brand’s offer and cost when it comes down to these delivery options.
Other than that, the experience is what you might expect from Article, Joybird, Interior Define, or Apt2b. Shop online, modify your piece to your liking (should that option be available), and wait for delivery time. Oh, and yes, delivery times vary quite a lot with each brand, as we’ll see in the side-by-side comparison below!
Article, Joybird, Interior Define & Apt2b – Side-By-Side Comparison
Alright, with those things out of the way, let’s get into the juicier details, or the things which are from utmost importance for consumers.
We compare them side-by-side on multiple variables which are relatively important, and also give some scores on basic practical variables. This is a comparison of Article, Joybird, Interior Define, and Apt2b:
|Article VS Joybird VS Interior Define VS Apt2b|
|Shipping Time / Delivery||N/A – Without a guaranteed delivery time||7 – 14 business days||8 – 12 weeks delivery time||5 – 10 day, BUT longer for custom furniture|
|Delivery Fee||Free on orders above $999 or $49 if not above||Up to $99 based on the cost of the furniture or order||$14 to $149 based on the cost of the furniture or order||Free|
|Manufacturing Time||Article doesn’t have a manufacturing time, because only in-stock items can be ordered.||4 – 8 weeks manufacturing time||10 weeks manufacturing time||Depending on the chosen item. Usually, around 2-3 weeks manufacturing time.|
|Is Custom Furniture Available?||No||No||Yes||No|
|Design||Minimalistic & Modern||Vintage & Comfort||Modern & Comfort||A bit of everything|
|Quality||Very Good 5/5||Good 4/5||Impressive 5/5||Impressive 5/5|
|Get new furniture today:|
When it comes down to practical aspects, Apt2b seems to have everything nailed. The delivery is free and the shipping time is only 5-10 days, granted, it is not a customized piece. However, if you’re looking for White Glove Room of Choice and assembly service, you’re looking at a $99 extra.
All things considered, very impressive by Apt2b. The others have similar delivery fees, with some better and some worse, but the biggest downside from all is Interior Define’s delivery time and the same could be said for Article which cannot provide a guaranteed delivery date.
Assembly & Delivery – Extra Fees
All four companies do offer some sort of delivery and assembly service. Granted, almost all of them will come at an extra cost.
Article’s in-room delivery and assembly service is available and can be opted-into on checkout. It seems though, that the prices vary quite a lot here, so it’s hard to say the rough ballpark of what you should expect in terms of pricing.
Joybird also has a White Glove assembly and delivery service that costs a bit extra. However, all things considered, you’d probably want to opt-in to this service, as it is very worth it.
The same goes for the other two, Interior Define and Apt2b. The service for in-home delivery and assembly by a team of specialists will set you back $149 with Interior Define. Apt2b’s delivery and assembly service will cost $99 no matter how many items you’ve ordered or have.
Article is the biggest online retailer for furniture out of the four, period. Bolstering an impressive track record of positive reviews, it seems like Article has done a lot of things right.
When it comes down to the furniture itself, it is pretty impressive. It does give customers the sense that Article was a furniture manufacturer before becoming a fully direct-to-consumer brand. All of this is to say that the furniture is of higher-tier quality and craftmanship. With that said, it isn’t the most affordable out of the bunch either.
Nevertheless, overall, there are things that Article does, which are so trivial, and yet so many other online furniture retailers are lacking. One is customer support, which Article has nailed, and that says a lot coming from a guy dealing with direct-to-consumer brands on a daily basis. Very impressive.
There are many counts where Article has responded to reviewers publicly, apologized, and gave the sense that they truly care. Some have been reimbursed and others have received some store credit.
What is worrying to me though, is the no-guarantee of a delivery date. That seems very unreasonable to me. There is no customized furniture as well, and to top it all off, items cannot be ordered and manufactured. Only the things which are in-stock can be ordered, which is somewhat of a bummer.
In terms of what are the positives and negatives for this company in short, here are its pros and cons:
- Exceptional quality
- Amazing craftmanship
- Caring customer support team
- A big repertoire of furniture
- No guarantee of delivery date
- Some customers have had questionable experiences with the delivery team
I wanted, for the life of me, to say that everything was perfect with Joybird, but it wasn’t. It’s a shame, because some of the sofas they had, I wanted for my own home.
But it became apparent with only one search, that the Joybird that everybody knew and loved wasn’t there anymore. While Article had an impeccable positive review rating, Joybird had the opposite. In fact, it was hard to find a positive customer review if I’m honest, apart from the ones on their own website.
What is unfortunate is the fact that the negative reviews have little to do with the actual craftmanship of the furniture. They are, for the most part, targeted towards to the appalling service. Whether it is a longer delivery, a failed attempt at reaching customer service, or receiving the wrong items, there is, for the most part, something that will go wrong with Joybird.
Like I said, it is truly unfortunate to see all of these things unfold with such a reputable brand.
What seems to be the case here though, in my opinion, Joybird places little to no effort when it comes to their online store. I suspect, it is a different story on their actual in-person store locations.
It is one of those cases where a brand’s focus is geared towards another aspect of the business, while the other is just there as a placeholder. Like I said before, they actually have good furniture, just an appalling service.
With all of that said, let’s review Joybird’s pros and cons:
- Good furniture
- Great finishes
- Impressive designs
- Bad service
- Appalling customer service
- Repetitive order mistakes
- Repetitive wrong delivery dates
Interior Define Review
Interior Define is another company which I adore. Mainly, the most impressive thing about Interior Define for me, is their sofas, which I’ve found to be exceptionally designed.
Interior Define isn’t as reputable as Article nor Joybird, but from what I can tell, it’s definitely on the rise, and in the future, I’m expecting big things from this brand. However, even though I fancy Interior Define, I’ll treat it like the others without any bias towards it.
Well, if we’re talking no bias, then let’s go over what I don’t like about the brand which is: manufacturing time and delivery time. Both of these are unbelievably long. From all four, they’re the longest.
But with those short times for delivery and manufacturing the others to tend to, *sometimes*, miss out on the delivery date. But it is true that Interior Define does have long wait times.
In any case, there are things which this company does really well, and that is: customizable furniture. Basically, you design your own furniture, which is definitely a plus compared to the other brands, which all lack this option.
I suspect their delivery time and manufacturing time reflects the customized furniture and not the one in stock, but I might be wrong. If it is the customized furniture, then I think both the manufacturing and delivery time are reasonable.
Interior Define, like the other brands in this review, has a few pros and cons:
- Customizable furniture
- Amazing craftmanship
- Lovely looking sofas
- Exceptional designs
- Reasonable delivery and assembly fee
- Longer delivery and manufacturing time
I have no other words to describe Apt2b’s experience except “phenomenal”. Everything, much like Article, is spot on. Plus, they have the shortest delivery period, albeit for non-custom furniture. When it comes down to custom furniture, it takes some time to manufacture.
On top of having the shortest delivery period, they also have a free delivery option, and the White Glove delivery which can be opted-into. But it is a flat fee- $99 no matter how many items you order from Apt2b.
But is there a catch here, like compromising on quality type of deal? Well, yes and no. While for some pieces they lack in craftsmanship compared to the others, especially Interior Define, they’re also at more affordable prices. It all depends on the individual piece you’re getting. Some are better than its competitors, and others are lacking in quality.
All things considered though, I think it is fair for Apt2b to be compared to the other three, since Apt2b is the more budget-friendly option, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I might be too harsh on the craftmanship, and it is true that I haven’t had quite a lot of Apt2b pieces to look at before reaching conclusion. All things considered, I think Apt2b is the best budget-friendly option in this review.
Let’s go over Apt2b’s pros and cons before digging a little deeper. Here are the pros and cons that Apt2b has:
- Great budget-friendly option
- Adequate quality
- Pleasurable shopping experience
- Great customer support
- Shortest delivery times
- Free delivery
- Some pieces don’t exactly have the “wow” factor that the other three brands have
To explore further some use-cases or reasons why some brand might be better for you individually, we like to do these head-to-head comparisons. It lets us make cases on why one brand makes more sense in certain cases, once we’ve exhausted all of the facts about the brand.
On Joybird – What’s Wrong?
Like we explored above, Joybird seems to be in a very questionable position at the moment. Now, I’m not a business expert, but it does seem like there is an underlying issue with the company, because I did see an overwhelming number of negative customer reviews.
That’s said, I’m not saying you should avoid it. But what I’m saying is: In my opinion, the possible hassles that might arise with Joybird aren’t worth it when there are options like Interior Define, Apt2b, or Article.
Article VS Interior Define VS Apt2b
Article is a very special brand, especially when it comes to craftmanship. You just know that a lot of thought and love has went into making that particular furniture piece. But is it better than Interior Define and Apt2b?
Well, I would argue that it comes down to what you are looking for. Whether it is customized furniture, speedy delivery, or craftmanship. Indeed, these are the things which differentiate these three brands.
Apt2b is already known for speedy delivery, and for being more budget-friendly. If those are the things you’re looking for, go with Apt2b, because it is the best value out of all three. But if you’re looking for custom furniture that you want to design and implement into your home, which has a really modern look, then Interior Define is what you’re looking for.
I would say Article is for those that are looking for some really unique furniture, or furniture which has exceptional craftsmanship. But there are red flags with Article, as we mentioned before.
All of this is to say that, it comes down to what you’re looking for. For example, I would consider either Apt2b or Interior Define, because those offer the things I’m looking for. But Article is special as well, definitely.
Final Verdict: Which Is The Best Furniture Brand? – Article VS Joybird VS Interior Define VS Apt2b
It’s hard to answer this question, and frankly, I avoided it. Reason is, each brand has pros and cons. Each online furniture retailer has places where they compromise or go all out.
Article remains to be the most well-known, and they definitely have some pretty sensible customer support team. As for the others, I really like what Interior Define and Apt2b are doing, and would love to see how they expand in the future.
When it comes to Joybird, I’m really at a loss of words. I’m not strewing anyone from Joybird, but it wouldn’t be fair of me not to mention the overwhelmingly negative customer reviews that I saw for Joybird. I really hope to see more from Joybird in the future though.