Lee Industries - Cushion options

mom270October 10, 2011

I've been researching Lee sofas here on the Furniture forum. It seems like most people are happy, but some are unhappy about their cushions not bouncing back and having to plump them up all the time. One model I'm considering has the Haven down cushion as standard. If anyone has this kind, do you like it? If anyone has any comments about their Lee cushions, positive or negative, that would be really helpful. Thanks.

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rmanbike

Cushions are not made by the manufacturer, usually, Ashley being an exception, but be clear im not endorsing Ashley at all. Manufacturers outsource this to foam fabricators so the Lee cushions could very well be the same cushion offered by other furniture manufacturers. Currently the standard practice for down-blend cushions is for the bottom half of the envelope is a non-woven. This is purely to save money and hide the fact that the feathers will leak though the non-woven into the area between the foam and the envelope. The complete envelope should be of a HTC down proof ticking, if not in time the cushion will degrade as this happens. At this time I would recommend staying away from any down-blend cushions, the best option is still using a enveloped cushion but should be filled 100% conjugated fiber and a HR foam at least 2.2 lb foam and they stand behind with a 3+ year replacement warranty.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:47PM
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mom270

I think Lee makes its own cushions because they pride themselves on their eco-friendliness. This is their description of the standard cushion:

A flexible polyurethane foam utilizing BiOH HR polyol derived from soybeans is wrapped in 80% regenerated fibers and sewn into a 100% cotton downproof ticking. The foam replaces 30% of the pretroleum-based foam and has been shown to outperform traditional form in firmness, retention, support and durability. (no idea if that's true)

They have different options with more down and feathers, and with coil spring cores.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 7:53AM
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rmanbike

Im sorry mom270, maybe you've not been through Lees factory. Their are 2 separate buildings across from each other off hwy16 going towards Newton. Cut/Sew and upholstery. I have been in just about every upholstery manufacturers facilities in the US and yet to see anyone producing their own foam. Its a different story in China, Taiwan, Malaysia as they prefer to control the whole process, better said profits. Many even own their own sawmills and lumber yards.

Cargill makes this foam. You kinda have to be in the industry to fully understand the process and various suppliers that support the industry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cargill

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:37AM
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mom270

OK. I wasn't really looking to debate cushion construction. I am interested in finding out if customers have found their Lee cushions comfortable and if some of the kinds they offer(standard, "Cloud Nine," Haven) are more comfortable than others. If anyone has anything to say on that topic, I hope you will.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 8:41PM
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rmanbike

My point was for everyone that reads this forum and sorry not trying to have a debate on anything, just staying with the facts.
But for your question, as you know comfort is very subjective and I was trying to answer your original question about down-blend cushions.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 10:41PM
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mom270

rmanbike, since you have been through the Lee factory and are "in the industry," what do you think about the construction of Lee sofas compared to McCreary Modern? As I understand it, Lee has the 8-way hand-tied springs and McCreary does not, which I thought was an indication of higher quality. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 10:03AM
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rmanbike

Mom270, When comparing Lee to McM their is a little bit more than just the spring construction. Overall Lee has better quality. Most furniture plants the cutters - sewers to upholsterers are on piece work, meaning their salary is based upon the amount of work they produce. Some companies have a higher rate on similar styles than others resulting in the extra time it takes to do a better job. And Lee pays higher rates than McM. However the 8-way hand tied springs are way over rated, its more a marketing tool now. Over that past decade they have found if you raise the height of the spring rails (wider rails) it makes it much easier and quicker to do a 8 way springs. But the results is, as I call it is that you are sitting on the strings and not the springs. Not nearly as comfortable and long lasting as a 8 way seat can be and should be if done properly. Actually sinuous wire springs that are spaced properly; no more than 4.5" apart, using 2 tie wires, and insulated clips that are screwed to 5/4" hardwood rails will outlast any of todays 8 way by a long shot and be a much better seat; a better ride is how I would put it.
Also the trend with about every larger furniture manufacturer including Lee is plywood frames. Engineered because they are usually drawn using a CAD program, but the term engineered means really nothing when referring to any additional quality. So many of these frames are using poor quality plywood and only being stapled together. You really need to avoid these types of frames. The plywood should be all hardwood veneers of no less than 10 ply, with tight fitting notches, better screwed but everyone still uses staples. Still best to use stick-built frames with 5/4 hardwood (poplar) with double doweled (7/16") and glue in all joints with corner blocks in high stress areas.
No foam used in the construction be less than 1.8 density and seats should be HR foam no less than 2.2 density.
Their are still some companies that still build this way but you need to be careful as some have changed their construction method as per above recently and failed to update their marketing and website to reflect this.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:20PM
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mom270

That's interesting. Lee makes a few sofas for Crate & Barrel which are less expensive but have the sinuous springs (the Cameron, Bayside, Azure, Oasis). I guess those customers are getting a good deal.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 8:00PM
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rmanbike

I would guess about 75% upholstery manufactures make OEM upholstery. And these retailers can spec different specifications from the normal manufacturers standards. Some cases like C&B their specifications will be of less quality than Lee's normal standards. It can go the other way also, Lee Jofa usually specs a higher standard than Century's normal standards.
But overall sinuous wire springs can offer a better value than 8-way seats.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:47AM
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amoretti

I bought Lee Coverall chairs about 10 years ago and still love them. Because I found the down cushions on my sofa (another brand) to be a pain, I opted for the cheapest non-down or feather option. Chairs have held up very well and are perfectly comfy.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 3:33PM
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mom270

amoretti, Thanks so much. That's great to hear.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:26AM
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