West Elm vs. Crate and Barrel – Who Makes Better Furniture?

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

If you, like me, delight and revel in having a perfect space, but you don’t want to spend forever sifting through every brand, this is the right place.

The sofa is the gathering point, the focal energy center of a room. Therefore, picking the right one for your style and space is essential.

West Elm and Crate & Barrel have top-quality offerings but different approaches to the modern style. A sofa from one of these two companies could be a perfect fit. Let’s take a look at how they compare!

First Up: West Elm

West Elm is a staple of good furniture design and comfort. They pride themselves on “timeless design and comfort.” I’d say this is true.

The fabrics are high quality, the cushions are inviting, and the color scheme is kept relatively muted, with dark blue being the most out of the box.

The leather selection is also kept more timeless with simple, almost mid-century cosmopolitan designs. I am drawn personally to how they ground the space without being too heavy. These are perfect for any size space, but even the large fabric sectionals may feel small in too big a room if not correctly planned.


Their selections include a variety of products, ranging from lamps to mirrors and bed frames. Their catalog contains everything you can think of, short of large appliances.

Similar to their sofas and sectionals, the style is typically low-profile and modern. You could outfit a whole house with cabinetry and everything from one website.

Customer Experience

Past the obvious higher-end prices and design, customer experience is mixed. Some previous customers reported their satisfaction.

One user said that he loves the sofa he bought and that it has lasted them many years. Other users from around the web report difficulty contacting their local retail location and that the build quality varies too much from product to product.

Around one year ago, Cindy ordered a pair of chairs from the website. She expected to wait a few weeks for shipment but was pleasantly surprised by the shipping arrival options. She received her chairs in just one week and was very satisfied with the durability and fabrics.

However, not all reviews and experiences are positive. Elena was surprised that her location did not do regular exchanges but offered to give a refund and initiate a new order, even though what she wanted was in stock. This was somewhat disappointing for her.

Their average rating across review websites is about 3.5 out of 5. However, most less desirable reviews are pretty dated, so the company has probably taken these criticisms to heart and made the appropriate changes.

Next: Crate & Barrel

Where West Elm has a more unified look, Crate & Barrel has an interesting dichotomy. Their sofas range from a more chunky, modern Americana look to an avant-garde mid-century professional look.

The fabric colors are neutral, but the leathers pop. The high legs of the bohemian selection can give a comfy lightness to a small space without sacrificing luxury, and the blockier fabric sofas and sectionals will fit well with a suburban look.

Comparison on Basics

Crate & Barrel also offers a wide variety outside of their sofas and sectionals. Again, the prices are more on the high side. Between the two companies, there is not much of a price difference, so much as a style difference.

Where West Elm’s style stays sleeker, the tables, chairs, dishes, etc., of Crate and Barrel are bold in the space they take. The more chunky, modern Americana bleeds into all they do. They have a healthy selection of sofas and sectionals and a wide diversity of products that can outfit any room you choose.

Moreover, both companies deliver to your door, so you won’t have a sudden Ross and Rachel “Pivot!” moment.


Things look promising when we look around the web for reviews. Many of the positive reviews on customer service are from the last year or two. A representative responded to any negative reviews on sites like Yelp promptly.

One customer, Alex, was delighted with her experience in the store. She loved the selection and the help she got from the store employees. She was quickly sent her furniture but found a damaged wooden leg. When Alex brought the piece back into the store, the employees were very kind and apologetic and reordered the product for her at no extra cost.

However, another customer reported that when Crate & Barrel informed her that the fabric she ordered on her sofa was on backorder, they also told her that no refunds were available for custom orders.

Crate & Barrel does have fewer negative reviews than West Elm, with an average of about 4 out of 5 stars across reviewing sites. However, we should note again that most of West Elm’s negative reviews are pretty dated and may affect their average.

The Verdict

Ultimately, I’m here to help you find what works best for you. Both brands have quirks and advantages, but which is best? With similar quality and similar pricing, it will come down to your personal style.

If a sleek modern look is what you are after, some Crate & Barrel sofas fit the bill. However, you will have more consistent results looking at West Elm. The timelessness and class of their selection will modernize any space without seeming too heavy on the eyes. The wide variety ensures they have a fabric or leather and configuration to fit any space.

If you are in the market for a bold design in your sofa, sectional, or other furniture, Crate & Barrel is the place to start your search. Crate & Barrel’s homey but bold designs will make a statement while still pulling together a classic and welcoming look typical of the Americana style.

With so many options, a quick comparison can be vital in making the right choice. Cheers to your eventual new look, and happy hunting!

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About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

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