Yet Another Ektorp Review

This afternoon my husband and I are headed to pick up an Ikea Ektorp chair and an ottoman that I found on Facebook Marketplace…this will be in addition to our current Ektorp chair, sectional, and sofa. So clearly I am already a fan! The Ektorp is perfect for that “farmhouse” look, super comfy, sturdy, and very reasonably priced. And the fact that it’s slipcovered and washable is perfect for our lifestyle with young children and dogs. Overall, I give the Ektorp two enthusiastic thumbs up, but…

You know how everybody on Instagram and Pinterest just LOVES their bright white Ektorps? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a quick Pinterest search of the Ektorp will uncover many glowing reviews by moms with 14 kids, 9 dogs and a llama who all LOVE the white Ektorp because “all they have to do” is “throw the cover in the wash, add bleach, and voila!” Good as new! Sounds so easy, right? Well I read all those reviews. For weeks before we bought our sectional, I hemmed and hawed and studied and researched, and everything I read said the bright white slipcover is just the best thing ever. So we went for it.

Pretty, right? So fresh! So clean! So… white!…for like 2 days. Ok, here’s the deal. I don’t know WHO these moms are with the 14 kids, dogs and llamas who can keep this thing clean, but THEY ARE NOT ME. Every single speck of everything shows on the white. Every hair, every piece of lint, every crumb, (somehow, even though we didn’t eat on the couch) everything. We took a roller to it every day and that helped, but that was only half the battle. Now, full disclosure, if you do not have pets, you could probably keep it pretty darn clean, even with kids, as long as they’re not eating on it or putting their shoes on it. But we have two couch loving dogs, and within days there were paw prints and lick marks (sooooo many lick marks, whyyyyyy???) galore.

But no worries, I could just “toss it in the wash,” right? Well, yes and no. Now, with the chair or the sofa this whole washing thing is pretty doable, but the sectional is a full day cardio EVENT. The sectional has no less than 11 large cushion covers, in addition to the huge cover that drapes the entire base. So washing everything will EASILY take four loads, and really, if you don’t want to overload your washer it will probably take five. Any stains should be pretreated, of course, and then there’s the Oxyclean and the bleach and all the things you will find detailed in the other blogs. Oh, and if your kids are anything like mine, the naked cushions somehow are an invitation to jump on and/or turn into an obstacle course, so that’s always an adventure too.

Ok. So you’re done with the first load, congratulations! Just toss in the dry- oh wait, nope. Can’t do that! If you put the covers in the dryer, they will shrink, and you will never get them back on the couch. And it is a full body workout trying to get the covers back on the cushions when they are the RIGHT size. You CAN throw them in the dryer for like 5 minutes just to take a little of the wetness out, but any more than that and you’re playing with fire. You need to put the covers back on mostly damp and then turn on every fan or heater you have for the next several hours to dry them the rest of the way. Ok, onto the next four loads!

So is the white slipcover doable? Totally. And the ability to bleach your worries away IS appealing (although side note – Ikea says you should NOT use bleach on them, but you know you like to live dangerously). But please be aware that it is a ton of upkeep, especially if you have little paws in your house. It is nowhere near as “easy” as most of the blogs would suggest.

The white slipcover lasted in our house about 3 months. I still have it and have been wanting to bust it out for a few weeks for spring, just to freshen things up, but it will likely never be the permanent cover in our house. Instead, I’ve “compromised” a bit and switched all our covers to the Lofallet Beige. It’s definitely not as bright and fresh as the white, BUT it’s still a great neutral and it does a MUCH better job of hiding “all the things.” Of course it still needs be washed, but not nearly as frequently, and I’m not obsessing over it every day with a roller and a stain stick. I’ve also decided to live dangerously and add a little bleach to each load which hasn’t made much of a difference, but I’m hoping over time it will lighten them up a bit. Oh, and the best part? The beige cover is way cheaper than the white cover, so even if you really mess up and need a new one you can get them for anywhere from $20 for the ottoman to $100 for the giant sectional. Not bad.

So that’s my real life take on the white Ektorp. You may be a way better and cleaner person than I am and find it completely reasonable to take care of. But if you’re a struggler mom like me who finds just the regular laundry pure torture, it just might not be for you. And that’s ok, I promise. And really, I think the beige still looks pretty darn good, don’t you?

  • Toni Lowman
    Posted at 20:12h, 23 February

    Thank you so much for this review!! I have been wondering how people with kids and pets (and, let’s face it, husbands) keep this white slip covered couch clean! I was wondering if maybe they didn’t actually use it- you know, kind of like grandma’s parlor sofa. I am honestly a little concerned that the beige one may still be too light for us… It looks fabulous in your photos, though!

    • Lauren
      Posted at 20:16h, 23 February

      Honestly, the beige covers a LOT! We are not easy on these at all… I have two toddlers, a husband with a “dirty” job, and two dogs who drag a lot of dirt inside and we can still go a few months between washings.