Should I buy a sofa in a box? Swyft's Model 02 sofa tried and tested

Can you really put the Swyft sofa in a box together in five minutes and without any tools? We put one to the test

Swyft sofa in a box
The Swyft Model 02 comes in three boxes and is assembled at home
(Image credit: Swyft)

If you've ever struggled to get a sofa up a cramped staircase or through a tight doorway, then the sofa in a box revolution is here for you. We've been buying our mattresses in boxes for years now, so is it time to start buying our sofas in pieces? 

Swyft claims you can construct any of its three sofa models in less than five minutes without using any tools. Just like the most popular mattresses in a box, they all come with a 100-day trial, so if you don't love yours, you can simply return it. But just how sturdy can a sofa that comes in pieces be? And can you really get it into any room? We put the Swyft Model 02 through its paces.

If you're looking for a new sofa, check out our guide to the best sofas on the market right now.

Swyft sofa in a box

The Swyft Model 03 comes in corner and chaise options, all of which are delivered in easy to manoeuvre boxes

(Image credit: Swyft)

Swyft sofa in a box: design details

There are just three Swyft sofa models and matching armchairs, handily called Model 01, Model 02 and Model 03. They're all Insta-worthy designs and come in a range of stylish fabrics, which are easy to clean. 

Ordering a sofa online still feels like a big leap, so the free fabric swatch service is super handy. Don't order your sofa until you've received your samples as some of the colours look different IRL. We were expecting Brick velvet to be orange, but it's actually more of a dusky pink.

Can you really get it into any room?

Remember that iconic scene in Friends where Ross and Rachel try to get a giant sofa up her apartment stairwell while he yells 'pivot'? Well that wouldn't have happened if they had been moving a sofa in a box.

Our Model 02 sofa came in three boxes with useful handles to make carrying them a cinch. A word of warning, though, just because the sofas come in boxes doesn't mean they are lightweight – you'll definitely need a couple of adults to get them into position.

We manoeuvred ours into our smallest bedroom just to see how easily we could get it there. There's no way we'd get a fully constructed sofa along the tight hallway, but all three boxes – and our fingers – made it in there in tact.

Can you put it up in five minutes?

Swyft sofa in a box

Renovator Laura Crombie manoeuvred a Swyft 02 in Teal velvet into her smallest bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

So the big question is – can you really put up a Swyft sofa in a box in less than five minutes and without any tools? If you've ever tried to put up an Ikea flat-pack, then you'll know the hours can fly by trying to construct something seemingly simple! Luckily, the Swyft lives up to its claims. It took us just four minutes (yep, we set a timer) to open each box, which is numbered, and pop the pieces together. The legs twist in to the base, the back and side panels slide on and click into place. And then you add the cushions.

A quick word of warning – if you're buying a Swyft because of a smaller property, you'll be left with a lot of cardboard once your sofa is up. It can be recycled, which is brilliant, but you'll be cutting it up and adding it to your recycling bin for a few weeks.

The verdict

swyft sofa in a box

(Image credit: Swyft)

Okay, so Swyft's sofas aren't the cheapest – starting at £595 for an armchair and £895 for a two-seater, but we reckon they're worth it. They are built to last and will be easy to move from property to property for years to come, so something to consider if you rent your home. If you've got tricky access or awkward hallways, then the sofa in a box could change your life – and save your fingers. And even if you're blessed with a huge hallway and wide doorways, all three Swyft models look so good that you'll want to consider them for the aesthetics anyway.

Let's just be thankful the sofa in a box wasn't around 20 years ago or that iconic Friends scene would never have happened!

Laura Crombie

Laura Crombie is a journalist and TV presenter. She has written about homes and interiors for the last 17 years and was Editor of Real Homes before taking on her current position as Content Director for Country Homes & Interiors, 25 Beautiful Homes Period Living and Style at Home. She's an experienced home renovator and is currently DIY-renovating a 1960s house in Worcestershire. She's been quoted on home design and renovating in The Times, The Guardian, The Metro and more. She's also a TV presenter for QVC and has been a commentator for Channel 4 at Crufts dog show.