Swyft Sofa Model 03 review: is this is the best sofa in a box for pet owners and renters?

The Swyft sofa Model 03 boasts a rare balance of stylish and practical. Here's why pet owners, renters and flat owners need it in their lives...

Swyft sofa model 03 in living room with ottoman
(Image credit: Swyft)
Real Homes Verdict

This sofa in a box should be high up on every renters' to-buy list. That and it's great for pet owners and parents since every stain and spill wipes away. It even comes with a 100-day trial and it can arrive within 24 hours of ordering.

Reasons to buy
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    Arrives in a box

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    Adaptable to any space

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    Fast delivery

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    100-day trial

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    2 fabric options

  • +

    3 colourways

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    No tools required

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Low back

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    High price tag

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You've heard of the sofa in a box company Swyft, right? Their Instagram ads are always popping up on our feeds, so we thought we would put one of their sofas, the Swyft sofa model 03, to the test ourselves to see how it performs compared to the best sofas around. And boy, were we pleasantly surprised – and we still are a few months down the line.

We've been doing everything from taking naps on this sofa to bingeing Netflix, eating our dinner on there and having a glass of vino while sitting on this sofa – and, it's yet to look used. Since we've tested this sofa in lockdown, it's had more use than it usually would do, but that has just made us even more impressed with its durability. We should also note that we have two pets in our household, who both love to cosy up on this sofa, too.

The Swyft sofa we own is the Model 03 4 Seater Right Chaise in the colour shadow. Initially, we bought the Model 03 3 Seater Right Chaise, but after assembling we realised we could squeeze in another seat, so we did. And here's our verdict...

Who will the Swyft sofa model 03 suit?

The Swyft sofa model 03 will particularly bode well with renters or those who live in a flat with difficult access, since it can fit through average-size doors, and it doesn't have a frame so you can arrange it to suit any room size or shape. This makes it more than easy to take it from one place to another, with no worries that you've bought something too big, or that the chaise section is facing the wrong way.

That being said, this sofa is also brilliant for pet owners – we would know. We tested this sofa with a puppy and a rabbit in the house, both of which jump all over it. So far we've not noticed any deterioration in the fabric, nor pulls in the fabric from claws, pet stains from paws or discolouration. It's a winner in our eyes!

"We wanted to create a sofa which could be tailored to the environment our customer’s live in. Our previous Models offer a set number of seats, which can be limiting. The modular nature of Model 03 allows our customers to have control over how they populate their space."

John O'Leary, Swyft furniture designer

That being said, this sofa is also brilliant for pet owners – we would know. We tested this sofa with a puppy and a rabbit in the house, both of which jump all over it. So far we've not noticed any deterioration in the fabric, nor pulls in the fabric from claws, pet stains from paws or discolouration. It's a winner in our eyes!

What we love about the Swyft sofa model 03

There are so many things we love about this sofa, but if we had to choose three it would be:

It's versatile
I am forever switching around my furniture from room to room or moving it from one side of the room to the other, so the fact that I can switch this sofa from a right-facing chaise to a left-facing one makes it a dream. Even if I am not planning on moving it around, I may switch the ottoman around every now and then to make the room look a little different. I also love how this sofa can be added to as you please – we are considering buying another ottoman so that our sofa is a U shape...

It's comfortable
It may not look like it, but this sofa is actually very comfortable. It has a lower back than most other sofas, but this means you can really relax on it. I like to use the low back as a headrest (or an armrest if I am sitting upright) and my head sits at the perfect height while watching TV. It's also surprisingly bouncy.

It's stain-resistant
Coming from the clumsiest person on earth (not exactly true but I am definitely in the running) this sofa is wipeable when dealing with stains and liquids. It's almost like a pair of waterproof shoes in the way that liquid, once split on it, sits on top of the sofa without actually seeping through the fabric. You'll want to wipe it away and soak it up ASAP, obviously, but this is very handy.

Swyft sofa model 03: arrival

Swyft sofa boxes in Annie's living room

Swyft sofa boxes in Annie's living room

(Image credit: Future)

If you order your Swyft sofa before 3pm it will be delivered within 24 hours depending on where you live. Honestly, we think this is a selling point of the sofa in itself – we once waited 18 weeks for a sofa to arrive, so had to spend several evenings watching TV from a beanbag and dining chairs. So, if you need a new sofa but aren't too keen on the heinous wait time that larger companies expect you to agree with, then Swyft is the place to go.

As mentioned before, this sofa arrives in boxes. Understandably and expectedly, each section of the sofa, due to the fact the fabric cannot be removed, comes covered in plastic wrap to protect it while in transport.

Swyft sofa model 03 wrapped in plastic in box

Swyft sofa model 03 wrapped in plastic in box

(Image credit: Future)

One thing we will say is that there was a lot of rubbish from this sofa – so much so to warrant a trip to the refuse dump. We managed to pop all of the plastic in one black bag, then condense all of the cardboard boxes into eachother. Here is the amount of rubbish we were left with...

Swyft sofa rubbish boxes in Annie's living room

Swyft sofa rubbish boxes in Annie's living room

(Image credit: Future)

Swyft sofa model 03: setup

This sofa arrived to us in SEVERAL boxes. And by several, we mean seven, two of which were quite large. They all managed to fit through our front door, though, and through our hallway and into our living room. This was a miracle as our previous sofa had to be brought in through the back doors in our living room, so this meant it could only ever be used in the living room. With the Swyft sofa, we know that we can, if ever we wanted to, move it from the living room to the spare room for a change.

Setup is very easy, so easy that we managed to do so without even referencing the instructions because we didn't realise there even were instructions. It goes without saying that the larger the sofa, the more difficult it will be to assemble and just be aware that anyone who is less able or elderly will not be able to do this, as it requires actually picking up the sections of the sofa.

It's as simple as a kids' jigsaw in the fact that each seat (unless it's an ottoman) will have clips on its back and if it's a corner or an end, its side will have said clips, too. Find the seat and back that matches (they are labelled) and slide them to click together. This can be a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, you'll be fine. You will also definitely know whether you've attached it right as if you haven't the back (or arm) of the sofa will wobble slightly.

The same method goes for the back pieces of the sofa as each piece slots together, so you will want to make this sofa module by module. It took us around half an hour to assemble the 3 seater right chaise. After ordering the ottoman a few weeks after, we simply assembled this and rejigged the sofa to slide it in the middle.

Swyft sofa Model 03: close up image of feet

(Image credit: Swyft)

The feet
Unlike other sofas, the model 03 doesn't actually clip together at all. Each module sits on suction-cupped feet that work with both hard and soft floors – we have tried both. The sections may move slightly if you are actually jumping on the sofa or you tend to throw yourself back onto it after a long day, but realistically, they won't move enough to make you concerned.

After assembling this sofa we switched our living room rug to a larger one to suit the room size, and we should note that in order to do so, because of the strong suction-cupped feet, we had to annoyingly, move each section out of the way and then place them on top of the rug. In other instances and with other sofas you would probably be able to lift up one side, pop the rug under and then lift up the other side and pop the remainder of the rug underneath. Though this was annoying, we do find that nor the rug, from the sofa sitting atop, or the sofa moves one bit.

You can find a photo of the Swyft sofa 03 Model 3 Seater Right Chaise in Annie's living room below. This is before she added an ottoman to turn it into a four seater sofa.

Swyft sofa model 03 3 seater right chaise in Annie's living room

Swyft sofa model 03 3 seater right chaise in Annie's living room

(Image credit: Future)

Swyft sofa model 03: style

Swyft sofa model 03 cut out image – in grey

(Image credit: Swyft)

This sofa looks very relaxed inside a room yet also inviting. With a low back and sides, it's particularly great for making a room look bigger. You could place it against a wall or in the middle of a room – to separate a living space from a dining area or a kitchen.

The low back was a deliberate design tactic by John O'Leary to create an upright sofa that is supposed to be enjoyed while sitting with your spine straight – though you can lay back and be comfortable, too.

A great addition to modern homes that aren't otherwise keen on fabric sofas, and to a living room that's going for a boho, relaxed vibe. It's also great for minimalist spaces with its clean strong lines. With minimal detailing apart from the flange edging, this sofa can very easily be accessorised with cushions and blankets.

Swyft sofa model 03: build

Straight down to the nitty-gritty, this sofa has a wooden frame – a mix of solid beech and birch plywood. Poplar is used for non-loading bearing areas. You never actually see the frame, so you wouldn't know otherwise, but the sofa itself feels super sturdy and you wouldn't have any worries about it seating several people at once.

Onto the inside of the sofa, we have dense foam wrapped in soft fibre. This is what makes the sofa look so inviting, as well as feel so comfortable. The good stuff.

"The frame acts as the skeleton or foundation of a sofa - arguably, it’s the most important component to get right. That’s why it took us three or four attempts before we were happy with it."

John O'Leary, Swyft furniture designer

This sofa comes in two fabric offerings – linen or velvet. Both fabrics are sewn to the sofa so as not to be removed, which is why they are made to be stain-resistant. The fabric of this sofa is pulled tight so it won't bunch up, and this helps retain and show the shape of the frame. It has a flange detailing around each corner and side which adds style and durability.

Swyft sofa model 03: comfort rating

I was initially worried about how comfortable this sofa would be due to its low back which measures 71cm high. Our old sofa was a lot higher but sat in front of our radiator, so with the Swyft sofa, we feel a lot more heat circulating the room. There's no doubting that this sofa is comfortable, but it's definitely not a sofa that you sink into – I actually personally prefer ones that you don't sink into. Its low back can be used for your head when lounging or your arm when sitting upright, and it does, admittedly, take some getting used to. We think this sofa, due to its low back would look amazing in an open-planned space, and also alternatively not pushed up against a wall. It works in pretty much every setting.

On the first appearance, the sofa seats look very plump and they are also very bouncy. After a week or so of sitting and it being in your home, the seats will drop a little to look less plump – just like with any sofa. The seats will become a tad comfier and lounge-able.

Overall, I would give this sofa a comfort rating of 9 out of 10 – the one point off only due to the low back.

Swyft sofa model 03: stain resistance

We've done a few tests on our Swyft sofa, to test its stain-resistant capabilities for ourselves. The first test we tried with water, the second with fresh apple juice.

Water test
We thought we would be smart and test out the stain resistance technology of this sofa using some water, first of all. So we poured a bit on and it simply sat on top, before seeping down to the edges of the sofa as ours is still nice and plump. After pouring water on the sofa, we simply wiped it away with a piece or two of kitchen roll and left it to dry as it was admittedly damp. Scroll through the gallery below (using the arrow on the right) to see us testing with water.

Apple juice test
Thee apple juice pretty much did the same as the water – it just sat on top of the sofa and didn't seep in. What I wanted to see with the apple juice is if it caused any discolouration and it didn't. Also, since it's thicker and fruit-based, I wanted to make sure it didn't leave the sofa feeling sticky. My verdict? The stain resistance of this sofa is incredible and very reassuring. Scroll through the gallery below (using the arrow on the right) to see us testing with apple juice. The second image shows how liquids sit on top of this sofa.

Swyft sofa model 03: pros

Heres' an extended list of the pros of the Swyft sofa model 03.

  • Its feet are suction cupped and work on carpet as well as hard flooring.
  • Its fabric is stain-resistant and wipeable.
  • You can move the sofa and arrange the sofa wherever you like as it's in modules.
  • It comes with a 100-day trial.
  • Delivery can be within 24 hours.
  • It's guaranteed to fit.
  • You needn't have any tools to assemble.
  • Assembly is very easy.
  • It comes with a 15-year frame guarantee.
  • You can add and remove sections as you wish.
  • Old sofa removal and packaging is available.
  • There are a range of colours and fabrics to choose from.

Swyft sofa model 03: cons

If we were being really picky, here are some cons of the Swyft sofa model 03.

  • The low back takes some getting used to.
  • You will occasionally have to push the pieces back together
  • There are no covers for cleaning – although it is stain-resistant.
  • You can't store anything underneath the sofa as it's very low.
  • The price tag is high – but it's understandable due to its high-quality and durability.

Swyft sofa model 03: price

Now onto the price tag. The Swyft sofa model 03 sits at a higher price bracket, mostly due to the fact it is upholstered in linen and it's wipeable, but also because of the convenience of the company – they deliver fast, it comes with a 100-night trial, it arrives in a box. Initially, when we had the Model 03 three Seater Right Chaise which cost £2,510. We added a matching ottoman for £620, turning it into the Model 03 four Seater Right Chaise which has an RRP of £3,300.

Swyft sofas start from £1,480 as a complete sofa, and sections start from £410.

Swyft sofa model 03: sizes

Swyft sofa model 03: corner sofa in living room

(Image credit: Swyft)

You can pretty much build your own Swyft sofa in model 03, which is another reason why it's so great. If you have an odd-shaped room you can adapt your sofa to suit your needs, and as we mentioned before, you can keep adding parts as you please. You can buy seats, corners and ottoman modules separately on the site to do this.

If you want to buy a complete sofa from Swyft (recommended) then they offer ones in 2 seater, 3 seater, 4 seater or corner. All of which come with or without the chaise, and if with the chaise in a left or right position. In the case of the corner sofa, it can come with an ottoman for the middle.

Swyft sofa model 03: colours

This sofa comes in your choice of linen or velvet. I chose linen as I thought it would be easier to keep clean, and I prefer the look of linen. Both fabrics come in three colourways – Pumice, Shadow or Teal. I opted for the shadow and feel like it compliments my white-washed modern home perfectly.

Swyft sofa colour options

(Image credit: Swyft)

Would we recommend the Swyft sofa model 03?

Without a doubt, yes! This sofa is unique in the way that it's not just good looking – it's undeniably practical too. Gone are the days that having pets or children means you need to sacrifice having a nice sofa, and this versatile option can grow with your family and your room size. It's an investment for sure, but a worthy one that you won't regret.

Where to buy the Swyft sofa Model 03?

You can, of course, buy the Swyft sofa model 03 directly from Swyft. However, you can also buy it from Cuckooland, as well as Teddy Beau furniture. See below.

About our review – and our reviewer

Swyft sofa in Annie's living room

Swyft sofa in Annie's living room

(Image credit: Future)

Annie is the UK Shopping Editor at Real HomesIdeal HomeLivingetcGardeningetc and Homes & Gardens. She reviews everything from home gym equipment to floor care appliances and even sofas. She lives in a spacious two-bedroom flat along with her partner and her two pets.

At the time of this review, Annie has been sitting on (and snoozing on) this sofa for two months, day in day out.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.