Well... We asked a few key people in the industry and compiled some of their thoughts below.
1. The comfort you feel today is not going to be the comfort you feel in 12 months. You need to clearly understand the construction of the sofa and how the materials are going to withstand the test of time. Durability comes from high quality standards - not only in the things you see outside a sofa, but also in the ones you don’t see. The feathers inside, the Dacron used for the inner core, the metal for the structure, the foam used to cover the metal core etc... Everything comes from a process that will make your sofa last for a lifetime. Comfort and ergonomics are the result of research and development; not of reproducing successful designs that “look similar” to the original but do not feel and live overtime in the same way. These big box products are simply not meant to last.
2. Made in China and Made in Italy are two very different things. China produces with no regulations to test materials and production origin of the resources they use. All materials that our Italian manufacturers use are tested for toxic chemicals (feathers in particular), comply with all international regulations and all materials and sources used have warranties and come from Italy from traceable sources. China made is “cheaper” obviously, but you have no control over what you are bringing into your home in terms of toxic elements and chemicals. Additionally, all details are made by hand; local craftsmanship is key. Covers are made by hand with sewing machines. Leather details are made by hand by local artisan.
3. How does your furniture make you "feel"? This does not relate to comfort. This relates to the feeling that you get when you purchase Italian design. When you purchase a piece of furniture from Flexform, B&B Italia, Minotti, etc, you buy a design piece, not a sofa massively produced. You buy Flexform and you buy Antonio Citterio design. The piece will be made for you and last forever. Just like its comfort.