Our Coddle Toggle Convertible Couch in Crimson Leather arrived in July 2019. Now, just about three and a half years later, it looks like this:
I don’t normally post product reviews on my blog, but I am making an exception for the Coddle Toggle couch in the hope that it will prevent someone else from throwing away $1,400.
Coddle’s bright red “leather” convertible couch seemed just right for our small basement family room where we watch movies, play video games, and host sleepovers for our kids. Most days someone sits on it for a few hours, and the kids will have a sleepover about twice a month. Pretty typical use of a couch that turns into a bed, I think.
Good Things About This Coddle Couch
First, the Toggle is very sturdy. The frame and hinges have held up fine to frequent adjustment. We typically put the back up or down a couple of times a week. We don’t use the “arms” much, but they work fine, too.
It is also quite comfortable as a couch and bed. The memory-foam construction is a good balance of soft and supportive. This is also true for sleeping. It’s not as comfortable as my mattress, but it is better than most convertible couches, hide-a-beds, and futons I have slept on.
The outlets are convenient, although you may have a hard time using them with some end tables.
Finally, I appreciated the plain good looks of this couch—while they lasted.
Some Things to Know About The Toggle Couch
Here are a few things to know about the Toggle couch that are not necessarily good or bad:
- In couch mode the Toggle doesn’t sit right up against the wall. It needs about a foot of clearance for the back legs.
- Our couch feels a bit uneven between the back side and the seat side when in mattress mode. I assume this is because the seat has been compressed more than the back since we sit on it more often than we sleep on it.
- In mattress mode there is a “gutter” down the middle where the sides are attached. This requires some adjustment if you are used to sleeping in the middle of your mattress or you are trying to spoon with someone.
- In couch mode the seat is fairly short front-to-back. This is not a couch you can sink into.
- It is a little high off the ground for the shorter members of the family.
Really Bad Things About This Coddle Couch
No couch should fall apart in a few years, especially a $1,400 couch. But as you can see from the pictures, ours did.
We started noticing cracks in the upholstery when the couch was about two years old, and they just keep getting worse. Now the “hinges” that join the seat and back are pulling apart, too. I don’t think we have abused this couch in any way. We sit on it and sleep on it, which is what a couch is for.
I think the problem is a obviously due to the upholstery material. In the small-print section of Coddle’s website this is what is says about its “leather” fabric:
Supple and strong our premium blended leather combines both natural and synthetic materials with a proprietary ‘comfort-backing’ to create a soft yet hard-wearing and utterly gorgeous material. Construction: Leather and PU.
Blended leather means leather and polyurethane—vinyl with leather bits mixed in, basically. Wikipedia describes blended leather as “a layered structure of a fiber or paper backer covered with a layer of shredded leather fibers mixed with natural rubber or a polyurethane binder that is embossed with a leather-like texture.” Leather-like, not real leather.
Which sucks. I definitely thought I was buying a real leather couch. Should I have dug up the fine print before buying this couch? Maybe. But in my defense the color is simply called Crimson Leather. Not leather in quotation marks or with an asterisk.
I don’t think real leather would have fallen apart from a few years of normal use. This couch wears like vinyl, which you can tell from the backing fabric that is visible through the cracks. I don’t agree that it is “hard-wearing” at all. It doesn’t even last as long as you would expect a cheap couch to last, much less one with a $1,400 price tag.
Coddle’s Customer Support
I did not think to reach out to Coddle support when the cracks started appearing. Earlier this month I sent a photo and exchanged a couple of emails with a customer support representative from Lifestyle Solutions/Coddle. This is what they told me:
We have reviewed everything with the manufacturer and our management team here and unfortunately after carefully reviewing the damage of the item, we regret to inform you we’re unable to accept the claim due to the following reasons
- Outside the 1 year manufacture warranty
- Product has been used for more than 3 1/2 years of use
- Product is damage and no longer useable
Please note, Lifestyle Solutions offers a 1 year limited warranty exclusively for manufacturing defects under normal operating use. Unfortunately, our warranty does not cover damage goods.
Again, we sincerely apologize for any issues caused.
I understand that if this couch is outside the 1-year warranty Coddle probably doesn’t have to do anything about it. But it sure feels like a bait-and-switch when a product starts falling apart shortly after the warranty expires.
I’m not sure what “damage goods” means, either. The only damage was from normal use. It’s not like I went after the couch with a power sander. We sat on it. If the Coddle Toggle couch can’t handle someone sitting on it for a few years I think Coddle should do something about it, warranty or not.
Should You Buy a Coddle Couch?
Well, I definitely wouldn’t buy a Coddle couch with “leather” upholstery. That’s a hard no.
But what about the other fabrics? I don’t know. Taking a chance on a Coddle couch in a different fabric feels risky, because it doesn’t seem like Coddle will stand behind its materials after the warranty expires. And 1 year probably is not enough time for the defects to manifest.
I would not buy another Coddle couch, but if for some reason I did (or if Coddle agreed to replace mine) I would at least try one of the other fabrics.
If you buy one, my advice is to avoid the “leather” fabrics and set a reminder for the 1-year warranty expiration date. Keep a close eye on the fabric, and file a support ticket as soon as any problems appear.