Nugget Couch Review [2019]

Nugget Couch Review

We fell in love with the Nugget couch the second we saw it.  It’s been almost a year of ownership and heavy use, so let’s take a look at how it measured up. 

(Note:  This is not sponsored by Nugget in any way; some links referencing other products mentioned are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you purchase via these links.  See our disclosure policy for more information).

What’s the Nugget Comfort?

If you’re not familiar, the Nugget Comfort is best described as “part-furniture and part-toy.”  It’s really revolutionary.

Part Furniture

The Nugget Comfort is essentially a miniature couch.  It sits low to the ground and is geared towards kids (but can be used by any age).  The base of the couch is made of two foldable foam pieces that stack on one another.  The bottom piece is a thicker and firmer foam, while the top piece is thinner and plusher.  Then there are two triangle wedges that can be used as the back of the couch (or however you like).  The foam is covered in a micro suede fabric and there are plenty of options to match any taste and decor.  The Nugget couch is often referred to as the unbreakable couch. No screws or springs here!  

Part Toy

The beauty and magic of the Nugget couch is that it can be reconfigured countless ways.  The possibilities are endless. It fosters play, creativity, and imagination. The Nugget can be transformed to a tunnel, a house, or a tent (just to name a few).  It can be jumped on and climbed over.

History

The founder, David Baron dreamed up the idea while in college (UNC-Chapel Hill).  David, who was studying Biology and Environmental Science, wanted an alternative to futons.  He found the ever popular futon to be bulky, uncomfortable, breakable, heavy and most strikingly wasteful, as most ended up in dumpsters on move-out day.  

He collaborated with a friend, Ryan Cocca, another UNC-Chapel Hill student, founder/CEO of a sports apparel company, Thrill City (which has closed its doors in 2015).

Together, they created a few prototypes but didn’t find much success.  That all changed once they sent a nugget to a teacher friend, Hannah Fussell.  She placed it in her 3rd/4th grade classroom and the kids fell in love with it! 

It was then that David and Ryan pivoted their target market to kids and parents.  They created a Kickstarter campaign, where they ultimately raised almost $85,000 by 574 backers.  

[History source]

More Details about the Nugget

The look of today’s Nugget couch has changed slightly since the original but the concept is the same. 

It comes in a variety of colors (some limited edition).  You can also buy the covers separately if you want to change the look of the Nugget.

We got the Nugget in the color "Koala," a light gray
The Nugget is 33″ deep and 66″ long in its standard configuration. The seat is 8.75″ above the ground, and it’s 22.25″ high to the top of the pillows in the standard configuration 27 lbs.  The Nugget weighs 27 pounds.  The base weighs 12 pounds, the seat cushion weighs 9 pounds, and the two triangle pillows weigh 3 pounds each. It’s easy to move and manipulate, even for little hands.  Additionally, the two base pieces fold and have sewn in handles for easy carrying.

The no-assembly required Nugget is delivered in a bright orange vacuum-sealed 15x15x34-inch box.  They recommend you open the Nugget immediately.  The Nugget expands upon opening.

Yes, it’s perfect for dorm rooms and man caves, but it’s really becoming most popular for families with kids, for good reason.

They are even starting to pop up in children’s museums (you can currently find them in the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, the Chapel Hill Public Library, and Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill).

What’s the Nugget Couch made of?

The Nugget is made of two different materials, the inner foam and the outer covers. The foam is made of open-cell polyurethane. The outer covers are made of microsuede fabric.

So is the Nugget couch non-toxic?

The term “non-toxic” isn’t regulated and can mean a wide variety of things.  Most importantly, no product is truly 100% non-toxic. In terms of the Nugget, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not made of the best material, but it’s not the worst

Polyurethane foam is a petroleum-based product and does emit toxic fumes or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which are known to be harmful to human health. However, the foam used in the Nugget is CertiPUR-US certified.  But what does this mean?  The “CertiPUR-US” certification helps assure us that the VOC emission truly is low (less than 0.5 parts per million), as asserted by the Nugget Comfort Company.  CertiPUR-US foams are also made without ozone depleters, BDEs/TDCPP/TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, or phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  We can verify on the CertiPUR-US website that the Nugget Comfort Company is in fact listed as certified.

We also reached out to the company to clarify the entire Nugget is flame retardant free.  They responded “we don’t use any flame retardants in its production. It’s a pure polyurethane without flame retardant additives, so nothing is chemically special about the foam itself to make it fire resistant – it is in combination with the physical properties of the woven fabric cover that keeps it within the 117 fire standards.

Microsuede (the outer cover) is typically made of polyester and is also a petroleum-derived product.  Polyester isn’t the best material in terms of toxicity, but it’s also not one of the worst offenders.  One of the biggest drawbacks to microfiber is its contribution to microplastic pollution.

So all-in-all, would we consider the Nugget “non-toxic”?  No.  But for us personally, it falls under the “safe enough” category.  It doesn’t contain the toxins that we are most concerned about (flame retardants, formaldehyde, lead etc).  And the benefits of the Nugget far outweigh the cons (more on that later).  It will ultimately come down to each family to decide if they feel comfortable with the materials the Nugget is made of.   

Price

The Nugget couch currently costs $299.  The replacement covers cost $99. Shipping is free in the continental US.  They also have a pay over time feature using a third party (called Affirm).

Competitors?

There’s really only one direct competitor to the Nugget Comfort, but several other options that have some of the features of the Nugget.

Foamnasium Blocksy vs. Nugget Comfort

Here's the Nugget couch in the color "Cactus" next to the Foamnasium couch in the color "Mint"

Since we purchased our Nugget, there has been another company, Foamnasium, that has come out with an almost exact replica of the Nugget.  

Similarities:  The overall concept and price are exactly the same. Both use Certi-Pur certified foam.

Key Differences:  

 –The Foamnasium Blocksy cover is made of vinyl, while the Nugget cover is made of microsuede.

–The vinyl surface of the Blocksy makes it more waterproof than the Nugget.

–The Blocksy covers are not removable or machine washable, while the Nugget covers are.

–The Blocksy currently comes in 6 colors, while the Nugget offers a greater variety.

–100% of the Blocksy is made in the United States, while the Nugget sources its fabric from China or El Salvidor.

–The Nugget offers a softer foam in the “cushion” part of the couch, while the Blocksy appears to be the same density throughout.

–There are slight variations in the size.  The Blocksy has a longer but narrower base than the Nugget (Blocksy: 70″ x 25″ vs. Nugget: 66″ x 33″).  The seat height as well as the cushions are taller on the Nugget than the Blocksy (Seat Height/Total Height: Blocksy: 8″/19″ vs. Nugget: 8.75″/22.25″).

Pros of the Foamnasium Blocksy over the Nugget

–Made 100% in the USA.

–The Blocksy is waterproof.

–The longer length of the Blocksy may be more suitable for sleeping on (for adults).

Cons

–Covers are not removable or machine washable like the Nugget. –Vinyl is less comfortable to sit on than microsuede. –In terms of toxicity of fabric (microsuede vs. vinyl), the Nugget’s microsuede is the is the lesser of two evils.

Other Competitors

There are other alternate products to the Nugget, but they don’t check all the boxes that the Nugget does.  

Small Sized Couches (or Children's Couches)

Caravan Divan by Kalon

This kid sized couch also doubles as a toddler bed or day bed.  It costs $995 for the “raw” wood finish, and $1,295 for one of the colored options.  

Pros of the Caravan Divan over the Nugget:

–Better (non-toxic) materials compared to the Nugget.  The Caravan is made of sustainably harvested local wood and non-toxic glues and finishes.

–100% Made in America.

–May last longer than the Nugget (wood vs. foam).

–Doubles as a toddler bed (and can even be converted to a crib).

Cons:

–Significantly more expensive than the Nugget.

–Less color options and can’t change color down the road like you can with the Nugget.

–Less configurations than the Nugget (acts as furniture, not a toy).

–Less cushioned than the Nugget (will have to be more cautious with the hard edges).

Pottery Barn Teen Cushy Lounger

This Cushy Lounger from Pottery Barn Teen is a perfect sized couch for kids!  This particular configuration costs $519, but you can also customize the pieces (cost will vary).

Pros of the Pottery Barn Teen Cushy Lounger over the Nugget:

–May have better aesthetic appeal compared to Nugget (especially for older children/adults).

Cons:

–More expensive than the Nugget.

–Made with a wooden frame, so will be heavier to move and manipulate compared to the Nugget.

–Covers are not removable or washable (spot clean only).

–Less configurations than the Nugget (acts as furniture, not a toy).

Indoor Climbing Structures:

Pickler Triangle

The pikler triangle is climbing structure that kids gravitate towards.  Lily & River is a popular maker in the United States.

Related: What’s a Pikler Triangle?

Pros of the Lily & River Little Climber over the Nugget:

–Made of better (non-toxic) materials (baltic birch or bamboo).

-Takes up less storage space (folds flat) compared to the Nugget.

–Better for climbing than the Nugget.

-100% made in America.

Cons:

–Does not act as a couch or bed.

-No cushioning.

-Meant for ages 6 months-5 years old, so has a shorter lifespan than the Nugget for an individual family.

Foam Climbing Blocks

There are tons of foam climbing structures and blocks on the market, and here is one example that sells for about $200. 

Pros over the Nugget:

–Slightly less expensive than the Nugget

Cons:

–Does not act as a couch or bed.

–Has a shorter lifespan for an individual family than the Nugget.

–Covers are not removable or machine washable.

Put to the Test: Our Review of the Nugget Comfort

We’ve had the Nugget Couch for almost a year.  We fell in love with it from the get-go. After using it heavily, here are our thoughts:

WHAT WE LOVE

Multi-purpose

We can definitely vouch for the multi-purpose feature the Nugget boasts.  We originally bought the Nugget when we had a newborn. The immediate intention was to use the Nugget as a play mat for our newborn (while supervised, of course).  The Nugget has since grown with the baby – we’ve used it for tummy time, as a climbing structure and as a couch for reading and playing.  We’ve also put the two base pieces of the Nugget next to furniture that the baby likes to climb on, just in case.  We know that as the baby gets older, we will find even more uses for the Nugget.

We have also used the Nugget for additional seating for adults.  We’ve even slept on it multiple times! 

I’ve even done yoga on the Nugget.  

We had one visitor who also fell in love with the Nugget.  She was getting ready to move into a small apartment and loved that she could use it as both a bed and a couch.  She also liked how lightweight it was and that she could transport it in her car if need be.

For all ages

The Nugget is truly perfect for any age.  Babies, toddlers, children, teens and adults. 

Stylish Color Options

Neutral, Bright, Bold, Natural…no matter what your color palette, the Nugget comes in a color that will likely work in your space.

Replacement Covers Available

Perfect for those of us who like to change things up (or have trouble making decisions!)

Easy to Wash/Replace Covers

We’ve washed the covers a lot (probably more than normal…more on that below).  But the good news is that we can attest to the fact that the covers are easy to remove and put back on. They also don’t show any obvious signs of wear after multiple washes.

WHAT WE DON'T LOVE

Not Waterproof

We’ve had a couple small spills which didn’t seep through to the foam since the fabric is fairly thick.  But the Nugget is not waterproof or water resistant. The Nugget Comfort Company claims on their website this is because this would require additional chemicals that many families are trying to avoid.  They also suggest putting a disposable pad (used for bed wetting) between the foam and cover to address this issue.  We don’t necessarily agree with the reasoning for not waterproofing, as there are non-toxic ways of making something waterproof (like this mattress cover material), but realize it may not be practical for this specific product.  The fact remains that the Nugget is not waterproof, which is a definite downside.

Fabric Attracts Sand/Dirt

The microsuede is super soft and comfortable, but we’ve found that it traps dirt and sand and does not wipe off easily.  We have several dogs that also love the Nugget, but they often track in sand (we have a really sandy backyard). The sand clings to the microsuede, and you really have to beat the Nugget to get the sand off.  Even then, it’s not perfect. The best method we’ve found to get the grittiness off the Nugget and return it to its original softness is either by vacuuming it or removing the covers and washing them. We currently have a pretty bulky vacuum cleaner so our method of preference has been washing the covers.

Bottom Line

The pros of the Nugget Comfort couch far outweigh the cons.  We are very happy with this purchase and can’t wait to enjoy it for years to come.

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