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Ashley Signature Series Clonmel Manual Reclining Loveseat Review

J C
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

After hitting many big named furniture stores and comparing. We ended up with a blind purchase. Risky, you may say? Most of the loveseats within our budget and needs were mostly a box of chocolates. You had to dig deep in reviews and how the furniture is made. Since Ashley was our last option, most of the love seats we took note on are still fresh from Ashley Home Store. Most of what we compared from other stores were of same basic designs and fitment, being within a standard + or - 1" of a 20" seat height, seat width, and seat depth. Being the two of us need to fit comfortably, and are of short and tall needs.
Since all furniture is assembled with foriegn parts, i searched for details on recliner mechanisms. Found there are three tyoes of sturdiness. 250lbs, 300lbs, and 360lbs. There are a few 500lbs varients but are in the large chair sizes. Our pick was heavy duty regular sized seating, without console, and must not be leather or its imitation varients. It's a loveseat, and we like making love, in comfort. Yes you can enjoy your reclining loveseat, without fear of sharing the same space in activity. No squeeks and no wobbly feel.
With careful eye on review pictures, I realized there was more than meets the eye with this fabric covered loveseat.
Being nearly 180lbs and length around 68.5". It was enough to guess right that the extra length was for the plushness bolstering of arms and back rest. Knowing all the boxes are ticked, we ordered it based on needs more than feel, as most of the heavy duty loveseats were of nearly the same feel, other than support with cushions and arm rests.
Take note the arm rests are lower than most, which is a bonus for making love. The pillow tops on the arms are zippered, for user adjustability and needs, with the back bolstering as well. Have not gotten deep into finding all the zippers, as they are fine tooth and made along or under the seam lines.
The material seems better quality than some of the smooth microfiber that looks like leather, but is of cloth feel. Denser more robust with wear. Comfort with bolstering of foot rest and arms are near perfect. Arms have plenty for a cat to lay along the length. In fact a cat can lay just about anywhere on the loveseat without fear of balancing or crowding. No hard corners found, could be a tad more needed, but in general, no different than higher end models in comfort. The cats love the foot rest to lay head on and body in the padded support structure that is made to be seamless with bottom cushion.
Had to do 3 mods right off the bat. Being most all manual recliners that use a finger pull lever, will have breakage at the lever. So i ordered all metal releases, that were installed when I assembled the loveseat. It was shipped in a box, with lower section layed on top of back cushions. I had to remove the two mounting bars from the bottoms of each seat mechanism, to allow ease of moving and placement. The release handles were easy to exchange out, and functioned perfectly without mods.
The second mod, was from many various users from all manufacturers. The type of foot rest system used does not lock in place until back rest is slightly reclined. So if seated upright, any pressure will cause foot rest to collapse. The fix is to slightly recline to lock in place. But... i did not like the spring being to soft for the foot rest weight. The foot rest on this model is well padded and fully covered from edge to seat. I replaced the weak 7.75" foot rest tension spring, with a 6.25" tension spring. Now when released, the foot rest pops out with more authority. Cat does not collapse the foot rest if jumping on before leaning back. Or if tall like me, legs being weighty and over hanging foot rest, the added stability keeps legs from slowly falling.
Third mod... ordered two plush fake fur blankets to protect loveseat from cat claws and for easy cleaning, when making love.
Long term comfort and ease to watch tv. Tested a weekend of movie watching. No aches and pains. Seats look as good as when removed from box. No sags, no stretched areas, no puckering, and nothing to tell any difference from brand new. Fully reclined position feels well supported, not cushy like a pillow, but gives just enough to feel seated in. Your body seems to sink into position over a 30 minute time frame, not by cushion give, but by gravity and your body's shape, to fit within the countour of recline position. Sitting up right at any leaned back angle seems comfy as well. The trick is placing your seat towards the back of the chair, if long legged. It will place calves more on to the foot rest, and ankles free. Been resting in that position for 12 hours off and on, but no issues with rest pressure against legs.
The only draw back with the 6.25" replacement spring is, that closing the foot rest with legs requires a little more effort. While being long legged, the loveseat should be raised, by adding a structure, under the steel frame of the loveseat. It will raise the seat hight to about 20.5" which seems to be within the more common seat heights. People between 5' 7" and 6' 2" will feel comfortable with the recliner function, and seating, with a give and take at the far ends of the size scale. The only reason to lift about 1" is for ease to close the foot rest and give a more level leg when seated upright, for taller people.

Comments (2)

  • J C
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    As an update to our new loveseat. After a good week of break in, being 200lbs. The seat cushion still has support, yet is more conforming, even though it looks like new, without any imprint left from long duration use.

    My tension spring mod is perfect. Just have to remember to lean back a whisker to lock the foot rest into place. Pet may jump on rest and get an unstable feel, and jump off. Added 1/4" spacer to the underside of foot rest mounting to the retractable frame. I used a 4" long stick on foot glide strip, pack of 4, to do our couch.

    It allowed for long legged or short people to close and lock the foot rest into place, with a lot less effort. Though with my finding, you can easily do so, leaning forward from seat while raising up, will lock it in place. This is with many pull trigger recliners, that use a single tension spring on each side of the foot rest. The Tulin, which is a lower build (cushion and fabric) quality has same issue, even though it uses a factory spring. Could be because the foot rest not as padded as the Clonmel, which makes sense, due to my findings. 1/4" more spacing makes a world of difference, with my spring mod.

    As for all metal frame construction, always look into weight capacity with items. I would not go with an item that is not rated below 350lbs. There are 3 main grades of steel from frame manufacturers. At least 5 frames are identically made through out Asia / China, the only difference is manufacturer and location. Each frame is made with hardware specs required for use. Cheaper recliners will have 250lbs capacity. Even though you weigh below 250lbs, the steel will wear out faster because of its softness (less rigid) holes will elongate. Its fasteners may be of lower grade as well. The standards of having pocketed springs, and hard wood frames, are antiquated. Any wood used is covered and supports basic needs, in arm and back rest. Sure your $1500 couch won't do well falling from a second story banister or off a pickup truck bed on the highway at 75mph. But realistically its going to stay in place, mostly on one room, for a good deal of time.

    Well I am done... so that is what you get with mass production assembly. As long as it looks good, functions and meets a customer's needs, that is all that is expected. Best thing is to check out all manufacturer's limitations, through 3 star comments. Work from there on what to expect. Eliminate the problems, as found on testing on floor models, or before they come... as with plastic release handles. A good idea is to look for zippered cushions. Items below $1,000 may not have them. The zipper will come in handy for long term care and upkeep.

  • Taher Zad
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I purchased the electric version of this Signature Design by Ashley Ludden to sleep in after a chest surgery. I live alone and it did a great job meeting my needs! I used the electric controls very frequently for two weeks and haven’t had issues. Not the world’s most comfortable recliner, but has enough softness especially for the price. Sand color was a little darker than I expected, almost a light brown. Pleasantly surprised so far!