VICE may receive a commission if you buy products through the links on our site. Read more here.

An (Overly) Honest Review of the Internet-Famous Kova Sectional Sofa

After all these years, I found my dream sectional in Albany Park's Kova sofa—and it's just as vibey, sprawling, and sink-in-able as I had always hoped.
Hilary Pollack
Los Angeles, US
An (Overly) Honest Review of the Internet-Famous Kova Sectional Sofa
All photos by the author

There are two things you should know about Tauruses. Number one: We are loyal to a fault. Number two: We love to lounge, like our patron saint Ferdinand, that storied bull who only wanted to nestle in the flowers all day long. I am a Taurus. 

To that first point: Yes, we are loyal. Some might say too loyal, to the point of ridiculousness or at least stubbornness. I have a pair of Doc Martens that I’ve regularly worn since 2007, and band shirts that have been in my closet since George W. Bush was president. Forgive me for sharing this information, but I have a pair of black Calvin Klein underwear that I’ve literally owned since eighth grade. (Somehow, I swear to god, it does not look that bad—maybe a little stretched out.) For context, I was in eighth grade in the year 2000, making this underwear roughly the same age as Lil Nas X or the first iPod. Now that I think about it, I should probably throw that pair out, maybe with a Viking burial to honor its long years of service. Tauruses are the kings and queens of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 


But sometimes, you don’t even realize “it’s broke.” Sometimes, it’s only after it’s fixed (or replaced) that you come to understand what you’ve been missing. 

This brings me to a couch that I had for a long time and thought I loved. It was an IKEA Kivik sectional sofa, purchased in 2014 for 850 dollars, which, at the time, seemed like an exorbitant amount (it seems like now you can hardly find any sofas for under a thousand dollars; OK, fine, a few). I was still in my 20s and, even though it was from IKEA, it made me feel tremendously adult to own a sectional, especially as the first couch I purchased myself. 

The house I grew up in never had a comfortable couch for watching TV. There was inexplicably a TV in the kitchen, pointed at the kitchen table for maximum disturbance of family meals (or, more specifically, so that my dad could chain-smoke while watching Law & Order), but none in the living room. Upstairs, there was a horrible, squeaky, unyielding leather Chesterfield sofa in the office that was like four feet away from a big screen TV, and somehow, that was the next best place to watch TV after the kitchen table. I’d go to friends’ houses who had sectional sofas and be floored by the degree of luxury of living in a domicile that was actually accommodating toward, say, watching a movie while in a reclined position. I spent half of middle school over at a girl named Courtney’s house primarily because she had a very large sectional sofa, and also a Basset hound puppy and her mom was on pills so she was always in a good mood and made us virgin piña coladas and let Courtney hang a hammock chair from the ceiling in her bedroom—definitely mom-from-Mean Girls vibes. Her sectional was corduroy and U-shaped and sprawling and heavenly. I always swore that when I was a grown-up with my own money and my own home, I’d get a sectional. 


So finally, in my late 20s, I got this sectional—that Kivik. For eight years, my body flopped on its bulky, tweed-covered mass, and for a time, I felt extraordinarily lucky. It survived four moves, including one across the country; being barfed on by my cat close to a dozen times; it saw house parties and COVID and crying, Netflix, chilling, and “Netflix and chilling” before that euphemistic phrase existed. I fell asleep on it approximately 25% of all nights that it was in my ownership. 

Eventually, however, it became lumpy and began to feel unaesthetic, and loose threads began to pop up all over its hindquarters. With time, my eye wandered. As a significant portion of my job involves Online Shopping™ and doing so strategically and thoughtfully, I was perusing modular sofas one day when I saw this sectional from furniture brand Albany Park called the Kova Pit

$3994$3389 at Albany Park

$3994$3389 at Albany Park

The Kova Pit is a statement sofa. It’s massive. It’s the largest option from the Kova collection, and comes in a variety of vibey jewel-toned colors. And most importantly, it looks like the kind of sofa you’d want to live on, but it’s also kind of sexy, with a 70s conversation pit energy. The second I saw a photo of it on the internet, I was transfixed. Velvety, inviting, and sink-into-able, it murmured, “make yourself comfortable.” It was clearly designed by a Taurus. 


A year passed. I continued to stare longingly at the Kova while in repose on my aging Kivik, which felt increasingly similar to chilling on a gigantic loaf of misshapen sourdough bread that’s slowly going stale. Then, finally the day came when I heard the word that the Kova was undergoing a new-and-improved design, and would I like to invite one into my home to try? The answer, of course, was a resounding hell yes

What are the shiny new features of the upgraded Kova, you might ask? As of this week, new, hypoallergenic, 100% vegan filling; new fabric options (chic, 80s-inspired bouclé and cozy camel velvet); and the option to turn the included ottoman into a storage module. The camel velvet was certainly tempting, but ultimately, it was the space-warming quality of the rust velvet color that called to me. 

Like my 23-year-old pair of underwear that is due for retirement, I realized it was time to let go of my Kivik and get a real, adult, bigger, brighter velvet sectional. The largest iteration of the Kova, the “pit,” would take up a bit too much real estate in my living room, but the L-shaped sectional with matching ottoman looked just right. It was time, at long last, to bid farewell to my baby’s-first-post-college-couch-purchase and be a real thirtysomething. 

$3345$2999 at Albany Park

$3345$2999 at Albany Park

I’m now an owner of Albany Park’s Kova L-Shaped Sectional + Ottoman. Here’s my extensive, honest review of the entire process of ordering, assembling, and living with this exceptional piece of furniture. 


Shipping time and arrival

I read a bunch of reviews online for the Kova line before selecting my own sofa, and while they were largely very positive, the two main dings were on shipping times, which seemed to fluctuate depending on the model, and needing to fluff the super-soft cushions—more on that later. Personally, I had no issues and found the sofa delivery to be super easy. My sofa came within two weeks from the time I placed the order, and I received a phone call to schedule its arrival. I had never ordered a direct-to-consumer couch before, but was expecting a small army of buff men to bring it up my stairs in pieces like an army of ants. Instead, a gigantic truck showed up at my apartment building within the confirmed delivery window and offloaded an array of large, very heavy boxes onto my patio.

kova boxes patio.jpg

Each box is labeled with a line drawing of what part of the sofa is contained therein. The heaviest box may have weighed more than me, but I am a determined and resourceful person with a strong work ethic (big Taurus energy) so I was able to finagle the boxes into my living room by a combination of toppling them head-over-tail and scooting them across the hardwood floor. They didn’t all fit in my living room at the same time, so I did this one box at a time, assembling each section as I went. 

Putting it together 

The Kova is insanely easy to assemble, although not necessarily super fast. It requires no power tools—not even an Allen wrench or whatever; you simply slide together a series of metal grooves and screw on the stumpy little legs using pre-drilled holes.

cozy corner box.jpg

The sofa was probably designed to be put together by two people, but in my state of impatience I wanted to get started the moment it arrived, and I was home alone. Didn’t matter. There are quite a few sections to the L-Shaped Sectional + Ottoman and I put all of them together myself within a couple of hours. The only moments that were slightly tricky were when I was sliding on the arms and back; you have to make sure the arm piece you’re trying to jam into place is the correct length and orientation, as there is a slightly trapezoidal shape to the grooves that presumably keeps the arm and back rests from falling out of place as you shift around on the Kova. All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy assembly was, and was successful in completing it by myself. 

puff on kova 1.jpg

My cat has been crazy about the Kova since the moment I unboxed the first segment. In fact, she jumped on it before I had even finished assembling the second. She, too, has forsaken the Kivik entirely.  

First impressions 

When I took the cushions out of their shrink-wrapped plastic and first felt them, I was like, daaaang, these are soft. Although I technically opted for the “Rust Velvet,” they have a microfiber feeling that is something between velvet and microsuede—it does not have that sort of one-way resistance that actual velvet has when you stroke it back and forth. The cushions looked very compact in the wrapping, but when unfurled, they felt like a featherbed. 

I could tell immediately that this sofa was going to be eons comfier than my previous couch. My loyalty had gone on too long. This would be a huge lifestyle upgrade. When the entire sectional was put together, there was a brief moment of feeling overwhelmed by how this is a very large couch. However, within a day or two, that momentary panic subsided and I began to fully appreciate its vastness, especially after having a few friends over and receiving immediate compliments about how inviting and cushy it is. It’s a true modern conversation pit.


What rules about it 

This may seem redundant, but this couch is so insanely comfortable that it’s hard not to spend all of my time on it. It’s aesthetically very attractive, but really, the level of comfort is its greatest feature in my opinion. Now that I have a sofa that feels straight out of Nimbus Land, I can’t imagine spending a substantial amount of time relaxing or watching movies on a super-firm, austere, minimalist couch ever again—at least not in my home. 

kova final 2.jpg

Another plus—at least for both pet owners and people who enjoy drinking tea and eating sandwiches on their living room furniture—is that the fabric seems incredibly stainproof. Unfortunately, my cat has thrown up on the Kova twice so far, and I was genuinely shocked at how incredibly easy it was to clean up. Like, it just… wipes off, leaving no trace (and that was just using paper towels). I sprayed on some pet stain cleaner stuff and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then wiped again, and there was literally no sign whatsoever that an 11-year-old Ragdoll had vomited profusely on that very spot. The cushions don’t necessarily attract hair, but more importantly, they’re very easy to get pet hair off of in, like, one second with a simple roller—namely, the ChomChom, which IYKYK is an absolute must for all pet owners. I’ve also dropped assorted snacks and bevs on the sofa and nothing has left a stain of any kind. In addition to being the comfiest sofa I’ve ever owned, the Kova is also the easiest to clean.


Other things to know

As some reviews online mentioned, the cushions do need adjusting and fluffing periodically depending on how much time you spend on the sofa and how much you wriggle around on it, lie down, sit back up, spoon your cat, spoon your boo, and do The Worm. While I have a perfectly serviceable desk in my apartment, I have ended up spending an ungodly amount of time on the Kova and thus am always sitting in various positions on it with my laptop, without my laptop, watching movies, blah blah blah. As a result, the cushions do slide around quite a bit, and so every few days I have to do a quick refresh to stop them from being flattened and squished any further. However, in my opinion, this is simply a feature to be expected of any sofa with such a down-like quality to its cushions, and I still think it’s very, very worth it. 

kova final 1.jpg

Additionally, I would like to reiterate that this particular model, the L-Shaped Sectional + Ottoman, is not a small couch (in my case, that’s a good thing, but I’ve lived in some apartments that would not be able to accommodate it, especially in New York). Because this line is modular, there are several other versions of the Kova that would be great for itty-bitty Brooklyn apartments, but this exact bad boy is spacious enough for like half a dozen buds/frenemies/acquaintances and even in my fairly large living room, takes up quite a bit of space. He’s big-boned, baby. Measure, folks! 


I’d been curious about Albany Park’s Kova sofa for years, and became so obsessed with it from afar that I feared it might be too good to be true. However, now that it has become the centerpiece of my living room, I’m completely convinced that it’s an amazing couch for the price, thanks to its ridiculously comfortable construction, 70s-inspired good looks, simple assembly, and easy upkeep. I live on the Kova now. My loyalty to my last couch: eviscerated. Am I even a Taurus anymore? Yeah, because I still love lounging like Ferdinand [sunglasses emoji]—now on a big-ass velvet sofa. My comfy sectional dreams have come true. 

Buy all sofas from the Kova collection, including the L-Shaped Sectional + Ottoman, at Albany Park.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.