Spilling. Smearing. Jumping. Catapulting. Raise your hand if these verbs happen in your living room! When you have kids, durability and wear become key factors behind many purchasing and design decisions. Oh boy, do we know this life.
We meet a lot of customers looking for furniture that can keep up with their little (and big!) one(s), so to help with this common quest, we've put together some considerations and fun product ideas. Let’s get into it!
Let’s talk durable, life-happens-proof fabrics
Choosing a kid-friendly fabric is a great first line of defense for spills and wear. Consider the following:
Durability: In general, tight-weave fabrics with a high rub count stand up best to abrasion: look for a rub count of 30,000 and up as this is considered commercial grade. A lower rub count works if you’re considering a performance weave fabric, which tends to be synthetic—more on that below. Leather can also weather years of use; scratches and scuffs can usually be rubbed right out with a clean, dry, soft cloth.
Fabrics from our Oeko-Tex 100 Certified Smart Collection are another great option to start with: soft, versatile, and highly durable, they also incorporate FibreGuard yarn to achieve a high level of repellency, making spills easy to clean.
Synthetic v. natural fabrics: Synthetic fabrics like our Smart collection mentioned above are generally easier to clean (and keep clean) than natural fibers, making them one of the best options for kids. Synthetic fabrics at Medley are Greenguard Gold Certified or OEKO-TEX® Certified, meaning they’ve been scientifically tested for VOC emissions and high product safety.
If you’re looking for a totally natural fabric, we’ve got options! Our New Delhi 100% Cotton Slub fabrics are a durable option made from all-natural fiber yarn (if you’re wondering, “slub” is yarn that has thick and thin areas to create a natural, textured look). This line is also machine 👏 washable 👏, as are some of our other fabric collections: Smart, Melton, Deluxe, Texture, Mariposa, and Wawona.
Texture: A couple options: if you’re worried about nails, toys, or whatever else that could catch and tear the weave, go for subtle to minimal textures that won’t be at their mercy. If dirt and spills are more your problem, texture is great for hiding spotting and discoloration.
Color: Darker shades are a safer choice, we’ll admit. If you’re set on a lighter shade, opt for a performance fabric with liquid-repellant features. On Medley’s fabric swatches page, you’ll find many options that incorporate Fibreguard yarn or a plant-based water repellent to lock out liquids.
Upholstery Buttons: They can add a nice touch. They’re also something that can be fun for a child to tug at or pull out (womp womp).
Consider the sofa’s frame and legs
Durable sofa frames: To prep for moments when your sofa magically morphs into a trampoline or hot lava rocks, look for frames constructed with kiln-dried hardwood and corner-blocked for strength.
Solid wood: Medley exclusively uses solid wood to make our furniture. It not only looks beautiful, but can be sanded and refinished if needed. Because veneer is more delicate, it’s harder to refinish (and on that note, remember that laminate is not a candidate for refinishing—it’s plastic!).
Leg height: While we wouldn’t consider this detail a game-changer, you might consider choosing sofa legs that are 2-5" tall. Legs that are too low make it a bit tougher to find toys or food that happened to scooch under there. The taller you go, the better fort-making advantage you’ll have.
Go for a Natural Latex Mattress
Natural latex not only offers gentle, responsive support, but maintains its shape and resists impressions from use over time. It’s a perfect sofa or mattress filling for these reasons, and its ability to resist motion transfer makes it particularly great for a smooth, bounce-free sleep. Whether you’re worried about waking your partner or have the wiggliest kids, everyone can get their fair share of shut-eye. And not to worry—jumping on the bed can be just as fun without the bounce (we’ve tested it)!
If you’re new to natural latex, it’s a material exclusively made from rubber tree sap that’s comfy, mold-resistant and antimicrobial. Medley’s is certified organic by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), the gold standard of the industry that indicates purity of material, fair labor practices, and eco-friendly processing. This is *the* material you want to sleep on.
Shop our kid-friendly furniture picks
1. Palder Twin-Size Bed
Graduating to a big-kid bed? Our twin-size Palder Bed comes in solid maple and walnut wood and is protected with an all-natural beeswax finish. It’s super durable and made to last through years of growing up. Top with our twin-size natural latex mattress.
Soft, multifunctional, fun! Choose from three models: Mosh, Norah, or Mayer. Our Idan Storage Ottoman, pictured at bottom right, is a close cousin and features hidden storage for quick and easy clean-up sessions.
Spread out! Our Plyned Desk comes in super-durable bamboo and offers plenty of space to do schoolwork, draw, and create. Its trough can be used to store desk items or run cords through it for an organized look. Our compact Hank Desk works well for big kids and teens and features a hand-carved shelf to store books or a laptop.
4. Blumen Sectional
All our sofas are kid-friendly, but we particularly love our Blumen Sectional for sprawling out and piling on the whole fam. Its plush cushions and deep frame make for soft landings, and its wide arms can function as built-in end tables (or an excellent shelf for your noggin). Lots of space for everyone.