West Elm Vs. Poly And Bark: Modern Furniture Brands Compared

If you’re looking to furnish your home with contemporary and midcentury modern style furniture, two brands likely on your radar are West Elm and Poly & Bark. These popular retailers both offer trendy, Instagram-worthy pieces at relatively affordable prices.

But they also have some key differences that may make one a better fit for your home and lifestyle. This article will break down the pros, cons, and key distinctions between West Elm and Poly & Bark to help you decide which brand to shop.

A Brief Comparison Table Of West Elm And Poly & Bark:

FactorWest ElmPoly & Bark
Price Range$$-$$$$$$-$$$$
InventoryVery largeCurated selections
DeliveryFlat-pack, self-assemblyWhite glove, fully assembled
ExperienceOnline & in-storeOnline only
StyleMid-century modern, contemporaryVery modern, luxurious
StrengthsAffordable, broad selectionQuality, design, service
WeaknessesInconsistent quality, poor serviceLimited inventory, pricier
Brand ReputationEstablished, familiarGrowing, but less recognition
SustainabilityCommitment to sustainable materialsUses recycled and low VOC materials

Overview Of West Elm

West Elm is a subsidiary of the popular home furnishings giant, Williams-Sonoma. It targets younger, urban-dwelling shoppers seeking a modern aesthetic. West Elm designs and manufactures most of its furniture in-house to control quality.

It operates over 100 stores in the U.S. and Canada and has an expansive e-commerce site. The brand focuses on mid-priced contemporary furniture and home decor.

West Elm Pros:

  • Large selection of living room, bedroom, dining, and office furniture plus decor at various price points. You can outfit an entire home.
  • In-house designers produce exclusive pieces not available elsewhere.
  • Frequent sales and promos making its mid-range prices more affordable.
  • Brick-and-mortar stores allow you to see and test pieces in person.
  • Convenient delivery and in-store pickup options. White glove delivery available.
  • Strong brand reputation and quality control since pieces are made in its own workshops.
  • Sustainably-sourced and non-toxic materials used for many products.

West Elm Cons:

  • Quality can be hit or miss with some complaints of furniture breaking or deteriorating quickly.
  • Inventory and prices frequently change so pieces sell out quickly.
  • Large size limits a more curated feel. Items can seem mass-produced.
  • Customer service could be improved. More difficult to deal with quality issues.
  • Furniture is shipped flat-packed for self-assembly which is not ideal for everyone.

Read More: Comparison Between Allform And Lovesac

Overview Of Poly & Bark

Poly & Bark is a smaller, direct-to-consumer furniture and home decor retailer focused on modern luxury styles. They sell exclusively online through their own website and via third-party partners like Wayfair.

Poly & Bark collaborates with artisans globally to produce their proprietary furniture collections. The brand focuses on luxurious style at relatively affordable price points compared to high-end retailers.

Poly & Bark Pros:

  • On-trend, luxurious modern designs that feel unique and special.
  • Competitive pricing 25-40% less than similar quality designer brands.
  • Wide selection of living room, dining, bedroom, office, outdoor, and accent furniture.
  • Month-to-month payment plans available through Affirm to increase affordability.
  • White glove delivery service included. Pieces arrive fully assembled.
  • Excellent customer service and responsiveness.
  • Sustainably sourced and low VOC materials.
Poly and Bark
Poly and Bark

Poly & Bark Cons:

  • No ability to see items in person before purchasing since they are online only.
  • Limited inventory with frequent stock outs since pieces are imported in small batches.
  • Production is outsourced so there is less quality control. Some quality complaints.
  • No brick-and-mortar locations for pick-up or customer service issues.
  • Higher return costs since pieces ship fully assembled.
  • Brand recognition and reputation still growing and can’t compare to larger retailers.

Also Read: Comparison Between Chill Sack And Sofa Sack.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is more expensive Pottery Barn or West Elm?

West Elm furniture and home decor tends to be priced lower than Pottery Barn on average. Since Pottery Barn is considered a more premium lifestyle brand, its products skew around 15-20% higher than comparable items at West Elm. However, both brands offer pieces at varied price points.

Is West Elm owned by Pottery Barn?

Yes, West Elm is a subsidiary brand of Williams-Sonoma Inc. which also owns Pottery Barn. West Elm targets a younger audience with its contemporary and mid-century modern style while Pottery Barn has more traditional designs. The parent company Williams-Sonoma operates all of these home furnishing brands.

Is cb2 or West Elm better?

CB2 and West Elm have very similar modern aesthetics and price points. CB2 has a slightly more minimalist and trendier vibe while West Elm leans warm and bohemian. CB2 may be better if you like spare, neutral designs without color or texture. West Elm offers a broader product assortment for whole home furnishing. Overall quality is comparable but CB2 edges out with better customer service.

Where is poly and bark furniture made?

Poly and Bark partners with artisans, workshops, and boutique manufacturers globally to produce their furniture collections. They work closely with external partners mainly in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and North America. Poly and Bark oversees the design process and specifications while outsourcing production to expert craftsmen around the world.

Watch the video to learn more!

The Verdict: Which Brand Is Right For You?

Deciding between West Elm Vs. Poly & Bark comes down to your priorities:

West Elm is ideal if you want:

  • A wide selection for whole home furnishing
  • Ability to see furniture in person
  • Affordable prices and frequent sales
  • Familiar trusted brand

Poly & Bark is better if you value:

  • Unique luxury modern designs
  • Higher quality materials and construction
  • White glove delivery and assembly
  • Excellent customer service

Also Read: Comparison Between Networx And HomeAdvisor.

Both brands are excellent options for contemporary pieces at non-designer prices. West Elm wins on selection and affordability while Poly & Bark excels in quality, service and style.

Keep the pros and cons in mind, and your own lifestyle needs, to decide which retailer is the best match.

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