When it comes to investing in high-quality furniture for your home, two premier American brands stand out as top contenders: Sherrill Furniture and Ethan Allen.
Both companies have long-standing reputations for producing exquisitely crafted and luxuriously styled furnishings using fine materials and impeccable workmanship.
But if you’re trying to determine which brand best suits your needs, it helps to take a detailed look at how Sherrill and Ethan Allen compare across a number of key factors.
In this in-depth guide, we’ll analyze their similarities and differences to help you make the best choice for your home.
A Brief Comparison Table
|North Carolina, USA
|North Carolina and Virginia workshops
|North American workshops
|Traditional, Transitional, Modern, Casual
|Traditional, Transitional, Modern, Casual
|Full customization available
|Some custom options
|High-end, heirloom quality
|Fine woods, premium fabrics/leathers
|Fine woods, quality fabrics/leathers
|Hand-crafted, mortise and tenon joinery
|Well-constructed, reinforced joinery
|$$ (Upper Mid-Range)
|Lifetime structural warranty
|1 year overall warranty
|Via design consultants
|In-store and online
Detailed Side-by-Side Comparisons of Sherrill And Ethan Allen Furniture
- Product Styles & Aesthetics
One of the biggest differentiators is the aesthetic style of each brand’s products and collections.
Sherrill Furniture places heavy emphasis on traditional and historically-inspired designs like Queen Anne, Chippendale and Gothic styles popularized in Europe during the 17th-18th centuries.
True to Sherrill’s motto “the past is our future,” these classic early American and European influences are prevalent throughout their furniture. While they offer some transitional and modern pieces, the overall aesthetic skews traditional.
Ethan Allen has a much more diverse design portfolio spanning traditional, transitional, modern and contemporary styles. Their wide selection ranges from ornate formal living room sets to sleek mid-century modern bedroom pieces.
Ethan Allen aims to appeal to varying customer tastes with both classic and on-trend offerings. Their styling feels a bit more mass-market relative to Sherrill’s niche traditional focus.
- Customization & Personalization Options
A key difference between Sherrill and Ethan Allen lies in the degree of customization they offer.
Sherrill places custom-made furniture at the heart of their business. They enable clients to fully personalize and customize each product’s species of wood, finish, hardware, dimensions, upholstery and more.
This bespoke approach allows you to specify every detail, turning your piece into a unique creation. For those seeking one-of-a-kind furnishings, Sherrill delivers full customization.
Conversely, Ethan Allen offers a much more limited range of customization. You can select from certain fabric and finish options to personalize stock pieces, as well as choose non-standard sizing for a better fit.
But the personalization is restricted compared to Sherrill’s bespoke offerings. Ethan Allen focuses more on mass production efficiency and inventory ready for quick delivery.
- Quality & Durability
Both brands produce high-end furniture designed to last, but there are some differences when it comes to quality benchmarks and durability.
Sherrill Furniture is built by artisans using hand-crafting techniques to create heirloom-quality pieces meant to endure for generations. Each joint is reinforced with mortise and tenon joinery, drawers feature dovetail joints, and finishes involve multi-step hand processes.
The materials and construction are first-rate, yielding extraordinary longevity and resilience.
Ethan Allen manufactures well-constructed, durable furniture from quality materials. The reinforcements and finishes are executed by machine as part of mass production.
While Ethan Allen pieces are built to last using good materials, the manufacturing processes prioritize volume and efficiency over artisanal hand-crafting. The resulting quality and longevity, while still good, is a step below Sherrill.
- Price and Value Proposition
You can expect a significant price differential when comparing these upscale furniture providers.
As a luxury bespoke brand, Sherrill Furniture resides at the absolute top tier of pricing. Their sofas, beds, tables and case goods often run $5,000-$20,000 or more given the meticulous hand-crafting and first-rate materials.
This pricing rightly reflects the heirloom quality and uniqueness of each made-to-order piece. Sherrill offers outstanding value for collectors of fine furniture.
Ethan Allen hits a more middle-to-upper price point, offering well-made style at reasonable prices for the high-end market. You can find sofas for $1,500-$5,000, beds for $1,000-$3,000, and case pieces starting under $1,000. The mass production allows for better scale.
Ethan Allen hits the sweet spot of delivering premium furniture with customizable options that still feels attainable for many households.
- Availability and Lead Times
The in-stock availability and typical lead times for obtaining pieces also sets Sherrill and Ethan Allen apart.
The made-to-order nature of Sherrill’s custom process means very limited immediate availability.
Most purchases require a lead time of 10-20 weeks as your piece gets individually crafted after ordering.
Patience is required but the payoff is furniture catered specifically to you. Rush orders are sometimes possible for an upcharge.
Conversely, Ethan Allen prioritizes maintaining ample in-stock inventory across their retail design centers and warehouses. The breadth of options on hand for immediate purchase or rapid fulfillment is impressive.
Many pieces can be delivered within 2-4 weeks. This faster turnaround provides more convenience versus Sherrill’s CUSTOM made-to-order approach.
- Shopping Experience
These two brands take divergent approaches when it comes to how customers can shop for and purchase their furniture.
Sherrill Furniture strictly sells through their network of showrooms. These elegant showrooms allow you to meet with knowledgeable design consultants, view samples, select materials, and place custom orders.
The focused approach allows Sherrill to deliver a highly personalized, concierge-style service experience. However, no e-commerce or outside retail is available.
Ethan Allen provides a more flexible, convenient shopping experience through both retail design centers and a robust e-commerce website. Browsing online is easy with abundant photos, product descriptions and ordering capability.
Or shop in person to experience the furnishings firsthand, with associate assistance available. Ethan Allen casts a much wider net for reaching customers.
Pros and Cons of of Sherrill And Ethan Allen Furniture
Now that we’ve directly compared the two brands across a variety of metrics, let’s summarize the pros and cons of each:
Sherrill Furniture Pros & Cons
- Complete customization for bespoke, personalized pieces
- Heirloom-quality craftsmanship and materials
- Wide selection of traditional and historically-inspired designs
- Made entirely in America for high domestic standards
- Concierge-style experience through showrooms
- Very high luxury price points, expensive investments
- Very limited immediate availability, long lead times
- Lacks modern and contemporary furniture styles
- Requires in-person shopping, no e-commerce channel
Ethan Allen Pros & Cons
- Well-made furniture with some customization options
- Much more affordable pricing than ultra-luxury brands
- Huge selection of in-stock inventory for immediate fulfillment
- Range of traditional, transitional and modern styles
- Convenient shopping online or in retail design centers
- Less completely bespoke customization options versus Sherrill
- Imported components so not 100% American-made
- Quality not quite at the same pinnacle as Sherrill’s hand-crafting
- Shorter warranty periods than Sherrill’s lifetime guarantee
Which Brand Is Right For You?
With this thorough comparison in mind, which brand is better suited for your furniture needs?
For those who seek totally one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality furniture made exactly to their specifications, Sherrill is the clear choice. Their focus on bespoke crafting and flawless materials creates true collector pieces. Sherrill also shines for lovers of traditional styles.
However, the tremendous lead times required and extremely high price tags put Sherrill out of reach for many buyers. Plus you must shop in person with no e-commerce options.
For most homeowners, Ethan Allen represents an outstanding combination of customizable, well-made furniture at accessible price points for the high-end market. The wide selection of modern to classic designs, abundant in-stock inventory, and flexible online or in-store shopping experience is convenient.
Ethan Allen offers impressive quality and style that feels attainable for discerning yet price-conscious shoppers.
Ultimately, identifying your priorities around budget, aesthetics, customization needs, timelines, and shopping preferences will determine whether Sherrill or Ethan Allen is the best brand for you.
Seeking a cost-no-object heirloom?
Sherrill is unrivaled. Want great style at reasonable prices? Ethan Allen likely fits the bill. Though different in approaches, both producers are premier American heritage brands delivering outstanding craftsmanship and design.
FAQs About Sherrill and Ethan Allen
Yes, for those who appreciate fine bespoke furniture, Sherrill’s quality easily justifies the premium price. Every piece is flawlessly crafted from rare woods using artisanal techniques that ensure heirloom longevity. The materials and workmanship are second-to-none, making Sherrill investments worthwhile for serious collectors or special one-of-a-kind commissions.
Some Ethan Allen furniture is produced domestically in their North American workshops. However, they also import significant volumes of fully assembled furniture and components from Southeast Asia and other regions to control costs. So while Ethan Allen offers some US-made pieces, a decent portion is also imported.
Properly cared for, you can expect an Ethan Allen piece to last 15-25 years or more. Their quality materials and construction techniques produce durable, long-lasting furniture. With regular upkeep, an Ethan Allen table, sofa or bed should serve your family well for decades.
Given their ultra-luxury bespoke business model, Sherrill Furniture does not offer sales, discounts or promotions. Their prices reflect the care, materials and labor required for custom production. The value is baked into the quality rather than discounted deals. However, some minor negotiating may be possible when working on larger commissions.
Sherrill Furniture and Ethan Allen represent two outstanding made-in-America heritage brands for high-caliber furnishings. Both produce gorgeous, well-crafted furniture suitable for discerning clients.
For those seeking fully-customized heirloom pieces with luxury appointments, Sherrill’s bespoke offerings deliver outstanding potential for meaningful investments. If prioritizing well-made style at more affordable price points, Ethan Allen provides wonderful solutions for convenient yet upscale living spaces.
Whichever you choose, you can be certain that both Sherrill and Ethan Allen stand ready to help craft your ideal living environment. Thanks for reading our comprehensive furniture brand comparison! Let us know if you have any other questions.