Thomasville Furniture Vs. Ethan Allen Furniture: Key Comparison

When investing in furniture, you want pieces that will stand the test of time both structurally and stylistically. Two of the most prestigious legacy American furniture brands that come to mind are Thomasville and Ethan Allen.

With over a century of history behind each label, these two companies have staked their reputations on masterful craftsmanship and enduring style.

But if you’re in the market for new living room seating, bedroom furniture or dining sets, how do you choose between these two icons?

Thomasville and Ethan Allen each have their strengths and differences for shoppers to weigh. By comparing critical factors like quality, price, style and more, you can determine which brand best fits your needs.

Let’s dive into a detailed comparison of Thomasville versus Ethan Allen furniture.

A Brief Comparison Table

FactorThomasvilleEthan Allen
Construction QualitySuperb craftsmanship with specialty joineryEqually high-quality with mortise and tenon joinery
Style VarietyMostly ornate traditional stylesWide range from traditional to modern
CustomizationUnparalleled upholstery and finish optionsGood fabric selection but less customization freedom
Pricing$2,000-$4,000 for leather sofa$1,500-$3,500 for leather sofa
Resale ValueStrong resale value due to prestigeWell-recognized name also commands resale

Brief Backgrounds on Thomasville and Ethan Allen

Thomasville Tisdale modular fabric sectional sofa
Thomasville Tisdale Modular Sectional Sofa

Before pitting these two manufacturers head to head, let’s briefly explore their origins and models.

Thomasville was founded in 1904 in Thomasville, North Carolina.

They specialized in expertly-crafted wood furniture made by local artisans.

The company was eventually acquired by Furniture Brands International in 1995.

After a later acquisition by Heritage Home Group in 2017, Thomasville continues manufacturing furniture collections at their North Carolina headquarters today.

Ethan Allen was established in 1932 by two brothers in Beecher Falls, Vermont. The company pioneered the direct-to-consumer furniture model, opening its first design center in 1937.

They later expanded into home accents and accessories while operating 300+ retail design centers, manufacturing 75% of products in America.

While both brands originated early last century, their current business models differ:

  • Thomasville focuses purely on furniture design and manufacturing, selling through third-party brick-and-mortar and online retailers.
  • Ethan Allen manages an omnichannel retail operation of physical design centers and ecommerce combined with most furniture production in their own US plants.

Key Differences Between Thomasville And Ethan Allen Furniture

Ethan Allen Sofa

Now that we’ve covered some background, let’s explore how Thomasville and Ethan Allen stack up today across critical purchasing factors.

  • Quality and Construction

The quality and durability of furniture comes down to materials and construction methods used. Both Thomasville and Ethan Allen rely on artisanal carpentry techniques passed down for generations.

Thomasville is renowned for silky, solid hardwood pieces showcasing meticulous joinery and finishing. Signature construction includes corner blocks, dovetail joinery and hand-tied coil springs in upholstered items.

The company prides itself on enduring heirloom-quality furniture. Many collections are crafted locally in their North Carolina headquarters.

Ethan Allen also demonstrates master carpentry in each solid wood frame using mortise and tenon joinery, corner blocking, and sinuous wire upholstery springs. Their furniture exudes refinement from ornamental turnings to tapered legs.

About 75% of products are American-made in Ethan Allen plants.

The Verdict: It’s a quality tie. Both brands masterfully combine solid hardwood materials, specialized joinery and upholstery engineering to ensure lasting furniture. The majority of production remains in the US for these heritage companies as well. The quality bar is universally high.

  • Design and Style Variety

The styles and aesthetics each brand offers also weigh into purchasing decisions.

The Thomasville design identity skews traditional with classic silhouettes and formally-ornate details. Picture European antique reproductions, heavily carved Rococo-inspired credenzas, mahogany sleigh beds and crystal chandelier-clad dining sets.

Their essence embodies heritage American decor. You’ll also discover more casual collections in Coastal, Cottage and French Country motifs.

Ethan Allen collections traverse a broader style spectrum from historic traditional looks to modern and contemporary genres. The company draws design inspiration globally from European classics to American Colonial.

Collections range from rustic Farmhouse and refined English Manor to sophisticated Metropolitan and urbane Loft lifestyles.

The Verdict: Ethan Allen wins for most diverse style selection. Their extensive range spanning traditional to modern offers more aesthetic flexibility to suit any decor. Those wanting very formal ornate furniture would be better served by the Thomasville catalog.

  • Customization and Finishes
Thomasville Furniture
Thomasville Furniture

Personalizing furniture with options for finishes, fabrics and configurations is important for many buyers.

Thomasville reigns supreme for tailoring capability.

With ample customizable upholstery lines, you can select ideal designer fabrics from Kravet, Maxwell and more to make a piece fully your own.

Finish options like 15+ signature stains allow you to design complementing bedroom pieces. However, some collections limit fabric and finish flexibility.

For Ethan Allen, most products allow some level of materials customization though less broadly than Thomasville. Within their ample fabric selection, you can customize certain pieces your way.

Many collections also offer finish options from metals to 15 wood stains. Yet fabric and configuration flexibility isn’t as robust overall.

The Verdict: Thomasville is the undisputed customization king. Their range of fabric pattern and texture selections combined with expansive finish alternatives enable personalized furniture suited to your space. Ethan Allen allows for some materials options, but not the vast bespoke possibilities Thomasville allows.

  • Pricing and Value Comparison

Lastly, the price and value you derive help determine the better brand choice based on your budget.

Thomasville prices sit firmly in the investment furniture tier, with living room seating ranging $2,000-$4,000. But that premium pricing reflects luxe materials like exotic veneers and top-grain Italian leather alongside enduring quality.

You’re paying for timeless American furniture heritage. The brand name also carries excellent resale cachet.

Ethan Allen delivers strong craftsmanship and style at a more accessible mid-tier price point. A leather sofa will span $1,500-$3,500 — a neat savings versus comparable Thomasville pieces. The trade-off is fewer customization options.

But you still get long-lasting furniture with inspired design. And the Ethan Allen name also equates to solid resale value.

The Verdict: Ethan Allen furnishes stylish, well-built seating and case goods at friendlier prices, giving you more bang for your buck compared to the lofty Thomasville price tag. For budget-minded buyers not requiring total customization flexibility, Ethan Allen provides pleasing value.

The Pros and Cons of Ethan Allen And Thomasville Furniture

Now that we’ve directly compared the brands across shopping considerations, let’s summarize the standout pros and cons of Thomasville and Ethan Allen.

Thomasville Pros

  • Renowned for exquisite traditional American craftsmanship
  • Massive selection of customizable premium upholstery options
  • Hand-tailored furniture with specialty joinery techniques
  • Impressive resale value and brand prestige

Thomasville Cons

  • Very limited modern and contemporary offerings
  • Prohibitively priced for many budgets
  • Less style and material versatility overall
  • Large ornate pieces may not integrate seamlessly in all spaces

Ethan Allen Pros

Vintage Ethan Allen Classic Furniture
Vintage Ethan Allen Classic Furniture
  • Offers well-made furniture at more accessible price points
  • Manufactures majority of products domestically
  • Styles range from classic traditional to contemporary
  • Upholstery is still customizable despite less variety
  • Strong resale value as an iconic American brand

Ethan Allen Cons

  • Narrower breadth of custom fabric and finish selections
  • Large gallery-style retail format isn’t universally appealing
  • Quality varies slightly across vast catalog of products
  • Lower average resale value than comparable Thomasville pieces

Which Brand Is Right For You?

With all factors weighed, is Thomasville or Ethan Allen the better fit?

For buyers wanting ornate formal living rooms: Thomasville excels at crafting heritage American furniture with Old World European flair. The breadth of sumptuous fabrics and hand-carved details make a dramatic sophisticated statement.

For those needing versatile furniture on a budget: Ethan Allen provides pleasing quality and more style diversity at friendlier price points. You still get durability and customization, just with fewer costly options.

There’s no universally “superior” label when comparing these two American classics. Knowing how Thomasville and Ethan Allen stack up allows you to decide which resonates most for your decor vision, lifestyle and budget.

With copious quality and craftsmanship, you can’t go wrong investing in furniture from either brand. Just identify which strengths matter most to you.

Now that you’re equipped with a detailed comparison, you can confidently choose between Thomasville and Ethan Allen to furnish your home for the years ahead.

FAQ About Thomasville and Ethan Allen Furniture

Is Ethan Allen furniture high quality?

Yes, Ethan Allen manufactures high quality furniture, evidenced by their rigorous construction standards and artisanal production methods. As most pieces are made domestically using premium materials, Ethan Allen is considered a top-tier luxury furniture brand.

What other brands compare to Ethan Allen furniture?

Some furniture brands offering similar quality and styles as Ethan Allen includeTaylor King, Theodore Alexander, Canal Dover and Bernhardt. These companies sell directly through stores vs third-party retailers and occupy the middle to upper pricing tiers.

Is Ethan Allen furniture American made?

Around 75% of Ethan Allen furniture is crafted in the United States, primarily at their manufacturing facilities in Vermont and North Carolina. However, some occasional items and accessories are imported. Their website and labels note if pieces are made in America.

Is Thomasville furniture still manufactured today?

Yes, Thomasville furniture is still manufactured today after a series of company acquisitions. In 1995, Furniture Brands International purchased the Thomasville brand and later sold assets to Heritage Home Group in 2014. The company continues hand-crafting collections at their North Carolina headquarters.

What furniture brands are comparable to Thomasville?

Some high-end furniture brands that parallel Thomasville’s level of quality, construction and traditional style include Hickory Chair, Henredon, Century Furniture, Hancock & Moore and Kincaid Furniture.

Wrapping Up

So in summary, Ethan Allen and Thomasville remain two preeminent American luxury furniture companies today, each with unique selling points. Evaluating your style, budget and customization needs will inform which brand fits your lifestyle best.

With outstanding reputations forged over decades, you can feel confident investing in furniture built to last from either manufacturer.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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