August 27, 2020 7 min read

Quality is the term many brands, businesses, and manufacturers throw around. Everything from toasters to toaster pastries bears the term "quality." The word quality seems to mean different things to different people.

At Furniture Fair, we don't want to make the same tired quality statements without giving you a measurable way to determine the quality of the furniture and mattresses. With that in mind, we'd like to tell you a bit more about our Good, Better, Best ranking system.

This article will explain the Good, Better, Best ranking system, how we rank furniture on the scale of good, better, best, and how you can use this ranking system when shopping for furniture at any store.

Read on to learn about how Furniture Fair ranks furniture quality, how you can tell the quality level of furniture before committing to a purchase and say goodbye to those pesky feelings of buyer's remorse.

What Is The Good, Better, Best Ranking System?

The Good, Better, Best Ranking System (hereafter referred to as GBB to prevent monotony) is a quality-focused checklist that you can use to determine furniture quality when considering a purchase for your home.

At Furniture Fair, our goal is to help you find the right furniture for your needs. Our sales teams are trained to educate and inform customers on all aspects of the furniture world, and we do not want to mislead or misinform customers. The GBB system helps keep you knowledgeable on what products are right for you.

Keep in mind that GBB isn't necessarily ranking worst to best. Every segment of GBB has pros and cons depending on what you will be prioritizing. Using the GBB list will help you determine furniture quality and discover if the price listed is comparable to the quality.

Once you have applied the GBB test, you will be more knowledgeable about the product and better understand furniture quality price points. Using the GBB ranking system will help you avoid paying more for your furniture than you should.

How We Determine Quality Levels In Furniture

The best way to determine quality when looking at manufactured goods is to look at the materials that make up the product; furniture is no different. Here are several factors that Furniture Fair uses to measure where furniture ranks on the Good, Better, Best ranking system.


A well-built piece of furniture is worth paying for, but overpaying for lesser quality is annoying. We determine where our pieces fall on the GBB scale based on the construction methods used. A budget-friendly sofa from Ashley will rank on the good scale due to its cost-saving construction methods.

Brands like Smith Brothers of Berne or Winesburg will rank as best quality because the companies use the best building methods available for a robust and sturdy piece, built to last for decades, if not generations of use.

Depth Of Finish

The metric for depth of finish applies to solid wood furniture, especially dining room sets and bedroom sets. Most furniture in the good and beginning of the better category use composite woods or plywoods in their frame construction which saves on cost but will not be as strong as solid wood.

Solid wood features a depth of finish when stained that composite woods do not. With a bit of practice, you will be able to tell solid wood furniture from the stain and finish, especially when compared to veneer finishes or paper finishes.

Quality Of Finish

The furniture finish quality also helps when categorizing on the GBB ranking scale. Cheaper veneer finishes are great for homes with families where furniture needs to be a rugged but cost-effective solution and not a long-term investment.

By contrast, a company like Winesburg or Basset Furniture's catalyzed finish is designed to last longer if taken care of and can even be passed down to the next generation. While each finish has pros and cons, ranking by the quality of finish will indicate whether or not you are paying too much.

Quality Of Materials

The most significant factor for finding the GBB quality ranking is the materials used in construction. While you do not need to be an expert, knowing a little about materials will save you from overpaying at any furniture store.

Fiberboards and paperboard are the lowest on the GBB ranking scale when dealing with wood or engineered wood furniture, as this material is designed for more affordable furniture. Plywoods are in the better category, along with some pieces that use plywoods and solid wood.

The best category for wood in furniture is solid wood. Solid wood is a premium material with no fillers and no cost-saving ingenuity, and you can expect to pay a bit more for it. The best of the best solid wood is kiln-dried hardwoods such as hard rock maple.

Fabric upholstery is also something to consider. There are basic fabrics that are offered on good quality furniture. Custom fabrics tend to run into the better and best category, and many upholstered fabrics in the best category are performance fabrics designed to stand up to stains, pets, and spills from your kids.

Seating support is also a factor to look for when determining the piece's quality. Couch cushions have several types of filling material, and many support systems can affect the quality and longevity of your piece.

Warranties That Apply To The Product

A great way to tell how long your product should be expected to last is to find out about company warranties. Most furniture companies have faith in their product's ability to hold up to daily use, and many products have been tested for failures in different areas.

The warranty is a good indicator of how high the quality is on the furniture you are looking at. Most good and better companies offer three-to-five-year warranties, and better-to-best companies offer higher warranties.

The Good, Better, Best Price Breakdown

The GBB scale most often ranks from least expensive to most expensive when it comes to pricing. Remember that values exist at every quality level, and the price is not the only determining factor you should use.

The store's most expensive, highest quality furniture is probably not suitable for a college student looking to furnish a dorm room. By contrast, a couple looking to outfit their dream home finally may not be looking for lower-cost furniture that won't last as long.

There are two primary customer types. The first type tends to be people who want their furniture to last and are willing to spend more for lasting quality. The second type of people includes those who plan to replace their furniture and focus more on affordability rather than heirloom quality.

Pricing should be based on your budget and the requirements you want for your furniture. The GBB system helps customers find what they are looking for based on their expectations for quality and price.

How To Determine What Your GBB Preference

Here are a few ways you can help determine your preference for the quality level of your furniture. Keep in mind that everyone has a slightly different taste depending on the needs they have for their furniture.

Who Will Be Using The Furniture?

There are many ways the people using your furniture can affect what furniture you should look for. People living without children and pets may have zero issues with high-end fabrics and expensive furniture. Still, someone with kids and animals may be more interested in performance fabrics and solid and sturdy frames. Keep in mind who will be using your furniture.

How Often Will It Be Used?

More decorative furniture may not require the highest quality or the most robust materials. Still, if you plan on getting daily use out of your sofa, loveseat, sectional, or bedroom set, you want to invest in something that will last.

What Is Your Budget?

Even if you have a taste for the finer things in furniture life, not everyone is at the stage when they can afford to buy the best quality furniture. If you need furniture and have a budget that you must work within, this can determine where your preference should be on the GBB list.

Which GBB Ranking Is Best For Me?

If higher quality construction and quality materials are what you are looking to invest in, consider the options in the best category. At Furniture Fair, this includes brands like Smith Brothers, Winesburg, Daniel's Amish, Southern Motion, and Stickley.

Consider shopping in the good category for anyone looking for affordable furniture that you plan to replace in three to five years. Brands like Ashley furniture offer many furniture styles at affordable prices that won't break your bank.

Suppose you are on a budget but have a taste for higher quality. In that case, options in the better category can help you find that happy medium between higher quality and affordable pricing. Some of the better quality brands at Furniture Fair are Bassett Furniture, England Furniture, and Best Home Furnishings.

Ready To Apply The Good, Better, Best Ranking To Your Next Furniture Store Visit?

Now that you have a better idea of how we rank furniture by quality here at Furniture Fair, you will have a method for finding the quality of furniture at any furniture store. With your knowledge of quality material and the price comparisons based on quality, you can ensure that you find the right furniture for you without overpaying or getting a bad deal.

Keep in mind that different people have different needs, and the highest price and best quality isn't always suitable for everyone. Remember to take the time to compare quality and find the best furniture for your expectations.

If you are interested in learning more about the quality levels available at Furniture Fair, stop by any of our locations in Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, or Louisville. If you want to learn more about Furniture Fair's brands, consider checking out our list for the top made-in-USA brands that Furniture Fair carries.