Fjords and Stressless are the leading brands of European reclining furniture. Both are Norwegian Companies: Fjords is made by Hjellegjerde and Stressless by Ekornes.
- Both brands are primarily upholstered in leather with excellent fit-and-finish.
- Both deliver on the promise of superior comfort.
- Both offer excellent longevity and stand above the many pretenders and knock-offs.
However there are some significant differences between the two and each brand has it's own Pros and Cons.
- Looks It's a matter of taste and personal preference but generally Ekornes leather looks looser and more relaxed while Fjords is tighter and more robust.
- Swivel Base Ekornes swivels on two interlocking floor rings- the upside being that these rings can accept height extenders (an add-on purchase of $135-$200) while the downside is that any dirt getting between the rings can cause grinding. Fjords swivels from a central steel post which is simpler and trouble free but allows no height extension.
- Relaxer Options Many Fjords models come as battery-operated recliners with built-in footrests. Ekornes has a smaller selection of these chairs but recently purchased the IMG Company (and their Thailand factory) to expand their relaxer selection.
- Size Choices Ekornes offers some models in two sizes and some in three sizes. All Fjords chairs come in two sizes.
- Color Choices Ekornes offers a large selection of special order colors, but they can take months to arrive. Fjords stocks a smaller selection of basic colors in their US warehouse but they arrive must faster.
- Price The bottom line is that although both products are equivalent quality Fjords chairs are much less expensive (35% -50%) than Ekornes.
Ekornes is a large company with high management and overhead costs. They spend tens of millions on brand advertising to grow their market share.
Fjords chooses a different path- to be a lean operation that delivers value by investing more in product quality instead of marketing. This allows Fjords to have lower prices.
- Fjords is a better choice if lower price and shorter lead-times are important to you.
- Ekornes is better if you want more size and color options and don't mind higher prices and a longer wait.
You can't go wrong with either one- both are "best in class" European recliners. Just be sure to spend ample time sitting in any chair you are considering to make sure it really fits your body.