Back in the olden days, furnishing your home meant taking lengthy trips to a furniture store, then setting up an order for delivery.
In essence, you’d have to carve out days at a time just to have a chance at finding pieces that you like. Now, online furniture retailers are making it fast, easy, and more affordable than ever to buy furniture for your home.
West Elm and CB2, subsidiary companies of Williams-Sonoma and Crate and Barrel, respectively, have a lot to offer for any guy looking to furnish their apartment or home. And while they’re relatively similar, there are plenty of differences between CB2 and West Elm that you should know about before deciding which one to order from.
In this CB2 vs. West Elm quality review, we’ll give you the rundown on both brands — including a comparison of their pros and cons. We’ll also include suggestions as to which one might be better for you, depending on your aesthetic preferences.
CB2 vs West Elm
|Price Range||$10 (accessories) to $8000+ (sectional sofas)||$10 (accessories) to $6000+ (sectional sofas)|
|Product Selection||Furniture, outdoor furniture, decor, mirrors, lighting, pillows and throws, rugs, kitchen and dining, bedding and bath||Furniture, outdoor and garden, beds and mattresses, home office, organization, kitchen and dining, home decor, lighting, bathrooms, rugs, art and mirrors|
|Shipping Cost||Unlimited furniture delivery based on a flat rate of $249, or see full variable shipping rates here||Starts at $4.95; see full shipping rates here|
|Shipping Times||Highly variable||Highly variable|
|Headquarters||Northbrook, Illinois||San Francisco, California|
|Products Made In||42 countries across the globe, including the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe||Fair trade factories in Vietnam, across Asia, and some products made in the USA|
|Warranty||None listed; returns and replacements are more common||Depends on collection; returns and replacements are more common|
|Customer Satisfaction||3.9 on Consumer Affairs||3.1 on Consumer Affairs|
CB2 was born in the year 2000 as a sister brand for Crate & Barrel — one that would cater more towards young adults, with affordable and modern furniture.
Using their four decades of experience, Crate & Barrel managed the rollout of CB2 stores carefully and slowly at first, with just a couple of locations near their headquarters in Illinois.
The success of the brand quickly grew as it developed a reputation for quality furniture at reasonable prices. Today there are 24 CB2 locations and counting.
Overall, CB2 focuses on creating the best prices possible for modern, contemporary furniture. They do this by leveraging the connections that Crate & Barrel has already made in the industry, producing items in 42 different countries around the world to achieve the best blend of quality and affordability.
- Modern designs
- In-store and online shopping options
- Questionably sustainable
- Shipping times can be highly variable
Compared to other combination online/brick and mortar furnishing stores, though, CB2 is relatively quiet about the environmental impact of their manufacturing.
This is in stark contrast to their parent company, Crate & Barrel, which focuses strongly on sustainability and ethical manufacturing.
About West Elm
Founded in 2002, West Elm was built as a complementary brand to the Williams-Sonoma, who is a giant in the online retail industry and a recent member of the Fortune 500. And just like CB2, West Elm aims to hit a great mix of affordable and modern furniture for young professionals.
Thanks to the success of their initial catalogs and online retail, West Elm has continued to expand into more brick-and-mortar locations. As of the time of writing, there’s a West Elm available in 37 different U.S. states (though most of them are concentrated on the West Coast).
The West Elm motto has become one of “good for people, good for the planet” — a statement that reflects their dedication to creating sustainable and ethically responsible furniture and accessories.
They were the first-ever furniture retailer to join Fair Trade USA. They continue to seek new opportunities to make their products more eco-friendly and supportive of traditional artisans and craftspeople.
That said, those people- and planet-friendly benefits don’t come without a cost.
West Elm Pros
- Lots of sustainable and fair trade furniture options
- Wide range of styles to choose from
- Good range of local and American-made products too
West Elm Cons
- Pricier of the two brands
- Shipping times are all over the place
West Elm’s products tend to be the pricier of the two brands featured here, so if you’re on a tight budget that might be a fairly big con.
Frequently Asked Questions
To wrap things up, here are answers to the questions we hear asked most often about CB2 vs West Elm.
Is CB2 the Same as West Elm?
In short, no. Though the two companies have many similarities, they are owned by different parent companies with varying sensibilities of design and different commitments to sustainability.
Is CB2 High-End?
CB2 is in the middle range of prices for home furnishings.
Is West Elm High-End?
Just like CB2, West Elm is in the middle range of prices for home furnishings.
No matter which you decide is best for you; odds are you’ll find furniture that fits your tastes that won’t break the bank.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!