Trends can be a vicious cycle. Sometimes, a product becomes so immensely popular it sells out way faster than any given brand or manufacturer could’ve predicted. After it becomes impossible to get, the clout it has accumulated snowballs and the inaccessibility becomes a selling point in and of itself, sometimes the only one people need. This has happened with everything from video game consoles to Supreme fanny packs and the latest fitness gear (we’re looking at you, company that rhymes with Shm-eloton). The pattern emerging amongst all of these products is that they were well-made, a given, but that they also gripped the psyches of some of society’s most motivated groups of individuals. Individuals that obsess and marvel over, and want, the best of the best — examples include video game nerds, streetwear influencers and fitness junkies. The latest societal enclave to be gripped in the jaws of a coveted item, only to be denied it again and again? Parents, with the Nugget furniture couch. If you know you know.
Nugget furniture emerged from humble beginnings in 2017 when three UNC Chapel Hill graduates decided to reinvent the futon they kept seeing tossed in the garbage at the end of the school year. After some brief experimentation with foam and bamboo, co-founder Davin Baron was confident he had come up with something. The Nugget, at its core, is a play couch made up of four foam pieces that can be configured in countless ways. There’s a base, a cushion and two triangle pillows. It comes in three classic colors as well as 13 different limited edition colors. It’s engineered to spark creativity, play, and is made with machine-washable covers, no sharp corners and health-safe foam.
Baron recruited fellow grads Ryan Cocca and his girlfriend Hannah Fussell to help with the project. Fussell was a public school teacher at the time and asked for one for her classroom. The kids loved it, and she immediately started getting requests from parents for the name of the brand. They quickly switched gears to marketing to kids rather than fraternities. Jackpot.
By Christmas of 2019 they were finally catching up to backorders when the pandemic hit. Suddenly, the popularity of their furniture that could double as a play area magnified. It became the only thing that mattered to exhausted, stressed out parents trapped at home with their offspring — and the Facebook groups started forming. Parents were obsessed with getting one and the reselling and price gouging began, with some offers spiraling to upwards of $10,000. Mind you, the couch itself costs $229.
Like any good cult, the movement has taken a turn towards the dark side, with some parents posting pictures and videos on Tik Tok that allude to using it for sex. You can imagine, the backlash to this was teeny tiny. The shape of the wedges is very similar to Liberator sex ramps and other “after dark” products. Now, many posts looking to resell one specify whether or not the Nugget has been used “after dark.” Go figure.
Now, The Nugget is available to order on their website, although it’s backordered until April. Still, the buy button is there — and you can click it if you want. If not, we’ve rounded up a whole bunch of high-quality alternatives available out there that’ll satisfy your little ones, and parent conscience, just as well.
It’s a fort, a bed, a bench, a magic castle or a hammock on an island far, far away. The options are limitless with the simple and sophisticated Nugget couch. It has four easy-to-wash components and comes in a huge variety of colors. All of the pieces come in one box delivered to your door and there’s a 30-day trial for all customers.
If you’re looking for a product that’s as close to The Nugget as you can get we’ve got a few options for you. These are at a similar price point and some of them are backordered as well — but we decided to include them in case you were curious about other companies that make a similar product. We’ve also included a whole bunch of price-conscious alternatives below.
1. Foamnasium Blocksy Kids Couch
This is the closest alternative to The Nugget out there, and it’s backordered as well — albeit not for as long as The Nugget is. The Blocksy also contains four components for kids to play with and rearrange including the folding bases and wedge cushions. The design is clean and modern and it’s available in nine different colors. The seemingly only difference between The Nugget and this is the material the cushions are covered in — this one being vinyl and the Nugget being microsuede.
2. The Nest
This kids couch comes out of Canada and is definitely a luxury version of the one American parents are obsessed with. It also comes with four stackable, foldable pieces and is made with 100% organic cotton, which probably explains the cost. The foam inside is strong, structured and cozy and the rainbow bolsters are big enough for adults and kids to enjoy alike. Their couch is also Bluesign certified which means they adhere to the strictest health and sustainability protocols. The cost of the couch + a delivery fee to the US will cost you more than $500, but it sure is pretty.
3. The Figgy
The Figgy by Shenanigan Kids is another kids couch that closely resembles The Nugget and contains many of the same core selling points. It’s made up of detachable components of uniform thickness that have waterproof liners, covered zippers and comfortable cover material for kids to play on. There are Velcro strips connecting each cushion together that make it easy for kids to attach and detach, and you can buy the base without the wedges on top if you’d like. Unfortunately, it only comes in two colors — grey and navy.
While many of these don’t closely resemble The Nugget itself, they’re worthwhile alternatives when it comes to both children’s furniture and playsets. They’re also, thankfully, way less expensive in case you’re worried about investing hundreds of dollars in something your kids might not like.
4. Fun Furnishings Toddler Sofa
This is a simple toddler couch that comes in six different colors and has a removable slip cover you can wash. It flips out to become more of a lounger and is made of soft, durable fabric. While it does not incorporate the play aspect of The Nugget it’s a solid sitting area for your little ones whilst reading, watching movies, doing remote school or playing games. Plus, it’s 1/4 of the price.
5. Milliard Tri-Fold Foam Folding Mattress
This mattress folds out into a twin XL and folds back in giving it that movable shape The Nugget has. It has a simple block design and is great as a bed and seating area. It comes in a few different sizes, but the twin XL is the one that suits children the best. It’s made of high-density foam that won’t sag and is light enough for children to move it around.
6. FDP SoftScape Playtime and Climb Playset
This is not a couch, but it is a playset and therefore qualifies as a Nugget alternative since it’s a hybrid of both. It contains six different pieces including a two half moons, an arch, cylinder, wedge and block for climbing. They can be rearranged in countless different formations and the textured non-slip bottom of each piece will keep them from sliding. The colors, shapes and textures encourage little ones to grow their gross motor development, hand-eye coordination and social skills.
7. Jaxx Zipline Kids Fold Out Lounger
This modular lounge seat is backordered on Amazon but has fantastic ratings, so it’s probably worth the wait. The love seat’s shape can be flattened or folded over to form different shapes including a table, mattress, bench and more. The durable foam can hold up during playtime while still being soft enough for naps, and each piece has a removable, machine-washable cover over it. It’s shipped in environmentally-friendly packaging and it’s made of 100% foam with no hard corners.
8. Costzon Climb and Crawl Foam Set
While the other alternatives on this list are more suited for elementary-school children, this foam set is made for toddlers. It’s a 4-in-1 convertible set that can be a bed, sofa, table and pile of activity blocks all within a few seconds. Each piece is covered in PVC material that has a soft leather feel while being easy to clean. The dense foam is soft enough for play but durable enough for all the crash landings. The blocks are also brightly colored to assist with cognitive development.
9. Costzon Children’s Sofa
This addition is for the design-oriented parents out there who would like their children’s furniture to not resemble Peppa Pig’s playtime. Fair enough — this sophisticated leather couch is perfect for two toddlers to cuddle up and watch some Peppa. The wooden frame is solid and filled with soft sponge material. It also has an ottoman for extra comfort, and it’s ultra-lightweight so it’s easy to move.
10. DELSIT 2-in-1 Flip Open Toddler Couch
This adorable little toddler couch had to be included, for the pattern alone it’s a worthwhile addition to your nursery or playroom. It has extra-wide arm rests for support when babies and toddlers are learning to walk, and the removable cover is washable with a pocketed zipper to protect little ones. The cover is 100% cotton and the couch has no frame so your baby can play safely.