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Sumo Couple Co-Op Review

We don't often do reviews for anything but games here at Co-Optimus. Sure, we cover new game systems when they are released, and the occasional accessory like a headset or keyboard. When Nick asked me if I'd be interested in doing a review for a bean bag, I was certainly surprised, but definitely interested. The kind folks at Sumo sent the perfect model for a site dedicated to co-op gaming: the Couple, with room for two.

The Sumo Couple arrived at my door in a large box. I say large, as it was easily half as tall as my ten year old son, but I must admit I was expecting something bigger. My concerns were unfounded; once the Sumo was unboxed, and released from its thick plastic bag, it began to inflate, at an alarming pace. Within moments, the Sumo doubled and doubled again in size, and it would continue to grow (though not as dramatically) for several days.

The Sumo Couple comes in several different colors and two types of fabric. We chose the Fiery Red microsuede, to match the colors of our game room. It matches the blood splatter from a Lancer in Gears of War 3 quite nicely. Putting the microsuede cover on the Sumo wasn’t the easiest task, and is probably a two person co-op job. It’s a minor inconvenience, and well worth the tradeoff: you can wash the cover to get rid of cookie crumbs, lint, and the other random crud that accumulates on all furniture. The microsuede itself is pleasant to touch, comfortable to sit in, and doesn’t seem to attract dirt like some fabrics do. The texture is a bit “grabby”, so you won’t be sliding off the Sumo when in the thick of a co-op gaming session.

To put it quite simply, the Sumo Couple is enormous. It’s called the Couple because it’s large enough for two people, fairly easily. The Sumo website lists the dimensions as 48” x 48” by 36”, but somehow it seems bigger than that when it’s in your living room. This is a big, serious piece of furniture, and it takes up a good amount of space. I am a large guy, 6’2” tall and 280 lbs., and I can sit comfortably in the Sumo, and my ten year old son still has plenty of room, too. Even a couple Skylanders can fit on there at the same time, easily.

The Sumo is filled with some arcane blend of heavenly ingredients that wraps around you when you sit on it, shaping itself around you, while still retaining a firmness of shape that provides support. It is comfortable in pretty much every position you can imagine. Sitting on it cross-legged, leaning against it, reclining on my side... I sat on the Sumo in all these ways for long periods of time without any issues. If you get up to swap out your Space Marine disc for a relaxing session of Dark Souls, for instance, the Sumo will quickly expand to regular size, whereupon you can smoosh it into a new position for some soul-crushing "fun" in Blight Town. The Sumo never feels deflated or saggy.

As a final test, I took an hour long nap face down on the Sumo. (A sacrifice, I know, but I do what I can.) It was quite restful and incredibly relaxing. I now use the Sumo instead of my leather recliner for all my napping. My son insisted on sleeping overnight on the Sumo for a week, so I’m not the only one who enjoys using it for some shut eye.

It’s a bit tough to come up with a downside to the Sumo Couple. The size is a bit of a mixed bag, if you’ll pardon the pun. Though it’s nice to be able to seat two folks in it, moving it from room to room is tough. It’s rather heavy and especially hard to push through a standard sized doorway. At $229, the Sumo Couple seems a bit pricey if you think of it as a bean bag, but it’s much more than that. It’s really a high quality piece of furniture. Looking at it that way, it compares favorably in price to, say, a love seat or large ottoman.

Our initial plan was to keep the Sumo in our garage game room, but we love it so much, we never took it out there. We decided it's too attractive and comfortable to be in a room that isn’t used as often. We’ve rearranged our living room to accommodate it; it's just that good. The Sumo Couple is the most comfortable piece of furniture for extended periods of gaming that I've ever experienced. If you are even considering a similar piece of furniture, do yourself a favor and check out a Sumo first. You'll be glad you did.

The Good
Firm enough to hold shape, but comfortably pliable
Microsuede cover feels and looks luxurious
Modern, high-quality furniture

The Bad
Too big to move easily
Price is on the high side
So comfy you may stay in it for days at a time and lost your job

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