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What Are the Best Tips for Replacing Couch Cushions?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

When replacing couch cushions, furniture owners should use their existing cushions as templates for their new materials. This type of project may become necessary over time as the fabric and filling begin to show signs of wear. Identical matches can be purchased through Internet ordering to fit any style, size, and color of sofa. Those attempting to complete this project on a budget can do so themselves by visiting a local upholstery store. Both the foam insert and existing fabrics can be used as templates when cutting out the sizes and shapes of the new cushions to guarantee a perfect fit.

If a stain has penetrated through the upper fabric layers of a couch cushion, the owner may wish to consider purchasing a new foam insert. This type of product can be found through Internet ordering to fit the exact width, length, and thickness requirements for each individual couch. Owners should begin replacing couch cushions that will need a new insert by measuring the exact dimensions of the existing cushions which will be thrown away. Next, they can search by size and location on the couch (for example, center cushion) for the insert alone, or attempt to find a pre-covered cushion that matches the fabric already on the couch. Finally, they should make sure the new cushion fits into the existing space before removing any tagging or plastic sheeting that may be needed to complete a return.

A seam ripper can be used to remove existing fabric.
A seam ripper can be used to remove existing fabric.

Foam inserts may be created at home for owners who are replacing couch cushions on a budget. Thick upholstery foam may be found at local specialty fabric and furniture stores in bulk sizes. Owners can take their existing cushions into the store and allow sales experts to guide them in choosing the correct thickness for their new cushions. The old foam inserts should be removed and used as templates in creating the new pieces. Owners can use electric carving knives, like those that are traditionally used to carve meat, to cut the foam material quickly and easily, which will be thick and somewhat limp naturally.

Sofa cushion sewing patters may be found online.
Sofa cushion sewing patters may be found online.

It may not always be necessary to throw away the existing foam inserts already present in the furniture. Replacing couch cushions can be as simple as finding new covering fabric that will slip over the old inserts. Owners should typically attempt to first locate a suitable fabric match locally. They can take an existing cushion into an upholstery store and attempt to match it visually. If no matches are found, they may prefer to order several fabric samples through the Internet and compare them to the sofa in their home before ordering more yardage.

Sofa cushion sewing patterns may be found online and at upholstery stores, and require the use of a standard sewing machine and heavy duty needle that can punch through thick materials. The existing fabric may also be taken apart gently using a seam ripper and used as a template for the new cushions. The finished product should be turned inside out prior to fitting the new or old insert inside. Owners may benefit from fitting any oddly angled portions of the cushion into the liner first. The liner can then be backed around the remaining portions of the cushion, revealing the patterned right side slowly, until the entire project has been completed.

Discussion Comments


When buying new furniture, it is always a good idea to check on the various warranties that are available. This is especially important if you have lifestyle factors that make your furniture prone to damage, such as young children or multiple pets.

Some furniture stores offer warranties that will replace couch cushions for a specific period of time, regardless of the damage that has been done to them. Though this type of protection costs a little more than a standard warranty, it is worth it because you will be able to easily replace your couch cushions if and when the need arises.

With a furniture warranty that provides extra protection, you will also not have any difficulties matching your new couch cushions to your existing couch. This is because the furniture store reps will do that for you when they order your new replacement cushions.


Making your own replacement couch cushions is not an easy job to do. First of all, it is usually difficult to find material to match the exact pattern of a couch, especially if it has floral or geometric designs. Next, it is just as hard to find replacement filling that will match the cushions that came with your couch.

Finally, sewing the material around the cushion filling is no easy task.

If your couch cushions are repairable, a better option may be to sew or patch them. Otherwise, it is less time consuming and not too much more costly to simply replace your entire couch with a new, affordable model.

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    • A seam ripper can be used to remove existing fabric.
      By: Birute Vijeikiene
      A seam ripper can be used to remove existing fabric.
    • Sofa cushion sewing patters may be found online.
      By: paylessimages
      Sofa cushion sewing patters may be found online.