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What to do About Sagging Seat Cushions – Buy New? Maybe, Maybe NOT.

So, you’ve been thinking about getting some decorating help then decide you’re not sure if you’re ready.  Perhaps you’re sitting in your favorite chair or very well-loved sofa thinking “maybe I should wait until I can buy a major piece or two… I know a designer is going to tell me I need to anyway.”

Hi.  News flash… you may not need a new sofa or chair.  The one you already have may just need a little tlc.  NOW you may be thinking “yah, by the time I buy new upholstery and re-stuff everything, I might as well just buy a new sofa”.  True, true.  But what if you like your current upholstery and it’s not all tattered and holding on for dear life?  I’ll tell you what if… you don’t need new upholstery!  And as long a you’re not sitting on plywood on top of springs, you probably just have a case of sagging seat cushions.

So what do you do?

About that upholstery… well that may just need a little jolt; an extra little something something to harmonize with.  Maybe a change out the pillows (inserts and covers) and you’re good.  To get you off and running, here’s a choice or 3 for the kind of inserts you’ll want to get and why:

  • down – insulating, breathable, SUPER soft and comfy, BAD for allergies, expensive, not machine washable.  Choppable, if you’re into that.
  • feather/down combo – Pretty much the same as down, just a little less expensive. If you don’t get a good quality cover, the feathers WILL poke through.
  • down alternative/micro-plush – insulating, hypoallergenic, washable (if synthetic), absorb moisture, NOT breathable (might make you sweat). Still choppable.
  • poly-fill or foam – just say NO.

Now that you’ve cleared your head of that re-upholstery jazz, for now at least, we can have a serious 1 on 1 about the real issue… those sagging seat cushions!  That’s another issue altogether and THAT’S what I’m helping you with today.  As your designer, I am not going to say you need a new sofa if you don’t really need one, and especially if you’re not ready for one.  What I AM going to do is fix your sofa’s sagging ass – or help you fix it.

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First let me be clear that not ALL seating is created equal – but you already know that.  Generally speaking, well made pieces have removable cushions that are well padded and wrapped AND removable cushion covers (i.e. upholstery) so that they can be cleaned, whether professionally or in a machine.  I say “generally” because of course there are exceptions; for example Chesterfield, Queen Anne, and Louis XIV( or just pick a Louis) pieces can have fixed seat cushions, to name a few.  Since we’re not talking about those, we’ll just leave them out of the discussion altogether and get back to the nice cushy sofa we love so much that it ain’t so nice and cushy anymore.

Take a look at this photo.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Nothing really, at least not just looking at it.  And you better agree because I’m using my own to demonstrate a point!

Sagging Sofa Cushions
Sagging Sofa Cushions

Upon closer inspection, especially if someone is sitting on it, you might notice that the seat cushion is crying out for dear life!  That’s because it’s been loved to death!

BTW, see those pillows – obviously, they are not original.  The original ones were pretty great – down/feather filled – but the covers matched the rest of the sofa, and you KNOW how I feel about that.  So I changed them, which I usually do seasonally anyway and so should you.  😉  So 2 of these are down/feather filled, 2 are down alternative/micro-plush, and 1 is (dare I say it?) poly-fill because it came that way and I haven’t change it yet.  Can you tell which is which?

Anyway, I digress.  I recently had a client who had the exact same problem – she and her entire family loved (her genuine) leather sofa and chair, and you could tell just looking at them!  One of the first things she asked was “can we keep them and what can we do about the flat cushions?”  I agreed that they were SUPER comfy and in great condition…except for the sagging seat cushions.  So I did for her what I did for myself and what I will show you here.

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How to Rescue Your Sagging Seat Cushions

It’s a simple 5 step process depending on your sofa.  As I said earlier, most well made pieces have cushions that are well padded and wrapped AND removable cushion covers.  These are the pieces that this instructional will work for.

Step 1:

Get yourself some poly foam.  Most upholstered pieces have a foam layer and this is just like it.  The size I used is perfect for sofa seats  so there’s little trimming and cutting necessary.

Poly Foam

Step 2:

Roll out the poly foam and cut it to size.  It should be slightly smaller than the cushion (cover) otherwise you will have a hell of a time trying to get it in there.

Step 3:

Open up the cushion cover (or 2 in my case) and get to stuffing.  Try to keep it flat so you don’t end up with lumps and bumps.  Those are no fun to sit or lay on.  If it doesn’t stay completely flat, you can beat it into submission after the stuffing is done.

 

 

Step 4:

Test it out.  Sit on the newly re-stuffed cushions to see how they feel.  Get the family in on it and make adjustments as needed.

See the difference
See the difference?
Now do the other cushion(s)
Now do the other cushion(s)

Step 5:

Put your pillow, blankies, and whatever else back on, grab a drink and enjoy the comfort of your hard work!

No more sagging sofa cushions
No more sagging sofa cushions

 

Looks and feels great, huh?  You can thank me later, we’ll have a virtual glass of wine together!

Enjoy!

\ní-ˈkō-lä\
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I love food & wine, paint & power tools. I am a creative introvert, programmer turned decorator, wife and mom, & mental health advocate. I am the decorator owner of Xtraordinary by Design. My mission - rid the world of builder beige & furniture sets.

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