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Your Guide to Replacing Couch Cushions

Bhakti Satalkar Mar 7, 2020
With time, you will realize that you have started 'sitting in' your couch rather than 'sitting on it', it is time for a couch cushion replacement. Replacing your couch cushion will also give it a new sturdy look and the couch will last longer.
How often have you come across couches being disposed, while the cushions have gone bad. However, one does not necessarily have to dispose off a couch, because replacing the cushion is not a difficult task, as it looks.
Couch cushion replacement for your sofa is a simple process. It doesn't consume much time and energy. Also one does not have to spend a huge amount in upholstering it, which in turn helps you to save quite a few dollars required to buy a new couch.
At this point, let me tell you, you will have to carry out a little research and be a little persistent with your efforts, so that you have the right replacement for the cushions. The couch cushions are made from polyurethane foam.
Over a period of time, due to the use of the couch the foam loses its stiffness, hence, you get a sinking feeling when you sit on the couch.
When you replace the couch cushions, they will turn out to be as good as the new cushions itself, if not better.

Right Foam for the Cushions

You can choose to opt for foam of higher quality as compared to the one in the original cushion. The cushions of higher quality will prove to be of help in increasing the life of the couch.
No doubt that the foam of the higher quality will be a little heavier on the wallet, but they will last longer and you will not have to undertake the cushion replacement exercise sooner. There are certain parameters about the higher quality, that have to be taken into consideration. The first among them is the grade of the foam to be used.
There are three different grades of foam available, namely low density, medium density and high density. The low density may not be the right choice, as they may not be as sturdy and supportive, as you expect it to be.
On the other hand, for the number of people the high density foam may seem to be very stiff for comfort. Therefore, it is the medium density foam, which proves to be of right choice.
You may also want to take different factors like resistance to fire, load deflection, resiliency, etc. into consideration. The foam that is resistant to fire melts, when it comes in contact with fire, but does not burn. Taking resiliency into consideration is important, to ensure that the foam does not lose its shape with use.
When you are entirely replacing the cushions, finding the pattern that matches with the original pattern may be a difficult task, but not impossible. Alternately, you can have the foam cut in the appropriate size and shape.
Some of the commonly available edging styles for cushions include box edge, single cord knife edge, double cord box edge, etc. When you are getting the replacement take the furniture style in the room into consideration, in case you are keen on changing the style.

Steps to Couch Cushion Replacement

There are six simple and easy steps, using which you can replace the couch cushions. As a matter of fact, even a relative newbie to sewing can also undertake this project with great ease. The only thing to be remembered is to be careful, when you are cutting the foam and the fabric.

Step 1: Getting the Measurement

The process of reupholstering couch cushions starts with measuring the foam for the cushions. This is an important step to get the right look for the couch. To get the accurate measurement, remove the foam from the cushion and then measure it. It is not a difficult task. The cushions usually have a zip on one side and the foam can be removed through it.
Whenever you measure the foam, always measure the longest edge for the length and breadth. Then you will also have to measure the thickness of the foam. The thickness of the foam will range between 1 and 8 inches. Make a written note of the measurements on a piece of paper and not just a mental one, as you might forget the exact measurements.
Start with measuring the length of each cushion and sum up the length of all of them. Then measure the depth of the cushions. The usual depth of the cushion is either 24 or 27 inches. While choosing the depth of the replacement foam, either choose a foam with depth equal to the existing depth or more than the existing one.
But choosing a foam with a depth lesser than the current depth, is a strict No-No. Then comes the thickness of the foam. An important thing to remember while noting the measurement is to always round off the measurement to the nearest inch. For example, round off 3.5 to 4 inch but if the measurement is 3.2 then it should be rounded off to 3 inch and not 4.

Step 2: Ordering the Foam

Now that the measurements are ready, order the cushion replacement foam.
When you order, remember that you can choose the firmness of the foam that you order. Always select a foam that exceeds your expectation and/or requirement or at a minimal level, meets the existing size.
When you order the size of foam, it is advisable to order a little more than the actual requirement. It normally comes in huge blocks of size 6 feet. From the huge blocks, small pieces as per the specifications can be made.
The replacement foam can be 'cut-to-order'. However, normally square and rectangle shaped foam can be found in this category as they are the standard shapes. Lately, foam in other shapes, is also available.
If you are not able to find the shape you want the foam in, then you will have to cut the foam at home itself. Very often, the staff at the upholstery store can guide you with the right size, thickness and firmness of the foam.

Step 3: Cutting the Foam

Assuming you have got home the uncut foam, you will have to undertake the foam cutting exercise. So that the foam is cut into the required size and shape.
The best option now is to remove the foam from one of the old cushions, place it on the new piece and trace out the borders with a marker.
An electric carving knife will be of immense help for cutting the foam into the right size and shape as it is easy to handle. In case the electric carving knife is not at hand, use a long sharp knife. While cutting the foam, ensure that the knife is at an angle of 90ยบ. Also your hand will have to be very steady, when you are cutting foam.
Be sure that the foam is cut evenly throughout the length. There should be no room for error while you cut the foam. A single small error will mean more expenditure.
Using only foam for the cushion can give you a warmer feeling in summer. If you want, you can stick a layer of cotton on the foam. The cotton layer can either be put on all the sides, or just on one side.
The cotton layer also helps in increasing the life of the foam. You can also stitch a netting cloth on all sides of the foam, rather it is recommended that one does use a netting cloth. This will help in keeping the cotton and the foam together, so the reupholster couch cushions last longer.

Step 4: Get the Cushion Cover Fabric

You will have to use the original measurements to get the fabric for the cushions.
Don't forget to take length, width and the thickness of the cushion into consideration. However, you will have to add about 2 to 3 inches to the original measurements, so that you are able to slip the cushions into the covers easily and the cushion covers do not tear.

Step 5: Stitching the Cushion Cover

Cut the fabric, after you have doubled it. When you are cutting the fabric, it is recommended, that you place it on a flat surface.
Keep the fabric in place, by using pins for the same. Stitch the fabric on three sides and use a zipper on the fourth, which will make it easier for you to put the foam into the cushion cover.

Step 6: Replacing the Foam

Now is the time to stuff the newly made foam back into the cushion cover. The new foam will not slip into the cushion covers as easily as the old ones. You may have to press them a little.
After you have slipped the replacement foam, make sure that all the edges are of the expected shape and have not taken any other shape. If they are not square, the cushion will not have an even finish. Therefore, you will have to take some time, to give it the right finish.
If you don't want to use zips for the cover, you can alternately make use of Velcro for the same. It is best to use thick and durable fabric for the cover, so that the covers last longer and you don't have to undertake the cushion replacement project sooner. Couch cushion replacement project is now over. Now you can enjoy the reupholstered couch cushions!