Whether you crave washability, desire a new look for every season, or just want to make the best of a flea market find — slipcovers have got you covered. With a little research and effort, you’ll find a slipcover to fit your furniture piece, along with your style and budget.
When to use a slipcover. Slipcovers are a great option for active families with children or pets. Juice or paw prints on the couch? No problem, just remove the cover and wash it. In fact, some people even swear by using white slipcovers in homes with little mess makers. They’re easy to keep looking bright using detergent with bleach. Slipcovers also provide the chance to update a couch with worn or out-of-date upholstery. They’re also great for people who want to try a bold fabric choice or like to change their design often.
Types of slipcovers. When shopping for slipcovers, you’ll find a large range of styles and types, ranging from completely custom to off-the-shelf, ready-made covers designed to fit many different models of sofas or chairs. Custom styles offer the most versatility. You’ll be able to choose from virtually any fabric and a professional seamstress will ensure a great fit. Obviously, custom is the most expensive option (labor alone starts around $600), unless you’re doing the project yourself. Semi-custom covers are premade to fit your specific model of couch and are available from the retailer. Depending on the fabric, the retailer and the size of your couch, these range from $200 to more than $1,000. They come in several different fabric colors and materials and generally fit well. Premade styles are the least aesthetic option. Many times they will not fit well and do not offer a high-end look. Starting under $100, ready-made covers are the most affordable option.
Potential problems. While slipcovers can solve a number of upholstery problems, they aren’t perfect. Ready-made covers, in particular, have several drawbacks. First, they don’t offer a perfect fit, so you may notice loose areas, wrinkles, and a generally sloppy look. The fabric selection on ready-made covers also tends to be somewhat limited. Depending on the fabric materials, some slipcovers may not be machine washable. If you’re planning on using a slipcover where messes are likely to occur, make sure you pick a material that’s easy to clean. Tip: You may also want to purchase two identical slipcovers so that the sofa won’t be exposed when slipcovers are in the wash.
Slipcover solutions. Don’t be completely put off by slipcover cons. There are several ways to make a ready-made slipcover fit better and look more custom. Unhappy with the fit? Sewing on ties or hidden fasteners can rectify a poor fit. If the boring fabric choices are bringing you down, try customizing your fabric. Consider dying the entire slipcover, or adding details such as trim, embellishments, or pleats. Throw pillows can make a big difference too, adding style to an otherwise boring slipcover.