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How to Buy the Best Slipcover for Your Sofa

Now that you are convinced that slipcovers are what you need, how do you buy the best slipcover for your sofa?

Summer Color Palette

I love slipcovers. They look great but are flexible and easy to clean. I remember when I ordered my first slipcover I had no idea what to do. Today I am sharing everything you need to know about buying a slipcover.

So You Want a Slipcover. What’s Next?

Family Room and a Summer Color Palette

The first thing you need to determine is if your sofa (or chair) can be slipcovered. Most sofas can be, it just gets trickier with a few styles. If you have a curvy armed sofa (such as the Belgian or English roll) it might be too hard to fit. Also, sometimes a wingback and rollback sofa is also hard to fit with a slipcover.

Just be aware that some sofas are better suited to slipcovers.

How Much Does a Slipcover Cost?

The cost of a slipcover varies a lot. If you buy one online that will either stretch or fit loosely on your sofa, then your cost could be a few hundred dollars. A custom slipcover could cost about $800 for labor, plus the cost of fabric. I paid about $18 per yard for my slipcover in our family room.

Where to Buy a Slipcover

Summer Color Palette and Slipcovers

As I see it, there are a lot of options available to buy a slipcover. It really depends on what kind of slipcover you are looking for. Do you want a loose cover that is more generic and covers your couch or chair? Or do you want a custom-fitted slipcover?

If you are one of the lucky ones and you want a slipcover for a popular couch or sofa from IKEA or Pottery Barn, then you have lots of options. I have links to slipcover options at the end of this post. Be sure to read through to understand what kind of slipcover is best for your needs, as I have included lots of options for you.

If you want a sofa cover or slipcover that fits, then you likely want a custom-made slipcover.

There are two ways to get a custom-made slipcover. You can use a local upholsterer or you can buy one online.

Use a Local Upholsterer

Using a local upholsterer is by far the best option although it might be the most expensive. I have a wonderful guy that has made a lot of slipcovers for me. If you live in the Los Angeles area then please feel free to reach out to him. His name is Jose Medina and his number is 626-806-9825. Just e sure and tell him that Leslie from South Pasadena referred you!

You can find local upholsterers near you by searching on google. You might want to start with Yelp and use their suggestion of the highest-ranked upholsterers in your area. Just be sure to ask if they make slipcovers and ask them to show photos of their work.

If you saw my post titled Classic Slipcovers or Furniture Upholstery? then you know I showed a photo to my upholsterer of a slipcover one of my blogging friends had in her home. I wanted a pleat like hers and my upholsterer was able to match the style perfectly. Feel free to share any photos of my slipcovers if you like them!

Buy a Custom Slipcover Online

My favorite slipcover company online is Bemz. They make slipcovers for IKEA sofas and chairs so you don’t have to measure. I love their fabrics and they have amazing options available.

Companies such as Comfort Works make slipcovers for many sofa brands. If they don’t list your sofa, you can send photos and they can give you a quote. Comfort Works has patterns for slipcovers for over 28 sofa companies. If your sofa is one of those companies then you might not even have to measure!

If your brand isn’t listed, you can send them photos and measurements and it is likely they can still make one for you. Since you will need to measure your sofa, there is a slight chance your measurements can be off. But, the savings are substantial and I think you might want to check them out.

If you happen to own an IKEA couch then you certainly can buy a slipcover directly from IKEA. But the fabric choices are very limited and they do discontinue their brands fairly often. They recently discontinued the Ektorp brand and some of us own two EKTORP sectionals and one sofa sleeper and I will need slipcovers!

Buy a Non-Custom Slipcover

This is by far the least expensive option for a slipcover. Many of the non-custom slipcovers are either loose-fitting or stretch fabric. You can find these slipcovers online and I have listed a few below in the links to Amazon.

How to Buy a Slipcover and Get it Delivered Within a Week

Family Room Summer Decor

If you want an IKEA or Pottery Barn slipcover right away, you can buy them from the retailer or on Amazon. For an IKEA sofa or chair, you can order them from Amazon here. Most are under $300 and ship within the week! For a Pottery Barn Sofa or chair, you can order them here. The slipcovers for the Pottery Barn PB Sofas and sectionals are way cheaper on Amazon than ordering them directly from Pottery Barn. I am sure the fabrics are different but you might find something you like.

I do have to mention one thing. If you have an older piece of furniture from Pottery Barn, be aware. Our PB Basic sectional in our family room is about 25 years old. About ten years ago Pottery Barn changed the size of the PB Basic sectional but I didn’t see it listed in the very fine print on the website. I ordered a replacement sectional slipcover for a lot of money and it didn’t fit my sectional. It was way too big and a huge unfortunate situation. You can read about it here.

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How to Measure and Buy a Slipcover

I use a wonderful upholsterer and he always quotes me the yardage needed. I always allow one to two more years to account for shrinkage and human error. Although I haven’t had to measure for yardage, you can follow the directions to measure for a slipcover here to determine how much yardage you need.

What Kind of Fabric Do You Need?

The most expensive cost in having a slipcover made is the labor. So don’t buy a cheap fabric that won’t last more than a few times in the washing machine. The fabric doesn’t have to be crazyexpensive, rather you just need to know what to buy and buy quality fabric.

The most commonly used fabrics for slipcovers are cotton duck, canvas, denim, and twill blends. Cotton is an excellent choice for chair and sofa slipcovers because it’s machine washable and a light, natural fabric that breathes and is very durable. Linen is also popular but I haven’t used it yet.

The weight of the fabric is what you need to pay the most attention to. The minimum weight of canvas (duck) or denim fabric should be 10oz. Fabric weighted 10oz would be used for a slipcover that gets moderate use and is washed 2-3 times per year. Fabric weighted 12-14oz is ideal for slipcovers that will get everyday use and can be washed up to four to six times per year. I use 12-14oz weight fabric for my slipcovers.

My favorite store online to buy cotton canvas is called Big Duck Canvas. They offer wholesale process to you and me and their prices are very reasonable. My favorite fabric for upholstery they sell is the Preshrunk 12oz/58″ Premium Cotton Bull Denim in OffWhite. The fact this doesn’t have to be shrunk is so amazing! If you want, you can always buy a sample online and check it out before you place your order.

Of course, it is always good to buy the fabric in person so that you can feel the weight of the fabric to ensure it is what you want before you buy it.

I also found 12 oz. white cotton canvas duck on Amazon. Use this link if you don’t have easy access to fabric stores that carry this type of fabric.

Do I Need to Prewash the Fabric?

laundry room remodel

100,000,000% yes!

I learned this the hard way. You must wash your fabric in hot water and dry it at a high temperature to make sure the slipcover won’t shrink after it is made. Your upholsterer may be able to do this for you or you might be able to find a preshrunk fabric. Just make sure that the fabric is prewashed!

I had two wonderful slipcovers on the sofas in my living room and I didn’t prewash the fabric. I have no idea why I didn’t do it, but I think I was really dumb and thought the fabric would look better if it wasn’t washed. When it came time to wash the slipcover I am pretty sure I washed them in cold water. I definitely did not put them in the dryer but each slipcover shrunk 4″ and no matter how hard I tried, they did not fit back on my couches.

Sadly, I had to have new ones made.

For the new slipcovers, we washed the fabric and it shrunk about 4″ per yard. So be sure to allow for shrinkage when making your fabric calculations.

Summer Color Palette

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a custom slipcover cost?

The cost of a slipcover varies a lot. If you buy one online that will either stretch or fit loosely on your sofa, then your cost could be a few hundred dollars. A custom slipcover could cost about $800 for labor, plus the cost of fabric. I paid about $18 per yard for my slipcover in our family room.

Which costs more, a slipcover to upholstery?

Usually, slipcovers are less expensive than upholstery. Plus, slipcovers can be fully removed and washed when needed.

How do I Find a Slipcover?

You can buy slipcovers from many online retailers or have one custom made by your local upholsterer.

What is the best fabric for slipcovers?

The most commonly used fabrics for slipcovers are cotton duck, canvas, denim, and twill blends. Cotton is a preferred choice for chair and sofa slipcovers because it’s machine washable and a light, natural fabric that breathes and is very durable. Linen is also popular but I haven’t used it yet.

Links to the Items Shown in This Post

Below are links to slipcovers available for the EKTORP 3 cushion sofa, 2 cushion sofa bed, 2+2 sectional sofa, loveseat, and chair. Be sure to read the product description carefully and measure to make sure you have the correct EKTORP slipcover.

Surefit Slipcovers are a great way to cover your furniture with a looser, more relaxed look. Below are some links to a couple of different styles for couches, loveseats, and chairs.

Pin the image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Buy the Best Slipcover

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about leslie

ABOUT LESLIE

Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home. I started my blog so I could share my passion for entertaining, décor, cooking, and crafts. You will find all this and more right here. Read more…

11 Responses

  1. Good information in this blog post. Enjoyed reading how this approach has worked for your furniture. Now I am ready to update my furniture with your suggestions. Thank you.

  2. Great post! It is so informative. Thank you, Leslie. I’m really wanting to slipcover my sofa and loveseat. My set looks basically just like yours. Sofa is a three pillow and loveseat a two pillow. I bought both at Calico Corners in Austin, TX. I wonder if the IKEA or PB would fit. I’m thinking I’d like to use Sunbrella fabric. I’m wondering if that would be too scratchy.

  3. This is perfect timing! I have two great loveseats that need slip covers! So thankful that you are sharing all your knowledge about them here! I am going to try my hand at making them…wish me luck!

  4. I was stunned to read IKEA has discontinued the Ektrop line. Thanks for sharing that news and links with Amazon for slipcovers. We have that line and so do 2 of my kids. Your post was helpful too with detailed info about slipcovers.

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I'm Leslie,
Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home

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