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3 Easy Tips for Fitting Couch Cushion Covers

Fitting couch cushion covers to sofas and loveseats with loose-back pillows and cushions can be a challenge – but we found an easy way to get it done in three easy steps!

slipcovers for sofas with loose cushionsThis sofa recently found a new home as playroom seating. But it was a bit dingy and the loose-back pillow’s design was a hassle to keep tidy in a room full of busy kids.

We decided to perk up the sofa and room with a kid-friendly denim slipcover by one of our favorite slipcover brands, SureFit Slipcovers.

You can also check out Easy-Going Furniture Slipcovers, which specialize in stretch-fitted slipcover styles for your couch or loveseat.

Whichever brand of couch cushion covers you use, you’ll likely need to address a few fitting challenges.

Here’s how we prepared those loose-back pillows and seat cushion crevices for the best slipcover fit.

1. Create a Smooth Surface Across Couch Cushions & Pillows

sofas with loose cushionsWe first placed the pillows straight across the back of the sofa. We removed one pillow so the remaining three would lay flat against the sofa’s back.

To create a smooth back, we laid a double layer of quilt batting across the pillows, from the seat cushions, up over the pillows, and draping about eight inches down the back. Once the slipcover is on the sofa, it will hold the batting firmly in place.

To minimize the crevice between the two-seat cushions, we stuffed a roll of batting between the two and laid a strip of batting over that.

2. Place the Slipcover on Your Sofa

sofas with loose cushions and slipcoverFollowing the slipcover directions, we draped our Surefit denim sofa slipcover over the sofa, tucked the slipcover in place, beginning with the elastic strip between the back and seat cushions to get the proper length in the front and back. Then moving to the sides and arms, we tucked the fabric between the seat and arm, around the “T” cushion, fitted the arms, and tied the ties.

Since this sofa’s seat is lower than most standard styles (it’s only 15″ from the floor compared to the more standard 18″-21″), we tied the tie at the corner of the arm and the cushion – it looks great!

To smooth the area where the back pillows rose above the arm, we folded a small pleat from the top corner of the back pillow down the back, it is held in place by the back corner ties.

3. Add Pillows and Kids to Your updated Sofa!

Loose-fit couch cushion covers do require occasional re-tucking and smoothing with use, but are a great inexpensive way to perk up an older piece or change the look and comfort of an entire room! After your slipcover is in place, you’re ready to top it with some great-looking throw pillows – and even those are available with kid-and family-friendly removable washable pillow covers!

Helpful Hint:

Use a spatula to push the slipcovers seams deep between the cushions. SureFit slipcovers are made with self-anchoring seams and elastic that help keep them in place, but if your cushions do not provide a tight fit, you can push a rolled-up magazine between the cushions to better anchor the slipcover in place – effective and much cheaper than buying expensive slipcover stays!

18 Responses

    1. Very, Very helpful. My sofa has six loose cushions and this tip is wonderful! I especially liked the idea of using the rolled up magazine to “fill in” gaps. Thanks!

  1. Thank you! Such a smart and economical way to spruce up a sofa. I’ve been looking for this! We have a pillow backed sofa, a white haired cat, and 5 kids! This is perfect for us! I seriously don’t wanna keep spending on steam cleanings!

  2. I have a two cusion loveseat/sofa with 2 very large cushion/pillows in back. I want a slip cover that will incorporate the pillows into the entire slip cover. Can you help?

    1. Hi Susan!
      That’s the type of couch we used for this demo so if you follow the instructions and use a similar slipcover (this one is from SureFit), then you should get results similar to ours. Good luck!!


  3. I have a pillowed arm sofa and cannot find a stretch sofa slipcover for that sofa style. The arms don’t fit. Do you have a suggestion or solution? TIA

    1. Hi TeeJay, Here are some stretch slipcover options for different arm styles. I’m not 100% sure what you mean by “pillow arm” is the pillow separate or just a large cushy arm? Either way, the link shows you several options and one might match your sofa. Hope this helps, good luck! Krista

  4. Hello! I have a sofa that is about 94” long and it has t-cushions and I’m looking for a slip cover for it. Can you give me any ideas. We also have 2 boys and 2 dogs.

    1. Several slipcover makers offer t-cushion slipcovers in all sizes. A stretch-fit slipcover will work better in a busy home with boys and dogs! That will minimize having to constantly re-tuck edges, which can happen with slipcovers in non-stretch fabrics. Amazon has a full list of t-cushion slipcover options from different brands at this link:

      I hope this helps you find the perfect solution for home and family!


    1. I haven’t seen one specifically for a corner-shaped unit, but if you have two straight-side sofas that make a corner, you generally can make them work. You’ll just have to tuck the extra end/arm fabric under the cushions of the side without an arm.

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