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3 Tips for Fitting Slipcovers for Sofas with Loose Cushions

Finding and fitting slipcovers for sofas with loose cushions or pillows on the back can be challenging, but we found an easy way to get it done. This simple method works with most standard slipcovers, including loose-fit and stretch-fit styles from top brands like Surefit, Easy-Going, and PureFit.

Our Loose Cushion Slipcover Project

This sofa recently found a new home as playroom seating. But it was a bit dingy, and the loose pillow-back style was a hassle to keep tidy. So we decided to perk it up with a sofa slipcover.

Fitting slipcovers for sofas with loose cushions in three easy steps
Most types of slipcovers work for sofas with loose cushions. Here, we simply lined up the loose pillow-style cushions along the back and filled in the gaps with quilt batting before applying the slipcover.

Here’s how we turned this tired, loose pillow-back sofa into a fun playroom couch using a durable denim slipcover from Surefit.

The Best Slipcovers for Sofas with Loose Cushions

First, you’ll need a slipcover. The good news is most slipcover brands and styles will fit sofas with loose-back cushions.

We used a denim slipcover from SureFit with a flowy, loose-fit style. If you’re looking for a fitted, tailored look, SureFit also has a big selection of stretch-fit slipcovers, including slipcovers with separate covers for seat cushions and t-cushions.

SureFit has the largest selection of sofa, loveseat, and chair slipcovers in the widest range of styles, colors, and fabrics. They even make recliner and wing-back chair slipcovers and fitted slipcovers for chaise-style sectional couches.

But SureFit isn’t the only slipcover game in town. Brands like Easy-Going furniture slipcovers, PureFit slipcovers, and others offer stretch-fit slipcovers in many sizes, styles, and colors. You’ll find plenty of slipcover options on Amazon and in most home goods and big-box stores.

Fitting Slipcovers for Sofas with Loose Cushions: 3 Easy Steps

Whichever type of slipcover you pick—fitted or flowy—sofas with loose cushions need some prep work to make the slipcover fit well and look tidy.

Here’s how we prepared our loose-back pillows and seat cushion crevices in three easy steps.

1. Line up the cushions or pillows along the back

First, we placed the loose pillows straight across the back of the sofa. We removed one pillow so the remaining three would lay flat against the sofa’s back.

2. Fill in the gaps and create a smooth back

To create a smooth back, we placed rolls of quilt batting between the pillows, then covered the pillow section in a double layer of quilt batting. We did this by tucking the edge of the batting under the seat cushion, rolling it up over the top of the pillow section, then draping the batting about eight inches down the back. Once the slipcover is on the sofa, it will hold the batting in place.

3. Fill in any gaps in the seat cushions

This sofa has two seat cushions, so we filled the crevice between the cushions with a roll of batting then and laid a wide strip of batting over that. This keeps the slipcover from sinking and pinching where the cushions meet.

Note: We used one package of fiberfill quilt batting for this project since it has a rough texture that helps it stay in place. But you can use old towels, polar fleece remnants, or whatever you have on hand that will do the trick.

Fit the Slipcover to the Sofa

After prepping the back cushions, we put the slipcover on the sofa. Here’s how we made this loose-fit slipcover work on this T-cushion sofa.

First, we 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 and fitted the arms.

Last, we secured the four corner 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 front ties at the corner of the arm and the T-cushion. It looks great!

To smooth and secure the slipcover where the back pillows rose above the arm, we folded a small pleat from the top corner of the back pillow down the back. Once the back corners were tied, this stayed in place and looked great.

Add Pillows and Kids

After your slipcover is in place, you’re ready to top it with some great-looking throw pillows. You can find a huge selection of family-friendly removable and washable pillow covers on Amazon and in other home goods stores.

Helpful Hints for Fitting Slipcovers

Loose-fit slipcovers require occasional re-tucking and smoothing with use. The newer stretch-fit slipcover styles require less straightening and upkeep. If you can find a stretchy slipcover in a color and fabric that works for you, you might be happier with it in the long run.

Use a spatula to push the slipcovers seams deep between the cushions. Slipcovers are made with self-anchoring seams and elastic that help keep them in place.

If your cushions don’t provide a tight fit, you can use slipcover stays to anchor the slipcover more securely. We’ve found pushing a rolled-up magazine between the sofa arms, back, and cushions works well too, plus it’s cheaper than buying 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!!

      Cheers,
      Krista

  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: https://amzn.to/2z0nP6c

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

      Cheers,
      Krista

    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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