Your couch or sofa offers supportive seating and stretch-out comfort — until it doesn't. Overtime, the stuffing compresses and the foam seat inserts break down, resulting in lumpy back support and sagging seat cushions. If the sofa frame itself is in good condition, you can get your couch looking and feeling like new by fixing the cushions. Here are three ways to make them firm again:
Plump It Up with Polyester
Your couch cushions are filled with either loose polyester, called "fluff" or "fill," or with a chunk of foam wrapped in polyester batting. Open your cushion zippers and take a look. Typically, the back cushions are fluff-filled and the seat cushions use batting over foam. For the back cushions, get a 10-pound box of fill and add it by the handful to the existing cushions. Stuff and pack the fill into the
cushions to make them nice and plump, then close the zipper. For the seat cushions, remove the entire foam insert with its polyester wrapping. Get new polyester batting and wrap layers of it around the cushion, over the existing batting, until you've added about 1 to 2 inches to the top and bottom. As you wrap, use a light coat of spray adhesive between layers to keep the batting in place. Stuff the cushion back into the cover and close the zipper.
Fix It with Foam
If the foam inserts in your seat cushions have compressed or flattened, you should replace the foam as well as the batting. Measure the fullest extent of the cover dimensions width, height, and depth. Order a piece of foam cut to these dimensions; you can also buy a sheet of foam and cut it yourself with an electric knife. Wrap the new foam with batting as described above and stuff it into the cushion cover.
Brace Them with a Board
If you've plumped your seat cushions to the best of your ability and they still dip in the middle of the couch, the problem may lie with the springs that support the cushions. An often-used remedy is to place a board or sheet of plywood, cut to the same size as the seat base, flat on the springs. Cover the board with an old bedspread of something similar to keep it from snagging or damaging the cushion covers. Then replace the cushions on top of the board. You can order kits that contain adjustable boards made up of slats covered with vinyl that also protect your cushions.
You can still plump your cushions even if the covers don't have zippers. Unpick the stitching along one of the seams and sew it back up again after replacing the insert.
Check your couch or sofa for a label that indicates whether it's made with washable materials. If so, this is a good time to toss the cushion covers in the washing machine and get them really clean. Use a cold-water wash and dry the covers on a line so they won't shrink.
Polyester fill, batting, and many types of seating foam are available at fabric and craft stores. You can get spray adhesive there, too.
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