How to restuff a sofa

Updated March 23, 2017

Re-stuffing a sofa’s cushions can help an uncomfortably lumpy piece of furniture reclaim some of its original sumptuous glory. Using the right material is essential for aesthetic, safety and tactile reasons. Before starting the job of re-stuffing saggy sofa cushions, check that there are no problems with the sofa frame or springs that will render any regenerative efforts futile.

Find the tag on the sofa that identifies its manufacturer, model or serial number. The tag may be inside the cushions themselves, so unzip them and have a look inside if it’s not visible elsewhere. Contact the manufacturer’s customer service department to enquire about the availability of spare cushion inserts.

Remove the stuffing from the sofa’s worn cushions. In most cases, this will consist of sheets of foam. Measure the size of the cushion’s cover from seam to seam for use when buying replacement foam. Don’t measure the worn foam as this will likely be compressed or otherwise misshapen.

Order replacement foam from the manufacturer. If no foam is available from the manufacturer, visit a local foam supply shop or browse online. The firmness of foam is rated by the indentation load deflection (ILD). The higher the ILD value, the firmer the foam. Density influences the longevity and overall feel of the foam. Denser foams are higher quality and cost more than their less dense counterparts. Unless all cushions are being replaced, choose foam that is similar to existing cushions.

Soft foam that is less than 35 ILD should be ordered slightly larger than the cushion’s measurements. Very firm foam should be ordered slightly smaller than the cover. The slightly smaller size is necessary to ensure that it fits inside the cushion cover.

Cover the foam with Dacron poly-fibre wrap to round off the foam’s corners and to remove any bagginess in the cover’s fabric. Insert the foam into the cushion covers.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Foam
  • Dacron wrap
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About the Author

Justin Schamotta began writing in 2003. His articles have appeared in "New Internationalist," "Bizarre," "Windsurf Magazine," "Cadogan Travel Guides" and "Juno." He was a deputy editor at Corporate Watch and co-editor of "BULB" magazine. Schamotta has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Plymouth University and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Cardiff University.