Attached vs. unattached sofa cushions

Written by tracey sandilands Google
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Attached vs. unattached sofa cushions
Loose, pillow-style sofa cushions have both benefits and disadvantages. (ULTRA F/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Buying a sofa is an investment in your home and the comfort of your family. Choosing the type of cushions you prefer are an important aspect in the selection of a sofa. Attached or detached, soft or firm, the cushions determine the comfort level of the furniture. Loose cushions that look like pillows are usually stuffed with a poly fill that is soft and easy to shape. Attached cushions are made using a fibrous batting wrapped around foam to make back supports for the sofa.

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Attached-Back Cushion Benefits

A sofa with attached-back cushions is called a "tight-back" design. The upholstery is shaped to the frame of the sofa, and gives it a more formal look. Small children often play vigorously on the furniture, and attached cushions are firmly secured to the sofa. This prevents them from falling onto the floor and being forgotten there to collect dust and grime. It may also prevent an accident from happening when your little one rolls off the sofa along with the momentum of the cushion. Having attached cushions helps to maintain the structural integrity of the sofa over time.

Sofa slip covers can be bought to fit neatly over the entire sofa with its attached cushions, while loose cushions will require individual cushion covers that match the slip cover.

Disadvantages of Attached Cushions

Once the foam inside the cushion becomes compressed, it may be difficult to "fluff up" the cushion to increase its loft while it is attached to the sofa. This will result in indentation or sagging of the cushion.

Materials like leather are easy to clean and need very little maintenance. However, upholstery fabrics may need to be cleaned more often and this is more difficult if the cushions are attached.

Loose Cushions -- the Pros

The sofa with loose, pillow-style cushions is called a "loose back" design. The loose cushions can be removed to provide more seating space when you have a full house, and used as pillows to make the user comfortable for a nap or to watch television from the sofa. The removal of pillow backs usually makes the surface area of the sofa wider, which is useful if it needs to double as a bed. Pillow cushions can be fluffed out to give them new height, and the covers can usually be removed and laundered in the washing machine. The cushions can also be turned over to hide stains or damage, or fitted with alternative covers.

Keep on Straightening

Loose cushions get tossed around--by pets, by children and adults. This makes the living room untidy and disorganised and you may find yourself continuously setting them straight.

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