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How to Fix Flat Sagging Seat Cushions

One of the most common problems for upholsterers is how to fix couch cushions or chair cushions that have sagged, or seemingly gone flat altogether. While it can be tempting to go out and buy replacement cushions, there are a few ways of tackling this problem. 

Before you tackle the problem, check out the following methods:

The first thing to do is to identify what you don’t like about your cushions. For example, if your cushions have degraded – are there ripples and wrinkles in the middle of the cushion cover or are the corners of the cushions aren’t filling out like they used to?  Method One will, therefore, be your best bet. If the cushion is lacking in support, then Methods Two and Three will solve that and give your cushions a new fresh look.

Method One

This is one of the simplest and least expensive DIY methods for fixing flat sagging cushions. Since the cushions are still comfortable and give adequate support, the only thing you need to do is add fresh poly- batting to the cushion.

For this project check out our resources page here: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-fixing-your-old-seat-cushions/

In the resources page, you will find the poly-batting that you can use for the project. We recommend 1” thick polying, however, the ½” will work perfectly fine and will make it easier to control how plush the cushions end up. You can use either the staples or the foam glue to attach the poly batting, both work great and will get the job done.

Step 1

Take out your inserts 

Unzip the cushion cover, be careful if there is poly batting under the zipper. This can easily get caught up in the zipper stopping your progress. 

Step 2. 

Wrap your inserts with the poly batting.

This is partly why this is the easiest DIY fix for flat sagging cushions. In short, all you have to do is attach the poly batting over the existing batting. We suggest a book warp method for your inserts that is warping from the top to the front to the bottom. You could take off the old batting if you wanted to however it really isn’t necessary. Also what makes this fix so simple is that poly batting is abundant on the internet. As mentioned, you may need to attach multiple layers to get the desired look. We suggest about an inch worth of poly batting for the best look.

Step 3.

Fitting the insert in the Cover 

Testing is important since cushions don’t look great the first time you put back in the inserts. This doesn’t mean that you have to take out you insert and add more poly wrap to your cushions. However, you might need to tear a few handfuls of poly batting off and add it to the corners of your cushions to fill those out. You can do the same with loose polyfill which is plentiful on the internet as well and can be found on our resources page too.

Step 4. 

Zipping up your cover 

Once you are happy with how the cushions look, you can zip up the cushion covers. Try to avoid any poly batting if you have it under the zipper. A good way to help the zipper close and avoid the poly batting is by using one hand to press the insert down further into the cover while closing the zipper with your other hand. 

Step 5. 

Final touches.

The final thing that you might run it to is that the cushions seem to be bowed, to fix this simply bend the cushions the opposite direction with your knee in the middle of the cushion with you pulling on the sides towards you.

Method Two.

DIY Replace both batting and the foam for better looks, comfort, and support.

This will give your cushions not only a fresh and new look it will also change the support and comfort level since you will be replacing the foam and poly batting. This method is more complicated but it is one of the easiest DIY projects you can take on when it comes to your furniture. 

Step 1.

Measure Your Cover 

This is the most important step in the project. To do this we suggest using a cloth tape measure, you can find this at our resource page here. Metal measures tend not to be as accurate. Alternatively, you can use a long piece of string or cord. 

Mark the seam with your thumb on the cord and measure that distance up against a metal tape measure. Measure from seam to seam, first left to right (side to side of the cushion), then front to back, and finally the thickness of the cushion. 

Next, double check your measurements making sure that the measurements are consistent throughout the cover. For example, measure the side to side of the cushion near the front, middle, and back, make sure the cushions do not taper. You can ignore ¼” differences between measurements. If you are in doubt, choose the higher measurement. Also if you are coming up with ¼” measurement like 26 ¼” always round up to the nearest half or whole number. 

Step 2. 

Add an inch to the measurements you took 

This is vital to give your cushions that great full look to them. This includes the side to side measurements and the front to back and thickness. 

Step 3. 

Choose Foam Density

A lot of times furniture companies use a less dense foam. The less dense foam wears out quickly, which means it needs to be replaced more often. 26 density foam is recommended for it’s higher quality. We have foam available on this website as well click here: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-products/

Step 4. 

Pick your foam compression

Compression is the same thing as firmness. This value represents how hard your cushions are going to feel. 

Common Compression Values include:

Soft 27

Medium Firm 35

Firm 45

Hard 75

Choosing the correct compression is dependent on the thickness of your cushions. The thicker the foam the less compression you need. Here is a chart demonstrating general compression guidelines.  

Step 5.

Ordering the foam 

Unlike poly batting. 26 Density Foam is scarcer. It can be ordered in multiple sizes, a common size is a slab 108” wide x 24” Deep x cushion thickness. This is a good option since you will most likely have some foam left over to play with and since they vacuum wrap the foam it costs less to ship. Be careful to get the 26 density foam and not something of lesser quality. To make it easier we have a link to our supplier in our resources page: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-products/

Step 6.

Cutting the Foam.

Cut out the measurements with the additional inch added. Make sure you don’t waste a perfectly good slab of foam by using incorrect cutting tools. For foam of around 1-2”, a large pair of scissors will do the job just fine. For thicker foam an electric meat carver is ideal. The most crucial part of this step is to make sure your cuts are straight up and down so you have a clean 90-degree edge for the side of your inserts. For the electric meat carver and the other options for cutting foam check out our resources page here: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-fixing-your-old-seat-cushions/

Step 7. 

Warping your Insert with Poly Batting

As stated before poly batting is plentiful on the internet, though the desired 1” thick poly batting is hard to find using multiple layers of ½” batting works just fine.

The best wrapping technique that we found is the book wrap. That is wrapping the batting from the top of the insert down the front and ending at the bottom of the cushion. Avoid putting Dacron on the side and the back of your inserts. If you would like a link to poly batting please check out our resources page here: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-fixing-your-old-seat-cushions/

Step 8.

Fitting the Insert in the Cover

Due to the size difference between the insert and the cover, this can be a difficult step. The easiest way to fit the insert in the cover is to start by putting the insert on its side and work cover on a little bit at a time on either side. As you work the insert on you can push down on the side of the insert so the cover can slide on a little bit further, then flip the cushions to the other side and repeat the process.

If need be, put a handful of torn off poly batting or polyfill in the corners of the cover to fill them out more as well. This can be done before you put in the insert, however, I found that doing this after the insert is in works best.

You can find polyfill in most throw pillow inserts you buy at a home goods store, or you can find it at our resources page here.

Step 9. 

Zipping Up Your Cushions

With the additional inch added to the insert, it can be difficult to zip up the cover, however, the end result will be well worth it. To make this as simple as possible put the cushion on its front and push the insert further down in the cover with one hand and start zipping up the cover with your other hand,

Step 10. 

Final touches.

Now that the cushions are in their covers and all zipped up. The final thing that you might run it to is that the cushions seem to be bowed, to fix this simple bend the cushions the opposite direction with your knee in the middle of the cushion with you pulling on the sides towards you. 

Method 3.

Pre-cut Foam Orders.

This is by far the easiest solution for getting a better-looking cushion with more support and comfort. Unlike Method Two there is no need to cut the foam or warp it with poly batting, all you need to do is measure your covers order the inserts and put them in.

Step 1.

Where to Order the Foam.

A quick Google search will pull up a few companies that offer this service, you can definitely get your needs taken care of with any of these companies. However, if you are interested you can order from our supplier that we have been using for years directly through us. You can get a quote for the cost at our products page here: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-products/

Step 2. 

How to Get a Quote Wherever You Buy, Measure Your Cushions Cover.

Unlike  Method Two, where you are cutting the foam yourself there are no do-overs. For measuring we do suggest using a cloth tape measure, you can find this at our resource page here: https://ucprivatecourses.com/index.php/ucsolutions-fixing-your-old-seat-cushions/

If you don’t want to get a cloth tape measure you can also use a metal one which isn’t as accurate. Alternatively, you can use a long piece of string or cord. Mark the seam with your thumb on the cord and measure that distance up against a metal tape measure. 

Measure from seam to seam, first left to right (side to side of the cushion), then front to back, and finally the thickness of the cushion. Next double check your measurements making sure that the measurements are consistent throughout the cover. For example measure the side to side of the cushion near the front, middle, and back, make sure the cushions do not taper. You can ignore ¼” differences between measurements. If you are in doubt, choose the higher measurement. Also if you are coming up with ¼” measurement like 26 ¼” always round up to the nearest half or whole number. 

Please Note: Be sure to specify what the measurements are for with the terms side to side, front to back, and thickness, it can get confusing if these terms are not used. Also, order the foam with the additional inch added to all the measurements, since some companies either do not add any additional allowance to the insert or they add their own allowance which might be different then we recommend.

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