How to Choose the Best Couch Cover
Our top tip is to take a step back and assess your lifestyle before investing in either a sofa slipcover or protective couch cover for your space. Slipcovers that cover the entire sofa are ideal for anyone on a mission to hide worn upholstery or give their design a totally new look. On the other hand, protective couch covers are great for guarding your sofa against short-term issues like unpredictable toddlers and messy animals.
For long-term use, look for performance fabric or a bleach-friendly white upholstery that you can make look brand-new time and time again. Other great couch cover fabrics include twill blend, stretchy polyester, cotton duck, denim, canvas and heavy-weight linen.
Ready to find the perfect cover for your sofa? Shop our favorite protective couch covers for every style and budget below.
Design types: Sofa covers generally come in two designs: They're either made of separate pieces of flexible fabric that completely encase the base of the couch and cushions, or they comprise thick pads of material that simply drape over the seat and stay securely in place with included straps. The latter option is better for temporary purposes (e.g., keeping your sofa mess-free while pet-sitting), while the former design is meant for ongoing use.
Sizing and Fit: You'll want to take measurements of your seat and cushions before you buy. The last thing you want is a sofa cover that is too large and baggy for your seat, as it will look more obvious that it is not the original upholstery. Aim to get as true a fit as you can. Also, sofa covers do have the tendency to move around a little bit after extended use and can look somewhat crooked if you're not diligent about tucking them back into place.
Color: Sofa covers can allow you to get creative with the color of your couch. If you don't end up liking the change, it's so much easier to return a sofa cover and try out something new than it is to buy a whole new sofa! There's only one limitation here: Some reviewers also say that covering a dark-colored couch with a light-colored sofa cover can be tricky, as the old color could show through the stretched-out fabric. This is something to keep in mind if you're looking for a radically different-looking sofa to the one you have now.
How do you measure your furniture for a slipcover?
To properly measure your piece of furniture for a slipcover, start by measuring from one widest end of the piece to the other widest end. For example, when measuring a sofa, measure from the outside edge of one arm to the outside edge of the other. If you want to purchase a slipcover with a ruffle or skirt, you'll also need to measure the space between the bottom of your couch and the floor.
If you don't mind a looser-fitting slipcover, approximate measurements will do. But if you're looking for something more form-fitting, you'll need exact measurements.
How do you keep a slipcover in place?
If your slipcover has excess fabric on the bottom, there are ways to ensure it's tucked in securely. First, make sure the cover is centered upon first placing it and free of any wrinkles. You can tuck any extra fabric into the crevices of the couch, including the arms and cushions.
There will also be something on the bottom of the cover that keeps it in place—you'll need to make sure those are pulled and secured as tightly as possible. You can opt for a slipcover with materials like anti-slip foam for extra security.
How do you clean a slipcover?
You can wash most slipcovers in the washing machine, but you should only wash using the gentle cycle on cold with similar colors. Some slipcovers can also be put in the dryer. Always read the care instructions on the label first to check it is safe to put in the washing machine. If it's not, you might have to have your slipcover dry-cleaned instead.