Replacing Large Couch Back Pillows

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Do you love your sofa but find that it’s looking like its seen a little too much love? Depending on the type of couch you have, there may be ways to get rid of that worn, slouchy look and fix it up so it looks a little more respectable. When your couch looks tired, it’s not always the pillow covers that are the issue. It’s more likely that you need to do something to address the filling of the cushions. Beyond simply flipping the pillows, there are some things you can do to make the couch sturdy and stylish again so it can not only fit into your lifestyle but your décor as well. 

DIY

If the large back pillows on your couch are worn and beginning to sag, you may be able to add some additional filling to make them sturdier and more supportive for your back. While many people only look at the cushions that go under you, the back pillows take a lot of pressure as well.  A lot of couches have pillows stuffed with a fill insert. When they start to lose their shape, you can perk them up with a little extra fluff. This filling is usually loose poly fiber wrapped in a shell to keep it from shifting. You can create your own shell or add it to the pillow as it if there is already one there. If your pillows have zippers, adding fill is extremely easy to do. If not, you may have to do a little seamstress work. Start by cutting a slit in an unseen side of the pillow. Then, add more filling and sew the pillows closed again.

Replacing Large Couch Back Pillows

Not all well-loved couch back pillows are salvageable or easy to repair. In this case, figuring out how to replace the entire pillow without having to get a new couch is the next step. If your pillow needs to be replaced, it usually means that the couch is pretty well used so you may need something a little bit sturdier than a simple foam replacement. If you want something durable that will last for a long time, look for memory foam based filling. There are various products made of layered memory foam or you can get shredded memory to fill whatever size pillow is needed. Memory foam offers comfort, back support, and longevity. It holds its shape with repeated use and you can add more as needed. Don’t use your old cushions as guides when choosing an insert. Remember, they’ve lost their original shape which is why you’re replacing them in the first place. 

Make sure you get the correct size 

When replacing your sofa cushions, you have to measure them to make sure you have the right dimensions for the new ones. Measure the width first, from inside of the sofa from left to right and then from back to front. Knowing the depth from back to front helps to make sure you do not purchase or create a replacement that is too thick to sit on properly. Match your measurements to the other couch pillows if you are only repairing one as you want them to match. If you are replacing all the pillows, you have a little wiggle room to adjust since you don’t have to try to match the size of an old cushion. Once you’re done measuring, add the fill make sure that all the cushions match and fit back on the couch together to create a comfortable and supportive pillow that refreshes the look of your couch.

Cover Damage

It’s easy enough to replace couch pillow filling but the covers are a little trickier. Some wash well and others are just too worn to do anything with and need more work than just replacing the filling or washing the exterior. A lot of people get stuck on trying to find an exact replacement but it may be worthwhile to think outside the box. Create a new style for your couch! In the process, you may even be able to increase back support and comfort. There are some interesting trends that might help you replace these large couch back pillows while giving your old couch a new look.

  • Dazzle with design – Try using some mismatched fabrics for your replacement cushions. There are some great colors and patterns that can spruce up your couch and décor. Choose a durable fabric simply so the new pillows don’t wear out quickly. There are some great fabrics available that are strong and durable with great colors and patterns that make your look pop.
  • You don’t have to stick to the old style. While couches usually come with standard pillows sizes, you can go with longer ones to create a more modern look. Cut the foam to the size you want and find the appropriate cover. It takes a little more work but can change the whole style of your couch.

Clean rather than Buy

If your couch is in a high traffic room, it may take a bit of a beating when it comes to its cleanliness. Dogs, kids, food, and drink can all lead to dirt and odor. Couches are central to our relaxation at home and tend to get pretty messy. While replacing pillows is a good option for a total couch refresher, cleaning may let you use your pillows to remain a little while longer. If they’re removable, you can spot clean it or wash the pillow covers. Cleaning is a simple way to spruce up the back pillows before having to replace them altogether.

  • Vacuum – The easiest way to clean is to give the couch a quick vacuum to get rid of the dust, lint, dirt and food that may be on the surface. This is also a good way to get rid of the pet hair and dander. This may take a little more work since pet hair gets ingrained in the couch fibers. A good vacuum is helpful. Once you have vacuumed, you get a better idea about the condition that your pillows are in. If they need further cleaning, follow the washing instructions. Don’t damage the cushions by washing them incorrectly as then you’ll have to go back to finding a replacement.
  • Spot Clean – If the whole pillow isn’t dirty, then try to do some spot cleaning before you a full wash. Its easier on the pillow to only do a little bit of cleaning at a time. Do not rub or scrub the spot you are working on as grinds the stain in, making it worse. Instead, simply soak the spot and dab at it. You may want to buy some upholstery cleaner made for the type of material you are cleaning. Remember to read the cleaning instructions to make sure you are causing any damage to the material.
  • Special fabric cleaners – Use a cleaner that is specifically designed for fabric and upholstery. Follow the directions on your pillow as well as the product to remove stains that are either engrained or hard to remove. Using a rag and clean water after the cleaner helps remove all the residue. You won’t have to worry about discoloration if there is nothing left behind.
  • Machine washing and Dry cleaning – When the stains are deep and hand cleaning is not enough, machine washing may be necessary. It is very important to make sure to follow the care instructions.
  • Machine wash – Take off the pillow cover and put it in the washing machine. Usually, it goes on a cold setting in the gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Do not put it in the dryer as it may shrink. Line dry in the sun or simply put it on the pillow while it dries so it holds its shape and fits properly once again. Do not put the pillow on the couch until the cover is completely dry. 
  • Dry cleaning or couch cleaning – You can take the covers to a dry cleaner or bring people in to do a deep clean. Either way, this makes sure your couch is clean and free of dirt and smell. 
  • Use fabric guard to protect your back pillows. It increases their ability to resist stains as well as helping them hold their colors. Fabric guard is a good way to ensure long-lasting durability.

Extra Pillow Support

If you are replacing your couch back pillows, you may also want to look at adding some support pillows. Throw pillows are a great addition style-wise but can also be used in conjunction with the back pillows for further support. There are also some great lumbar support pillows that can help if you sit on the couch a lot. With new back pillows and lower back support, your couch will be even more comfortable.

Do a Complete Revamp

If you are replacing your couch back pillows, you may want to consider revamping your whole couch. You don’t need to get rid of it but a do-over is something to think about. Reupholstering the couch can give the pillows a new life and a new loo. You can attempt to do it on your own or have it done by a professional. Either way, you not only give your back pillows a new life but the whole couch, too.

Cover but not Replace

If you are still looking for ways to revamp your couch back pillows, try slipcovers to replace the covers rather than the insides. This is a good choice when you are dealing with stains versus wear and tear. You have lots of options to choose from if you know what size and style you like. The bonus of replacing pillow covers with slipcovers is that they are removable and washable. You can switch them up as you like to change the style or simply to wash them to freshen them up.

Final Thoughts

In this day and age of being eco-friendly and doing our best to recycle and reuse, we need to look at the ways we can repurpose or restyle our furniture. Replace items instead of throwing a whole couch away is hugely beneficial. If you think you need a new couch, consider replacing the back pillows first to save money. There are some easy and inexpensive ways to do this while still getting a great looking piece of furniture. New couch back pillows add a little bit of style, flair, and back support without breaking your budget.

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