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What is a Slipcover?

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Have you come across the word ‘slipcover’ and are somewhat confused? Don’t worry, there is a lot of couch jargon to keep on top of. In this article, I’ll walk you through exactly what is a slipcover. I’ll also explain the pros and cons of them, as well as some of the most common fabrics.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly if you need a slipcover or not.

What is a slipcover?

A slipcover is a form of furniture protector. They are a large piece of fabric that fits over the piece of furniture. You can take them on and off, making them especially useful during moving.

People also use slipcovers during the hottest months of the year. Due to the increased damp and sweat, the slipcover provides a protective barrier. This ensures that the furniture stays as clean as possible for as long as possible. Slipcovers will dramatically cut down on wear and tear.

Considering that you can take a slipcover on and off, they are very easy to clean. Rather than handwashing a sofa, you just need to put the slipcover into a washing machine.

Some slipcovers fit tightly to a sofa. These pieces fit the specifications of a sofa, making a tighter and more elegant covering.

Another useful function of a slipcover is to update old furniture. As you can buy slipcovers that have patterns, you can use them to cover a sofa design. If you want to change the aesthetic of your furniture, you can simply use a slipcover. The new design will cover the sofa itself, giving you an easy method of changing the sofa aesthetic.

If you have a family or pets, slipcovers will also come in handy when preventing staining, and wear and tear. Hair will stick to the slipcover, instead of the sofa itself, making it easy to remove. Any spilled drinks will also only stain the slipcover, instead of damaging the couch.

You can either have a full sofa slipcover, or get individual cushion protectors. Both of these will serve the same purpose, but on different scales.

Protection and aesthetic design are the two main benefits of a slipcover.

Can you put a slipcover on any couch?

There are two main forms of slipcover, fitted and loose. Loose slipcovers will fit over almost anything. They are large, stretchy, and undefined in size. You will be able to wrap a loose slipcover over any sofa, tucking it in at the bottom. This will provide protection, but will look a little strange.

However, when it comes to fitted slipcovers, they intentionally fit the size of the couch. These will only fit the dimensions specified. The benefit of a fitted slipcover, alongside protection, is that it blends into the sofa. They look aesthetically pleasing and will help you to experiment with patterns.

If you are looking for protection, a loose slipcover will be fine for any couch. However, if you want something that looks elegant, you’ll have to know the specifications of your sofa. Once you know these, you can then buy a fitted slipcover.

What is the best fabric for sofa slipcovers?

There are several options when it comes to the fabric of slipcovers. Each material has pros and cons which I will take you through.

Material Pros Cons
  • Cotton is a very soft material. This is great for your couch as it is very comfortable to sit on.
  • Cotton is machine washable, making cleaning easy.
  • Cotton looks natural, offering a casual aesthetic.
  • The fiber strength of cotton often leads to it becoming wrinkled.
  • Cotton holds on to moisture. You must wash them frequently.
  • Microfiber is very stain resistant. If you spill something on a microfiber slipcover, it make take some time to absorb.
  • Microfiber is easy to clean and will stay fresh for a long time.
  • Microfiber is a thick material, ensuring your couch will not become damaged
  • Microfiber is a soft material, and very comfortable.
  • Microfiber is slightly more expensive than other fabrics on this list. This is due to the stain-resistant technologies at hand.
  • Polyester is a very durable material. Once you buy it, it will last an incredibly long time.
  • Polyester is easy to clean, and will resist stains to an extent.
  • Due to its durability, polyester will resist wrinkling. This keeps it looking fresher for longer.
  • Polyester is not a very breathable material. If moisture enters the fibers, you will have to clean it quickly.
  • Polyester is not as soft as other materials on this list.
  • Linen is a very soft material, perhaps the softest on this list.
  • Linen is durable, and will last a long time. There won’t be much wear and tear with this fabric.
  • The more casual look of linen makes the wrinkles that form seem natural. These wrinkles add character to the material.
  • Linen comes from flax, which can be grown in a sustainable manner. This is great for the environment.
  • Linen comes at a higher price than some of the other materials on this list.
  • Chenille is a thick fabric, making it a great protective barrier.
  • Chenille has a textured look. If you want something that is eye-catching, this is a great option.
  • Chenille is very soft, making it a popular choice on this list.
  • Chenille fibers are very susceptible to light damage. They will weaken in the sun. You cannot keep a chenille fabric directly exposed to sunlight.
  • Moisture ruins the aesthetic of this fabric. If your sofa is a high traffic area, there is a high chance that the fabric will look faded.
  • The textured folds of Chenille can be the perfect space for dirt and bacteria to hide. When cleaning, be sure to be thorough with this fabric.
Faux Leather
  • Faux leather is very durable. It will last an incredibly long time if treated right. Its durability makes it a much sought after material
  • Faux leather is easy to clean. You can simply use a wet cloth to wipe any blemishes away.
  • Faux Leather will fade in color over time. Especially when in direct sunlight, it will lose its luster.
  • Faux Leather is arguably not very environmentally friendly. Manufacturers use lots of chemicals during the production process.

How much do custom slipcovers cost?

This question depends on several factors. It will depend on the material used, size of sofa, and patterns.

As I have detailed above, some materials will cost more than others. If you want a slipcover made entirely of linen, you will be looking a base cost of around $900. However, if you go for a synthetic or cotton brand, this will reduce to a base of $300-500.

Please note, this is only a base, the dimensions of your sofa will also be a large factor.

The size of your sofa will be a second main factor. If you have a smaller couch, of course, it will cost less as it needs less material. If you have a sectional couch, this price will increase even more. You must also consider the number of cushions you also need slipcovers for.

Finally, if you want a patterned fabric, this will increase the price. Normally, you can take the fabric in its original color. But if you want to fill a certain aesthetic, you can request a pattern. This is another costly factor.

Overall, this is a hard question to respond to. You can find slipcovers for as little as $300. However, with all of the additional parts, this number could rise to over $1500. The first step in assessing your personal price will be to measure your sofa.

Are custom-made slipcovers worth it?

Cloud Printed Soft Stretchy Box Cushion Armchair Slipcover

Again, this is entirely up to you. While a slipcover can change the aesthetic of a piece of furniture, there is no denying they are costly.

If you are particularly clumsy or have children or pets, a slipcover is a good idea. The extra protection can save you a lot of money in cleaning fees. This is one of the best reasons to get a slipcover. Protection is a primary function of slipcovers, and that’s worth investing in.

However, if you only want to change the aesthetic of the sofa, you could look into other options.


Slipcovers are pieces of fabric that fit over a piece of furniture. They offer protection and aesthetic change. If you’re looking to transform your room or protect your sofa, take a look at slipcovers today.

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