How Can I Make Couch Cushions Firmer?

Couch with replaced cushions

As couches get old and start to sag, rather than running out and buying a new sofa, most of us find ourselves asking, "How can I make couch cushions firmer?"

How Can I Make Couch Cushions Firmer?

Couches take a lot of abuse, and over time the cushions start to sag and lose their shape. If the rest of the couch is in bad shape it may be worth thinking about getting a new one. Sometimes a new upholstery job is the answer, and sometimes the frame needs work. But if sagging cushions are the only problem then you're in luck, because there are many ways to make couch cushions firmer.

Add Foam to Sofa Cushions

Adding extra foam is the easiest way to firm up sofa cushions. There are a few ways to do it.

If your couch cushions have zippers it's very easy to add extra foam. Simply unzip the cover and add the desired amount of foam.

Foam comes in firm, medium, and soft density versions, as well as different thicknesses, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. You can add one piece, or layer a few around the existing cushion until you get the desired effect.

Stuffing the cushion with cotton batting is another option, but the result isn't usually as effective as foam.

Replace Foam

If the interior of the cushion is in really bad shape you might want to consider completely replacing it. Either purchase new foam from a local store or order it online.

If ordering online, take the measurements of each cushion and order foam that is equal to or larger than what's needed. If there's any doubt, always order a size larger than needed because it can be cut down if necessary.

Some companies will cut foam to order. If you have an L-shaped cushion you might want to consider having the foam custom cut.

How to Cut Foam

If you're going to cut the foam yourself follow these easy steps:

  • Remove the old foam cushions from the covers.
  • Place the old foam on top of the new and trace an outline on the new piece to make a pattern.
  • Using a knife and cutting at a 90-degree angle, cut along the line. If possible use an electric knife that will make a cleaner cut.

Take Cushions to an Upholsterer

If you have an expensive or antique sofa it's best to have a professional fix the cushions rather than attempting to do it yourself. It will cost a little bit more, but it's worth it. A professional furniture upholsterer will make sure that the cushions look as good as the day you bought the sofa. Paying someone else for the labor costs a little more, but if you've already spent a lot of a sofa, why skimp on the cushions?

Use Plywood to Firm Up Seating

Another temporary solution to firming up couch cushions is to put a piece of plywood underneath them. It will keep the cushions from sinking down into the frame when people sit down. To keep things even, place one long piece of plywood that runs the length of the sofa under the cushion(s). Even if only one or two of the cushions need firming up, it will feel odd if there's plywood beneath only a portion of the seat.

While plywood can make the seat feel firmer, it's not a permanent solution.

There's a generally accepted rule when it comes to sofas: A decent quality sofa should last at least 10 years, while high-end sofas should last closer to 25. That said, sometimes the cushion filling starts to break down and needs to be replaced. If this is the case, don't worry. If you're asking yourself, "How can I make couch cushions firmer?" Then try some of the above suggestions. You'll be able to make your old sofa feel brand new.

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How Can I Make Couch Cushions Firmer?