4 Expert Tips To Choose A Sofa Slipcover

Sofa slipcovers can have something of a bad image about them. They might remind people of those gaudy floral prints your grandma had or stiff varieties that don't quite fit the sofa. However, if you purchase the correct sofa slipcover, you can easily match your décor, find a comfortable material and it may not even look like you have a slipcover on the sofa at all.

Read on to find some tips for how to choose from the wide variety of sofa slipcovers on the market.

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Which Types of Sofa Slipcover Designs Fit Different Sofas?

There are actually several main types of sofa slipcovers based on how they fit onto the sofa. The main choices include:

  • Stretch/form fit: These stretch over the sofa so tightly that the outline of the sofa still shows. If you want a slipcover that makes it look like you're not even using a slipcover, go for this design.

  • Scalloped bottom or skirted: Another option hangs over the cushions and has a skirted look in the front. These also often partially cover the armrests or other parts of the sofa. Choose this style if you don't mind the original sofa showing through and you plan to match the slipcover to the sofa.

  • Box cushion vs. t-cushion design: This references the shape of the cushions themselves.  Box cushions are square or rectangular in shape. T-cushions have wings that span outward, usually wrapping around an armrest. Be sure to check if the slipcover is a box cushion or t-cushion design so it fits your sofa type. Slipcovers are often labeled as one or the other.

  • Cushion covers: Some sofa slipcovers come as sets that only cover the sofa cushions themselves, many times in sets of three. If your main concern is keeping the cushions themselves clean, try looking at this type of cover. You might also use this type of cover for aesthetic purposes if you want to get a high-contrast look on your couch by getting a different cushion color from the rest of the sofa.  

  • L-shaped style: You should also make sure the shape of the slipcover matches your sofa shape. For instance, sectional sofas will need an L-shaped slipcover.

Beige Polyester Pattern Scalloped Sofa Slipcover
Yellow Box Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Polyester Blend T Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Dove Gray L Shaped Sofa Slipcover Set
Floral Box Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Grayish Green Stretch Fit Sofa Slipcover

How to Choose the Attachment Types in Sofa Slipcovers?

Sofa slipcovers tend to attach in two main ways:

  • Ties: As the name suggests, you tie these right to the sofa.

  • Elastic edges: You pull these over the sofa by fixing elastic pieces in place. They are very common in stretch and form-fit patterns, but they are used in other styles as well. If you don't like the idea of messing with ties, get an elastic attachment style.

Indigo Cotton Ties Sofa Slipcover
Navy Polyester Blend Ties Sofa Slipcover
Chocolate Polyester Blend Ties Sofa Slipcover
Gray Elastic Edges Sofa Slipcover
Burgundy Elastic Edges Sofa Slipcover
Navy Blue Elastic Edges Sofa Slipcover

How to Choose the Best Material in Sofa Slipcovers?

Most sofa slipcovers come in synthetic materials, most often a type of polyester. This is because it's easy to make polyester stain-resistant, fade-resistant and water-resistant, often the point of slipcovers. It also makes for a more affordable slipcover. You can also get a variety of styles in polyester, from matte understated looks to high sheen floral patterns. 

However, the drawbacks to polyester are that it doesn't breathe and it can have a shinier synthetic look to it, which many people associate with looking cheap. However, some synthetics can be made to look more classic and matte. 

Below are some of the types of synthetics you'll see, as well as another option.  

  • Velvet: This lush texture works well in classy room styles. You also can't beat the softness. However, be aware that velvet is usually made from polyester blends.
  • Microfiber: This soft and often stain-resistant material is a synthetic that's made out of polyester. This material works well in a variety of styles because it can be made to have any pattern, even a classic, quilted look.
  • Spandex: It's also common to find a certain percentage of spandex in slipcovers. If you want a cover that is fitted in any way, there's probably going to be about 5 to 20% spandex in the fabric blend.
  • Faux mink: Some slipcovers are made to mimic truly luxury textures. If you have a high-end living space, look for a texture like faux mink. However, these slipcovers are usually still made out of, you guessed it, polyester.
  • Cotton: If you're not fond of synthetics, you can also find slipcovers that are 100% cotton. The benefits to cotton are that it breathes more and is a soft natural fiber. However, it may pick up stains more than polyester might.
Bluestone Cotton Solid Sofa Slipcover
White Denim Modular Sofa Slipcover
Taupe Faux Mink Sofa Slipcover
Blue Microfiber T Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Spandex Polyester Box Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Velvet Ties T Cushion Sofa Slipcover

Which Features Are Best in Sofa Slipcovers?

Outside of the basic functions, like material and how the slipcover fits, you might want to look into additional options. Some of the main ones on the market include:

  • Non-slip backing: This feature is a must if you have pets or rambunctious kids. These sofa slipcovers are often held on by a silicone backing.

  • Durability options: If you're worried about spills and stains, choose sofa slipcovers that are water, stain and/or fade-resistant. 

  • Pet-rated: Often the slipcover will state whether it is appropriate for pets. Some slipcovers are on the more delicate side or slip easily, so your pet will have that slipcover ripped and on the ground before you know it. If you have pets, make sure the product says it is good for pets. Some designs will often have a canine theme with paw prints on the cover. These are good for temporary use or casual room styles.

  • Filling: Some slipcovers also come with a type of filling and have a plush texture. Choose these for added durability and comfort.

  • Storage: You can also find sofa slipcovers with storage, such as two pockets. If you tend to find random junk on the furniture, consider getting organized with storage in your slipcover.

Polyester Blend Storage Sofa Slipcover
Polyester Pattern Box Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Brown Waterproof Non Skid Sofa Slipcover
Polyester Reversible Box Cushion Sofa Slipcover
Polyester Box Cushion Pet Sofa Slipcover
Green Stain Resistant Sofa Slipcover
Gray Polyester Blend Zipper Sofa Slipcover
Warm White Cotton Sofa Slipcover

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.