Ready-Made vs. Custom Slipcovers vs. Reupholstery


Old sofa got you down or ready to redesign the sofa you love? Maybe your sofa doesn’t need a complete redo, but you’d love to change up the fabric to match your space. Or perhaps you take a look at that old friend and you see its great bones, that comfy spot you always settle right into – but, the stain where you spilled that wine, the rip Rufus made when he jumped up on there last year is making it look like its seen way better days. You sit down and Google how to redo a sofa and suddenly you’re overwhelmed. And, you’re left wondering: what’s the difference between a slipcover vs protector? Reupholstering vs slipcover? Ready-made vs DIY?

For those who want an answer straight ahead, it depends on your budget and desires – the closer to new furniture – the more expensive it will and the less flexible the solution. But if you want to make an educated choice, grab a seat - you’re about to slip into all sofa-redo options.


The DIY Slipcovers

This is the best bet for people who love creating something completely their own, have the time and some killer sewing skills.

Using your own selections of fabric really allows you to stick to your taste and your budget (from $20 and into going into thousands). It also gives you the opportunity to work with an odd shaped sofa or chair that may not come off the rack at the store, but the overall look really depends on how well you do it. Even if you’re a relatively savvy in sewing, it can take anywhere from 2 days to months. DIY couch covers can be as easy to maintain as you want them to be or the opposite.



Typically, the simplest solution in the world of furniture covers, protectors are best only for, well, protection.

Often used for proofing from stains and spills, they’re made from polyester with waterproof coating. While being decently durable, some of these materials might be very static and tend to be hair magnets. As protectors are created for function not form, they can be used on a couch of any shape. They are fairly cheap ranging around 25 or 30 bucks a cover, readily available and easy to clean and use.


Ready-made Slipcovers

Cheap Slipcovers

Looking for a good price-value combo, but on the low end of the price spectrum? The look, fabric quality or color choice aren’t #1 priorities? Then the cheap slipcovers are for you.

Designed in basic colors or patterns, made mostly out of cotton and polyester, these sofa covers can be somewhat durable, but often become major hair and dust attractors. While they are easy to install, maintaining an alright look becomes a routine with lots of tucking and pinning. Easily machine washable, but requiring steam or ironing to keep the cotton ones looking presentable. These slipcovers are readily available and typically cost from $20-$50.


Branded Slipcovers

For those who love to stick with a brand, but don’t mind the variable fit and material quality, branded slipcovers may be the right choice. Usually, they are priced higher than the previous group, so value seekers and trend lovers may be disappointed with this option.

Found in the same cotton and polyester materials, they retain all the associated problems with hair attraction. Fit on branded sofa covers is often awkward due to simple piece geometry or older styles. Fabric and color options are often limited to only what is considered standard. While these covers are easy to install, they will still require constant tucking, pinning and some padding. If you select a cotton option, after washes iron or steam heat will be required to maintain the look. These slipcovers are readily available and range from $80-$100.


Advanced Slipcovers

Slipcovers like the ones from Homeleon are best for people who want to upgrade their sofa with a versatile slipcover and keep the good look and the feeling of quality, as well as get a chance to add something unique. While being slightly higher on the price spectrum, it’s a good value proposition.

Not only do they have a fit that’s in most cases close to custom slipcovers, their materials resemble upholstery and retain a pleasant smooth feel – all while being stretchy (allowing for use on multiple sofa shapes). The fabric used is still mostly polyester, although constructed with a focus on low static, which means almost no more attracting hair on your sofa when Rufus the dog jumps up to snuggle while you’re watching TV.

The downsides are that they might not fit gigantic sofas and they require slightly more work to install due to more parts used than in the sofa covers in the categories above.

Colors are on-trend, constantly updated and can be chosen separately for the sofa base and cushions to achieve a look available mostly to premium sofas.

Very low maintenance involved: the design of the slipcover and some easy tricks will hold everything in place. It’s washable and has low wrinkling, if any. Readily available and ranging from $120-$180.


Custom Slipcovers

Limited Custom Slipcovers

If you own a popular model (such as from IKEA or Pottery Barn) and you’re its fan, but wish to go beyond what the manufacturer has to offer in slipcovers, then the limited custom slipcover option is something to consider. Just be ready that is a somewhat sizeable investment into a used sofa and it won’t be easy to buy multiple covers to switch them according to your style or mood.

Custom sofa cover sellers offer a wide range of durable high-quality upholstery fabrics in many colors. Pair this with a slipcover design developed for a specific sofa model and you get a good fit with excellent fabric. However, you need to confirm that you’re buying a slipcover for an existing model, otherwise you need to get a fully custom sofa cover.

Limited custom slipcovers are made-to-order and can take 3-6 weeks or longer to deliver. Often harder to install because of their specific measurements to your piece, they can offer quite the workout to put on. However, maintaining the look is very simple.

These slipcovers are washable, but wrinkling is still a problem. Budget can range from $300-$500.


Full Custom Slipcovers

Perfect for owners of furniture from niche brands or less popular models with complex shapes, who wish to get a slipcover. As with limited couch covers, this is more of a long-term investment into your furniture and buying multiple colors easily is usually not an option. Be ready to pay $500 (if bought online) to over $1000 for a great look and decent fabric. You'll also have to spend some time and attention on getting the initial measurements right.



For owners of expensive, quality pieces of furniture or the ones of special sentimental value.

Creating the look of a brand-new piece of furniture with classic bones, this would be the most expensive option ($1000+) for a sofa-redo. Often taking months of time in fabric selection and requiring work by a professional, reupholstery is not a choice for someone looking for a quick fix.


That’s it for all the options that can protect or change the look of your furniture. Now that you understand their whole range, it’s clear that just like Grandma says - you often get what you pay for (at least in a sofa redo). However, categories serve different purposes – expensive reupholstery and custom slipcovers are for those that appreciate the true longevity or sentimental value of their furniture. They enjoy sticking with one single look and want to keep it like that. Ready-made slipcovers are for those who want more of a practical and quick solution. Of course, there are options in between that combine the best of both worlds.

Advanced Homeleon slipcovers allow you to experiment with several looks for your space and save money for redecorating other parts of your room. They fit various furniture shapes, while keeping a close to custom look. They’re also more durable, easy to clean and pleasant to the touch unlike most ready-made slipcovers which can be itchy or get dirty easily. For those that appreciate a stretchy budget with a stretchy fit and feel would easily opt for a Homeleon.

Thanks, you've signed up!

We'll keep you posted!