Slipcovers 101

How Much Do Slipcovers Cost? The Nitty-Gritty

 

The question of how much sofa covers cost seems like it should have a straightforward answer, but the slipcover world is a tricky one. You can’t judge a slipcover by the cover! (Forgive us.) What we mean is that retailers can call both a $50 sofa cover and a $1000 one a “slipcover,” but what you get in return differs by bounds and leaps. It’s the difference between a custom-made centerpiece and something that looks like your six-year-old nephew made it (and then bounced around all over it). Wondering how to navigate the huge range of prices, features, styles, and fits? Allow us—supreme slipcover nerds—to guide you.

 

DIY Slipcovers

  • What they are: DIY sofa covers are slipcovers created on your own by using patterns, fabrics you choose from a store, and your (hopefully existing) sewing skills.
  • Cost: Starts at $20 for a very cheap fabric.
  • Timeline: About 2 weeks, if you’re completely new to this. The more experience you have, the less time you’ll need. It’s also worth noting that the timeline depends on your commitment. How many unfinished DIY slipcovers are out there? A lot, we’d guess.
  • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Moderate.
  • Best suited for: People who love arts and crafts, have good sewing skills, and are ready to spend significant time on creating something of their own.

 

Ready-Made Slipcovers

  • Cheap
    • What they are: We’re referring to the type of cheap, ready-made slipcovers sold on Amazon, made of stretch fabric and comprising only one or two pieces.
    • Cost: $20-$50.
    • Timeline: 2 days for express delivery and up to 7 days for regular.
    • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Low.
    • Best suited for: People looking for a very quick and cheap fix who don’t have strong aesthetic, material quality, fit, and color desires. Good option for value seekers. 
  • Branded
    • What they are: Ready-made slipcovers from established brands, with the same quality as above but offering more sophisticated Typically made of stretch fabric and comprising one to four pieces.
    • Cost: $80-$200.
    • Timeline: 2 days for express delivery and up to 7 days for regular.
    • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Low to moderate.
    • Best suited for: People looking for a quick fix from an established brand. Those who don’t mind variable fit and material quality. Not always the best option for value, nor for those with particular trends and colors in mind. 
  • New Generation
    • What they are: There’s a small, new, and exciting—if we may say so ourselves—generation of ready-made stretch slipcovers with massively upgraded fit and looks, high quality materials, color customization options, and up to 7 pieces per slipcover (for example, with each cushion covered on its own) to allow for better fit.
    • Cost: $120-$180.
    • Timeline: 2 days for express delivery and up to 7 days for regular.
    • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Moderate to high.
    • Best suited for: People looking for a reasonably priced, quick upgrade to their sofa, with good fit, unique color customization options, and quality stretch materials that resemble traditional upholstery fabrics. The slipcovers are often usable on other sofas as well. For those that don’t mind a little workout pulling on the additional slipcover pieces to achieve a more streamlined fit.

 

Custom Slipcovers for Popular Couch Models  

  • What they are: Custom slipcovers made out of upholstery fabric for popular furniture models. Requires precise measurements for best fit.
  • Cost: $300-500.
  • Timeline: Production usually starts only after you place an order, so it may take from 3 to 6 weeks to receive the slipcover. These sofa covers are very rarely ready-made, unless they’re offered by the original manufacturer of the sofa.
  • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Moderate to high.
  • Best suited for: Owners of IKEA, Pottery Barn, and other popular furniture manufacturers who are looking for colors and materials beyond what’s offered by the manufacturer—or perhaps who want their sofa to scream “IKEA” or “big-box store” a little less. For those willing to make a decent investment to change the exterior of their sofa; at this price point, not so much for those looking to buy multiple covers to switch around according to their mood.

 

Fully Custom Slipcovers

  • What they are: Completely custom slipcovers for any couch, made to your exact specifications. Requires very precise measurements for best fit.
  • Cost: Starts at $500+ if ordered online with a simpler, lower-end fabric, and can easily go up to $1000.
  • Timeline: Production usually starts only after you place an order, so it may take from 3 to 6 weeks to receive the slipcover.
  • Chances of getting a good look/fit: High.
  • Best suited for: Owners of less ubiquitous brands and models of furniture. For those ready to make a sizeable investment into an old sofa, or into changing the look of a new one.

 

Reupholstery

  • What it is: Reupholstering typically involves stripping your couch down to its frame, replacing springs and stuffing where required, and re-covering it in fabrics of your choosing through your local reupholstery shop.
  • Cost: $1000+.
  • Timeline: 3+ weeks at best, but usually months.
  • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Highest.
  • Best suited for: Owners of very expensive or high quality old furniture that’s just too good (or too sentimentally valued) to get rid of.

 

New Furniture

  • What it is: A brand new piece of furniture (we probably didn’t need to explain that one, huh).
  • Cost: $1000+.
  • Timeline: A few days to weeks.
  • Chances of getting a good look/fit: Highest.
  • Best suited for: Those who want a completely new frame or style.

 

Finally, if you’re wondering about the varying costs of slipcovers for different sizes and shapes of seating furniture, below is a rule of thumb for almost any seller of slipcovers. We use a three-seater sofa as a base price for comparison (for example, a sectional slipcover would run you about 120% the cost of a three-seater sofa cover):

  • Sectional: 120%
  • Three-seater sofa: 100%
  • Two-seater loveseat: 80%
  • Recliner: 80%
  • Arm chair: 60%
  • Dining chair/Ottoman: 30-40%

That’s it! Everything you ever wanted to know about slipcover prices, and probably more. If you’re in the market for a slipcover, also check out our post on How to Get the Perfect Slipcover Fit and Look, which includes pre-purchase considerations.

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