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Slipcovers Buying Guide

by Staff Writer

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A slipcover fits securely for a natural look

Whether you've invested in a piece of furniture and want to make it last longer or are looking for a new way to update your current pieces, a slipcover can offer an easy solution for solving your problem. Slipcovers come in a variety of fabrics and a multitude of styles to suit any design scheme. To find the best option for your home, follow these tips.

Buying a Slipcover:

  1. Reasons for buying: Slipcover shoppers generally fall into two categories: those looking to protect their couches and loveseats from pets, children, dirt or spills and those who want to give their old furniture new life. Deciding what purpose your slipcover will serve can help you when looking at both material and price.

  2. Materials: Slipcovers can be made from cotton, wool, polyester, spandex and linen -- almost any fabric or blend. If you've determined that your furniture will be getting heavy traffic, look for durable slipcovers made from heavy cotton. It's also best to go with a dark-colored slipcover or one with a pattern that can hide stains if you're buying a slipcover to protect your furniture. If you prefer a slipcover that fits like a second skin and looks stylish, try a thin slipcover made from a stretchy cotton-spandex blend. This style of slipcover offers the most options in terms of looks and texture since it comes in fabrics like faux suede and corduroy.

  3. Fit: Slipcovers fit best on round-arm furniture with rectangular seat cushions, although you can now find slipcovers for hard-to-fit furniture, such as T-cushion sofas and wingback chairs. You may also want to consider whether you want a one-piece slipcover or one with several pieces. One-piece slipcovers offer a wider variety of sofa sizes and can easily be removed for washing. A slipcover set with individual pieces for each cushion will fit better and offer a more seamless look.

  4. Measurement: Before purchasing slipcovers, you'll need to measure your chair, loveseat or sofa so you can find a slipcover in the right size. To find the correct measurement of your furniture, measure from the outside edge of one arm to the outside edge of the other arm. A sofa-sized slipcover will fit furniture measuring 74 to 96 inches, a loveseat-sized slipcover will fit furniture between 58 and 73 inches long, and a chair-sized slipcover will fit furniture measuring 32 to 40 inches.

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