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Give Your Furniture a Green Makeover with Slipcovers

Please welcome back, our guest writer Caroline Smith!

Give Your Furniture a Green Makeover with Slipcovers

By Caroline Smith of

stretch_suede_soloBeing green is all about saving energy, reducing waste, recycling and reusing. When it comes to old sofas and chairs, using slipcovers is a green way to give them a new lease of life and keep them out of landfill. I don’t think there’s any excuse to throw away old furniture just because you don’t like the look of the upholstery. Whether it’s the color or pattern that isn’t to your taste, or the fabric is worn or stained, as long as the seat is comfortable to sit on, it still has plenty of life left in it.

If you really need to buy new furniture – perhaps you’ve recently moved and your couch is too large for your room – why not re-home your old furniture by giving it away on Freecycle? There is always someone out there who would be very grateful for secondhand furniture, no matter what it looks like. However, if your furniture fits well with the size and layout of your room and is in reasonable condition, it’s just the upholstery that you dislike, slipcovers are an eco-friendly option.

Slipcovers are designed to fit directly over the top of existing upholstery and are considerably less expensive than the cost of re-upholstery. They are ideal for concealing all manner of unattractive sights, such as torn or faded upholstery, an outdated pattern or garish colors. Slipcovers also have the advantage of being machine washable. So, there’s no need to spend ages trying to remove food and drink stains, or muddy pet paw prints. Simply remove your slipcover and put it in the washing machine to keep it clean and fresh.

Of course, each slipcover does have a carbon footprint and the most environmentally-friendly option would be to “make do” with unattractive upholstery. But, having said that, the majority of us want to make our homes look nice at the same time as minimizing our impact on the planet. Investing in some slipcovers is a green compromise, as you will at least be helping the environment by extending the life of your furniture for several years.

Readymade slipcovers that are made from natural fabrics, such as cotton, are a greener choice than those made from polyester or other manmade materials. Those made from organically grown cotton are clearly greener still, but unfortunately are harder to come by. I hope that as environmental awareness grows and consumer demand for eco-friendly products increases, organic slipcovers will become more widely available.

chair-slipcoversCurrently, I have managed to find only a small selection of organic slipcovers. These are available from Sure Fit, one of the leading slipcover manufacturers in the US. They come in sofa and loveseat sizes only, in a choice of two fabrics. One is a solid color, the other has a striped pattern. As slipcovers can be used on most types of seats, it would be good to see the range extended to include sizes for armchairs, recliners and ottomans.

If you decide to recycle an old couch or chair with a slipcover makeover, it’s useful to know a few handy tips to get the best possible fit. For example, there’s no such thing as a standard size sofa, so you may find that a readymade slipcover is slightly too big for your couch. If there’s a lot of extra fabric, which looks untidy and wrinkled, you can get a smoother fit by tucking any excess into the gaps around the edge of the seat. Using a wooden spoon to push it down saves your fingers! This will be all you need to do in most cases. However, if you find the cover gradually works loose when someone sits on it, you can push rolled up magazines into the gaps to hold it in place. You can buy special plastic grippers to do this job, but I find magazines secured with rubber bands work just as effectively.

Slipcovers are constructed to fit furniture with padded arms. So, if your seat has wooden armrests, a regular slipcover will be much too large over the arms. To get around this problem, tie an old towel or blanket around the arms to pad them out, then fit the slipcover over the top. You can also use an old towel, blanket or sheet to stop a slipcover from sliding about on faux leather upholstery. Simply fix it over the upholstery before covering with a slipcover.

If you would like to update your room’s image whilst minimising your impact on the environment and without blowing your budget, slipcovers are worth considering. You can see more details about the organic slipcovers mentioned here by visiting Get Slipcovers, where you can also find more tips for decorating with slipcovers.

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12 Responses to “Give Your Furniture a Green Makeover with Slipcovers”

  1. Says:

    Give Your Furniture a Green Makeover with Slipcovers | Forced Green…

    When it comes to old sofas and chairs, using slipcovers is a green way to give them a new lease of life and keep them out of landfill….

  2. Diane Scott Says:

    This is a marvelous idea! Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking when I got both my couch and loveseat (bargain deal, long story). The shape of it makes it (virtually?) impossible to buy slipcovers. The arms are the strangest things – both in shape and the way the fabric was put on. Also it seems to be one of those odd sizes in length. I will, however, be clicking through to see if maybe just maybe you’ve got my solution 🙂

    Diane Scotts last blog post..New Phatband Internet Speed Service Leaves Dial Up, DSL and Cable In The Dust

  3. Diane Scott Says:

    Me back again LOL! I did look, and the prices are truly remarkable. Unfortunately, a zilch on the shape and style of my sofa and/or loveseat, but again I was pleasantly surprised at the prices 🙂

    Diane Scotts last blog post..Missing From The Newbie Marketing Plate

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Diane … LOL, i have seen furniture that are odd sizes. Go for it!

    Hi Diane … LOL! the prices are reasonable!

  5. wilson Says:

    I don’t know whether I’m the stingy person or what, but I have a sofa set, where it’s already nearly ten years old! I bought it while I’m studying at college. I kept it until now. Believe it or not, thanks to the sofa slip cover, my old sofa looks like brand new one, Linda.

    wilsons last blog post..Just Put Your Vegetables and Fruits Straight Into The Refrigerator!

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … That is good news! Slip-covers have come a long way and really do re-do any piece of furniture.

  7. vein Says:

    Is poor the new green 😉 I use a series of throws and slip covers to change the look of my apartment. It also keep thedog hair off the furniture 🙂

    veins last blog post..What would you like to see more of on this blog?

  8. Maureen Says:

    I have heard about or used the word “slipcover” in years! I actually forgot about them. It is a good idea. I’ve only had 2 sets of furniture in 22 years. My first was donated. I somehow keep it looking new.

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Vein … I think you may be on to something! Slip covers are really a lifesaver to everyday living.

    Hi Maureen … I did too! However, they have been updated and really look great on the furniture!

  10. Lilyruth Says:

    My sofa is real old but still has leanty of life in it and for years this is all that I use is slip covers I change them around and my sofa looks like a different one completely. Great idea you all should try it.. Listen I stoed by to drop Ecard on you and click on your adgitize ads and invite you to please visit and click on my adgitize ads also Im new to adgitize and trying to start earning points. Thanks ALso join me in the fight against animal cruelty go and vote for me at its a worthy cause and your votes count..@lilruth

    Lilyruths last blog post..Caring for your Pets

  11. Linda Says:

    Hi Lilyruth … thanks for dropping by!

  12. Business Guide to Going Green | Online Business Ideas Says:

    […] Give Your Furniture a Green Makeover with Slipcovers ( […]

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