How to Install a Sofa Slipcover

If you are into saving money and or saving the earth, there is a good chance that the sofa in your living room is one that enjoyed a previous life in someone else’s home.

As such, the sofa you love to lounge on has probably lost its visual appeal. Thankfully, you can buy a sofa slipcover to give new life to your comfy, but hideous, sofa. Sofa slipcovers are available in the home goods section of most department stores and come in an assortment of colors, styles and sizes. Picking out a sofa slipcover is the easy part—however, knowing how to properly install it is another story. Take a minute to get familiar with the basics of how to install a sofa slipcover so that the installation process goes much more smoothly.

Measure the sofa before removing the sofa slipcover from its package.

Vacuum the sofa. You will be covering the sofa with a heavy slipcover so you don’t want to trap dust and food crumbs underneath. If the cushions have a removable, washable cover, wash and dry before installing the slipcover.

Check the positioning of all sofa cushions to make sure they are all arranged properly.

Remove the slipcover from the package. If the slipcover is excessively wrinkled, steam or iron the fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, as placing a slipcover in a hot dryer or under a hot iron may damage the fabric.

Identify the center of your sofa. Usually a visual estimation is sufficient.

Identify the center of the slipcover. The easiest way to do this is to fold the entire slipcover in half (horizontally) on the floor.

Match the center of the slipcover to the center of the sofa and then drape the slipcover over the entire sofa. Keep in mind that you will lose some length as you install the slipcover over the sofa.

Adjust the slipcover to smoothly fit the arms of the couch.

Tuck the slipcover under and behind the sofa cushion, following the existing edges of the cushions with your hands to meet the contours of the sofa. Use a large wooden kitchen spoon to help you tuck the fabric into the crevices of the couch. Keep an eye on the bottom edge of the sofa. As you tuck the fabric securely into the sofa, fabric pooled on the floor may start to get pulled upward. Make sure that the fabric covers the sofa and that any pooling disappears.

Continue pulling and tugging at the slipcover until it fits the way you want it to. If necessary, begin again. Just pull the cover completely off the sofa and begin again.

Things You Will Need

  • Slipcover
  • Sofa
  • Wooden spoon


  • You’ll find that there is a bit of a learning curve when installing a slipcover to your sofa. Don’t get discouraged, as it takes practice and familiarity to discover the best way to install a slipcover to a sofa.

About the Author

Julie Elle's diverse writing portfolio includes product descriptions, marketing copy, newsletters, and web content for private clients on numerous topics such as home decorating, holidays and celebrations, and personal finance. Elle has been writing for Demand Studios since 2007. Elle holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan.